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Old 09-11-2010, 05:08 PM   #1
jrustyw
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Why would anyone dislike Calibre....

Hello,

This is my first post. I came to the site because I just recently received my Kindle 3 and I've been looking for tools to help me get my existing ebook collection converted for use on the Kindle. Calibre seemed like just the ticket, but, sadly, I wont be using it any time soon...

From another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GJN View Post
Why would anyone dislike calibre? It's a terrific piece of software that makes eBook readers without decent database capabilities useable, integrates various format conversion tools, and lets us correct sloppy eBook metadata.
I don't like Calibre for a specific reason - it destroys useful data in the process of importing books. I'm referring to the file name. Calibre will change your file names in a destructive manner. It's default behavior is to rename the file according to the metadata. That's fine if you have well behaved metadata - but if you don't you are going to get a bunch of files with garbage names and the Calibre database entries wont be any better.

If you notice this problem you can fix it (kind of) by changing the preferences to take the metadata information from the file name. Perfect right? All your hours of effort to properly name files is preserved by having the file name imported as the title on the metadata. Except.... Calibre will still rename your files. And if you then pull the files out of Calibre you'll have to go look at the metadata to figure out what the file name is supposed to be.

As long as your file names are very short you wont notice this problem. But here's an example of what I'm talking about: I have two books with the filenames:
Pratchett, Terry - [Discworld 01] - The Colour of Magic [pdb].PDB
Pratchett, Terry - [Discworld 02] - The Light Fantastic Txt [pdb].PDB

After adding to Calibre they are:
Pratchett, Terry - [Discworld 01] - The - Unknown.pdb
Pratchett, Terry - [Discworld 02] - The - Unknown.pdb

It's fortunate that I have the series order in there or I would have no way to identify the books without the metatdata. But I've still lost the book title in the file name. Not good.

I've submitted a bug report to the Calibre guys asking them to change this to retain the original file name - but they flat refused the request. They don't have any interest in making it easy for you to get your books back out of Calibre in a useful format.

That's too bad. The program has some pretty neat features. I was ready to punch that Paypal button about ten minutes after loading the program - until I realized that it was destroying data, couldn't be fixed by the user and the developers had no interest in addressing the problem. This is a completely unreasonable way to handle data and it prevents Calibre from being useful to me. I'm not going to commit to a platform that holds my data hostage.

TTFN
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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Here is the bug report that jrustyw references: http://bugs.calibre-ebook.com/ticket/6781#comment:1
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:05 PM   #3
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It sounds like you're trying to access the files in the directory Calibre keeps the library in directly. Although it's been said in the comments to the ticket you filed, I'm gonna suggest you read this thread. It tries to explain why Calibre works the way it does and why bad things happen if you try to mix your own way with the way Calibre does things.

(And, as a side note, yes, we've had that argument countless times already, ain't gonna change. Get used to it.)
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:10 PM   #4
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Welcome to MobileRead, jrustyw.

As a lover of Calibre, I'm sorry to hear Calibre isn't working for you, however, I hope this site can be useful in other ways.

We are way more than just a books management site.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:22 PM   #5
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Sigh. calibre does not "destroy data". Stick your head out of the box it is in and understand how calibre works. If you don't want to spend the time to understand then I suggest you dont post in this forum as all you are doing is displaying your ignorance.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:33 PM   #6
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The problem jrustyw has is that his illegally downloaded eBooks were not properly made with proper metadata. Thus, he's complaining that Calibre is changing the titles of his illegally downloaded eBooks into something that's nonsense.

There is a solution and a very simple one. Don't download such poorly formatted illegal eBooks.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:35 PM   #7
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Garbage in, garbage out?
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:40 PM   #8
GrzegorzN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrustyw View Post
I've submitted a bug report to the Calibre guys asking them to change this to retain the original file name - but they flat refused the request. They don't have any interest in making it easy for you to get your books back out of Calibre in a useful format.
I think that's what "Save to disk" is for (and it allows you to specify the on-disk data structure and filenames of the exported books). The library format itself is best considered internal. If you want to get data out of the library, use Calibre's export functions. If they don't work properly, then that's a bug or a feature request (and I'm sure the developers will be willing to fix / improve it).

Filling in missing metadata can be annoying, but Calibre does a pretty good job of helping you along the way, and it's usually a good idea to have correct metadata attached to your books anyway.

And although it would probably be possible to change Calibre to retain the original file name at the moment, it could cause problems when the authors decide that the library/database format must change to support some funky new features.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Sigh. calibre does not "destroy data". Stick your head out of the box it is in and understand how calibre works. If you don't want to spend the time to understand then I suggest you dont post in this forum as all you are doing is displaying your ignorance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The problem jrustyw has is that his illegally downloaded eBooks were not properly made with proper metadata. Thus, he's complaining that Calibre is changing the titles of his illegally downloaded eBooks into something that's nonsense.

There is a solution and a very simple one. Don't download such poorly formatted illegal eBooks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Garbage in, garbage out?
What I was thinking, but wanted to give the benefit of the doubt.......
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:59 PM   #10
megachirops
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This comes up SO often...

Calibre already has the code to deal with archives. Have you ever considered just storing the library in a single .zip archive (named calibre-library.db or some such) so that people stop thinking of the books as "files" and just treat the archive as the Calibre database.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:09 PM   #11
kovidgoyal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megachirops View Post
Calibre already has the code to deal with archives. Have you ever considered just storing the library in a single .zip archive (named calibre-library.db or some such) so that people stop thinking of the books as "files" and just treat the archive as the Calibre database.
calibre originally used to do that, but there are various disadvantages. Less robust, makes incremental backups impossible, interoperation between calibre and other software harder and so on.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:11 PM   #12
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Today, I have made yet another attempt to start using Calibre as my e-book cataloging tool.
Until now I have been using it mainly as a tool to convert files.

I have found several things that I do not know how to deal with.

1. I have book in a single html file. Such file is perfectly readable in my PocketBook reader. I imported the html file into Calibre and Calibre made a zip of the html file plus some other files it created. The problem is, my reader doesn't read such zipped files, so I can't load that to my device. I tried to convert the html file into epub. Calibre choked on conversion. On some html files Calibre simply chokes, on other html files the conversion takes unbelievably long time. Like 6 minutes.

2. One of very few formats my device does not read is lit. Excellent! I will use fantastic conversion abilities Calibre packs. Ha! On half of the files the Calibre chokes (doesn't finish conversion in more than 45 minutes per file) the rest of the files take many minutes (per file) to process.

I do not understand. This is not computer with 86286 processor, but multi-threaded Pentium 4 processor with *lots* of power.
I have installed little Linux utility (I use Mint Linux 9. - one of many Ubuntu clones) called lit2epub. lit2epub can convert any of those problematic lit files in a few seconds.

Is it possible to configure Calibre to use for conversion from lit to epub an external lit2epub program? Or use directly convertlit that lit2epub secretly uses ;-) ?

Is it possible to tell Calibre not to convert stand-alone html files to .zip archives (or at least save it back as html file when I choose Save to disk -> Save single format to disk and select html as output?
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgrandma View Post
What I was thinking, but wanted to give the benefit of the doubt.......
This is what I dislike. People blaming software for a problem that's not a problem except for the poorly converted eBooks that are not legal.

Now the one question I have is that if Calibre is used to fix the missing metadata, does the filename then change to match?
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
calibre originally used to do that, but there are various disadvantages. Less robust, makes incremental backups impossible, interoperation between calibre and other software harder and so on.
Ah, ok. From my previous readings I had thought it was more of a "real" database that was used originally vs just an archive. Doesn't bother me so keep up the good work
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
1. I have book in a single html file. Such file is perfectly readable in my PocketBook reader. I imported the html file into Calibre and Calibre made a zip of the html file plus some other files it created. The problem is, my reader doesn't read such zipped files, so I can't load that to my device.
You're trying to access the library directly, too, am I right? When you save to disk or send to device, Calibre should (and does, for me) give you the HTML from the zip.
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