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Old 10-23-2013, 01:50 AM   #1
LouieChuckyMerry
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Is It Possible To Use Calibre As A Converter-Editor Without Creating A Library?

Hello and thank you in advance for any help. I find Calibre's making of a library unnecessary (and rather time-consuming) for my needs and was wondering if it's possible to use Calibre as a simple converter-editor without it creating a library. Presently I use Calibre to convert various ebook formats into epub files then add covers, but because Calibre imports copies of my selected files-folders and renames them upon converting-editing, I need to take the time to rename every individual file and folder to my preferred format after Calibre is finished. Put differently, is there a way to use Calibre for ebook files the same way I use Mp3tag for music files, directly editing the imported files without making copies in a library? Thanks again for any help.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:08 AM   #2
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You cannot use the Calibre GUI without creating a library.

However Calibre does have a CLI (Command Line Interface) which allows you to access Calibre under-lying functionality by calling its constituent parts and providing appropriate command line parameters. When working in that mode you do not have to Crete a library. Using the CLI is documented in the User Guide.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:05 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply, itimpi. I think that, for me at least, using Calibre at the command line level would take waaay longer than simply renaming all the files and folders . I'll attack Google for a simple ebook converter-editor. Do you happen to know of something, preferably portable?

Last edited by LouieChuckyMerry; 10-23-2013 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouieChuckyMerry View Post
Thanks for your reply, itimpi. I think that, for me at least, using Calibre at the command line level would take waaay longer than simply renaming all the files and folders .
Instead of fighting calibre, if the command line is too daunting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LouieChuckyMerry View Post
I need to take the time to rename every individual file and folder to my preferred format after Calibre is finished.
... you could always just create a proper save template under Preferences - Saving books to disk with your preferred naming convention. Select the books and click save to disk and you're done.

Good Luck.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for your reply, DoctorOhh. Can a save template be created that controls the naming of the library created files and folders (the folders are half of my current renaming duties)?

Last edited by LouieChuckyMerry; 10-23-2013 at 08:44 PM. Reason: Grammar & Syntax
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:38 AM   #6
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The save template only controls the path and filename outside the library. You can't change the folders in the library. But after you have saved the book to the folder of your choice, using the save template, you can delete the book from the library.

The paths and names can be "constructed" from metadata like genre or published date or series whatever. Extremely powerful.

A typical work flow could be to add a set of books to an empty calibre library. Edit metadata and download cover and other metadata until the books are fine. Then convert and save the books. Verify that the books and the paths are OK. After that delete the books from the library. Done!

Of course you could also keep the books in the library as a backup or to quickly find out what books you already have. Perhaps even to search using tags or other features. Who knows, you might even skip saving the books outside calibre?

Last edited by Adoby; 10-23-2013 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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You might want to look at BookONO who use calibre CLI for conversions, but leave material in whatever folders / locations they were originally in; ie no calibre library.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adoby View Post
The save template only controls the path and filename outside the library. You can't change the folders in the library. But after you have saved the book to the folder of your choice, using the save template, you can delete the book from the library.

The paths and names can be "constructed" from metadata like genre or published date or series whatever. Extremely powerful.

A typical work flow could be to add a set of books to an empty calibre library. Edit metadata and download cover and other metadata until the books are fine. Then convert and save the books. Verify that the books and the paths are OK. After that delete the books from the library. Done!

Of course you could also keep the books in the library as a backup or to quickly find out what books you already have. Perhaps even to search using tags or other features. Who knows, you might even skip saving the books outside calibre?
This post is spot-on. Forget about Calibre creating a library. With his workflow mentioned above, the book is only in the library for a couple of minutes while you're downloading metadata and converting. Once you've created the proper save-to-disk template, your workflow is simple:

1. Start Calibre.

2. Drag the book to convert into Calibre.

3. Download metadata and cover, do any cleanup of the title and author fields, convert, etc until you get it the way you want.

4. Save to disk.

5. Delete from Calibre. You now have a converted ebook exactly the way you want it, in whatever folder structure you set up with your save-to-disk template.

If you follow these steps, your Calibre library will be empty every time you close the program, so the fact that it has its own library is a moot point.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adoby View Post
The save template only controls the path and filename outside the library. You can't change the folders in the library.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fidvo View Post
This post is spot-on. Forget about Calibre creating a library. With his workflow mentioned above, the book is only in the library for a couple of minutes while you're downloading metadata and converting. Once you've created the proper save-to-disk template, your workflow is simple:

1. Start Calibre.

2. Drag the book to convert into Calibre.

3. Download metadata and cover, do any cleanup of the title and author fields, convert, etc until you get it the way you want.

4. Save to disk.

5. Delete from Calibre. You now have a converted ebook exactly the way you want it, in whatever folder structure you set up with your save-to-disk template.

Thank you both very much for your help, I appreciate it. To this point I've been using Calibre as described above, importing, converting-covering-tweaking the books, then copying the newly created files-folders from the Calibre library to an external drive and renaming everything (very tedious), then deleting the Calibre library. I'd love to work out a save template but I'm confused about what, exactly, a template can do. Does the save template simply make copies of the files-folders in the Calibre library, renaming both according to my template? That would be awesome.


PeterT: thank you for the link. I've perused it and will read it in its entirety as soon as I finish typing this .
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:25 AM   #10
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Yes, the save template can do that. And combined with custom metadata that is automatically computed and based on other metadata (custom columns) it can do much, much more.

Whatever folder structure you set up. The limitation is most likely you, or the length of the path your OS allows, not what is possible to do in calibre.

If you can formulate an unambiguous set of rules for how to build the path and the filename, based only on the metadata, then it is most likely possible to fully automate that in calibre. Also you can use plugboards to automatically generate custom metadata to store inside the books. For instance add published date to the title of periodicals, or series information to books. And so on.

The effect is that you can automatically, consistently and efficiently store books in a very detailed and complex folder tree, completely different for different types of works if needed. Different tree structures for periodicals, fiction, nonfiction, short stories, comics, fanfiction and biographies. Or whatever you need. It can be almost as efficient as using the calibre GUI to locate the books directly in the calibre library. But only almost...

Last edited by Adoby; 10-24-2013 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:45 AM   #11
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If you file by YOUR folder structure, you are limited to a single criteria to retrieve your book: the file path structure.

If you let Calibre manage the book, you can retrieve by many different criteria: Single or compounded .

Title
Author
tag
Publish date
added date

Author+tag
tag+date

The choices are as many as you have data set choices
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
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The effect is that you can automatically, consistently and efficiently store books in a very detailed and complex folder tree, completely different for different types of works if needed. Different tree structures for periodicals, fiction, nonfiction, short stories, comics, fanfiction and biographies. Or whatever you need. It can be almost as efficient as using the calibre GUI to locate the books directly in the calibre library. But only almost...

I just want a very simple folder structure, the same as my music:


EBooks/FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME/{year} - BookTiltle{year}/BookTitle{year}.extension


Any series I would create manually as:


EBooks/FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME/{year-year} - SeriesTitle{year-year}/{year} - BookTitle{year}/BookTitle{year}.extension


Any book(s) with multiple authors would be stored in:


EBooks/VARIOUS.AUTHORS/{year} - BookTitle{year}/BookTitle{year}.extension


That's it, books are sorted chronologically by author. Could you point me to a good tutorial for save templates so I can attack ?


P.S.-Your cat looks incredibly soft.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:23 AM   #13
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I don't think you will find an easy way through standard templates to achieve that; I think you will need program mode templates to get that to work,
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:06 AM   #14
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I assume that year-year means min and max year? That is something that the save template can't handle. It can only "see" the current book and the metadata that is downloaded and stored in the current book. The rest should be no problem. Just read the manual and search the forum.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:38 AM   #15
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be prepared though, contrary to popular belief amongst those comfortable with Calibre, program mode templates ain't all that simple if you're not comfortable with the language, AND know a bit about python.
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