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Old 07-27-2010, 05:53 AM   #1
georg3200
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Epub on IPad: no frontcover in bookshelf

We test our self-produced epubs on the IPad. I drag-and-drop them via Itunes to the IPad.
But in the bookshelf-overview in IBooks none of my epubs does have a frontcover. I see only a lot of neutral books without cover, but only with the books name.

What can I do to show the cover in the bookshelf?
Or does epub never show covers? Do I need a picture in the epub with a particular size or name?

Has anyone an idea?
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:15 AM   #2
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Since all "books" (not PDF's) on the iPad are ePub, of course ePub covers show. I know on all my readers some books covers show, and others don't. I am not technical on this matter so I do not know the reason... but I have noted that some have external jpeg cover files, and some don't.....
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:21 AM   #3
georg3200
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It's not that simple, that "of course ePub shows cover".
If you have a standard ePub on your IPad, no cover is shown. It does not make a difference, if you directly drag and drop a ePub on your Ipad via ITunes. There is no cover in the bookshelf of IBooks. Even if you insert the ePub in the Media Bibliotheque (is that the correct english word?) and then synchronize with your Ipad, there is no cover in your bookshelf in Ibooks.

To see a cover in the bookshelf, you have to do the following: insert the cover as a jpeg in the ePub itself on the highest level and name the file "iTunesArtwork". So its an additional file (and additional size) in the epub.
Upload the file to your Ipad and you see the cover in the bookshelf as you know it from televison advertisements.

I'm quite sure, that the Apple store mixes that picture to the ePub if you buy it in the Itunes store. So you see the cover, when you buy a book?!?

All other ebook-readers I Know (all Sony, all Booken, ADE, Stanza..) do not have to change the content of the ePub in order to show the cover. They just show the cover if exists.

Did I mention that Itunes even mixes a file named "iTunesMetadata.plist" to the epub-file?
Does Apple care about conventions at all????
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:21 AM   #4
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Actually iTunes should show your embedded covers. It definitely supports JPEG files, I’m not sure about PNG. I don’t think it supports external images. What you could do is import one of your eBooks into iTunes, add the cover in there, and then compare it to the original file. This way you should be able to spot any differences.

To do this you first need to drag the eBook into iTunes, select it and then drag the image from the finder onto the cd cover preview screen in the left bottom in iTunes. If it’s not there you can activate it from the menu bar. In English it should be under the "view" tab. Alternatively, you can select the eBook and press Command + I to open the information panel, and then click on the tab on the far right labelled "Cover" (or something like that). Then drag and drop the image in there.

Afterwards, the cover is embedded in the ePub file and by right-clicking or control-clicking the eBook, you can view the file in the finder. From there it should be possible to compare it to the original file and determine why it didn’t show any cover art before.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georg3200 View Post
Did I mention that Itunes even mixes a file named "iTunesMetadata.plist" to the epub-file?
Does Apple care about conventions at all????
I believe ePub is an open standard that allows for extensions. I’m not 100% sure though. However, I know that iTunes does the same to MP3s by adding special iTunes-only ID3 tags to them. These are for advanced functions which are not covered by the normal ID3 standard. But since foreign MP3 decoders simply ignore those proprietary tags I don’t see any harm in them. For me it would be different if there were already standardized features for the same tasks, but simply extending them ... meh, why not.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:34 AM   #6
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Indeed, the way "drag a picture to the cover finder on the bottom left" did work.

But it seems to produce the same output. A epub-file with additional content.

I think that is a complicated way. Everyone would expect a book to show its cover, that could be seen on all the other readers...

thanks for the help
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:47 AM   #7
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I think the whole "add content to a mp3, epub or whatever" is ok in the apple-world.
Usually the mp3s or epubs you have in your Itunes, Ipad, IPod... are not meant to be copied to another device. So in the apple-wordl thats ok.

But I usually copy mp3 from my Sandisk mp3-player to my sisters nokia mobile (or the other direction..). That might be a problem if Sandisk adds content to a mp3 and Nokia adds content to the mp3... do you understand what I want to say?

So if you stay in the apple world, everything should be ok the files.

The only problem we have is that our customers call us and tell us, that the ePubs we have produce do not show covers on the Ipad.
That's somehow annoying because the customers charge us for producing epubs that are out of standard. They say, epub must have a cover...
You know what I'm trying to say :-(
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:02 AM   #8
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Proprietary tags are always ignored by decoders which can’t interpret them. So there really is no problem regarding these additional meta data. Every MP3 runs everywhere (if the decoder is somewhat decent), no matter what anyone has written in the meta data.

Cover art is a different matter, though. I believe embedding covers directly into the ePub is the right thing to do and I think that’s also in the specification. Now if iTunes really only shows covers that are labelled "iTunesArtwork" this would be pretty lame. Still, it might be interesting to see if other eReaders will show those iTunes artworks as well.

It’s interesting that this problem seems to be only related to ePub; my unprotected PDF files automatically show their embedded covers without any manual modifications. Which would suggest that this could be a bug or an item on Apple’s To-Do-list.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:43 PM   #9
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If the ePub is created with an embedded image and the paths are set up correctly and all naming is internally consistent then iBooks shows covers fine. On the odd occasion when a book doesn't come with an image cover I just edit the file with Sigil and add one in and that works fine.
I usually add covers in jpg format (normally between 30k and 60k in size) and just call it cover.jpg and stick it on the title.xml - never had any problems. The resulting ePub then shows its title on IBooks, Calibre and FBReader without any extra's having to be added.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:25 PM   #10
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I've had one epub that showed a blank cover until you opened the book to read and then when you back to the library the cover was shown. That was weird.

Other than that, I've never had blank covers where they should be one.
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:10 PM   #11
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Do your EPUB book covers the same way you add album art to your CDs. Go into iTunes and input the art yourself. I do it all the time with Movie Poster art that I don't like.
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:50 AM   #12
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I've spent some time playing around the epubs and indeed when I use calibre, the cover is shown from the beginning. So sometimes the cover thing works from the whole beginning.

The Problem was the following. We deliver epubs, we have created with our software, to our customers. So, we are not the ones who open them in iTunes put them on the iPad. We just get a mail from the customer that says: there is no cover...

I think we will try to automatically add the "iTunesArtwork" - file to the epub with the help of our software. This is a workaround that should work.
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georg3200 View Post
I think we will try to automatically add the "iTunesArtwork" - file to the epub with the help of our software. This is a workaround that should work.
The cover art for epubs will display correctly, if the following line is present in the metadata section of the content.opf file:

<meta name="cover" content="cover.jpg" />

The cover should be named cover.jpg and its location should be specified in the manifest section of the content.opf file:

<item id="cover.jpg" href="Images/cover.jpg" media-type="image/jpeg" />

With these two entries in one file, the cover will display properly. There's no need to add art in iTunes, or add an "iTunesArtwork" file. iTunes will add that file itself when a properly formatted ePub is added to a library.

For those using the latest version of Sigil, open the Images folder, right click on the cover.jpg file, select Add Semantics then Cover Image. When Cover Image is checked, Sigil will add the above lines itself, no further editing needed.

EDIT: I believe that sometime after the iPad was released, Calibre was updated to add the above lines to an ePub file by default.

As for standards, the two lines are utterly standard ePub markup, cause the cover to display in iBooks, and cause no problems with any other ePub reader (AFAIK).

Last edited by Daddy Warpig; 07-30-2010 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georg3200 View Post
It's not that simple, that "of course ePub shows cover".
If you have a standard ePub on your IPad, no cover is shown.
That is incorrect. All the ePub files I've created show their covers just fine in iBooks.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:43 PM   #15
georg3200
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The cover art for epubs will display correctly, if the following line is present in the metadata section of the content.opf file:

<meta name="cover" content="cover.jpg" />

The cover should be named cover.jpg and its location should be specified in the manifest section of the content.opf file:

<item id="cover.jpg" href="Images/cover.jpg" media-type="image/jpeg" />
That did the trick, tanks. Inserting the line in the metadata section brings me a cover on the iPad. The second line already existed and our covers are always cover.jpg.


So I'm sorry, HarryT, but my epubs did not show covers and they have be correct according to epubchecker. Now they do, without embedding an extra "iTunesArtwork" picture.

We can certainly embed these 2 lines in our process. thanks all
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