Pocketpedia scanning for purposes other than Add?

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Pocketpedia scanning for purposes other than Add?

Postby MacTroy » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:00 am

I've bought Pocketpedia to play with and am currently trying out demos of Bookpedia and CDpedia as well. So far, I'm really impressed, and I'm seriously considering going all in the big bundle. However, as a Delicious user for many years, one of the features it looks like I'm missing in the Bruji apps is the ability to use Pocketpedia's barcode scanner to find things within my own library, either within Pocketpedia itself or the desktop apps with which it syncs. Scanning seems to only be useful for adding, not finding/lending. Am I right about this, or have I overlooked some other way to accomplish this task?

I find that the ability to use barcode scanning to search within your own holdings is extremely useful if you have a large library and want to lend something out, or you're in a used book or CD store and want to see if you already own an item without having to type in a lengthy author/artist/title search string with your fat fingers on a phone screen. An additional feature that Delicious added (one of the last few before we stopped seeing much in the way of updates :( ) was the ability to use custom user-generated barcodes for books and other items that were too old to have had printed UPCs, or even in some cases ISBNs. I simply generated sequential UPCs that started with 5 (reserved for coupons in the real world), printed them with my labelmaker, and stuck them on the mylar covers of my older hardcover books and sometimes right on the back covers of less valuable paperbacks. Then I could scan the code into a field within the book record, and suddenly that book had become just as findable via barcode scan as any of the more modern books in my collection.

I'd love to know if there's a way that I can move that same workflow to the Bruji app suite — if not, I'd like to strongly advocate for adding such a feature. For me, being able to search up an item from your own collection via scan, including those with user-generated barcodes, is the main difference between simply maintaining a list/database of your things and being able to operate like a real lending library.

Thanks for your consideration. The apps are really quite nice — thanks for making them!
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Re: Pocketpedia scanning for purposes other than Add?

Postby Conor » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:41 am

Thank you for considering the Pedias and more importantly for the feedback. Glad to hear you are finding them useful for the most part.

Pocketpedia will automatically take you to the item in your collection if you scan a barcode already in your collection. This way making it the same interface, if you have the book it gets found, if not you get results from the internet for the book. (Although I have to fix a possible bug, I believe change in iOS 11 is preventing the search screen from being dismissed or some users. If you get an empty search from a barcode scan, it means it found the item and when you dismiss the add sheet the item is selected in your library.)

In the Pedias obviously using the internal search field will get filtering for a barcode. I have on the to do list to be able to trigger the iSight from there, so as to scan an item to search. But has always been grouped with a more ambitious feature of a "loan window". That would automate the lending and borrowing, simply while scanning items based on a pre defined settings as well as the items current status, so the feature hasn't made it into the programs yet, but thanks to your feedback I'll give it a +1 vote on my priority list.

Thank you for mentioning the custom barcode. Since there is nothing special about the custom barcode (nifty to know about the 5 prefix being coupons), there is no reason it would not work with the rest of the setup. The way the find is implemented in the Pedias it does not limit the search to the barcode field, so you can use the collection ID for the custom barcode. It has the ability to be set to a starting number and then be automatically incremented with each new entry or set across a number of entries already in the database, without having to enter manually for each one. You will find that under "Book -> Incremental Collection ID". Although if using Pocketpedia for search, it would be best to stick with the UPC/ISBN as that is the field searched there when scanning.
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Re: Pocketpedia scanning for purposes other than Add?

Postby MacTroy » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:12 pm

Such a thoughtful and professional response. Full Bundle it is, then...aaaaand there, that's done. :wink:

I believe change in iOS 11 is preventing the search screen from being dismissed or some users. If you get an empty search from a barcode scan, it means it found the item and when you dismiss the add sheet the item is selected in your library.

Aha! This is exactly what was happening for me, and it did not occur to me to dismiss the search screen when it showed no result. I now see that the scanned item is being found and displayed "behind" the search, just as you've said. So that's Pocketpedia all sorted as far as I'm concerned then, with a minor cosmetic bug that I'm sure will be straightened out in due time.

I have on the to do list to be able to trigger the iSight from there, so as to scan an item to search. But has always been grouped with a more ambitious feature of a "loan window". ... The way the find is implemented in the Pedias it does not limit the search to the barcode field, so you can use the collection ID for the custom barcode. ... Although if using Pocketpedia for search, it would be best to stick with the UPC/ISBN as that is the field searched there when scanning.

This is really useful information, and it sounds great — just what I'm looking for. When you say "trigger the iSight" here, are you imagining this would work both with an iSight camera on the Mac itself and also with Pocketpedia's scanner/camera as the source? So I could have Bookpedia open and use Pocketpedia scanner to send and trigger search in Bookpedia (instead of Add)? If/when this feature is added, I'm guessing Bookpedia would receive the scanned data and use its own search implementation, looking for the data in all fields as it normally does now, yes? If that's the plan, I think I would decide to use Collection ID for my custom barcodes because I don't anticipate a real need to scan custom barcodes outside my home. I really would use Pocketpedia's scan/search of its own internal database (when away from home and not connected to the other Pedias) only when I'm out browsing in stores/libraries/auctions/etc., so the fact that you're only searching for "real" UPC/ISBN barcodes within Pocketpedia itself is just fine for me.

Thanks again for your response and for making these apps. I'm looking forward to managing my book, CD, DVD and (mostly board) game collections with them.
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