EasyBib for iOS: point, shoot, organize, obsess

Last night, as I was going through the iTunes store looking for APA citation games (there aren’t any, which shouldn’t surprise me, and yes I know that looking for citation games is weird), I found EasyBib’s iOS app.

OH MY GOD IT IS SO MUCH FUN.

On the face of it, it’s kind of like a bare-bones RefWorks by way of SoundHound: scan a book’s barcode with your phone’s camera and EasyBib grabs salient details from the WorldCat database. Organize as desired and email your citations in APA, MLA, or Chicago style.

With my Librarian hat on, my first thought was “this is great but its functionality is limited to printed books, or at least items with barcodes. And you’ll still be short information if you’re talking about anything beyond books, like journal articles or chapters in edited books.”

But then I realized that this would be an AWESOME way to catalogue my own books. That said, I briefly swapped my librarian hat for my Embittered Canadian one as I guessed that it would be yet another barcode scanning app that would be next to useless for non-US products but I gave it a go, anyhow; I pointed my phone at the barcode for Seaside: Discover the Best of Britain’s Beaches (Time Out: London) and EasyBib nailed it. Ditto Truly, Madly, Deadly: The Unofficial True Blood Companion (ECW Press). (Hey, a friend wrote it.) WorldCat comes through!

I’m doing this for all of my books. Good thing I like Excel as this will take a bit of data wrangling, and the details will never be 100% right out of the gate, but it’s worth it.

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