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What about the Mac editions?

August 25th, 2011

Here’s a question we get a lot lately, in our support inbox,
on the Forum, on our Facebook page and on Twitter:

"What about the Mac editions?"

Or: when will there finally be an update for my Mac software?

Of course, the question is fully justified. The Mac editions of Music, Movie and Book Collector haven’t had a serious update for a long time.
Also, the new Comic Collector for Mac has not yet received the features left out of the 5.0 release.

Well, I am happy to announce that this is all going to change. Read on for our Mac OS X plans.

Why the delays ?

I’d rather focus on the future, but still, I think a summary of our past Mac adventures may help to understand the reasons for all the delays. (feel free to skip to the good news though)

  • 2000: Collectorz.com started out as a “Windows only” developer.
  • 2005: We saw the need for Mac editions, but not having any in-house Mac experience, we decided to outsource the development to a freelance Mac developer, Steven Kramer.
    Steven did great, and by the end of 2005 we released the first version of Movie Collector for Mac, soon followed by Mac editions of Music and Book Collector.
  • 2007: A step up for our Mac development: we hired an in-house Mac developer for 2 days a week, to take over Steven’s work: Patrick Machielse.
  • 2009: Patrick left the company and our iOS developer Dinh stepped up to maintain the Mac editions, still for only 2 days a week.

Of course, the switching between developers didn’t really help to speed up the Mac development. Also, it was clear that 2 days a week doesn’t quite cut it if you want to do serious development.
In the meantime, Mac OS X had become more popular. We were selling more Mac editions and saw many Windows users switch to Mac OS X (including most of the Collectorz.com crew ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

Sooo…. mid 2010 we decided to bring our Mac development to a higher level. Our new programmer Pim took over all iOS development, so that Dinh could focus on our Mac OS X software full-time.

We started a huge project, with two goals:

  • Develop a Mac edition of Comic Collector, that in its first โ€œpoint ohโ€ release would immediately have all features and functionality of the 5.0 version for Windows.
  • At the same time, create a completely new shared code framework for all our Mac software. This framework would then subsequently be used for the upcoming major upgrades of the Mac editions of Music, Movie and Book Collector.

Well, it turns out that we severely underestimated the scale of this project.

  • First, we misjudged all the functionality available in the Comic Collector edition for Windows.
  • Second, creating the shared framework while working on Comic Collector was complicating (and slowing down) the implementation of every single feature and screen.

So we came up with a cunning plan:
In May 2011, we released Comic Collector 5.0 for Mac OS X, including the basics needed to catalog comics, BUT missing some of the features available in the Windows edition.
The plan being to release the missing features as soon as possible, in version 5.1…

Again, it didn’t go as planned:
Our Mac developer Dinh received a job offer from Loytr Inc in San Francisco and he decided to go for it. He’ll be leaving Collectorz.com October 1st. But starting May 2011, he already started working part time for Loytr Inc and part time for us.
Yep, our Mac development was back to just 2 days a week. Barely enough to do maintenance…

Of course, we started looking for a new Mac OS X developer immediately. Without success…

The good news!

Now, the good news:

  • Ronald has starting working on the Mac editions for 4 days a week. (yes, Ronald, our Windows developer. Now even he has a Mac on his desk ๐Ÿ™‚ )
  • Remember Bernard? He left the company a couple of years ago to be a freelance developer. Well, we hired him back for 2 days a week, to help with Mac development.
  • And last but not least: After 3 months of searching, we finally found a new Mac developer, strangely enough also called Patrick. Patrick Diviacco is from Italy and studied Information Science in Amsterdam. Officially, he’ll become a Collectorz.com employee on October 1st, but he has agreed to start working here immediately for 2 days a week, so that Dinh can introduce him to the finer details of the Collectorz.com Mac OS X framework.

So from now on, and for at least the rest of the year, we’ll be spending about 10 man-days per week on Mac development. Which means we can finally get some serious work done!

The plan

Here’s what we’re going to with all those man-hours:

Comic Collector 5 for Mac OS X

Dinh and Bernard are working on Comic Collector 5 and they will soon release an update adding the Link Comics and Update Automatically features.
After that, a 2nd update will finally bring Connect Syncing to Comic Collector.

Movie, Book and Music Collector for Mac OS X

Ronald and Patrick have started on the other 3 programs, based on the new Mac framework.

The original plan was to create new major upgrades of all 3, with all features of the current Windows editions. First Movie Collector, then Book Collector, then Music Collector. This would be a huge project and full completion could take us well into Q3 of 2012.

However, we think this is unacceptable. It would take way too long before Book Collector and Music Collector would get their updates. So we changed our minds, and this is the new plan:

We will work on Movie, Book and Music Collector simultaneously and will try to get a new major (and thus paid) upgrade out for all 3 ASAP (ETA: early 2012). These initial versions will miss some less popular features, but will be fully workable cataloging and browsing solutions for most users.

In fact, even with the missing features, these will still be huge upgrades compared to the current Mac editions. A more Mac-like user interface and a lot of new stuff: a cover-flow view, the Find Cover Online feature, wish list tabs and statistics in the main screen, auto capitalization and more…

Comic Collector for Mac

Once the first “point-oh” releases of Movie, Book and Music Collector are out, we will continue immediately to bring the missing features in several smaller free updates.

At the moment, I can’t predict which features will be present immediately, and which ones will be added later. It all depends on the progress in the next couple of months.
More details will be disclosed later to all members of the Collectorz.com Mac Club:

Want to stay up-to-date on our progress?
Join the Collectorz.com Mac Club!

If you want to stay up-to-date on the latest news about our Mac development, then use the form below to join the Collectorz.com Mac Club. Club members will receive regular updates by email and will get access to the latest screen shots on the soon-to-be-live Mac Preview Page.