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Old 07-27-2009, 06:15 AM   #1
Jellby
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PDF metadata and covers

I've finally installed Calibre in a new netbook I've got...

I have a couple of questions about PDFs.

When I import a PDF, it seems Calibre is not reading the metadata, instead the title is taken from the filename and the author is Unknown. The PDFs are created with LaTeX/hyperref (and they're uploaded to MR), and the title and author are seen by pdfinfo and ebook-meta. The PDF metadata reader plug-in is enabled, as far as I can tell, and the "read metadata from files" box is checked (it works fine for Mobi files), did I miss any other setting? Also, is there a way to re-read all metadata from a given file and assign it to the book entry?

I think I have read in some thread (no, it's in the changelog) that Calibre could read covers (that is, the first page) from PDF files, however my PDFs get only a generic cover assigned. Is there a way to automatically use the first page as cover? I'm only interested in the library management part of the program now, not on the conversion features.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:31 AM   #2
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Is there a way to automatically use the first page as cover?
I've found the "assign cover from file" button, and man, it's sloooow... I'm glad it's not done automatically when importing a PDF

The issue with the metadata remains to be solved, though.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:56 AM   #3
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reading metadata from PDFs is slow. A separate process has to be launched for every PDF. What OS are you running calibre on?
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
reading metadata from PDFs is slow. A separate process has to be launched for every PDF. What OS are you running calibre on?
It's Mandriva 2009.1 on a Dell Inspiron Mini 10v. But I'm not mass-processing books, I'm importing one by one, so "one process for every PDF" does not sound like too much.

Besides the particular "problem" with PDF metadata (can't something like pdfinfo be used cross-platform?), there's the problem of reading metadata from a file, as it can be done with the cover. I import first a .mobi file, which has only author and title, then I add the .epub, which has author, file-as, title, subjects, date, etc. How could I make Calibre update the metadata in its database from the .epub file?

PS. When I say "issue" or "problem", I mean that's my issue or problem, I don't want to imply there is a problem with Calibre (other than maybe a missing feature that I'd like )
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:43 AM   #5
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You're using the binary installer? And ebook-meta reads PDF metadata correctly, but the GUI doesn't? Strange.

The best way to "update metadata" from a new format is to create a new entry, insert the old format into the new entry and delete the old entry.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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You're using the binary installer? And ebook-meta reads PDF metadata correctly, but the GUI doesn't? Strange.
Yes, I used the binary installer... sort of. I run "checkinstall python -c ..." to create an .rpm file that I then installed. (It complained about missing .so.0 dependencies, but I ignored them, after all the previous step had been fine, and I had already .so.X libraries installed, I assume this is a "glitch" of checkinstall.)

epub-meta works fine, it gives (after 30 seconds or more) Title, Author(s) and Book Producer. Importing the PDFs from the GUI results in "Unknown" Author and filename as book title. Maybe it's because of some timeout? But I didn't notice it took any longer to import PDFs...

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The best way to "update metadata" from a new format is to create a new entry, insert the old format into the new entry and delete the old entry.
I was afraid of that
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:40 AM   #7
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run the GUI from the command prompt and see if it gives you any debugging output. Sounds like the PDF metadata reading library is failing to load when run from the GUI
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:04 AM   #8
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Guess what. I have tried now (deleted and reimported a PDF book) and it has worked. It read the metadata and the cover too (and it takes a loooooong time).

I wonder... When I first tried I hadn't yet installed poppler (since "pdfinfo" was "command not found"), but ebook-meta worked and it was then when I got the Unknown authors. Now I have poppler installed, and the metadata has been read. Could that be the reason?
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:07 AM   #9
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calibre uses podofo to read PDF metadata. So poppler shouldn't matter (in any case the binary comes with its own poppler library)
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
calibre uses podofo to read PDF metadata. So poppler shouldn't matter (in any case the binary comes with its own poppler library)
Then something else has changed, but I'm not sure what that may be. I disabled and re-enabled the pdf metadata reader too... Or maybe... the calibre directory was not initially in my PATH, but it's now added, that could be another reason.

Anyway, now it works and I don't have more PDFs to import

Thanks for caring.
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