Inventory of vinyl - what software do you use?

I am finally going to inventory my records this winter, or so I hope. I am wondering what software applications other Audiogoners use for this task. A specialized vinyl inventory program? MS Access or other database program? Also, what categories do you find most useful to keep a record of, besides Artist and Album name, condition of vinyl, record label, etc.?

I am not looking forward to this task but it is necessary, I think. I have been putting it on the back burner for way too long, out of pure laziness. I would like user-friendly software, with the ability to sort by field.

Please tell me what you use!

I don't know your knowledge about software developing. But I made my record database with PHP and MySql. In this way I can access it from every OS with any browser. The following are the fields I am using :



Good old MS Excel.
I looked for something like this last year. I finally gave up and just set up a Excell spreadsheet. I pretty much logged the categories you've mentioned.

PLEASE, learn from my mistake. What ever you use, back it up!

A harddrive crash wiped out everything. I had also kept a category for what I spent on each lp and now that information is long gone. Not that it would have been that useful, but it was good to refer to from time to time.
I too have been cataloging my vinyl, but it never even occured to me look for specific software. Thats what spreadsheets are for and I use Excel. The nice thing about Excel is you can lay it out any way you like, with as much or as little space as your specific catagory requires, and you can play around with fonts, font size and color, bold, underlined, etc. Another nice thing about Excel is you can use as many 'sheets' as you like to organize different catagories of music. Excel 2003, which I use, defaults to three sheets, but you can set it up to as many as you like. If you've not used Excel it is easy enough to figure out the basic functions even though it has levels of complexity most of us will never need or even know about. For example I have used it for making frequency graphs for plotting the in room frequency response of my Talon Khorus loudspeakers. While cataloging your LP's can turn into a huge task (I have well over 1000 LP's) it is actually kind of fun once you get started. It's also a great opportunity to go through albums you may have forgotten about. If you have Microsoft Excel on your computer I can send you a copy of my inventory which you can use as a template if that would help get you started. Just send me a private email.
I'm wondering if Excel is the way to go, relative to Access. How well does Excel allow you to do filtering and create custom lists (or reports). I'm an Excel lover - I've gotten it to do lots of things - but I haven't explored that aspect of its functionality. I would think Access would be better - you could even create a data input form for each record, and other forms to upgrade condition, etc. Comments?
I have enjoyed using Music Label 2006 (now 2007).The cool thing is it ties into Amazon databases here and in England,Germany,France,and Canada. Quite often a picture of the album cover will pop up along with the song names.You can download a trial version for free at or cnet and try it for a couple of weeks.If you like it I think it was around $40.(one time fee).I tried a few others but this was the easiest/quickest.When you are done you can convert to HTML and post your list on the internet.
I haven't tried this but it might be what you are looking for. Gracenote has a bunch of audio type programs.
MS Access in use here. My collection is 80% classical and I wanted something I could set up as a relational database rather than a flat file given the multiple performances I wanted to track. If my collection were largely non-classical, then I would have used Excel and been very happy with the results. At this point, Access is tracking well over 4,000 LPs and over 13,000 individual works. For portability, I pull a report into Excel format to carry on my Palm.

The fields I use are:

- Composer
- Composer Dates
- Composer Period (Ancient, Baroque, Romantic, etc)

- Title of work
- Genre (orchestral, chamber, choral, etc)
- Type (Classical, Jazz, Blues, Rock, etc)
- Artists (conductor, orchestra, solists, etc. A single field for all since it can be easily searched and filtered.)

- Record Label
- Record Number
- Format (LP, CD, etc)
- Replacement Cost (for insurance purposes)
- Replacement Cost information source
- Filed Under (where the heck did I put that?)
- Comment (in which goes any information about pressing, recording engineer, etc.)

Since all of these fields can be searched and filtered, I can pull any subset of information I've been able to want or imagine.

And to Dan_ed's point about backup, I store both local and remote backup copies. The remote backups are stored on my accounts with my local ISP, my Yahoo email account and my Gmail email account. (Yes, overkill.)
Excel will let you easily do sorting, filtering, custom reporting, development of labels (Excel plus Word) and pretty much anything else your hear desires. A full database would seem to be overkill to me unless your collection exceeds the 65536 rows currently allowed in Excel (I'm only at 1000 rows myself) but it mostly depends on which program you are most familiar with Excel or Access. Either one will more than do the job.
I have 8,000 LPs of which 75% are classical. I am currently using Visual FoxPro, though when I get the time I will switch over to FileMaker. You could use any spreadsheet or other flat file data base. However, you will have a lot of redundancy, paarticularly if you have a lot of classical albums. Since the files are small, performance will not suffer. However, you will need a lot of extra key strokes to enter the same amount of data versus a relational data base. For many of the fields in my data bases I have choices set up (mono/stereo) (33 1/3/45) (classical/movie/show/rock/pop) so that just one click is required to enter the data. If you are familiar with a relational data base such as MS Access and you have a more than 1,000 albums I would think you could save yourself a lot of data entry time by using the relational data base.

Fields In Manufacturer File:
Record Label
Secondary label (Shaded Dog/White Dog/Dead Dog, etc.)
Stamper Number
Manufacturer's Number
Genre (movie/classical/rock, etc.)
Key (for linking data bases)
Number of disks

Fields in Album File
Stereo or Mono
Filed under
Category (solo violin, violin concerto, guitar, wind, etc.
Using a spreadsheet you construct from scratch is a horrible idea. Why would you want to type all of that in when it has already been done?

There are a number of programs spefically designed to do what you want. Google "cd database software" or "music database software" and variations.

here's an old thread on the topic
Quite a few responses here, and some very good ideas. I am going to try the two "specialized" programs mentioned here first - Music Label 2007 and the Gracenote AV Cataloger. Both companies offer free trials of their software, so there is nothing to lose. If neither of them are sufficiently customizable, I will probably give Excel a try. (I am surprised that more people haven't gone with Access or another database application, but if Excel works, that's fine with me.)

I agree that backups are essential - you must have been heartsick, Dan_ed. I try to back up about once a week, but if I put together this database/vinyl catalog, I will back it up separately to a DVD disc as well.

Styx - I don't know anything about programming, so can't do what you did, but I will add some of the categories you listed to whatever program I end up using.

Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions.

I use CDTrustee for both CD's and records. For CD's, you can just slip one in and it will automatically cross-reference a web-based datbase and fill in all the data. I find that it will locate about 24 of 25 CD's successfully. For records, I use the artist and title to search one of several databases until I find the one of interest, then fill the fields. In the event of a CD where there are extra tracks or they are in different order, it is eay to change Same with realese number, etc. Easier than typing EVERYTHING into a database worksheet. Now, if one is ONLY interested in LP title, such is not a big deal.

If someone would develop an electronic database for LP's that is comprehansive as the ones for CD's, I'd love to find it.
I created my database in MS Access. It was easy to set up and I've added several fields over the years.

I also purchased a data program for my Palm Pilot that could import from MS Access and keep an updated copy of my record data base with me at all times. It comes in handy when I'm browsing record stores.
Fully agree with 4 yanx. I use CDTrustee for all CD's and records as well. It not only fills in a relational database, but alows searches on many attributes, produces reports, CD covers etc. The functionality is way beyond what you can do in Excel. It is a 10 year product with strong support and continual improvement.
"Using a spreadsheet you construct from scratch is a horrible idea. Why would you want to type all of that in when it has already been done?"

Has it been done? I bet not. If so I sure would like to know where I can find it. I believe the topic was vinyl inventory, not CD. The programs mentioned here seem to be useful for a CD database, but limited or nonexistant for LP's. And of the databases that do exist for vinyl do they differentiate all of the different labels and pressings of a specific title? Even if it did, by the time you search through several data bases to find your specific pressing and then fill in the fields you probably would have spent much more time than it would have taken to type in the information yourself. No matter what you do inventories require work and spreedsheets are a useful tool.

I guess it depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your inventory. The reason I like a spreedsheet is because it gives me the ability to arrange my collection alphabetically and it's all on a single page I can easily scroll through and print out if need be. Having a separate screen shot for each title is just not useful to me and requires too much work to look through.
I must give my full support to the above mentioned 'CD Trustee'. This is as easy and acturate, as it gets. Saves a lot of time, with very little typing.
Herman - are you still using the Kix Music Master program you wrote about in that thread you linked? Has it gotten any easier to use? I just went to their site where it was stated that they had basically lost the ability to search for vinyl because the database they had linked to was taken over by another company which eliminated the web search function.

Though at some point I would like to inventory my CDs as well, my vinyl inventory takes precedence at this point - I have more vinyl than I have CDs, and I probably haven't even looked at some of it for quite a few years. :-o I will, however, check into CDTrustee, as recommended by 4yanx & Zargon.

I might as well make this another winter project, cataloguing all of my audio software!

I guess it depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your inventory.

Point taken. My main focus was artist, title, media to keep from buying duplicates, which is very differnt from cataloging multiple pressings of the same thing.

As for Kix and freedb I was unaware of that situation. When I tried it it found the vast majority of my albums with some minor editing. I could search an artist and just pick the titles from a list that was returned.

Looks like a different story now.
An "already been done" list containing many existing titles would obviously save a ton of redundant data entry.

I agree with those who recommended Access (or any relational DB) over Excel. It's not much harder to learn Access than a spreadsheet, and the functionality is far superior for this kind of task.

If I were going to do this I'd search for existing programs with lots of preloaded titles that can be downloaded into Access. Best of both worlds.

Or just put them away in order and then you can always find what you're after! ;-)
Certainly Access is a much more robust program than Excel as a relational database. I taught myself both programs long ago because I needed them in school and, later work. I've yet to find a softwater package in which I had an interest that I could not kick beat senselss in time. But, if you don't want to spend that time to learn and are more of a click and go person, the CDTrustee software is a cheap and effective alternative. Cheaper than buying Access or Excel off the shelf, too! (But, does anyone actually buy those programs?) ;-)
Larry, why do so many of your posts simply say .bookmark.? Is it a way to infer to others that the thread is of sufficient interest toi bookmark, or does Audiogon automatically place that line when someone bookmarks a thread? I ask because yours are the only posts where I have seen this.
Hi David,
"Bookmark" does signify a thread that holds interest for me and it is a convenient way to have that thread pop up on my "forum threads" automatically when I sign on.
I usually use it when I am not posting in that thread but want it to come up for me anytime some one adds the thread. It saves scanning all of the discussion forums each day for what I am trying to follow.
Hope all is well on your side.
I am still using a program called Audiofile which was reviewed in Stereophile many years ago.

Here are some of the issues I've run into.

The biggest issue is that the author of the program walked away from it a few years ago. I asked if, since he was disowning it, he would give me programming information so that I could maintain it for my own personal use (It has glitches when run in XP). Even though he admitted it was just a template over Filemaker Pro, he wanted to sell it to me. So.....To the extent possible you want to deal with a reputable software company that you can count on.

In the 5 years I owned the program before he disowned it there were no updates or fixes provided. They were promised. See last comment above.

This program allowed for the printing of a listing but did not provide a means to customize the listing so that what you spend time printing out is what you really want.

You could not print to a file or to html so there was no way to create something you could post or send to a friend.

The media categories were fixed at dat, vinyl, cd, tape, minidisc. This is a problem. It forces me to lump sacd and dvd-a into cd and 7inch 45rpm and all 78rpms into vinyl. I never use dat, minidisc or tape.

The help features were terrible.

A really useful piece of cataloging software would combine the cataloging feature with a music server feature all in one program. How hard could that be?

I could go on and on. Flexibility of fields and field titles should be a high priority.