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What is the simplest, most effective way to index a few hundred SCD
recordings? The data should be easily sortable according to, say,
tape-number, dance, dance-type, etc, and should _also_ be able to be
printed out in a manner suitable for inserts for tapes (for which a
fair bit of flexibility in arranging the layout is needed).
Would spreadsheet software be the best for the purpose? Are there
more suitable options? I have (access to) Quattro Pro and
WordPerfect, but could get hold of other software if necessary.
And, I don't want to spend the rest of my life setting up an index!
So, the KISS approach is what's wanted ... er, maybe I should
rephrase that, in case it's misinterpreted ... ;)
Irene van Maarseveen
Pretoria, South Africa
Irene - my recommendation - based on info management needs in past
professional lives is that you should stick to a database and not a
spreadsheet - much more flexible. I use FileMakerPro on my Mac to track the
inventory for my business and find it very flexible in terms of printout of
reports and labels.
I'll be interested to hear how you decide to go -as I'll probably have to
tackle this task soon also... cheers Liz Hamilton Harris:-)
I would recommens Lotus Approach, a very capable database that can be had for
about one-hundred dollars as part of Lotus' entire desktop office suite (I do
not know what it would cost in isolation, but probably not much less).
I've found Approach as easy to use as computer software ever is, and
it includes a pre-defined template for managing a record collection.
Donald F. Robertson
The known is finite, the unknown is infinite; intellectually
we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of
inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to
reclaim a little more land. -- Thomas Huxley.
On Tue, 7 Jan 1997, Irene van Maarseveen wrote:
> What is the simplest, most effective way to index a few hundred SCD
> recordings? The data should be easily sortable according to, say,
> tape-number, dance, dance-type, etc, and should _also_ be able to be
> printed out in a manner suitable for inserts for tapes (for which a
> fair bit of flexibility in arranging the layout is needed).
> Would spreadsheet software be the best for the purpose? Are there
> more suitable options? I have (access to) Quattro Pro and
> WordPerfect, but could get hold of other software if necessary.
Most of the works indexing the recording music are done either using a
database program or a spreadsheet program. I did mine on the Microsoft
Excel simply because I am fairly familiar with the program and found the
sorting function can pretty much help me to find the one either according
to name or type, etc, I do have to switch the columns to do it sometime
(since sorting usually done according to 1st column) though. Some of my
friends use the database program instead. The database program does give
one more flexibilities and wider range of functions, also more space to
expand. So far, however, I have found the spreadsheet program adequate
for my use. If you do decide to use spreadsheet program, I would suggest
you use as many columns as necessary, i.e., putting dance type, # of bars
and repetitions in separate columns and 1st, 2nd, 3rd... tunes in separate
columns. I made mistate to put them in one or two column (like 8X32R). If
you do put them in separated columns, I think it is not hard to change to
the database later either.
There must be quite a few indexing around. Maybe you can start by getting
other's and edit it instead of typing everything yourself.
You can have the simplest solution or the most effective solution, but
probably not at the same time.
My own preference is to use an ACCESS 95 database so that the recording
index can be linked to an index of dances.
The main uses of an index are to locate recordings which:
1. Include a particular dance.
2. Include dances with particular attributes (eg. 8x48R)
For this, a spreadsheet should be quite adequate. Bear in mind that a
recording index is probably most useful on paper, so you may want to
print it out in more than one sequence.
Andy Patterson (London, UK)
I agree with "GRTSCOT" that your best bet is a database program.
Obviously from the
other replies there are a number of programs to selectr from. Like
"GRTSCOT" I have
a Mac also and use FileMaker Pro for just this purpose. In fact I have
One is of the recordings and the other is of the dances with instructions
that I have used
in past dance programs.
FileMaker-Pro is available in versions for both the Mac and PC and the
can be exchanged between the two. If you are interested and get FMP, I
can clone an
empty database and try to send it to you to get you started.
One thing I have done is break my tape numbering into ranges. In my
scheme tapes 1-49
are for pairs of RSCDS recordings by book number. Tapes 50-99 are for
recordings. The 100 and above are for non-RSCDS recordings.
Memphis Scottish Country Dancers
Since some of you have expressed interest in indexing your recordings,
perhaps it is time to remind our mailgroup of the SCD database project and
to give you a status update.
Recently there has been a flurry of messages on different peoples
approaches to indexing their recordings on their computers using various
spreadsheet or database applications. For anyone engaging in this activity,
choosing the type of program you are going to use is the simplest part of
the task. The hard part is keying in all the information and, once you have
done that, verifying it for accuracy and keeping it up to date. For anyone
with a sizable music collection this can be a huge task. It is also a task
that many others have already performed. I believe it is a huge waste of
effort for each of us to individually reinvent the same wheel.
It is partly for that reason that I suggested over a year ago that we begin
an SCD database project. In the first few months we came up with a quite
credible design for a dances and music database. We also identified a
subset of the entire design as a possible demonstration vehicle for the
project, that would teach us how to administer and distribute the database
and applications for accessing it. By the way, that subset is in fact an
SCD recordings database. For you to couple your own collection to the
database, all that is needed is a list (a table) of the albums that are in
For the past several months, the project has been in full stall. Basically,
the principal contributors have been real busy with other stuff, like
dancing, our families and our real jobs(!!!). But we also ran into a real
problem, which was how to create programs to build, verify and maintain the
database. So far, we have identified FoxPro as the only relational database
that (1) runs on both Macs and PCs, (2) is relatively inexpensive for those
who wish to participate as database developers, and (3) can be used to
create royalty-free applications for accessing the database (i.e. most
database users would not have to buy any programs, not even FoxPro).
However, it appears that FoxPro is fairly complicated, so moving forward
means traversing a steep learning curve.
If you have a near-term need for your own database, do not hold your breath
expecting the SCD database project to answer your problems very soon.
However, I am hopeful that we will eventually get off the dime and produce
something useful. We need a lot of help and a lot of different skills. If
you would like to see what we have been up to, visit our web site at
http://www.tvt.com/scddb. If you are just starting to implement your own
database, you might save yourself a lot of trouble by examining our design.
Cheers, Oberdan Otto.
Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: email@example.com
I have a database of CD recordings which is used by the Linlithgow Club.
It is maintained on Lotus 123 which is simple and can be reorganised
using the data commands to give any type of prioritising or sorting.
I have also been able send it as a binary to other club members who also
Let me know if you want a copy to see if you can play with it.
In message <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Irene van Maarseveen
>What is the simplest, most effective way to index a few hundred SCD
>recordings? The data should be easily sortable according to, say,
>tape-number, dance, dance-type, etc, and should _also_ be able to be
>printed out in a manner suitable for inserts for tapes (for which a
>fair bit of flexibility in arranging the layout is needed).
>Would spreadsheet software be the best for the purpose? Are there
>more suitable options? I have (access to) Quattro Pro and
>WordPerfect, but could get hold of other software if necessary.
>And, I don't want to spend the rest of my life setting up an index!
>So, the KISS approach is what's wanted ... er, maybe I should
>rephrase that, in case it's misinterpreted ... ;)
>Irene van Maarseveen
>Pretoria, South Africa
Irene, Liz has the right idea. A spreadsheet is good for lists where
quantities and values need to be manipulated but for keeping track of
items a flatfile database is what you need. We have or all our recording
indexed in a FileMakerPro, a flatfile database for Mac. A flatfile
database complies with your KISS specification, it is not as powerful as a
relational database like 4th Dimension or FoxBase, but it is MUCH simplier
to set up and use. And for our needs quite adequate. (oh, and not horribly
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