Conor, I think it would be faster than typing, and here's why. Scenario: My library (or my DVD collection, or my CD collection--actually that's in the basement) is on the first floor of my house. In the manual, type-it-in case, I have to transport what I want to enter into the program upstairs to have them to read the UPCs and then type them in. There's a lot of work (read: Stack maybe 10 to 20 books in my arms and carry them upstairs).
But I have to take the books off the shelves anyway; now if I can photograph the codes off the back of the book/CD/DVD in place, I've eliminated carrying them upstairs in dozens of batches; I've eliminated shuffling books on my desk; I've eliminated typing. The other work I'd have to do is the same--pull them out of the shelves, look at them. I can take a book/DVD/CD off the shelf and take a picture faster than I can shuffle a stack of books/DVDs/CDs around on my desk and individually type in each UPC/ISBN/etc.
I've added shooting a photograph. But then I've eliminated carrying books and typing in the codes.
So now I've got an SD card with 50 photos of book barcodes, let's say. I put the card in my computer. I choose the new Bookpedia menu item that says (essentially) "Scan a folder of images with barcodes," and it pops up the file dialog; I choose the disk of image files; Bookpedia goes to work reading each file's barcode. (Or maybe it's scan a roll in iPhoto, but that seems a longer way around.) I need to do nothing more than approve the items, which have all been scanned, read, looked up, and entered into Bookpedia.
This strikes me as far faster (less labor, less prone to error--assuming the software is accurate in reading the barcodes
) than the manual method of entry.
And the technology exists; there are several applications and code libraries already extant that specifically read barcodes contained in jpg/tif/png and other image formats--photo files, that is.
For OS X:
http://www.componentsource.com/features ... dex15.html