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!
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.
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.
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!
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:
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 🙂
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.
Next week, Apple will release the new macOS 10.13 “High Sierra”.
If you are planning to update your Mac to this new OS, then we strongly recommend to update your Book Collector software to today’s version 17.0.5!
Book Collector problems on High Sierra:
We have been testing our software on beta versions of High Sierra for quite a while, to make sure we were ready for it’s release. We found that most of the software seems to be working as normal.
Unfortunately, we found a big problem in the Preferences screen, it does not open at all anymore, making it impossible to make any changes to program settings.
Luckily, our Mac developer Ronald was able to fix the Preferences screen to make it work on the new macOS. A fix was released today, in version 17.1.2.
- Preferences screen didn’t load properly on macOS 10.13 “High Sierra”.
- Upload Cover to CLZ Core: Images were not always uploaded properly even if they were within the 500KB file size limit.
- Main Screen: Quick Search: Occasional crashes in the quick search when using the “Search-as-you-type” suggestions.
- Sync with CLZ Cloud: Sometimes crashed during the upload of covers.
Now sync your loan information to the CLZ Cloud
- Sync information about outstanding loans to the CLZ Cloud, directly visible in your CLZ Cloud viewer (just add the Loan columns to the list).
- Sync your loan history to the CLZ Cloud (only visible in Book Connect’s new Loan Manager)
New in Book Connect: a really nice Loan Manager feature!
- Loan books and return books, by scanning their barcodes with CLZ Barry.
- Check outstanding loans and loan history in the Loan Manager
( Coming soon: sync loan information to the CLZ Books mobile app )
Quick Search: Search-As-You-Type suggestions
Instantly find and select a particular book in your local database:
- In the Quick Search box, just start typing the first few letters of the author or title you are looking for.
- While typing, a drop-down list will appear, showing the first five matching books.
(for most books, it only takes 2 or 3 letters before it shows up.)
- Once you see the one you were looking for, use the up/down keys to select it, then hit Enter.
- The book will now be selected in your list, with the details showing in the Details Panel.
NOTE: this Search-As-You-Type feature replaces the old “filter-as-you-type” behaviour of the Quick Search box. If you want to go back to the old behaviour, you can do so in the Preferences screen, on the Behaviour page using the setting called “When typing in Quick Search box”.
Improved “Unrecognized ISBN” screen
- NEW: integrated Find Cover tool.
Easily pick a cover images from internet search results for the ISBN.
- Two extra fields: Publisher and Year.
- Author box now has drop-down with your Author list for easy entry of existing author names.
- Main Screen: after resizing the first column too much, the text was no longer readable
- Edit Book: Closing the edit screen could cause a crash on El Capitan
Easily add books that come up as “Unrecognized ISBN”
- In Add Books Automatically and Link Books, when an ISBN is not recognized, a new “Unrecognized ISBN” screen will appear.
- In this screen, just type the Author and the Title, then click Add Book.
- This will:
- Instantly add the ISBN/Author/Title entry to our Core online book database.
- Add the book to your own database with ISBN, Author and Title filled in AND linked to the new Core entry.
In other words, this new screen not only helps you in adding unrecognized books,
but it also helps your fellow Book Collector users by adding the missing ISBN to the CLZ Core.
( BTW: this screen replaces the “Report Missing ISBN to Core” web-form. Of course, you can still provide more info for the added ISBN using the Submit to Core button in the Edit Book screen. )
New view for the main screen: Card View
Next to List View, Images View and Cover Flow, we have added a Card View, a multi-column view with little info cards for each book, showing the main book details and a small cover thumbnail.