Collectorz.com News News
Today we had our annual Christmas party, 2020 style. Which meant we celebrated from our home offices, using Google Meet, all dressed up, with nice food and drinks.
We started the meet with unpacking our Christmas gifts and then played an online pubquiz won by team Rowdy and his family. We had great fun and it felt like we were all together, although apart.
In the photo, from left to right, top to bottom:
Alwin, AJ and friend, Bernard, Joe, Joël, Martin and daughter Melody, Rowdy, Stijn with mom, Sven, Sytske.
Happy Holidays from the CLZ Team!!
We’re getting very close to launch now! We’re aiming to release CLZ Books 6.0 next week, then CLZ Music 6.0 the week after and CLZ Movies 6.0 another week later.
The release of of the v6 versions of CLZ Games and CLZ Comics could take a bit longer, as we are planning some extra game/comic specific improvements there!
What’s new in v6.0?
NEW: Edit Multiple entries in one go!
Finally make changes to multiple (or all) database entries in one go. Just tap and hold to select books and choose “Edit [x] Items” from the menu button on the bottom right.
IMPROVED: Edit screen
A new look for all edit boxes and a more compact layout with fields side by side. Making it much easier to edit your database entries, without scrolling through long lists of fields.
NEW: Built-in Crop and Rotate tool for cover images
In the Edit screen the Cover is now on its own tab, with new Crop and Rotate tools for instant rotating and cropping of self-made cover photos or downloaded images.
IMPROVED: Folder Field selection screen
Yep, another update of this screen. It now includes a search box at the top for quickly finding the field you want, plus the ability to create your own Favorites (just tap the star icons).
All CLZ team members are still working from home because of the virus. It took some getting used to, especially in the communication about projects and features, but we are making nice progress now.
Here’s what’s cooking and coming up soon:
- Faster (yes, much much faster!) CLZ Cloud syncing for all CLZ mobile apps and all Collector for Windows programs
- A super-slick and smooth Shelves View for all 5 Connect editions, with customizable image size.
- Full Auto-Capitalization settings for all 5 Connect’s
- Updated search engine for all Core and Cloud searches
- New “Add by Platform” and “Add Hardware from Core” features for the CLZ Games mobile app.
- Improved barcode coverage for older comics (1970-1980)
It’s time for a refresh of the icons of the CLZ mobile apps. Our in-house design guy AJ has been working on a fresh look for quite a while, doing many iterations.
We designed new icons that give new users a better indication of what the app actually does (as opposed to just a different color CLZ logo), but still obviously belong together, when shown together.
Here’s a sneak preview of the new icons, coming soon to an App Store / Play Store near you!
This is CLZ Alwin and I am turning 50 today, the big FIVE OH! To celebrate my birthday with our loyal Collectorz.com customers, we’re doing a CLZ Merch Pack GiveAway:
We’ll be giving away FIFTY CLZ Merch Packs, containing the famous Collectorz.com mousepad *and* the ultra-cool Collectorz.com black beanie!
At Collectorz.com, we have 3 solution types for cataloging your collections:
- The CLZ mobile apps, for phones and tablets.
Then for the big screen, on the desktop side, we have two alternatives:
- the Collector downloadable software
- the Connect web-based software
We want our users to choose the solution that suits them best. So today I would you like to:
- tell you more about our Connect web-based software
- help you decide which solution would be best for you (Collector or Connect).
- offer you a trade-in deal, in case you want to switch from one to the other.
1. What exactly is Connect?
Connect is a web-based alternative to the Collector desktop software. It is software that runs on our servers, with your database stored in our CLZ Cloud system. To use the software, you just login to the Connect website using your web-browser, from any computer (Mac, Windows, Linux, etc…).
Introduced in 2009, Connect is designed to be a lightweight cataloging tool, with a friendly look-and-feel, that is both easier to use and easier to manage (compared to the downloadable desktop software).
Nine years later, Connect is now a mature product, offering everything you need to manage your collection database:
- Add items Title or by Barcode (fully supports CLZ Barry!)
- Edit entries to customize details and to add personal info.
- Edit Multiple entries in one go, for making changes to many entries quickly.
- Image View, Card View, customizable List View, multi-field Sort Order, etc…
- Use the folder panel to group entries into folders, by Artist, Author, Genre, Format, etc..
- Print lists using the fully customizable Print to PDF tool.
- Also: Manage Pick Lists, Loan Manager, Statistics, Export, Import, Batch Link to Core, Backup/Restore, Field Defaults, etc..
Most new Collectorz.com customers are choosing the Connect edition as their main cataloging solution. Also, a lot of existing Collector users are switching over to Connect and love the trouble-free experience of the web-based software.
Connect is full subscription software, you need an active subscription to use it. The costs are either US $2.50 per month (if you pay monthly) or US $24.95 per year (if you pre-pay for a year).
When your subscription expires, the software will revert to read-only mode, you will not be able to Add/Edit/Import anymore (until you renew). Of course, your data will be preserved in the CLZ Cloud.
6 benefits of Connect
These are the main advantages of Connect (compared to the Collector desktop software):
- It has a clearer and cleaner interface, with big texts, big buttons (screen shots).
This makes it much easier to use, you will find your way instantly.
- It is a more lightweight solution, that runs very fast on any computer.
All you need is your web-browser and an internet connection.
- No more need to install or update software on your own computer.
The software runs on our servers, we manage and update it for you.
- No need to deal with database files, image files, settings files, etc..
We manage all that for you, we even make daily backups for you.
- Multiple computers? No more need to sync data back and forth!
From any computer, just login and instantly work on your up-to-date cloud data.
- Need help? No problem, helping you with Connect is easier than ever.
We can instantly see what you see, even fix problems for you, right then and there!
Try Connect free for 7 days
- First, make sure your CLZ Cloud is up-to-date, by Syncing with CLZ Cloud.
- Login to your account at my.clz.com here
- Under “Connect”, click the “Trial” button to activate your free trial.
- Now login to Connect here with your existing CLZ Account:
2. Collector or Connect, which one is best for you?
The Collector desktop software is the better choice for users who:
- are advanced computer users, comfortable with installing and updating software, dealing with folders, files, backups, firewall exceptions, security software, file/folder permissions etc…
- need the most flexible cataloging solution, that can be fully customized in terms of fields, views and layouts.
- need multiple separate databases (tip: consider merging them and using folders).
- need to catalog and link to music/movie/ebook files on your local computer.
- need User Defined Fields (consider using Notes and Tags)
- need to customize Back Covers, Trailer videos and/or Backdrop images.
- need the Filter screen. Connect only has a Quick Search box.
- for music:
- need to add CDs by CD-ID (by inserting them into your computer).
- need to entering extensive track level details other than Artist/Title/Length.
- need the Edit screen’s Classical tab to enter more info for classical music.
- need to list Credits and Musicians on the Edit screen’s People tab.
- for books:
- need the Contents list to catalog sub-sections/chapters of books.
- need to list Credits and Characters.
- for movies:
- need to customize or manually enter your cast and crew listings.
- need to customize or manually enter episode lists for TV Series.
- need to modify edition specific Subtitles, Audio Tracks and/or Screen Ratios
- for comics:
- need to customize or manually enter Plot, Creator and Character lists
The Connect web-based software is the better choice for users who:
- do not have any of the “needs” listed above
- just need a simple way to keep track of their collection and wish list
- are less computer-savvy, who prefer not to deal with database and image files, software updates, firewall exceptions, security software nightmares, etc…
(BTW: Of course, Connect works great together with the CLZ mobile app and the CLZ Barry barcode scanner app!)
3. Wanna switch? Here’s my “trade-in” offer:
If you want to switch from Collector to Connect or vice versa, then I will “trade-in” your existing license and subscription months and transfer them to the other solution.
To proceed with the switch:
- First, make sure your CLZ Cloud is up-to-date, by Syncing with CLZ Cloud.
- Then, contact us here and I will make it happen.
(make sure to explain which products and in which direction you want to switch!)
TIP: if you own multiple Collector programs, I can switch em all over to Connect in one go, just say the word. (Connect is available in all flavours, so for movies, books, music, comics and video games).
Still need more info?
Finally, if you have any questions about Connect or Collector, contact me here and I will personally get back to you.
It’s now almost 3 years since we introduced our Update Plan system for software updates of our desktop versions. But sadly, we still get confused emails about Update Plans on a daily basis.
So I thought I’d list the 5 most common Update Plan misunderstandings, with clarifications for each one, hoping that we can finally clear them up once and for all.
Wow, lots of unexpected fun this week ! 🙂
This Monday, Adobe released a new version 19 of their Flash player and immediately our support guys and gal got swamped with reports of broken trailer videos in Movie Collector and Game Collector.
So instead of working on the projects they had planned to work on, Ronald and AJ spent most of this week investigating the problem and trying to come up with a solution.
It’s been an ongoing project at our CLZ HQ for a long time, but now it is finally live, Connect 2.0!
Connect 2.0 is a completely revamped version of our web-based collection cataloging solutions.
The goal of this new version:
- Introduce a more modern look and feel.
- Support all screen sizes (desktop and mobile) with one app.
- Re-think the user interface to make it more logical and intuitive.
“The program kept getting better and better as the year progressed until it took a major leap forward with a newly designed “Colbolt” version in October 2013. This was a MASSIVE improvement over the previous version, and has made this program hands down the industry leader in my eyes. If the fees for use continue to be applied to product improvement like they have this year then it’s money well spent, and I’ll gladly pay for my renewal when it comes around soon.”
Read the entire review here.
Game Collector user Michael Thomasson now holds the Guiness World Record for “Largest Video Game Collection”
Our longtime competitor FNProgramvare (the maker of BookCAT) has ceased operations. We received loads of requests from current BookCAT users, seeking an alternative, for an import feature.
We have created and released a dedicated import routine for BookCAT users, wanting to switch to Book Collector. This import feature is available in Version Cobalt.3 build 1, released on January 9.
Our longtime competitor FNProgramvare (the maker of CATVids) has ceased operations. We received loads of requests from current CATVids users, seeking an alternative, for an import feature.
We have created and released a dedicated import routine for CATVids users, wanting to switch to Movie Collector. This import feature is available in version Cobalt.3 build 1 and up, released January 9.
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.
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!
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.