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Old 07-07-2013, 03:05 PM   #1
AZBooks
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My Metamess - Frustrated 50 year old user

I suspect this is simple but I've made a mess, 2.5 hours of reading threads, and at wits end.

All I want to do it fix the metadata of the ebook files that are in 2 locations (External NAS drive, laptop). I don't need a new or additional Library location for books. Each book is currently in a "named" folder that contains the epub and mobi file, and a cover.jpg image that I collected manually.

I added a couple books using "One book per directory".
I changed the cover image using "Browse" and selected my cover.jpg
I select "Update Metadata" and make some changes, click OK.
I used "Convert" for Epub>Epub, and again for Mobi>Mobi. This gave me 4 new files in a Library folder (Original and Modified). Not what I wanted.

Per a thread, I tried "Connect To Folder" but could make no sense of that, nothing seemed to happen.

What would be the process for adding my "Fiction" folder that contains 180 subfolder books. Do I have to add each book folder one at a time? Do I have to "Save to Disk in a Single Directory" one at a time?


IMAGE ISSUE:
I added a new cover image on one book using "Browse" and converted the files. When I open these new epub or mobi files it now has two cover images, two pages of cover art, the old and the new one. Any idea how to fix this?

Last edited by AZBooks; 07-09-2013 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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Forget: Save to Disk, Save to Folder or Send to device. These are all for EXPORTING the contents of the Library..

Basic Rules to prevent corruption:

1)make no changes to any filename/folder found in the Library as this will damage the Library data.

2)allow Calibre and plugins to do just about everything else 95.5% of the time, a typical user need not ever look inside the Library folder.



Adding books is simple:
1) Set your Add Books Preferences (Preferences: Adding Books) to reflect the way your book collection works. You will need to craft an appropriate inport REGEX if your method uses the filename.
Note: Import only can use filename and NOT any other part of the PATH
If you are doing a lot of books, I would NOT suggest enabling conversion to default output format (at this time)

2) right click the add books Icon and select the best choice for your book collection. (you indicate at least 2 paths. That will be 2 Add sessions)

Be prepared to wait. The time depends on how many books are in the path
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:01 AM   #3
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Thanks ducks. I guess I wasn't clear. We only want to use Calibre to fix the metadata of our book files. Most every book has an epub and mobi file so I need to fix both.

As an example, with our MP3's I update artist details, add synchronized text lyrics, get album cover artwork....and save this to the metadata of the file. It now contains everything we would ever need. I can drag any song to our phones or laptops, email songs to my sister, and never worry about a tethered database or missing data for that song. I am looking to do the same with our books.

Great scoop on adding files. Thanks.

Last edited by AZBooks; 07-09-2013 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZBooks View Post
Thanks ducks. I guess I wasn't clear. We only want to use Calibre to fix the metadata of our book files. Most every book has an epub and mobi file so I need to fix both.
Fix both? Have you seperated mobi & epub into different libraries?

If so, you don't need to do this. Your metadata applies to both in the one library.

Select the row the book is on, click on Edit Metadata, select Download metadata,
when the metadata is returned, select the one you want ( if more than one returned ), it should now go off & return a selection of cover/s...again select the one you want & that's
about it.

Hope I've understood your problem & I've not over simplified the answer...

Cheers...
( ps.... also over 50...sadly, well over )

Last edited by teejcee; 07-09-2013 at 06:23 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZBooks View Post
As an example, with our MP3's I update artist details, add synchronized text lyrics, get album cover artwork....and save this to the metadata of the file. It now contains everything we would ever need. I can drag any song to our phones or laptops, email songs to my sister, and never worry about a tethered database or missing data for that song. I am looking to do the same with our books.

Great scoop on adding files. Thanks.
@AZBooks - You won't be able to achieve the same with e-books as you do with music directly, that's probably because the standards for embedded metadata in ebooks are not as mature as music standards are, and because there are too many proprietary formats.

But you can include whatever the metadata you want as a 'jacket' which will appear right after the cover - to get a jacket into the book check Preferences->Conversion->Common Options->Structure Detection>Insert metadata page at start of book

The 'jacket' will have the following data
  • title
  • series
  • author
  • publisher
  • pubdate
  • rating
  • tags
  • comments
To see what a jacket looks like, Polish an EPUB with Add metadata as a 'book jacket' page checked and then View the EPUB. To polish a book, select one that has an EPUB (or AZW3) and press p

Yep, you can make it prettier and add additional items to the jacket, including any custom columns. You'll probably need help to do that - just holler and someone will provide guidance.

Good luck - BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 07-09-2013 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #6
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You are on the right track, AZBooks.

I would recommend that you do as you already has, add the books one per directory and update metadata and cover.

Most of these steps are described in the fine manual: http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/gui.html#actions

No need to do a conversion to the same format(s) after. When you save books to disk, they are automatically updated with new metadata and cover.

Instead edit the save template and decide how you want the folders for your books to be organized. Perhaps genre/author/title.filextension?

Then save the books to disk, using this save template. After that copy the directory tree to your NAS and your laptop and start reading.

After that you can delete the books in calibre, or keep them there as a backup. Nice if you decide you want another directory structure or get some ebook reader. Or simply add more books.

By the way, nice to see younger people taking an interest in calibre.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:19 PM   #7
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Maybe it would be most easy to just use calibre to manage your ebook collection. A Calibre Library is just a folder structure and all your books are in it. You can't organize these folders by yourself, but calibre is much better to find and manage books than just folders.

If you don't want or can't use calibre somewhen in the future, no problem, all your files are still there. And of course you could always save the library in another structure to your disc, with templates.

To update the Metadata inside the files, you do not need to convert or save to disc. Just use the polish book tool and check "update metadata". Then all your files have the metadata inserted, in case of a database corruption.

You could also open the path to each book in calibre, if you want to manualy copy the file or you could use the save to disch feature. I do not use it, but you could even send books out of calibre per e-mail.

So my advice would be, to just use calibre to manage and save your books. It is easy and gives much possibilities. And is it not some esoteric system, that you are bound to, but all your data is also in the files. Maybe just see it as an better explorer just for books
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZBooks View Post
What would be the process for adding my "Fiction" folder that contains 180 subfolder books. Do I have to add each book folder one at a time? Do I have to "Save to Disk in a Single Directory" one at a time?
You could add all books in one step, if each subfolder just has one book.
If you do want to use your old covers, that should be possible too, if you use the command line utility of calibre and write a batch file.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:04 AM   #9
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There is a checkbox in preferences>common options to remove first image. I have it checked by default.

If reconverting does not fix this you can remove the extra cover using tweak epub
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:50 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone. Some great advice. We updated all the metadata using the app. Still not sure how to save it to our existing files because Calibre uses different naming conventions. We've been using "Book Name - Author" like the below. All we want to do it save the new metadata back into these files. Maybe we need to change our approach.



I did try "Polish" - metadata, cover, and book jacket boxes checked. Worked pretty well. But this updates the Calibre "Library" folders and not the files in our original folders.

Last edited by AZBooks; 07-11-2013 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:23 PM   #11
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I did try "Polish" - metadata, cover, and book jacket boxes checked. Worked pretty well. But this updates the Calibre "Library" folders and not the files in our original folders.
I think for what you are trying to achieve you should be using the Calibre "Save to Disk" feature after updating the metadata and covers to export the file from Calibre back to your desired location. The Save to Disk feature allows you to specify templates to get the exact folder/filename naming standard you want. It also updates the embedded metadata and covers during the export process.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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The Problem is, Calibre imports the books. It is not like Media Player or other Music_Programs. So it never does anything to the original files. As I said, the most simple solution would be to just use the calibre library from now on and delete your old library. Handle all things e-Book through calibre and you are fine. Depending on what you do with your e-Books, this has some advantages. To find and manage books is much more easy in calibre, than in a folder structure. You can send books from calibre to reading devices. How they are named on that devices can be customized with templates even on a per device case. You could also have calibre act as a server to have remote or wireless access.

The other solution is what itimpi has said. Make a template and save the books in a structure you like. In both cases you do not need your old library any more.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
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...the most simple solution would be to just use the calibre library from now on and delete your old library. Handle all things e-Book through calibre and you are fine...


@AZBooks, and you shouldn't have a big mental hurdle to jump over - the only difference between your folder structure and Calibre's is that the latter has Book Title as a subfolder of Author - the book file names are in fact the same.

Calibre can perform the task of managing & organising your e-book library's metadata, and if you choose it can also manage and organise the storage of your e-books on your computer's disks. Whereas the music collection organisers I know of only do the metadata part, and you have to figure out and maintain a storage solution.

I suspect the strongly stated objections one sees on this forum (not from yourself) to delegating the task of how and where to store e-books to Calibre stem from a perceived loss of power. No disrespect, but organising a bunch of folders and files on a computer is nothing but boring administrivia.

My experience is that many (most ?) people end up with multiple copies of their e-books, audio files, photographs etc, scattered all over their computer, and they ain't backups either. If you can find software to do it for you, then why wouldn't you use it?

But the genius of Calibre is that you get to choose which bits you want and how you use them.

BR
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:06 PM   #14
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OK. We'll switch to using Calibre and it's library system. It appears Calibre creates and reads an OPF file inserted into the book folder. How do I update the metadata of every book file in the Calibre Library...so if I grab one from there and send to my sister, it will have the updated metadata/cover. Should I "Polish" every book and checkboxes for metadata, cover, and book jacket?

Also, what are the newly inserted numbers at the end of the folder names of the books? I am now working on our audiobooks, started a new thread on folder locations.

Last edited by AZBooks; 07-13-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZBooks View Post
OK. We'll switch to using Calibre and it's library system. It appears Calibre creates and reads an OPF file inserted into the book folder. How do I update the metadata of every book file in the Calibre Library...so if I grab one from there and send to my sister, it will have the updated metadata/cover. Should I "Polish" every book and checkboxes for metadata, cover, and book jacket?

Also, what are the newly inserted numbers at the end of the folder names of the books? I am now working on our audiobooks, started a new thread on folder locations.
Numbers match the internal DB record number.
Never mess with the contents or you could end up with another kind of mess .

The OPF in the folder IS the current (within a short time of an update. ) metadata shown. The book only gets updated when you do the something that causes that.

Use Save to (your export) Disk with the options:
Save cover seperatly
Save Metadata in OPF file

This way allows export support for formats that either don't have metadata support or can't be updated
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