Collectorz.com News 2013
This is CLZ Alwin, with the last CLZ newsletter for 2013!
I can happily report that 2013 was a great year for Collectorz.com, the highlight being the success of the new Cobalt versions and our new Update Plan system.
What makes us even happier is that just this morning, we have sold the 15,000th Update Plan! If we include the 16,000 users who received a free Cobalt license (because of a recent purchase), plus all new customers since the Cobalt release, this brings the total number of Cobalt users to 37,886 !
HOWEVER: we are still receiving a lot of questions about Cobalt and the Update Plans. So in this newsletter I’d like to try and answer the 5 most common questions.
In other news… I’ll cover recent Cobalt updates, upcoming Cobalt updates and what’s coming up on mobile and online. Here we go:
Our longtime competitor FNProgramvare (the maker of CATraxx) has ceased operations. We received loads of requests from current CATraxx users, seeking an alternative, for an import feature.
We have created and released a dedicated import routine for CATraxx users, wanting to switch to Music Collector. This import feature is available in Version Cobalt.2 build 1, released today.
Next to her work at Collectorz.com, CLZ Sytske also manages the Facebook page for Dierenthuis, an animal sanctuary in the Netherlands. This week, it came to her attention that Dierenthuis desperately needed wheelbarrows, and lots of em.
CLZ Alwin here, with a quick FYI:
In the past week, we have had severe performance problems and even several downtime periods on one of our servers. To be specific: the problem server was the one than runs our central online databases, the CLZ Cloud, the Connect software and the Barry server.
We were the goodie bag sponsor for the Collectors Con MD in Baltimore, November 23. Included in the sponsor package were 4 tickets to the show which we would not use since we’re in Amsterdam. We decided to raffle them under the early birds, waiting in a queue outside.
Lo and behold, these were the lucky winners who got inside for free!
Thanks guys, hope you had a great time and bought lots of stuff.
This is Alwin, with your Collectorz.com News for November 2013.
At the CLZ HQ, the Cobalt craziness is slowly quieting down. Our Support guys and gal (Chris, AJ and Sytske) have everything under control again.
On the development side, the advantages of the Update Plan system are already showing, with this month’s Cobalt.1 updates bringing a nice set of improvements for all PC & Mac programs and our new weekly “Maintenance Monday” resulting in faster fixes for reported problems (more details in the 1st topic of this newsletter).
I have three news topics today:
- About Cobalt and Update Plans (over 13,000 users have gone Cobalt!)
- 3 days left in our Black Friday Sale: Get an extra Collectorz.com program half price!
- CLZ Movies 1.5 for Android is live!
Just a quick FYI on this Saturday:
You can now update to the Cobalt version of your Collectorz.com software, whatever your current version is, for as little as US $6.95 !!
Since launch, 8,269 users (!!) have updated their software to the Cobalt versions, most choosing the easy and automatic monthly recurring US $2.50 payments for their Update Plan, the rest opting to just pre-pay for a year (US $24.95). (Update Plan? What’s that?)
However, we received many requests for both shorter and longer pre-paid options. Some users wanted shorter pre-paid periods because it would make it cheaper to update to Cobalt now, others wanted to pre-pay for a longer period, of course hoping to get more quantity discount 🙂
So we added both!
Alwin of Collectorz.com again 🙂
This time with the Collectorz.com newsletter for October 2013, the craziest month in Collectorz.com history! What a ride it was (and still is!).
The past 2 months the CLZ team has been working on nine (!!) new Cobalt versions for our Windows and Mac editions and at the same time preparing our software and server-side code for the completely new Update Plan system.
But I am proud to say that we made it! In the past 4 days, all nine Cobalt versions and the Update Plan system went live and it’s all working great 🙂
In the meantime, over 5,800 (!!) users have already updated to Cobalt, most of them opting to pay for their Update Plan with the new automatic monthly payments, others choosing to Pre-Pay for a year. Thank you all!
It’s Cobalt Week! This week, for the first time in history, we’re going to release NINE cool new Cobalt versions of all Collectorz.com desktop editions, within ONE WEEK :-).
At the same time, we’re introducing a new way to pay for your software updates: UPDATE PLANS. Here’s the full story:
Up until now, we released a major upgrade of each program roughly every year, the upgrades costing US $25 and bringing many new features in one go.
However, from now on, we will start doing more frequent and smaller updates, throughout the year, for all 5 programs and for Windows and Mac, keeping all programs and editions more in sync with each other.
This is Alwin, of Collectorz.com, with a heads up on a major Collectorz.com event:
Next week, we’re going to release new versions of all Collectorz.com programs for Windows and Mac, called “Cobalt“. With Cobalt, we’re bringing all products to the same version level, at the same time introducing a big change to our license/update system. A change that will make your (and our) life easier and will result in better and more frequent software updates.
I cannot reveal all the details yet, but I do want to make sure you’re ready for it.
Please take the time to read through this entire article, it’s that important.
Alwin here, with your CLZ News for September 2013.
When I start writing these newsletters, I always scroll down the timeline of our Facebook page, just to remind me of everything that happened in the past month.
This time however, it looked like we were just a mobile app developer, as I only found posts about iOS and Android. Of course, our mobile apps are a big part of Collectorz.com, especially now with the recent iOS 7 release and our big Android project. But it certainly isn’t the only thing we’re working on!
This is CLZ Alwin here, with your monthly dose of Collectorz.com news.
This month we released a major upgrade of “the one that started it all”. The program that I started on myself, in my spare time, back in 1996 (yes, that’s over 17 years ago!).
Of course, the program I am talking about here is Music Collector for Windows.
In the meantime, our lead Windows developer Ronald has taken over the programming duties on Music Collector, but still, I am very proud that my baby has just reached version 11!
Great Canadian Reviews, the source for independent evaluations of computer products, reviewed Movie Collector.
The conclusion: “Movie Collector’s ease of use, multiple application functions and faultless operation has earned it Great Canadian Reviews Highest Award, The Gold Leaf Award for Excellence.”
WOW! Thanks for the honor.
You can read the entire article here.
We have just released version 11 for Music Collector for Windows.
Version 11 will give you full Unicode support, editing directly in the main screen list, a full cosmetic overhaul (Virtual Shelves, new icons, new templates) and much more…
A very nice review of Book and Movie Collector on Sunilification. Here is a quote from it:
“Friends and readers would be aware of my woes of cataloguing books, DVDs and Blu Rays. I don’t own too many, roughly about 1200 books and 500 DVDs, but managing them can be a nightmare. Especially when items are regularly borrowed and returned. It took me a while to remember who hadn’t returned my copy of White Teeth or the original Festen.
For a long time now, I have been seeking a software to catalogue them or a barcode scanner that can scan and update the status of items when they are added or borrowed ( a la a public library). So far, I didn’t find anything that was complete or met all of my needs.
Last month, a friend suggested Collectorz. A visit on to their website and checking out the features of their products convinced me that they had what I was looking for. I have been using it over last couple of months and it runs like a dream. I think for people like me, who collect and manage books, I can’t recommend it enough.”
Read the complete review here.
July 31, so just in time for the July 2013 edition of the CLZ Newsletter.
It’s the summer holiday season, so most of the CLZ crew is either currently on vacation,
just returned from vacation or just leaving for vacation.
But still, we’re getting a lot of work done 🙂 Here’s what’s cooking :
- The price of the iOS apps will go *up* next week. Get them now!
- But…. What about Android ????
- Just a few weeks away: Music Collector 11 for Windows
- Lots of software updates for improved CLZ Cloud syncing
- Coming up: completely new mobile Connect website
- Core for Movies is getting a Submit feature
Let’s start with the most urgent topic, as I don’t want you to miss out on this one:
Yes, it’s coming soon, the next major step forward for Music Collector, version 11.
And if you’ve been following our news about the recent upgrades of our Movie Collector and Book Collector products, you probably already have a good idea what it will bring.
Music Collector will finally get:
- Full Unicode Support – better handling of special characters for non-English languages
- New Virtual Shelves look, new templates, new look for the toolbars and icons
- More intuitive behaviour of the main screen’s tree and list panels
- Integrated support for our CLZ Barry wireless barcode scanner app
- New naming : CLZ Account and CLZ Cloud
- CLZ Cloud storage and syncing is now free for everyone!
- Coming soon: Improved CLZ Cloud syncing with custom images and more data fields
Hectic times here at the CLZ office in Amsterdam. We’ve completed some big releases and started on a couple of huge other projects. Some of which I will disclose in this newsletter (we’re back on Android!!), but others I have to keep quiet about for now.
First, here’s the new stuff we’ve launched this month:
- CLZ Barry for Android version 1.1
- Book Collector NINE for Mac OS X
- Core for Comics / Comic Collector 5.4
And this is what we’re working on now:
- CLZ app updates for Android ( join our CLZ Android Club! )
- Further improvements for the iOS apps
- Improvements to Connect software and cloud-syncing
- …. ?
I know, I know, it’s been way too long since we last updated our Android apps. But this is all going to change soon. Please read on for happy Android news …
You see, during most of 2012, while the Android and iOS editions of our mobile apps were exactly the same… our iOS editions still sold twice as many copies …
Yes, that’s weird, with more Android devices being sold. Maybe the average Collectorz user is more likely to use iOS, maybe the average iOS user buys more apps, I don’t know.
Fact is, when we started developing the most frequently requested features for our apps,
( adding, editing, barcode scanning and two-way syncing through Connect )
the obvious choice was to do all this for the iPhone/iPad edition first …
Yes, I admit, that sucks if you’re on Android. But it got even worse:
The development of these 2.0 apps for iOS took way longer than expected 🙁
And all that time, progress on the Android editions was left at a standstill.