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Old 08-05-2013, 08:46 AM   #1
madelonw
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Making Metadata Permanent

I've been making a lot of use of the download metadata and download cover buttons after adding books to Calibre. I installed Calibre on my sister's computer and shared a couple of books with her. We both have Kindles and for books obtained from sources other than Amazon, it is nice to have an easy way to get them onto the device. I like to think of Calibre as iTunes for books.

I had downloaded metadata and covers for all 12 of the books I added to Calibre on her machine, but after adding none of the metadata was there.

So my question is, what am I missing? What do I need to do to make the metadata part of the book file? I copied the folders from my library to a flash drive and then added from a directory assuming each book is different. Each book has a metadata.opf file associated with it.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:54 AM   #2
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Metadata is not embedded into ebook files merely by updating it in Calibre. The ebook files are updated if you use 'Send to Device' or 'Save to Disk' options. You can also update the ebook files in-situ using the 'Polish Books' feature.

It sounds as if you simply copied the ebook files from the Calibre filestore using the OS level copy facilities. This would not have updated the metadata.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. I am still learning the ins and outs of Calibre.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:21 AM   #4
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I've done a little experiment with save to disk. Doing this did preserve the Title, Author, Comments and Cover as I had edited them; however, the Series information was not. I would like to export books in such a manner as to have the metadata, as I have edited it (including two custom fields - both are Yes/No). I have looked at (and tried) the Save to disk template editor (I tried to add Series and Series Index according to the template language tutorial). Using save to disk, I have discovered, makes the filename longer (I fail to see why it is necessary to include the author's name in the book filename when it is already the folder name.) When I added the Series and Series Index, this too made the filename longer.

FYI: the 256 character naming convention in the Windows OS is not just the name of the individual file. It is the sum total of the complete path including the filename. So a file in Documents called text.doc would actually be C:\Users\username\Documents\text.doc

If your Calibre Library is stored on your internal hard drive, Bram Stoker's Dracula might be C:\Users\username\Documents\Calibre\Bram Stoker\Dracula (4385)\Dracula - Bram Stoker.mobi - that's 89 characters (if I counted right). Forgive the moment of geek, but in the old days, it was possible to put too many files in a subdirectory and have the OS lose them. If you have ever come across the problem of not being able to copy a file from, shall we say, an external source to a folder on your hard drive because the filename is too long, it is the total of the structure of a filename that comes into play.

So with all that, how do I preserve my time spent sprucing up my Calibre library without having everything I want to preserve end up as part of the filename?

It is my guess that bibliophiles such as I are a little OCD about their books whether they sit on a dusty shelf or on a hard drive.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:39 AM   #5
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Not all formats store series information. For example mobi has no field for series. Usually this is handled using a "plugboard" to add series information to the title when it is saved to disk or to device.

Using the save to disk template or the send to device template you are in full control over how to name the book, and what subfolders to use, if any. There are some template functions to shorten fields, or you can use custom fields to set the file name.

http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/template_lang.html

You can't change how calibre name and store the books inside the calibre library, if needed calibre will automatically shorten the names and also add the unique book ID to make sure books can't have the same name and overwrite each other.

Last edited by Adoby; 08-06-2013 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:52 AM   #6
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Just to add to what Adoby said, you may also like to browse through this Sticky thread for examples of metadata plugboards (which are created via Prefs - Metadata plugboards).
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madelonw View Post
the 256 character naming convention in the Windows OS is not just the name of the individual file. It is the sum total of the complete path including the filename. So a file in Documents called text.doc would actually be C:\Users\username\Documents\text.doc
Sorry to nit-pick, but the figure is 260, not 256 (source).

But I admit that's a minor point. It doesn't detract from the good advice you gave in your post.

Mike
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madelonw View Post

If your Calibre Library is stored on your internal hard drive, Bram Stoker's Dracula might be C:\Users\username\Documents\Calibre\Bram Stoker\Dracula (4385)\Dracula - Bram Stoker.mobi - that's 89 characters (if I counted right).
Your calibre libraries do not have to be in your Documents folder, if the path length troubles you then you can move the Calibre Library via Switch/create library... , which has an option to move the library.

BR
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madelonw View Post
So with all that, how do I preserve my time spent sprucing up my Calibre library without having everything I want to preserve end up as part of the filename?
Simply backup your calibre library.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:54 AM   #10
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Simply backup your calibre library.


And... if you convert to EPUB, then you can put it all in the book as a book-jacket (including custom columns) - eyeball readable backup gives one a warm glow

And/or you could put in all in a csv Catalogue, and then when push comes to shove you can put it all back via Import List Plug in.

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 08-07-2013 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:09 PM   #11
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Thanks Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
Sorry to nit-pick, but the figure is 260, not 256 (source).

But I admit that's a minor point. It doesn't detract from the good advice you gave in your post.

Mike
I'm happy to learn this. There really are no nits to small to pick when it comes to computers.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
Your calibre libraries do not have to be in your Documents folder, if the path length troubles you then you can move the Calibre Library via Switch/create library... , which has an option to move the library.

BR
If is the big word here... my library lives on an external drive.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:46 PM   #13
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I find the filename length thing a bit of a pain when saving an anthology to disk. I kind of wish there was a way to have anything with more than two authors save with the authors truncated or have a separate editor column that would be used in the event of too many authors.

I know I could just enter the editor BUT I find it nice to have the anthologies appear when looking at a single author.
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