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Old 01-27-2011, 09:08 PM   #1
kiwidude
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Plugin ideas... add yours here

Got an idea for a plugin? Feel free to add them to this thread if you haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere. Who knows, if it is a good enough idea someone might even write it for you if you need the help, it has happened before...

Plugin idea discussions

To ensure this thread becomes manageable over time and to help out new visitors to the forum, here is a summary of the plugin suggestions to date from this thread. For anything you see marked as implemented, please go to the relevant plugin thread to discuss further changes or requests.

Last edited by kiwidude; 06-28-2012 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin_2 View Post
Calibre is now really powerful with the custom sort options for authors & titles. Getting the configuration right in the Tweaks-section can be a bit challenging at times, though, and re-populating the sort_by columns is not always straightforward.

A quick-preference for setting the sort options would be nice, and an option to redo the sort_by columns (currently via bulk-edit for authors and via single-book metadata for title) would be terrific.

I am not using the custom sort very often now, but would like to be able to adapt the sort order on the fly to the internet source I am using to find metadata.
Excuse me for being a bit slow here but I wanted to clarify which "sort" you meant - Calibre has several of them

Did you mean the value of the tweak "sort_columns_at_startup"? Allowing you to apply the value there (and possibly other sorts) in your library view after you have altered your sort columns manually?

You mentioned the author sort by in the metadata dialogs. This is something I never touch. Could you explain your workflow and exactly which sorts you find yourself altering?
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nynaevelan View Post
A question regarding the quick preferences plugin or maybe a new one is needed, but would it be possible to create a plugin for a context menu that would keep a login of directories to add books from, maybe a list of 5 or so? Or maybe a toolbar dropdown menu?
When you say "login", did you mean list?

The "Add..." menu options remember the last directory that you add books from. If I understand you correctly, you are saying in your workflow you have a number of common directories you add books from and want to quickly switch between them? What OS are you using - Windows or ? Does adding them to your "favourites" (Windows 7/Vista) not achieve something similar?
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
When you say "login", did you mean list?

The "Add..." menu options remember the last directory that you add books from. If I understand you correctly, you are saying in your workflow you have a number of common directories you add books from and want to quickly switch between them? What OS are you using - Windows or ? Does adding them to your "favourites" (Windows 7/Vista) not achieve something similar?
Yes that is exactly what I meant, I add books from 4 different spots, I am on Win7, what do you mean add them to my favorites, where do I do that?
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nynaevelan View Post
Yes that is exactly what I meant, I add books from 4 different spots, I am on Win7, what do you mean add them to my favorites, where do I do that?
In Windows Explorer in Win7/Vista, in the pane on the left at the top is a list of Favourite locations, which you can drag/drop other folders onto.

Then when you open the "Add..." dialog, scroll up the left pane to the top to see your favourites there, and just click on the folder you want to add books from.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
In Windows Explorer in Win7/Vista, in the pane on the left at the top is a list of Favourite locations, which you can drag/drop other folders onto.

Then when you open the "Add..." dialog, scroll up the left pane to the top to see your favourites there, and just click on the folder you want to add books from.
WOW, thank you I did not know about that, and yes that will make it much easier for navigation, which spans across three different drives.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:12 AM   #7
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plugin for DOI numbers?

I already posted the following question here (ok, now I have edited the typos):

Quote:
I wonder whether Calibre is capable of retrieving the metadata for journal articles. For these you do not have an ISBN, but (as explaiend in the opening message) a DOI. I tried to insert the DOI in the ISBN field in the metadata window of Calibre, but alas it immediately turns red, presumably because the format is rather different. E.g. for the one paper I was trying to edit metadata for the doi is 10.1207/S15327965PLI1403&4_20
Manichean suggested that a plugin might do the trick, but as I am totally useless at programming (and at computers in general) I wonder whether this may be a fun brainteaser for somebody more competent than I am!
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by paolamanzini View Post
I already posted the following question here (ok, now I have edited the typos):...
So I had a super quick look into this out of curiosity. My first question is - where are you expecting to be able to retrieve the book metadata from? CrossRef.org seem to have it (and can supply it in xml format) but you have to become a "Basic Affiliate" with an annual fee of $2000 from my reading of their website. Is there another source of journal metadata that is free?
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:38 AM   #9
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Recently I started adding our paper books to my copy of Calibre, so that we've got a complete record of all the books we own. I've got a couple of MP3 audio books which I'd also like to add. I've added tags for both paper and audio books, and in the case of MP3s, I've added the files to the book's folder. Ideally, I'd like to add the MP3 files to the formats list.

A quick look suggests that this can't be done with a file type plugin, would anyone care to prove me wrong? Or tell me that it can be done some other way?
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
So I had a super quick look into this out of curiosity. My first question is - where are you expecting to be able to retrieve the book metadata from? CrossRef.org seem to have it (and can supply it in xml format) but you have to become a "Basic Affiliate" with an annual fee of $2000 from my reading of their website. Is there another source of journal metadata that is free?
Hi kiwidude, thanks for the prompt answer. Well, I (perhaps naively?) thought that with the doi one could "suck up" the metadata from the article page itself, e/.g for the above doi it would be here:
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...~frm=titlelink

Having said that, one site that is free as far as I know is "cite you like", which again for the above DOI returns:
http://www.citeulike.org/user/PreciousJ/article/7478980

But I am no tech-person, so perhaps this does not make sense...
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avantman42 View Post
Recently I started adding our paper books to my copy of Calibre, so that we've got a complete record of all the books we own. I've got a couple of MP3 audio books which I'd also like to add. I've added tags for both paper and audio books, and in the case of MP3s, I've added the files to the book's folder. Ideally, I'd like to add the MP3 files to the formats list.

A quick look suggests that this can't be done with a file type plugin, would anyone care to prove me wrong? Or tell me that it can be done some other way?
As you have discovered Calibre has no direct support for audiobooks. If it consists of a single mp3 file, you can just drag/drop this into Calibre like any other book format, it appears in the list of formats in the book details window etc.

However, an audiobook usually consists of multiple mp3 files. And Calibre does not support storing multiple files with the same format in the same directory (e.g. multiple versions of an EPUB). So the limitation that applies to ebooks applies even more so to audiobooks for which you will have multiple files of the same extension.

The workaround suggested for ebooks is to create a separate book entry in Calibre representing the alternate version of the book and storing it there. Thus the "equivalent" for audiobooks would be to create a "book" entry for each mp3 file making up the audiobook.

If Calibre were to ever support multiple "versions" within the same book record then possibly it would help you. However afaik there is no plan to do this as it would potentially be a big task.

Storing files "manually" inside the Calibre folders in general is a *bad* idea as often gets repeated in the forums. If you were to rename the book author for instance then it is possible you would lose the audio files - that file structure is for Calibre to do with as it will and it will only keep track of the files in its database - i.e. things you have imported into Calibre.

So I can't think of a direct way for a plugin to help you. I would suggest posting in the main Calibre forum and asking others if they store audiobooks in Calibre and if so how they approach it.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paolamanzini View Post
Hi kiwidude, thanks for the prompt answer. Well, I (perhaps naively?) thought that with the doi one could "suck up" the metadata from the article page itself, e/.g for the above doi it would be here:
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...~frm=titlelink

Having said that, one site that is free as far as I know is "cite you like", which again for the above DOI returns:
http://www.citeulike.org/user/PreciousJ/article/7478980

But I am no tech-person, so perhaps this does not make sense...
The "suck up" technique is called "web scraping". In theory it is usually possible to do. The major downside is that it is extremely "fragile" - if the website you are trying to "scrape" the information from changes it's appearance with a redesign, then your code becomes useless. There can also potentially be legal issues as well I believe although how much of an issue that is in this case I am not sure.

As I don't have any journals and have a backlog of other plugins to work on I'm not volunteering to help further this myself I'm afraid. There is some information here now as a starting point if there is someone else out there keen to assist with writing it for you at some point.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:29 PM   #13
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It appears that I've been something of an idiot

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
As you have discovered Calibre has no direct support for audiobooks. If it consists of a single mp3 file, you can just drag/drop this into Calibre like any other book format, it appears in the list of formats in the book details window etc.
I hadn't realised that I could add non-ebook files to Calibre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
However, an audiobook usually consists of multiple mp3 files. And Calibre does not support storing multiple files with the same format in the same directory (e.g. multiple versions of an EPUB). So the limitation that applies to ebooks applies even more so to audiobooks for which you will have multiple files of the same extension.
I've now realised that I can put all the files in a zip archive and add that, which is good enough for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
Storing files "manually" inside the Calibre folders in general is a *bad* idea as often gets repeated in the forums. If you were to rename the book author for instance then it is possible you would lose the audio files - that file structure is for Calibre to do with as it will and it will only keep track of the files in its database - i.e. things you have imported into Calibre.
I realise that you should generally leave Calibre's library directory alone, but having read this thread (specifically posts 9 & 10), I thought I should be OK. Now that I've realised I can import non-ebook files into Calibre, it's all good

Thanks for your help. I had expected a reply along the lines of "Calibre only deals with e-book formats, it can't help with any other files", so this is much better than I'd expected.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:45 PM   #14
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I realise that you should generally leave Calibre's library directory alone, but having read this thread (specifically posts 9 & 10), I thought I should be OK. Now that I've realised I can import non-ebook files into Calibre, it's all good .
Quite right you are, thanks for pointing me to that. I wasn't 100% sure if the directory would be moved or recreated - as the answer is "moved" then my caution on that was unnecessary.

However as you have a workaround of adding as a zip then that is even better. The only reason I did not suggest that is Calibre uses a zip format for storing html files in. So provided you don't intend to have an html format of a book and an audiobook format then you should be ok. Also of course it also means you have to unzip your audio files each time to play them, where I thought you may have been wanting to keep the files unzipped to use Calibre to send them to a device or something.

However if that solution does what you need then it's all good
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
Quite right you are, thanks for pointing me to that. I wasn't 100% sure if the directory would be moved or recreated - as the answer is "moved" then my caution on that was unnecessary.

However as you have a workaround of adding as a zip then that is even better.
I'm happier now that I've found a way to actually tell Calibre about the files - I wasn't entirely confident trusting to it renaming rather than recreating the directory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
The only reason I did not suggest that is Calibre uses a zip format for storing html files in. So provided you don't intend to have an html format of a book and an audiobook format then you should be ok.
That also occurred to me after I'd posted. I've only got a few audio books at the moment, and none of them are in HTML format. To prevent problems in future, though, I've decided to use .tar as a format for audio books, so that I can have both HTML and audio versions of a book if I wish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
Also of course it also means you have to unzip your audio files each time to play them, where I thought you may have been wanting to keep the files unzipped to use Calibre to send them to a device or something.

However if that solution does what you need then it's all good
I don't mind having to uncompress them in order to play them. At the end of the day, Calibre isn't designed or intended to deal with audio or paper books, so I don't mind some limitations with those, but I like having all my books managed in one place.

Thanks again for your help.
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