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LibraryThing on iPod Touch

Talk about LibraryThing

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1wayreth
Dec 17, 2008, 4:54am Top

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?

Thanks.

2Noisy
Dec 17, 2008, 8:55am Top

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.)

3infiniteletters
Dec 17, 2008, 9:20am Top

2: Yeah, and that was book titles only, not covers.

1: Have you seen the mobile interface?
http://www.librarything.com/m/

I just checked and mobile won't show covers either. Alas.

4wayreth
Dec 17, 2008, 12:13pm Top

Thanks for your replies, guys.

5conceptDawg
Dec 17, 2008, 1:26pm Top

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.

6DaynaRT
Dec 17, 2008, 1:45pm Top

>5 conceptDawg:
Really?!?

Awesome!

7infiniteletters
Dec 17, 2008, 7:00pm Top

5: Cool! I gather it's not ready for discussion and fanatic testing yet? :)

8wayreth
Dec 25, 2008, 8:35pm Top

Would be very nice, indeed...

9Mr.Durick
Dec 25, 2008, 10:21pm Top

Can you make it work on a Blackberry Storm too?

Robert

10wayreth
Dec 26, 2008, 6:15am Top

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.

11conceptDawg
Dec 30, 2008, 5:08am Top

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.

12jjwilson61
Dec 30, 2008, 11:05am Top

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.

13DaynaRT
Dec 30, 2008, 11:09am Top

I hear the Apple App Store has quite a backlog of applications waiting to be approved. Better get a move on. ;)

14jlelliott
Dec 30, 2008, 11:10am Top

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.

15conceptDawg
Dec 30, 2008, 11:23am Top

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.

16DaynaRT
Dec 30, 2008, 11:26am Top

>15 conceptDawg:
Is there going to be any offline functionality, or will the app need to connect to LT?

17Rob_E
Dec 30, 2008, 11:59am Top

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.

18jjwilson61
Dec 30, 2008, 12:23pm Top

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

19conceptDawg
Dec 30, 2008, 1:42pm Top

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.

20kgriffith
Jan 5, 2009, 3:30pm Top

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.

Thanks, CD!

21conceptDawg
Jan 5, 2009, 3:41pm Top

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.

22tepare
Jan 5, 2009, 5:43pm Top

Hi,
it works on my iPod Touch like on my Nokia 95
bye, bye
tepare

23sonyagreen
Jan 7, 2009, 3:19pm Top

And Tim got an iPhone for xmas, so we're all in.

24timspalding
Jan 7, 2009, 3:50pm Top

It's not that hard to catalog with LT on your iPhone or iPod touch, though The browser is a pretty full-featured one.

25DaynaRT
Jan 7, 2009, 3:54pm Top

>24 timspalding:
I do just that all the time.

LT=crack

26kgriffith
Jan 7, 2009, 4:20pm Top

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.

27conceptDawg
Jan 7, 2009, 4:30pm Top

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).

28timspalding
Jan 7, 2009, 4:54pm Top

I don't that's worth it, I gotta say.

29infiniteletters
Jan 7, 2009, 5:08pm Top

26 would be wonderful.

30Rob_E
Jan 7, 2009, 5:18pm Top

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.

31kgriffith
Jan 7, 2009, 5:24pm Top

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?

32jjmcgaffey
Jan 31, 2009, 8:10pm Top

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.

33tangerinealert
Nov 11, 2009, 8:11am Top

:3
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.

34fredbacon
Nov 11, 2009, 11:57am Top

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.

35timspalding
Nov 11, 2009, 8:44pm Top

>34 fredbacon:

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.

36fredbacon
Edited: Nov 11, 2009, 10:57pm Top

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.

37timspalding
Nov 12, 2009, 1:12am Top

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.

38r.orrison
Nov 12, 2009, 2:26am Top

Could you make a small-screen optimised web version that worked on both?

39fredbacon
Nov 12, 2009, 9:35am Top

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.

40infiniteletters
Nov 12, 2009, 9:54am Top

It's funny to hear the "there are enough programs" argument applied against an Apple product.

41mark
Nov 12, 2009, 10:21am Top

I'd be very interested in an LT app.

42PhaedraB
Nov 12, 2009, 10:50am Top

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?

43sqdancer
Nov 12, 2009, 12:55pm Top

>42 PhaedraB:
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). :)

44PhaedraB
Nov 12, 2009, 2:20pm Top

Thanks!

45r.orrison
Nov 13, 2009, 3:32pm Top

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.)

46jascott
Sep 30, 2012, 3:33pm Top

Any idea when you all will keep up with Goodreads and launch an iPhone app that will allow us to add books to our library by scanning the barcode?

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