Hijinks Reviews: Listal.com
Do you have a large collection of DVDs, video games, books, or music and you wish there was a an easy way to track it all, preferably online so you can access it anywhere? Well, you could take the boring route and use a google spreadsheet, but what’s the fun in that? What if you could manage your collections, have all the information that IMDB offers, have user feedback and reviews similar to Rotten Tomatoes, have an enormous collection of images to sort through, and have Facebook integration to boot? Welcome to Listal!
I’ve tried many of the collection tracking websites to catalog my substantial DVD collection, and I found something I really didn’t like with every website. Listal will track your collections, and complement it with a nice layout, both visually and for ease of use. It also incorporates a social network aspect, which excites some people, whereas it can be a total buzzkill for others. There’s pros and cons to this website and guess what, we’ll cover those after the jump!
There’s definitely more pros than cons associated with this website. The layout of the user profiles is completely customizable (here’s mine if you’d like to see a bit of what the site offers). With a name like Listal, it’s pretty obvious that one of their focuses is the ability to make lists; lists of… well, pretty much anything. Your top 10 favorite actors, favorite tv shows, the best games of all time, your least favorite movies, it’s all there, whatever you want. The social network portion allows for voting on these lists, you can vote for other lists that resonate with you, other users can vote for yours. I spent quite a bit of time making a number of different lists on the site, it’s kinda fun once you get started.
In addition to managing your collections, you can write and browse reviews, watch movie trailers (…and film clips, and music videos…), rate actors (…and directors, and musicians, and tv shows, and movies…), and look through a huge selection of user submitted pictures. There’s really too much stuff to do for me to list it all here.
But I brought this website to you based on it’s merits as a collection manager. I really like what it offers, it’s in depth and visually appealing as well, which is a rarity with many of these collection management type sites. I’m able to easily keep track of which movies I lend out to people, I have an easy way to share my list of wanted DVDs, I’ve even created lists to keep track of my digital movie collection (which dwarfs my DVD collection). All of this information at the tip of my fingers, very handy indeed. Not only can I track my own collection, I can check to see if any of my buddies have a movie I want to see before throwing it into my Netflix queue.
As with any user content driven website, the management and administration need to be in touch with the people that use the site. That is definitely the case here, as most of what the website now offers has come directly from, or been modified to what it is now because of user suggestions and feedback. I’ve been using this site for about a year and a half and I can’t even begin to name all the changes that have been made, many of which have drastically increased the efficiency or appearance of the site.
The other small, but vitally important tidbit I need to share is the ability to import and export all of your information. Taking all the time to input your collection, you need to have an easy way to back it up, and Listal offers that. Maybe you have your collection saved in the previously mentioned google spreadsheet, or on another less cool website, well you can easily get it all input at Listal via the import function, yay!
All these good things to say, there’s gotta be something about this site that I’m not crazy about! Well, there is. A site this well done and this in depth deserves a mobile app, or at the very least, a mobile friendly website, neither of which Listal offers… at this time. I’ve seen communication from the site admin stating he intends to get this fixed within the year. My collection being online doesn’t do me much good if I can’t quickly access it online while at the store. Once this glaring weakness is fixed however, this site really doesn’t have any holes.
A couple other small changes that would be nice, that other sites offer, is the ability to add your collection via barcode entry. It’s a nice way to input your collection quickly, and many other sites incorporate this function. There’s a greasemonkey script that adds this ability, but it should really be part of the website. Another nice addition I’d like to see is price comparison. There’s really nice Amazon integration already, but it would be nice to have an immediate comparison across a few sites to get the best deal available. Lastly, I’d like to see a collection report similar to the one offered by iTrackmine (the only website that comes close to Listal in my opinion, a website that DOES offer a mobile site by the way, although not a very good one). After getting your collection into their database, they give you a quick overview of the total cost of your collection, which conceivably could be used in any property loss situation. It also gives you a secondary way of seeing approximately how much money you’ve sunk into these collections you hold so dearly. Being able to add movies to your Netflix queue would also be really cool, and grabbing some info from Rotten Tomatoes would be neat, but those would just be icing on the cake. No site is perfect, but with these small changes, Listal would be pretty darn close for what it’s set out to do.
If you have a large collection to manage, or even if you’d just like access to some of the many features this site has to offer, head over to Listal and sign up. Be sure to add me as a friend and let me know that you heard about it from us here at Hijinks!
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