On Friday I yielded to the hype, and after cursory testing, I purchased a copy of Delicious Library 2. The clincher was the new feature that allows you to inventory your physical posessions like electronics or cameras, and publish them in HTML format for insurance purposes.

Unfortunately, after some slightly less cursory use of the product, it is deeply unsuited to this purpose. To think I actually upgraded my home Powermac G5 from Tiger to Leopard just to use this software…

For starters, on my dual 2Ghz G5, when running in a window on my secondary 30″ monitor, the program is slow as molasses. With a library with only 3 items total, entering data fields is a one character per second tar pit. Moving the window back to the primary 23″ monitor helped only a bit.

Secondly, the data model is simplistic. For all practical purposes, gadgets are treated just like books, with some repurposing of fields. The all-important serial number can’t even be displayed in column view.

Third, even basic tasks are not handled properly. I have a Symbol CS1504 pocket scanner, which is one quarter the price or size of the Bluetooth scanner Delicious Monster sells, and has a 500 barcode memory, so you can actually use it away from your computer. Using my Python driver, I scanned some books’ bar codes, dumped a text file of ISBNs and imported it into DL2. The import mapper allows you to specify which fields of the tab-separated text file go into which field of the DL2 data model. You would expect it to retrieve book detail automatically, but it does not do so. Worse yet, the “retrieve book details from the Internet” menu is grayed out when you select one of the imported books.

There are also some fit-and-finish issues. Right-clicking to get the context menu and selecting the “View in Amazon” option does not do anything. Perhaps this is due to the fact Camino is set to be my default browser, but the other way to view book details on Amazon works (hovering the mouse over the book cover thumbnail, then clicking on the overlaid eye icon that appears when you hover).

On the plus side, the HTML export works quite well, and the loan manager probably does as well, but given the shortcomings of the current version, I would not advise using it unless all you want to manage is books, CDs and DVDs, and you can afford to buy their expensive Bluetooth scanner to use in wireless semi-tethered mode.