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Book Connect

Easier setting up of CLZ Barry barcode scanner

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:


CLZ Books (iOS)

v4.11.1: Secure HTTPS connections

August 26th, 2018

Secure HTTPS connections, for your security and privacy

As indicated in our recent GDPR email, we are updating our software and services, to be more secure and to better protect your privacy.

Starting with version 4.11, CLZ Books 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 CLZ Books app only communicates with those secure entry points.

For your privacy and security, we strongly recommend updating your app to v4.11.

Changes:

  • The buttons to switch folders, sorting and view options have been moved to more logical places to make them more accessible.
  • The skins and templates options have been moved to the settings screen.
  • The selection mode button has been removed, just tap and hold on an item to start selecting items.

Fixed:

  • Last update made some settings disappear in the settings screen. They are back now.
  • Added bottom margin to the add auto screen on iPhone X to make the add button more reachable
  • The sync screen wasn’t logging local deletes.

Book Connect

Image and Card Views: Sharper, smoother, faster

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.

Book Connect

New: link your books to Core with the smart Batch Link screen

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)

Success rate for ISBN searches now 97%! (was 90%)

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!


Book Collector (Windows)

v18.4.1: Secure HTTPS connections

July 30th, 2018

A BIG update for your Book Collector software today, with an important change:

Secure HTTPS connections, for your security and privacy

As indicated in our GDPR email from a couple of weeks ago, we are updating our software and services, to be more secure and to better protect your privacy.

Starting with version 18.4, 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 18.4.


Book Connect

Integrated Book Details, improved Cover and Card Views

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.


Book Collector (Windows)

v18.3.3: Fixed display problem in two panel mode

June 28th, 2018

We fixed an issue in two panel mode where, on start-up, the items in your database sometimes wouldn’t show up correctly.


Book Collector (Windows)

v18.3.2: Several fixes for “Access Violation” errors

June 27th, 2018

Fixes:

  • Several Access Violation errors in the main screen.
  • List View: Double clicking on checks would make list unresponsive.
  • Edit Screen: Using Next/Prev would cause strange effects with checkboxes in main screen.
  • Main Screen: The width of the columns wasn’t remembered correctly sometimes.

Book Connect

New tooltips and split-up settings

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:

Added tooltips

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


Book Connect

New: selection checkboxes and action bar

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


Book Collector (macOS)

v18.2.1: Secure HTTPS connections

May 31st, 2018

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.


Book Collector (Windows)

v18.3.1: Selection checkboxes / New Action Bars

May 30th, 2018

Book Collector offers powerful batch commands, for performing actions on multiple books in one go, e.g. editing, removing or updating from Core.
However, we are finding that many users have never use these these batch actions, either because they are not aware of their existence or because they don’t know how to actually select multiple books (by Shift or Ctrl-clicking).

In today’s update we addressed these issues:

New Selection Checkboxes in the List View, for easy selection of multiple books

The List View now features checkboxes on the left. Use the checkboxes to easily select multiple books, no Shift or Ctrl-clicking needed. Of course the classic Shift/Ctrl-clicking still works too, this is just an extra method.

Don’t need the checkboxes? You can hide them using Tools / Options / Customization.

A new Action Bar with batch actions

As soon as multiple books are selected (that is, more than 1), a new Action Bar appears above the list. It shows how many are selected, plus offers buttons for the most popular batch actions.

Also new: Action Bar above Details Panel

At the same time, we also added a new Action Bar above the details panel, for quick access to commands operating on the selected book.

TIP: The commands in this new Action Bar have been removed from the main toolbar, to make that one a bit cleaner. However, if you are upgrading from an older version, it will remember your toolbar. To get the new clean main toolbar, choose View / Toolbars / Reset.

Don’t need or want this new bar? You can hide it using Tools / Options / Customization.


Book Collector (Windows)

v18.2: Full support for High DPI screens / Large Fonts

May 23rd, 2018

With super hi-res 4K (or even 5K) screens becoming quite common, more and more people are running Windows with the Font Size (DPI scaling) set to 125% or 150%, to keep text readable. So earlier this year, we released maintenance builds for all Windows editions to fix various layout problems when running Windows with “large fonts”.

Today, with version 18.2 we’re taking the next step: Book Collector is now fully “DPI Aware”. Starting with this version, if you have increased your font size in Windows, all screen texts will look sharper, less fuzzy, making full use of your hi-res screen.

To give you an idea, here are 2 close-up screenshots of what it looked like in the old version versus the new version:

Old version:

New version:

New collection status icons

We added new collection status icons to the main screen’s list view and card view to make the screen less clogged up and easier on the eye.

Fixed:

  • Edit Book:
    • Index field didn’t have localized or custom caption
    • Clicking next or previous could create a second + button in the User Defined Fields tab
  • Templates:
    • Fixed an issue where the template could become “white” if arrow keys were used on the keyboard.
    • Clicking an image would show a drag/drop menu. The image now opens properly.
  • Quick Search: Fixed normalization for quick searches so words with umlauts/accents etc. are now easier to be found.
  • Fixed a problem with folder paths for users that have their Documents folder rooted to an external drive (program wouldn’t install properly).
  • Link Screen could show “Link Selected” button even if there were no matches.
  • Manage Column presets:
    • Clicking in certain parts of the screen could cause Access Violations.
    • Clicking the Edit menu could break the focus in the screen.
  • Light Skin: Better visibility for selected items in your lists.
  • User Defined Fields: It was possible to create invisible User Defined Fields which would then never show up in the edit screen.
  • Add Screen: Scrollbar position wouldn’t update sometimes.

CLZ Books (Android)

v4.10.3: Bigger and easier to spot Add button!

May 14th, 2018

New for the Add Books screen:

  • Add button is now bigger and easier to spot (some new users missed the little round “+”).
  • Add button now “remembers” your collection vs. wish list selection. No need to pick from the Collection/Wish List popup menu every time you add anymore.
  • Remove from queue button is now bigger and easier to spot. Tap and hold on a barcode in the queue to select barcodes you want to remove.

Fixed:

  • Accented characters in sortnames/titles were sorted incorrectly.
  • Main screen: the over-sensitive quickscroll bar in the thumbnail view has been fixed.
  • Edit: ‘Done’- button doest not scroll from screen on manual scroll.
  • Edit: New ‘Unsaved changes’ dialog.
  • Cloud sync: Sync reporting ‘invalid xml’ in rare cases.

Book Connect

New: Import your collection from “BookCAT”

May 9th, 2018

If you’re a new user or thinking of moving your collection from the program “BookCAT” to Book Connect, good news: we’ve just added a new “BookCAT” import tool in Book Connect!

You can find the “BookCAT” import tool under the menu top left, then choose “Import Data”.


Book Connect

New: Import your collection from “Delicious Library”

May 9th, 2018

If you’re a new user or thinking of moving your collection from the program “Delicious Library” to Connect, good news: we’ve just added a new “Delicious Library” import tool in Connect!

You can find the “Delicious Library” import tool under the menu top left, then choose “Import Data”.


CLZ Books (iOS)

v4.10.2: Bigger and easier to spot Add button!

May 9th, 2018

New for the Add Books screen:

  • Add button is now bigger and easier to spot (some new users missed the little round “+”).
  • Add button now “remembers” your collection vs. wish list selection. No need to pick from the Collection/Wish List popup menu every time you add anymore.

Fixed:

  • Crash when sorting on Index field when a book didn’t have an index value.
  • Already added barcode results could reappear in the ‘add by barcode’ queue.
  • Adding a book would clear the collection status filter in the main screen.
  • The sorting option screen would sometimes not fully show the chosen sort option when opened.
  • iPad: Main screen: the details view did not refresh after changing the details template.
  • iPad: Main screen: the ‘edit my rating’ pop up was rotated when in landscape mode.

Book Collector (macOS)

v18.1: New: 64-bit version of Book Collector!

April 17th, 2018

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 🙂


Book Connect

Add Books is now a pop-up screen

April 13th, 2018

A small user interface tweak today:
The Add Books screen is now a pop-up screen that lays over your book list.
(previously it was a separate full screen page)

Looks cooler, feels more “snappy” and while adding books, you can actually see the new additions appear in your book list in the background!


Book Collector (macOS)

v18.0.3: Fixed various issues in the sync with CLZ Cloud

April 10th, 2018

Fixed:

  • 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.

Book Connect

New: The barcode queue is now remembered between sessions

April 4th, 2018

Persistent barcode queue

Barcodes scanned on the add page are now remembered! This means you can scan your barcodes into the add queue, leave the page, return later and still add the barcodes you scanned.

If you wish to remove barcodes from your queue, use the Edit button top right of the list of barcodes!


Book Collector (macOS)

v18.0.2: Fixed a freeze caused by User Defined Fields

April 3rd, 2018

Fixed:

  • 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.
CLZ Books (iOS)

v4.10: New: Many new sort options and a redesigned Select Sort Order screen

April 3rd, 2018

We’ve added new fields to sort on to change the order in which your books are displayed in your list. Your book list will adapt to sort and show the field you’re sorting on. On top of that we’ve redesigned the Select Sort Order screen to make it more clear what you’re choosing.

Open the Select Sort Order screen by tapping the menu top right, then tap “Sort order”.

All available sort fields:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Publication Date
  • Number of Pages (New!)
  • Order of Entry (New!)
  • Index
  • Reading Date (New!)
  • My Rating (New!)
  • Purchase Date (New!)
  • Purchase Price (New!)
  • Current Value (New!)
  • Quantity (New!)
  • Dewey (New!)
  • LoC Classification (New!)
  • Series / Volume (New!)
  • Series / Issue (New!)

All fields can be sorted either ascending or descending. Tap the field you wish to sort on, then tap “Apply” to confirm.


Book Collector (macOS)

v18: Auto-Cloud-Syncing + Performance improvements

March 29th, 2018

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…

  1. Your online cloud backup is always up-to-date.
  2. Your cloud viewer always shows the current state of your collection.
  3. 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).

Fixes

  • 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.

Recent changes

v19.0.6: Fixed a freeze problem and improved trial experience February 21st, 2019 v19.0: multiple collections, auto-sync images and a new Flex template! February 19th, 2019 v19.0.5: Images were uploading when they shouldn’t February 12th, 2019 v19.0.4: Image Scanning and webcam barcode scanning for 64-bit versions January 29th, 2019 v19.0.3: Custom Image now checked in more situations January 17th, 2019 New: Manage multiple collections and Notes as a column January 9th, 2019 v19.0.2: Various stability fixes and 32-bit/64-bit option December 19th, 2018 v4.14.2: New design for resizable panels in Add Screen December 17th, 2018 v19.0: multiple collections, auto-sync images, 64-bit and a new Flex template! December 17th, 2018 v4.14.1: New for iPad layout: Resizable panels December 7th, 2018 v4.14.1: New for tablets: Resizable panels December 5th, 2018 New: quick search box in the Folder Panel! November 16th, 2018 Next / Previous buttons in the Edit Book screen November 9th, 2018 v4.13.1: Redesigned app icon November 9th, 2018 Folder options menu now grouped into 4 categories November 8th, 2018 v4.13.1: Redesigned app icon November 6th, 2018 v18.3.2: Now fully macOS Mojave compatible! November 1st, 2018 New: Switch your Alphabet Bar to use the Title field October 31st, 2018 Customize your software with four Skin choices! October 29th, 2018 New: Group your collection on Release/Publication Year October 16th, 2018 v18.4.3: Access Violation fixes for the Add Screen October 16th, 2018 v18.3.1: Updated “Add Books from CLZ Core” screen September 18th, 2018 v18.4.2: More images now available in Find Cover screen September 17th, 2018 Several new settings and improvements September 12th, 2018 v4.10.4: Secure HTTPS connections September 3rd, 2018