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Old 01-26-2011, 02:06 PM   #1
jackie_w
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Calibre plugin - Copy book covers to use as Standby images (PRS600/x50)

I have written (with the help of one of the Calibre developers) a small Calibre GUI plugin which aims to make it quick and easy to send one or more of your Calibre book covers to your Sony reader to use as Standby screen images when the Sony is in standby mode.

Testing by volunteers in this thread confirms that it will work on Windows, Linux or OSX.

It will allow you to customise the plugin to specify whether you want to:
  • rescale the cover image to exactly fill the screen,
    e.g. 600x800 on a PRS-350/650/600,
    or 600x1024 on PRS-950
  • retain the aspect ratio of the original cover
  • enable the ability to copy multiple covers (max 99)


*** Anyone wishing to install or read more about this plugin should follow this link to the Calibre Plugins sub-forum where all documentation has been consolidated ***

Last edited by jackie_w; 05-17-2011 at 08:08 PM. Reason: v1.4 released
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:11 PM   #2
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I tend to have more than one book on the go, so probably not the target audience here, but wanted to add a public thanks to you for your effort!
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:23 PM   #3
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Hi Jackie, I'm happy to help test. I have a PRS-650 and use OSX (Snow Leopard).
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:25 PM   #4
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Jackie,

Thanks for the effort -- sounds like a handy plug-in!

I won't be far off from your setup (XP/350), but I'll beta test for you.

From your description, I'm expecting your plug-in will re-size and copy selected covers into the images directory on the PRS -- does this work one at a time or with selected batches? Will it also desaturate the photos? re-assign the photos selected for standby?

Also curious about your scaling -- for rescale, is it a "stretchy" operation or a trim? If you "retain aspect," does it scale to height, width or fit (smallest of height or width)? does the "retain aspect" add white or black bars or simply re-size?

Last edited by CraftyDan; 01-26-2011 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Gave credit to the worng OP -- not that SeaBookGuy isn't great, just not the OP.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
I am posting to let you know that I have written (with the help of one of the Calibre developers) a small Calibre GUI plugin which aims to make it quick and easy to send one of your Calibre book covers to your Sony reader to use as a Standby screen image when the Sony is in sleep mode.

In theory it should work for Sony PRS-350/650/950 models on Windows, Linux or OSX.

It will allow you to customise the plugin to specify whether you want to:
  • rescale the cover image to exactly fill the screen e.g. 600x800 on a PRS-350/650, 600x1024 on PRS-950
  • retain the aspect ratio of the original cover

The reason it's 'experimental' is because
  • this is my first attempt at such a thing and I am somewhat nervous (please be kind!)
  • I only have a PRS-650 and only use Windows XP, so this is the only set-up I've been able to test.

I'm looking for volunteers who would be willing to try it out, particularly those with reader/Op.sys combinations I haven't been able to test, but other PRS650/WinXP users are also welcome.

If you are interested in participating, please post here and let me know. If there is sufficient interest I will post the Calibre GUI plugin here with step-by-step instructions on how to install/customise it. A basic familiarity with Calibre is assumed but no technical knowledge is required.
I can test - I have a PRS-350. I'm also running Vista 64-bit so it should be a good test. I assume that the files are Jpeg's?

Last edited by emt; 01-26-2011 at 05:32 PM. Reason: New Facts
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:55 PM   #6
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I would like to try it. PRS-650 on XP
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:51 PM   #7
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Thank you for the responses, guys

I'm in the UK so it's getting a bit late now. I'd like your testing to happen whilst I'm awake and lucid in case questions arise. If you check this thread tomorrow (afternoon/evening GMT). I will have posted the plugin plus detailed instructions in post #1.

In answer to specific questions:

@emt,
Quote:
I assume that the files are Jpeg's?
Yes. As a Calibre cover is always called cover.jpg I see no reason to change the format... unless the testing throws up a problem...

@CraftyDan,
Quote:
From your description, I'm expecting your plug-in will re-size and copy selected covers into the images directory on the PRS -- does this work one at a time or with selected batches?
At the moment the plugin copies a single selected Calibre cover to a specific named JPG in the standard Sony image directory (/database/media/images/). No rocket science has been employed in the building of this plugin

Quote:
Also curious about your scaling -- for rescale, is it a "stretchy" operation or a trim? If you "retain aspect," does it scale to height, width or fit (smallest of height or width)? does the "retain aspect" add white or black bars or simply re-size?
If you customise to retain aspect ratio the cover will be copied as-is. As far as I can tell, my PRS650 then maximises the image to fit as best it can, without distortion. If you customise to 'don't retain aspect ratio' the cover will be resized (or distorted, depending on your point-of-view) to the exact screen-size you have specified in the customisation. Only the beta-testing will reveal how it actually behaves on your Sony. Personally, I prefer scaling to "exact fit", but some people have a strong dislike.

It's not a "trim" insofar as nothing is deleted by the plugin. I would describe it as "stretchy" but that would have a slightly different meaning depending on whether the source cover resolution is bigger or smaller than your Sony screen resolution. On my PRS650 with "retain aspect" the "filler bars" appear to be black. Given the shape of an average novel cover the "filler bars" are almost always left/right with the image expanded to completely fill the height. But the Sony seems to have this under control - the testing will reveal all.

As an aside, I also have a PocketBook360 reader and the same plugin will also work with this. The PB360 will "scale down" OK on it's own but it won't "scale up". So I have had to calculate new image size for this reader. What I'm trying to say is that if it becomes necessary/desirable to do the same for the Sony it shouldn't be a problem.

Quote:
Will it also desaturate the photos?
I have not found it necessary (so far) to desaturate the cover when sending to the Sony. However, I do have to when sending to the PB360, so the code already exists.

Quote:
...re-assign the photos selected for standby?
I have searched the PRS650's database (media.xml) for a setting which indicates a particular image is "ticked" as a Standby image. The only reference file I can find regarding Standby images is standby_pic_mediaPath.xml. However, just because an image is listed in here it doesn't mean it is "ticked". As far as I can tell it just means it "has been ticked at some time previously". I have not tried to manipulate this automatically. Just as well as this is beyond my current capabilities At the moment, the first time you use the plugin, it will be necessary to "tick" the cover image as a Standby. Subsequent sends will overwrite the special named image and so it should remain "ticked" after you've updated it with the cover of your next book.

[Edit: I have just rechecked the "strikethrough point" above and I may have this wrong. Nevertheless, I do not want to mess with Sony's database at this stage, in case I do more harm than good.]

Last edited by jackie_w; 01-26-2011 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:35 PM   #8
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I would be interested in trying this out too. I am on a 650 and Win7.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:38 PM   #9
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Sounds good! looking forward to giving it a through once-over!
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:52 PM   #10
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Just in case, I'd be willing to give it a shot on my PRS-650 and various Linux flavors.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:04 PM   #11
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Many thanks to all volunteers

The instructions and download are now added to post #1.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:55 PM   #12
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Worked on the Linux systems I tried without a hitch (pixellation is a problem but ...). Nicely done!

Seems ripe for extensions as well (read the database and put your last read book's cover on automatically on sync?). Nice plugin and good luck in future endeavors!
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:05 PM   #13
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Worked on the Linux systems I tried without a hitch (pixellation is a problem but ...). Nicely done!
Thank you. That's 2 of us it works for then Phew!

Re: pixellation, out of interest, how big was the original cover?
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:40 PM   #14
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Thank you. That's 2 of us it works for then Phew!

Re: pixellation, out of interest, how big was the original cover?
Oh, of course the pixellation's only occurring when the image is < 600x800. A quick test having replaced the image was easy enough.

All in all a nice little plugin if people're looking for this functionality!
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:17 PM   #15
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Hi Jackie, I'm happy to help test. I have a PRS-650 and use OSX (Snow Leopard).
Same here.

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