There are several websites for cataloging your media collections, but if you want a similar application beyond the net, developer Joel Ares”˜s free media suite might well be the perfect solution for you.
Titled the Hunter Suite, this collection of four free Mac apps (donations gladly accepted) include one each for books, DVD’s, and games collections. It also includes a handy iPhone application that syncs with all three desktop applications.
The interface and process for each application work the same, so I will focus on the Book Hunter app.
Getting books into the collections is very simple. But there’s also a few little features that you might at first overlook. The Hunter free media suite is pretty much like cataloging your music collection in iTunes. They consist of a library of all your saved and imported media that you can rate and label.
Like most applications, you start off selecting File>New book from the menu bar or the New Book icon in the tool bar. This will bring up a dialogue box that can be filled automatically after you type in the title of a book or the name of an author, and click the Autocomplete button at the bottom of the search window.
You get back a list of search results in which you select the one that fits what you’re looking for. The application mainly uses Amazon’s search to download all the information about the book, including title, publisher, and genre. Most of the information you will probably want or need will be included in the download.
Other panels include Advance Info for adding tags, date read or acquired, page length, etc. If you’re in the habit of loaning out your media, these media apps enable you to keep track of loan information. If you have a collection of existing books in your home library, you can use a FireWire video camera to scan the barcodes of books. Those scans will retrieve information about the book and download it to the application.
The interface includes several features that you would find in iTunes. You can create folders for various types of collections or genres, or better yet and easier, you can create smart folders based on rules that you set.
So each time an item is added to the collection it will also be added to the folder that matches one of several smart folders you set up. Rules can be based on several criteria, including titles, author, genre, ratings, and date purchased.
Other iTunes-like features include Cover Flow, and viewing by list or icon.
Viewing books in List view provides you with nearly 25 items ( e.g. title, translator, ISBN) that you can add to your viewing panel. You can also right or Control-click on a book title and mark the book as Read, Unfinished and To Read.
Of course there’s also a sharing feature for emailing and Tweeting book titles and related information. You can even customize the template for sharing.
Last but not least, the developer also built a iPhone application that easily syncs your media data on your desktop to the Hunter Touch app (iTunes Store link). The iPhone app pairs over a Wi-Fi network and contains all the pertinent information that you might need on your mobile device.
The only shortcoming to the mobile app is that while you can delete items for your books, games, or DVD’s lists, you can’t add items.
Overall, the Free Hunter Media Suite is a collection of straight forward, clean cataloging applications that help you keep your media well organized and updated.
Let us know what online and desktop media cataloguing applications you use.