As an avid collector of recorded music, I frequently vow to bring some order to my large assortment
of LPs and CDs by creating a catalog of all the different recordings I
have acquired over 40 years. But after several well-meaning starts, I have
never carried out my vow. . .it’s too hard! Most of my efforts have involved
self-developed databases or spreadsheets, all of which require lots of
typing to enter data about a recording. Why should I bother. . .don’t I
have a brain to remember what CDs and LPs I have? Although some might question
my claim, I do have a brain, but with about 10,000 LPs and 1,400 CDs in
my collection, I sometimes forget what titles I have, and have even bought
duplicate copies of several recordings.
CD Trustee to the rescue, at least for CDs. Capitalizing on the fact
that each audio CD has a unique identifier embedded in its header, CD Trustee
provides a nearly effortless procedure for creating a catalog of your CDs.
Here it is:
All this happens pretty rapidly.
Start CD Trustee.
Click on the “Add CDs automatically” button.
Click on “Start inserting CDs for lookup” button.
Insert a CD into the computer CD drive (fast drives speed up the process).
CD Trustee reads the identifier into a buffer and ejects the CD.
Repeat this process until all your CD identifiers have been read into the
Click on the “Look up CDs on the Internet” button.
CD Trustee then connects to the Gracenote CD Database online and reads
the information about the CD identifiers into a database on your computer.
I tried inserting a variety of CDs into CD Trustee to challenge its
ability to recognize CDs. I have some pretty weird CDs, so I expected CD
Trustee to fail on several recognition attempts. It did, but not nearly
as often as I expected. I picked a dozen CDs, some very popular, some rather
esoteric. CD Trustee only failed to recognize one CD, titled Shakespeare,
the Greatest Hits. Since this is a surround sound multichannel recording,
you could even make the case that this is not even a CD, since the Red
Book CD specifications do not provide for multichannel recordings. I was
amazed at some of the weird stuff in the Gracenote database, including
DiDJeridoo Meditations by Inlakesh. It also recognized a CD that
is provided by the BBC (British
to subscribers of its BBC Music Magazine.
CD’s track list can be used to select songs to play, if you insert a
CD into your computer. CD Trustee compiles and formats labels to print
and apply to a CD if you run one off on your computer’s CD-burner. Further,
it even prints jewel case inserts to use in the clear plastic boxes where
you store your CDs.
CD Trustee lets you search your database for information, like artist
or song. Although my quickly created test database is no challenge, I did
a search for the song Dancing in the Dark. CD Trustee quickly found
that song in the Diana Krall album The Look of Love.
You can also compile and print reports which can tell you about your
collection. For me, that is a real boon, since I should take lists of my
CDs with me when I go shopping, either online or at brick-and-mortar stores
like Wherehouse Music or Half-Price Books and Records. I
won’t tell you how often I have found a treasured CD there, only to come
home and find that, oops, I already have a copy. I could even save reports
in PDF format. Wonder if that would fit in a PDA?
Download CD Trustee from the Sane
Soft, LLC’s Web site. The downloaded copy is a trial version which
limits the number of CDs you can add to your database to 30. Registering
the program for $39.95 (I used PayPal to send them money) provides you
a registration code you can enter to remove the 30-CD limit. You must also
register with the Gracenote CD database service, which is free.
Although I haven’t had much time with it, CD Trustee appears to be well-designed,
easy-to-use software. While its appeal will be limited to those who want
to create catalogs of audio CDs and MP3 files, for us, it is spectacularly
useful. Maybe I’ll finally complete my cataloging efforts this time! My
only regret is that it doesn’t catalog LPs, but I have yet to find a turntable
accessory for my computer.