Smart CD Catalog 2.53

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for October 31, 2008 is Smart CD Catalog 2.53.
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{rw_good}

  • Small learning curve.
  • CDDB online database support.
  • The program is not very resource intensive, relatively speaking.
  • Scans disks and records information, about what is on the CDs, fairly quickly.
  • Has a built in system to keep track of CDs if you loan them to others.

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{rw_bad}

  • Has potential to be abused (used for illegal activities).
  • Only a specific audience will find this program useful.
  • Does not copy contents of CD onto hard drive.
  • Does not physically label CD – you have to that the old fashioned way.
  • Can’t seem to figure out how to use the password protect tool.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Features as Described” value=”10″}It does what they claim.
{/for}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”10″}All you really have to do is hit one button to scan disks.
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{for=”Usefulness” value=”7″}Only useful for a target audience (people with huge Music/Movie collections and/or a a large home-grown downloading collection).
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

Off Download.com:

Smart CD Catalog Professional will help you organize your personal database with all your discs in it, saving time and effort, and solving the problem of organizing your discs. Smart CD Catalog offers search features. With Smart CD Catalog, you can quickly and easily find the necessary disc, folder, or file and view the contents of your discs without inserting them into the CD drive. Key Features: CDDB/FreeDB online database support; Categories, locations, loans; Wide search features; Password-protected access; and Highly customizable GUI.

If you have a big music collection, this program could be of use to you. What this program does is it basically categorizes what you have on your CD. What I mean, is lets say CD 1 has Song1, Song2, Song 3. You put the CD in, have this program scan it, and the program will place CD 1 under the proper category (music in this case), and it will list Song1, Song2 and Song3 as the contents of CD 1. This way, you do not have to have that little piece of paper that tells you what Music is on the CD on hand all the time. Once you have scanned and stored CD 1, you can keep track of it via the a “loans” feature that is built into SCDC: you can keep track of what CD you loaned, to whom, when you lent it, and when you got it back. It also works in the reverse direction – you can keep track of CDs you borrowed.

The program is not just limited to music though. It will scan any disk (including DVDs) and store information about what is on the disk. For DVDs/movies, this software can help keep track of what movie you own and what you do not. Also, the “loan” feature will be very useful for DVDs/movies.

This program also makes keeping track of what you have on your custom CD easier (since there is no published list of CD contents for a CD that we burn ourselves at home). It helps in labeling (as Ash said – you can label a CD by a number and cross reference with this program’s database). This is what I mean when I say “has potential to be abused”. It provides for a means to easily keep track of things you download/burn…and many people don’t download legally. For CDs you buy from a store, you should know what is on the CD because it should already be properly labeled. But this is not always the case – many people do download legally and could really benefit from this software. I am not saying this program is intended for piracy use. I am saying this program can really help someone organize a collection of illegally downloaded material just as much as it can help someone organize their legally attained material. So it really just comes down to who is using it and for what purpose.

SCDC comes with a very advanced search feature that you can use to search through the contents of your CDs so if you have a huge collection, you do not have to go through each CD one at a time. The search option allows you to search through titles, comments, folders, disks, and files. You can look for an exact match or a relative match. The “Advanced Search” tab allows you to search by the date/time modified, min/max file size, and file attribute.

Unfortunately, it does not actually copy stuff off your CD onto your hard drive. It only records information on what is on the CD. So you still have to keep track of your physical CD/DVD.

One notable aspect to this program is that it cross references the contents of your CD with the CDDB database to see if it can get any extra information about the songs you have.

The only people who I think could possibly need this program

  1. People who have a large, unlabeled collection of CDs.
  2. People download things off the internet (legally of course) and burn them onto CDs.
  3. People with a large music collection (custom burned or other wise).
  4. People with a large DVD/movie collection.

Free alternative (thanks Fox):
Visual CD

Visual CD is a disk cataloging tool to index the contents of your media storage such as CDs, DVDs, HD-DVDs, BlueRay Discs, USB disks, hard disks, folders and allow you to search the contents at a later date.

Visual CD can index the files from the media by name, date, ID3 tag data, audio-video and picture information, generate thumbnail from picture and video files, and even catalog files which are contained in Zip/Cab/Rar/7-Zip archive files. Additionally, you can password protect catalogs in case you want to hide sensitive filenames from prying eyes, create MP3 playlist file without having the physical disks in the drive. Upon insertion of the corresponding disk, you can open files, extract Zip/Cab/Rar/7-Zip archive, splitting files, and more.

-Visual CD Developer

SmartCDCatalog or Visual CD?
Get SmartCDCatalog while it is free.

  • The GUI is 100% better then Visual CD
  • SCDC has a smaller learning curve. I opened SCDC and within 10 seconds I figured out how to scan a CD and get information of what is on the CD. With VCD, I am still trying to figure out how (maybe I am just dumb). ***Just figured it out. I still suggest SCDC over VCD.
  • SCDC cross references your music with CDDB database – VCD does not.
  • SCDC’s “loan” feature is better then VCD’s “comment” feature.

****Update****
More free alternatives (thanks Fubar):
Ant Movie Catalog
Data Crow 3
MeD’s Movie Manager
Gentibus CD
Griffith
Libra – free for non-commercial use only
Movienizer
Cathy
MediaMan (this is an old version – new version is commercial)

PMnet Verdict: If you have a large home-burned CD collection (if it is legally attained) or a very large music/movie collection, check this program out.

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5 comments

  1. Scotto

    I’m getting sick of the self-rightous comments saying this could be used for “thieves. A pair of sneakers can be used to jaywalk. An inkjet printer can be used to print copyrighted articles, and so on, and so on, ad infinitum.

    I’ve found Smart CD Catalog to be extremely useful organizing my CDs and DVDs for the simple reason that most them are scattered around the house and autos and this program lets me keep track of where they are, and prevents me from buying something twice, which I’m embarraded to admit that I did a coupla times.

    The only bug I’ve seen is the startup tips can’t seem to be turned off for subsequescient restarts. The checkmark to turn it off and the opiotns checkoff seem to have no effect.

  2. Ashraf
    Author/

    John,

    I am glad you were liked the review.

    As for helping potential thieves:
    You are right that it does not download files or burn CDs.

    But on one point I must disagree with your disagreement =)

    This program does not do a ‘check’ on the CD to see if it is a home burned CD or if it is something you bought from the store. All it does is read what is on the CD and stores that information. So the program itself has no way of telling if the contents of a CD were downloaded legally or illegally. The only ‘check’ this program does that is it cross references music files with the online CDDB database. This cross reference is not to check the legality of the music file – it is to just get more information on the music file.

    I am not saying this program is intended to help piracy – no far from it. I think everyone is getting confused by the comment I made on GOTD.com. I worded that comment badly and it is giving the wrong impression to everyone – which is why I reworded it in my review to say it has the “potential to be abused”. The fact is this program can really help someone organize a collection of illegally downloaded material just as much as it can help someone organize their legally attained material.

    I hope I clarified my point.

  3. John Chrysostom

    Great Review. But I must disagree that this program helps potential music/movie thieves. First of all, the Db’s it uses would not recognize an illegally burned cd. Nor does it download music aka Limewire, etc. Why, it doesn’t even burn music to a CD. It just recognizes and catalogs regular music CD’s you already own. Nothing naughty here!
    As one with a large (legal!) CD collection, I think something like this is GREAT!

  4. Ash

    This program is useful for automatically collect a listing of songs from your large collection of CD’s. As a DJ, I don’t want to maintain a manual library of which songs is on what CD for me to play. This is where this program will come in handy. I can label my CD’s from 0001 to 9999 and have their songs catalogued so I only search the database for song requests and viola play them from the CD collection.