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Old 07-20-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
Jesse Chisholm
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[Metadata Reader Plugin] Read MP3 audio book metadata

Read MP3 audio book metadata:
This plugin eases the process of managing your Audio Books in Calibre.

Audio Books, if they are long enough, are typically broken up into separate files by chapter, to ease downloading pain over slow connections. Calibre considers each file a separate book in its database. The work-around I've chosen is to put all the chapters of the Audio Book into a Series by the book's actual name, ordered by chapter number.

MP3 files have some metadata internally in ID3 tags. These are extracted and used to populate the metadata for the book as it is added to Calibre. A slightly massaged version of eyeD3-0.6.17 is used to parse these files.

M3U files are playlists of MP3 files. ( Actually, .M3U8, .PLS, .KPL, .RAM all use a sufficiently similar file format, and are also parsed. YMMV ) The MP3 files should be referenced with an absolute URL or path.

M4A and M4B files have metadata internally in MPEG tags. These are extracted and used to populate the metadata for the book as it is added to Calibre. ( Actually, .MP4, .3GP, .3G2, .QT all use the exact same file format, and are also parsed. YMMV ) A slightly massaged version of mp4file-0.2 is used to parse these.

AA and AAX (Audible.com) files have some metadata internally. These are extracted and used to populate the metadata for the book as it is added to Calibre. The Google Code item pyaudibletags is used to parse these files.

Main Features of v1.0.79:
Spoiler:
  • When MP3 files are added to Calibre, the ID3 tags are read and used to fill in as many metadata fields as possible.
  • When M4B or M4A files are added to Calibre, the MPEG-4 tags are read and used to fill in as many metadata fields as possible.
  • When AA or AAX files are added to Calibre, the tags are read and used to fill in as many metadata fields as possible.
  • When M3U or M3U8 files are added to Calibre, the tags in the individual MP3 files are read and used to fill in as many metadata fields as possible.
  • These fields are filled in:
    • title - the Title of this chapter of the book
    • title_sort - set to "chapter. title"
    • series - the title of the Book as a whole
    • series_index - the Chapter number
    • authors - the primary Author(s) of the book
    • publisher - the Publisher of the book
    • tags - the Genre of the book
    • cover - the name of the embedded cover art if it is available.
    • cover_data - the embedded cover art if possible, or a small audio book image if nothing better is available.
    • pubdate - set to the earliest date found in the file; if no more than a year is located, then February 2nd (Groundhog's Day) is arbitrarily chosen.
    • comments - some books have copyright information or longer descriptions embedded. When these are found, they are copied here.

FUTURE THOUGHTS:
Spoiler:

As I read and learn more about Calibre, Python and Audio Book formats, I notice EPUB3:
  • will eventually be part of Calibre
  • will allow sound files as part of an EPUB eBook
  • as of 2011 3rd Quarter is in the final stages of nailing down the specification so implementers won't have to shoot in the dark anymore.
Therefore, I won't be coming out with a new version of the MP3 Metadata Reader until I see what is happening with EPUB3.
This plugin may become unnecessary.

I will instead be looking at the desirability of a tool to bundle a collection of MP3 files into an EPUB3 file that happens to have no text, but is otherwise manageable by Calibre.

Known Issues:
Spoiler:
  • If you add an .M3U file that references an .MP3 file on the web, ( http://some.site/somefile.mp3 ) it will copy the file locally for metadata parsing. If this URL is a streaming URL ( rtsp://some.site/somestream.mp3 ), the copy will never finish, but it will fill your local hard disk.
  • If you try to download metadata (in the Edit Metadata dialog) the search is automatically done by Chapter Title, rather than by Series, so the search fails.
    • A workaround is to temporarily change the Title field to be the Series name, do your metadata search, then change it back.
  • Many Audio Book files do not have an embedded cover art image. (In this case you get the generic audio book image that comes with this plugin.)
  • There are other potentially useful fields in the various file formats that are currently ignored.
  • Sometimes, Calibre ignores what is set to title_sort and replaces it with what it thinks should be there. I suspect this means I have something wrong with the format in those cases.

Special Notes:
  • Requires Calibre v0.7.53 or later.
  • When adding books, you need to change your File Type to look for "All Files" to see the MP3 files.

Installation Steps:
  1. Download the attached zip file and install the plugin/restart Calibre as described in the Introduction to plugins thread.
  2. You should now be able to add Audio Book Files to Calibre. Select all files for a book, or select them individually. (You will need to change File Type to All Files in the Add Books Dialog, or just drag-n-drop them.)

Version History:
Spoiler:

Version 1.0.79: Fixed bug in .mp3 parsing if no Track value.
Contact me if you want one of these older versions.
Version 1.0.77: Add .m3u file parsing.
Version 0.6.75: Removed erroneous .FLV extension inclusion.
Version 0.6.74: Added .mp4 and .aa file parsing. Fixed some .mp3 issues.
Version 0.6.62: Added .m4b and .m4a file parsing.
Version 0.5.1: Renamed to more standard "Read MP3 audio book metadata".
Version 0.5.0: Initial BETA release of AudioBookReader plugin.
Attached Files
File Type: zip AudioBookReader.zip (114.9 KB, 45589 views)

Last edited by Jesse Chisholm; 04-10-2012 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Add thoughts about the Future of this plugin.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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I would suggest that you look at the other plugin threads and format this one similarly. Attach the plugin to the post and ask Kiwidude to add the plugin to the Index of plugins sticky post. This will allow this plugin to be installed and updated from calibre. Review the Index of plugins, specifically the Notes for Plugin Developers area for more information.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:22 PM   #3
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I've added it, and will use it to add some audio books today. It could be a very useful plug-in. Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:25 PM   #4
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I've updated the plugin (v0.6.74) to parse metadata from the following file formats:
.MP3 - original format, but more robust parsing.
.M4B, .M4A - second file format, more complete parsing.
.AA, .AAX - the new file format.
.MP4, .FLV, .3GP, 3G2. QT - happen to have the same file format as .M4B, so why not.

No attempt is made to bypass DRM. Only public metadata is parsed from the files for the purpose of managing the books/files in Calibre.

I have not tested it with .FLV, .3GP, 3G2. QT only because I don't have any examples. I have tested it with Audio Books in the .aa and .mp4 formats.

CAVEAT: You still have to switch the Add Books file type to "All Books", or drag-and-drop the files onto Calibre.
I have not yet tackled the GUI tweaks in Calibre.

-Jesse
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:28 AM   #5
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The update is not coming up on the user plugins dialogue, it is saying I have the latest version installed... 0.5.1

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Old 08-02-2011, 11:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stampercam View Post
The update is not coming up on the user plugins dialogue, it is saying I have the latest version installed... 0.5.1

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I think we need Kiwidude to update the Index post in this forum.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:20 AM   #7
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The delay in getting the index updated was my fault. (I forgot to ping kiwidude to ask him to update it.) It has now been taken care of.

Sorry about the delay.

-Jesse
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Chisholm View Post
The delay in getting the index updated was my fault. (I forgot to ping kiwidude to ask him to update it.) It has now been taken care of.

Sorry about the delay.

-Jesse
Jesse
any of the Calibre Mods can do a simple edit, like that, of the Plugin list.

I trust myself to change a release number without messing up the whole works .
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:46 PM   #9
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Handy little tool. I'll just have to start making sure I update the ID3 tags in future
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:15 PM   #10
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No change to the plugin. Just to the description.

I've added my thoughts about the future of this plugin.

Basically, I'm waiting to see what the Calibre coverage of the EPUB3 standard will be.

Since EPUB3 allows the embedding and linking of sound files as part of an eBook, there may be no further need for this plug in as it is currently conceived.

-Jesse Chisholm
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:34 PM   #11
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Audio files not to be copied to the Calibre database?

Hi, seems like a plug-in I could really use. Can I somehow list the audio-book within Calibre but without copying the audio files to the database? I obviously want the cover and metadata being in the database but I really don't want to copy the audio files, nor do i want point to them, as their location/organisation may change from time to time. Thanks again for the plug-in.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratsima View Post
Can I somehow list the audio-book within Calibre but without copying the audio files to the database? I obviously want the cover and metadata being in the database but I really don't want to copy the audio files, nor do i want point to them, as their location/organisation may change from time to time. Thanks again for the plug-in.
You can create as many empty book records as you wish using the dropdown arrow next to the add books icon. Using some imagination this should allow to track your audio files in calibre.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:35 AM   #13
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Thanks for that suggestion which will work on an occasional basis. I was really hoping for a solution where all of the audiobook tags (say from the first file) and any cover art etc could be taken into Calibre but without copying the actual audio files. Thanks again for the suggestion.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratsima View Post
Hi, seems like a plug-in I could really use. Can I somehow list the audio-book within Calibre but without copying the audio files to the database? I obviously want the cover and metadata being in the database but I really don't want to copy the audio files, nor do i want point to them, as their location/organisation may change from time to time. Thanks again for the plug-in.
I just came here to see what the plugin was, and if it offered me any + over what I do already.
Anyway, saw your post so to answer:
What I do is just have an extra column called audio, and pop a tickmark next to the text book that I also have on Audio. For those rare occasions I only have an audio copy, just create an empty book.

This works very well, and leaves your massive audio library alone.
Don't really know what this plugin does, but I can't see it being more useful than that really.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:53 PM   #15
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Many people asked for a way to:
1: manage audio books without copying them into the Calibre DB
2: manage M3U (playlist) files

So, I've added feature request #2, which gives you a workaround for #1.
See version 1.0.77 and following.

* : by hand, or with a tool (like mp3tag) make an .m3u playlist file of your .m3u files
* : edit the .m3u file in notepad (or notepad++ or vi or ...) a simple text editor
* : ensure the file references are ABSOLUTE PATHS
the .m3u file will be copied into calibre, so relative paths get broken.
* : in calibre, add books, set for file type all (*.*)
locate your .m3u file and add it

CAVEAT: if your .mp3 file is online ( http://some.site/somefile.mp3 ), a local copy if retrieved for parsing of metadata. If that happens to be a stream, it will never finish the copy, but will fill your local disk drive. Don't do streams!

-Jesse
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