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News: all updates for our software and apps

Welcome to the March 2015 edition of the CLZ Newsletter.
I (Alwin) have 3 topics for you today:

  1. 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.
  2. Then, news about our continuing improvements to Connect and the free Cloud viewers.
  3. Last but not least, I’ll tell you about our current work on our Core online movie database.

Here we go:

Cloud Syncing 2.0 and the upcoming major updates

In last month’s newsletter, I told you:

“ETA: we’ll be launching all book related editions on all platforms within 3 weeks, then all movie ones, etc…. All products should be live in about 2 months.”

Well… we changed our minds 🙂
We need more time to test and fine-tune the new syncing protocol. On top of that, we figured it would be cooler to release all programs and editions at the same time.

So, we’re currently aiming for the first week of May 2015 and will then release:

  • Version 15 for all desktop programs. There will be no extra charge for these v15 updates, as long as you have an active Update Plan.
  • Version 3 for all mobile apps (except CLZ Music for Android). These mobile app updates will be FREE for everyone who already owns the apps.

What’s new in v15 and v3?

  • The new Cloud Syncing 2.0 system. Easier, faster and now capable of reliably syncing (very) large collections.
  • New “responsive” Carbon-style templates. Automatically adapting to the width of your details panel, always giving you the best view of your data.

So what’s up with CLZ Music for Android?
As you know, CLZ Music is the only Android app that doesn’t have the add and edit features yet. So adding CloudSync2 to CLZ Music doesn’t make sense now. When all v15 and v3 releases are live, CLZ Music 3.0 for Android is top priority. Expect it to be released early June 2015.

Faster collection browsing in Connect and Cloud

While most of the CLZ team is working on the CloudSync2 system, our web-developer Dion is working on continuous improvements to the Connect web-based editions.
Our goal: make Connect into a viable stand-alone cataloging solution for as many users as possible, in terms of performance, usability and features.

In the past few weeks, the focus has been on performance. Dion has completely rewritten all 3 views of the collection list pages, Cards, Images and List, for all 5 Connect editions. These views now load and scroll a LOT faster, auto-loading more data as you scroll down, Facebook-style.

BTW: These performance improvements can be enjoyed by anyone, even if you don’t subscribe to Connect, because the free Cloud viewers are now just as fast.
Try it on my own Blu-Ray collection here.

Next up: better editing features. We will make the Edit page into a “modal” screen, floating over your collection list, which will make it possible to edit items without loosing your position in the list. Also, we will bring the Edit Multiple batch editing feature to Connect, a crucial part in making Connect a more usable collection manager.

Improvements to the Core online movie database

Core, our online database for music, movie, book, comic and game data, is at the core of everything we do. Our content managers Martin and Rowdy are always working on it, adding new entries, completing existing entries, etc…

Their current focus is the Core online movie database:

  • Format data for barcode searches: In the past, it often happened that a barcode “said” DVD, while it was a Blu-Ray. Not anymore, you should now get the correct format for most of your barcodes.
  • Barcode coverage: the success rate on barcode search is very high now, approaching 100% for most areas. However, our stats show that of all searches on our movie database, only 24% are barcodes. So here’s our tip: Add our movies by barcode using our CLZ Barry app!
  • Sort Titles: we now automatically deliver correct Sort Titles for all movies starting with The, A, Die, Der, Das, Le, La, Het, Een, etc…
  • Completeness of movie info: we’re adding complete cast and crew lists, YouTube trailers, backdrops, etc… to as many movies as possible, starting with the most popular mainstream movies, working our way back to more “niche” ones.
  • Edition covers: another area where we saw room for improvement. We are currently trying to provide better quality (and correct) edition covers for more DVD and Blu-Ray editions.

That’s it for today!
BTW: come join the CLZ crew in our Collectorz groups on Facebook:
Movie Collectorz, Book Collectorz, Music Collectorz, Comic Collectorz, Game Collectorz