Best Free File or Disk Catalog Organizer



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.


Rated Products


A tiny portable program catalogs files at great speed

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Good speed, support multiple catalogs, search duplicate files, handy directory listing, print contents of any folder.
Does not index the contents of files.
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Gentibus CD  

Find duplicates and discover image, audio, video and program files as super-categories on its own

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Find duplicates, discovers super categories, show thumbnails.
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Visual CD  

A disk cataloging tool to index the contents of your media storage in an explorer-like style

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Scan in explorer-like approach, can be password protected, displays contents of zipped files, refined search with welcome features.
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Allows you to catalog and search all the files from your collection of CDs and DVDs

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Archive and keep an index of file/directory structure of disks.
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Is there a cataloguer specifically designed for music collections. MAC (MP3 Audio Collection) was great but no longer seems to work with large collections. When I last used it a couple of years ago it handled 120GB OK but now it just hangs after many hours. It was last updated in 2003, so the problem may be with current Windows versions.

Whatever happened to MP3 Audio Collection? Can't find it on Google search.

Visual CD works great on Win 10. Was able to access all my old catalogs from Win 7 (32bit) with no problems.
Tried Virtual Volumes View which has a more recent update than Visual CD but couldn't get it to work the way Visual CD, which gives you two tabs. A 'Favorites' which allows you to see all catalogs created, and a 'Folders' tab to view a tree of all files contained within any catalog.

Running Cathy on Windows 7 64 bit. Runs fine with the small amount I've thrown at it. At first I got the message that it could not access the catalog file it wanted to create, but then I ran it as administrator and it worked fine. I'll update if I run into any problems.

Cathy works fine on Windows 8 if you run it in XP (SP3) compatibility mode, or at least it has so far for me.


Thanks for the tips.
I've been using DiscCat for years but it's no longer giving decent search results with nearly 200 catalogues. Really annoying when I know its there but its not finding the disc#.

With Cathy not supporting 64 bit properly, thats off the table. I need a database, not Gentibus's extras. Visual CD has not been updated in years. Several people pointed to issues with proprietary formats. No desire to re-catalogue repeatedly.

Virtual Volumes View looks like a great choice - thanks for the review James. The site mentions a prior issue with corrupt MP3 files thats fixed - that may address Geerts issue.

Doesn't appear to search inside Zip files like DiscCat or Visual CD.

Have loaded about 1/4 of my discs into VVV. It works very well. The default (which can be controlled) is to also index metadata in audio files. So discs with a bunch of music will take much longer to index and may even show as "Not Responding". But all the discs have worked if I let it do its thing. Regular files index very quickly. And the search is fast. This is so much better than what I was using.

A couple of quick Startup tips.
First you use New to create a catalogue. Then you click catalogue (the disc icon) to add a volume to the catalogue. Give it a name - I use a number series so the discs are easily browsed in time sequence. These will then list in Physical view.

To Search, click Search and select Contains first.

All can be exported to CSV.
The only thing it doesn't do I'm used to is index ZIP file contents but thats not a biggy for me.

The main key of course with any of these tools is good labelling. You won't be able to find it easily if you don't name folders and files in searchable terms.

DavidFB, what program are you referring to. I only see 'VVV' in your post. Do you mean Virtual CD?

Hi Phylis
VVV = Virtual Volumes View, as mentioned in the post I was replying to. I've continued to use it happily for my file archives.
In Search, I always change to "Contains" rather than the default to get more complete results.
It handles BD-Rs just fine too and can index hard drives, thumb drives or anything else you choose. Just make sure you use sensible naming conventions so you can find it (search for it) later.

For movies and DVD's, I use EMDB (Erics Movie Database). Thats working really well for me and is updated regularly. I've turned off Cast photos as I don't need all that but it successfully imported my old listing after I'd prepared it properly. (I had built a custom database but it choked on an update) I was then able to batch-update via IMDB. I mostly use the visual bookcase view.

Thanks for the quick reply, David. And 'Duh!' on my part. Think I went brain dead from looking at so much stuff. Downloaded VVV and yes, it is incredibly straight forward and has the newest update to any of these programs. (Sept. 2016). However, I'm having a problem viewing all catalogs. Another Duh! moment I'm sure:

I cannot get multiple catalogs to show in 'Physical' or 'Virtual Folder'.
I create catalog A, then click the Virtual icon and create a new Root Folder, called 'Thumb Drives'.
Go back to 'Physical view', Right click on the catalog A, and add it to the virtual folder named 'Thumb Drives'.
All's good.
But when I create a second catalog,(B), the first one (A) no longer shows under 'Physical' and from Virtual view, No Root Folders show (Thumb Drives).
What am I missing?

I don't use the Virtual section. Not sure if I even explored that.
I just used File, New to create a VVV catalogue (3 of them) which are saved in the same folder. I then add disc "volumes" to one or other of them by using the Open button and choosing the file (catalogue) I want to save the disc to.

All the discs (volumes) in the file show in Physical view. I've got nothing in Virtual.
The only reason I have separate catalogues is the type of content - file archives, app & OS, utilities. I digitize my music so don't catalogue those discs (the meta data tells me the album it comes from) and as mentioned I use a different program for movies.

It appears you'd use Virtual folders to intermix volumes like Favorites. As I use VVV mainly to find things across the archive, I have no need for that.

Just installed Cathy on a windows 8 laptop. When I try to Catalog any folder it just reports it as inaccessible!

Cathy doesn't support Win8.

Disk Explorer 3 is perfect for when you have Virtual CDs that are 60GB+ in size. Very easy to use and very customizable, and best of all, it is free, unless you want to make a donation through paypal.

Sorry - is this a disc cataloguer or virtual drive software?

It's a cataloguer.

The installer can be extracted and run portably (although it will auto-create a data folder in My Docs and profile settings in AppData).

The program itself is packed with all sorts of functions, it will catalogue the contents of archives, add thumbnails for pictures in the catalogue etc, all of which is configurable.

It's not been updated since 2010 but it's very good, I've used it for years although I find VVV a bit more straightforward and faster on the whole.

Thanks for the notes.
If you want speed and search functions, I'd turn off things like thumbnails. But if you use photos and images a lot, it would be slower but that may be a function you find very useful.

Depends on needs.

Yes exactly. DEP3 can be slow precisely because it can extract and store so much information about the data that it catalogues.

Personally I don't need all that so I find it easier to use VVV which has far fewer configuration options.

Gentibus 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, smartly discovers image, audio, video and program files as 'super-categories' on its own, which comes 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.

This darn thing kept telling me my data access files where not installed despite installing the latest one.

Probably looking for Windows components that are no longer present. They mention fixing a bug like this but that was long before your comment so evidently they didn't. No longer being developed.