Sometimes it is astounding the collection of DVD’s, CD’s, games, and books people have. For some individuals it gets to the point where they don’t even remember what they have anymore. In fact, I’ve known some people who would find themselves purchasing the same movies over again simply because their collection was so vast that they couldn’t remember if they owned it already.
To solve problems like that you need to turn to a full media organizer, and luckily there’s a free one available which we’ve received several emails about over the last few months. It’s called Libra, and is capable of managing books, CD’s, movies, games, and DVD’s on Windows.
Libra is available for both Windows XP and Vista, but the interface for Vista does have a bit more eye candy. Beyond the beauty also lies a lot of functionality. The size of the thumbnails on the virtual bookshelves can be adjusted so that you can see more or less at any one given time. This is done by using the slider in the upper-right corner.
It’s also possible to change how the media is sorted on the bookshelves. By default everything is grouped by type (books, games, movies, etc…), and are sorted by the title. Anything can be sorted in about a dozen different ways, which ultimately puts the control in your hands.
Obviously a program like this is only great if it makes adding media from your library a piece of cake. I would have to say that Libra is pretty simple from that standpoint because it uses Amazon’s vast database of information to grab details and box art for all of your media.
Searching can be done according to the type of media that you’re looking for (books, games, movies, etc…), and then results can be shown from Amazon’s United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, or Canada sites.
Naturally you’ll probably start searching for your media according to the names, but that will probably take awhile in the end. What I recommend doing is searching according the ISBN/EAN number, or even by the UPC. Don’t feel like entering in the UPC? If you have a webcam hooked up to your computer that’s not a problem. Just hit the webcam button and focus in on the UPC. Libra will read the UPC and scour Amazon looking for a match:
I mean really, could you ask for any more?
–Loaning to Friends–
Anytime you’ve got a good collection of media going it likely means that you’ll have friends crawling to your doorstep looking to borrow items at no cost. No problem, right? You lend a movie to one friend, a game to another, and a couple more movies to a few more friends. You eventually get to the point where you are relying on them returning it at some point in the future, but as many of us have experienced your friends need a few reminders.
Libra to the rescue! There is a loan feature in Libra so that you can keep track of who has what. Just find the movie that you want to lend out, click the “Loan” tab, select who is borrowing it, and pick a date that you would like it returned by:
You’ll want to create a profile for each one of your friends and family that borrow movies from you, but after that it takes just a few clicks here and there to keep track of who has what:
As you can tell this is an extremely powerful application for the media gurus out there. There’s a lot more that you can do with Libra, and we would love to hear from some of the people who have experience with the application. Shoot us your feedback in the comments below.