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Old 06-30-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
Hansk07
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Just wondering why if a book is part of a series. For example New Moon is book 2 of the Twilight Series. Why can't the series name and number within the series not be downloaded as part of the metadata and plugged into the series field?
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:00 PM   #2
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Series and index number were (are) not important enough for the powers that be to include in the official list of metadata...at least in the ePub realm. I've heard that will be changed with the next iteration, whenever that happens to come out. In the meantime, Calibre has it's own set of metadata tags that include "calibre:series" and "calibre:series_index" you can add them in the .opf like this:

<meta content="Your Book #" name="calibre:series_index" />
<meta content="Your Series Name" name="calibre:series" />

Whether or not any reader/app actually notices them - or allows you to do anything with them is another matter. Marvin, and of course Calibre itself, allow full use of those tags.

Cheers!
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hansk07 View Post
Just wondering why if a book is part of a series. For example New Moon is book 2 of the Twilight Series. Why can't the series name and number within the series not be downloaded as part of the metadata and plugged into the series field?
There is a good reason not to put the series number in the metadata. Because it's possible it can change. It can also be different depending if you read in chronological order or published order. For some series those two orders will be different. Also, how do you handle numbering a book of short stories that have stories that fit in different places in the series? Too many variables and the publishers have enough trouble sending their eBooks off to India to get them made by the lowest bidder.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:46 AM   #4
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Considering the elaborate standards behind it all (you get the impression the people behind it were being paid by the hour), and the many articles you can find about how important the metadata of a book is, the sad truth is that book metadata is inconsistently used and supported across the industry. Even the basic fields like description can be problematic.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:43 AM   #5
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It'd be good to at least have original published order in the metadata. For chronological or suggested reading order though, it'd be better if publishers maintained a wikipedia page or similar listing on their own sites as that order can change as new books are written. That'd be asking too much though

Until then, using calibre is really the best answer.

With calibre, it's dead easy to set the series and number just type "Name of series [x]" in the series field, replacing x by the number you want. Also, you can setup a plugboard for save to disk and send to device that will rename the file so that it appears on your device with "series name - 01 - book title" or whatever variation of that you want.

If you want to set calibre up to do that, have a read about plugboards then setup a template with the following replacement for title:

Code:
{series}{series_index:0>2s| - | - }{title}
Ideally what I'd like to see is an official series name and published order entry in the book metadata. In addition, make reading order and chronological order entries an optional part of the standard. Then devices can rely on those entries (when present) to provide additional display/sorting options for books with a series. It can be left up to the reader if they want to set/update the chronological/reading order for their books.

Last edited by JoeD; 07-01-2013 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by JoeD View Post
...

Until then, using calibre is really the best answer.

With calibre, it's dead easy to set the series and number just type "Name of series [x]" in the series field, replacing x by the number you want.

...
To update the the metadata in the epub, don't you need to do some additional steps (do a conversion, or run tweaks)?
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by John F View Post
To update the the metadata in the epub, don't you need to do some additional steps (do a conversion, or run tweaks)?
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Calibre saves metadata in a local DB and has an option to also write metadata to a sidecar file? The books themselves won't be updated unless you do a format conversion as you say.

If you save to disk or send to device though, Calibre will update the metadata during that process for the newly created file.

The idea is, that you don't ever copy books directly into/out of the Calibre book/library directory. So the fact that metadata is only updated in a separate DB until you export/send to device/email/etc. shouldn't cause a problem.

Last edited by JoeD; 07-01-2013 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JoeD View Post
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Calibre saves metadata in a local DB and has an option to also write metadata to a sidecar file? The books themselves won't be updated unless you do a format conversion as you say.

If you save to disk or send to device though, Calibre will update the metadata during that process for the newly created file.

The idea is, that you don't ever copy books directly into/out of the Calibre book/library directory. So the fact that metadata is only updated in a separate DB until you export/send to device/email/etc. shouldn't cause a problem.
There is a per book backup of the calibre(DB) metadata saved alongside the Book (and cover) : metadata.opf
You can get at this quickly: select Book: Tap 'O'
Remember: Change Nothing you see (makeing a copy is OK), you are looking beneath the skirts.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
There is a good reason not to put the series number in the metadata. Because it's possible it can change. It can also be different depending if you read in chronological order or published order. For some series those two orders will be different. Also, how do you handle numbering a book of short stories that have stories that fit in different places in the series? Too many variables and the publishers have enough trouble sending their eBooks off to India to get them made by the lowest bidder.
I've seen way too much of this in management. The fact that something is hard to administer is not a *good* reason for not doing it. It is a good reason for not rushing into it & doing it haphazardly though even if the need for it seems urgent.

Considering that we're talking ebooks here there's no good reason to have a 'book' of short stories rather than the stories being individually 'published'. Again, it's convenience for the publisher who generally doesn't care about the needs of the readers-after all, his 'customers' are the booksellers, not the readers.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:49 AM   #10
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To update the the metadata in the epub, don't you need to do some additional steps (do a conversion, or run tweaks)?
Use Polish... no conversion then and there's at least one other method that only changes metadata - check with the calibre forum here...
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:56 AM   #11
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This appears to be a thread about Calibre - I'll move it to the Calibre forum.

To the original poster - please use the forums correctly. Calibre questions belong in the Calibre forum.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elcreative View Post
Quote:
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To update the the metadata in the epub, don't you need to do some additional steps (do a conversion, or run tweaks)?
Use Polish... no conversion then and there's at least one other method that only changes metadata - check with the calibre forum here...
As JoeD correctly pointed out above as long as you use calibre to export (Send to device, Save to disk, Email, Content server) the books from the calibre library the metadata will be embedded in the book (for supported formats) on export with no additional steps required.

However if you must embed the metadata in the books within your library then elcreative's advice to use the polish feature (for supported formats) is the way to go.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:35 PM   #13
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This thread started life somewhere other then the Calibre Forums

HarryT moved it here and chastised the OP for not posting the question in the Calibre forum

But the OP doesn't mention Calibre in the original post, the OP hasn't posted since, so maybe the OP doesn't use Calibre

It was all the people who posted after the OP that introduced Calibre into the thread.

just saying - BR
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:46 PM   #14
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This thread started life somewhere other then the Calibre Forums

HarryT moved it here and chastised the OP for not posting the question in the Calibre forum
Excellent point.

I took my cue from HarryT and helped clarify a question asked in post 6. But it is entirely possible that the OP's question had nothing to do with calibre. Certainly (s)he should not have been chastised for asking a calibre question when we have no clue that this was the case.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 07-02-2013 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:21 AM   #15
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The question "why can't the series number be downloaded and plugged into the series field" suggests Calibre to me. What has a "series field" other than Calibre?
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