Media collection software in GNU/Linux

[ Monday, 21 April 2008, Tulio ]

Around three years ago, when I began my adventure with ‘the penguin’, I had been looking for an application to catalog CDs. They were either ugly, or limited in functionality, or simply couldn’t handle all disk types (e.g. DVD)… some other apps were required for installation, and/or involved many “weird” libraries (which I didn’t know what to do about). I quickly gave up my research, realizing that nothing could match software like WhereIsIt?.

While I was sitting in front of my computer, that old problem came up… this time, armed with a much broader knowledge and experience, I didn’t think of giving up. I started with the most obvious choice – searched the repository. In the repo I found mainly the old and abandoned (for nearly four years) GTKtalog, CdCat, Kat and Katalog and a program which made me stop for a moment – GWhere. After installation I saw a modest, but clear interface. I created the first archive “aaa” proceeded with cataloging and was allowed to modify nine options… some of the more interesting:

  • browse archives
  • automatic label creation
  • use advanced pattern to generate disk name

It lacks some simple options like “catalog thumbnails” or “catalog content of text files”. Cataloging took about the same time as with other programs I know (approximately 15 seconds). So I decided to look at the results. It turned out that the program does not browse archives despite my selecting this option (at least my program doesn’t). Additionally, although directories precede files on the list (both groups sorted alphabetically), whenever I came back to the parent folder the directories and files were mixed together!

Error in GWhere

Another application in the repository was DiskSearch. This one, in turn, greeted me with an even more modest window along with no settings or options. This program catalogs only filenames (and their paths) and size of each file. It could satisfy many users if it weren’t hard to find anything manually. Manual browsing of disks cataloged in this program is torture (there is, of course, a search utility, but it should be used to find location of a given file, not the contents of a particular disk). Nonetheless, cataloging with DiskSearch takes less than a second! But still if someone is searching for a good cataloging application, I would recommend the above mentioned GWhere.

Disk Search - main window and preview of a cataloged disk

I didn’t find any more apps in the Ubuntu repository, which is why I tried to find and download some manually. The first I found was Indexator.NET, but I couldn’t compile it because a bug occurred: External Program Failed: /usr/lib/mono/2.0/gmcs.exe (return code was 1). Another program I found on the web was CDCollect, but just like Indexator.NET, it required mono. CDCollect was the first one to impress me because it:

  • catalogs thumbnails found on the disk
  • recognizes and reads archives (didn’t get fooled when I changed .zip to
    .aaa – recognized content just fine)
  • each disk can be assigned an icon (and a name, of course)
  • cataloged every kind of removable memory (just specify a mount point in
    Edit > Preferences)
  • several search options

On the other hand CDCollect, like other programs, didn’t have many configuration options.

An image has been cataloged

Another product to check out was a program created by a Polish programmer — jKatalog (probably an abbreviation of “Java Katalog”, since it’s written in Java) is a multi-platform cataloging program. But the application doesn’t offer much apart from the coolest look so far. It doesn’t collect detailed data about each file or browse archives and search mechanism is poor; the search result gives only the path, not even a double click will open the file. And there are no configuration options. The only advantages are:

  • Clear, intuitive interface; looks nice
  • Creating thumbnails and information about the resolution of a photo
  • Multi-platform

jKatalog - browsing cataloged disks

I still haven’t found a decent listing program, so I decided to further my quest and found CdFly; I downloaded the source codes from the official website. Compilation required libqt4-dev. Everything went nice and easy with “qmake-qt4″ and “make” commands. The program (./cdfly) was ready to run. It’s the first program that requires as a parameter the path of a device, not a mount point (I had to type dev/hda instead of /media/cdrom0 – mount point for my CD drive). CdFly, in contrast, included some basic configuration options, e.g. setting sizes of the thumbnails and number of thumbnails that can be obtained from a single disk (0 – infinity) or which catalog (if any) is to be loaded on startup. But this program is also unable to open archives or obtain detailed data about files, and thumbnails are the only interesting feature.

And that’s a summation of cataloging CDs under Linux using native apps. No program was sophisticated enough to create a larger and more precise collection of disks – not even one had options such as: calculating checksums, exploring less known archives, creating detailed databases about files, copying contents of smaller text files, advanced search options (and/or/less than/greater than/older than/newer than…) and many more.

Nevertheless, most (every?) cataloging program for Windows can be launched with Wine without trouble. I still use the emulated WhereIsIt. For proponents of native software I recommend jKatalog (question of patriotism) and CdCollect.

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fold this thread Moltonel  Tuesday, 22 April 2008 o godz. 10:19 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

Have you tried tellico ? Although I never really used that kind of software, this one loks like it could meet your needs.

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fold this thread michuk  Tuesday, 22 April 2008 o godz. 1:21 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Yes, we even have an article on Tellico on Tellico: manage your collection of CDs, coins and… wines

fold this thread Jeremy  Wednesday, 23 April 2008 o godz. 5:18 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

GCStar is AWESOME for managing media collections. You really should try it.

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fold this thread i8dbbq  Friday, 25 April 2008 o godz. 11:52 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

I can’t vouch for the programs talked about in the article, but I do use Tellico.
I have found it to be very easy to use with lots of options depending on what you are cataloging.

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fold this thread kyuso  Monday, 28 April 2008 o godz. 8:05 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

tellico is what I use. I even created custom collection of any kind. Pretty easy to use too.

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fold this thread Scott  Monday, 28 April 2008 o godz. 3:45 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

I also use Telico. I have a large collection of images and video I must be able to find quickly for my work. I keep them on CD and DVD. Telico makes quick work of it.

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fold this thread Pablo Fabrega  Tuesday, 29 April 2008 o godz. 2:12 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I have a similar problem to solve, in my situation I needed an app that works on Windows & Linux. I find one thats really works for me: Cathy, from Robert Vasicek (homepage: It works great under Linux (not really, but I use wine to run it) & of course on WinXP. I hope you’ll find it very useful!!
(Sorry for my bad english, I only speak spanish)

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fold this thread homercycles  Thursday, 1 May 2008 o godz. 1:20 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I’m still using Advanced Disk Catalog via Wine under Linux because the native-Linux offerings are so…. crappy. There’s no other way to describe them. This is the last Windows application I can’t replace because the plethora of Linux options are either abandonware or are extremely minimalistic, such as Gnome Catalog (which, in true Gnome fashion, gives the user almost no options because… well, users can’t handle checkboxes and the like, can they?! Damn I hate Gnome!)

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fold this thread hasarin  Thursday, 8 May 2008 o godz. 12:11 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Currently, I’m also searching for this kind of program in linux. But all apps you have mentioned are abandoned just like you said. I’m considering tellico. But anyone know does tellico able to index/catalog the content of the cd/dvd?
I have bunch of mp3′s cd that I need to cataloged.
Beside that, anyone have tried VVV ??

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fold this thread antifa  Monday, 12 May 2008 o godz. 9:25 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

How does “Written by a Pole” count as an advantage? Would a programme written by me, a Bosnian, be a disadvantage? Please clarify this! You know, if you write a site in English, please be aware of the fact that also non-Poles read it! I usually like this site very much, but this is really outrageous!

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fold this thread michuk  Monday, 12 May 2008 o godz. 9:06 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

@antifa: This was a translation from Polish and of course it made sense there — I removed that, thanks for noticing :P

fold this thread Javier  Tuesday, 25 May 2010 o godz. 5:17 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Hi Tulio,

I was wondering which CD cataloguing software are you using these days? I checked some of the applications you mentioned in this article, namely CDcollect, but I got an error while attempting to install it
“Error: Dependency is not satisfiable: libgnome2.0-cil (>= 2.7.90)”
I guess it has to do with the fact that it’s been about 4 years since the program had any updates. I wouldn’t know exactly as I’m new to Linux (Ubuntu 10).

Thanks for the article.


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fold this thread jim  Monday, 28 June 2010 o godz. 8:38 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0
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fold this thread  Friday, 18 October 2013 o godz. 8:47 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Honor the offers and deals that you promote in your ad. They must have some type of relation to
what’s on your site if not Google will see that you’re trying to cheat and you get
a F. s minds was You – Tube, which is the target of many DMCA requests.

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fold this thread  Thursday, 29 May 2014 o godz. 8:48 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Hi from Us! This was a wonderful post and that I loved studying it

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