why don’t you feed him three hams?
One feature of DiscCat is the ability to go off and do an online lookup in a couple of online databases for your barcode number, to save you the trouble of having to type that information in. This feature was originally added in so that if the data happened to be available, it would save you a bit of typing, which is always good. However, recently I have been getting a lot of one star reviews on the Android market based solely on this one feature. People seem to be getting outraged that it doesn’t find every DVD they scan, or even in some cases it didn’t find any. Unfortunately I cannot respond to them as the Android Market does not provide the ability for the developer to respond to reviews, or to contact the user who left the review, or really do anything else to try and mitigate the effects of 1 star reviews. Since I can’t respond to the users directly, I figured a blog post explaining exactly why looking up a barcode is non trivial is the next best thing. The rest of the post follows the jump.
I am currently working on version 2.0 of DiscCat. There won’t be much in the way of new features, but what it will have is a whole new look. I’ll be continuing to add new posts with screenshots of the new UI as I work on it, and to kick things off here is one of the search results screen in progress.
I’m still working on it.
Turns out the API for the DVD covers website I was planning on using doesn’t work, which was a bit of a setback. I have a workaround though (embedded web browser – find the cover you want, touch it, and then press a button at the bottom of the screen) which is a bit more complicated, and a bit slower, but it does work. A pity I spent so much time writing code in preparation for using the API, and now I can’t use any of it
Just a quick update to let you know how work on the new version is going.
I have finished putting in tabs, and updated the database layout. Barcodes are no longer essential internally, so I should be able to have a manual addition process for adding items with no barcode (of course these will not be able to be searched for online or submitted back to http://www.upcdatabase.com/).
The new database format stores all of the previous information (title, barcode, type, whether you own it or not) as well as a bunch of new information (wishlist, rented, date record was added, date record was last modified, IMDB link, region, and a description/synopsis where you can enter any additional information you want to record).
My plans before release are to add all of this new information to the interface, and all going well, add in cover image support from freecovers.net . I am still investigating how possible it will be to add additional data sources such as itemlookup.net and checkupc.com.
I am also planning on adding an options screen for choosing what types you want in your list. Additional types that will be available will be Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Playstation 2, Xbox, Playstation, and Gamecube. If you have any types you want included, please leave a comment below and I will try and add it.
ETA: I have 1 more day off work tomorrow, and I do not expect to finish it in that time. I am then out of town for the rest of the week, so realistically, I don’t see a release happening before 18th of July. Hopefully the wait will be worth it
I don’t expect any of the people this post is actually directed at will ever read it, but here goes anyway.
If you are using an Android app, and it does something unexpected, contact the author directly. Don’t leave a rating of 1 star, and a comment of “doesn’t work”. The author cannot fix the problem based on a comment like that, so you haven’t helped anyone by leaving it.