The Daily Ping

The Story About Ping was about a duck, not this website.

October 29th, 2003


(A note before I begin: there’s nothing worse than writing a lengthy entry and then accidentally closing the browser window before submitting it.)

It’s been two-and-a-half years since I wrote about looking for a CD database program, and the search had already been underway for two years at that point. I had spent a good four years entering over 2000 CDs, albums, and cassettes into CDStore (many by hand since the CDDB/freedb wasn’t really widespread at that time) when the author announced he was stopping development.

So, every six months or so I’d scrounge about the web for various CD database programs, trying each of them out, in search of the perfect application to take CDStore’s place. Most of them had crappy user interfaces, not enough data, lack of flexibility, or were focused more on MP3s than a physical collection. Then, last week I revisited an app I had tried a few times before, and this time, I was hooked.

OrangeCD by Firetongue not only has a great user interface, it’s extremely flexible in its view and exporting capabilities, has plenty of fields, and is focused primarily on physical collections (though it has good MP3 catalogging features as well).

But there was a potential problem: CD Store didn’t have an export facility, so all I had were the raw dBase files. The idea of re-entering over 2000 albums wasn’t exactly appealing to me, so I posted to the Firetongue forum to see if anyone had any ideas. The result? I sent the author my files, he wrote a script that converted the data over to the Orange CD format, and mailed me the resulting database in less than a day. Then, I needed a slight alteration to what he had done, and he redid it for me in just a few hours. All this and I was still just a trial user.

I continued to use Orange CD for a few more days and I was more and more impressed. Everytime I found myself thinking, “If I could only _____, this would be perfect,” it turns out that I can actually do _____. Like when I wanted to filter my collection by genre and sort the resulting table by artist and then by year… all it took was a few tweaks and everything was just right. It doesn’t hurt that the program acts the way you’d expect it to, either… it sounds simple, but shareware and open source geeks know that usability isn’t always the first concern of software authors.

Last night I registered the application, content in the knowledge that I’d be using Orange CDs for many years to come (free lifetime updates!). It’s nice to be able to check something off of my wish list that’s been there for four years. Now I just have to get back to cataloging my collection…

Posted in Miscellaneous

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