I have loved films since I was a child. I am particularly fond of older films, especially those of the 1930s and 1940s. My teenage fashion icon was Marlene Dietrich (she still is), and I knew more about the stars of the old silver screen than most people who had experienced those films first hand. I have watched thousands of films and I have always tried to keep track of them, but with mixed results. I tried keeping track of the films in a physical journal, but found it too tedious to search it, as well as to enter data. I’ve tried a few databases designed for films, but I must admit that I didn’t keep up with them as well as I should, especially since most have been desktop-based. I’ve found a collection of cloud-based film databases below that I would like to explore in more depth:
This is part of a suite in which you can keep track of books, music, cartoons, and games. There is a monthly cost, so presumably you pay for only the movie portion. The list of features is impressive, as you can access full listings from IMDb, titles of individual episodes for television series, full plot descriptions, YouTube videos, and so forth. You can scan the ISBN code or do a title search. In my case, I am not interested in keeping track of only films I own, but of all films that I watch, so in most cases, a title search would suffice. You can scan your hard drive for any films. Given the us of the QR code, this software is obviously compatible with mobile devices, and there are mobile apps. The cost is very reasonable ($29.95 CAD), and the search features look robust. UPDATE: I am using the trial version for now (cloud based) and am impressed with the speed of upload and the quality of the records. You have the option of adding personal data to the record (the “personal” tab), as well as to indicate whether this item is in your collection, in a wish list, or not in your collection (the latter is important, as I see many more films than I own). I like the fact that your data is stored on the cloud, so you can access it, and add to it, via mobile devices; further, you don’t need to transfer your data from one computer to the next. The standard version does not have export features, but I don’t think I would need them at this point. The cost is reasonable, so this might be the database of choice.
This software provides all the information about the films, including plots, reviews, and so forth, as well as those that you might have on your computer. Presumably, the information comes from IMDb, although it’s not specified. You can export our collection to different formats, including HTML and PDF. You can keep of films you have on loan; this would be useful for me, as I borrow a lot of films from the public library, although the library does a very good job of sending me reminders. The cost is $59.68 CAD, presumably for a yearly subscription. This software appears to be PC-based, which means it’s not as flexible, since it cannot be used easily with mobile devices. There is no mention of any mobile apps. UPDATE: The database is certainly very easy to use and allows you to add personalized information. You can export, but the data resides on your hard drive, rather than the cloud. I prefer cloud storage, since you don’t need to worry about transferring content from one machine to the other. The price for the standard edition is quite high at $59.68CAD.
This is part of a suite of software provided by Bolide, that includes films and books.
This software looks similar to a free tracker that I have used in the past, but which I ultimately stopped using, as it didn’t allow me to sort films in any order, and because updates to the software would not load. All My Movies does not look as slick as the other two, although it has most of the same features, including mobile apps and exporting features. No mention is made of tying to individual episodes of television series. The cost (on sale) is $39.95 USD. The look and feel of this website puts me off, to be honest, as it looks a little amateur.
This software has some impressive features. I like the suggestions it makes based on the analysis of films you’ve watched, and the fact that it browses Netflix streaming moves. It’s not clear whether the software would default to US Netflix, which does not have the same catalogue as the Canadian Netflix. This software is endorsed by a lot of organizations, as listed on the website. It has the usual content for films, including television series, is mobile friendly, and can be adapted to suit individual aesthetic tastes. It has a very good faceted search feature. The cost is $8.99 USD, which is very good. I think this is the one. Keep tuned (or “is watching” more appropriate?). UPDATE: I tried the trial basis and have decided it’s not for me. The upload speed for titles is simply too slow; I had read this criticism in reviews of the site, and I certainly agree with the analysis.