I have managed to amass several hundred audio CDs over the years—and I have long since given up trying to keep track of them on a spreadsheet. Entering data in this manner—especially individual track information—was simply too tedious. How best then to manage my music library?
Six months ago, I surveyed Web sites such as Goodreads, LibraryThing and Shelfari, which make it easy to build a catalog of your own books and to share this database with friends over the Internet. All three sites simplify data entry by letting you search for a title online, and then adding it to your library with the click of a button once a match is found.
Unfortunately, I could find no similar site for keeping track of and sharing music collections. A determined search for free applications produced no acceptable results either, because I had very specific requirements.
First, the program had to run on Linux, because I did not want to maintain the database on my Mac laptop—and I don’t do Windows. Second, the program had to make data entry easy. This meant the ability to read an audio CD from my drive, match it with an online database, and automatically save the album information—title, artist, song titles—onto my catalog. Better yet, the program should give me the ability to search for a particular album online and add it to my catalog with the click of a button. Third, the program had to be free.