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Old 12-07-2012, 08:53 PM   #1
SneeziePacker
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Keeping track of what you have finished reading

Hello,

I'm new to the forum, have been using Calibre for a couple of months now. I use the Moon Reader + app on my android tablet and have just added in Calibre Companion. I love them all, thanks to those of you that created these tools!

My question - and maybe I am missing something in one of these tools - is how to keep track of what you have finished reading. I have a custom field in Calibre (yes/no) where I record what I've finished reading. I use that tag to keep anything already read from appearing in my content server.

The piece that I'm missing is how to keep track of what I finish on my tablet and remember to update my Calibre data later when back at my PC. I know I can send myself an email or something similar to that. I have used Moon Reader to "Add to Home Screen" as an easy reminder.

Are there any better ways out there?

Thanks,

Kathy
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:03 AM   #2
chaley
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Moderator Notice
Moved this thread to Devices. It wasn't an error to put it in Library Management. CC users usually look in Devices, so having it here could get more comments.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SneeziePacker View Post
Hello,

I'm new to the forum, have been using Calibre for a couple of months now. I use the Moon Reader + app on my android tablet and have just added in Calibre Companion. I love them all, thanks to those of you that created these tools!

My question - and maybe I am missing something in one of these tools - is how to keep track of what you have finished reading. I have a custom field in Calibre (yes/no) where I record what I've finished reading. I use that tag to keep anything already read from appearing in my content server.

The piece that I'm missing is how to keep track of what I finish on my tablet and remember to update my Calibre data later when back at my PC. I know I can send myself an email or something similar to that. I have used Moon Reader to "Add to Home Screen" as an easy reminder.

Are there any better ways out there?

Thanks,

Kathy
Welcome to MobileRead.

There are two parts to my answer: what you can do today and what we (CC's developers) are thinking about for the near and more distant future. Comments welcome.

Today: Assuming you use CC as your organizer then there is one aide available now. CC keeps track of the date you pressed "Read" to open the book in your reader app (Moon+ in your case). You can sort on this date, showing the latest at the top of the screen. The idea: you use this sorted list on your tablet as a memory aide/hint to check and update manually the yes/no column in calibre. I agree that this is not the best solution, but it can help and is easier than sending email.

Later: I am looking at how to transfer the date read column into calibre's library. The idea: the user would give CC (in CC's settings) the lookup name of a calibre date-type custom column. If CC has this name, then it would attempt to transfer the date read value into that custom column column on every connect (as a wireless device). The user could then sort or search on the date column in calibre and manually update other columns as desired. My problem: although the feature isn't particularly hard to implement, I am not completely convinced that it is useful enough to justify the time and complexity to build it.

Even later: We are looking at adding the ability to edit certain metadata items in CC, transferring the changes to calibre when you connect as a wireless device (not via the content server). The fields we are considering are tags and ratings; and text, ratings, and yes/no custom columns. There are several issues for us to resolve.
- This feature is rather hard to implement and opens the door to creating a slew of bugs both in calibre and in CC.
- Adding a general mechanism to calibre for a device to update metadata in the library is not easy. For example, what happens if the column is changed in both calibre and the device? What happens if the user has multiple libraries? What happens if the user deletes the custom column? Which value does CC show between the edit and the connection?
- Questions about user expectations. Being able to edit *some* columns will immediately create the demand to edit *all* columns, complete with negative reviews because we can't. Editing (for example) title, author, and series creates problems that we really don't need. Negative reviews create significant support and sales problems. Following the "do it right or don't do it" principle, perhaps it would be better to do nothing if we can't do everything.
- Questions about usability. The natural place to put the editing is in book details. However, people will probably want to edit on the group lists, increasing the complexity of the UI and the implementation.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:49 AM   #4
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Interesting stuff!

I was hoping I was just missing something and there was a clean way to basically reach out from a mobile device and update my Calibre metadata.

I'd say the "Later" step probably isn't worthwhile, that the "Even later" would be a better use of limited resources since as you state, expectations (and bugs) would escalate. It does seem like a logical thing to expect from the user side.

I was a systems analyst in a former life, but I really don't know much about developing using current operating systems. But to do your "even later" scenario, it seems that you are heading more toward something such as Evernote, which is another program that I love. They have apps for every mobile device and every type of operating system. You can modify most all of the data from any of them, although they have a lot fewer actual data fields to deal with. However the Evernote data resides in the cloud instead of on an individual PC. Is that the way Calibre would need to head in order to allow for a similar interaction from various places/devices without all sorts of data issues? There must be some critical ability in being able to control cloud data differently. Or maybe they just have a slew of developers sitting around working on it.

I am so very happy with Calibre and CC, and I will happily use one workaround or another to keep track of what I read for the time being.

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond in such detail.

Kathy
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SneeziePacker View Post
I'd say the "Later" step probably isn't worthwhile, that the "Even later" would be a better use of limited resources since as you state, expectations (and bugs) would escalate. It does seem like a logical thing to expect from the user side.
Thanks for the feedback.
Quote:
I was a systems analyst in a former life, but I really don't know much about developing using current operating systems. But to do your "even later" scenario, it seems that you are heading more toward something such as Evernote, which is another program that I love. They have apps for every mobile device and every type of operating system. You can modify most all of the data from any of them, although they have a lot fewer actual data fields to deal with. However the Evernote data resides in the cloud instead of on an individual PC. Is that the way Calibre would need to head in order to allow for a similar interaction from various places/devices without all sorts of data issues? There must be some critical ability in being able to control cloud data differently. Or maybe they just have a slew of developers sitting around working on it.
There is a long-running effort to separate calibre's back end (the database) from the front end (the gui client). If and when this effort finishes (which won't be soon), a multi-user back would become possible, perhaps cloud-based.

You are right to point out that managing changes is easier if the changes can be synced immediately to a unique store visible to all users (the cloud). Such a facility would permit the user to see and manage simultaneous changes. I don't use evernote, but google docs is another reasonable example of working this way. That said, I don't think that we will have anything like cloud access for a long time, so the problem becomes how to provide the desired functionality within the framework that calibre provides today. We have some ideas for how to proceed, but we are struggling with making how "it" works both obvious and without corner-case surprises.
Quote:
I am so very happy with Calibre and CC, and I will happily use one workaround or another to keep track of what I read for the time being.

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond in such detail.

Kathy
You are very welcome. Thanks again for your thoughts. Dialog with users is important.
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