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Old 08-21-2012, 06:41 AM   #1
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[Android App] Calibre Companion 1.7 Beta testing

I have just tested 1.7. Default settings.

Ubuntu 12.04, Motorola Xoom, Android 4.1.1, ZyXel WAP3205 using 802.11g only. 54 Mbps link speed. Ping between computer and tablet 1.00-1.50 ms when no other traffic in the network.

I had around 4 000 books already transferred.

Start after update failed. After reboot it worked fine again. Then start was nearly instant.

Connect and initial sync to Calibre took 37 minutes. During the sync network traffic from the tablet to the computer was between 18-20 KB/s. (10 second averages.)

During transfer of books to the tablet, using CC, network speed was around 1 MB/s. Nominal.

Last edited by Adoby; 08-24-2012 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:41 AM   #2
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Thanks for the detailed stats. We've made some improvements for the initial sync process in the latest version, but they require some changes to calibre as well. Once the next version of calibre comes out, you should see a significant boost.

If you're curious, the issue is caused by an oddity with our WiFi traffic management. No matter how much information is getting sent in one 'message', there's a minimum turnaround time of about 0.4 seconds. When you first connect, calibre originally asked for the metadata of each book, one book at a time. With 4000 books, that's a minimum of 26 minutes, without adding the extra time to transfer the information itself. In the new version of the calibre plugin, it asks for the whole lot at once; that will cut out the 0.4 seconds per book and make it significantly faster.

We'll work out something similar for book transferring, but the problem there is slightly different as we kept the 'message' size down to make it easy to update the progress bars.

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:22 PM   #3
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CC 1.8, which has been put on google play will be available sometime in the next couple of hours, should be a significant improvement for you, in all of startup, grouping, sending books, and uploading metadata. For example, with 1,800 books on my galaxy nexus, the "sync" when connecting finished in 3 minutes. Sorting and grouping were nearly instantaneous.

Please do note that the first sync after upgrading to 1.8 will take a while. There have been some changes in calibre that require it to re-download the metadata for all the books on the device. This will take around .5 seconds per book. Future connects should not require this extra time.

There are progress bars now for metadata upload and download.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaley View Post
CC 1.8, which has been put on google play will be available sometime in the next couple of hours, should be a significant improvement for you, in all of startup, grouping, sending books, and uploading metadata.
(The sending books and uploading metadata improvements only happen after calibre is updated tomorrow too. Unless Adoby/you is already running a pre-release version?)
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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Sounds nice!

I have updated both Calibre and CC and have just started testing. Just now Calibre is resending the metadata for 4000 books, will take a while... Around 15-16 KB/s from calibre to the tablet.

Will try a reconnect and update of some metadata and add a few books later.

I assume that sending to subdirs on the device still doesn't work? {#coll}/{authors} - {title}
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adoby View Post
I have updated both Calibre and CC and have just started testing. Just now Calibre is resending the metadata for 4000 books, will take a while... Around 15-16 KB/s from calibre to the tablet.
Updating the database takes around 1/4 to 1/3 second per book. The network and protocol handling time is largely overlapped with the DB time so you should be seeing around 3 books per second. It will vary depending on the speed of your device's processor, since updating the DB is compute bound. For a recent multicore processor I would guess that the metadata send will finish in around 20 minutes.
Quote:
I assume that sending to subdirs on the device still doesn't work? {#coll}/{authors} - {title}
No.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:43 PM   #7
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Tested 1.8 just now.

MUCH faster now on initial connect (after retransmit and update of database)!

Around 340KB/s when sending metadata from my Xoom to Calibre. Took just under 2 mins to connect with 4 000 books.

Uploaded ten books, took just a few seconds.

No problems.

Nice!

A few minor issues:
  • After you open a book, when no grouping is on, the browser should remember the position. Now it resets to the top.
  • The grouping needs some TLC. If you group on author and press back to get to "no grouping" again, CC will group on author again after a book has been tapped.

My wishlist:
  • An about-dialog with info about current version.
  • And of course, ability to use custom subdirs created from metadata. {#coll}/{author} - {title}

I would also like a quiet "background" mode. CC should then connect to Calibre as soon as Calibre has a wireless connection active. That way you could initiate transfer from Calibre, as long as the device is active. Perhaps limit it so the background mode only connects to Calibre while the device is charging? Or a "connect" option in Calibre, if CC is working in background mode?

That way you don't have to have the device with you at the computer to upload new stuff. Instead you just start charging it, at the bedside or whatever, and CC is ready to communicate with Calibre.

Last edited by Adoby; 08-24-2012 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
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A few minor issues:
  • The grouping needs some TLC. If you group on author and press back to get to "no grouping" again, CC will group on author again after a book has been tapped.
Fixed in V1.8.2
Quote:
My wishlist:
  • An about-dialog with info about current version.
  • And of course, ability to use custom subdirs created from metadata. {#coll}/{author} - {title}
Both are on the to-do list.
Quote:
I would also like a quiet "background" mode. CC should then connect to Calibre as soon as Calibre has a wireless connection active. That way you could initiate transfer from Calibre, as long as the device is active. Perhaps limit it so the background mode only connects to Calibre while the device is charging? Or a "connect" option in Calibre, if CC is working in background mode?

That way you don't have to have the device with you at the computer to upload new stuff. Instead you just start charging it, at the bedside or whatever, and CC is ready to communicate with Calibre.
This is an interesting idea. I will add it to the "possibles" list so that we don't forget about it.
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:27 PM   #9
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Hello chaley. I would like to thank you once again for a fantastic product! I was using another app to upload books to my Nook. But your app runs rings around it!

I was wondering if it would be too much trouble to include the number of books in the current selection. Such as when selecting a tag such as "Fantasy" you could show in the menu bar at the top how many books are in the current selection.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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Hello chaley. I would like to thank you once again for a fantastic product! I was using another app to upload books to my Nook. But your app runs rings around it!

I was wondering if it would be too much trouble to include the number of books in the current selection. Such as when selecting a tag such as "Fantasy" you could show in the menu bar at the top how many books are in the current selection.
Good idea. The problem is finding the space to put the info. I want to use the remaining space on the action bar for something else.

Perhaps we could pop up a "toast" (one of those messages that appears for a few seconds) showing the count of items in the current level of the group. Or perhaps a long touch on the group menu. In any event I need to get Steven involved in such a decision because I always make the wrong one.
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:23 AM   #11
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Strange behavior in beta land today.

When I fired up CC on my Galaxy Nexus, it said it was updating the data base, which has happened before. The update completed and everything continued to work perfectly.

Later, when I fired up CC on my CM7 Nook Color, there were no books. I checked with a file manager, and the folder and all the files were there, and I opened a book at random with Moon and everything worked OK. But CC had completely lost track, so I'm in process of re-transferring all my books. So far so good on the re-transfer, but what happened?
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:50 AM   #12
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Later, when I fired up CC on my CM7 Nook Color, there were no books. I checked with a file manager, and the folder and all the files were there, and I opened a book at random with Moon and everything worked OK. But CC had completely lost track, so I'm in process of re-transferring all my books. So far so good on the re-transfer, but what happened?
I have no idea.

What we do know is that CC lost its database. I can't think of any way this would happen other than through a failed upgrade or if Android deleted the DB for some reason.

Did you upgrade CC on the Nook between runs? The upgrade should not cause a problem, but it is possible. One major reason for the 1.8.2 release was to correct a problem that Honeycomb devices were reporting. I suppose it is possible that Gingerbread devices were also having the problem but we weren't hearing about it.

I hope it doesn't happen again...
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:19 AM   #13
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Being the trusting soul that I am, I have all my Android apps (with a few notable exceptions) set to autoupdate. Got the latest 1.8.2 automatically and that's apparently what caused the rebuild on the Galaxy Nexus, and I'm sure the loss/corruption of the data base on the Nook Color. I don expect it to happen again unless y'all trigger another data base reformat, and hopefully not then :-)

By the way, I think you've remarked that changing the data base & repository location effectively wipes out everything. Since the metadata file is in the same directory with the book files, why does this happen if you move the entire folder including the metadata / data base? I think this implies that something other than a simple pointer to the folder has to be stored externally to the folder?

Thanks.
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:35 AM   #14
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Being the trusting soul that I am, I have all my Android apps (with a few notable exceptions) set to autoupdate. Got the latest 1.8.2 automatically and that's apparently what caused the rebuild on the Galaxy Nexus, and I'm sure the loss/corruption of the data base on the Nook Color. I don expect it to happen again unless y'all trigger another data base reformat, and hopefully not then :-)
The upgrade from 1.8 to 1.8.1 should have triggered a DB update. If that update completely finished, then the 1.8.1 to 1.8.2 should not have triggered it. If it had not finished, then it would restart from where it left off whether or not the app was upgraded.

An upgrade from 1.8 to 1.8.2 also would trigger the upgrade.
Quote:
By the way, I think you've remarked that changing the data base & repository location effectively wipes out everything. Since the metadata file is in the same directory with the book files, why does this happen if you move the entire folder including the metadata / data base? I think this implies that something other than a simple pointer to the folder has to be stored externally to the folder?
The database is stored in some android-private folder. We don't store metadata in the book repository folder.

Changing the repository folder without clearing the DB would require copying every book from the old folder to the new one. This is problematic because it could overwrite files, something that we really don't want to do automatically. However, if we don't overwrite then we have no guarantee that the books are the same, or that the files are even books.

We (Steven and I) have discussed doing the copy if the destination folder is empty, in which case there can't be a problem with overwrites. In this case we would not need to clear the DB. We are still reflecting on the question. There are also interactions with format routing that we need to think through.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:47 AM   #15
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No book covers

I've just downloaded Calibre Companion. No problem connecting to the device, a Nexus 7, but it doesn't show the covers of my books. I use Moon+ reader, and my bookshelf is now full of generically generated covers. Very disappointed. Is there a way to fix this and get the covers?
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