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Old 06-23-2010, 08:55 AM   #1
jflatto
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Editing author and title meta data

I just finished importing a large batch of "raw" ebooks into Calibre 0.7.4 (running on Windows 7).

After import, I noticed that in many cases that the author and title fields were "flipped". Is there any method to "bulk" flip these two fields? While I will still need to do a bunch of meta editing after that, this would cut down on the effort.

Additionally, for a number of the books, I had copies of the same book in both ".pdf" as well as ".lit" formats. I manually deleted the ".lit" version and just imported the ".pdf" format. Would I have been better off keeping the ".lit" version and deleting the ".pdf" formatted versions of the books before my initial import into Calibre?

Alternately, is there any software that I could use to edit the metadata of the ebooks before importing into Calibre. (Yes, I know Calibre can edit metadata individually, just trying to see alternative approaches that might be easier.)

Thanks.

Jerry
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:04 AM   #2
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To swap title/author: Group select the affected books, click the small arrow next to Edit meta information, select Edit metadata in bulk. In the dialog, click the 'Swap title and author' checkbox at the bottom, click OK.

As far as .lit vs .pdf, it depends on what your desired output format is. If you're headed anywhere other than pdf, convert to your output format from the .lit file.

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Old 06-23-2010, 09:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflatto View Post
After import, I noticed that in many cases that the author and title fields were "flipped". Is there any method to "bulk" flip these two fields? While I will still need to do a bunch of meta editing after that, this would cut down on the effort.
Select all the files that you want these fields flipped for, and hit the Edit Metadata button. On the resulting dialog select the "Swap Title and Author" checkbox and hit OK.

Quote:
Additionally, for a number of the books, I had copies of the same book in both ".pdf" as well as ".lit" formats. I manually deleted the ".lit" version and just imported the ".pdf" format. Would I have been better off keeping the ".lit" version and deleting the ".pdf" formatted versions of the books before my initial import into Calibre?
If you are interested in converting to another format then the .LIT format tends to be far more successful. You could of course put both versions into Calibre - and if Calibre does not recognise them as the same book then use the Edit Meta Information->Merge Books from the right-click menu to merge Calibre entries. You can also add additional formats to an existing Calibre book entry from the Edit Metadata dialog.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:13 AM   #4
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Thank you very much for the responses. I need my eyes checked. I didn't see the check box at the bottom.

I am typically sending my books to a Kindle (version 1) or now to my iPhone 3GS running iBooks so "epub" or "mobi" is my output format.

Is there any other software to easily enter the metadata of my ebooks or do I just bite the bullet and do this after the books are in Calibre?

Thanks again.

Jerry
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:15 AM   #5
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I would suggest that get you get your ebooks into Calibre, and then edit the metadata from there. When the metadata is correct then run the conversions to the desired output formats. As was mentioned the conversions are far more likely to be successful starting from the .LIT files - PDF files are likely to be a bit hit-or-miss unless they only have basic formatting.

Last edited by itimpi; 06-23-2010 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:55 AM   #6
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Remember, calibre manages books, not files. If you import several different formats of the same ebook -- say, tom_sawyer.lit and tom_sawyer.pdf -- they'll both show up as the same book, "Tom Sawyer", and when you select that book, calibre displays which formats you have it in. (if for some reason you didn't import them as the same book, there's a merge function to take care of that) Then, when you're doing your conversions, you select your source format (.lit) and your output format (.mobi) and the new format is added to that book.

The key to success with managing formats with calibre is to remember that the basic unit is the book, not the file. "Book" is an abstraction of files like "file" is an abstraction of tracks and sectors. Manage your books, and let calibre worry about files.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflatto View Post
Is there any other software to easily enter the metadata of my ebooks or do I just bite the bullet and do this after the books are in Calibre?
During book import, metadata comes from:
  • Inside the file, if the book format supports it,
  • From the filename, if you have selected "Get metadata only from filename" and have a correct regular expression.
After book import, metadata comes from:
  • single metadata fetch of online metadata (you get to choose the best match), or
  • bulk metadata fetch (Calibre chooses the best match), or
  • manual entry.

For the bulk method to work, you need very good author and title data. I prefer to turn off the option that overwrites the author/title by default, as a bad match may change pretty good data to bad data. I prefer to keep "pretty good" author/title so I can try again later if I think the match is bad.

My preferred import method varies depending on the quality of internal metadata, but for bad internal data (common) or formats that have no internal metadata (txt), I first make sure that the author/title/series info is in the filename, then import with "Get metadata only from filename" and "automatic merge" on. Then I bulk fetch (with the author/title overwrite off).

Last edited by Starson17; 06-23-2010 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:23 PM   #8
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Thanks to all the responses. It sounds like I want to use ".lit" as my master format. How do I "tell" Calibre to use lit over other formats (assuming I have a book in multiple formats) when outputting to epub format say for my Kindle?

It sounds like I need to just import some books and "play" with Calibre.

Jerry
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:06 PM   #9
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It is in preferences, general. Just move lit to the top of the list
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:39 AM   #10
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Thanks again for all the help.

Let me go to the next level. I want to rename and re-organize my books in an efficient manner. Suppose I start off with an empty Calibre database. I then import my David Edding books. I might have 20 actual different books but 270 files as I have the same book in multiple formats (pdf, lit, doc, etc.). I also will have the same book but with slightly different metadata. Based on the helpful tips you have provided, I know how to consolidate these books down so I merge the different metadata files into the same actual book.

I now want to repeat the process with David Webber books. However, to make my consolidation process easier, I want to remove the David Edding's books from Calibre first so Calibre only has a single actual author at any one time. Thus I want to move the consolidated David Eddings underlying files out of Calibre's folder into a temporary storage folder while I work on the other books in Calibre. I want to repeat this process for all of my authors so I only have a single author at one time in Calibre until I have cleaned up all my books. Then I will put them all back in Calibre. Is there a "good" way to do this from inside of Calibre? I realize I can physically move folders around on my computer and delete db files but would prefer to work with Calibre rather than trying to "game" the software.

Thanks.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflatto View Post
Then I will put them all back in Calibre. Is there a "good" way to do this from inside of Calibre? I realize I can physically move folders around on my computer and delete db files but would prefer to work with Calibre rather than trying to "game" the software.
Don't mess with Calibre's folders or files you will only cause trouble for yourself. Use tags to handle your workflow, see this post for info.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:25 AM   #12
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Thanks for the approach of using a "processed tag". I am using the approach of using tags for my processed books but running into an issue. If I try to use the search feature of Calibre to find similar titles to merge them, then I "lose" the "processed" tag I set and now the processed books show up in the list.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflatto View Post
Thanks for the approach of using a "processed tag". I am using the approach of using tags for my processed books but running into an issue. If I try to use the search feature of Calibre to find similar titles to merge them, then I "lose" the "processed" tag I set and now the processed books show up in the list.
Just add this to the end of your similar search:
Code:
not tag:processed
For example, if you are looking for books on vampires that might also be spelled vampyre use a search of

Code:
vamp not tag:processed
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:35 AM   #14
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If you really want to get fancy, define and save a search called NotProcessed which is "not tagrocessed" (right side of search bar) and then use that saved search to restrict your library (left side of search bar). From then on, only unprocessed books will show in your library, no matter what search you use.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:08 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the very useful tips. I am grateful for all the advice.

Once I have consolidated my books, is there any reason to keep multiple formats (e.g., txt, lit, mobi, pdf) of the same book? If not, I assume I want to just keep the lit formats where available??
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