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PROS: Nicely designed, with lots of cool animations. Solid cataloguing app.
CONS: Negatively impacts OS X’s performance. Problems with digital content. Aesthetics over usability.
Applications used to catalogue stuff were always present in the OS X world. There’s not that many of those, but a few cataloguing apps continue to be popular even after all those years. Of course, these are not in their first and original versions, but every time a new generation of a popular cataloguing app appears, users are happy to have it.
If you’ve ever used any cataloguing app, than you’ve must have stumbled upon Delicious Library. This application has been around for almost 10 years now, and in terms of graphics and interface design, the original version is very appreciated by Apple fans. As it turns out, the original Delicious Library brought those well-known iBooks and Newsstand bookshelves which were a novelty back then. Some of those graphic designers who worked on Delicious Library are actually responsible for those bookshelves which appear in various OS X and iOS applications. Now a new major version appeared, simply named Delicious Library 3, so we were happy to see what it has to offer.
Once you open it for the first time, you’ll immediately notice that a new version still uses that old skeuomorphic design which seems even more present than before. Some people are really going to like this, but I also assume that many won’t, since that skeuomorphic design is now being abandoned in favor of a modern, clean-cut and flat UI. Delicious Library 3 has a strong philosophy behind this design, and it’s nice to see that designers and developers feel strong about it. It is a clear upgrade from the previous version since interface is shinier and it now comes with some amazing animations. You’ll be able to notice plenty of new animations each time you hover with your mouse over any item in a catalogue, since this will make light and shadows play. Books, magazines, DVDs and CDs and physical objects now come with a very accurate representation, and some amazing detailing that could be seen only in games. Delicious Library will even show a thicker book in case it really has many pages in real life, while booklets will indeed be noticeably thinner. Still, this amazingly realistic and polished interface comes with a great price. In my case, it took over 1GB of RAM and at some point over 50% of processor power. I’ve used MacBook Pro, so I guess that MacBook Air users will be greatly affected by this.
In order to create your own catalogue, you’ll need to add new items and you can do this completely manually, by scanning a barcode with an iSight or iPhone’s camera, or by using a dedicated USB barcode scanner. This app closely integrates Amazon store, so in you use Amazon a lot, you’ll be able to add new items in a matter of seconds. Also, you can use Amazon integration to sell some items right within this app. Delicious Library can make lists according to any detailed criteria, can help you sort out your huge collection in minutes and even present you with an infographics about your stuff.
Finally, I would like to notice that Delicious Library 3 can be problematic in case you’d like to catalogue a digital products like PDF books, applications, and even iTunes music. You can do this manually by trying to find some workaround, but this greatly lowers its usability.
It is clear that developers took great effort to create amazingly looking cataloguing app. But in terms of usability, this isn’t an improvement over the previous version. Also, all those bells and whistles greatly affect OS X’s performance.