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Old 01-03-2012, 11:18 AM   #1
Larla
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How to shorten device filename with series info?

I would be interested in a plugin that would allow the title (for searching purposes) to be modified before doing a cover search. I have a series of books in which the titles have been modified so that I can use the series plugin when copying books to device.

Because of the modified title, cover search doesn't find any covers for the book. In most cases, just adding a constant string to the beginning of each title and using that as the search for cover title, would solve my problem.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:53 PM   #2
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Hi Larla - if I understand your post correctly it sounds to me like you are putting series information into the title field of calibre, and then not getting matches when you do metadata downloading, correct?

The proper fix for this is just don't do that . Use the separate series column and keep your title just as a title. If your intent was to fudge the title for some device purpose, the proper approach to that is to use something called metadata plugboards, which do that modification when the books is sent to the device (and leaves your calibre library untouched). See this post for more details.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:42 PM   #3
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The problem is I had to shorten my title so that when the series info is pre-pended the entire title string is not too long.

Can I use two plugboards so that one would remove a fixed part of the title and another could then pre-pend the series data?

Last edited by Larla; 01-03-2012 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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I've moved this out of the plugin ideas thread to keep that thread clean

@Larla - I know there ahve been similar threads on this subject in the past, and someone else here may be able to directly give you the answer.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larla View Post
The problem is I had to shorten my title so that when the series info is pre-pended the entire title string is not too long.

Can I use two plugboards so that one would remove a fixed part of the title and another could then pre-pend the series data?

First, create a custom column "extra title" (give it a name!).
Leave the the title as it should be.

Then, you create a plugboard for your device, which will use the "extra title" instead of "title" when creating the title name. Now you will be able to use the search feature, and still have the correct meta-data title in your book on your device.

For instance:

Let's take a book I know has a subtitle:
Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Series: Harry Potter 1.
Combining this would look silly:
"Harry Potter 1 - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
So, in that extra column ("extra title"), you'd put
"The Philosopher's Stone".
Your plugboard would create
"Harry Potter 1 - The Philosopher's Stone"

Is this what you are trying to reach?
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:30 PM   #6
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Sweetpea -- exactly what I was looking for except for the work of creating the extra column. Good idea.

I don't suppose plugboard has some string-handling capabilities such that I could just grab the title starting at the nth character?

Another approach is a custom plugin -- if I were to create one how can I execute it within Calibre?
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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@Larla - the reason I steered you away from the plugin idea is it is just a really "bad" idea to keep mixing your title and series information in the title field in calibre. There are too many functions in calibre (and other plugins you may want to use at some point) which expect a title to be just a title. Metadata downloading is just one example, but a perfectly good one. I am pretty confident none of the authors of the various metadata download plugins are going to rewrite them to cater for your particular scenario - well certainly speaking for myself as the author of quite a number of them.

If you look closer at that metadata plugboard thread it has examples of using automatically computed custom columns to shorten the series name. So once you have cleaned up your library, you wouldn't have to manually populate the column for sending to your device.

Last edited by kiwidude; 01-04-2012 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larla View Post
I don't suppose plugboard has some string-handling capabilities such that I could just grab the title starting at the nth character?
The template language has several string and list handing functions including substr(). See http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/template_ref.html.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:59 AM   #9
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@kiwidude -- in your Harry Potter example, if, in a plugboard, I could grab a substring of the title that excluded the initial Harry Potter then I could remove the front of the title and replace it with series info.

Any reason that that wouldn't work?
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:09 AM   #10
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The plugboard is only used for writing to a device/disk. Not for searching. Or I must have missed an update somewhere...

If I take my own plugboard, my title consist of the following string:
{#series_short:|| - }{series_index:0>2s|| - }{title}

In my HP example, it would mean the metadata "title" will be filled with:

Harry Potter - 01 - The Philosopher's Stone


(I have a special column for my series to be used in metadata as some series names can be long.... HHGttG instead of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, for instance)
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:35 AM   #11
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@Larla - I think you are perhaps crossing wires between Sweetpea and me, since Sweetpea supplied the Harry Potter example.

Why don't *you* provide an exact example of one of your titles, and how you would like it to look when copied to your device?

At the end of the day pretty much anything is possible but it depends on how much work you want to have to do to get there. What is "non-negotiable" is trying to find a way to fiddle the title field in calibre directly and then expecting everything else to work. I won't harp on about it again, I promise

Sweatpea has shown an example of the "highest flexibility but most work" end of the spectrum. There are a number of interim positions you can take towards that.

Personally I operate at the other end of the range - I don't care about long book names if the series name is long, because all I care about is reading the books in series order, and could care less what the actual name of the individual book is while on my Kindle. The more you strip out, the more you might regret it later if you want to use search capability on your device too. Given that for me the proportion of time spent on my Kindle browsing through titles vs actually reading is about 0.001% it is a total non-issue for me.

With that said, I do however sometimes shorten my series names manually if the default metadata that comes back from Goodreads/FantasticFiction has them stupidly long, but that is because I don't want my series column in calibre to have to take up too much space. So for that I usually use my "Manage Series" plugin just to bulk rename the series names in that column for that set of books, or if only a couple of titles just edit the series name. Of course doing so means that over time when I get another book in the series I have to rename the series for that one too, but since that is an exception rather than the norm I can happily live with that, and prevents the need for extra custom columns.

Now if you insist on wanting a shorter name when sent to the device, no problem. In which case you have a number of options, such as:
  • like I mentioned above, manually abbreviating the name you put in the series column in calibre e.g. Harry Potter [1] could become HP [1]
  • Adding a new custom column for a derived series name which automatically is calculated based on the initials. The template for doing this is in the plugboard sticky thread. You would then use this column in your send to device template rather than your standard series column. This has the advantage of keeping your nicely readable original series column in calibre, but giving you an abbreviated one for the device.
  • A variant of this as chaley mentions is to do a similar series custom column, but instead use a formula which takes a certain number of characters from the series name column.
  • Another variant is to have a manually edited custom series name column, that you type your own preferred series name into. That is part of what Sweetpea has suggested. This gives you complete cusotmisation, but obviously requires you to type it in and maintain it.
  • And the final variant I will mention is to also have a custom column which contains a manually abbreviated title, which once again is used in your send to device template rather than the regular calibre title. Again in combination with the point above this represents the complete Sweetpea option. As mentioned it offers the greatest flexibility but is also the most work to have to maintain.
Them's your options basically...
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
Personally I operate at the other end of the range - I don't care about long book names if the series name is long, because all I care about is reading the books in series order, and could care less what the actual name of the individual book is while on my Kindle.
I was kind of forced to doing that, due to the way Mobipocket Reader worked on my PDA... I had long series titles that were longer than the line length!

But, to me, that's the strength of Calibre, you can do almost anything with it...
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:54 PM   #13
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The Harry Potter example is perfect (regardless of who mentioned it) for my situation. I have these requirements:

1) Calibre Title must be "correct" so that cover searches will work
2) Series info is OK but contains information duplicated in the "correct" title
3) On the device for a title I want series info + (Calibre title - duplicated part at the front of the calibre title)

I think, but I am not certain, that I can accomplish what I want with a plugboard assuming that there are sufficient string-handling operations in the plugboard to accomplish 3) above.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:01 PM   #14
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Personally I wouldn't get hung up on Harry Potter being repeated in the series name and the book title. What % of books does this normally occur on? I would suggest a ridiculously miniscule amount of times. Trying to complicate your plugboards and custom column requirements just to cater for this one scenario is OTT.

If you really can't sleep at night because Harry Potter appears twice, then do this - put the title as it needs to be for metadata lookups, do your metadata downloading to get your cover how you like it, and then rename the title to shorten it to remove Harry Potter from the front. That way you don't need to have a custom column with a shortened title in it, and can just use a standard plugboard that appends the series and title.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:15 PM   #15
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OK dude -- I give up. I will handle each of the special cases (and as you say there may be very few of them) using multiple editing of titles or separate special columns.

Thanks for listening to me rant on about this --
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