Griffith Review

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Fetch film information from the web using a plugin system
  • (4 more, see all...)

Organizing your movie collection is a rather difficult thing to achieve, especially for the large ones and it gets even more difficult with every new movie added. Luckily, there are tools available to help you with this intimidating task, one of them is called 'Griffith'.

Griffith is a cross-platform application and it's known to run on GNU Linux, Microsoft Windows and MacOS X systems. It will probably run on other POSIX compatible operating systems where a GTK+ environment is available, including FreeBSD, OpenBSD and Solaris. It's written in python/pygtk and will only work if GTK2, Python, Pygtk, SQLite and Reportlab libraries are available.

When you run Griffith for the first time, you will need to add every movie from your collection to the program's list. Fortunately, Griffith can fetch movie information from the web, using a plugin system. Adding a movie to the list is a quick and easy process, as you only have to type the movie title, select a source website. Most likely, your search will return many results so you will have to choose the right one from a list. Griffith will then try to fetch all the related information about the film, such as rating, genre, year, cast and so on.

Griffith is also easy to navigate on, with the movie list on the left and information on the right. When selecting a movie from the list, it shows the movie details. First is the position in the movie list, next is the “seen it” checkbox, the movie's original and plain title, movie director and rating. If available, a poster is fetched from the web and shown. The poster section has some extra options. You can open the poster image in a separate window, you can load the poster from the hard-drive or you can remove it. A nice feature is the ability to fetch a bigger poster image from the Amazon website. However, if the movie has a popularity below average, it's quite possible its poster won't be found on either IMDB or Amazon and the poster location will show the Griffith logo.

Also on the right, there are tabs that contain certain movie information. The first tab is “Details” and shows the movie year, runtime, country, genre, studio, classification, official site and imdb (or what source website you picked) movie and trailer page. The next tab, “Plot”, describes the story line. Next is the “With” tab which contains the movie distribution: the actors’ names and their role in the movie. The “Technical info” tab contains technological information such as movie color, DVD region and layers (if DVD is the storage media). In this tab you can set the number of discs and their condition, for instance damaged, fair or excellent. The “Language” tab is a little trickier, as you first have to add the language name in the preferences window and then set that language for the subtitles, dubbing or lector. In the “Volume” tab you can choose what volume or collection is the movie part of. The “Tags” tab works just like the language tab, you first have to add more Tags in the preferences window and then select them from that tab. The “Notes” tab is reserved for personal notes regarding the movie. Finally, in the “Loans” tab you can set if the movie is loaned and whom is it loaned to. Also, it contains a history list with every loan for this movie. Another feature found in this tab is the e-mail reminder, which sends an email to the person to whom the movie is currently loaned to, reminding him or her to return the movie as soon as possible.

Movies added to the list are automatically numbered, which allows a later ascending or descending sorting. Moreover, the movies can be sorted by their title, original title and by movie director. The columns, however, can be set from the preferences window. Another feature that makes finding movies very easy is the search filter. With it, only movies from a certain year or with a certain rating are shown. Griffith can also show only movies from a certain collection. From the View menu, you can set Griffith to show only movies tagged as not seen or as loaned.

Griffith also supports backup and restore functions. When the backup function is used, the whole /root/.griffith directory (containing your settings, your people, tags and languages and most importantly, your movie list) is added to a zip archive.

Other worth mentioning feature is the export function. Griffith can export an html, pdf, xml or csv file that include your complete movie list. However, it's not a good idea to generate an html file after using the 'fetch a bigger poster from Amazon' function, as there will be big and small posters everywhere and you will end-up with a completely unequal and unaesthetic file. Griffith can also generate covers for each movie, which can be printed straight from its print preview window.

The Good

Griffith allows you to manage your movie collection by easily adding only the movie names as all the related information is automatically gathered from the dedicated websites. It provides useful features such as automatic numbering, backup/restore functions, exporting movie lists as HTML or PDF, generating covers and loans management. It has an easy to use interface and it runs on multiple platforms.

The Bad

Although it has all the functions needed to manage a movie collection and more, there are some little things that need some more work. For instance, you can search for a movie only if you type a part or the whole movie name. You can't search by actors, genre and so on. This function could work very well with a “Wishlist”, which is also missing. Moreover, when fetching a new and bigger poster, both should be kept. This way, when generating an html file, it should use the small poster for every movie and the big one for generating covers. I've also noticed that when searching for bigger posters, a lot of results return, but none or very few actually contain a poster.

The Truth

Overall, Griffith is a good movie collection manager software. Its interface is very easy to use and its features are really useful. It has a very good collection organization method and it automatically gathers movie information from dedicated websites. However, it has a few little annoying problems and still misses some features. But 'perfect' doesn't exist so we'll have to settle with 'excellent'.

Check out some screenshots below:

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user interface 5
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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