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Old 12-29-2011, 05:00 AM   #1
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Cover images on Sony T1

Hi,

I've been having some problems getting book covers working correctly in epubs for my Sony PRS T1. I was wondering if anyone had any experiences here they could contribute?

I've been using Keith Fahlgren's blog post as a guide. Basically it works BUT...
  1. the cover image has to have a minimum width
  2. the cover page is shown in the normal reading flow

It seems that cover images need to be at least 500px wide in order for them to be drawn correctly as a thumbnail. Any smaller, and the thumbnails are always drawn with wide white borders, so you basically need to use Photoshop (or another tool) to scale up any smaller cover you use before inserting it into the epub.

The T1 seems to ignore linear="no" in the OPF spine, so always shows the cover as (usually) page 1. Annoying...
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisridd View Post
The T1 seems to ignore linear="no" in the OPF spine, so always shows the cover as (usually) page 1. Annoying...
All readers based on Adobe ignore linear="no".

But you can have thumbnails in the T1 by just including the cover image in the manifest and in the <meta name="cover"> tag, but nowhere else. Flightcrew will warn about an unused file, but that's fine. Of course, other readers won't recognize the cover.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
All readers based on Adobe ignore linear="no".

But you can have thumbnails in the T1 by just including the cover image in the manifest and in the <meta name="cover"> tag, but nowhere else. Flightcrew will warn about an unused file, but that's fine. Of course, other readers won't recognize the cover.
Will other Adobe-based readers show an image referenced by <meta name="cover"> or is this behaviour specific to Sony?
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by chrisridd View Post
Will other Adobe-based readers show an image referenced by <meta name="cover"> or is this behaviour specific to Sony?
No, the Orizon for example does not show that cover, it shows the first page of the book instead (but the generated thumbnail file can be replaced).
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:47 AM   #5
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No, the Orizon for example does not show that cover, it shows the first page of the book instead (but the generated thumbnail file can be replaced).
I see! I've just found E-Production in the wiki, although it doesn't mention the T1 it looks like a useful place to start finding out what things work/don't work...

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Old 12-30-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisridd View Post
Hi,

I've been having some problems getting book covers working correctly in epubs for my Sony PRS T1. I was wondering if anyone had any experiences here they could contribute?

I've been using Keith Fahlgren's blog post as a guide. Basically it works BUT...
  1. the cover image has to have a minimum width
  2. the cover page is shown in the normal reading flow

It seems that cover images need to be at least 500px wide in order for them to be drawn correctly as a thumbnail. Any smaller, and the thumbnails are always drawn with wide white borders, so you basically need to use Photoshop (or another tool) to scale up any smaller cover you use before inserting it into the epub.

The T1 seems to ignore linear="no" in the OPF spine, so always shows the cover as (usually) page 1. Annoying...
What I do is if the cover image that I find is larger then 1024 lines, I reduce it to 1024 lines.

I've not seen any issues with thumbnails on the T1. But them I've not really looked. I'll try a cover less then 500px wide and see what happens. But as for the cover being page 1, I don't see how that could possibly be annoying.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
What I do is if the cover image that I find is larger then 1024 lines, I reduce it to 1024 lines.
In my case the book covers were quite small - on the order of 300px wide at best. Nothing I could do made them "fill" the thumbnail except pre-scaling them in a graphics app. 500px is the size Amazon require for Kindle covers isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
But as for the cover being page 1, I don't see how that could possibly be annoying.
It isn't very annoying, but if the book is marked up to not put it in the reading flow I think the reader should respect that.
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by chrisridd View Post
It isn't very annoying, but if the book is marked up to not put it in the reading flow I think the reader should respect that.
The problem is that the spec makes it optional:

Reading Systems are not required to differentiate between primary and auxiliary content, and for the requirements and recommendations given in this section may consider all OPS Content Documents in spine to be primary, regardless of the value of the linear attribute.

Apparently ADE and derivatives do that (consider all documents as primary).
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:51 AM   #9
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I don't know whether this is relevant to the OP, but if you're a Calibre user you can get it to create the T1 thumbnail from whichever cover you've chosen to store in Calibre, i.e. any cover you like. The thumbnail gets created when you send-to-device any book (epub, pdf, txt regardless of whether DRM or non-DRM). The T1 does not then need to try and extract a thumbnail from inside the epub.

You also get choices to:
- retain aspect ratio, or not
- refresh cover thumbnails every time you connect, or not

All this is just a simple one-time setting, see attached
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
I don't know whether this is relevant to the OP, but if you're a Calibre user you can get it to create the T1 thumbnail from whichever cover you've chosen to store in Calibre, i.e. any cover you like. The thumbnail gets created when you send-to-device any book (epub, pdf, txt regardless of whether DRM or non-DRM). The T1 does not then need to try and extract a thumbnail from inside the epub.

You also get choices to:
- retain aspect ratio, or not
- refresh cover thumbnails every time you connect, or not

All this is just a simple one-time setting, see attached
Thanks, but that was not really what I was looking for - I really did want a way to get a good cover embedded inside the epub files properly.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisridd View Post
Thanks, but that was not really what I was looking for - I really did want a way to get a good cover embedded inside the epub files properly.
If you are a Calibre user and your epubs are non-DRM, an epub-to-epub conversion will put your chosen Calibre cover inside the epub as page 1. Once again you have the option to retain aspect ratio, or not.

A different Calibre option is the 'Modify epub' plugin which has many features, one of which is a metadata updater which also updates the cover.

A non-Calibre option you might like to try out is the epubfixer standalone utility. It can do lots of different epub things, one of which is a cover updater. I use it mainly for its epub TOC editor feature (which is excellent, by the way). Whether you can update the cover will depend on how the cover has been defined in the epub, so it's not guaranteed to work with all epubs
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisridd View Post
In my case the book covers were quite small - on the order of 300px wide at best. Nothing I could do made them "fill" the thumbnail except pre-scaling them in a graphics app. 500px is the size Amazon require for Kindle covers isn't it?
But this isn't a Kindle. It's a Sony. What Amazon says is best for a Kindle has nothing to do with what does and does not work for a T1.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
If you are a Calibre user and your epubs are non-DRM, an epub-to-epub conversion will put your chosen Calibre cover inside the epub as page 1. Once again you have the option to retain aspect ratio, or not.
An unstated goal was that I wanted an understanding of what was happening and needed in the epub. I didn't want to just run calibre and have it do "stuff" :-)

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Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
A non-Calibre option you might like to try out is the epubfixer standalone utility.
That's more-or-less Windows-only. I messed around with mono a few years ago, and well, never again!
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:09 PM   #14
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
A non-Calibre option you might like to try out is the epubfixer standalone utility. It can do lots of different epub things, one of which is a cover updater. I use it mainly for its epub TOC editor feature (which is excellent, by the way). Whether you can update the cover will depend on how the cover has been defined in the epub, so it's not guaranteed to work with all epubs
Thanks for this reminder jackie_w. I had looked at epubfixer when it first came out, and I didn't think it did anything I thought I wanted to do. It's come a long way in a year, and I've learned more about what I want to do with epubs, too.
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