By the current count, we have 304 movies (currently DVD, but soon to include Blu-Ray). Doing a little math, 304 standard DVD cases would take up 3.86 cubic feet of space. Not all our movie cases are standard, however. We have many box sets and 4-6 disc TV series. By my estimate, we would need 10 square feet of wall space to display all of our movies (5 inches deep). It would take a very long time to find a specific movie title. And the movie collection would be anything but portable.
Here is my solution:
This DVD binder holds 200 discs, and takes up only 0.45 square feet of space. 200 DVD cases would take up 2.54 square feet, so we’re compressing it to less than 18% of its original size. And the case is eminently portable, with strong metal handles and a well-protected exterior.
But what about finding movies? Flipping through a book would actually take longer, because of page-turning time, and the fact that some movies have hard-to-read labels on the discs (especially the double-sided ones).
To solve this, I have a copy of Delicious Library on my Mac. This keeps a digital record of all of our movies. Getting them in there was fast, thanks to Delicious Library’s support for barcode recognition. You just point the computer’s camera at the barcode, it “beeps,” and looks up all the movie’s info from Amazon. Alternatively you can just type the title and import the data from Amazon. We bought little round stickers at an office supply store, numbered them, and placed them at the corner of each of the slots, using a standard left-to-right, top-to-bottom pattern for each side of each page. As I entered a movie, taking its disc out of its case, I would simply slide it into the next empty slot, and using an Applescript that I wrote, quickly type in the number of that slot, using the “Location” field in Delicious Library.
We have 3 cases (two being full, one only recently started), and they are numbered sequentially. One is 1-200, the next is 201-400, and the third is 401-600.
We can scan through movies on my computer, on my iPhone (with the handy companion app), or through a physical printout I created. To create or update the printout, I do a CSV export of the library, and then run it through a custom PHP script that formats it nicely and ignores “A, An, The” for alphabetization. I just print out the title, the location, and the duration (in case we’re looking for a shorter movie). The rows are zebra-striped, of course, for easy title-to-location scanning.
When we find the movie we want to see, we scan over to the “Location” field, open the correct case, and flip to the appropriate page.
How are you organizing your movies?