Thursday, 22 April 2010

Over 1000... or is it?

I have DVDs. A lot of DVDs. I use DVD Profiler to help me keep track of them all, and it clocks it over 1000 DVDs on the list...

But, hang on. How should DVDs be counted? By disc? Unlikely, many movies have bonus discs, so that shouldn't count. By title? But how is it listed?

In particular, TV seasons. Andromeda came in five box sets per season, so is that one DVD? Five DVDs? Ten DVDs? (I think it was two DVDs per set.) What about Buffy or Angel, which is two box sets per season, and three discs per set? A lot of seasons come in one box set now, although some are half-season packs (hello BSG!). I have them as separate box sets, so should my count be lower?

On the other hand... think about box sets. I have many of them, for example the entire set of Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies, which is seven discs... and 14 movies. I could have otherwise gotten the 14 movies on separate DVDs, so should I count one set? Seven discs? 14 movies? Given this is just an example, should my count be higher?

And I've got multiple seasons of a TV show in one box set. And more than one copy of some movies (three listings for Serenity!). And so on, and so forth.

I have over 1000 DVDs... or do I? Or do I have many many more?

Another problem is how things are listed. Some are "The Complete ...", so trying to find it in my database can be tricky. What should "Penn and Teller: Bullshit" be listed under B or P?

Annoyingly, I load DVDs by entering the barcode (really need to get a barcode scanner), but not all codes are in the database, so there are many that are loaded under the title I enter. So there's no telling what would have loaded detail-wise if it was properly listed.

How many DVDs do you have? And do you manage them?



Foo said...

Some very vexing questions there Jamas.

Before I left NZ, I catalogued all my Who stuff and that took a blooming long time. For each book I recorded title, author, range, # in range, ISBN, Date released (ISBN and Date Released obtained online) and if I had read it or not. For DVDs, it was just title and range. For other things like toys/fanzines I took different information's actually something I mean to come back to one day, most likely when I get back to NZ.

With your list, it really depends on how detailed you want to go. I would record the following information (at least for TV Seasons): Title, # of discs, Season #, episodes, episode titles?, cast?, link to online reviews e.g. imdb? The list can go on and on, but it really falls down to you as to what information you need on a regular basis. You could even include where they are physically held on your bookshelf(s)...and perhaps something to show if you have lent any to people?

With movies you may want to include year, genre, director, writer as well and maybe your own personal rating.

I think when it comes to listing something like 'The Complete...', you should have the title e.g. 'The Complete Guide to xxxx', plus a searchable field with some key words which relate to the title.

When doing my spreadsheet of Who stuff, I found myself making up my own conventions which I then stuck to. If I changed my name later, I would go back and fix up earlier entries, but as the list got bigger and bigger, this got trickier to do. So, with Penn and Teller, you could go with either, but then stick to doing the same thing...and personally, I would go for 'P'.

Another thing I did was to create a database in MS Access (yucky) and added a picture field which allowed me to drag a picture of each Doctor Who book into the system...pretty handy, especially when wanting to browse something like all the Doctor Who magazine covers I have.

I've just taken a look at DVD Profiler and it looks pretty comprehensive - can you customise things to how you want them? I also see on their site that they have a 'massive online database' so how many of your DVDs are missing from it - what's the hit rate like? Have you got the latest version of the software? Also, how easy (and how good) is the search function in the software?

Damn, I didn't mean to ramble on so much, but you got me thinking!

Foo said...

Oh, and with regard to how many DVDs you have, you will have different numbers: a) total number of discs (which could be 1 or 16 per title), b) total number of titles and perhaps even c) total number of seasons.

Most people I know will say they have Season/Series x of Programme y. In the case of the Sopranos with two box sets per season (just like BSG) - they will say they have the first half/second half or all of Series 6.

Jamas Enright said...

I just updated to 3.5. The search function was really crappy in the previous versions, better now. ('Black' now finds 'The Complete Black Books' unlike previous.)

As for what isn't in there, generally either a) esoteric stuff that no-one cares about, eg '10 Wartime Documentaries', or b) new NZ releases.

Foo said...

When adding something which isn't in their database, are you able to submit that entry to them? That could be quite handy in building their online data.

Jamas Enright said...

I think so, yeah. Not sure if there updates from actual databases and such, would rather they use that.