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Create a comic book database: the perfect quarantine activity



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Richard Trenholm / CNET

If you are stuck in the lock of coronavirus like almost everyone is currently the case, a large collection of films, books or comics will keep you entertained. But what could be more fun than watching DVDs and Blu-rays, playing games or reading books? They organize of course!

As all fans of Marie Kondo know, searching your stuff is a great way to get away for a weekend and maybe even impose a comforting sense of order on this corner of this crazy world. Sorting my thousands of comics ̵

1; from the Avengers to the X-Men, from 2000 AD to Preacher – not only gave me the satisfaction of cleaning them up in an easily accessible order, it also helped me reconnect with a lot books I completely forgot about. And I cleaned up a pleasantly thick pile of unwanted books to sell or give to other comic book fans.

This is more than just putting your media collection in alphabetical order – that's amateur hour. I'll show you how to inventory your DVDs, Blu-rays, box sets, console games, books, comics, CDs, records and digital albums so you have a current and easily searchable list of your stuff, access to lots of nerdy stats about your collection, and a wish list to fill in the gaps the next time you hit the store.

Which app to use?

There are several options for sorting and cataloging your physical media. You can list your books on Goodreads or follow movies on Letterboxd and IMDB. You can write the names of your CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs in a spreadsheet. But it goes a lot faster if you use a barcode scanner app, so you can quickly scan your items instead of typing out each title with difficulty. Some apps, such as Libib and Delicious Library 3, have a barcode scanner and work with movies and TV boxes, music, books and games. But I chose Collectorz Connect because it also makes comics.

Collectorz offers online, desktop and mobile apps for Mac, PC, iPhone ($ 699 from Apple) and Android. The app automatically loads album art and metadata for your items, allowing you to search and sort by various details. You can share your inventory, create a wish list and even give each item a personal rating.

With a free trial version, you can try out the software with a limited number of items. After that, you'll have to pay a varying amount for storage depending on how many comics, movies, albums, games or books you own.

How To Catalog Your Stuff

Find Collectorz in Apple iOS Store or Collectorz on Google Play and choose the relevant app: CLZ Movies, CLZ Music, CLZ Games, CLZ Books or CLZ Comics. Open the app and create an account so you can back up your collection to the cloud and sync with mobile and desktop apps.

Grab your phone and get comfortable with your collection. To scan each item, press the plus sign on the app home page and tap & # 39; Add via barcode & # 39 ;. The screen switches to a barcode scanner (your phone camera with a white box over the screen).

Grab a book, strip, or other item and locate the barcode on the box or cover. Hold your camera so that the white box on the screen encloses the black lines on the barcode, then wait for the app to recognize the item. If the camera has trouble focusing, open Settings and check Manual focus, which allows you to tap the screen to focus. If you want, you can also turn off the beep and vibration of the barcode scanner in Settings.

When the app recognizes an item, the barcode number and title appear at the top of the screen. That item is now being scanned.

Grab the following item and scan the barcode. Repeat this process for every item in your collection.

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Richard Trenholm / CNET

Important: The items you scanned have not been saved yet – they are only temporarily stored in the app's queue. You must then add them to the full catalog. To do this, tap Continue on the scan screen and you will see a list of items you just scanned. Press Add to: Collection at the bottom right and they will be stored in your inventory.

It's a good idea to scan a few items at a time and add them to your collection regularly in case the app crashes.

Sometimes the app asks you to verify the item if it has variant covers or if the app is unsure of the barcode. If you see an item in the queue that says Multiple Results, tap it and choose the correct item. Then press Add to: collection.

Backup and backup again

When you have logged some items in the catalog to the mobile app, click sync to back up your catalog to the cloud . To view and manage your collection on your computer, log in online at Collectorz.com or download the relevant desktop app for your Mac or PC. Press sync to update your list.

In addition to online syncing, you can also save your collection as a file on your computer – just click on save in the desktop software.

View your collection

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Your collection begins take shape. Once you've captured your stuff in the app, you can view the list in various ways on your phone or on your computer.


Richard Trenholm / CNET

If you have added some items, you will see that your collection takes shape. In the mobile app, you can switch between a list of titles or a grid of thumbnails. On the desktop app, you can see a simple list without thumbnails or an iTunes style cover flow view to browse the covers.

Your items can be arranged alphabetically or grouped into categories. For example, I can sort my comics by publisher, so I can choose to only see Marvel comics. You can also search the metadata. So if I want to find all the comics with the Punisher for example, the search for his name and the results will include not only numbers from Punisher and Punisher: War Journal, but also numbers from another comic featuring the character such as Daredevil and Spider- Man.

Add Items Manually

CLZ has an extensive database of cover image and metadata items, but sometimes you come across an item it doesn't recognize. For example, it's not always great to spot comics from outside the US. Fortunately, all you have to do is open the scan screen and type in the title to see if it's in the Collectorz database.

If you still can't find your item, switch to "Manual scanning" and add the title yourself. To add your own cover image, tap the pencil at the top and choose "Use camera". If you want, you can also add metadata, including the publisher.

Keep your collection up to date

When you buy new things, scan them with the barcode scanner, save them in your collection and synchronize with your apps to keep your collection up to date. (And don't forget to delete everything you throw away or sell.)

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Here is the thumbnail. Keep adding more items and the screen will fill up.


Richard Trenholm / CNET

Organize Your Movie and TV Collection

Movie Connect lists your movies and TV box Blu-rays, DVDs, or even VHS tapes. It automatically includes cast and crew details, IMDB rating, TV show episodes and even YouTube trailers.

Organize Your Music Collection

Music Connect inventories your records and CDs or digital albums, including track listings, record label, number of discs, and more metadata.

Organize Your Game Collection

Game Connect lists the games you own by console, publisher, or other metadata.

Organize Your Book Collection

Book Connect displays your books and is searchable by author, publisher, or even number of pages.

Organize Your Comics Collection

Comic Connect sorts your comics and also lets you create a pull list for the next time you go to your local comics shop. Other options for cataloging your collection include the long-standing ComicBase for Windows PCs, which has a web app for mobile devices but is not available for Mac. Note that CLZ is not an app that can read comics on your phone – to really read comics, try a digital strip reader like Comixology.

Bonus Features

Now that you've successfully cataloged your collection, you can also take advantage of several additional features. Here are some things they can do:

  • Keep track of items you've lent to friends.
  • Take notes about your items.
  • Track the date you purchased each item.
  • Give them all item a star ratings.
  • Log the condition and value.
  • Publicly list the items you want to sell.
  • Nerd out with statistics. For example, you can find out how many items you own by clicking Tools and Database Totals. (I own 1,576 strips, with a total of 46,873 pages.) Or you can click Statistics at the bottom right for detailed charts and pie charts that break down your collection's stats. (I have 336 comics with Judge Dredd in it, but only 18 with Superman.)

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