Reel in your movie collection

John
John Gushue
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Just short of 20 years ago, a friend of mine gave me a bit of software that seemed like a marvelous idea. A tool that would allow me to catalog all of the stuff I had been taping on VHS. Movies, TV shows ... I eagerly started typing them into a library-style database.

That eagerness, though, rubbed off, and it didn't take long. After a few months of here-and-there data entry, I had fallen off the track, having come to the conclusion this was work, not fun.

Surf's up - Just short of 20 years ago, a friend of mine gave me a bit of software that seemed like a marvelous idea. A tool that would allow me to catalog all of the stuff I had been taping on VHS. Movies, TV shows ... I eagerly started typing them into a library-style database.

That eagerness, though, rubbed off, and it didn't take long. After a few months of here-and-there data entry, I had fallen off the track, having come to the conclusion this was work, not fun.

Well, I'm trying something similar, but with better results: a program that requires very little typing, and offers a much more complete package for the movie buff.

Movienizer

www.movienizer.com/

Movienizer is free to download, which is a primary attraction here. You don't get the sleekest program, but for the cost, it seems churlish to whine about it.

The program's great benefit is that it is linked to the Internet Movie Database, so when you type in a film's name, it does the hard lifting, and presents you with a title to confirm.

I've been steadily tapping in the names of the DVDs, plus all the films on the discs I've burned. (I've parted with many of the old VHS tapes of yore, though I do still have a couple of boxes of rarities.)

Because of the IMDB link, you get quite a bit of data, and in no time you'll notice that you can start using Movienizer in a variety of ways, like finding out how many Russell Crowe movies you have, what you have from a given year and so on. A handy feature is the image of the DVD cover (or one of them) comes attached with the data.

You can also add titles to your wish list, if you like, and customize some of the details. If you're inclined to let others borrow your stuff, there's a "loan manager" you can set up.

Elsewhere this week:

Golden Gems

goldengems.blogspot.com/

Did you read Little Golden Books when you were a kid? Generations of children pushed their fingers while mouthing the words in these small books, learning how to read. We still have a bunch, some of which became favourites for our son. This blog has scanned a wide variety of old Golden books, presented in full detail.

Google Maps Mania

googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/

Google's Maps feature is not quite as astonishing as it was when it launched a few years back, but it has some amazing applications. How amazing? This blog tracks the many, many ways that people have married what Google makes available for free with their own data - and, often, their own spin on things. Recent posts have included monitoring the impact of a storm, augmenting walking tours in various cities, and tracking the path of a UFO report.

Mad Atoms

www.madatoms.com/

So many online videos, so little time. But in case you do have time to kill, and you're adventurous (and not easily offended), try Mad Atoms, which aggregates an assortment of comedy videos, including some semi-famous types like the sketch troupe the Whitest Kids U'Know.

iSpeech

www.ispeech.org/

Convert text to audio, in a few simple steps. Like other, similar applications online, this is a boon for those who need accessibility, and something for other users to consider if they would prefer, say, to have the news read to them while they work on other things.

Live Daily

www.livedaily.com/

Among music sites, Live Daily specializes (as its name implies) in concert news, but you'll also find plenty on upcoming releases, musician interviews, podcasts, videos and bits of errant gossip. There are also links for direct ticket purchase, although the site certainly doesn't feel like a shill.

John Gushue is a news writer for CBCNews.ca in St. John's. E-mail: surf@thetelegram.com. Read past Surf's Up columns and daily updates at his blog: johngushue.typepad.com.

Organizations: Google

Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Movie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Actually, find a modified XBOX and hook it up to a NAS and it will do 1000x more than what this guy is talking about. You can move all of your DVD's onto a hard drive. They load quickly, no messing around with discs and no worried that they'll get scratched. It also streams them back over a network in your house and does a great job at upscaling them.

    A used XBox is $50 and the software is free.

  • Movie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Actually, find a modified XBOX and hook it up to a NAS and it will do 1000x more than what this guy is talking about. You can move all of your DVD's onto a hard drive. They load quickly, no messing around with discs and no worried that they'll get scratched. It also streams them back over a network in your house and does a great job at upscaling them.

    A used XBox is $50 and the software is free.