Can anyone recommend the best forum for this kind of question?
I've been using WinCatalog, which is pretty durn good, but I've hit a problem with it I can't fix - I have to recatalog my entire collection of data DVDs (approx. 150 DVDs). If I have to do that, I want to find a new program that will both do more and not force me to go through recataloging if this problem recurs.
1) Non-specialized - don't want something for movies or MP3s, want something for all data.
2) like WC, needs to scan ZIP and RAR formats, at the least. More obscure formats like SIT would be nice too.
3) Needs a good search function. WC's is just adequate.
4) Like WC, needs virtual file management - rename/move/delete files, create/rename/delete folders, etc.
5) Ideally it should pretend to be a real file system (preferably like Windows so I can't see the difference) so if I wanted to sort my entire collection like a hard drive I could. (software that takes this literally would be the absolute best way to serve my needs, because then I could serve all the other needs by simply using software designed for the purpose (e.g., synchronization software for #6 below)
6) Important - need robust comparison ("synch") capabilities. So, if I wanted to check (recursively or not) a folder or set of folders to see what, if any, of the data was already on some media in the collection, and what was not (thus figuring out if some of the data needs backing up), I could do so. I'd like as wide a feature set as possible here, but really I could do with a "find stuff in this part of my hard drive that isn't backed up already" feature (if there's an app that'll do this, independent of all the other needs listed here, I'm interested). (be nice if it had a tool to facilitate separating the data too, say a wizard to move the non-backed-up data to a new location, preserving the file structure, or maybe a wizard to delete all content already backed up, etc.)
7) Almost forgot - filters to prevent cataloging of certain file types, or remove certain file types. It's enough for me to know a folder has 10,000 JPGs of Pam Anderson, no need to bloat my catalog with the file names.
8) just thought of this, so not really a need, but it'd be great to be able to write an image of a volume in the catalog to hard disk according to the virtual organization, rather than the actual organization. So, say you have a disc with godawful organization, and using the virtual capabilities of the program, you reorganize it so the filenames make sense, the folder structure is tight, etc. Then say one day you decide to make a new copy, you could just "rip" it to your hard drive, and if you check the "use virtual structure" options it would write it so the actual structure reflects the virtual one. Be cool if this worked inside archive formats too, for those poorly structured/named ZIP/RAR contents.
After giving the matter a bit more thought, I realized everything but #5 is superfluous.
Why hasn't anyone made a program like that? It's such a simple, elegant way of dealing with removable media cataloging. You catalog the media with the software, creating a volume on your "shadow" partition, and then you can move/delete/rename/search/index to your heart's content with the myriad tools already available for file manipulation in Windows. The only real difference between the shadow partition and a real partition from the user's point of view would be that in order to open or modify a file, or move it from the "shadow" partition to a real partition, he'd need to insert the removable media that contains the actual data.