Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

Universal Import added

I’ve added a “Universal Import” feature. After wrangling with a dozen or so different formats, I chucked the nonsense and made a single Swiss-army-knife import. Universal Import works on:

  • Desktop applications like Delicious Library, Readerware, Book Collector, etc.
  • Online services that offer exports (eg., Bibliophil)
  • Home-cooked text-files, spreadsheets and databases

For each one, it grabs the ISBNs and looks them up against the libraries you specify. The upside is the data is fresh, top-quality and drawn from wherever you want—from Amazon to libraries in Turkey. The downside is that it only grabs the ISBNs. It doesn’t try to wrangle all the other stuff.

This was not done lightly. Individual filters take a long time to build and require all sorts of compromises. LibraryThing users clamoring for imports are distributed among a half-dozen applications and various home solutions. So, instead of making 5% of my users 100% happy, I decided to make 100% of my users 95% happy.

I hope you like it.

Coming tomorrow: Imports from web sites like Amazon and AllConsuming!

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