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[CLZ News] What’s cooking at CLZ?

July 30th, 2021

Here it is, the CLZ Newsletter for July 2021.
Now, this could be a very short newsletter, because we did only ONE release this month: the CLZ Games 6.4 update on July 2 (the one with the new look).
But I won’t let you get away that easily:-) Instead, I am turning today’s newsletter into a big “What’s cooking at CLZ?” overview!

Even though we did no further releases, we have not exactly been sitting on our hands this month. Big projects are underway, some preparing for big releases in August, but also some “behind the scenes” work to improve our online services.

So… here’s what’s cooking:

  • CLZ Music 6.4 for iOS and Android: lots of new fields
    support for all new cloud fields that were introduced recently (Musicians, Credits, Headers in track lists, etc..)

  • For all Windows editions: new “Transfer Field Data” tool
    an advanced tool for batch copying data from from one field to another.

  • Submit to Core site re-write
    a new design and fully mobile ready!

  • Moving to a new server infrastructure
    full scalable, more secure and more cost-effective

  • Better ISBN coverage for some European countries
    implementing new data sources for European ISBNs.

CLZ Music 6.4 for iOS and Android: lots of new fields

An expected release of course, after we updated the CLZ Cloud and the syncing system with more fields. So yes, our mobile developers Pim and Bernard are currently updating the CLZ Music app to support all the new fields, so that you can fully sync them from Music Connect or Music Collector to the mobile app (and vice versa).

Reminder, these are the new cloud fields for our music tools:

  • Headers in track lists! E.g. use “Side A” / “Side B” headers for vinyl.
  • Musicians, with their instruments.
  • All Credits (Producers, Engineers and Songwriters)
  • Storage Device and Slot (at disc level)
  • Box Sets (including barcode, release date and custom box set images!)
  • Subtitle
  • SPARS code
  • Composition
  • Chorus
  • Website links

CLZ Music 6.4 is coming up within 2 or 3 weeks!

For all Windows editions: new “Transfer Field Data” tool

Not exactly a super common request, but we do see this question regularly:

” How can I move all data from field X to field Y? “

Sometimes the question originates from a user’s new insights into how to use the program’s fields in the best way. But, lately we see the question occur more often from users planning to switch to Connect, and therefore regretting their usage of User Defined Fields and now wanting to move some UDFs to Location, Tags or Notes.

Sadly, we did not have a solution for this (other than lots of manual labor).
But within a few weeks, we will be able to answer the above question better, with a happy:

“Sure, just use the Transfer Field Data tool, from the Tools menu!”

This is Windows developer Joe’s project at the moment. A new tool, with a deceptively simple UI (just select the From and To fields).

However, the small screen has an enormously complex process behind it, especially regarding the copying of field values between fields of different data types (e.g. how to go from a UDF checkbox field to the built in multi-value Tags field).

Submit to Core site re-write

This project has been mentioned here before, I know, but it is still not finished 🙂 The complete re-write from scratch for the core.collectorz.net site has proven to be much more work than we initially expected. Also, senior developer Sven has been interrupted with many ad-hoc projects in the past few months, which was not really helping the progress :-(.

But it will all be worth it, as it will result in a much easier to use Submit to Core experience for everyone, PLUS the submit forms will now be usable on small mobile screens. Which means we can finally introduce the Submit to Core feature in all mobile apps, “mobilizing” (haha!) a huge army of new submitters!

Moving to a new server infrastructure

One of the “behind the scenes” projects. This is what our in-house devops guy Joël has been preparing for, for quite a while. In the next few weeks, we will be moving a new server infrastructure, which will be more scalable, more secure and… if all goes well: more cost effective.

The scalability is our main reason though, as it will mean our server power will “auto scale” based on demand. So running on a few small servers during hours with low load (e.g. Tuesday mornings) and scaling up to many servers during peak load times (e.g. during weekends).

Better ISBN coverage for some European countries

Improving the ISBN coverage for our book tools is an example of another job that is happening “behind the scenes”, not ending up in a software release, but instead improving our online services.

We are always trying to improve the success rate of ISBN searches in our book cataloging tools. Coverage is the US is quite good already, at just over 99%. But for some European countries, the results were quite a bit lower than that.
So web developer Stijn has just implemented new data sources for Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Norway and Spain, already resulting in higher hit-rates for users in those countries.

Currently, Stijn is working on a big new data source for Dutch books, which will hopefully greatly improve the recognition of Dutch ISBNs. Should be live next week!

That’s all folks! Enjoy and stay safe!