What's new in Book Collector for macOS?
A small update to the Book Collector for Mac software today, just to help you make the switch to the Book Connect web-based software.
We have received feedback from Book Collector users that they were missing some field in Book Connect / Cloud, so a few days ago we updated Connect to add many of those requested fields.
The new fields that were added:
- Printed by
- First Edition (yes/no)
- Paper type
- AND: web-site links on the new Links tab!
Of course, the new fields now being available in Book Connect is of little help to you if you cannot sync your existing data from your Book Collector for Mac software.
So… even though we announced “no more Mac updates”, we decided to do one FINAL v20.3 update of the Book Collector for Mac software, to add support for the syncing of the new fields.
I hope this update will help you make the big switch to Book Connect!
- Find Cover: the crop button was missing
- The “Field Names” screen was empty
We had tested our software on Big Sur betas before the actual Big Sur release and did not find any problems. However, as soon as Big Sure went live, users started reporting crashes in various areas of the program, mainly when syncing and after adding or editing entries.
With the help of these users, and after trying several test builds with them, we have finally resolved all known crashes, which has resulted in today’s v20.2 Big Sur compatible release.
If you are using Big Sur, we strongly recommend updating to this v20.2 version.
Finally, if you still see problems on Big Sur with this new version, please us know, so that we can fix any remaining bugs.
- When using the X button top left, the program will now “quit” instead of “suspend” so that when you restart the program your database will immediately open again.
- It wasn’t possible to add pseudonyms to authors through the Manage Pick Lists screen.
- Manage Pick Lists screen could hide behind the Edit Content screen when opened
Faster CLZ Cloud syncing!
We have made several structural changes to the CLZ Cloud syncing, making it much much faster than before, especially when syncing large amounts of entries up to the CLZ Cloud or down from the CLZ Cloud.
To enjoy the faster syncing, you need to use the actual Sync with CLZ Cloud screen.
(The Auto-Syncing in the background is also slightly faster now, but if you need to sync many entries up or down, please use the Sync with CLZ Cloud screen.)
- Link to Core: changing the search criteria could crash the program
- Add screen: changed the “already in collection” font color in dark skin to be more readable
- Main screen: The “Rating” column could not be moved to a different place
- Improved cover scaling for syncing
Now uses our brand-new CLZ Cloud Sync-server
Previously one big server was handling the Connect website, the CLZ Cloud website AND the CLZ Cloud syncing from the desktop programs and the mobile apps.
But this week we have set up a brand-new dedicated Sync-server to handle just the CLZ Cloud syncing.
In today’s update, Book Collector has been updated to sync through this new server, which should result in faster syncing and a more stable syncing experience during high load times (weekends).
- For some users, the database conversion of version 20.0.3 caused the loss of data in their User Defined Fields. This problem has been resolved now.
If you lost UDF data, please contact us so that we can help you get the data back.
This update fixes an issue with the sync where it would always re-upload the custom front/back covers if such a book had any change at all. This resulted in many unneeded re-uploads of custom front/back covers.
Important: After updating to this version:
- the program will run a process to index your custom covers
- all books with custom front/back covers will re-upload
Both processes might take a while!
- Custom front/back covers were re-uploaded too often
- Quick Search: using arrow buttons and clicking results wasn’t working correctly
A couple of fixes today for Book Collector macOS:
- Manage Pick List screen could crash on the box set field
- Printing a list while in dark mode would print a black page
The year “twenty-twenty” is coming up, so here’s Book Collector v20 for macOS!
In this release we added support for the macOS Dark/Light Mode and enhanced the CLZ Cloud syncing system with many new fields and back cover images.
As you probably know, macOS Catalina (version 10.15) was released earlier this week.
In Catalina, Apple has made two major changes, that will affect all software that you run on your Mac:
- All programs you use need to be 64-bit. No more support for 32-bit applications!
- All programs you download outside the App Store need to be notarized (=approved) by Apple.
Of course, our Book Collector software has been a 64-bit application since version 18.1 (April 2018). And this week, we got it approved and notarized by Apple too!
So today, we released Book Collector 19.1, 64-bit and notarized, so fully Catalina compatible!
- Link books screen didn’t correctly search for ISBNs
- Link books screen size and position is now remembered between sessions
- Drag/Drop image would put image in Downloads folder when using “just link to dropped file”
- Fixed a display issue with shelf-view background
Got rid of some bugs today for your program, check it out:
- Drag & drop of images from a webbrowser was broken
- Grouping on “My Rating” didn’t work sometimes
- Some year entries weren’t set correctly
- Removing entries from the Link screen was not possible with keyboard
- Edit in List behaviour modified for dropdown field types
Small bug fix build today for your Book Collector on macOS:
- Syncing the Read It field wasn’t always working correctly.
- Export to XML: Some issues with export of characters
- Editing the personal rating in the template and edit screens missed the star images
- Better handling of the filename in the export screens
Because the version we released yesterday was built with a new Xcode, the program automatically supported Mojave’s “Dark Mode”. Unfortunately, we all run “Light Mode” here, and we didn’t see that the program looked completely wrong in Dark Mode!
We do plan to support Dark Mode on Mojave, but this is a different project and will be addressed later this year.
- Mojave’s Dark Mode made the program look bad so we switched the program to light mode for now.
- Export to XML, Text, and other export functions were broken
- Images Shelves styles were broken.
Trial Mode improvements:
- Bigger “+” button on the default toolbar.
- Improved “My CLZ Account” messaging when logging in with a CLZ Account.
- New hints to Sync with CLZ Cloud after adding some items.
- Removed the ugly blue “hint box” that appeared when starting with an empty database.
Only supports macOS 10.9 or higher
This is the first version to not support macOS 10.8 Mountain Lion anymore.
To stay current with Apple we’ve just updated to Xcode (the software used to create Book Collector for macOS). In order to do this we had to drop support for macOS 10.8 (Mountain Lion) from 2012 as Apple doesn’t support it anymore in Xcode.
If you still use macOS 10.8, make sure to not upgrade Book Collector to this version.
- Auto-mark custom images didn’t flag items as “dirty” for the sync.
- Drag and drop image on Details Panel to change the front cover was broken.
- Index number sometimes didn’t increment correctly.
Based on user feedback we’ve updated the “Read It” flag and connected it to the “Times Read”, fixed a bug in the conversion from v18 to v19 and some other new things and fixes:
- When setting “Read It” to yes/no, the “Times Read” field will update accordingly
- The Flex template is set as default for new installations
- More intuitive interface for the “Remove Collection” popup
- Fixed a crash in v18 to v19 database conversion
- XML import could lead to duplicate images
Book Collector version 19 has arrived! Here’s what’s new:
- Manage multiple “collections” within one database file
- Automatic Cloud-syncing of your own “custom” images
- A new super-adaptive “Flex” template for the Details Panel
Read on for the full details:
Some of you reported some issues in the Edit Screens in Book Collector using macOS Mojave, which have now been addressed and fixed!
- Searching for a credit or character wasn’t working (dropdown wasn’t opening to show all options)
- The dropdown to choose a role for a credit wasn’t working
- Dragging and dropping of images on the template or edit screen didn’t do anything
The Add Books Automatically screen is now called “Add Books from CLZ Core” and includes improvements to make it both easier-to-use and easier-on-the-eye:
- Single Search Box: Just one box for search (e.g. like Google or Amazon). No more separate Author and Title boxes. Just enter (part of) the author’s name and (part of) the title and you will get the best matching results. (see the screen shot above with “crichton jurassic” results”).
- Big blue buttons for the main actions, Searching and Adding, can’t miss ’em 🙂
- Automatic Preview, just select a result (no more need for double clicking)
- Use the popup in the “Add” button to change it to add to “Collection” or “Wish List”
- Search by Publisher and Year: Getting a lot of results? Filter down to the book edition you’re looking for by adding the publisher and/or publication year to your search! (see screen shot below)
Great news for all users of our book database solutions, on any version (old or new), on any platform (Connect, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android):
Our Core online book database now recognizes 97% of all ISBNs searched!
In the past few weeks, our web-developers have been working on several improvements to our Core online book database system, which has increased the success rate for ISBN searches to 97 percent!
Basically, this means that on average, for every 100 ISBNs you scan into the Add Books screen, our Core online book database will recognize 97, leaving only 3 as “unrecognized”.
(in the past, the success rate has always been around 89% to 90%.)
Note that this 97% is a world-wide average, over all users from all countries.
For US and UK books, the results are even better, at 99%. In other countries, the hit-rate will be slightly below 97%. But for everyone, it will definitely be better than before!
How can you start enjoying the improved ISBN searches?
The above is a “server-side” change, so you don’t need to do anything 🙂
You can now instantly experience the benefits, in the Book Connect web-based software, the Book Collector desktop software (Windows or Mac) and the CLZ Books mobile app (iOS or Android).
Whatever version you have! No update needed, no payment needed!
As indicated in last week’s GDPR email, we are updating our software and services, to be more secure and to better protect your privacy.
Starting with version 18.2, Book Collector now uses secure HTTPS connections for all communications with our servers:
- for logging in with your username and password
- for syncing your data with CLZ Cloud
- for sending your searches to Core.
To make this possible, we have created new secure “entry points” on our servers, that are only allowing secure HTTPS connections. The new Book Collector software only communicates with those secure entry points.
For your privacy and security, we strongly recommend updating to version 18.2.
Never a dull moment at the CLZ HQ… Here we were, working on nice improvements for our software, when suddenly… the guys at Apple had a brainwave: In their ultimate wisdom, they decided to start phasing out 32-bit applications.
Since April 12, users of macOS High Sierra are getting a “not optimized for your Mac” warning when they start a 32-bit application. Which includes the Book Collector software for macOS 🙁
On top of that, Apple have already stopped allowing 32-bit applications in their App Store and rumours are that they may even stop supporting 32-bit applications in a future version of macOS, requiring every application to be 64-bit!
Of course, we were already aware that Apple would be going this route some day; the rumours have been around for quite a while. So we had already been working on a 64-bit version of our software, as a “back-burner project”.
But the introduction of last week’s “not optimized” warnings suddenly made this a high-priority project. So… we dropped everything we were doing and finalized our 64-bit project. And I am happy to report:
A fully 64-bit v18.1 version of Book Collector is available now!
Not exactly what we were planning to do this month, but hey, this is what the Update Plans are for: your guarantee that we deal with everything the world throws at us 🙂
- Sync with CLZ Cloud:
- Sometimes the “Local changes to be uploaded” counter didn’t show the correct number.
- When a cover could not be downloaded during down syncing it would stop and not continue. Now it will continue and show a report of any possible errors that have occurred.
- Sometimes covers weren’t uploaded when they should have.
- The error: “This database is different from the one in CLZ Cloud” would show up in rare cases when it shouldn’t.
- Main Screen:
- There were still some cases where “follow edited item” option was not working.
- Folder grouping on a credit role would show folders for all credit roles instead of just the one selected.
- Add Books from CLZ Core: adding a book via the “Missing Barcode” popup would not set the “Last Modified” date.
- Main screen:
- “None” folder for user defined fields didn’t display.
- Main screen could freeze in some cases when folder grouping on a user defined field.
- Auto sync could crash the program in some cases.
Version 18 is finally here! And it not only bring the promised Auto-Cloud-Syncing, but also many improvements to the main screen, making it both faster and more stable.
NEW: Fully Automatic CLZ Cloud Syncing!
The free CLZ Cloud service is at the center of all our cataloging solutions (desktop, mobile and web), the glue that binds them all together.
Tens of thousands of users are using the CLZ Cloud syncing every day, to transfer data between their desktop, Connect and mobile software, to update their online collection list, or simply for keeping an online backup of their precious database.
Now, it is time to take the CLZ Cloud to the next level, with automatic syncing:
Add or edit books in Book Collector and these changes will auto-upload to the CLZ Cloud instantly. Did you make changes using the CLZ Books mobile app or directly in Book Connect? Just start your software and changes will download automatically.
No more need to go to the Sync with CLZ Cloud screen, ever.
With “Sync Automatically” switched on…
- Your online cloud backup is always up-to-date.
- Your cloud viewer always shows the current state of your collection.
- All your CLZ tools (desktop, mobile and Connect) will always be in-sync.
Automatic Cloud Syncing is an optional feature, switched OFF by default. If you don’t want to auto-sync, or don’t want to sync with the CLZ Cloud at all, just leave it switched OFF.
Main screen now faster and more stable
In the past few months, we have spent a lot of time rewriting important parts of the main screen. For instance, the code that refreshes the folder panel (which was slow, especially with the “counters” switched on) and also the part that restores your selection in the list after editing. At the same time, we reduced the program’s “memory footprint”, making it more stable overall.
The result is that the program is now a lot more enjoyable to use. It starts quicker, it refreshes much faster (after adding or editing) and switching between folder types is quicker.
The speed-up will be most noticeable on large collections, with thousands of books. Especially when having LOTS of folders in the folder panel (e.g. Author folders).
- Cloud syncing:
- After duplicating a book, the duplicate would not be marked for syncing to cloud.
- In some situations, a down-sync could update empty fields with data from Core.
- In some situations, cover images would not upload automatically.
- Main screen:
- After editing, the edited items would not be selected after refresh.