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Old 11-21-2005, 09:28 AM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default Intelliscanner Media Collector?

I am trying to organize my book collection. I downloaded a couple of little database programs (Bookpedia, $19; and Booxter, $15) and like the way they work — feed them an ISBN number, and they scurry off and find title, author, number of pages, price, many other details from Amazon, Library of Congress, or the British Library.

My books are of two types: with and without ISBNs (many of each type). Typing in the numbers is tedious, and every so often I make an error, so doubly tedious.

Bookpedia will search on keywords for books lacking an ISBN. I tested it on D.B. Updike’s Printing Types, and it found 7 editions (of about 10, but close enough).

Both of these programs work, they say, with something called Cue Cat, an experimental scanner sponsored a year or so ago by Radio Shack. They gave away the scanner and you signed up for some sort of TV-related program. The program fizzled, but the scanners are supposedly available (perhaps even free from Radio Shack, which seems unlikely to me). They also say that other barcode readers may work.

For (much) more money, I found Intelliscanner Media Collector. It is a small scanner, available tethered (USB, $179 list) or Bluetooth (which would run with the iBook, $279). It ships with its own software, which looks fairly similar to Bookpedia’s (sort of iPod-ish).

Has anyone used one of these things? Is it likely to work reliably? I have something like 850 books on cookery, 2200 or so on typography and design, and perhaps 200 art books. I would love to automate this process — any advice on how this (or some other scanner) would do?

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