CATraxx — Music Collection Software

October 23, 2008 · 0 comments

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I have a lot of CDs and albums that I have been wanting to get into a database for record keeping and insurance.  I’ve built at least two Microsoft Access database programs on my own, but I wanted to include some reporting with cover art and additional details about each item.  After looking around the Internet, I finally found a product called CATraxx.  You can download a 50-album evaluation version for free, but if you are like me, you will get hooked immediately and get the licensed version for only $39.95 and if you are also a book collector, you can get BookCAT for an additional $23.97.  The order process is quick, but it will take at least 24 hours for you to get the registration code since the site uses a 3rd party payment system called Reg.Net.  This was frustrating because I had filled up my 50 entries and wanted to keep going, but was stopped dead in my tracks.

The software has some really nice features that make it easy to use and customize.  It uses the CDDB to obtain information about the CD and succeeds most times at also locating the cover art.  If it can’t, then no big deal.  It allows you to simply put your CD insert into your scanner and obtain the artwork that way.  Very nice option.  I have been ripping my collection to MP3 with Microsoft Media Player, which uses to locate album information.  Generally, between the two of them, I can find everything I am looking for.  If Media Player finds the artwork, then you can simply point CATraxx at the JPEG files and it will import them.

CD Covers Report

They have a wide variety of pre-built reports, and if it is not exactly what you are looking for, then you have the ability to customize them in any way you want.  The cover report is great for a basic inventory overview, simple list for insurance and details for a complete catalog.

For vinyl records, they can also search a few sites to get the relevant information for them.  I have not really tested this feature in depth, but it appears to be quite useful as well.

There is an option to import the audio files, but I really don’t think this would be very useful.  The application is built on Microsoft Access, which has a built-in limitation of 2GB per database.  This will fill too rapidly and require you to have a number of databases.  I have opted to have all of my audio files on an external hard disk and indexed by Media Player and backed up to a second hard disk that I keep off-site.

If you loan your CDs or albums to friends or family, this application also has an option to keep track of who borrowed what and when.  You can set timers to let you know when something is overdue and set a date in the future when someone wants to borrow an item.

There are a number of other features and capabilities that are in this product and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a small application to document their collections.  The developer has other product for managing video, software and stamp collections as well.  I’m sure this is all based on the same basic software design, so it will be easy to navigate from one to the other.

I am running the program on Microsoft Vista with Service Pack 1 and the vendor says it works on XP and Windows 2000 as well.  Give it a try and you may be as pleasantly surprised as I am with the features and cost of this nice little product.

Article by Steve Van Domelen

Steve has written 47 awesome articles.

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