The CD Czar Report Writer

To bring up the Report Writer, you can either right-click in the Albums View to bring up the popup menu and select Report Writer in the right pane, OR click on the button with the pencil image in the yellow Toolbox.  Then you can customize your report,  webpage or export as follows:

Report Tables

The albums table is always included, and the first option allows you to click a check box to also include the Tracks and/or Playlist table.

Order by

Here you have the opportunity to decide by which field the output will be ordered (sorted).  Choose "Natural" if you want to see records displayed in the order entered.  The sort order will  default the current sort order.

Filter Expressions

These instructions also apply to Filter Expressions in the Albums View and the Tracks View (to use in the Albums View, right-click and select the Set Filter option in the right hand panel of the popup menu which will appear - there is also a Cancel Filter option).

If you wanted to select all your albums by Bob Dylan, the easiest filter expression to put in the Albums Table entry box might seem to be:
    artist="Bob Dylan"
But if an album's info was pulled from the online database and the person doing the entry did not use proper case (for example, entered him as bob dylan), that album wouldn't be included using the above method.  An safer expression would be:
    contains(artist,"bob dylan")
as this contains function is case-insensitive.
If you wanted to find your albums by Richard and Mimi Farina, you would be undaunted by the fact that sometimes Mimi was listed first and sometimes Richard if you used;
    contains(artist,"mimi and richard and farina")
By the way, if you have upgraded from an earlier version and are used to using the "$" operator, you can continue to do so BUT it is case sensitivem and also it will not work with the Notes field.
Some more examples:
To see only blues albums, in the Albums Table entry box type:
To review albums with a non-blank Label/Mask entry:
To see all albums copied to the CD-R labeled "Favorite Neo-Swing"
    contains(label,"favorite neo-swing")
If you wanted to see all albums dated before the year 2000 you could use:
    YR < "2000"
To see all compilation albums with the song Joe Hill, in the Albums Table entry box type:
and in the Tracks Table entry box:
    contains(track,"joe hill")
Finally, to see only classical recordings that have a composer listed you could do like so:
   genre="classical" and contains(notes,"*composer*")
Note that the wildcard character * is necessary around composer because this kind of info is usually entered in the database like: EXTD=composer
but don't use the wildcard in the Quick Search in the Albums View as that is done for you there internally (and only for the Notes field).

Here is a list of functions that can be used with Filter Expressions.

There is a drop-down history list of filter expressions you entered so that you won't have to retype those you use routinely.  If you want to delete an expression in the history list, first select it and then click the "-" Delete button next to the Clear Entry button.

A further note about database filtering:  SET EXACT is treated as ON (to use dBase jargon).  So if you had two albums, one titled simply "Best Of" and the other "Best Of the Beatles", the following filter expression would only include the first album:
    ALBUM="Best Of"
while this would pick up both:
    ALBUM="Best Of*"
where the asterisk "*" (shifted 8) is the wildcard character.
So if you wanted to see all compilation albums you would use filter expression:
And to include only albums that were NOT compilations use:
To see all albums with Cover art:

Unlike with the Search by Artist in the Albums View (opening screen), "One Stop" artist search does not work with the Report Writer.  So filtering on Artist in this Report Writer will only display solo recordings, not multi-artist compilations. Exception: when you click on Report for your output and then select only Artist for your output field, the resulting  Artist List will include both solo and compilation artists (any filter is ignored for this special report).

Media List  Similar to Artist List described above,  if you select only Label for your output field, you will get a listing of your Music Mixes in order of media label, with the time used calculated for each mix (so that you will know how much time is left on re-writable media).  If you clicked the "Include Tracks and Playlist tables" box, you will also see all the tracks (songs) on each mix.  If you do not enter a Filter Expression yourself for the Albums table, the program by default will include only albums with labels and which do NOT have a media code of LD (local disk).  So if you DO want to see the audio clips on your hard drive, for example, you could enter the Filter Expression: media="LD".  And if you only want to see your rewritable media, and the media you use are CD-RW discs and Minidiscs, you could enter the Filter Expression: media="CW"  OR media="MD"

When you are satisfied with your choices above, you can either run the Report for review or printout, Generate a webpage (HTML), or export in CSV or XML format.    If you select Report and get an error message, click here for an easy fix.

Create Report
After you click this option, you first get to select the fields you want in your report, including the "virtual" valuation fields of Cost and Value.  You will then see a screen preview of your report (the loading progress is indicated in the lower left corner).  Note that the scroll bar navigates you through the current page only, to go to other pages you must click on the VCR style buttons at the top.  When you are ready to print, click the first Printer icon to select your printer and printer options, then click the next Printer icon to begin printing out your report.  Or you can click the diskette icon to save your report either as a text file (to import into a document or email message for example) or as a QRP (Quick Report) file that can be loaded later by clicking the folder icon.  Note: the preview may not show all the fields, you will have to either Print or Save to see all the fields if you have selected several.

If you have chosen to include Tracks in your report, any Playlist tracks will be indicated by an asterisk (*) at the beginning of the line.

If you chose to blank out the Report Title then the header will be suppressed (there will be no page title or page number) in the Report.

As hinted above, if you select only the Artist field for output, you will get a special Artist List report that will list all the artists in your collection, one line per artist.  This particular report will include both solo and compilation album performances. Any filter entered will be ignored by this special report.

If for any reason you are not happy with the layout or formatting of this Report, you can instead export to CSV or XML output (described further below) and use any number of third party spreadsheets or database managers to design the exact report you want (if you don't already have a spreadsheet or database you can download the freeware OpenOffice).

Create Webpage (HTML)

This button generates an HTML format webpage that you can upload to a webserver to display your Collection to your friends.  The only fields that will be included will be Artist, Album, and (if you checked include Tracks in the Tables box) Tracks.  As with Run Report above, you can select sort order (in this case only Artist, Album Title or Natural are available), and use a database filter.  The output HTML file will be displayed in your default browser after it is created.  Colors will alternate with each starting letter of the Artist or Album (depending on sort order chosen), unless you chose Natural (chronological) order.

Create CSV (comma separated values) file
You can export your data to a CSV format file, expecially useful for importing into all major spreadsheets (even my 7 year old Lotus 123).  The sort order and all filters are respected, and after you click the CSV button you get to select which of the Albums Table fields to include in the export file and in which order, including the "virtual" valuation fields of Cost and Value.  One file is produced for each table included.

Create XML file
Just like CSV described above, except you get the option to include the Notes field.  And of course the output is XML format, especially useful for importing into databases.

Note for both CSV and XML export:  if you include the Tracks table, be sure to include the ID field in the Albums table output as that is the field connecting the tables.

Go to CD Czar's program page to download trial, purchase unlimited version, etc.