LibraryThing on iPod Touch
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I'm looking for an app that allows me to browse my book collection on my ipod touch, like we do on Library Thing.
I don't want to read the books; just to be able to look at the covers. Do you happen to know if there's an app with this functionatility?
There were thoughts about such a thing, but at the moment there's only a very basic iPodThing. (Not sure it will work on a Touch, per the post at the end of the thread.)
2: Yeah, and that was book titles only, not covers.
1: Have you seen the mobile interface?
I just checked and mobile won't show covers either. Alas.
We are working on an Touch application (more than one, actually). The background for such an application takes a lot of work on our side. The iPod/Phone side of things is relatively easy.
5: Cool! I gather it's not ready for discussion and fanatic testing yet? :)
I'm getting really frustated here... One would think that it'd be relatively straightforward to use the ipod to catalog book info. Alas, it isn't so.
The problem is that there are multiple "iPod"s.
We are currently developing an application for the Touch devices (new iPhone and iPod Touch). There are various reasons why development of an iPhone App for LT is not a 2 day affair. Mostly on our side but also on the iPhone development and distribution side.
We previously had an iPod utility that loaded your collection into your iPod as Notes. There were many problems with that because of Apple's limited Notes functionality.
Personally, as I don't have an IPhone or any of the other I products, I would prefer that Tim would spend his limited resources on making the web application better.
I hear the Apple App Store has quite a backlog of applications waiting to be approved. Better get a move on. ;)
I received an iPhone for christmas, so I would enjoy the new application, I think. If you can put it in the Apple app store it might also spread the LT word to the iMasses.
12: Well, since Tim isn't the one writing the code for it that's a moot point.
13: Yeah. Our plan is to have it read to go in the next two weeks. But it could take a month or more before Apple actually gets around to "releasing" it to the world on the App Store.
14: Agree. That's the idea. The first app that we release isn't going to be a generalized LT app, but a subset of some functionality on LT.
Is there going to be any offline functionality, or will the app need to connect to LT?
Very fun and good news. I've been looking for ways to get my collection into my iPod (Touch), too. There's an application called HanDibase that seems like it might display the information from Library Thing if you could get the information into HanDibase first. I was thinking of trying this with my LibraryThing/Delicious Library data, but since both seem to be about to release iPod/iPhone aps, I guess I'll wait.
But I do agree that tweaks to LT's mobile site might benefit a larger segment of LT users. I have used LT's normal sight to enter books into my collection with my iPod, but incorporating that functionality into the mobile sight would be nice. But the real pitfall, I think, lies with the iPhone/iPod's lack of input options. If I could hook my CueCat to my iPod, I could easily add anything anywhere, but since I have to type everything in on an imaginary keyboard, it gets a little onerous.
15> cD, you work for Tim, so you are one of Tim's limited resources. And why do Apple product users get your special love? There are other mobile platforms out there
Mostly because I was an Apple developer before I came to LibraryThing so I'm fairly fluent in writing Cocoa/Objective-C applications. The iPhone/App Store also has quite a head of steam right now. Sometimes you have to ride the wave.
Plus all of us at LT (except Tim) have iPhones so if you're going to start with something it kinda makes sense.
This is super exciting! I want to echo the question though, will there be offline library access? I have an iPod Touch, and most bookstores I frequent have locked or no wireless access.
We're looking into that. The first application that we are releasing isn't a cataloging one. I'll talk more about it in the next week or two.
It's not that hard to catalog with LT on your iPhone or iPod touch, though The browser is a pretty full-featured one.
I use my iPod touch to play on LT all the time at home, when I don't feel like sitting at the computer. I can do everything I want on LT in Safari, but I can't take my wireless with me.
What I'd love is an app that allows me to browse my library offline to avoid purchasing duplicates at bookstores without unlocked wireless (which means most, if not all, of the ones I frequent). It would also motivate me to begin keeping at least a short wish list on LT so I don't blank when I make a quick, unscheduled stop by a bookstore.
I might play around with a special iphone version of librarything.com/m but the offline thing is a bit of a catch. I'm not sure if the mobile safari has the built-in sqlite engine that safari has, but if it does then that might be a possibility (without having to do a full-on LT iphone app).
21/27. Now I'm really curious. I had assumed that the iPhone ap would be a better, iPhone-specific interface for the LT site, or else a way to cache your collection for off-line access. If it's neither of those things, then I'm very curious to see what you're cooking up.
I guess for off-line access for the time being, I'll see what Delicious Library is cooking up, since I export my LT data there anyway. And if their ap isn't addressing that either, it'll just give me excuse I needed to buy HanDibase and see what it's all about.
But either way, I look forward to seeing what the current project turns out to be.
28 > Right --- because you have an iPhone now :)
If the mobile LT site were more user-friendly, I wouldn't much care - I'd just use my (non-i)phone. Unfortunately, what could be a simple catalog browse with the flick of a finger is a tedious paging up and down and loading page after page of dense text unless I have a specific goal in mind.
CD, this may cause an eyeroll as far as programming goes, but two examples of what made me think it must at least be possible are the Wikipanion and Aurora Feint apps. Wikipanion has both off- and online browsing capabilities offered for their app, with the offline browsing only offered to paid subscribers. Aurora Feint has what seems like "memory" (for lack of a better word) of the game thus far even when played offline, and connects to update when a connection is found. Do either of these offer some kind of foundation from which an on-and-offline LT app could be created?
17> Rob, I use HanDBase on my PDA for LT. I download the Tab-Delimited export, turn it into a CSV file through Excel, then import the CSV file into a HanDBase database. I love it - it is incredibly useful when I'm in a bookstore or booksale (and requires no Internet access). Two things - the CSV export from LT has many fewer fields than the TD one, which is why I don't use that; and the TD one needs a couple edits (an unprintable character in front of the Book ID field name, dates have to be in mm/dd/yyyy format (with slashes) for HanDBase to recognize them). But it doesn't take long. I use HanDBase for a lot of things, adding LT wasn't much of a jump. From what the guy says, the iPhone version doesn't yet have all the features of the Palm version but it's heading that way.
I didn't even know there was a mobile site!
Even if it is somewhat painful to use on an iPhone it's something at least for now.
Cataloging books on your iPhone/iPod Touch is relatively easy. I use a free app called Pocketpedia for storing my LibraryThing collection on my iPhone. It takes a little work to get everything into it, but its worth it. The authors of Pocketpedia have a shareware Macintosh application called Bookpedia which makes it easier to move data from LibraryThing to your iPhone/iPod. Still, keeping two catalogs synchronized is more work than most people would like.
I don't have any connection with the authors of these programs other than being a satisfied customer.
The app. is in violation of the Amazon Terms of Service. I know, because we want to do exactly what they're doing, and we were told it. So were others, like Delicious Monster. If they're under the radar now, they won't remain so forever.
They very probably are, but it's not my problem. For now, their software works great, even though they are terrible at database design. They can't handle multiple authors for a single work. Authors are entered as a single string, so you can't sort by last name. I have to alter the author entries to read Last name, First name in order to get reasonable use.
I would prefer something that directly accessed my LibraryThing account, but that's not available. I considered writing my own app, but I have a G5 iMac. The iPhone developer's kit won't run on the PowerPC based Apples. A LibraryThing mobile site using the IUI library would be nice.
At lunch today, I had the opportunity to play with a friend's new Motorola Droid smart phone. My only complaint was that it didn't have a multi-touch interface. Other than that, I thought it beat the pants off my iPhone. The bar code reader was great. When my contract expires next summer, I'll probably replace my iPhone with a Droid.
Well, we're thinking about it. Don't count us out. Unlike all our competitors—except the ones with iPhone apps in clear violation—we have non-Amazon options.
Yeah, I think you'll be lonely on the droid. App developers are going to continue to focus on the iPhone.
Could you make a small-screen optimised web version that worked on both?
Drink the Kool-Aid, Tim. Everything that I use on my iPhone is already available on the Droid. The last thing that I need are 100,000 useless games that no one buys. How many farting apps does the world really need? The multi-touch screen is the only real differentiator. On the other hand, it has a physical keyboard.
It's funny to hear the "there are enough programs" argument applied against an Apple product.
I have some very stupid/beginner questions about smart phones, and while this probably isn't the thread to ask them, you guys do know more than I do. Can you point me to a good group? Off-Topic maybe? Or do we have a Smart Phone Junkie group somewhere?
You might even want to try the Green Dragon. There are quite a few techie/gadget people in that group and there's not much that's really off topic over there (except politics and religion). :)
As an example of a site optimised for mobile devices that works on iPhone, Palm Pre, and Android phones, I offer Toodledo: http://www.toodledo.com/slim
(I have no idea how that will work if you don't have an account. Accounts are free, so there's nothing to lose creating one to try it.)
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