Collectorz.com News Newsletter
January 30th, 2016
Welcome to the first 2016 CLZ Newsletter!
I (Alwin) and the rest of the CLZ Team are already well underway to make 2016 into a great year, with lots going on for all our online, desktop and mobile editions!
At this very moment, Ronald is working on 16.1 versions for all Windows programs, which will bring an extra new view for the main screen, ETA early March.
At the same time, Patrick is working on the same feature for the Mac OS X editions, to be released in the v16.0 updates, also planned for launch early March.
While Ronald and Patrick are working on future updates of the desktop software, our mobile dudes Pim and AJ are generating serious action on the mobile front.
In fact, the current and upcoming v4 updates are so important that the rest of this newsletter is all about the mobile apps. Here’s why:
December 30th, 2015
This is CLZ Alwin, with the last CLZ Newsletter of 2015, and it’s a loooong one.
Yes, we’re back from our 15-year anniversary celebration in London! We had a great time there, with lots of sightseeing, great food and of course, too many alcoholic beverages 🙂 Here’s a selection of photos from our trip.
In the meantime, we have processed the London backlog of support tickets and our help desk team is back to our normal level of support again.
And despite all anniversary and other holiday season celebrations, we’ve still been able to make progress on development too 🙂 Here’s an overview:
- Version 16’s for Windows are live!
- Server upgrades: Progress update.
- Better book data for most EU countries.
- Coming up: Version 4.0 for all iOS and Android apps.
December 9th, 2015
Wait, a CLZ Newsletter this early in the month?
Yep, because this week we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary!
As some of you know, I (Alwin) had been working on Music Collector in my spare time since 1996. But in December 2000, I quit my day job, founded the Collectorz.com company and finally got to work on the Collectorz products full-time!
November 27th, 2015
This is the November 2015 edition of the Collectorz.com Newsletter, with two announcements for important December releases. But first …
It’s Black Friday! So don’t forget our CLZ Black Friday sale:
»» Get a 1 year Update Plan or Connect subscription and get 6 months FREE! ««
(this sale ends on Cyber Monday, so 4 days left!)
Okay, back to the CLZ News. These are today’s topics:
- Coming up in December:
- Version 16 aka QuickSilver for Windows and Mac OS X.
- CLZ Movies 4.0 for iOS.
- New CLZ.com website, the home of our mobile apps.
- CLZ Server Upgrades: Faster title searches and image downloads.
October 30th, 2015
It’s the end of October, so the busiest months in the cataloging world are coming up. As usual, we have lots of cool stuff planned for December and January: big updates for desktop and mobile, server upgrades, maybe even a Sale.
Here’s an overview of this months releases, plus some insight into what’s going on at the CLZ HQ:
- Music Collector v15.4 for Mac: More intuitive main screen behaviour
- Comic Collector v15.5 for Windows: Better support for TPBs and Pull Lists
- CLZ Server Upgrades: Progress Report
- What else is cooking?
September 30th, 2015
This is Alwin, with your monthly dose of CLZ news. And it’s a big dose this time.
September was quite crazy for us, with multiple desktop and mobile releases, an ongoing server upgrade project and, unexpectedly, having to deal with problems caused by 3rd party software updates:
- Five 15.4 updates for Windows, with re-designed Field Selection screens.
- Three 15.4 updates for Mac, with a more intuitive behaviour of the main screen.
- Updates to all movie-related tools, now syncing more fields to cloud and mobile.
- Server upgrades: super-fast downloads for desktop software updates.
- Movie/Game Collector 15.5.2: now uses HTML5 trailer player to fix Flash-problems.
But before I give you the full story on the above 5 topics, I want to tell you about an important change to your My.CLZ.com account page :
My.CLZ.com: now lists the CLZ mobile apps you own
When you login to your CLZ Account at my.clz.com you’ll find new boxes for the iOS and Android apps, with a black checkmark shown for the apps you own (for now, this excludes CLZ Barry, sorry).
August 31st, 2015
Alwin here, with the CLZ Newsletter for August 2015.
Unlike previous months, August only brought a couple of small feature releases:
- Music and Book Collector: Alphabet Bar can now also be used on Title field.
- All PC & Mac programs: New “Ignore Sort Title / Ignore Sort Names” settings.
So I am taking this opportunity to tell you about all the other stuff the 11 members of the CLZ Team are working on “behind the scenes”.
Here’s an overview of the things we do besides building new features:
July 29th, 2015
Even though it’s been summer vacation time for several CLZ team members, we’ve been able to push out several huge releases, the most popular of which (by far) was the new Alphabet Bar. But don’t forget the huge book cloud update and CLZ Barry 2.0!
These are the topics of today’s newsletter, discussing all July releases and what’s cooking at the CLZ HQ at this very moment:
- CLZ Cloud 2.1 for Books: Sync your *own* data for 8 extra book fields
- CLZ Barry 2.0 for iOS and Android
- New “Alphabet Bar” in all 15.3 versions for PC & Mac
- Sharper Cover Thumbnails in all v15.3 versions for Windows
- Further improvements to Connect and the CLZ Cloud viewers
- What’s Cooking?
June 30th, 2015
Despite the current heat wave in the Netherlands, the work on all our cataloging solutions is continuing.
This is the June 2015 edition of the CLZ Newsletter, with full details on last month’s releases, plus a quick overview of What’s Cooking:
- The final 3.0 app for Android is live: CLZ Music!
- Report movie data errors and missing movies to Core.
- New: “What’s New” blog for Connect & the CLZ Cloud viewer.
- What’s cooking? This is coming up next month.
May 30th, 2015
May 1st, 2015
Wow, what a week! 14 major releases (fourteen!) … After 4 months of programming and testing, we can finally bring you the results of our labour:
5 v15 versions for Windows, 4 v15’s for Mac, 5 v3 apps for iOS (and 5 Android v3’s coming up).
March 31st, 2015
Welcome to the March 2015 edition of the CLZ Newsletter.
I (Alwin) have 3 topics for you today:
- First, a progress update on the new Cloud Syncing 2.0 system and the accompanying v15 updates for PC/Mac and v3 releases of the mobile apps.
- Then, news about our continuing improvements to Connect and the free Cloud viewers.
- Last but not least, I’ll tell you about our current work on our Core online movie database.
February 28th, 2015
CLZ Alwin here, with an important heads-up on the upcoming big updates for ALL our software editions, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
Please do not skip this newsletter!
I’ll try to keep it brief and “easily digestible” 🙂 Here we go:
Coming up soon:
- Version 15.0 for all 5 Windows editions.
- Version 15.0 for all 4 Mac OS X editions.
- Version 3.0 for all 5 iOS apps.
- Version 3.0 for all 5 Android apps.
January 30th, 2015
It’s Alwin, of Collectorz.com, with the first CLZ newsletter for 2015.
2015 is gonna be the year where we’ll take our multi-platform cataloging solutions to a new level, with faster server solutions, better cloud-syncing and lots of cool and useful updates for all platform editions.
In the meantime, we have embarked upon the first step for this, one of the biggest projects in CLZ history and something that effects ALL our products and services: CLZ Cloud Syncing 2.0. More about that one in the last topic of this newsletter.
Next to the cloud project, we have also been able to bring several new releases, with many of them on the mobile front. Plus 4 big Mac releases are coming up soon:
- Now Live: CLZ Books 2.0 for Android. Coming up: CLZ Games 2.0
- Now Live: 5 updates for all 5 iOS apps
- Coming up: big updates for all 4 Mac editions
- In progress: CLZ Cloud Syncing 2.0
December 31st, 2014
CLZ Alwin here, bringing you the last CLZ Newsletter for this year!
2014 has been another great year for Collectorz.com, with the huge success of the Update Plan system for the desktop programs (52k subscribers!), new growth for Connect (7k subscribers) and steadily growing sales on iOS and Android (also because of our new FineDiner app).
Here’s an overview of this month’s updates, plus a preview of what you can expect from us early 2015:
- Now live for Connect: further improvements to all Add screens.
- Now live for Windows (and coming up for Mac):
Better Edit and Manage Pick List screens.
- Coming up in Q1 2015: CLZ Cloud syncing 2.0.
November 28th, 2014
CLZ Alwin here with lots of Collectorz.com news for you today. But before we dive into that, let me give you a quick reminder of our Black Friday Sale (4 days left):
Black Friday Update Plan Sale: buy 1 year and get 6 months free!
During the Black Friday sale, we’ll give you 6 months of updates FREE if you renew or extend your Update Plan with one year (priced at US $24.95 or EUR 19.95).
To take advantage of this offer, log in to the My.CLZ.com shop here.
(If you still have a running Update Plan, don’t worry, you won’t loose any days. The extra 18 months will just be added to your current expire date.)
CLZ News for November 2014
With that out of the way, on with the news. This month, two long-running projects have been completed:
- The new Connect 2.0.
- CLZ Comics 2.0 for Android.
Other news today:
- Coming up: big time-saving Edit screen updates for all Windows and Mac editions.
- New ticket system for customer support + new Live Chat Support!
October 31st, 2014
CLZ Alwin here. One year ago, in October 2013, we introduced “Update Plans”, our subscription system for getting updates of your desktop software. And I am proud to announce that at this moment, after 12 months:
Over 50 thousand (!!) CLZ customers have an active Update Plan!
Thank you all for your loyalty!
To celebrate the success of Update Plans, I am going to do something I rarely do:
I am going give you an exclusive insight into our long term “roadmap” for the desktop programs.
- Reminder: What is an Update Plan?
- The Past: one year of continuous improvements!
- The Present: over 50 thousand active Update Plans!
- The Future: our Long Term Roadmap.
August 29th, 2014
July 31st, 2014
We’re in the middle of the vacation period here at the CLZ HQ, so progress is a bit slower than usual. However, we were still able to push out nice new versions of all desktop editions this month. And with everyone back at the office soon, there’s more to come next month!
Read on for details:
- Now live for Windows: New Excel-style “Freeze Columns” feature.
- Now live for Mac OS X: Better performance & stability / Full Screen mode.
- Coming up next month:
- FineDiner, restaurant journal app for the real foodies among us.
- New User Defined Fields system for all Mac editions.
- Music Collector for Mac: Music file cataloging + iTunes importing.
- Connect 2.0, a new look and feel for all Connect editions.
June 30th, 2014
Sytske and I (Alwin) just returned from a short vacation in France and are now handling some backlog in all areas: support tickets, other email, project management, etc.. So today’s newsletter is going to be a bit shorter than usual 🙂
Let me just give you a quick overview of this month’s releases and current projects:
- All Cobalt versions for Windows : Create your own data fields.
- All Cobalt versions for Mac OS X : Important stability improvements.
- What’s the CLZ team working on now?
May 27th, 2014
Lots of things going on at Collectorz.com, on all supported platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android *and* online (Connect!). Which will result in important software updates in all areas, some within a few months, some as early as “next week”, some even just went live!
Here’s what cooking now, in order of ETA:
- Now live : Improved My.CLZ.com site.
- Now live : Music Collector Cobalt.4 for Mac.
- Next week : Music Collector Cobalt.5 for Windows.
- Next month : CLZ FineDiner app for iOS.
- Within 2 months: Connect 2.0.
- Later: CLZ Comics 2.0 for Android.
May 6th, 2014
Alwin here, with what was meant to be the April 2014 edition of the CLZ newsletter, but ehm… let’s just call it the “early May edition”. Time flies where you’re having fun 🙂
If you’ve been following our Facebook, Google+ or Twitter feed, you have probably noticed that we’re on a roll ! SIX big releases since the last newsletter: the long awaited CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android, three big Cobalt updates for Mac and two for Windows.
And there’s more to come, including a completely new CLZ project for the fine dining enthusiasts among you: CLZ FineDiner (more info below).
On top of that: we reached an important milestone 3 weeks ago: 20,000 Update Plans !
In the meantime, 20,832 users have upgraded their software to the Cobalt version by getting one of our Update Plan options. Which brings the total number of Cobalt users to 45 thousand !
Thank you all for your continuing loyalty, much appreciated!
The topics today:
- It’s live: CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android!
- Coming up: CLZ FineDiner – keep track of your restaurant visits.
- Recent Cobalt updates for Mac and Windows.
- Upcoming Cobalt updates for Mac and Windows.
March 29th, 2014
Saturday morning… while my wife Sytske is handling your support questions, I (Alwin) am writing this March 2014 edition of the Collectorz.com newsletter.
We have released important updates for two Windows Cobalt versions this month. Next to that we’re doing lots of “behind the scenes” work for upcoming new releases. Let’s look at both:
This month’s releases:
- Comic Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – new Quick Fill screen when adding comics
- Book Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – now recognizes 23 million ISBNs
- Book Collector Cobalt.3 for Mac – ebook cataloging and more
- Music Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – improved support for vinyl
- CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android – add/edit/scan – first screen shots
- Flexible user defined fields system for all platforms (inc. CLZ Cloud)
Comic Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – new Quick Fill screen when adding comics
In this Cobalt.4.1 update, we introduced many improvements to the Add Comics Automatically screen, plus we made the Update Automatically feature fully configurable!
- Add Comics Automatically: New Cobalt Compact template for Preview panel.
- Add Comics Automatically: New Quick Fill popup, that lets you set ALL Collection Status values (including On Order and For Sale), plus several extra fields, while adding comics.
- Add Comics Automatically: Screen now opens and closes faster.
- Fully configurable Update Comics Automatically feature.
Book Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – now recognizes 23 million ISBNs
The Cobalt.4.1 update brought two improvements to your Add Books Automatically screen: better results for ISBN searches and a new look for the Preview Panel.
- Add Books Automatically: Now recognizes 23 million ISBNs!
A new, secondary ISBN lookup data source has been added to our online book database, which includes 13 million new ISBNs, plus extra data for 5 million books in our existing database. This brings the total number of ISBNs recognized by our own database to 23 million!
- Add Books Automatically: New Cobalt Compact template for Preview panel
CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android – add/edit/scan – first screen shots
As you probably know, we are currently working our way, step-by-step, toward fully stand-alone 2.0 apps for Android, with adding/editing features, barcode scanning, 2-way cloud-syncing and a tablet-optimized layout.
While doing this, we’re focusing on completing CLZ Movies first (as it is the most popular app), doing the other 4 apps after that.
In CLZ Movies 1.5, a complete rewrite of the app, we have already introduced a new look, a native Android user-interface, an optimized layout for phone, phablets and tablet and a new details template.
In the meantime, we have almost finished CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android, which will bring adding/editing features, barcode scanning and 2-way syncing through the CLZ Cloud.
The ETA for CLZ Movies 2.0 is end of April 2014.
Book Collector Cobalt.3 for Mac – ebook cataloging and more
This is Patrick’s main project at the moment: adding automatic e-book cataloging features to the Mac edition of Book Collector. Automatically scan your computer for e-book files, and easily add them to your database, using meta data for the e-book files.
This new version will also get the re-designed Preview template for the Add Books Automatically screen, plus the new ISBN lookup data source that adds 13 million recognized ISBNs.
ETA: 2 or 3 weeks
Music Collector Cobalt.4 for Windows – improved support for vinyl
The Cobalt.4 version will add more vinyl-specific fields, PLUS (if all goes well) the ability to add vinyl records by searching Discogs.com by Catalog Number.
This has been an on-going project for Robbert and Ronald for quite a while. We would have liked to release this much earlier, but the guys from Discogs are … let me put this nicely … not exactly cooperative:
Discogs has recently introduced restrictions on image downloads and the usage of their API, just at the moment we started implementing our new search system. And this has caused numerous issues, which we have been trying to resolve since mid-January. We hope to have everything working soon, but it’s still hard to put any reliable ETA on this.
In the meantime, Robbert and Ronald will just continue on another ambitious project:
Flexible user defined fields system for all platforms (inc. CLZ Cloud)
This is a huge and ambitious project we expect to be working on for a long time to come: creating a new, completely flexible, user defined fields system for all editions (Win, Mac, iOS, Android and Connect), that will seamlessly sync through the CLZ Cloud.
We will be implementing this platform by platform, starting with the Windows editions, then the CLZ Cloud / Connect, moving on to the other platforms after that.
A costly and time-consuming endeavour, but we think this will take the flexibility of our cataloging solutions to a new level.
And now… Sytske and I are going to enjoy a sunny weekend 🙂
Talk to you next month (or earlier if you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Google+),
February 28th, 2014
It’s a short month, so here I (Alwin) am already, with the Feb ’14 edition of the CLZ Newsletter. Today’s newsletter will focus on one of our customers, Michael Thomasson, who has attained the official Guiness World Record for “Largest Video Game Collection”!
But first, let me give you a super-compact overview of what the CLZ Team is working on at the moment:
- Robbert and Ronald: Updates for all Windows editions, with a new Cobalt Compact template for Add Auto, plus other program-specific new features.
Their Movie Collector update is already live, more info below.
- Pim and AJ: CLZ Movies 2.0 for Android. Add Movies screen is finished (inc barcode scanning!), working on Edit screen and two-way CLZ Cloud syncing now.
- Patrick: Big update of Book Collector for Mac, with automatic e-book cataloging features and the new Cobalt Compact templates for Add Auto.
- Robbert and Dion: a complete redesign of Connect, with a more modern look that automatically adapts to desktop, tablet and phone screens.
- Rowdy and Martin: Quality checking all movie and edition cover images in our online movie database, replacing all small and low-quality images with better ones.
- Chris: A complete rewrite of all manuals of our Windows and Mac editions, using our own online manual software Manula.
Okay, on to the biggest video game collection… in the world…
January 31st, 2014
The first CLZ Newsletter of 2014! So let me (Alwin) start with this month’s biggest news: We hired two new web-developers!
Early this month, we welcomed Bart and Dion to the CLZ team. Both are still students which means they will be working with us for just 2 days a week now. If all goes well, they will complete their studies later this year and will then join Collectorz.com full time.
Bart and Dion have joined senior developer Robbert on a huge project : a complete rewrite of Connect. All five Connect web-applications will get a more modern look and a responsive design that will automatically adapt to all screen sizes: desktops, tablets and phones.
We expect to be working on this for at least the next 3 months. I will try post regular updates on Facebook with screen shots of our progress.
Now, let’s go over this months releases:
- Big 2.5 updates for all 5 CLZ iOS apps
- CLZ Movies 1.6 for Android, with CLZ Cloud syncing
- New Tools / Options screen for all Cobalt versions for Windows
- Editing in main list now available for all Cobalt versions