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Old 10-05-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
4jacks
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How do I edit/add Meta Data

Hello,
I am very new, and not very advanced, so please speak slowly.

How do I edit and add Meta Data to books in Mobi or HTML format?

I've tried the Calibre software and it was a nightmare, I didn't realize it was creating duplicates, and all my metadata was very wrong, so it was a real mess.

I have another software that converts very well (Mobipocket Creator) , but doesnt really do metadata.

I know some very basic HTML. Is there a way to add a few HTML lines and then convert to .mobi?

Also, what metadata fields are available? Aurthor, title, dates, etc?

Thanks
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:07 AM   #2
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Many metadata fields are available. However, only a few are seen by the Kindle, which doesn't really use most of them.

Probably the most relevant are author, title, language (apparently this is useful if you load up extra dictionaries), enabling text-to-speech, disabling the clipping limit.

Unfortunately, you can't really set the metadata properly via HTML in the source.

But if you're converting your own documents, you can try using an ePub-style .opf. You can set author, title, date, publisher, etc. very easily just by adding the relevant lines and both Calibre and Mobipocket Creator will respect and add those values to the finished file.

There's a useful tutorial here with an example OPF you can cut and paste and fill in. Ignore the section about adding metadata to the HTML header via Webuilder. It's redundant to the OPF and I have no idea whether it actually works for what you want.

For editing the metadata on pre-created Mobi files, if you're on Windows, you might like to try the Mobi2Mobi GUI tools, created by fellow MR members. If you're a Linux or Mac user, you can also use the command-line script versions, but they're a bit trickier to install and get the hang of.

Hope this helps and welcome to MobileRead!
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:02 AM   #3
4jacks
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Wow, I don't understand why this is so complicated. It's like you have to be a programmer just to change the metadata on your books.

I spent a couple hours reading the Katiebook tutorial and downloading the mobi2mobi thing. But it's just way over my head.

With the tutorial, it's directed as if you are starting from scratch writing the book. In my case I have all the books, but there all messed up. So I don't really know what I'm looking at. And it using different tools I don't have, and I'm not going to pay for the html editor.

The mobi2mobi thing says I need the Perl file, which I see the thread talks about, but I don't know what it is or where to get it.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:06 AM   #4
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I'm guess I'm trying to compare the experience to music. With music, I download MP3s from all different sites, all different artists, etc. The metadata is always at least a little messed up or doesn't display how I like it. So I use the program mp3tageditor, and it's just a windows based interface where I pick all the files and type in the metadata I want. Click the save button and presto it all displays correctly on my mp3 player.

It would be nice to have the same kind of thing on my kindle. I've downloaded some books and they just look like garbage on the kindle. And it's really only the title and the author. lol
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:33 AM   #5
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The difference between mp3 and Mobipocket is that mp3 is a relatively well-known, documented format that plenty of developers know how to implement. So you get plenty of useful tools to modify it.

Mobipocket is… not, and all the existing tools that didn't come from Mobipocket/Amazon are all reverse-engineered using people's best guesses. So it's a bit harder and more frustrating to work with.

Perl is a computer scripting language. You can find a free version of it to install for Windows by googling "ActiveState Perl" (I think that's it; I'm on a Mac so I don't know if that's quite the right name).

If Calibre isn't working for you metadata-wise, the Mobi2Mobi GUI for Windows really is the next easiest thing to use. It's a bit tricky to install at first, but apparently once you've got it set up, very easy to use.

Here's the Mobi2Mobi GUI visual guide on the MR Wiki, which walks you through installing and using the interface to make a few simple edits.

It may not link to the latest versions of stuff you need (Wiki doesn't get updated all that often), so the thread above is the best place to get the newer edition. Plus, it's pretty much devoted to helping people get it up and running on their computers and everyone will be happy to troubleshoot if you run into any difficulties.

The tutorial thing is only if you want to try the "add some lines to the HTML" and convert method. It's the closest you can get via tweaking the sources.

You don't need to pay for the html editor, which is why I suggested ignoring that section entirely. You can actually do everything with a simple plain text editor and any number of free conversion tools.

But yes, you would basically be re-assembling part of the book yourself, so it's understandable if that's not the route you want to take.

However, if you'd like to give it a shot, all you need is to cut and paste the example OPF from the tutorial into a new file and tweak it a little. Nothing more.

The OPF is like a separate metadata file that Mobipocket Creator and Calibre can use to add the proper info when it generates a .mobi. There's an entire set of things you can fill in, which are described in some detail in the official specs (section 2.2).

But those aren't important and all you really need for most purposes is to modify the <dc:title>, <dc:creator>, and maybe <dc:language> and <dc:date> contents if you want. After that, just edit the <item href=""> under the <manifest> to point to the location of your existing HTML file, then run Mobipocket Creator or Calibre on your new .opf + html combo, and you should be good to go. There's fancier stuff you can do to produce better-featured .mobi files (chapter marks, cover, start at a particular location, etc.), but this is all you really need to do to fix the title and author.

For the creator, put the author's name in as "Last Name, First Name" so that it sorts correctly on the Kindle (it will display as "FN LN"). Amazon's KindleGen ignore the suggested opf:file-as attribute so I'm guessing Mobipocket Creator does, too. And put any co-authors on a separate <dc:creator> of their own under the first.

Hope this helps.
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