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Old 02-03-2011, 02:08 AM   #1
crossi
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Backing up my books

When I download my books I get an icon of a blue book in my download folder. After I add a book to Calibre in the Calibre Library there are the same book icons. If I just want to backup the books as origionally downloaded can I just drag those icons into a jump drive?

To backup the metadata as well would I just drag the whole Calibre Library folder to my jump drive?

How about if I wanted to make a backup of my Calibre library but not include any of the books, just the empty listing for each?
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:42 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by crossi View Post
When I download my books I get an icon of a blue book in my download folder. After I add a book to Calibre in the Calibre Library there are the same book icons. If I just want to backup the books as origionally downloaded can I just drag those icons into a jump drive?

To backup the metadata as well would I just drag the whole Calibre Library folder to my jump drive?

How about if I wanted to make a backup of my Calibre library but not include any of the books, just the empty listing for each?
Your download folder is just another folder, so moving the contents to a external drive to archive the 'original' is a solid plan.

Use care, if you copy the Calibre 'Library' folder, to not mix the two contents together (separate folders are OK).

I am not sure what advantage a Bookless library gains and there are disadvantages:
Calibre book folders have a assigned number that matches the Library internal index. No books, Now way to restore.
You may lose external covers.
If you manage to re-load the original, the converted format settings are gone.

Why not use the 'Catalog' (little arrow next to the Library Icon) to make a portable list of your library.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:58 AM   #3
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I don't know about the blue book icons, that depends on which application you have registered to open certain book files, but the easiest way to back up both books and metadata would be to backup the entire Calibre library folder including the metadata.db file. That way, if you ever manage to blow up your library, you can revert to the state you backed up simply by deleting the contents of the library folder Calibre is currently using and copying in your backup.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:29 AM   #4
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It's all this DRM stuff is driving me crazy. I've got three kindles so I would need 3 separate libraries, one for each kindle. Then everytime I made a change to the metadata in one I would have to make the same change 3 times once in each library.

Instead I want to set up my library and save the formats alone to a folder for each kindle. Then I could play with the metadata as much as I wanted and only do it once. To load a book onto my kindle I would just clik add format from within edit metadata, picking the appropriate folder of books and send the book to that kindle. Then I could delete that format and add another format for my next kindle.

If I have 3 separate libraries I know I won't be able to keep the same changes in all of them the same.

It would be nice if I could within the same book designate mobi(1), mobi(2) and mobi(3) for my 3 kindles but the program won't let me.

Right now all the formats in my library are for my DX but I'm using my K3 more for reading. I'd start downloading K3 books but I don't want to have a mixture and never be sure what format is current for each book. So for my K3 I'm downloading directly from amazon which means no edited titles, ect. And really, why would I need 3 separate copies of each cover, book description ect? I'd rather just swap the formats in and out as needed. If there is an easier way that doesn't involve keeping 3 complete copies of my entire library in syc let me know.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:50 AM   #5
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I have an ipad and apps for all major readers as well as lots of e-book purchases... I know I should back up my books, but I have no idea how that works. Is there a tutorial or a site that explains the process?
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:59 AM   #6
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The things to talk about in this matter have little to do with electronic book readers becuase as the ducks illustrated your electronic books are simply another folder and the ducks is exactly correct. The more important matters, in my opinion that need to be discussed here are not the electronic books but what hardware and software to use to do the backup your your books with.

A jump drive is better known among IT folks as a USB drive since it attachs to your USB port. My recommendation is not to use a USB drive, I would recommend that you go out and buy an external hard drive that also attaches to your USB port. The reason for this is, see for yourself, the cost per megabyte of the drive. The external drive costs a lot less in terms of dollars per space on the drive and stays permenantly attached to your drive and gets t he backup done without intervention from you. My recommendation is for the largest external hard drive that you can afford to purchase. There are two types of external hard drives and the one that you buy depends on what you will be doing with the backups. There is a desktop version and a portable version. The difference mainly is that the portable gets all of its electricity from the USB port on your PC while the desktop version has a seperate power plug. Use the desktop version for weekly and monthly backups. Use the portable version for off site backups.

There is little difference in the quality of the drives, iomega, segate and western digital all make quality products so I would recommend that you chose the cheapest from the cheapest re-seller rather than a particular brand. The cheapest that I can find at the moment is a $70 1TB (Terabyte) Craigo drive at Amazon. 1TB is going to be so huge that I would dare say that most people here can't read that much in their life times.

As for portable external hard drives Amazon has a 1tb segate for $90, so there is little price difference between the desktop and portable versions so go for the one that makes most sense for you.

Beyond the hardware issue there is the software issue, what software will you use to get the job done. Here the dominant software is Symantec's Norton Ghost which sells for $37.60 by software media.com so thats rather cheap. If price is a concern then there is Migo digital backup premium for $9 from TechforLess.com.

In my mind this is really what you need not the drive that you were talking about earlier.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by januaryman View Post
I have an ipad and apps for all major readers as well as lots of e-book purchases... I know I should back up my books, but I have no idea how that works. Is there a tutorial or a site that explains the process?
There's an entry in the FAQ.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jbcohen View Post
A jump drive is better known among IT folks as a USB drive since it attachs to your USB port. My recommendation is not to use a USB drive, I would recommend that you go out and buy an external hard drive that also attaches to your USB port. The reason for this is, see for yourself, the cost per megabyte of the drive.
There's another reason: Data longevity. Flash memory has only so many write cycles it can withstand, and sooner or later, it will fail. HDDs are made for being rewritten practically infinitely. Flash drives are fine for their intended purpose, sneaker-net data transfer, but for backup purposes, I wouldn't rely on them.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:07 AM   #9
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You took the words out of my mouth.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossi View Post
If I have 3 separate libraries I know I won't be able to keep the same changes in all of them the same.

It would be nice if I could within the same book designate mobi(1), mobi(2) and mobi(3) for my 3 kindles but the program won't let me.
I would seriously advise against manually copying the versions you need in and out of the library folder- you're bound to break something sooner or later if you mess around in there manually. At the moment, the most practical approach, in my opinion, would be using three libraries. You can put all the books into one library, fix up the metadata, then copy the books over to another library (see the right-click context menu) and replace the MOBI file. That will guarantee that the books get the correct metadata as of the moment you copied them, but it will not keep them synced. (But then again, how often do you edit metadata once you get it right?)
For the record, you could get around this situation if you removed the DRM from your files. However, depending on where you live, this may or may not be illegal to do. Also, as per forum rules, you can't ask for help on how to do that here.

This would be a Good Thing to have, though. You should consider adding a ticket requesting the ability to add multiple copies of one format to the library.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:41 AM   #11
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A jump drive is better known among IT folks as a USB drive since it attachs to your USB port. My recommendation is not to use a USB drive, I would recommend that you go out and buy an external hard drive that also attaches to your USB port. The reason for this is, see for yourself, the cost per megabyte of the drive. The external drive costs a lot less in terms of dollars per space on the drive and stays permenantly attached to your drive and gets t he backup done without intervention from you.
I will add to the list of negatives

Flash drives (Jump drives) are Snail SLOW when compared to a standard rotating drive (even if it is in a USB caddy that runs at USB 2.0 speeds).
It took hours to (Calibre) "copy to Library" my 1200 books to a 2G Flash drive.

I can see the attraction for Flash drives. They are cheap (out of pocket) for 2-4 G sizes (US$ 7-18). That still does not make them (or CD/DVD) good longish term archival media.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:29 AM   #12
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To make my point I offer some statistics about the prices of external drives vs USB drives. Amazon sells a 32gb USB drive for $39 and a one terabyte exteral hard drive for $80. So divide 39/32 = $1.22 per gigabyte and divide 80/1000 = $0.08. The hard drive costs a lot less per gigabyte of drive space so the USB drive is really too expensive for backup.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:43 PM   #13
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There is a icon within the calibre program for deleting or adding a formats in the edit metadata function . I wouldn't try it manually by just opening the folders. Is there a problem with that function within calibre? I've used it for changing text or epub into mobi files and it seems to work ok.

I will get an external harddrive though for backups. I didn't know about the shorter life of the usb drives.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:47 PM   #14
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There is a icon within the calibre program for deleting or adding a formats in the edit metadata function . I wouldn't try it manually by just opening the folders. Is there a problem with that function within calibre? I've used it for changing text or epub into mobi files and it seems to work ok.
No, that should be fine.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:57 PM   #15
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There is a icon within the calibre program for deleting or adding a formats in the edit metadata function . I wouldn't try it manually by just opening the folders. Is there a problem with that function within calibre? I've used it for changing text or epub into mobi files and it seems to work ok.

I will get an external harddrive though for backups. I didn't know about the shorter life of the usb drives.
That is (one of the many locations for deleting ) the 'proper' way to delete a book from Calibre. As long as Calibre presents the option, the database stays properly in sync with its contents.
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