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Alphabetizing the DVD Collection


  12:59:53 pm, by Nimble   , 298 words  
Categories: Thoughts, Common Sense

Alphabetizing the DVD Collection

It was about high time to redo the DVD collection, which had been accumulating without room to put the titles. Well, we ejected the VHS tapes, and the photo frame, and the microbes, and were on a mission to sort the whole collection...

There may be nicer ways of doing this, but when you have a collection that is almost entirely out of order, this brute-force approach works quite well.

I started a spreadsheet - I used OpenOffice Calc, but Excel, of course, works in a pinch. I made a few columns (I was interested, for example, in which ones were special editions and whether the DVDs were fullscreen/standard, widescreen or both), the most important of which, for sorting, were simply name and a "pile number".

I brought up stacks of DVDs, 10-20 titles in a pile, and entered their names. I entered a pile number for the whole lot of them (in Calc, you enter it once, Copy it, highlight all the other cells and Paste it to save you some typing) and then I sorted that pile alphabetically, and then placed it strategically on the floor. I repeated this for the entire collection, which does take a while!

I then sorted the spreadsheet by the column with the movie name in it, and printed the thing.

With each pile sorted, as long as you know the rules by which computers sort text, the next title to put up in the shelves is always on the top of one of the piles, but the pile number still comes in quite handy. This part is quite the back workout, but took us a relatively short amount of time.

It's a lot easier with a collection that's already sorted, of course :)

What techniques for sorting your DVDs have you used?


Comment from: Adam [Member]  

That’s a different way than I do it. For computer indexing purposes I used to use a program for the PC called “DVDProfiler"; when I moved most of my work onto the Macintosh, I switched to using “Delicious Library". Both use the UPC for identifying the disc although Library supports optical scanning. Both use a remote index to put in information such as aspect ratio, special editions, extras, cast members and so on: DVDProfiler had a user-maintained database while Library uses Amazon’s database.

For physical sorting I have them based on genre (drama, comedy, children’s, sf, documentary, not-yet-watched, etc) and then alphabetically. Where there’s a sequence I use the title of the first as the starting point: for example “US Marshals” sits next to “The Fugitive” while it in turn sits in the “F” section of the drama section. The other point is that I have enough space to put them onto shelves without resorting to LIFO piles!

01/07/08 @ 20:03
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  

One of these days, I would love to see a cheap-arse bar code scanner for sale. I remember Keith and I, back around 1988 when we worked for Video Movie Ventures (now Rogers Video), they used Code-39, and we spent a little while reverse engineering the formats that we came upon.

It seems almost unconscionable that wand scanners would not be $10-$20 apiece at the corner electronics store, but as with anything that has much more of a business use than a home use…

I’m sure there are cheap ones out there somewhere, but unless one shows itself up at the ever-nifty Princess Auto, such dreams will go unfulfilled :)

We are somewhat envious of your space, yes :)

01/18/08 @ 00:37
Comment from: Adam [Member]  

There was a product called the CueCat that was exactly what you describe. It didn’t seem to do so well and at one point was being blown out at below cost.

01/22/08 @ 10:35