Barcode Scanner for VHS?

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GAJones4221's picture
Barcode Scanner for VHS?

So I really don't know how to word this and please excuse my lack of knowledge when it comes to retail barcodes or cashiering, so I don't have much knowledge in this field but I'm curious to know whether a program like amazon, where it has a bar code scanner application(Atleast for android not sure about I phone) but for android use I can scan about 75% of VHS bar codes with the amazon bar code scanner and about 75% of the time it pulls up the title and I can click it, read reviews, buy it, it shows the listing ya know.

So my question is if there's an app that we can use with like an excel sheet like the amazon barcode scanner app that would manually enter the title when you scan the barcode and the barcode itself , like a database. 

Again I'm not entirely sure if this is completely unrealistic or not, it doesn't seem like it would be since amazon has an app that can do just that, I just don't have any way to inventory with the amazon barcode scanner app.

However, after a quick search on google amazon does have USB bar code scanners. Their best seller is one that sells for 18 bucks , haven't examined the details on it but I'm hoping someone here has a answer to my question, manually entering them 1 at a time in stacks is rather tedious and exhausting.

If this doesn't exist maybe some day it can be, I'd be interested in trying to help with that kind of app development if one doesn't exist so that way we as collectors can do just that.

Thanks for reading


For anyone curious as to the barcode scanner I was referring to I'll link it below.


The one above has a 3.9 star rating but the second I'm about to link has a 4.4 star rating which is pretty good. Little bit more expensive at 36 but its eligible for free shipping on amazon past 35 so that's a nice bonus :D

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Dense Flux's picture

It seems that it would be possible for the Amazon UPC lookup system to be integrated into a website like this.

Amazon have a "Lookup by UPC" system as part of their "Product Advertising API":

It seems that websites have to aquire permission to use this API, on the grounds that they are helping Amazon attract customers to their products. This website already has Amazon links on the pages for each video, and on the wishlist pages, so it may be successful at applying for access to the API, if it doesn't have it already.

The USB scanner device used would not have to be Amazon-specific, it would be the website that would look up the UPC code using the Amazon database. I don't think Amazon would allow a stand-alone program or phone app to be developed using their API, but I think integrating the functionality with the website would be better anyway.

Unrestricted free UPC databases exist, but are unlikely to carry enough information about items to fill in a meaningful number of fields for a cover submission. They also have fewer items in their databases to start with.

Here's one:

This page provides an overview of the situation:

Thinking about it: we're already uploading images of the barcodes, so we shouldn't need a dedicated barcode scanner in the first place. Looking into it, there are free libraries available that can be used to decode barcodes from images. One seemingly popular one is "ZXing" ( ), which has an online decoder website ( ) that successfully decoded barcodes on five VHS covers I found on this website (one of which was fairly fuzzy). I didn't need to trim down the image at all, just copied the link for the full size image to the "Image URL" box. This shows that automatic barcode decoding using ZXing could be built into this website without any additional image processing being required beforehand. Using the Amazon API's UPC lookup system, this could mean that after uploading the image, many fields in the cover submission form could be filled out completely automatically.

Amazon Product Advertising API Homepage: