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DVD Tracking Made Easy

1 Jun, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

A small Seattle software company gives Macintosh users a unique way to index and manage their growing media catalogs.

Delicious Library allows users to scan in the barcodes of titles from DVD, CD and book collections. Then the program downloads cover art and biographical information for each title and creates a virtual file card.

The $39.95 software allows users to write their own comments and has a “checked out” feature, which lets them track loaned items.

Scanning titles is relatively easy with a wireless scanner for sale on the company Web site, and any QuickTime-supported digital video camera or Apple's iSight Web cam, which comes factory-installed in any new Mac computer. Or users can type in the barcode numbers.

Delicious Library also can synch up with an iPod. The program, which launched in November 2004, was the winner of last year's MacWorld Editor's Choice award.

It's all the brainchild of programmer Wil Shipley, who said he would often find himself re-purchasing science-fiction books he already owned.

Delicious Library is the first offering from Shipley's company, Delicious Monster, named after a feral fern he inherited from a family member.

The biggest selling point of the program so far, he said, is the ability to track DVDs and books people have loaned out to friends.

“It's just been incredible, we get so much fan mail,” Shipley said.

He's in the throes of working on Delicious Library version 2.0, which should be on sale by the end of the year, or as a paid upgrade for current Delicious Library owners.

The focus on the new version is a sharing feature that will let users post their Delicious Library on a Web site for friends and family to view and search through, Shipley said.

“People love to say ‘this is me, this is my personality,’ he said. “They are very attached to their collections.”

The small company has relied on viral marketing and word-of-mouth for sales and has garnered a “cult following,” Shipley said. The software is only available for sale via the company's Web site, www.delicious-monster.com.

And Shipley's in no rush to go mainstream with his products. He gets a kick out of the fact that the blogosphere is already populated with avid promoters of Delicious Library. A Google search on the name turned up 175,000 hits.

Shipley declined to give specific sales figures, but numbered users in the “tens of thousands.” The company made $50,000 in first-day sales, he said.

He has no plans to develop a PC version, but isn't averse to perhaps licensing the idea to a PC programmer one day. Shipley's been writing code for Macintosh operating systems since he was a teenager.

“Frankly I think the world will come to me,” he joked. “More and more people are buying Macs all the time.”

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