Tasty, but not yet Delicious

Comments on the recently released personal media organizer, Delicious Library.

Cool Stuff

  • I dig the “fork in the road” used to inform the user that multiple items matched their query and the process of selecting from among the matches.
  • I’m glad to see drag-and-drop support from Watson‘s (still functional) Amazon tool, a very handy feature Chronopath’s app lacks.
  • The iSight scanning is handy and pretty easy to get the hang of.
  • Voice searching is cool. It would be even cooler if you could create Smart Shelves by voice command. Shameless self-plug: Natural Language Parsing, Speech Recognition, and Smart Groups.

Improvement Suggestions & Bugs

  • There are three problems I have noticed with the Chronopath to Delicious Library importation process:
    1. Delicious Library gives no prompt to proceed or indication that it is importing data. An application-modal sheet should appear asking if I want items imported and then display a progress indicator of some kind once the importation process begins. If you wanted to be fancy, you could display the artwork for objects as they are imported.
    2. Item ratings are not imported. This problem is exacerbated by the currently unpredictable interface for inputting ratings.
    3. The played/read status of Chronopath Library items is not properly imported, being incorrectly mapped to the “used” checkbox.
  • Proposed keystroke remapping: Command-1-5 for rating items, Command-[ and Command-] for moving between the Details/My Info/Similar sections.

    Command-1 through Command-5 are used to assign ratings in iPhoto, meaning there is some precedent for use of those shortcuts in that manner. This would build on an existing use of the shortcuts and give those who favor the keyboard an easy way to rate items while keeping their hands off the pointing device. iTunes uses Command-[ and ] to move between the different sections of the Info window, a much closer match to the different information sections (Details/My Info/Similar) of Library.

  • I’m hoping there are plans to make the Ratings column work in the manner in which the iTunes one does, allowing the user to modify the rating with a single click. The current column displays the ratings stars exactly as they are in the interface in which you can edit them, but it doesn’t allow you to edit them. The “Played/Read” column checkbox can be used from the List view.
  • Applying ratings is finicky. Directly clicking on the farthest-right star to set the rating is unreliable, but clicking on the first one and dragging to the right seems to work fine. This works, but the interface behavior for this sort of thing has been established in iTunes, so using a new behavior (if it isn’t just a bug!) is irritating.
  • Hiding optional metadata by making it only appear in Edit mode is irritating. Modes in general are irritating.
  • I’m guessing it is a code recycling effort, but using the generic term “creator” in place of medium-specific terms like “author”, “artist”, and “director” doesn’t seem logical.
  • The state of the Borrowers pane isn’t saved between application launches. I’m not likely to use the feature, so I’d appreciate it if I could keep it out of my way.
  • I will keep an eye on this promising application, but I’m going to hold off on buying a license until the most irritating and obvious bugs, such as the problems assigning ratings, are fixed.

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