Cataloging with Delicious Library and Home Inventory (OS X)


The Short Version: I cataloged our movies with Delicious Library 2 but needed to replicate the data in Home Inventory. Delicious Library provides an export to CSV function and Home Inventory can import CSV files. Now I have the data for our library in both programs and using an iOS program for Home Inventory I can also maintain and view a backup copy of the database on my iPhone.

I’ve had a copy of Delicious Library (version 1) for several years. It’s a well-designed commercial Mac program for cataloging  movies, CDs, games, and books. The latest version (Delicious Library 2) includes more features and categories. Both versions support barcode scanning, which I’ve always done with the built-in iSight camera. It can look-up product information using Amazon and automatically download product images, title, retail value, and other pieces of information.

A week or two ago we decided to catalog all of our movies after a visit to Wal-Mart. While there we browsed the cheap movie section but we were reluctant to purchase for fear that we already owned them. When we returned home my wife downloaded an app to her iPod for cataloging movies. I decided to open up Delicious Library and paid $15 to upgrade to the latest version.

We both spent at least a couple of hours scanning or manually entering information for our movies.

After all of this was done I realized that it was time to start generating a complete home inventory database of everything (or nearly everything) that we own. I looked up a program on the Mac that I already had tried (possibly even purchased it previously without realizing it) named Home Inventory. I decided to purchase it through the Mac App store (about $15).

It’s a very good program and I already had a little bit of data from the last time I had used it. In addition, it also has two iOS apps. One app interacts with the desktop program by serving as a remote camera for snapping photos and also adding product information, which is very convenient when needing to log serial and model numbers. It also has another app that can be used to fully backup and view the database from an iOS device.

If you’ve actually read everything in this post then you may have realized that I had a problem. While I could view data on my iPhone that was collected in Home Inventory I didn’t have a simple way to do this with Delicious Library. And… I had just spent several hours cataloging movies in Delicious Library.

I needed to move that data over to Home Inventory. Fortunately, Delicious Library supports exporting data in different formats, including CSV and Home Inventory provides import capability. I just exported the data to CSV, matched the fields in Home Inventory, and imported. Everything I needed came over.

The product images weren’t included, but that’s actually a good thing. Product images won’t serve as proof-of-ownership – I’d need to take individual photos (or at least a photo of the collection) to help prove ownership in the event of loss.

So, I’ll continue to use both programs. Delicious Library works great for managing certain collections and can work very well for tracking who certain items have been loaned to. I also love the interface.

The Home Inventory interface isn’t particularly interesting but it’s functional and provides everything I need for tracking things that we own.

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