Sytske and I (Alwin) just returned from a short vacation in France and are now handling some backlog in all areas: support tickets, other email, project management, etc.. So today’s newsletter is going to be a bit shorter than usual
Let me just give you a quick overview of this month’s releases and current projects:
- All Cobalt versions for Windows : Create your own data fields.
- All Cobalt versions for Mac OS X : Important stability improvements.
- What’s the CLZ team working on now?
Lots of things going on at Collectorz.com, on all supported platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android *and* online (Connect!). Which will result in important software updates in all areas, some within a few months, some as early as “next week”, some even just went live!
Here’s what cooking now, in order of ETA:
- Now live : Improved My.CLZ.com site.
- Now live : Music Collector Cobalt.4 for Mac.
- Next week : Music Collector Cobalt.5 for Windows.
- Next month : CLZ FineDiner app for iOS.
- Within 2 months: Connect 2.0.
- Later: CLZ Comics 2.0 for Android.
Alwin here, with what was meant to be the April 2014 edition of the CLZ newsletter, but ehm… let’s just call it the “early May edition”. Time flies where you’re having fun
If you’ve been following our Facebook, Google+ or Twitter feed, you have probably noticed that we’re on a roll ! SIX big releases since the last newsletter: the long awaited CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android, three big Cobalt updates for Mac and two for Windows.
And there’s more to come, including a completely new CLZ project for the fine dining enthusiasts among you: CLZ FineDiner (more info below).
On top of that: we reached an important milestone 3 weeks ago: 20,000 Update Plans !
In the meantime, 20,832 users have upgraded their software to the Cobalt version by getting one of our Update Plan options. Which brings the total number of Cobalt users to 45 thousand !
Thank you all for your continuing loyalty, much appreciated!
The topics today:
- It’s live: CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android!
- Coming up: CLZ FineDiner – keep track of your restaurant visits.
- Recent Cobalt updates for Mac and Windows.
- Upcoming Cobalt updates for Mac and Windows.
“The program kept getting better and better as the year progressed until it took a major leap forward with a newly designed “Colbolt” version in October 2013. This was a MASSIVE improvement over the previous version, and has made this program hands down the industry leader in my eyes. If the fees for use continue to be applied to product improvement like they have this year then it’s money well spent, and I’ll gladly pay for my renewal when it comes around soon.”
Read the entire review here.
Saturday morning… while my wife Sytske is handling your support questions, I (Alwin) am writing this March 2014 edition of the Collectorz.com newsletter.
We have released important updates for two Windows Cobalt versions this month. Next to that we’re doing lots of “behind the scenes” work for upcoming new releases. Let’s look at both:
This month’s releases:
- Comic Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – new Quick Fill screen when adding comics
- Book Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – now recognizes 23 million ISBNs
- Book Collector Cobalt.3 for Mac – ebook cataloging and more
- Music Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – improved support for vinyl
- CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android – add/edit/scan – first screen shots
- Flexible user defined fields system for all platforms (inc. CLZ Cloud)
Comic Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – new Quick Fill screen when adding comics
In this Cobalt.4.1 update, we introduced many improvements to the Add Comics Automatically screen, plus we made the Update Automatically feature fully configurable!
- Add Comics Automatically: New Cobalt Compact template for Preview panel.
- Add Comics Automatically: New Quick Fill popup, that lets you set ALL Collection Status values (including On Order and For Sale), plus several extra fields, while adding comics.
- Add Comics Automatically: Screen now opens and closes faster.
- Fully configurable Update Comics Automatically feature.
Book Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – now recognizes 23 million ISBNs
The Cobalt.4.1 update brought two improvements to your Add Books Automatically screen: better results for ISBN searches and a new look for the Preview Panel.
- Add Books Automatically: Now recognizes 23 million ISBNs!
A new, secondary ISBN lookup data source has been added to our online book database, which includes 13 million new ISBNs, plus extra data for 5 million books in our existing database. This brings the total number of ISBNs recognized by our own database to 23 million!
- Add Books Automatically: New Cobalt Compact template for Preview panel
CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android – add/edit/scan – first screen shots
As you probably know, we are currently working our way, step-by-step, toward fully stand-alone 2.0 apps for Android, with adding/editing features, barcode scanning, 2-way cloud-syncing and a tablet-optimized layout.
While doing this, we’re focusing on completing CLZ Movies first (as it is the most popular app), doing the other 4 apps after that.
In CLZ Movies 1.5, a complete rewrite of the app, we have already introduced a new look, a native Android user-interface, an optimized layout for phone, phablets and tablet and a new details template.
In the meantime, we have almost finished CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android, which will bring adding/editing features, barcode scanning and 2-way syncing through the CLZ Cloud.
The ETA for CLZ Movies 2.0 is end of April 2014.
Book Collector Cobalt.3 for Mac – ebook cataloging and more
This is Patrick’s main project at the moment: adding automatic e-book cataloging features to the Mac edition of Book Collector. Automatically scan your computer for e-book files, and easily add them to your database, using meta data for the e-book files.
This new version will also get the re-designed Preview template for the Add Books Automatically screen, plus the new ISBN lookup data source that adds 13 million recognized ISBNs.
ETA: 2 or 3 weeks
Music Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – improved support for vinyl
The Cobalt.4 version will add more vinyl-specific fields, PLUS (if all goes well) the ability to add vinyl records by searching Discogs.com by Catalog Number.
This has been an on-going project for Robbert and Ronald for quite a while. We would have liked to release this much earlier, but the guys from Discogs are … let me put this nicely … not exactly cooperative:
Discogs has recently introduced restrictions on image downloads and the usage of their API, just at the moment we started implementing our new search system. And this has caused numerous issues, which we have been trying to resolve since mid-January. We hope to have everything working soon, but it’s still hard to put any reliable ETA on this.
In the meantime, Robbert and Ronald will just continue on another ambitious project:
Flexible user defined fields system for all platforms (inc. CLZ Cloud)
This is a huge and ambitious project we expect to be working on for a long time to come: creating a new, completely flexible, user defined fields system for all editions (Win, Mac, iOS, Android and Connect), that will seamlessly sync through the CLZ Cloud.
We will be implementing this platform by platform, starting with the Windows editions, then the CLZ Cloud / Connect, moving on to the other platforms after that.
A costly and time-consuming endeavour, but we think this will take the flexibility of our cataloging solutions to a new level.
And now… Sytske and I are going to enjoy a sunny weekend
Talk to you next month (or earlier if you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Google+),
It’s a short month, so here I (Alwin) am already, with the Feb ’14 edition of the CLZ Newsletter. Today’s newsletter will focus on one of our customers, Michael Thomasson, who has attained the official Guiness World Record for “Largest Video Game Collection”!
But first, let me give you a super-compact overview of what the CLZ Team is working on at the moment:
- Robbert and Ronald: Updates for all Windows editions, with a new Cobalt Compact template for Add Auto, plus other program-specific new features.
Their Movie Collector update is already live, more info below.
- Pim and AJ: CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android. Add Movies screen is finished (inc barcode scanning!), working on Edit screen and two-way CLZ Cloud syncing now.
- Patrick: Big update of Book Collector for Mac, with automatic e-book cataloging features and the new Cobalt Compact templates for Add Auto.
- Robbert and Dion: a complete redesign of Connect, with a more modern look that automatically adapts to desktop, tablet and phone screens.
- Rowdy and Martin: Quality checking all movie and edition cover images in our online movie database, replacing all small and low-quality images with better ones.
- Chris: A complete rewrite of all manuals of our Windows and Mac editions, using our own online manual software Manula.
Okay, on to the biggest video game collection… in the world…
Game Collector user Michael Thomasson now holds the Guiness World Record for “Largest Video Game Collection”
This is Michael Thomasson, one of our Game Collector customers, and he is the holder of the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Video Game Collection” : 10,607 video games!.
The first CLZ Newsletter of 2014! So let me (Alwin) start with this month’s biggest news: We hired two new web-developers!
Early this month, we welcomed Bart and Dion to the CLZ team. Both are still students which means they will be working with us for just 2 days a week now. If all goes well, they will complete their studies later this year and will then join Collectorz.com full time.
Bart and Dion have joined senior developer Robbert on a huge project : a complete rewrite of Connect. All five Connect web-applications will get a more modern look and a responsive design that will automatically adapt to all screen sizes: desktops, tablets and phones.
We expect to be working on this for at least the next 3 months. I will try post regular updates on Facebook with screen shots of our progress.
Now, let’s go over this months releases:
- Big 2.5 updates for all 5 CLZ iOS apps
- CLZ Movies 1.6 for Android, with CLZ Cloud syncing
- New Tools / Options screen for all Cobalt versions for Windows
- Editing in main list now available for all Cobalt versions
Our longtime competitor FNProgramvare (the maker of BookCAT) has ceased operations. We received loads of requests from current BookCAT users, seeking an alternative, for an import feature.
We have created and released a dedicated import routine for BookCAT users, wanting to switch to Book Collector. This import feature is available in Version Cobalt.3 build 1, released on January 9.
Our longtime competitor FNProgramvare (the maker of CATVids) has ceased operations. We received loads of requests from current CATVids users, seeking an alternative, for an import feature.
We have created and released a dedicated import routine for CATVids users, wanting to switch to Movie Collector. This import feature is available in version Cobalt.3 build 1 and up, released January 9.