Having been looking for a cheap (ie, free) way to keep track of my CDs, I've run across various programs that do the trick, but not exactly how I want them to. What I always want, first and foremost, is the ability to update on any computer at any time. Were I to purchase any of the many programs I've seen, I would only be able to do so at home on that one computer and never at work, which is where a lot of my listening takes place. And let's face it, I'm looking for as many excuses as possible to not work, and I'd like to do so as cheaply as possible. Who isn't?
A couple days ago I ran across a site called CD Tracker that seems to fit the bill. You log in, type in your CDs with as much detail as you care to enter (artist/title, release date, genre, and price are public, a few others are not displayed but in the editing page.) The list is then available for all to see, if you choose that option (it's set as the default,) and you can export your list as a CSV file (comma-separated value) at any time. Another plus for those who like to loan things is a tab in the personal portion of the site that lets you keep track of "who's got what."
The minor issues I have come across so far:
- there's no tie-in with your CDROM drive and CDDB (or any other online music database) - it's all manual. And there's some really annoying ads up top (I keep rolling over the one absentmindedly and it asks me to install some IE plugin. No thanks.)
- Annoying: no sorting by release date, nor even a listing of release date in the public portion of the site. I've figured out a way around that, but it's something that would be difficult to undo if that feature ever were to get implemented (which seems unlikely because the last update to the features was in 2000, according to the History page.) The way around it? Place the release date first in the "album title" field, possibly in parantheses to set it off from album titles that use dates (such as Robert Fripp's 1999, so it reads "(1994) 1999: Soundscapes . . . ")
- It would also be nice to have both first and last name fields, so that sorting could be done that way, instead of having to remember to list "Guy, Buddy" instead of "Buddy Guy."
Again, these are minor things. This is free, after all, and suits my internet-based needs for access anywhere. I can put up with some minor inconviences for free.