GCstar – A Free Collections Manager Software
GCstar is an open source collections manager software. Collection managers are databases optimized for collecting information on similar things. For example, I have a bunch of DVD movies that I have ripped to my computer for easy viewing. Unfortunately, they have been saved in different locations.
Using GCstar, I can create a movie collection database and import the full file paths of all the movies I have on my computer. This way, I am able to access my movies from one single interface.
As a collection manager, GCstar does far more than just letting you import the paths of the movies. It pulls in various details of each movie like the names of the director & main actors,the genre, date of release, a synopsis of the movie, and more, from credible sources on the Internet. This way, not only do I get to watch my movies, I also get to know a bit more about them.
GCstar has templates for 15 default collection types. They are broadly classified as -
Board games, Books, movies, music, comics, computer software, mini vehicles, numismatic (coins), periodicals, smart cards, stamps, TV shows, video games, and wines.
The first time you start GCstar, it prompts you to choose from one of the collection types. You can also create an entirely new collection type if the defaults do not suit you.
Once you have chosen a collection type, you can start adding the files related to that collection.
The following screenshot shows the GCstar interface listing my movie collection after I have finished adding a couple of my movies.
As you can see, GCstar also pulls in any art work it finds on the movie. You can rate the movie, associate multiple tags, and even enter your thoughts on the movie as comments.
Another really cool feature is keeping track of whom you lend items in your collection. By clicking on the “Lending” tab in GCstar interface, you can note down who you are lending a particular item in your collection. You can send the person an email as a reminder if the item has not been returned, and view the lending history.
GCstar also supports advanced search. You can filter your collection based on various parameters – such as for the movie collection, you can search based on the rating, number of times viewed, genre and so on.
How to install GCstar
GCstar is available in the repositories of all major Linux distributions. In Ubuntu, you can install GCstar via the “Ubuntu Software Center”.
In Fedora, it is easier to install GCstar via the command line as follows :
$ su -c 'yum install gcstar'
GCstar is open source and runs on Linux and Windows. As of this writing, the Windows port of GCstar is not regularly updated though things could change in the future.
Who Should Use GCstar
All hobbyists will find GCstar really useful to document the items related to their hobby. More specifically, if you are a comic book collector, a movie buff, or collect music, then you can use GCstar to manage your collection and gain more information about the individual items in your collection.