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This is the archive for March 2005

Movie Library Project

My latest hobby project is a personal library management software. I’ve named this project Movie Library. The goal of this project is to allow me to search and retrieve the DVDs and books that are lying everywhere in the apartment.

The software is already able to perform the following features:

  • Add items manually by entering the EAN, UPC, ISBN or ASIN code.

  • Add items automatically by scanning the item barcode using a webcam. This is really a great feature as I was able to enter my whole book collection (>100 items) in a few minutes.

  • Retrieve information about an item automatically using web service. This is very cool as I’m able to search items through the whole library without having to enter a single word about an item.

  • Query all Amazon websites for international support (useful for Europe where you can import DVDs from multiple regions.)

  • Display items as you type to dynamically see the result of the search.

  • Allow the user to specify the area of the picture to use (useful if the data provider did not scan the cover appropriately.)

  • Display details (and review), technical information and related items for the selected item.

  • Display categories automatically to let the user navigate through the whole library easily.

  • Here is a current screenshot of the user interface:
    Movie Library User Interface
    (Click to zoom)

    A great point about the current state of the application is that you are able to create a library of hundred items in a few minutes and collect all the information related to every item automatically. You don’t have to type a single word to fill the library.

    I've got some issues with managing the categories (BrowseNode) returned by as the set of categories changes from site to site and are not well documented (at least I did not find the doc for it.) This may be an issue as I'm not sure of the flexibility I would like to provide to the user to manage the content of the library.
    Also the application requires an Internet connection to be useable (a least when adding new item.)

    The user interface in the actual implementation has largely been copied from the excellent Delicious Library by Delicious Monster. It's a shame that it is impossible to create the same kind of beautiful user interface under Windows.

    More to come.