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Old 07-02-2008, 03:38 PM   #1
edembowski
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Calibre Feature request: broader search of ISBNDB

I'm going to post this to the tracker, but I thought I'd post here as well to talk about it & get people's reaction.

I think it would be a cool feature to be able to 'automagically' guess the meta data for a book in a similar way that Calibre fetches it for boos where the ISBN has been entered. I've been looking at the isbndb page, trying to work on scripts to generate the proper data, and here's what I've done:

I have a file called "Oedipus The King.lit", and I strip off the extension and build the search query:
Code:
curl -s "http://isbndb.com/api/books.xml?access_key=ACCESS_KEY&index1=combined&value1=Oedipus+The+King"
This (as expected) returns the search results:

Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<ISBNdb server_time="2008-07-02T18:28:46Z">
<BookList total_results="47" page_size="10" page_number="1" shown_results="10">
<BookData book_id="antigone_oedipus_the_king_electra" isbn="019282922X">
<Title>Antigone; Oedipus the King; Electra</Title>
<TitleLong></TitleLong>
<AuthorsText>Sophocles; translated by H. D. F. Kitto; edited with an introduction and notes by Edith Hall</AuthorsText>
<PublisherText publisher_id="oxford_university_press">Oxford ; Oxford University Press, 1994.</PublisherText>
</BookData>
<BookData book_id="antigone_oedipus_the_king_electra_a01" isbn="0192835882">
<Title>Antigone, Oedipus the King, Electra</Title>
<TitleLong>Antigone, Oedipus the King, Electra (Oxford World's Classics)</TitleLong>
<AuthorsText>Sophocles, H.D.F. Kitto, Edith Hall</AuthorsText>
<PublisherText publisher_id="oxford_university_press">Oxford University Press</PublisherText>
</BookData>
<BookData book_id="fate_and_ambiguity_in_oedipus_the_king" isbn="0972466193">
<Title>Fate and ambiguity in Oedipus the King</Title>
<TitleLong></TitleLong>
<AuthorsText>Stelios Ramfos; translated by Norman Russell</AuthorsText>
<PublisherText publisher_id="somerset_hall_press">Boston : Somerset Hall Press, c2005.</PublisherText>
</BookData>
<BookData book_id="king_oedipus_oedipus_at_colonus_antigone" isbn="0585109761">
<Title>King oedipus, oedipus at colonus, antigone</Title>
<TitleLong>King oedipus, oedipus at colonus, antigone notes</TitleLong>
<AuthorsText>by Robert J. Milch</AuthorsText>
<PublisherText publisher_id="cliffs_notes">Lincoln, Neb. : Cliffs Notes, [c1965].</PublisherText>
</BookData>
<BookData book_id="oedipus_a06" isbn="1852353929">
<Title>Oedipus</Title>
<TitleLong>Oedipus: a version of Sophocles' King Oedipus and Oedipus at Colonus</TitleLong>
<AuthorsText>Derek Mahon</AuthorsText>
<PublisherText publisher_id="gallery_books">County Meath, Ireland : Gallery Books, 2005.</PublisherText>
</BookData>
<BookData book_id="oedipus_a07" isbn="1852353937">
<Title>Oedipus</Title>
<TitleLong>Oedipus: a version of Sophocles' King Oedipus and Oedipus at Colonus</TitleLong>
<AuthorsText>Derek Mahon</AuthorsText>
<PublisherText publisher_id="gallery_books">County Meath, Ireland : Gallery Books, 2005.</PublisherText>
</BookData>
<BookData book_id="oedipus_king_of_thebes" isbn="0404541380">
<Title>Oedipus, King of Thebes</Title>
<TitleLong>Oedipus, King of Thebes: a tragedy</TitleLong>
<AuthorsText></AuthorsText>
<PublisherText publisher_id="ams_press">New York : AMS Press, [1976]</PublisherText>
</BookData>
<BookData book_id="oedipus_plays_of_sophocles" isbn="0452011671">
<Title>The Oedipus plays of Sophocles</Title>
<TitleLong>The Oedipus plays of Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone</TitleLong>
<AuthorsText>a newly revised and updated translation by Paul Roche</AuthorsText>
<PublisherText publisher_id="penguin">New York, N.Y. : Penguin, 1991, 2004.</PublisherText>
</BookData>
<BookData book_id="oedipus_the_king" isbn="0195023250">
<Title>Oedipus the king</Title>
<TitleLong></TitleLong>
<AuthorsText>Sophocles; translated by Stephen Berg and Diskin Clay</AuthorsText>
<PublisherText publisher_id="oxford_university_press">New York : Oxford University Press, 1978.</PublisherText>
</BookData>
<BookData book_id="oedipus_the_king_a01" isbn="0136305091">
<Title>Oedipus the King</Title>
<TitleLong></TitleLong>
<AuthorsText>a translation with commentary by Thomas Gould. With a series introd. by Eric A. Havelock</AuthorsText>
<PublisherText publisher_id="prentice_hall_a01">Englewood Cliffs, N.J : Prentice-Hall, [1970]</PublisherText>
</BookData>
</BookList>
</ISBNdb>
I don't think that it would be too hard to add this to the existing meta data search tool, since it already parses out this data when there are multiple entries for a single ISBN. This has the benefit of being able to search when the ISBN may not be known, and the user is then able to choose the best match.

Another thing that may be good is to have an option to auto search on import of a book. If the ISBN is there, search from that; else search based on file name (or other present data).

Thoughts?

- Ed
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:25 PM   #2
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Umm if you have the title and optionally author entered and not the ISBN number and do a fetch metadata, it will do just that
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:02 PM   #3
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OK, I totally did not realize that! Sorry!

edit: I went back, and looked at this. It turns out, the lookups failed on a couple of the books that I tried, but it works great on the others.

Thanks!

Last edited by edembowski; 07-02-2008 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:21 PM   #4
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I think the ability to get the extra info by the fetch metadata is great. So far I haven't been able to change/add this info to ebooks that are already in sony format. Could you give an old man a clue...
Quote:
Many thanks
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:44 PM   #5
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You can't add arbitrary metadata to ebooks in the SONY format (the reader software doesn't support it). When you use calibre to upload, the extra metadata is uploaded alongwith the ebook. You can only change title and author for ebooks already on the reader. Do this by double clicking on the ebook name.
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