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[CLZ News] Many updates for the mobile and web-based solutions

June 2nd, 2020
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CLZ Alwin here, with a slightly delayed CLZ Newsletter for May 2020.

I hope you and your family are still safe and healthy. In the Netherlands, we are slowly loosening the lockdown. With schools, bars and restaurants opening up again, normal life is returning, step by step.
However, for Collectorz.com we have decided to keep working from home for now. If only to prevent our team members from having to use public transport. Safety first!

This decision was made easier by the fact that we are fully operational in our “work from home” situation. Just look at last month’s releases:

  • CLZ Comics 5.6 + Comic Connect: Better barcode recognition for older comics!
  • CLZ mobile apps:
    • CLZ Comics 5.5: New folder options for Creators and Characters
    • CLZ Movies 5.5: New folder option for Actors
  • Connect web-based software:
    • Connect (all): New Crop and Rotate tool for cover images
    • Comic Connect: Submit to Core
    • Music Connect: Improved track list editing in Edit Album screen
    • Comic Connect: Better barcode recognition for older comics!
  • Coming up soon:
    • Coming up for Windows: Faster Shelves View + 2 new Shelf Styles
    • Coming up for iOS/Android: CLZ Music 5.5, with Add / Merge Multi-Disc Albums

CLZ Comics 5.6 + Comic Connect: Better barcode recognition for older comics!

In the past 2 months, with no new comics being released, our content managers took the opportunity to focus on the older comics in our database, especially the 1970 to 2000 era, where barcode recognition by our Core was still “below par”.

And with this month’s update for CLZ Comics (v5.6) and Comic Connect, you can start enjoying the fruits of our labor!
(similar updates are coming up for the Windows and macOS editions)

Better barcode search results for older comics (1970 to 2000 era)

  • Over 35 thousand extra barcodes are now being recognized.
  • Add By Barcode feature now correctly handles multiple comics with the same barcode (quite common in this era) and nicely just presents to you all comics that match your searched barcode, even when spread over multiple series.
  • Improved barcode search engine.

Re-designed search results in Add Comics screen

While we were at it, we also re-designed the search result entries for both title and barcode searches:

  • Clearer layout of all search result entries.
  • Issue numbers are now listed in “badges” on the left, separate from series titles and now change color depending on Collection Status.

More screenshots: for iOS / for Android / for Connect

CLZ Comics 5.5: New folder options for Creators and Characters

Adding Creators and Characters as folder options has been on our ideas list for a long time, but it was never implemented because of performance problems.
But during the past few weeks, our mobile team has been working to improve the performance of the folder lists, including the recently introduced folder list search. So in CLZ Comics 5.5 we were finally able to introduce the new folder options:

22 new folder options for Creators and Characters

  • Characters
  • All Creators (group by all creators, regardless of their “role”)
  • Plus: separate folder options for all 20 creator roles:
    like Artist, Colorist, Penciller, Cover Artist, Writer, etc…

Redesigned Select Folder Field screen

Through the years, the number of available folder fields has grown enormously, making the Select Folder Field screen a bit “unwieldy”. And with todays addition of 22 more folder options, we *had to* come up with a better solution.

That is why version 5.5 also includes a re-designed Select Folder Field screen, with all folder options nicely grouped under sensible headers, and the most popular options (Series, Publisher, All Creators and Storage Box) instantly accessible at the top (see screenshot above).

More screenshots: for iOS / for Android

CLZ Movies 5.5: New folder option for Actors

Similar to CLZ Comics, the CLZ Movies folder lists are now fast enough to allow the addition of Actor folders!

New folder option for Actors

Just tap the folder icon top left, then choose Actors. This will let you easily find all movies you own with a specific actor or actress.

Redesigned Select Folder Field screen

And CLZ Movies also includes the re-designed Select Folder Field screen, with all folder options nicely grouped under sensible headers, and the most popular options (Format, Director, Actor, Location, IMDb Rating) instantly accessible at the top.

More screenshots: for iOS / for Android

Connect (all): New Crop and Rotate tool for cover images

New in the Cover tab of the Edit screens of all 5 Connect editions: built-in Crop and Rotate tools for your cover images!

Super useful for fine-tuning images that you uploaded or found through the Find Online tool. You can even Crop/Rotate images that you received from Core, in which case they will be automatically turned into a custom image.

To use the new Crop/Rotate tools, open your Edit screen go to the Cover tab and click the “Crop/Rotate” icon on the top right above the Front or Back cover image.
Then:

  • Click the Rotate icon to rotate the image 90 degrees to the right.
  • Drag the blue crop rectangle to indicate your desired crop area.
  • Click Apply to apply the changes.

Click here for more screenshots

Comic Connect: Submit to Core

CLZ Core is our central online comic database, that is the database that you search by barcode or by Series in the Add Comics screen. In general, the comic information delivered by Core is quite complete and correct, but you may sometimes run into entries that are quite sparse (e.g. just series, issue number and publisher) or even entries with incorrect data.

Now Comic Connect users can help us improve that, using the new Submit to Core feature! Just fill in the correct data in your own entry, then select the comic and choose Submit to Core from the toolbar above the comic details.

Click here for more screenshots

Music Connect: Improved track list editing in Edit Album screen

After feedback from some of our most active Music Connect users, we decided to make several tweaks to the track editing on the Tracks tab of the Edit Album screen:

  • After clicking Add Track, the cursor is automatically put in the Title box of the added track.
  • Hitting Enter while in the Title box of the last track now automatically adds another tracks AND puts the cursor in its Title box.
  • Re-order discs by dragging the disc tabs.
  • Use checkboxes to select tracks. From the blue action bar that appears, you can now:
    • Remove the selected tracks
    • AutoCap the selected tracks
    • and (NEW): move the selected tracks to another disc

Coming up for Windows: Faster Shelves View + 2 new Shelf Styles

When users send us screenshots during support conversations, we are seeing that many of you are using the Shelves View when browsing your collections. And we can’t came blame you, that IS a cool looking view 🙂 However, it *can* be a bit slow and jerky, especially when displaying many cover images in one list.

So our Windows guy Joe has spent several weeks to make this Shelves View faster and smoother, with great results! At the same time, our in-house graphics man AJ has created two new Shelf styles.

All this is coming up early next week for all 5 Windows programs, maybe even later this week! To prepare for these releases, make sure your subscription is active! If it’s not, renew through our CLZ Shop here (bundle discounts apply).

Coming up for iOS/Android: CLZ Music 5.5, with Add / Merge Multi-Disc Albums

Just submitted to Apple and Google for approval, so hopefully live in the App Store and Play Store later this week: CLZ Music 5.5. Here’s what’s new:

  • Add Albums screen: Add as Multi-Disc Album
    Now create multi-disc albums by checkboxing multiple disc results, then adding them as one album with multiple discs.

  • Merge albums into Multi-Disc Album
    Merge existing 1-discs albums in your database into a multi-disc album. Just tap and hold to select the albums, then select MERGE from the menu button.

Enjoy and stay safe!