GCStar - this beta has more promise than many full-blown apps

With GCStar's 1.5.0 beta release, the version of the app residing in the software repositories of most distros has become a relic fit for retirement. But the recently released beta isn't just better than its forerunners, it stands tall among its adversaries too.

Like Tellico, GCStar comes with built-in templates for various collection types. These had been stagnant for a while, but the beta freshens things up by offering you the option of compiling a repository of TV episodes and a collection of mini-vehicles as well.

In fact, the thing that shines through as soon as you start using GCStar is the attention to detail that's gone into each of the templates.

GCStar

Attention to detail

Since there aren't any websites that offer a community-contributed list of mini-vehicles, however, you have to fill in all the details yourself. That's a shame, but the template is still a boon if you've got a lot of mini-vehicles to catalogue.

For its other new addition, GCStar can connect to the TVDB website to fetch information about your collection of TV episodes. The website contains user-contributed data, so there's a risk that the information is incomplete or inaccurate, so you might have to fill some information in manually.

You can also control what information is displayed for each of your collections, so if you'd rather not see the Comments field or a cast list, you can remove them. Changing the displayed data also changes the input dialogs, so you won't be asked for redundant information either.

A list of websites you can retrieve data from for each collection type is built into GCStar and you can request more in the active community forums. You can also configure whether or not you're asked to select a source every time you add a new item and even set a source site for each individual field.

The GCStar borrower system is neat too, enabling you to send emails to borrowers when the item is due back.

One of the biggest caveats to using GCStar, though, is that it doesn't yet have printer support. This means that in order to print, you'll need to export your data to HTML and then print it using your browser. Alternatively, you can export the data to XML or as a tarball compressed archive.

Verdict

Version: 1.5.0.beta1
Website: www.gcstar.org
Price: Free under GPL

This is great – new templates, a handy interface and decent documentation in one package.

Rating: 9/10