iSight... what am I missing here?

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iSight... what am I missing here?

Postby PGW » Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:05 am

I bought DVDPedia the other day and, first of all, let me say what an elegant program it is. The selling point for me was that it searches Yesasia, since I have many Chinese DVDs that would have been a nightmare to enter manually.

I find myself with two questions, though...

1. iSight. I click the iSight button under "add," and it brings up an iSight window. However, that's as far as I get. Is there a key combination or something that tells it to "scan now!" or is that supposed to be automatic? I've tried lighting the DVDs in different ways and waving various barcodes in front of the camera... but all it seems to do is show me an image of myself foolishly trying to get it to do something. What am I missing here? (by the way, I'm using a 1.83 GHz Inter Core Duo iMac, 1 GB memory, OSX 10.4.8).

2. Sometimes, searches last... forever (well, a couple of minutes). This usually happens when the search comes up with an empty template, and almost invariably with Yesasia searches ("Boys are Easy", for instance). Perhaps, for some future release, there's a way to tell it if the search isn't returning any data, skip to the next entry...? Even better, maybe a list of search results in a table, from which we can choose the movie we're actually trying to find, rather than load each of them one-by-one until we hit the right one (sometimes, this can take 10 minutes or more). Just a suggestion... :-).
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Postby druid » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:25 am

This may not be the answer you want to hear, but I find it's a lot faster just to type in the ISBN or else a short version of the title. If your items don't have those standard features, especially titles in a Roman alphabet, then I understand why you prefer to use the iSight. I think several threads appear on the forum that describe preferred solutions.
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Postby biff_debris » Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:07 pm

For $39.99 you can get a USB bar code scanning wand at It requires no drivers. The Mac thinks it's a keyboard when you plug it in. And, in fact, that's exactly how it behaves. Command-F to bring up the "New Item" dialogue, point the scanner at the bar code and pull the trigger. The scanner interprets the pattern and sends text followed by a CR to the dialogue box, the same as if you had typed the number by hand. Works like a charm on even the tiniest, most narrow bar codes.

iSight support is what drew my attention to the pedias in the first place. I played with it for enough time to convince myself to buy the programs, but scanning with the iSight is tricky because of poor focus and light sensitivity. I then tried an external video camera which was a great improvement, but still was not easy. The scanning wand solved the problem. Relatively cheap, instantaneous response and 100% reliable.

PGW? You wouldn't happen to be a Wodehouse fan, would you?
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Postby ScottH » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:20 pm

There's no need to spend $40 to get a bar code reader. You can spend $10-15 and get a modified CueCat reader that works beautifully. Just Google CueCat. You'll want a "modified" one that renders the bar codes as straight text, as if you typed in the ISBN from the keyboard.
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Postby Nora » Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:16 am

The Pedias actually support both types of CueCats - regular and modified ones. But if you plan on using the CueCat with other applications too then a modified one is the way to go.

PGW: About the iSight scanning trouble - our code is not perfect yet, which is why we open-sourced it so that other developers can hopefully help us better it. In the meantime though, take a look at the Help file (Adding entries with an iSight) for some tips and illustrations on how to use the iSight scanning feature. Maybe this little video will help too.

Regarding the 'Boys are easy' search on yesasia - it returns 15 results for me, the first two being films titled 'Boys are easy'. If you get a blank Add window instead (I'm guessing that's what you mean with the blank template?) could you give me some more information on how you perform the search, what are the exact keywords you use, etc so we can figure out if there's something funny going on with the yesasia search maybe. (If there are no results found on a site then DVDpedia should give you a message directly in the search window without opening the Add window.)
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Postby whotony » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:06 pm

so has q-cat support been upgraded.

i tried the trial of dvdpedia and cant get the bar code scanner to see anything.
i tried several light conditions and none worked.

looks like the red bars are 2 close together.

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