Manage collections of different types with GCstar

Searching and Finding

GCstar has a powerful search feature that lets you quickly find your way around large databases. In the program window, you will find a binoculars or magnifying glass icon in the toolbar; when clicked, this opens a window with extensive search options (Figure 4). Enter one or more search terms and parameters, then click the Find button below. In the main window, the program displays the results in a list view.

Figure 4: GCstar offers a sophisticated search function.

To keep the results list uncluttered in extensive collections, you will want to filter the search. To do this, click the Filter entry in the menubar of the main window. In the group you have chosen, enable the desired filter functions by pressing the radio buttons. The software uses a smart approach: In the Genre group, for example, it only shows you the genres that you defined when entering titles. In the Audience Age group, the program groups content with the age rating selected and lower.

The filters can be combined to narrow the search. You can also save searches for later reuse. In the Filter | Saved Searches menu, click Save Current Search to do this. Later, you can load the search in the same menu. Filter | Advanced Search lets you change some of the parameters. For example, for the age rating, you can stipulate that GCstar should only find records that exactly match a value or cover a specific time frame. You also can define, among other things, whether the search is case sensitive.

GCstar also gives you the option of taking into account different parameter ranges for each criterion. Additionally, you can add your own definitions and, if necessary, delete search requests you no longer need.

Added Value

For audiovisual content in particular, a rating system is a major asset that lets you tag your personal preferences. This means that, even a long while after you have last played content, you can still see which movie, what photo, or what kind of music you liked in particular. To do this, GCstar includes its own rating scale from zero to ten stars in the Details tab, as well as a field for third-party reviews. You can also enter optional comments in a large text field.

For those movie fans who lend movie DVDs to their friends and acquaintances, GCstar also has the Lending tab, which lets you manage the corresponding media. It keeps a list of the "rental" media along with information about the borrower and the date to help you keep track of which disk is where.

Conclusions

The only shortcoming of the GCstar collection management tool that I noticed was that the software does not let you print out inventory lists, although you can export lists in various file formats. Otherwise, the program leaves little to be desired: It is fast and stable, properly localized, and has a logical superstructure, including meaningful categories. In particular, Linux users who have several different hobbies will definitely learn to appreciate GCstar, thanks to the numerous templates for various collection types.

Infos

  1. GCstar: http://www.gcstar.org

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