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Old 02-24-2009, 04:11 PM   #1
tlc
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command line vs GUI (PDF->MOBI for K2)

I'm a MAC user who is new to e-readers and my Kindle is on it's way.
I'm trying to convert some PDFs before it gets here.

The 0.4.140 GUI choked on several of my PDFs. (See trac.) I tried "any2mobi filename" on one and it seems to have worked -- no errors reported, but I don't have a reader....

I could write a script to traverse the directories use any2mobi on my PDFs. But ...

1) How do I make the GUI (database?) aware of them? This will be important when I get to the "Send to device" phase.

2) There's a lot of probably important options to any2mobi that I don't know what to do with.

3) Does meta data need to live in the mobi files? Or will Calibre share them with the Kindle through some other mechanism? I had to get a good regex to get the metadata from the filenames and tell calibre to not read metadata from the files. I imagine those results are currently in the DB, not the PDFs.


Does anyone have a good workflow for converting a large number of PDFs to MOBI for the Kindle?? I saw a good-looking workflow post that combined Calibre with something else, but I can't find it now.

Thanks,
tlc

Last edited by tlc; 02-24-2009 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
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1) calibredb add

2) The options for any2mobi are (largely) the same as those presented in the GUI

3) It needs to live in the mobi files. calibre will automatically update the files with the metadata in the database when sending to a device.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:51 PM   #3
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I was just going to ask about the metadata, as I just did a trial conversion to Mobi of one of my own books, from htm--using the Calibre GUI. When I changed the metadata in the Calibre library, the change did not show up when I then opened the file in Mobi Reader desktop. Does Calibre only change the metadata in the actual ebook file when sending to a device? (That wouldn't help me with mobi files, which I need to send to my PDA via other means. Much less mobi files that I would put up for other people.)

Is there a way to force the metadata change into the book file? I've been touting Calibre to people as a great way to edit metadata, but now I'm confused.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:57 PM   #4
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calibre does not change the metadata in the files stored in its database, for two reasons

1) Sometimes changing metadata can result ina corrupted file
2) It would significantly slow down GUI operations

However, whenever you use the Save to disk or Send to device functions, claibre creates a copy of the book in its database with the updated metadata.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:59 PM   #5
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When I added PDFs to the GUI/db, I used a regex from the group and still had to massage some of the meta data.

If I do any2mobi on the command line, that won't put the DB meta data in the mobi files, right?

If I do "calibredb add", will that look like a duplicate entry in the GUI? Or will it be a single entry with two formats? Will it associate the hand-edited meta data in the DB with the new MOBI form?

Thanks
-troy
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:12 PM   #6
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use mobi-meta to set metadata in mobi files and calibredb --help to see all you can do with calibredb
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
calibre does not change the metadata in the files stored in its database, for two reasons

1) Sometimes changing metadata can result ina corrupted file
2) It would significantly slow down GUI operations

However, whenever you use the Save to disk or Send to device functions, claibre creates a copy of the book in its database with the updated metadata.
Ah, so Save to Disk is my friend. I just tested it; it works.

But I don't understand the choice of "Save to disk" and "Save to disk in a single directory." And what's the purpose of the zip file (with an xhtml file inside) which was saved along with my mobi file?

I wonder if you could have the Windows-standard "Save As" command, which would let the user choose the folder and choose a different filename, if desired. (And perhaps be more familiar feeling to Windows users who scratch their heads at some of the more code-oriented commands. )

Does the Save to Disk command save all formats at once?
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
But I don't understand the choice of "Save to disk" and "Save to disk in a single directory." And what's the purpose of the zip file (with an xhtml file inside) which was saved along with my mobi file?
Save to Disk will create a folder for each author and within that a folder for each book and put the ebook file there. "Save to Single Dir" will just put all the book files into the selected directory without any of those containing organization folders.

BOb
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:48 PM   #9
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select multiple books and click the various save to disk commands to see the difference
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:15 PM   #10
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Okay, got it.

Those new files are not in the Calibre database, right? So I can just delete them with Windows Explorer?
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:32 PM   #11
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Okay, got it.

Those new files are not in the Calibre database, right? So I can just delete them with Windows Explorer?
Yes... as long as you didn't tell it to save to you calibre db folder.

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Old 02-24-2009, 06:46 PM   #12
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Yes... as long as you didn't tell it to save to you calibre db folder.

BOb
Well, they're in a subfolder of my Calibre Library folder. But the db file seems to be in the "root" Calibre Library folder.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:20 PM   #13
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Well, they're in a subfolder of my Calibre Library folder. But the db file seems to be in the "root" Calibre Library folder.
Ah... hairy... but yes... they are NOT considered part of the calibre db. You really should avoid putting files into that folder manually. Consider it sacrosanct.

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