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Old 02-22-2011, 06:11 PM   #1
slayda
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Is there a way for Calibre to show the date a book was entered?

I have often wanted to have the date that I entered a book into Calibre. Does anyone know if this can be done and how to do it?
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:20 PM   #2
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That is the date shown by the date column.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:26 PM   #3
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I iwll be interested to see the responses on this. The "Date" column starts off being the date you added to Calibre. However I thought there were some actions which caused this to be updated so it then becomes a "last modified" column? The behaviour may have changed on this, it was just something I thought I used to see happen many versions ago.

I started using save to disk recently to share some books with my parents to import into their Calibre library, with the cover/metadata.opf file etc. One thing I found was that when I loaded the books into their library, the Date column has the value from the metadata.opf. So they are unable to use the date column to see which are the new books they have just imported into Calibre, which isn't great for them. Instead they see the date that I imported them to Calibre.

You can use tags for newly added books but that is an extra maintenance step to then remove them which I would prefer they did not have.

There may be something that can be done with a custom column to set it to todays date perhaps?
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:45 PM   #4
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What actions caused the date to change? I made a change in a custom columm and added a tag using the edit metadata screen. Then I closed and restarted calibre. The date stayed the same.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:57 PM   #5
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What actions caused the date to change? I made a change in a custom columm and added a tag using the edit metadata screen. Then I closed and restarted calibre. The date stayed the same.
That's what I can't remember

Whether it was a merge, or adding a new format to a book with automerge seem the most likely candidates. However this was several months ago when I was mass adding books I thought I saw this happen and that was many versions of Calibre past. So even if I didn't just imagine it it may no longer be the current behaviour. I haven't got time to test it right now as jumping on a plane shortly - I'm sure Kovid can confirm if I am talking rubbish and the date field never changes.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:05 PM   #6
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...I haven't got time to test it right now as jumping on a plane shortly...
You're supposed to ride in the plane, not jump on it. Have a safe trip!
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:25 PM   #7
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As far as I know the date column is never changed. Saving to disk and then adding preserves dates, that is by design. If you dont want that behavior turn off creation of OPF files when saving to disk.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:00 AM   #8
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As far as I know the date column is never changed. Saving to disk and then adding preserves dates, that is by design. If you dont want that behavior turn off creation of OPF files when saving to disk.
Hmmm. Wonder why I thought it was changing then. Shall experiment sometime.

Yeah I figured the opf date unchanged it was intentional for allowing people to preserve info. It just becomes not quite what you want if your purpose in exporting is for someone elses Calibre library although obviously this a less used scenario. I dont want to turn off the opf files because then I lose all that lovely metadata I have so carefully prepared so all my parents have to do s add the books then plug in the kindle and send to it. Plus a click on memes collections plugin of course.

They can tell which books are new from the on device column when they plug in the kindle but that relies on it being plugged in and also that all the books to date have been put on the kindle. Not the case when you have multiple with a Calibre library being shared.

I am sure there must be a custom column solution or something....

And thanks Lady Fitzgerald for the good wishes. I actually had a 3hr train trip first and now waiting at departure gate for the hell of 23 hours flying to get back to London. So jump, ride or fly, I will be shattered for the next few days. Best I dont release any plugins with half asleep coding...
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
Hmmm. Wonder why I thought it was changing then. Shall experiment sometime.
It was changing due to the opf file.

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Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
I dont want to turn off the opf files because then I lose all that lovely metadata I have so carefully prepared so all my parents have to do s add the books then plug in the kindle and send to it.
I use ePubs which embeds most all of the metadata I care about in the book when I save it to disk. What metadata isn't embedded in a mobi book when it is saved to disk? Is the OPF file really needed?

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They can tell which books are new from the on device column when they plug in the kindle but that relies on it being plugged in and also that all the books to date have been put on the kindle. Not the case when you have multiple with a Calibre library being shared.
As a work around under Preferences - Adding books you could have them set the Tags to apply when adding a book field to New.

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I actually had a 3hr train trip first and now waiting at departure gate for the hell of 23 hours flying to get back to London.
After this you'll need a vacation.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:50 AM   #10
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...I actually had a 3hr train trip first and now waiting at departure gate for the hell of 23 hours flying to get back to London...
Three hours on a train then 23 hours on a plane? Where on Earth (assuming it was Earth) were you?
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:10 AM   #11
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With the state of trains in britain, I would have said 15 miles from London (3 hrs for 15 miles is about right). But as he's flying TO London in 23hrs my guess would be west coast of America, or east coast of russia, china, australia or new zealand.
(I don't think it'll be japan, 3hrs on a train - unheard of)
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #12
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Hmmm. Wonder why I thought it was changing then.
My (often faulty) recollection was that originally the Calibre date field was the date the book was added, unless the Calibre date was specified in the epub opf. This confused some people, who expected to always see the date the book was added, not some date stored in the opf, so it was changed to ignore that date on import? Then again, perhaps my recollection is wrong? This wouldn't be a change of date, but it might explain why you recall it as not always being the date the book was added?

Last edited by Starson17; 02-25-2011 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:43 AM   #13
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My (often faulty) recollection was that originally the Calibre date field was the date the book was added, unless the the Calibre date was specified in the epub opf. This confused some people, who expected to always see the date the book was added, not some date stored in the opf, so it was changed to ignore that date on import? Then again, perhaps my recollection is wrong? This wouldn't be a change of date, but it might explain why you recall it as not always being the date the book was added?
Yes the original behavior was to update the date field from epub metadata and it was removed later.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:23 PM   #14
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My (often faulty) recollection was that originally the Calibre date field was the date the book was added, unless the the Calibre date was specified in the epub opf.
Correct.

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This confused some people, who expected to always see the date the book was added, not some date stored in the opf, so it was changed to ignore that date on import?
Correct again. It ignores the opf internal to the ePub.

However if you are importing from a directory that has independent (external) opf file then calibre assumes you want the info from that external opf imported. Maybe you are restoring from backup or importing into a second library.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:57 AM   #15
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Yes the original behavior was to update the date field from epub metadata and it was removed later.
Thanks dwanthy/Kovid/Starson17, the opf/book metadata data thing might explain why I saw dates I didn't expect in my earlier days of importing. I just knew they didn't all have the date that I added them to Calibre but not "why".

@dwanthy - yes I am aware of the adding a tag approach as I use it myself, but I kind of briefly mentioned/discarded it for them in my first post. Just one too many steps for the very basic usage I coaxed my parents into with Calibre - Add, Search, Send to device, Create Kindle Collections and Eject/Restart Kindle is all the functionality they really need to know about and even that occupied a page or two of carefully documented steps in language they could understand. Not the most comfortable users of a PC - and yes some might argue Calibre is then not the right program for them but once it is setup it does exactly what they need it for so worth a try.

Chocolate brownie goes to Perkin for the best guess as to my location. I was up the coast north of Sydney in Australia and now back home feeling like a stale pretzel.
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