Delicious Library 1.05 full review

Delicious Library is a cataloguing application for books, music, films and games. Books and CDs are the largest collection of individual items most people own – some we have yet to read or listen to, so we lend them. Delicious Library offers an alternative to notes and reminders to friends.

The interface consists of a three-panel view of categorized shelves, their contents and the details of an item; you can create as many shelves as you like. Personal information about each item is recorded in a separate field.

Delicious Library uses Amazon when adding items: either type in the ISBN from a book, or the UPC/EAN code from a DVD or CD. Typing in codes is easy, if slow – but where this product really shines is in its iSight integration. The iSight from Apple or any DV camera is used as a barcode scanner and makes the whole process extremely quick – five minutes would scan 30-40 items.

It works really well for books, but less so for CDs and DVDs: there’s a single international system for books, but not for music or films, which are released region by region. Amazon has different codes for US music and films – and while you can change the Amazon branch from USA to UK, this really only helps for books.

The application can show you related items, too, but links to, again showing its US-centric nature. The Amazon UK integration is helpful, providing book covers and descriptions. The artwork for these is beautifully rendered: books and CDs look quite real, even down to translucent covers.

To help manage a collection, Delicious Library integrates well with iCal, Address Book and Mail, letting you recommend items to friends or remind them to give you that DVD back. When you first start using the application, it selects five people (usually family), based on your groups in the Address Book (you can add more people, too). Assigning books to people and appointments creates appointments in iCal.

The user interface has minor inconsistencies that affect its ease of use: visual updates are sometimes slow. In list view you must click on the tiny book icon, rather than the title. Deleting an item in book view takes you to the top of the list, rather than leaving you in the same place. None of these are major factors, but they detract from the otherwise positive experience.

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