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I want to catalog my optical data media (backups, documents, whatsnots) so I can find what disk a certain file is on and where that disk is located. I've seen What is a good application to catalog CDs?, but that's specific for audio collections and Windows – while I'm after data collections on Linux.

Must haves:

  • easy cataloging by reading in the disk from its drive
  • catalog files and directory structure
  • additional fields for at least "location" (where is this disk stored)
  • must be usable on Linux
  • intuitive GUI
  • light-weight, no heavy dependencies (such as e.g. KDE framework)
  • should not depend on a specific desktop environment (such as KDE)
  • should not have been abandoned "years ago" (actively maintained would be best)

Nice to haves:

  • additional comments (manually edited)
  • other optional fields that are useful in this context, eg. date+time the disk was burned, same for when cataloged
  • open source preferred
  • export to text format (for use with grep and the likes)
  • export to JSON, XML or the like
  • command-line interface to e.g. quickly read in a disk or run a search

Not needed:

  • previews for media (images, documents, etc). If present, I'd like an option to turn that off (no show-stopper, though)

Application should preferably be free to use – in terms of "free speech" and "free beer" alike.


A few findings from my search:

  • Virtual Volumes View: seems to be actively maintained (last update: 2017-11-08 according to Sourceforge, though the files section says 2016-09-14) and adequately sized (less than 10M download for the Linux 64bit version). Could not find out whether it meets all above requirements.
  • Basenji: this open-source and available at Github. Requires Mono and looks a bit old-fashioned. No complete feature list, so I cannot check how other requirements are met. Last release 2016-09-09, development seems to have stopped a week later.
  • CDCat: this application is available even in the repos of most Linux distributions for years. Unfortunately, development seems to have stopped in 2013. Looks a bit old-fashioned, too.
  • CDCollect: quite similar to Basenji. Again Mono and old-fashioned look. Last update 2006 – so obviously dead.
  • Gnome Catalog: Really light-weight (60k download) – but last release 2009.
  • Data Crow: Java based and seems to be actively maintained. For my case a bit too much media focused (videos & music), though it seems to handle "data based" collections as well.
  • CDFly: looks pretty much like what I'm after – but hasn't seen an update since 2006, and one has to compile it oneself (Qt dependencies).
  • GWhere (thanks fred_dot_u fro bringing this up) seems to come very close feature-wise – but looks a bit old fashioned, and has not seen an update in more than 10 years (last update: 2007-09-11)

I've possibly missed a few candidates. So which would you recommend (not limited to the ones I've mentioned) that meet my requirements?

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As a windows user, I've been happy with Advanced Disk Catalog for many years. I don't know if it is free, as I believe that I purchased it. I used that program name as a reference to locate an equivalent program for linux. I believe that I've found such a program, called GWhere which is free and appears to meet the requirements you've set forth.

The GUI aspect is clear from the features panel and screenshots. Not referenced in the features panel, but visible in the screenshots is at least a partial file structure display.

There is also an indication of custom note fields as well as the "usual suspects" related to file creation, file size, etc.

Due to local internet problems I'm unable to research this program as thoroughly as I'd like, when posting an answer. You may find other features of value.

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    Thanks, but that program hasn't seen an update within the last 10 years (last update: 2007-09-11) and stuck on v0.2.3 (stable) with v0.3 (devel) never released. It doesn't mention DVDs, let alone Bluerays (only CD-ROMs). I'd prefer something more recent. – Izzy Dec 29 '17 at 18:14

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