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Old 01-09-2011, 06:54 PM   #1
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[Old Thread] Feature Idea - Auto convert on import

I didn't want to say request because that sounds like I'm demanding something, these are just some feature ideas that I thought might be useful to some.

Maybe this is already possible and I just couldn't see how to do it. Whenever I import books I always convert them to epub and mobi then delete the original format I imported them in. Would it be possible to have Calibre automagically do this for desired formats upon import? Also maybe add in the ability to automatically fetch metadata as well (user would still verify the correct metadata selection for the book)

Another idea I had, but one that would be more work, would be explorer extensions for converting books, importing them, and editing metadata. Just right click on a file and you can choose to convert it to another format, import to calibre, or edit metadata.

I think these features would be cool and useful for a lot of users, as is Calibre is still an amazing program and I think I speak for a lot of people when I say Thanks Kovid for so generously devoting your time to this free program!

Thanks
James
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:18 PM   #2
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I'm sure others will comment but my 2p on this.

Firstly you could add the functionality yourself to Calibre if you wanted to and had the Python skills/time to do so. You could do a gui plugin that does add and convert operations exactly how you want them.

In terms of auto-conversion, the issue I see is what about configuring the options for conversion? These will vary by input format and "quality" of the format you are inputting from. If those are all under your control (say you had loads of text files you had created formatted with markdown text and setup your default options for text conversion to match) then I guess relying on default conversion options could work.

However (and this could just be me not getting fully to grips with Calibre's conversion options yet) I find that I am rarely satisfied with the EPUB that Calibre generates. Nearly every time I have to go to Sigil to sort out formatting, TOC, correct chapters etc to how I like them. Yes at least some of those can be done by Calibre configuration, at the expense of "fiddling" book by book with regular expressions, xpaths, line break settings etc etc. In some cases there are things I cannot yet find how to do what I want within Calibre (like specify paragraph margins/indents in fractional em instead of points and center h1-h4 headings). That is almost certainly just ignorance on my part, I haven't scoured that part of the manual yet.

My point being that in my own workflow I try to get a "how I like it" EPUB created first, and only then do I convert the EPUB to MOBI and delete the other formats. Sometimes the different formats of a book have come from different sources or conversions so one may convert to EPUB better than another. I guess I'm saying it is not a feature I would rely on to "automate" things for me, as wonderful as it would be to take all the manual eyeballing out!

Absolutely my scenario is not everyone's though. If you are less picky about what Calibre generates without per book customisation or you have better quality inputs to suit it then I can see it being wonderful to automate those steps.

[EDIT]Oh, one more "issue". You mention automating getting metadata with the add, again not unreasonable although it would dramatically slow down the add process. However what about the books for which metadata retrieval fails? You are then potentially doing a conversion with dud data like missing covers etc.

Last edited by kiwidude; 01-09-2011 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:05 PM   #3
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@kiwidude
You do raise some valid points, I think on the whole I'm not as picky as you are about the output I mainly read the books on my Kindle but I also have a Sony PRS-300 (I won it) which I put the odd epub on for my girlfriend. So far I haven't had any real issues with them barring the odd exception.

I also don't do huge bulk imports but rather one to 10 at a time imports because the metadata generally needs tweaking. For the most part as long as the title and author fields are filled out Calibre does a good job of fetching the correct metadata, sometimes there are mulitple entries which requires the user to select the best match. I've yet to import a book that I wasn't able to find metadata for, this could vary dramatically for other users though depending on where they reside and the language of the books they read.

I wouldn't be up to the task of writing my own python scripts to do this unfortunately but I'm glad you pointed out that it would be possible, maybe other people that come across this thread will have better programming skills than me

As I originally stated this would just be a handy feature for some users, for more advanced users who really like to get their hands dirty it would probably lack the fine control they want. For other people it may be great.

Anyway thanks for the feedback, and Kovid (and/or other programmers) if you think this is worth implementing then cool, if not then I appreciate you taking the time to hear me out

Thanks
James
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:49 PM   #4
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I would recommend opening a ticket (search first to see if it's been already requested) with your requests. Requests here tend to get forgotten and lost.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:35 AM   #5
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@user_none
Good point, I actually just noticed the "submit feature request" part on the Calibre website. I'll wait until I get home from work and make a donation (keep forgetting to do this) and submit the request at the same time.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:45 PM   #6
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Is anyone working on this?

(I would auto convert to mobi so that the book is a continuous page rather than one page per chapter. A feature to view epub as a continuous page would accomplish the same thing.)

Last edited by John Peterson; 10-28-2012 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:17 PM   #7
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This is added in https://code.launchpad.net/~john-pet.../+merge/132832 :159.
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