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Old 01-02-2011, 06:26 AM   #1
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format standardization for a calibre library

I'm going to standardize my ebook library on one format, delete as much as possible the others, then only convert to any other formats if/when I need them. Does anyone have advice as to which format would be best to standardize on?
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:53 AM   #2
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I'm going to standardize my ebook library on one format, delete as much as possible the others, then only convert to any other formats if/when I need them. Does anyone have advice as to which format would be best to standardize on?
Depends on the device(s) you read on. I'm thinking the Kindle will not read ePub so, even though it's not as good as ePub, you may want to stick to mobi. I don't know about the iPhone (except that I will never own one).
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:18 AM   #3
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Depends on the device(s) you read on. I'm thinking the Kindle will not read ePub so, even though it's not as good as ePub, you may want to stick to mobi. I don't know about the iPhone (except that I will never own one).
ePub is definitely preferable for iDevices, and easily converted to MOBI.

G
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:29 AM   #4
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I'm going to standardize my ebook library on one format, delete as much as possible the others, then only convert to any other formats if/when I need them. Does anyone have advice as to which format would be best to standardize on?
I have a similar philosophy. I also have a Kindle but I decided EPUB is the best format to "standardise" on in terms of current and likely future device support, editability and convertability. So I make sure I have an EPUB "master" version touching it up in Sigil as required, then convert to MOBI using Calibre for my Kindle and finally then delete all the other formats. A long slow manual process to get things "how I like 'em" but that's part of the "fun"...
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:32 AM   #5
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hmmm. I haven't even messed with eBooks for the iPhone yet, so I don't know either, but that's part of the issue of generating formats only when I need them. So I'm not locked into any one device or eBook vendor and the availability of any particular title is maximized and available for conversion to any format for any device.

I guess a more exact question is:

Within calibre at present, what input format would allow the best conversions to ANY other format? I'd guess on ePub, but I'm not sure. I'm new at this but so far ePub seems the cleanest.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:44 AM   #6
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oops, replies crossed. So, you're all suggesting to standardize on ePub. That's good. Thanks.

Now my next standardization question. On the issue of FN LN vs LN, FN in author field, what works best for you folks? I don't really care what's in the black box, but I see pros and cons either way.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:50 AM   #7
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If you're looking for the best format, period, to store your books in, then EPub would be best. However, you would have to convert to unprotected mobi to read your books on your Kindle (I checked and the only eBook formats supported are Kindle's, mobi, and PDF). It would seem to me to be more hassle than it's worth to make the conversion from ePub to mobi everytime you wanted to put a book on your Kindle. Also, if you are buying your books from Amazon and not stripping DRM, then you would have to stay with Kindle's format.

I looked up the iPhone and there are a variety of apps available that will read most formats so it appears what the Kindle will read should be your deciding factor.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:18 AM   #8
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Thanks, LadyF. I devoted some time to plugins yesterday. It seems pretty easy to do bulk imports, conversions, and send-to-devices. Once on the Kindle or iPhone, an eBook will be read and trashed, because as kiwidude put it, I'll have a "master" copy in the 'server' library.

I saw elsewhere that you (LadyF) went with LN,FN in author field. Does that require a lot of re-entering author info whenever you import metadata?
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:26 AM   #9
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I prefer to leave the author field to first last and the author sort to last, first. But I do have the author sort tweak so the Authors in the tag browser are last, first.

It is a personal preference thing.

I also have ePub as my main format. It converts well to other formats.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:27 AM   #10
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...I saw elsewhere that you (LadyF) went with LN,FN in author field. Does that require a lot of re-entering author info whenever you import metadata?
No, I wanted to but when the directions, often conflicting, started coming through, my poor mind got so confused, it shut down (I have ADD do I have to have simplicity), especially since it appeared I was going to have to edit my authors manually (I only have 492; yikes!). I haven't given up on the idea but, for now, the project is on hold.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:30 AM   #11
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Now my next standardization question. On the issue of FN LN vs LN, FN in author field, what works best for you folks? I don't really care what's in the black box, but I see pros and cons either way.
I'm sure you'll get people arguing for either way and I can see why having tried both. If I was just looking at a single book record, or all books by a single author, then FN LN is the most visually appealing to me, as of course it matches what is printed on the cover and how you would verbally say the name And how you would see it displayed when you go to other websites like Amazon etc.

However I actually use LN, FN format because my brain just flips out when I have multiple authors on screen so the "sort order" does not match the visual left to right reading of each cell. Tried it, hated it - just found it too slow for my eyes to have to keep scanning across to see the surname when looking through a large set of search results. If you want to "see the effect" just go to the FantasticFiction website and click on one of their "authors by letter" links - I find it damn near impossible to find an author when they are displayed FN LN.

As you say there are arguments either way, no "right" choice imho.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:47 AM   #12
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Yeah, the last/first name issue is on hold for me too for now. I'm too new at this to make a decision yet.

author sort tweak? I went back to v*35 yesterday, which I (newbie) thought doesn't support tweaks? I'll wait a week or so before I mess with tweaks.

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Old 01-02-2011, 08:56 AM   #13
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Yes, exactly why I'm considering the issue. Also, being used to LN FN from work in Info Tech, it's jarring for me to work with FN LN. It's not the black box or file system issue, it's the issue of dealing with what is most comfortable at the least amount of work.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:01 AM   #14
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Yeah, the last/first name issue is on hold for me too for now. I'm too new at this to make a decision yet.
The longer you wait, the more work you must redo...
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author sort tweak? I went back to v*35 yesterday, which I (newbie) thought doesn't support tweaks? I'll wait a week or so before I mess with tweaks.
There have been tweaks in Calibre for almost a year now. What changes is the number of them. You see/edit tweaks using preferences -> tweaks. The top pane shows all the tweaks available for that release. The bottom pane shows tweaks you have set. You typically copy a value from the top to the bottom, then change it to be what you want.

The author sort tweak that dwanthny mentioned is:
---
Code:
# Set which author field to display in the tags pane (the list of authors,
# series, publishers etc on the left hand side). The choices are author and
# author_sort. This tweak affects only what is displayed under the authors
# category in the tags pane and content server. Please note that if you set this
# to author_sort, it is very possible to see duplicate names in the list because
# although it is guaranteed that author names are unique, there is no such
# guarantee for author_sort values. Showing duplicates won't break anything, but
# it could lead to some confusion. When using 'author_sort', the tooltip will
# show the author's name.
# Examples:
#   categories_use_field_for_author_name = 'author'
#   categories_use_field_for_author_name = 'author_sort'
categories_use_field_for_author_name = 'author'
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:06 AM   #15
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Yes, exactly why I'm considering the issue. Also, being used to LN FN from work in Info Tech, it's jarring for me to work with FN LN. It's not the black box or file system issue, it's the issue of dealing with what is most comfortable at the least amount of work.
There is one more argument I could make for LN,FN and that is I think the Calibre search works better with names stored that way. Say I was looking for Lee Child. I have now "trained myself" to type "child," (without the quotes) as my first instinct at a search (i.e. surname,). Straight away that eliminates huge amounts of other possible matches of author first names or surnames that begin with child. If I stored books in FN LN I don't get that ability by just typing "child".

I find this works so well that I almost never have to type author: prefix tags and can get away with typing just the surname, most of the time.
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