Yesterday I blogged over on the Samhain blog about having bought a second copy of a book accidentally--again--and wondered if there was a program that I could use that would alert me to whether I already owned the book. One that I could load up onto my iPod and take with me to a brick-and-mortar store where I don't have internet access, as well as being able to use it for my online purchases.
Lori and Erin left comments on my blog here, and over on Twitter Vashtan (aka Aleksander Voinov, author of The Lion of Kent amongst other books) also mentioned there was a free Goodreads app that I could download. That way I wouldn't have to re-enter all the books I'd already added to their database. Since I have over 300+ books listed as read or to-be-read, that was a major coup. So I downloaded the app and discovered it worked wonderfully, and headed off to the mall. Where my poor little wifi-enabled iPod Touch couldn't connect with the Bell Hotspot, which meant I couldn't connect with my Goodreads database. Rats.
However if I'd had a smart phone, or should I say, smarter phone this would have definitely worked for me. (While my Samsung Vice phone does let me surf the net with limited results, it doesn't allow apps.) So if you already have your books loaded up on Goodreads and need to check if you've already read or own the book, this works just fine.
Book Crawler (there's the full Book Crawler app you can buy for $1.99 or a Book Crawler Lite that's free. I sprang for the paid full version. After all, it cost less than a twonie!) What did I think of it?
Best. App. Ever.
If you want to see screen shots, the app developer Jaime has some up on her website here. What I LOVE about Book Crawler is I can use the iPod Touch's camera* along with a program called Pic2Shop (another free download) to scan the barcode of the book. The program will then go out on the web**, find all the data about the book and add it into the system, saving me a ton of work. I can then edit the database, adding the date I read it, give it a rating, add it to a collection, change the genre. (Sometimes the genres came in as rather bizarre categories. My copy of Silverborne was put in the "Epic" genre. Can't say I've ever heard that one, so I changed it to fantasy.) I'm still playing around with it, learning what I can do with it, but so far it answers all my needs. Like letting me have a wishlist, or divide my books into collections (which I think will be handy if I want to add in Gizmo Guy's books so I know just which David Baldacci or John Grisham he's already read.)
Guess what I'm going to be doing the rest of the day?
*A note about iPod Touch use: Book Crawler requires an iOS of version 3.1 or later. Mine is a Gen4 version, so it has a camera and can utilize the Pic2Shop feature but Gizmo Guy's iPod is a Gen1 and Curly's is a Gen2 so it won't work for either of them.(I can see what GG will be asking as a present for next Father's Day, if not Valentine's Day.)
** Since my iPod Touch doesn't have 3G capabilities, like the Goodreads app, this feature will only work where I have working WiFi capability. I'll still be able to check to see if I already own the book on the database which is stored offline, but I won't be able to scan it to add to my "wish list" database while I'm at the store. (Of course, I can always enter the information manually.)