What's new in Book Connect?
January 27th, 2020
WebP is a new image format, developed by Google, that is producing smaller images compared to JPG and PNG, while preserving image quality. All modern browsers fully support the new WebP format so many websites are now using WebP for a faster browsing experience, consuming less bandwidth.
Of course, our Connect web-based software and the free CLZ Cloud viewer sites are quite heavy on cover images, especially in the Image and Card Views. So we figured switching to WebP could produce a nice boost in performance!
So today, we switched over and are now delivering all cover images and backdrops in WebP format, on all browsers that support it (older browsers still get JPG images).
You will find that your Image View and Cards View will load faster now. The difference is especially noticeable on slower internet connections and mobile devices (if you have a very fast internet connection, the difference will be minimal).
Noticeable on all connection types is the faster loading of the details panel after selecting a different item in your list. Because of the huge difference in the backdrop image sizes, viewing item details is now a lot snappier.
January 17th, 2020
Multiple small tweaks to your Connect software today, improving both the Edit Book screen and the Add Books screen.
Editing pick list fields: checkbox multiple values in one go
The Edit screen is where many users are spending most of their time, so we’re always trying to make your editing life faster and easier.
Today, we improved all multi-value pick lists fields (e.g. Authors, Genres, Subjects) by letting you add multiple values in one go. In the Select Value screen we have introduced checkboxes now, that let you checkbox multiple values and add them instantly.
This is now available for the following fields:
Adding Books by ISBN: instant adding to queue
Previously, when you searched by ISBN (either by typing or scanning), the barcode instantly disappeared from the search box, but only appeared in the queue when the search was complete. Also with no “loading” indicator showing in the meantime. Not a problem when searches are instant, but it could lead to confusion in situations where it took a bit longer for the search to complete.
So we got to work and made it better: after hitting search, the ISBN now instantly appears in your queue, showing a “Searching” indicator. This gives you instant feedback the ISBN was accepted and is searching. Then, when the search has completed, the queue entry is filled in with the book details and cover image.
The above tweak also applies to the opening of the screen while you still had some ISBNs in the queue. This saved queue list will now populate faster.
December 6th, 2019
A useful and fun new option in your Book Connect software today!
By default, the folders in your folder panel are sorted alphabetically. But as of today, there is another option: sort your folder panel by the numbers, that is by the number of books contained.
Sorting by the numbers is a nice way to find the most important Authors, Publishers, Genres, Subjects, etc.. in your collection.
Switch between the Alphabetical and Number sorting using the new toggle to the right of the search box:
November 25th, 2019
Roughly a month ago we introduced the ability to use multiple levels of folders in the folder panel. At the time, limited to several built-in field sensible field combinations.
Today we’re giving you the next logical step: the ability to create and save your own multi- and single-level favorites for the folder panel.
The Favorites are shown at the top of the Folder menu, with the single-field options still available at the bottom.
November 4th, 2019
Two updates for your Connect software today. An improved Statistics screen, with cool new charts and lists, plus a re-designed toolbar that clearly shows your currently selected folders and filters.
October 22nd, 2019
A very cool and useful addition to your Book Connect software today: the folder panel on the left now allows multiple levels of folders!
This is a powerful way to browse your book collection, e.g. by Publisher then Author, or Read it then Genre.
October 2nd, 2019
A big step forward for the Book Connect software today, in which we add many new editable fields and Back Cover images. Also, a handy new tool to fill/update your entries with information from our Core online book database.
Many new fields
Today we have added many fields to the software, all now editable in the Edit Book screen.
- For audiobooks:
- Abridged Yes/No
- About the original book:
- Original Title
- Original Subtitle
- Original Country
- Original Language
- Original Publisher
- Original Publication Date
- Cover Price
Of course, the pick list fields are immediately available as folder fields too, so that you can browse your collection in folders by Illustrator, Narrator, Original Country, etc…
New: Add your own back covers
With this big update for Book Connect we have another surprise for you: Back Covers! That’s right, a brand new back cover field you can modify yourself.
Use the “Find Back cover” button to find one, or upload one yourself:
New Update from Core tool
Update from Core fills in the fields in your data entries with data from our Core central online book database. By default, it only adds new data into fields that were still empty on your side, but the config screen also lets you opt to overwrite your data with our Core data.
This new feature is now available for the following fields:
- Number of pages
- LC Classification
How to use Update from Core on your book entries?
- Select the books you wish to update by clicking the checkboxes in front of them.
- Click “Update from Core” from the blue action toolbar (it’s under the 3 vertical dots
You can choose if the update process should leave, update or replace the current data for each field with the Update from Core settings popup:
July 16th, 2019
Today, a subtle addition to your Book Connect software, but one that can save you a lot of time if you’re always adding your books by ISBN:
A new “Add [..] to Collection” button under the add queue, that lets you add all scanned books in one go. No more need to click the little “+” buttons for each entry.
Some other improvements:
At the same time, some other tweaks went live in your software:
- In the “fixed” area at the bottom of the Edit Book screen, we replaced the Owner field with the Location field.
Through user feedback we found that the Location field is used by many more users, compared to Owner. Also many new users were not finding the field. So we figured the Location field deserved a more prominent spot in the Edit Book screen.
BTW: the Owner field can now be found on the Personal tab.
- The User Rating field has received a make-over and can now be set using a nice sliding star thingie.
May 23rd, 2019
Based on user feedback we found out users were looking for and expecting a tool to find duplicate entries in their collection. Some way to find out if you’ve accidentally added multiple versions of the same book, but perhaps with a different format or ISBN.
After quite a few requests and discussions with users about this, to find out how they got duplicates and what they would expect from such a Duplicate Finder tool, it’s here today: Find Duplicate entries in your collection!
New: Find Duplicate Books
Open the menu top left and select Find Duplicates to begin.
Then select which field to find duplicates on. You can find duplicates based on:
- Title & Author
Click “Find Duplicates” and see what it comes up with. Use the blue “Keep” button to keep a group of duplicates, or use the red “Remove” button to remove a duplicate!
If you click “Remove all duplicates automatically”, it will remove all duplicate entries and will only keep 1 single entry (the oldest one) in your collection.
Tip: use the columns button, top right, to set up the columns you’d like to see!
May 16th, 2019
Another big step forward for our cloud-based Connect software, making it even more customizable:
The columns in List View are now resizable. That is, you can now change the width of the columns by simply dragging the dividers between the column headers. Hover your mouse over the divider and it will turn blue, then drag it make the column wider or narrower.
TIP: double click the divider to make the column auto-size to its’ current content!
See it in action:
Do you prefer the automatic column widths, the way it was before? No problem, just go to the Settings screen and enable the “Size columns automatically” settings.
January 9th, 2019
You can now manage multiple sub-collections within one account. The collections will appear as little tabs at the bottom (e.g. like in Excel), so that you can easily switch between them.
Create and manage collections
Open the menu top left and click “Manage Collections” to:
- Create new collections
- Rename existing collections
- Remove collections
- Change their order (drag and drop)
Note: the CLZ mobile app currently does not support multiple collections yet (coming soon!). For now, you CAN sync multiple collections to the mobile app, but they will appear mixed together, as ONE database.
New: Notes as a column
The Notes field can now be added as a column in List View:
(example screenshot from Movie Connect)
November 16th, 2018
Another useful addition to your software today, as we added a Quick Search box in your folder panel.
Especially useful for those long folder lists, e.g. when using Author as the folder field. Just type a few letters of the author’s name and the folder list will instantly “filter down” to the matching authors, while you type!
See it in action:
November 9th, 2018
A nice time-saving feature was added to your Book Connect software today:
Next / Previous buttons in the Edit Book screen
These buttons let you go through your book list to make changes, while staying in the Edit Book screen. Just use the Next or Previous button on the bottom left.
While doing so, the screen will keep you on the same tab and same field, making it super-easy to make changes to same field(s) for multiple books.
November 8th, 2018
A small UI tweak today, made necessary because of the growing number of field options for the folder panel: the folder field menu is now grouped into 4 categories.
This should make it easier to find the field you are looking for.
October 31st, 2018
By default, the Alphabet Bars for Book Connect uses the first letter of the Author. You can now switch it to use the first letter of the book title, just click the little “gears icon” on the right of the Alphabet Bar:
October 29th, 2018
Do you like to customize your software to suit your needs or just your personal taste? Then we have big news for you today, as we have just introduced four “Skin” choices in your Book Connect software:
- Default (the standard look, as it was before, so dark toolbars, light content)
- Dark (dark toolbars, dark content)
- Light (light toolbars, light content)
- Blue (shades of blue, with yellow highlights)
On top of that, we have given you 3 template style choices for the Book Details area: Dark, Light and Blue. Either to match your Skin choice, or to mix to up, it’s up to you.
Both the Skin and Template selectors can be found in the Settings screen, under Customization.
October 16th, 2018
A new grouping option is now available in your Connect!
Click the folder icon top left and select Release / Publication Year to see all your items neatly grouped in a year folder. Click on a year to see all items that were released/published in that year!
September 12th, 2018
This week, we added several new settings and improvements, all based on your feedback:
New setting for the List View: Wrap column content
This new “Wrap column content” setting can be found in the Settings screen. It lets you choose if text in the List View columns should wrap to multiple lines or not.
The default is YES / Checked. Uncheck this setting to keep your List View row as single rows, resulting in a cleaner list and more rows in view.
New Date Format setting
Also found in the Settings screen, this new selector lets you choose how dates are displayed, anywhere in the program where date are shown.
- 7 January 2018
- 07 Jan 2018
- 7 Jan 2018
- January 07, 2018
- January 7, 2018
- Jan 07, 2018
- Jan 7, 2018
Core IDs can now be added as columns in the List View
Now available in the Column Selection screen for the List View: The Core ID fields.
E.g. for movies, add the Core Movie ID and Core Media ID fields to your lists, to quickly find movies that are not linked to our Core entry yet.
August 31st, 2018
Previously, setting up for the usage of the CLZ Barry as a barcode scanner required going to your Connect Profile page and back. Not anymore.
You can now get started with CLZ Barry straight from the By Barcode/ISBN tab of your Add screen. Just click the blue text “Set your Barry ID” on the far right of the barcode box and all the setting up can be done right then and there:
August 24th, 2018
Sharper images in Cover View and Card View
This week, we have implemented several changes to the cover images that are shown in Cover View and Card View, making them much sharper/crisper, less blurry.
Also, on computers with a 4k / Ultra HD screen, both the Cover View and the Card will automatically switch to even higher quality images, with twice the resolution!
The difference is huge, check out the screen shots below. But the best way to experience the sharper images is to log in to your own account and look at your own collection!
Other improvements to Cover and Card View
At the same time, we made other improvements to the Cover and Card views, to make them look nicer and to make the scrolling experience smoother and faster:
- While scrolling, the images now load faster.
- Scrolling the view while images are loading is now smoother, less “choppy”.
- The Images view now has black background for a more classy look.
- In both Images and Card View, while scrolling, it does not first load a placeholder image anymore, it just show the background color until the actual image is loaded, also resulting in a less choppy scrolling experience.
August 21st, 2018
It is important to have your book entries linked to the corresponding entries in our Core online book database, because that is what gives you all automatic book details, like subjects, genres, Dewey, plot description, cover art, etc..
All book entries you add through the Add Books screen, by searching our Core, will of course automatically be linked to Core.
However, if you imported a list of books, e.g. from a CSV file or from a competitor product, some/most of your entries may arrive “unlinked”, especially if you did not import ISBNs.
Previously, linking those unlinked entries to Core was a one-by-one job, slow and cumbersome. But we fixed that once and for all, with the new smart Link Books tool!
This new Link Books tool automatically finds best matches in our Core online book database, based on author, title and publisher in your list. Then, it lets you auto-link all “high match score” books, saving you loads and loads of time and clicks!
Book Collector (macOS)
August 6th, 2018
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!
July 16th, 2018
Two updates for the Book Connect software and the CLZ Cloud viewer today. One a big step forward in usability, the other a nice cosmetic improvement:
Book Details now integrated in main screen
Up till now, when you clicked a book entry to see its’ full details, you were taken to the book details page, that is, a new page in your browser. One had to click “Back” to get back to the book list again. Often resulting in an annoying back and forth clicking, each time causing you to lose your position in the list.
But not anymore! Starting with today’s update, the book details are now integrated in a panel within the main collection view:
No more back and forth clicking. Just click a book entry to see its’ details, click another one to see that book’s details. Nice and easy, never lose your spot again.
Choose from two Layouts:
- Horizontal Split: folders on the left, list on the top right, details on bottom right
- Vertical Split: 3 panels side by side, folder, list and details
In either layout, the 3 panels are fully resizable by dragging the black “splitter bars” between the panels, so that you can customize the layout to your own liking.
The book details panel comes with its’ own “action bar”, with the main actions you may want to take on the selected book (Edit, Share, Delete, Duplicate, Loan and Link with Core).
Improved Cover View and Card View
At the same time, we made some small tweaks to both the Card View and Cover View, so that they’re making better use of your specific screen width. Both now use a “fully justified” layout, with the Cards auto-resizing to fit your screen width and the Cover distributing over the width, both resulting in a cleaner, less “jagged” view.
June 14th, 2018
Over the last week Joël from team Connect worked on splitting the settings into more logical places, and added new tooltips to explain what all the buttons do. The full what’s new:
Hovering your mouse over the various buttons will now show tooltips to explain what the buttons do! Hover your mouse over the buttons to see what they do.
Split the settings
All settings used to be together in one screen, but they weren’t easy to find so we decided to split the settings up into their own logical pages. You can now find them by opening the menu (top left), and look for:
- Field Defaults: to set up default field values for new items
- CLZ Cloud Sharing: to set up all your CLZ Cloud sharing options
- Settings: with just the behaviour and display settings
June 5th, 2018
A cool user interface update for your Book Connect software today, in which we makes it easier to select books and easier to perform batch actions on the selected books.
Select using checkboxes
To select books, just click the checkboxes on the left of each book entry in the list. Checkboxes are also available in Card View and Images View, just hover your mouse over an item.
No more need to go into “Select Mode” first. The Select Mode is automatically activated as soon as you checkbox the first book, clearly indicated by the blue Batch Action Bar that replace the regular toolbar.
Batch Action Bar
While in Select Mode, the blue Batch Action Bar is visible, always showing you the number of selected books. Also:
- Use the “Select all” checkbox to select all books in the current list in one go
- Use the “x Cancel” button on the right to leave Select Mode
- And of course, use any of the action buttons (Edit, Delete, Print, Export, Duplicate and Loan) to perform an action on the selection books