CD cataloguing software for a small radio station
January 12, 2010 10:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for software to create a database of the CDs at a community radio station.

OK, here's the deal:
The radio station's current cataloguing setup is to sort CDs by genre first, with genres for folk, bluegrass, reggae, and new age, with everything else "Rock/Pop" being thrown into one category, which strikes me as rather lazy. If you're only interested in playing celtic or bluegrass you know where to find it, but if you're trying to find drum n' bass, shoegaze, hip-hop or britpop you have to know what artists you're looking for.

In that light, I'm looking for software to help catalogue these CDs, preferably scanning the barcodes and downloading info (including track, album art and genre information) about the CD from the Internet, but allowing for manual entry if all else fails. People with shows could then search or browse the database to find music by genre or artist.
Does software like this exist?
posted by dunkadunc to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Delicious Library?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:58 AM on January 12, 2010

What operating system(s) do you use? I don't use any such program, but I know of a few, and a quick google search (scan barcode cd catalog) picked up a few more. The problem depends on what databases they rely upon, and how you want to use this information (one computer to compile AND display all info, or many computers to compile info and a separate one to display the info). Also, you'll probably need a CueCat or some other barcode reader, which can be expensive or take some time with configuring the hardware and software.

Alternatively, you could use an existing open online database, such as:
* FreeDB (open CDDB alternative)
* MusicBrainz (started as an alternative to CDDB, expanded to include more media)
* Discogs (started as an electronic music database, no CD reading option)
* Rate Your Music (more focused on rating music than collecting detailed info, but that's changing).

The upsides of the online databases is that you can update the community resource with information from the radio station's archives, and you can use multiple computers to update this information. The downside: no barcode scanning, so it could take some time.

As for organization of the collection of music: the college station where I volunteer has added colored stickers to the spines of CD cases to mark the jazz, hip-hop, blues and world music, though they're still kept in their own areas. You could combine everything and sticker things accordingly, making more complex stickers to define more information (example: instrumental tracks, lots of obscenities, etc).

Good luck! And tell us how it's gone!
posted by filthy light thief at 11:09 AM on January 12, 2010

Collectorz looks mostly pretty good, but it lacks webcam scanning and external db (freedb, cddb, etc.) support. Interesting question, I'm surprised my Googling hasn't turned up better and more station-oriented options. Maybe they're typically bundled in with station management packages.

Other possibilities for packages whose websites suck, so you should email to confirm features:
  • CD Catalog Expert
  • CD-DVD Catalog

  • posted by rhizome at 12:27 PM on January 12, 2010

    Also, you might as on the MyCE (formerly cd-freaks) software forum. Mostly ripping-oriented crowd, but I'm sure there are knowledgeable people there.
    posted by rhizome at 12:34 PM on January 12, 2010

    LibraryThing? They sell CueCats just for this. I bet Delicious Library would be good, too (though I haven't used it myself).
    posted by wenestvedt at 1:13 PM on January 12, 2010

    Response by poster: If we do this, we're most definitely getting a barcode reader. As to Mac and Windows, we're probably going to be getting a computer specifically for this purpose, so it could be either.

    So far, Delicious Library looks, well, really good- seeing how it supports barcode readers and webcams. We've got upwards of 20,000 CDs (conservative estimate) so doing this manually would be backbreaking. I'll get back when we figure things out!
    posted by dunkadunc at 1:32 PM on January 12, 2010

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