The winner - GCStar - 9/10

When it comes to the world of collection managers, it's clear you shouldn't just settle for yesterday's innovation. These humble cataloguing apps are getting significantly better with each new release and as they've matured, they've raised a pertinent question: how involved do you want to be in collating the data about your collections?

The default stance is to make the process quick and painless with internet databases and pre-built templates, but if you want to be more involved, there are plenty of options on offer.

Our view is that you should seek the best of both worlds, preferably with plenty of pre-built structure to handle everything you want, but something that you can still garnish with your own touches.

As such, Moll is the least impressive collection manager here. It can't store anything more than basic information, doesn't support search or tags and doesn't give you any way to export your data. Still, it deserves some praise for having good documentation and a simple but useful interface to browse your collection.

Meanwhile, StuffKeeper is too extreme in its customisability, so it's best suited for niche users who want to control every aspect of their collection management. There's plenty to like if you have the time and the inclination to really get into it, though, so don't dismiss it completely.

Which leaves us with three similar programs from which to choose a winner: Data Crow, GCStar and Tellico.

Best of the bunch

At first glance, Tellico seemed like the obvious winner of the bunch. It's got built-in templates, it's configurable and provides good documentation. The design is elegant, if not pretty, but it's been superseded by a superior program, one that's pushed the heights of what a collection manager can be.

Meanwhile, Data Crow washes up in third place because of its overwhelming interface. There are just too many fields cramped together and not enough help when you're trying to sift through the various options. That said, it does everything competently, has some brilliant features you won't find elsewhere and it's the most themeable program here, but it's too eager to do everything, which cost it the win.

Finally, there's GCStar, which really impressed us with its vast array of plugins for connecting to various source sites to retrieve item data. In addition, it has the cleanest interface of all, especially when it comes to editing an item in your collection.

GCStar

While most tools require you to double-click the item you wish to edit and then hack away at the comprising fields in a different dialog box, GCStar enables you to edit the fields without too much faffing around.

It has a lively website, with users actively participating in the forum boards, so if you factor in the number of developers and contributors, you've got one attractive and active app.

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First published in Linux Format Issue 125

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