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Old 11-29-2010, 01:47 PM   #1
mornington
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Calibre feature request: Additional Columns/Fields

I've been adding my library to calibre (for my shiny new Kindle, since you ask) and it's a lovely piece of software but there are some columns/fields which would make calibre much easier to use:

has_cover: A multi-valued field which indicates whether the eBook has a cover or not and, if so, where it came from. Possible values: Downloaded, Generated, fromEBook, None (respectively: the cover was downloaded by calibre, was generated by calibre, was read from the eBook when it was added to calibre and No cover detected)

has_metadata. Same thing as for "has_cover" but it refers to whether the book's (social) metadata was downloaded, generated, read from the eBook itself or doesn't exist.

The idea of the above two fields is to permit *filtering* (and sorting) to decide which books need to have metadata/covers obtained from the internet (or manually updated) and which can be left alone. Complementary "has_cover_datechecked" and "has_cover_metadatachecked", holding the date these were last checked/downloaded, would also be handy.

device_path: The path of the eBook on the device (as of the last time the device was checked by calibre). This info is available, since it's displayed as a hyperlink when the device is attached, and so should be displayable *and updateable*. Alternatively, make the "on device" column a permanently accessible column *which can be filtered on* (i.e. not merely sorted by).

Specifically, if I change the title/author metadata in calibre or relocate an eBook file on my kindle outside of calibre then I'd like calibre to be able to detect the book in the new location instead of assuming that it's no longer on the device. Ideally, I'd like a "sync calibre with device" command which compares the CRC (say) of items in calibre with that of files on the device and updates calibre's db accordingly.

Also, on an unrelated note, there's an option to auto-merge records when they're added but no way to do the same thing manually (they can be merged manually, but calibre won't detect them itself). Use case is: Added several eBook files, metadata was incorrect and was corrected (manually or via a download or batch process) and now several are duplicates - same title and author. I'd like calibre to fix that up for me, by making the "auto-merge" code from the "add books" module accessible as a manually-executable command.

I have a few other feature suggestions, but the above ones seem to me to be the lowest hanging fruit since (presumably) the code to implement them is already in place and can just be exposed in the UI.

One more slightly higher-hanging fruit, while I think on, would be to add an option to the internet import of metadata to not overwrite "series"/"series_index" metadata if it's already populated. Also, if the import could automatically detect and correct "foo;bar" as "foo & bar" in the authors field (and ditto for "last, first" --> "first last") that'd be great too.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:47 PM   #2
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Phew, that was a longer post than I originally intended.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mornington View Post
Also, on an unrelated note, there's an option to auto-merge records when they're added but no way to do the same thing manually (they can be merged manually, but calibre won't detect them itself). Use case is: Added several eBook files, metadata was incorrect and was corrected (manually or via a download or batch process) and now several are duplicates - same title and author. I'd like calibre to fix that up for me, by making the "auto-merge" code from the "add books" module accessible as a manually-executable command.
1) Make an empty library
2) Make sure the autosort/automerge option is turned on
3) Select all Books
4) Right click and Copy to Library to the empty library. It will autosort/automerge them into the new library.

On a related note, during autosort/automerge, each new book format is added to the existing record without changing the metadata in the existing record in any way. There was a request for the same functionality in the manual Merge operation (Add the book formats from the records being merged, but throw away all metadata and don't screw up the metadata in the first record by adding tags, description or anything else.) I posted a patch to add this function ("Merge only formats" - shortcut Ctrl-M). I'm not sure if Kovid will add it, but if you see it appear on the Merge menu, that's what it does.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
1) Make an empty library
2) Make sure the autosort/automerge option is turned on
3) Select all Books
4) Right click and Copy to Library to the empty library. It will autosort/automerge them into the new library.
That's a great workaround, thanks.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:32 PM   #5
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That's a great workaround, thanks.
I'm glad it helps. I spent some time adding it, and you're the first to even mention using it. Be aware that it works exactly like autosort/automerge, not like the Merge function. (That's what you asked for, but it may not be what you wanted )

Merge is designed to merge metadata and formats. Autosort/automerge only merges formats, not metadata. The first record that is processed will have all the metadata, and the metadata from the second and subsequent "matching" books will be lost.

Before you delete your source library, you may want to search in destination to see if any records are missing metadata you think should be there.

This relates to the "duplicates" finding issue that has several threads here. I keep threatening to write something like that, but not having the time. I suspect finding the dupes and manually merging by selecting the "best" record might be what you want. Searching for those threads will give you some code or methods for finding dupes.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mornington View Post
I've been adding my library to calibre (for my shiny new Kindle, since you ask) and it's a lovely piece of software but there are some columns/fields which would make calibre much easier to use:

has_cover: A multi-valued field which indicates whether the eBook has a cover or not and, if so, where it came from. Possible values: Downloaded, Generated, fromEBook, None (respectively: the cover was downloaded by calibre, was generated by calibre, was read from the eBook when it was added to calibre and No cover detected)

has_metadata. Same thing as for "has_cover" but it refers to whether the book's (social) metadata was downloaded, generated, read from the eBook itself or doesn't exist.

The idea of the above two fields is to permit *filtering* (and sorting) to decide which books need to have metadata/covers obtained from the internet (or manually updated) and which can be left alone. Complementary "has_cover_datechecked" and "has_cover_metadatachecked", holding the date these were last checked/downloaded, would also be handy.
I second! Just came here today looking for this very thing! I hope you don't mind, but i opened a ticket on the calibre web site with this request, http://bugs.calibre-ebook.com/ticket/7737

Last edited by hendrickx; 11-29-2010 at 08:41 PM. Reason: Add details
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by hendrickx View Post
I second! Just came here today looking for this very thing! I hope you don't mind, but i opened a ticket on the calibre web site with this request, http://bugs.calibre-ebook.com/ticket/7737
Custom Columns is already there Folks

Right click on a Column header... See the bottom item?
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:18 PM   #8
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right, so how do i make one?

if(cover=, "no", "")

doesn't seem to be something I can type in there. If I run a search on cover:false, I get a subset of my library, but 70% of it has covers, just not covers Calibre downloaded.

I reopened the ticket, same complaint. If covers:false doesn't work, it's a defect. Changed the ticket to represent that.

Last edited by hendrickx; 11-29-2010 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:36 PM   #9
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And here's the reply:

cover:false filters on whether there is a cover for the book in calibre. That is not going to change. Whether your book file has a cover or not is immaterial.

In other words, I'm stuck right where I was, 3389 books to manually manage in order to find the ones with no cover art.

Either re-downloading the cover of copying the existing cover (within calibre) and pasting it works to update the cover:false search. This is a pain to do with so many books.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:43 PM   #10
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And if you add your books with metadata reading enabled, then calibre would have read the cover from the book files in the first place.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:47 PM   #11
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you know, rather than partially quoting what I say in the ticket, it would be a lot easier to link to the ticket
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:10 PM   #12
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I did link to the ticket above (post #6 in this thread).

I did as you suggested with a partial subset of the library and it worked like a champ. I can't believe it was that easy. I'm sorry if it seems we got off on the wrong foot.

Thank you again for your assistance!

Last edited by hendrickx; 11-29-2010 at 10:14 PM. Reason: add detail of post #
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:32 PM   #13
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no problem
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:52 AM   #14
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no problem
I'm almost scared to ask now, since my other requests already have workable workaround, but by my reckoning that just leaves these two from my opening post:

(1)

Quote:
device_path: The path of the eBook on the device (as of the last time the device was checked by calibre). This info is available, since it's displayed as a hyperlink when the device is attached, and so should be displayable *and updateable*. Alternatively, make the "on device" column a permanently accessible column *which can be filtered on* (i.e. not merely sorted by).

Specifically, if I change the title/author metadata in calibre or relocate an eBook file on my kindle outside of calibre then I'd like calibre to be able to detect the book in the new location instead of assuming that it's no longer on the device. Ideally, I'd like a "sync calibre with device" command which compares the CRC (say) of items in calibre with that of files on the device and updates calibre's db accordingly.
And (2):

Quote:
One more slightly higher-hanging fruit, while I think on, would be to add an option to the internet import of metadata to not overwrite "series"/"series_index" metadata if it's already populated. Also, if the import could automatically detect and correct "foo;bar" as "foo & bar" in the authors field (and ditto for "last, first" --> "first last") that'd be great too.

The first one's (the device sync anyway) is a a fairly big chunk-ette of coding, though the ability to view and regexp-update the on-device path of the ebook files would be v useful as a first step. The second one, though, would come in enormously handy.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:53 AM   #15
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Also, I'm very impressed by the support so far. Thanks muchly.
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