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Old 09-30-2012, 11:07 AM   #1
deb27
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Question Calibre to Android - wired?

I've tried working with Calibre companion on my Android tablet but I've given up. The wireless connection randomly works (mostly not) and it's just too frustrating to continually stop and restart the server, cycle power on my router, set and reset the IP address etc. just to get a book to appear on my tablet. Given that my PC and tablet are in the same house, it would be easier to just plug it in.

So, I plug the table into my PC and the Android file system is now visible in my Windows Explorer window. I can copy files to it from the PC.
The only problem i have is that the ebooks I've copied to the tablet I can't seem to open.

On the tablet, I have Kindle for PC, Aldiko, Calibre Companion, and "My Library" (which came with the tablet). If I try to open a .mobi file the tablet says it has no idea how to open that type of file.

Is there a way, in Calibre on the PC to simply copy, or send the books I'm interested in via the wired connection to the tablet?

I tried "send to device" but I don't see the tablet listed and all of the options that say "Send to xyz" are grayed out. Note: sometimes the options aren't grayed out but Send to main memory sends the books to some unknown location.

i tried connect/share -> Connect to folder but no matter what folder I pick on the tablet it complains about it.

I tried copying the books (using windows explorer) from where they are stored on my PC, directly to a directory on my tablet (i.e. a folder called ebooks). And then in Calibre Companion, under "book formats and folders", I changed the default folder to point to the folder where I had copied the books.
But the companion does not see them.

Note: that when I copied them from the pc I copied the calibre folder which contains .mobi file, the cover.jpg and the metadata.opf file. so therefore, the ebooks folder on the tablet actually contains folders which contain books. Perhaps that level of indirection is an issue?

This doesn't seem like it should be so hard, does it?
All I want to do is copy books to my tablet and read them. I'd rather do it with Calibre because it's the best ebook organizer I've ever found.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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You need to configure the preferred format in the (your model) device driver being used to make Mobi not the first one FOUND to send or get a App that reads Mobi . Be sure to remove the ticks for all unsupported formats.

WiFi can be magic. Usually if it works reliably for other applications, it should just Work for this one.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb27 View Post
On the tablet, I have Kindle for PC, Aldiko, Calibre Companion, and "My Library" (which came with the tablet). If I try to open a .mobi file the tablet says it has no idea how to open that type of file.
Mobi files must go into the "kindle" folder. There must not be any subfolders.
Quote:
Is there a way, in Calibre on the PC to simply copy, or send the books I'm interested in via the wired connection to the tablet?
If you are using Windows XP, then no. If you are using Windows Vista or newer, then upgrade to calibre 0.9.0 (this week's release) and your device should be detected.
Quote:
I tried "send to device" but I don't see the tablet listed and all of the options that say "Send to xyz" are grayed out. Note: sometimes the options aren't grayed out but Send to main memory sends the books to some unknown location.
How you determine that location depends on how Calibre connects (which "plugin"). In the rare cases that your device is recognized by calibre, what is displayed at the bottom of the calibre window?
Quote:
I tried copying the books (using windows explorer) from where they are stored on my PC, directly to a directory on my tablet (i.e. a folder called ebooks). And then in Calibre Companion, under "book formats and folders", I changed the default folder to point to the folder where I had copied the books. But the companion does not see them.
CC will scan for new books in its folders when it connects to calibre. It might be worth your trouble to fight with your wifi one more time so that CC can do that connect.
Quote:
Note: that when I copied them from the pc I copied the calibre folder which contains .mobi file, the cover.jpg and the metadata.opf file. so therefore, the ebooks folder on the tablet actually contains folders which contain books. Perhaps that level of indirection is an issue?
Yes, it is, at least for Kindle for Android.

You should not copy books directly out of your library. Instead, use "Save to Disk" or "Connect to Folder" to export the books to some folder on your computer, then copy them from there.
Quote:
This doesn't seem like it should be so hard, does it?
All I want to do is copy books to my tablet and read them. I'd rather do it with Calibre because it's the best ebook organizer I've ever found.
It does seem that you are encountering a perfect storm of problems: the combination of unreliable WiFi and unreliable cabled connections. It is very hard to think of alternatives if neither of these work reliably.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Thanks chaley, that got me off to a good start.

Here's where I am now:
Installed 0.9.0. Now when I plug in my tablet (to the PC running Windows 7), Calibre recognizes it as a device. And I configured the tablet so that epub is the preferred format because the Aldiko reader on my tablet can read epub.

(Note: this entire thread is assuming there is no DRM on the books I'm talking about)

Now, in Calibre on the PC, I can choose a book and use Send to Device and the book appears in the folder on the tablet that I specified in Calibre Companion (i.e. I went into the book format and locations option in the companion and set the folder for the epub books to be a folder called "ebooks").

Calibre converts my book to epub and sends it to the folder on the tablet. All is good, right?

I can open the Aldiko reader on the tablet and tell it to import the book(s) from that folder. And I can open the book and read it. So far so good.

However, I still don't see any evidence that the Calibre Companion ap has any idea that I've transferred books from my PC. In other words, the companion performs no other function other than letting me choose the folder to which I've downloaded the books.

Is there any way to use the Calibre companion to do anything useful? Perhaps view the list of books in my library? Allow me to choose books from the library (on my PC) and copy them to the tablet? Or show me the books on the tablet that I've already downloaded?

I'm tired of fighting the wifi battle. It never works right in my house. I ran wired ethernet to every room in the house and now I don't have to deal with it any more (mostly).
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb27 View Post
Thanks chaley, that got me off to a good start.
Good!
Quote:
Now, in Calibre on the PC, I can choose a book and use Send to Device and the book appears in the folder on the tablet that I specified in Calibre Companion (i.e. I went into the book format and locations option in the companion and set the folder for the epub books to be a folder called "ebooks").

Calibre converts my book to epub and sends it to the folder on the tablet. All is good, right?
If it is doing what you want, then yes.
Quote:
However, I still don't see any evidence that the Calibre Companion ap has any idea that I've transferred books from my PC. In other words, the companion performs no other function other than letting me choose the folder to which I've downloaded the books.
It won't. Calibre Companion is a calibre "device". It sees what calibre has sent to it. It also sees books in its folders when it is connected to calibre, but as you are not connecting CC to calibre then it will never see anything.
Quote:
Is there any way to use the Calibre companion to do anything useful? Perhaps view the list of books in my library? Allow me to choose books from the library (on my PC) and copy them to the tablet? Or show me the books on the tablet that I've already downloaded?
Unfortunately, do. CC can do useful things only if it can connect to calibre over wifi. In your case it cannot connect, so it can't do its job.
Quote:
I'm tired of fighting the wifi battle. It never works right in my house. I ran wired ethernet to every room in the house and now I don't have to deal with it any more (mostly).
My guess is that this is a losing battle. That said, it is hard to imagine how you can use an android device that cannot reliably connect to wifi. No browsing, no email, no nothing.

I had a similar problem in my apartment as you seem to have in your house. My apt is fully cabled with cat 6 cables (cost me a pretty penny), but that didn't do squat for devices that don't have RJ45 connections such as phones and tablets. Unfortunately, my "standard" wifi access point (the one provided by the ISP) does not reach several rooms in the apartment. This was unacceptable, so I connected a second wifi access point (a router that I had sitting in a box) to the cable at the far end of the apartment and gave it a somewhat different SSID. Now my various phones and tablets switch automatically between the primary and the secondary access point as I move around my apartment. Problem solved.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:36 PM   #6
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Actually, the basic wifi functions on the android tablet work fine. Email, browsing etc. (yes it would be somewhat useless if that didn't work).

But unfortunately Calibre Companion isn't the same animal. It's relying on IP address and ports and I suspect that's where the problem is. I am not using static IP addresses (too many devices in the house I'd have to mess with to get everyone set up as static) so the IP address on my PC changes.
Yes, I've checked the IP. I know what the address is. I've gone into Calibre and have set the wireless device connection Ip and port. And I've gone into CC and set the identical values. But when I tell CC to connect it keeps telling me that the IP address is wrong.

I've set and reset these dozens of times and restarted both the PC ap and the droid ap. And every once in a while it connects and works. But 95% of the time it fails. Meanwhile, the tablet has no trouble getting to the internet to check my mail or browse. So I know my wireless router is working.

I uninstalled the CC ap, and reinstalled it and started over again. It finally connected via wifi. But I've done this before. By tomorrow it will have quit working again. That's why I wanted to switch to wired. Then I don't have to deal with IP addresses, ports, wireless etc.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb27 View Post
Actually, the basic wifi functions on the android tablet work fine. Email, browsing etc. (yes it would be somewhat useless if that didn't work).

But unfortunately Calibre Companion isn't the same animal. It's relying on IP address and ports and I suspect that's where the problem is. I am not using static IP addresses (too many devices in the house I'd have to mess with to get everyone set up as static) so the IP address on my PC changes.
Yes, I've checked the IP. I know what the address is. I've gone into Calibre and have set the wireless device connection Ip and port. And I've gone into CC and set the identical values. But when I tell CC to connect it keeps telling me that the IP address is wrong.

I've set and reset these dozens of times and restarted both the PC ap and the droid ap. And every once in a while it connects and works. But 95% of the time it fails. Meanwhile, the tablet has no trouble getting to the internet to check my mail or browse. So I know my wireless router is working.

I uninstalled the CC ap, and reinstalled it and started over again. It finally connected via wifi. But I've done this before. By tomorrow it will have quit working again. That's why I wanted to switch to wired. Then I don't have to deal with IP addresses, ports, wireless etc.
Many routers will allow you to reserve an IP for a specific MAC address (this is the hardware address, not an apple product ) of the host, it results in the 'server' always getting the sam IP. I suggest assigniment at the top end of the DHCP block.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb27 View Post
Actually, the basic wifi functions on the android tablet work fine. Email, browsing etc. (yes it would be somewhat useless if that didn't work).

But unfortunately Calibre Companion isn't the same animal. It's relying on IP address and ports and I suspect that's where the problem is. I am not using static IP addresses (too many devices in the house I'd have to mess with to get everyone set up as static) so the IP address on my PC changes.
Yes, I've checked the IP. I know what the address is. I've gone into Calibre and have set the wireless device connection Ip and port. And I've gone into CC and set the identical values. But when I tell CC to connect it keeps telling me that the IP address is wrong.
There is a mystery here. You should not need to enter an IP address or a port into CC, especially because you are running windows. The only thing that might throw a spanner into the works is if you are running a third-party firewall that does port blocking instead of application blocking. In this case none of the auto-connect techniques will work and you would need to enter an IP address into CC.

My suspicion is that you were running a version of calibre that did not support the improvements we made to CC & calibre to help CC find calibre. Those improvements appeared in calibre 0.8.67, two versions after CC support was first introduced in calibre.
Quote:
I uninstalled the CC ap, and reinstalled it and started over again. It finally connected via wifi. But I've done this before. By tomorrow it will have quit working again. That's why I wanted to switch to wired. Then I don't have to deal with IP addresses, ports, wireless etc.
I hope that you upgrading calibre to 0.9 will fix the connection problem. Please let me know. We really want connecting to "just work", and if there is something about your network that prevents that, then I want to try to understand what it is and to find a way to work around it. I realize that I am asking for your time, and will totally understand if you have reached your limit.

In any event, theducks suggestion is a good one, and one that I have used for many years. If you set up a static lease on your router (in the DHCP section), then in effect the computer with the MAC address in the lease has a fixed IP address but doesn't know it. No parameters are changed on the computer. I do this for all our desktop computers because it makes sharing over the network easier (somewhat faster recognition that the computer has been turned on). I also do it for main router, our secondary wireless access point, our NAS (Network Accessible Storage) boxes, and our network VoIP box to make connecting to their web admin interface easier. I find it much easier to set up static leases than to fight with each device's configuration options.

I don't bother for our laptops or phones, or with computers brought in by our friends when they visit.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:36 PM   #9
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I've been playing around with this. The best setup I've found is to export the mobi file to disk, rename it to remove all spaces, and change the extension to prc. Then you can copy it via USB to the Android/data/com.amazon.kindle/files. Then force close the Kindle app and reload it. 2 out of 3 times I've done this, the book will appear. If you fail to remove the spaces or fail to change the extension, the Kindle app will either not see the book at all or simply delete ALL your books off your phone.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:34 AM   #10
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I've been playing around with this. The best setup I've found is to export the mobi file to disk, rename it to remove all spaces
When you export the file to disk using the Save to disk feature, simply ticking the checkbox "Replace space with underscores" under Preferences - Saving books to disk will remove all spaces as you save the books to disk.

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and change the extension to prc. Then you can copy it via USB to the Android/data/com.amazon.kindle/files. Then force close the Kindle app and reload it. 2 out of 3 times I've done this, the book will appear. If you fail to remove the spaces or fail to change the extension, the Kindle app will either not see the book at all or simply delete ALL your books off your phone.
As long as the book is in the basic .mobi format it is hard to believe changing the extension would be required. Since I have no desire to use Kindle for Android as my reading app I may never know first hand.

Let us know when you have something that works every time.
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