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Old 05-15-2010, 04:07 AM   #1
jbambridge
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Calibre Recipes and iPad/iBooks

After successfully using the iPad with Calibre for the last few weeks, I thought I would share the process I am using to see what others think.

Let me start by saying, if you haven't seen a Calibre Recipe displayed in iBooks, you have a treat in store. With colour images and beautifully laid out contents, it is a real step up from when I used to read my daily newpapers on my Kindle DX.

Apart from one twist, there is no great difference in automating the process:
  1. In Calibre Preferences->General: Make sure the “Preferred output format” is set to ePub and under
  2. In Calibre Preferences->Conversion: Make sure the “Output Profile” is set to iPad
  3. Under Fetch News, select the recipes you want to be automatically scheduled for download

At this stage you can use the Save to Disk icon to manually save a copy of the ePub output to the iTunes “Automatically Add to iTunes” folder. Any ePub files placed here will be loaded into the Books section of iTunes and automatically synced with the iPad next time it is plugged in.

As a slight twist, on my Mac, I have set up a Folder Action, using the built in Automator, that detects any new files being added to the “calibre” folder in the Calibre LIbrary, copies them to the iTunes auto-import folder and then deletes the originals. This more or less recreates the standard Calibre behavior of automatically copying and then deleting recipes when you attach a Kindle etc. Keeps the catalogue clean as well. Would be nice to be able to configure Calibre to do this in a cleaner way (Hint for a new feature maybe), but for now it makes the process as easy as I had hoped.

Of course, the manual copying trick works for any other ebooks in ePub format in my Calibre LIbrary.

Last word, is to thank Kovid, kiklop74 and all the others that have made Calibre and in particular its Recipes such a great way to read stuff.

Last edited by jbambridge; 05-15-2010 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:54 AM   #2
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jbambridge, this is very helpful.

I have a couple of questions:
  • In iTunes, where do you specify the 'Automatically Add to iTunes' folder? Is that the folder pointed to in Preferences|Advanced|iTunes Media folder location?
  • What iTunes sync settings are you using?

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Old 05-15-2010, 11:10 AM   #3
jbambridge
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GRiker, Thx.
  • On my Mac, the iTunes folder is automatically created by iTunes under "Music->iTunes Music->Automatically add To iTunes". According to the Apple Support page (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3832) this is an iTunes 9 feature that also works under Windows.
  • No special settings needed. This works "out of the box:"

J
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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Brilliant. I looked high and low in the iTunes help and didn't see anything about this.

I've been using AppleScript to do the same thing, but this is a more platform-independent approach.

I'm starting to formulate some ideas about how to have calibre talk to iPads, and this is a very useful lead. Thanks again for posting it.

G
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRiker View Post

I'm starting to formulate some ideas about how to have calibre talk to iPads, and this is a very useful lead. Thanks again for posting it.

G
Love reading stuff like this :d
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:35 AM   #6
chaley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRiker View Post
I'm starting to formulate some ideas about how to have calibre talk to iPads, and this is a very useful lead. Thanks again for posting it.
Random thought -- calibre will soon support using an arbitrary folder as a 'reader device' (it should be in the beta soon), and the magic sync folder might work very well with this feature.

Some questions. Can one create sub-folders in the sync folder and have good things happen (I hope yes)? Does ITunes delete files from this folder when it syncs them (I hope not)? What happens when the user deletes a file from this folder? I hope that the answer is that the file is removed from the apple device.
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:56 AM   #7
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Can one create sub-folders in the sync folder and have good things happen (I hope yes)?
I think the answer is no. It's supposed to be a blind dropbox, or a staging area. You put something in there, and its place in your iTunes database is inferred from the metadata, and iTunes moves the file to that database location.

Quote:
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Does ITunes delete files from this folder when it syncs them (I hope not)?
Yes, the file is deleted after it is accepted. If it's not accepted (bad or incomplete metadata, bad epub structure) it's moved to an iTunes-managed subfolder 'Not Added'.

Quote:
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What happens when the user deletes a file from this folder? I hope that the answer is that the file is removed from the apple device.
If iTunes is not running at the time you drop the file into that folder, you can delete it safely before iTunes runs.
If iTunes is running, it starts processing the file immediately. Not a good idea to delete it in that scenario.

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Old 05-16-2010, 10:56 AM   #8
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Here's a link to an open source library that can talk to ipods/ipads/iphones

http://www.libimobiledevice.org/
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:30 PM   #9
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Here's a link to an open source library that can talk to ipods/ipads/iphones
Excellent, that should help too.

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