Humble Bundle Needs Librarians

As a nerd, and a human being, I think Humble Bundle is one of the best things on the Internet. The service works like this:

Humble Bundle: Check it out! We’ve got these different, well curated piles of cool eBooks, software, and games! Choose a price level, or buy all of them, and money goes to charity! But hurry! You need to buy these soon because this bundle will go away and be replaced by yet another cool bundle of goodies!

Me: Yeah, I’ll take three of these.

But there are a couple of things that have nagged at me for a long time now, and dammit, I’m vocalizing my neurons while I have a moment. Okay, so… here’s a screenshot of some of the latest comics bundle that I’m totally buying and, keep in mind, this is at the top of the list.

A screenshot of a Humble Bundle comics bundle. Everything is out of order.

Saga has been on my to-read list for a while now. And it looks like I can get… volumes 7, 8, and 9? What about volumes 1 through 6? Oh look! Paper Girls volume… 4 and 5? Okay, and there’s volume 1 of Bitch Planet so I know I get the first book there but, Monstress volume 6? What, exactly, do I get in this bundle?

And the entire bundle is the same way, check out the screenshot that’s too damn big for this post.

See, there’s this thing called alphabetization. Librarians use it all the time. It’s pretty nifty, because it not only helps you find things, but would make you aware that yes, you do get volumes 1 -9 of Saga and you’ll learn that without jumping back and forth in the list. There are 66 items in this bundle and you need to scroll up and down over and over again to find out what all is in there.

But the torment doesn’t end there.

Because if you were to purchase these items and download them, they come down with file names like:

redhand_twilightofthegods_vol3.cbz

Or…

vampirella_mastersseries_vol01.cbz

It’s 2022 and Humble Bundle names their files like it’s 2006 and we’re all using Ubuntu 6.06 LTS. While these file names may make sense within some product database, they’re pretty useless and slightly hostile to the customer. They’re not even named in the same format as Redhand has a “vol3” where Vampirella as a “vol01.” Yes, I can see that the titles are Redhand – Twilight of the Gods volume 3 and Vampirella Masterseries volume 1, but you know what’s better? Files names like:

Redhand – Twilight of the Gods – Vol 3.cbz

Vampirella Masterseries – Vol 1.cbz

Now, granted, there’s a fantastic Firefox add-on that not only pulls down your eBooks in all the available formats, but also gives them proper names like you see above. But honestly, there shouldn’t be any need to rename the files because they should already have descriptive, friendly names.

Seriously, Humble Bundle, I love what you do, but I’ve got some issues with one side of it. At least one problem could probably be solved by changing SQL query to sort by title and the other could be fixed by spending a few more minutes on file names. And now, after all that complaining, you’ll need to excuse me.

I gotta go buy comics from Humble Bundle.

Author: Daniel
Systems librarian, podcaster, musician, author, blogger, digital creative, and cyberpunk.