Archive for August, 2006

Converting .csv data for use with List

Question: I am trying to create a database from a .csv file, how do I do this?

Answer: There is a program called listdb.exe which is part of the download for List. It is a DOS program that can convert .csv format files into List format .pdb files.

Its not terribly user friendly, and there isn’t really any good documentation.

  • From the Start menu on windows – select Run, use this to execute the ‘cmd’ program.
  • Navigate to the folder where you have the listdb.exe program using the ‘cd’ command.
  • If you run listdb on its own, you’ll see some mini-help:

C:\Documents and Settings\Andrew Low\My Documents\list>listdb.exe
Version 0.97a
Usage: listdb.exe -[p|c|x]
-p => create private (non-beamable) database
-c => create database
-x => extract database

At this point – if you are totally lost – you’ll need to find some help. Hopefully someone can give you a hand wrangling a DOS program.
The .csv format needs to have some special formatting in it (mostly the first line). Let’s look at an example .csv file to get an idea of what is involved here.

C:\Documents and Settings\Andrew Low\My Documents\list>type cd_list.csv
CD List,Artist,Title,Home,Work,Car,,,,,,,,,,,,
Home,Download,Furnace,A breakthrough album
Home,Skinny Puppy,Too Dark Park,Classic puppy album
Home,Skinny Puppy,Inquisition,Single remixes
Basically its:
Database Name,Field 1 Name,Field 2 Name,Category1,Category2,…

Then all other rows are:
Category,Field 1 Text,Field 2 Text,Note Text

Extra commas in the note field, are converted into carriage returns.
Hint: If you use the -x (extract) flag to take apart an existing database, it will dump things in the correct format giving you a template of sorts to work from.

11 comments August 19th, 2006


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