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Old 06-18-2010, 07:42 PM   #1
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How to stop collections from disappearing?

I'm not sure which version of Calibre did this, but I think it was 0.7.1. I plugged in my Sony Reader PRS-600, went about my business, and when I unplugged the reader, all my collections were deleted. I had to use (gasp!) the Sony software to rearrange everything. Then just now I downloaded 0.7.3 and tried to use it again, to add only one book to the reader. When I finished, not only were all my collections gone, the book I had added was a single blank page with a strange title. The place in the book I had previously been reading was also lost.

I like Calibre and would like to go back to the previous version everyone was using before the big update. Is there a way to revert to an old version? I'm just a book reader, not a computer programmer, so I don't know any cool tricks.

Thanks to anyone for your help.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by banjobama View Post
I had to use (gasp!) the Sony software to rearrange everything.
If you're going to use Sony software to arrange your collections then calibre is not for you. You would be better served to learn how to use calibre to create your collections. Bottom line is life is better if you use one or the other to manage your books.

The only thing I use the Sony software for is purchasing books. I use calibre for everything else, including every book I transfer to my device and collection creation.

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I like Calibre and would like to go back to the previous version everyone was using before the big update. Is there a way to revert to an old version? I'm just a book reader, not a computer programmer, so I don't know any cool tricks.
You can get previous versions of Calibre here, scroll down the page to grab the version you want.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by dwanthny View Post
If you're going to use Sony software to arrange your collections then calibre is not for you. You would be better served to learn how to use calibre to create your collections. Bottom line is life is better if you use one or the other to manage your books.

The only thing I use the Sony software for is purchasing books. I use calibre for everything else, including every book I transfer to my device and collection creation.
Thanks for the link. I also always use Calibre and only use the Sony store for purchases and I know how to make collections; however, the new Calibre spontaneously erased all of them. I saw one thread about this already but I've lost track of it.
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by banjobama View Post
Thanks for the link. I also always use Calibre and only use the Sony store for purchases and I know how to make collections; however, the new Calibre spontaneously erased all of them. I saw one thread about this already but I've lost track of it.
I suspect you previously manually created your collections via calibre by directly editing the collection on your reader, this is no longer an option.

Calibre does everything it did before, but it now caches data about the books on the device and the books in the library. If you end up with no collections it means you are not using the calibre library to create your collections automatically via tags and series.

I believe that because of the enhancements when you run calibre for the first time all collections are updated to match what is in calibre. Also because of the enhancements you can no longer edit collections directly on the device. You must use calibre to create the collections.

The first time I connected took a longer then normal time while it cached/synced the data between my library and the device. Every time since then it has only taken seconds to show what is on the device.

You can go to preferences - plugins - device interface plugin to see what will be turned into a collection on your device.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 06-19-2010 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:45 AM   #5
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Creating usable collections for the PRS600

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You can go to preferences - plugins - device interface plugin to see what will be turned into a collection on your device.
For the Sony this only shows Series and Tags. As there can be many tags for each book, this is not a good option for me. Also Series won't work well either as many books are not in a series and the series doesn't say what genre it belongs too.

Are these the only things that can be used to create collections? I'd like to have the collections be an existing custom metadata, Genre. Or maybe create a new one called Collection. But I can't figure out how to do this, if it can be done that is. I have looked all over this forum and can't find any real directions for creating the collections.

I just got this Sony Touch today and it has been driving me crazy. I also have an Astak EZReader Pocket Pro that is set up using folders to hold the "collections". This has worked well as I can just use win explorer to copy the files where I want them. After a bit of testing I will decide which reader to keep. The Sony has a bigger screen, so is easier to read, but the EZReader is lighter weight and came with a great cover.


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Old 06-19-2010, 09:06 AM   #6
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Are these the only things that can be used to create collections? I'd like to have the collections be an existing custom metadata, Genre. Or maybe create a new one called Collection. But I can't figure out how to do this, if it can be done that is. I have looked all over this forum and can't find any real directions for creating the collections.
At the moment, you can create collections only from the standard metadata fields. Custom fields aren't supported yet, but is planned for after v0.7 settles down a bit more.

One feature that isn't obvious: you can prevent a tag from being used as a collection by enclosing it in [ ] characters. For example, the tag [todo] won't be made into a collection.

Another thing you can do is copy the tags to a custom tags-like field, then use tags exclusively for collections. There isn't a way to do this copy in bulk, unfortunately.

Edit: in a forthcoming release, you will also be able to edit the collections on the device screen

Last edited by chaley; 06-19-2010 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:57 AM   #7
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I suspect you previously manually created your collections via calibre by directly editing the collection on your reader, this is no longer an option.

Calibre does everything it did before, but it now caches data about the books on the device and the books in the library. If you end up with no collections it means you are not using the calibre library to create your collections automatically via tags and series.
- - -
You can go to preferences - plugins - device interface plugin to see what will be turned into a collection on your device.
I have to respectfully disagree with this statement. My collections (17 of them) disappeared, and instead I got around a hundred collections generated from metadata.

This happened in 0.7.0 and 0.7.1 *despite* the fact that I have always created my collections by editing the metadata tags in Calibre library (occasionally adjusting something directly on the Sony 505 reader).

After this happened the first time, I also used the SOny software just to delete all the collections - that's faster. Then I unplugged my 505, rebooted the computer, installed the newer 0.7.1 version, edited the Sony plugin so that only tags was in teh field to use for collectins. Then edited each book metadata in the Calibre library so the tag corresponded to the collection I wanted (not a small chore). Then hooked up my 505. It then took a while for Calibre to go though the 505 (which now had around 250 books in no collections). And it had somehow generated a hundred collections from some 'invisible' metadata - not from the 17 different tags I'd just edited.

So I started all over again today, this time by deleting all the books on my 505 and now with the latest 0.7.4 where i again edited the plugin. I'm dreading plugging in my 505... No not really, it's still a great program, and I just want to report the behavior in case it helps solve something.

Last edited by June; 06-20-2010 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 06-20-2010, 04:04 AM   #8
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So I started all over again today, this time by deleting all the books on my 505 and now with the latest 0.7.4 where i again edited the plugin. I'm dreading plugging in my 505... No not really, it's still a great program, and I just want to report the behavior in case it helps solve something.
What happened? Is it working in an acceptable fashion?
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Old 06-20-2010, 04:12 AM   #9
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June, that is basically what happened to me also. I just reverted to the 0.6.54 Calibre for now. I don't think I have the patience to redo the collections a third time.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by June View Post
Then I unplugged my 505, rebooted the computer, installed the newer 0.7.1 version, edited the Sony plugin so that only tags was in teh field to use for collectins. Then edited each book metadata in the Calibre library so the tag corresponded to the collection I wanted (not a small chore). Then hooked up my 505. It then took a while for Calibre to go though the 505 (which now had around 250 books in no collections). And it had somehow generated a hundred collections from some 'invisible' metadata - not from the 17 different tags I'd just edited.
Did you use calibre to put those books on your 505?

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So I started all over again today, this time by deleting all the books on my 505 and now with the latest 0.7.4 where i again edited the plugin. I'm dreading plugging in my 505... No not really, it's still a great program, and I just want to report the behavior in case it helps solve something.
It sure seems as if you have covered all the bases. I have a 505 and have used it without error during each of the recent upgrades. Just for the record I am using PRS+ with no localization of language or time/date.

Hopefully Chaley might be able to shed some light on your troubles.
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:54 AM   #11
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Did you use calibre to put those books on your 505?
- - -
Yep, I use Calibre to add the books onto the reader.

Oh, and my 505 has the clock, and custom icons, plus remapped page turn to the '4-way-controller-button.

I'm about to see what happens when I plug in teh 505 with Calibre running in a bit, I'll report back.
- - -
OK. Tested with 0.7.4 and removed all options from the metadata to use as collection area of the device plugin. I was able to hook up my 505 and send a book to it, without my collections disappearing. Now of course the new book didn't have any collection at all (even though I'd put a tag = collection for the book in Calibre library) since the plugin had been edited. But I prefer manually adding the collection name for the book directly on the 505 (since that is now enabled again), rather than risking to loose my collections again.

Last edited by June; 06-20-2010 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Result of test
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:29 AM   #12
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I finally have a handle on what happened to you.

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After this happened the first time, I also used the SOny software just to delete all the collections - that's faster. Then I unplugged my 505, rebooted the computer, installed the newer 0.7.1 version, edited the Sony plugin so that only tags was in teh field to use for collectins. Then edited each book metadata in the Calibre library so the tag corresponded to the collection I wanted (not a small chore). Then hooked up my 505. It then took a while for Calibre to go though the 505 (which now had around 250 books in no collections). And it had somehow generated a hundred collections from some 'invisible' metadata - not from the 17 different tags I'd just edited.
The metadata wasn't invisible it was created from the books that were on the device. Even though you used the Sony software to wipe the collections you never updated the metadata in each book.

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So I started all over again today, this time by deleting all the books on my 505 and now with the latest 0.7.4 where i again edited the plugin. I'm dreading plugging in my 505... No not really, it's still a great program, and I just want to report the behavior in case it helps solve something.
Now that you have deleted the books on the device there won't be any conflict and the only collections that will be created are from the tags or series or whatever other metadata you may have set the plugin for.

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OK. Tested with 0.7.4 and removed all options from the metadata to use as collection area of the device plugin. I was able to hook up my 505 and send a book to it, without my collections disappearing.
No collections will be created at all on transfer if the plugin options are all disabled.

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Now of course the new book didn't have any collection at all (even though I'd put a tag = collection for the book in Calibre library) since the plugin had been edited.
OK

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But I prefer manually adding the collection name for the book directly on the 505 (since that is now enabled again), rather than risking to loose my collections again.
Not using the base method of automatically creating collections during send to device is the scenario that might lead to losing them again in the future. But if that's your preference, have fun. (Of course as long as the plugin is disabled you won't get any mishaps again)

Shortly the developers said that custom columns might be able to be used to create collections. If this happens you can allow the tags to go crazy, (you would change the plugin to use custom columns to create collections) and create your 17 collections in a custom column and never have to worry about anything ever popping up that shouldn't be a collection again.

Once this feature is online learning how to use the plugin to create collections will make things easier.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 06-20-2010 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:45 AM   #13
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OK. Tested with 0.7.4 and removed all options from the metadata to use as collection area of the device plugin. I was able to hook up my 505 and send a book to it, without my collections disappearing.
Excellent.
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Now of course the new book didn't have any collection at all (even though I'd put a tag = collection for the book in Calibre library) since the plugin had been edited.
I don't understand this comment. You added a tag named 'collection' to a book in the library, then sent that book to the device? Regardless, you have it right. After clearing the collections box in the device plugin, no calibre metadata will ever be used to create collections.
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But I prefer manually adding the collection name for the book directly on the 505 (since that is now enabled again), rather than risking to loose my collections again.
Please note that by maintaining the collections manually, you run the small risk of losing them if anything happens to the Sony db. The reason: calibre stores this collection information only in the Sony db, so it cannot reconstruct it if needed.

I don't think this is a risk to worry much about, but it is worth knowing about.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:09 AM   #14
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Thank you for your input, both of you.

I am looking forward to a future custom category for collections.

And to clarify: naturally I didn't expect the book to be in a collection once I'd disabled the options in the plugin. I did this in order to test the behavior, and hopefully minimize the risk of messing up my existing collections. I mentioned it in case someone reading the thread was wondering what happened.

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I finally have a handle on what happened to you.



The metadata wasn't invisible it was created from the books that were on the device. Even though you used the Sony software to wipe the collections you never updated the metadata in each book. - - -
Ohhh, that makes sense! Great explanation.

I'm still curious about how the behavior of Calibre chnaged with 0.7.x - I've always used the tags field for organizing my collections via Calibre. And have never before encountered a case where it *overwrote* the existing collection (=tag) on the 505 without me changing the tag in Calibre library first and sending to device (or changing on the 505 via Calibre).

As far as I understand the explanation of the plugin behavior, the collections are created from specified locations (tag, series) if the book does *not* have a collection on the reader already.

All my books on the 505 were in collections, and had corresponding tags in the Calibre library, they'd been added via Calibre (0.6.5x). SO it shouldn't have overwritten the collections from the metadata, IMO. It did this immediately upon detecting the 505.

I guess it's the existing metadata for the books on teh 505, like dwanthny posted above. But it is still weird. Especially since this was a 505 where I'd just added the books via Calibre 0.6.5x a few days earlier after a format, after fixing the tags in Clibre before sending to device. So it shuld all have been set?

Oh well, things happen.

Last edited by June; 06-20-2010 at 09:15 AM. Reason: more details
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:51 AM   #15
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I'm still curious about how the behavior of Calibre chnaged with 0.7.x - I've always used the tags field for organizing my collections via Calibre. And have never before encountered a case where it *overwrote* the existing collection (=tag) on the 505 without me changing the tag in Calibre library first and sending to device (or changing on the 505 via Calibre).

As far as I understand the explanation of the plugin behavior, the collections are created from specified locations (tag, series) if the book does *not* have a collection on the reader already.

All my books on the 505 were in collections, and had corresponding tags in the Calibre library, they'd been added via Calibre (0.6.5x). SO it shouldn't have overwritten the collections from the metadata, IMO. It did this immediately upon detecting the 505.
It is a bit hard to reconstruct the behavior of the earlier 0.7 versions, but here goes.

When calibre builds its metadata cache, it also builds collections using the specification in the device plugin. It gets this information from the books, not calibre's library, because it hasn't matched books to the library yet. Because of a bug, 0.7.1 ignored the device plugin specification and built collections for series and tags. This caused many people to have an explosion of collections.

If I remember correctly, the early versions of 0.7 (before 0.7.2) did not preserve or remember the hand-built collections. This exacerbated the problem with the collection explosion. Noticing and preserving hand-built collections was added to calibre, but because of the 1-character typo I mentioned in some post, people still couldn't edit them.

As of 0.7.4, people can edit the collections.

The situation today should be as follows:
  • When a book is sent to the device. collections will be added for calibre metadata specified in the device plugin. Tags bracketed in [ ] characters will be ignored.
  • User-defined collections, either from editing in calibre or somewhere else, are remembered.
  • Collections are additive. Calibre will not delete a book from a collection. Assuming that collections are built from tags, changing the tags on a book and resending will add the book to collections built for any new tags, but will not delete the book from collections for tags that no longer are on the book.
  • Calibre will not delete a collection unless all the books in the collection are deleted.
I see this behavior with my Sony 300.

After calibre has built its cache, collections will be built only for books added to the device. Again assuming collections built from tags, books already on the device and not sent again will not added to collections, even if they have the tags in calibre's db. The books on the device will not be scanned again unless the book is modified (the date on the book file changes).

I think collections now behave as expected. If someone disagrees, please let us know.
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