Best Free File or Disk Catalog Organizer

 
Introduction

A file or disk catalog organizer helps index files stored on hard disks, removable media such as CDs, DVDs, USB drives or network drives in a few seconds and create catalogs for searching files without having access to the original media.

Some useful organizers provide searching capabilities based on file name, date and size, filtering options, or searching duplicates or singles, etc. These organizers save your precious time and effort in finding the files you want instantly from a collection of even thousands of files on your storage media.

 
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Discussion

CathyCathy is a tiny portable program that catalogs files on removable media, or on your hard drive. Once indexed, you can quickly search and locate a file by name, size, and date, with additional search fields for MP3 files. Multiple catalogs are supported and you can also search for duplicate files. There is also a handy directory listing feature that allows you to print the contents of any folder.

The real strength of this program is its speed; it can index hundreds of thousands of files without a problem. This makes it handy for sysadmins as well as users with large file collections. Cathy doesn't index the contents of files, just file names and other file properties. If you want to search contents use a desktop search program.

 

GentibusGentibus CD - "for the people" - is a very good name and choice if you're looking for a tool to organize your CD/DVD collection. The scan on CDs, DVDs or hard disks can be categorized and searched. The advanced search function will also find "Harry Po" if you're looking for "Harry Potter". Gentibus CD will find duplicates, quickly discovers image, audio, video and program files as 'super-categories' on its own, which comes in very handy when you're archiving a medium with mixed content. A very pleasing feature is that Gentibus CD will show you thumbnails of any pictures you might have archived on your CD/DVD so you will be able to search them somewhat as a virtual CD.

 

Visual CDVisual CD scans all the usual suspects in an explorer-like approach. The 'catalogs' contain the data of one medium, can be password protected and joined by favorites and also display the contents of zipped files. The search is very refined as you would expect in a competent file manager, complete with an 'extra' menu with very welcome features (dublicates, file splitter, thumbnail-maker, etc.) and the option menu allowing you to adjust the software to your needs.

 

DisclibDisclib is a terrific utility. I archive all of my projects to CD/DVD and keep them in a fireproof box for storage. But there are over 30 full discs now (half are DVDs), and many of them have multiple versions of the same project. Disclib keeps an index of the file/directory structure of every disc, so I can search through them all without having to swap 30 discs in my drive! Invaluable!

 
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Quick Selection Guide

Cathy
4.5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Good speed, support multiple catalogs, search duplicate files, handy directory listing, print contents of any folder.
Does not index the contents of files.
http://www.mtg.sk/rva/
http://www.mtg.sk/rva/
2.31
66 KB
Unrestricted freeware
This product is portable.
XP(SP3), Vista(SP2), Win7 and above.

v2.31 released 28 January, 2013

Gentibus CD
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Find duplicates, discovers super categories, show thumbnails.
1.51
8.9 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
XP/ Vista/ 7
Visual CD
3.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Scan in explorer-like approach, can be password protected, displays contents of zipped files, refined search with welcome features.
4.2
2.33 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows

View the changelog here

Disclib
3.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Archive and keep an index of file/directory structure of disks.
2.0
3.86 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 2000, XP

 
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Tags

file catalog, disk catalog, disc catalogue, file organizer, disk organizer, disc organiser, free software

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Comments

by Geert on 27. September 2008 - 11:59  (8350)

I'm very satisfied with Cathy which I use to carry with me on USB-stick my lightening fast searchable MP3-catalog.

But recently I discovered Everything.

  • It indexes every NTFS volume (you can't specify what directories to catalog) very (and I really mean *VERY*) quickly and from then on monitors all changes.

  • You can start it up when you need it or let it run whenever Windows runs.

  • When searching (it supports regular expressions if you want it), it instantaneously shows the applying results while you type.

  • It is actively developed

  • I can even make the special Search button on my keyboard open a new Everything search window

I'm aware of Copernicus and other desktop searchers, but uninstalled them all because of their load on my system.

If you just need a tool to find a specific file that is somewhere on your hard drive, Everything is a must.
Oh, how I like those little gems, that just do what they are intended for with a minimal footprint.

by Anonymous on 27. September 2008 - 20:51  (8384)

What do you think about MediaMan 2.2.1 (last freeware version)?

by Anonymous on 27. September 2008 - 20:51  (8385)
by Anonymous on 1. October 2008 - 16:33  (8551)

Visual CD 4.0 is released.

by msorens on 20. October 2008 - 22:44  (9386)

I tried Visual CD and found it quite NON-intuitive with its unusual folder vs. favorites separation. Also, I asked it to show me thumbnails of a catalog with 1000 images. Besides the thumbnail view being verrry slow to appear, all it showed was an icon of the program, not the file! (Since these were all png files, they all had the same icon.)

I then tried Gentibus because of the Gizmo commentary stating that it "smartly discovers image-, audio-, video- and program files", and wow! This program is (a) fast to index, (b) intelligent with the image/audio/etc. categories, (c) fast to display thumbnails, (d) shows all CDs in a single folder tree, (e) has a nice, clean web site for support. The only thing lacking is a print capability.

by Anonymous on 8. November 2008 - 7:57  (10221)

I've tried many, but Gentibus is what I need.

by vorce on 21. November 2008 - 14:56  (10806)

I stick with Cathy, whose (only) executable is a less-than-60KB file!!!

by Anonymous on 6. December 2008 - 7:31  (11518)

A program that's not updated recently but just does the job is
DiskCat. I continue to use it as i have a large existing catalogue. This is more for data catalogues and archives. Visual CD was the better choice for music collections but I've tried the others here.

http://www.rob.cybercomm.nl/diskcat/index.html

It will index the contents of Zip files, supports other languages, etc.

The web site is funky but the program is fine. You can create sub-directories with other catalogue sets, like photos, archives, installers, reference, etc.

by Anonymous on 11. January 2009 - 13:26  (13622)

I prefer Disk Explorer Professional 3
the last version is freeware.

http://www.tjelinek.com/main.php?section=dd

it has a lot of features and it's written in c++ so it's faster then those Delphi apps (like whereisit).
http://www.tjelinek.com/img/dep/dep.png
It can scan inside most archives like zip, rar, 7-zip, ace ...
Has exif support for images, and imdb for movies and a holle lot of other features.
The only downside is that it hasn't been updated in some time.

by Anonymous on 12. January 2009 - 12:15  (13717)

Thanks for this one. Busy playing with it and I am very impressed. I've been using DiscLib (which also has not been updated in quite some time). In a way they are similar, which is good since I liked DiscLib, but so far Disk Explorer Professional 3 surpasses it.

Note that it's not completely freeware, but free for non-commercial use only.

by Anonymous on 17. January 2009 - 19:26  (14106)

Recently I've found SI Cataloguer 2.2
http://www.freewarefiles.com/SI-Cataloguer_program_35391.html

It's all I need.

by Anonymous on 20. January 2009 - 0:55  (14244)

Site Advisor is warning against S1 cataloguer, Gentibus and WinCatalog

by Anonymous on 24. January 2009 - 22:27  (14626)

I looked at a couple of these utils.
I need a cd cataloguing program that automatically catalogues any cd inserted without you having to click an icon to read the disk's contents. Any cd that was already in the database would be ignored..
Any suggestions?
cheers
trixys

by Anonymous on 31. January 2009 - 14:08  (15021)
by Anonymous on 16. February 2009 - 16:28  (16149)

DKFinder (http://www.dkellner.hu/freeware/finder/) is quite a cotender in this desktop search war. Check it out.

by Anonymous on 26. February 2009 - 17:14  (16835)

Spent years literally, searching for a decent cataloguer. Then saw the review here for Cathy. Asbolutely superb and portable too.

by Anonymous on 10. March 2009 - 3:00  (17475)

They are all fine, however Avast Antivirus gives a false positive on a system file installed by Gentibus, this has been verified as a mistake and will be corrected soon.

by Anonymous on 29. March 2009 - 7:17  (18807)

For searching i recommend two freeware tools.

Everything
www.voidtools.com

IndexYourFiles
http://www.indexyourfiles.com/

Using Everything you may feel like searching in google suggest because results appear as you type. It takes a few seconds to build a very small data base file for you hard drive. Portable and free. Just a single exectuteabe.

Indexyourfile is not live search but it has many features, search inside files, preview of files inside indexyourfiles, thumbnails preview, you can make database of even network folders and has a many other customizations. again it is, Portable and free, Just a single exectuteabe.

by Anonymous on 26. April 2009 - 16:54  (20580)

Try this one:

www.se-soft.com/Explorer.aspx

SE Explorer

A two-pane file manager that looks to have some good features - a portable version, media player, image viewer, pdf viewer, file difference compare, etc.

by Anonymous on 21. May 2009 - 1:22  (22009)

InsideCAT Lite Edition (9.1 MB, http://www.insidecat.biz/disk_cataloguer/disk_cataloguer.htm). Alas, no more than 100 discs.

lloonn

by Anonymous on 17. September 2009 - 14:55  (32808)

thanks interesting i'll try; thanks for sharing

by Anonymous on 17. September 2009 - 14:59  (32809)

Seem to be good ill try thanks for sharing

by Anonymous on 18. February 2010 - 22:47  (43906)

If you like a little of nice gui and you dislike the look of cathy, try DiskGardenREv34.

by Anonymous on 4. April 2010 - 10:53  (46922)

Since 02/2010 it's completely FREE, for commercial and non-commercial use.

by Anonymous on 17. April 2010 - 11:31  (47841)

Am I asking the impossible? Or just tilting at the wrong windmill?

What I want is a cataloguer that will handle all my purchased audio CDs, so that when I insert one initially for the program to scan, the program uses the freedb online to collect the names of each .cda file and then stores that for future reference. So far the ones I've trialled don't do that. All the files on the audio CDs are stored in the database as Track01.cda, Track02, etc.

This won't enable me to make a later search for the disks on which there are songs by the same composer, or instances of the same song sung by different artists and so on. This is the functioality I need.

I can't figure how the existing method of simply naming the tracks generically could be of use to anyone.

I'm clearly in need of some advice here and would appreciate it.

Tess

PS. Like some others here I also use 'Everything' and find it brilliant and extraordinarily fast as a hard drive indexer.

by Anonymous on 20. April 2010 - 10:57  (48026)

Disk Explorer Professional 3.70 does exactly what you want and much more. It's the best and it's completely free.

Cheers,
Akuma

by Anonymous on 9. June 2010 - 19:48  (51764)

I've been using Disclib for a few weeks. The Help file is not great and you have to mostly figure it out on your own. It has a nice structure but continually stops working, so you should save every time you add a disk or a few descriptions or categories. You can comment on every volume, folder or file which might make finding the right disc easier.

by Anonymous on 21. June 2010 - 4:12  (52564)

Hi, Ive used Disclib for some time until I must have reached its limits. I have about 60 dvds cataloged and it just refused to add more. Its startup and search is also abysmally slow. I found Win Catalog Light (free prog) and its much better than Disclib. Pity it doesnt get a mention in the freeware list??

by brunetu on 13. August 2010 - 11:55  (55929)

I've made a script that automatically adds information about all files on an inserted disc into an SQLite database, which I have more power of searching by using SQL. Faster too. So I'm not using this software, but

Recently (in the last year or two) I found (LineSoft) LS MyLib. This has all the search features of the software mentioned above and most other disc-cataloging software I've tried, except exporting catalog data into a stand-alone executable viewer (I've noticed this feature in a commercial piece of software perhaps), but it balances this disadvantage by being portable.

It can also categorize catalogs into categories and sub-categories in a tree-like manner. It reads MP3 ID3 info. It allows comments and manages debtors (which discs you have given to friends and when). And also very important for me, it is fast, customizable, has a nice neat organized user interface and it is also portable! Good enough for me, except I don't burn so many discs as I used to (I have hundreds).

[Moderator's Note : Reference to shareware/commercial product removed.]

by Dynodave68 (not verified) on 28. August 2010 - 7:41  (56878)

How can I get a copy of the SQL script you wrote?

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