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Old 06-01-2010, 03:57 AM   #1
Theeo123
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Saving Meta-data to Books without conversion

this has possibly been answered elsewhere but I can't seem to find it

I love being able to update the metadata for my books, downloading covers etc. but this info doesn't seem to get saved to the file unless i convert it. sadly many books i download are already in a format I like, some in a format that Calibre, doesn't output to (azw, and yes i know i could use mobi)

is there way to save the meta-data to a book without having to convert it?

this would be especially useful with PDF as many of the ones i have don't convert to other formats very cleanly

The book covers don't show up n my Kindle, but it's nice to know its there, there rest of the info though, would be nice to have
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theeo123 View Post
this has possibly been answered elsewhere but I can't seem to find it

I love being able to update the metadata for my books, downloading covers etc. but this info doesn't seem to get saved to the file unless i convert it. sadly many books i download are already in a format I like, some in a format that Calibre, doesn't output to (azw, and yes i know i could use mobi)

is there way to save the meta-data to a book without having to convert it?

this would be especially useful with PDF as many of the ones i have don't convert to other formats very cleanly

The book covers don't show up n my Kindle, but it's nice to know its there, there rest of the info though, would be nice to have
When you use save to option the book saved would have updated metadata
but it does not work with some formats. Then replace your old book with the new one
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:41 AM   #3
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Whether you can save the metadata to the book depends on whether that particular book is in a format which supports metadata. For example, if you have a book as a txt file, obviously there's no support for metadata outside of calibre; if it's an epub, there is; for other formats, the existence and level of support varies.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:37 AM   #4
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I am slightly confused, perhaps my question needs clarification.

as it stands now, if I download a book, any format, as ive tried multiple, including text,pdf,html,azw and lets say, for instance, the title an author are incorrect (wrong order for instance) I have a book H.G.Wells - The Time machine.

I download it, say as text, or Mobi, whatever, pick your format, I Calibri it shows up as HG wells being the title, and the time machine, being the author

I click the button to edit meta data, and make the necessary changes, click ok
then without converting the book send it to my kindle
upon turning on my kindle, it still shows with the improper title and author.


if what your telling me, is that i must right-click each book, and select save to disk ,and then re-import it to Calibri before sending to my Kindle, then I'm going to be very displeased. Also if I must convert the book, that's already in the format I want, simple to get the meta data to write.. this also seems less than efficient.

Can the Edit meta data dialog simple not write the meta data to supported formats when you click "ok"

If that's what's supposed to be happening, I assure you that on my installation, it is not
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:45 AM   #5
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It is not meant to update the file as soon as you edit the metadata. As a design policy Calibre does not change files inside its library until you do a Conversion.

However it should be updating the metadata when you export the file by using the "Save to Disk" or "Send to Device" commands unless you have elected to disable the relevant plugin for the format/device in question
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:32 AM   #6
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It seems to do so if I Save to disk, but not when I send to device

Last edited by Theeo123; 06-01-2010 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theeo123 View Post
It seems to do so if I Save to disk, but not when I send to device
Are you sure?

I've noticed that some eReaders cache metadata for books in their own internal database (or some other scheme). So if you just changed metadata for a book already on your device, and then just replaced the file, the device might not reprocess that book to change this cached data.

On my Kobo, I've noticed this happen a couple times. Removing the book from the device, and then re-adding it (rather then just overwriting the file already on the device) forced the Kobo to reprocess that file, and the updated Metadata did indeed show.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theeo123 View Post
It seems to do so if I Save to disk, but not when I send to device
Are you sure?

I've noticed that some eReaders cache metadata for books in their own internal database (or some other scheme). So if you just changed metadata for a book already on your device, and then just replaced the file, the device might not reprocess that book to change this cached data.
That's a good point the book should be deleted from the device then the updated book should be sent to the device.

Another mistake some people make is thinking that using explorer or other file manager to drag the file to the device is the same as Send to device, it is not the same. Send to device from within Calibre will update the metadata, dragging the file will not.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:50 AM   #9
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I'm not using explorer to drag the files, and the files were not on the device in the first place.

it's important to note that I'm taking a PDF for instance, adding meta-data/changing title author ,etc, and then sending to device, still as PDf. (or mobi or whatever) so at no point is a conversion of any sort taking place, not sure if that makes a difference.

my kindle, doesn't support 90% of the meta-data to be honest it's mainly the author-title I'm worried about as I very regularly seem to get books where the title & author are swapped.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theeo123 View Post
I'm taking a PDF for instance, adding meta-data/changing title author ,etc, and then sending to device, still as PDf. (or mobi or whatever) so at no point is a conversion of any sort taking place, not sure if that makes a difference.
As others have posted, Calibre will try to update the metadata in the pdf when you use Send to Device to send the pdf. That said, pdf format is the most troublesome when trying to update internal metadata. Possibly you have pdf files that just won't allow the metadata to be updated. It may be worth starting calibre with calibre-debug -g to see if there are any errors during the Send process.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:15 PM   #11
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I know I know, PDf is just the first that came to mind, as said I've experienced this issue with several formats. Another thought that comes to mind, though i'd have to look more into it. I'm not sure How the kindle reads it's title and author info for various formats, perhaps if metadata is being updated but the actual filename itself isn't changed, is it possible the kindle DX gives filename priority over metadata in certain instances?

then again shouldn't Calibre be changing the original file-name in the first place?

I think as a test I'm going to create a regular text file, name it 12345.txt and then import it into calibre, change the name-author through the metadata screen then try to send-to device without conversion & see what pops up, then perhaps repeat the process with few other versions & see what happens, perhaps narrow the issue down a bit more
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:25 PM   #12
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I'm bumping this thread because I'm having the same kind of issue but haven't seen a good resolution.

Here's the deal: I have a few hundred epub format documents and I'd like to "regularize" the meta info (make author names consistent and add cover pictures). But I'm finding that I seem to need to run an epub-to-epub conversion to update the meta info in each .epub file. This seems rather inefficient and also takes a long time (some files take 30+ minutes).

Is there a way to do this better / faster in calibre? Simply saving to disk doesn't do the job.

Thanks!

Craig
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig8128 View Post
I'm bumping this thread because I'm having the same kind of issue but haven't seen a good resolution.

Here's the deal: I have a few hundred epub format documents and I'd like to "regularize" the meta info (make author names consistent and add cover pictures). But I'm finding that I seem to need to run an epub-to-epub conversion to update the meta info in each .epub file. This seems rather inefficient and also takes a long time (some files take 30+ minutes).

Is there a way to do this better / faster in calibre? Simply saving to disk doesn't do the job.
The problem is the definition of metadata. Calibre (and most others) define metadata as that which goes into the OPF file. Metadata is descriptive information, not considered part of the book, which explains why it is called 'meta'data (data about data). The cover is considered part of the book, shown when looking at the book, so it isn't descriptive, and therefore not metadata. Calibre's save/send functions update the metadata (descriptive information) but do not touch the 'book'. That is why the cover is not updated.

(Edit: I just found that calibre does update the cover for epubs when saving to disk/sending to device.)

You can use tweak_epub and do the work yourself. First save to disk, then copy the resulting epub back to the library. This will update the metadata. Second, 'Tweak', copy the right cover into the folder, then rebuild the epub. This process does not touch the book's text (html), css, or other visible data.

Some have argued that for epub, it would be easy to automate the above process; update the metadata and cover without changing the rest of the book. This is true, and there have been discussions about adding some kind of function to do it. Usually the same people lump jacket information into the same easy-to-change category, which is somewhat more problematic because jackets aren't an epub standard item. I don't know the status of these ideas or if anyone is working on them. (edit: it has been done for send to device, but not yet done in place)

Last edited by chaley; 12-09-2010 at 10:41 AM. Reason: new information
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:56 AM   #14
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Thanks Chaley!

FWIW, I ended up messing around with it more last night, and I wound up with what seems to be at least a partial solution: I had already entered all of my meta info changes into Calibre (I'm backlevel on 0.6.54, btw). I went into Preferences -> Add/Save -> Saving Books and unchecked "Save cover separately" and "Save metadata in OPF file". I checked "Update metadata in saved copies", and also changed "File formats to save" to "epub" (this last might be optional). I then hit OK and then restarted Calibre.

Long story short: when Calibre came back up I selected all of the books and did a "Save to disk" into an empty directory (ie, I didn't try to overwrite any previously existing versions of the books; I'm not sure why but this seemed to make a difference). About 75% of the books seemed to have updated their meta info.

This was not a perfect solution and I'm still investigating why. I'm using iBooks on the iPad and I've got about 1250 books on the devices and it may be that I'm hitting some kind of limit on the number of covers that can be rendered. When I inspect the contents of the misc calibre-saved books, some seem to have saved the cover inside of the .epub file (yet it's not rendering on the iPad). And some calibre-saved books *don't* include their covers (even though a cover was specified when I edited the meta info). I'm still scratching my head.

As I said, it's not a perfect solution but at least it's drastically reduced the number of "problem" books -- I guess I can attempt an epub-to-epub conversion on those and see if it helps at all.

Craig

Last edited by craig8128; 12-09-2010 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:42 PM   #15
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This is interesting to me, as i have 4 books that just will not save the cover thumbnail i supply when i put them on my sony, no matter what i do.
I may have to look at those 'save to disk' options and have a play
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