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Old 08-03-2010, 05:53 AM   #1
noxin
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Post Kindle Collection Manager

Original Post:

I recently bought my kindle 2 (love it) and updated the firmware up to 2.5.6 where the collection feature was introduced, first up, I found it to be insanely cumbersome to use the kindle to create these collections so I created a small utility in c# to create new collections and add books from within windows then apply it to the kindle (system/collections.json). It occurs to me that there might be some other users who might like the utility, I just gauging reactions at the moment, if there are some takers I'll clean it up and post it up here with instructions on how to use it.
-Noxin


Note on installer requests:
I do not like it when small programs require an intricate install program at ten times its size to run, so I've posted these as simple zip files with just the executable. (.Net *may* be required, but try it first, you probably already have it!)


1.0
Unsure if its works, very rough, no features.

1.2
Works: Tested it on my XP x86 laptop and it runs, uploading new version with support for whole folders (such as the author folders Calibre creates)

1.2.1
Automatic backup of the .json database occurs whenever it is modified.
the backups are located in the folder where the .exe is situated.
they are numbered, backup 1 will be the first modification you made this session (restarting application begins at 1 again, overwriting the backups)



2.1 beta
I find it now qualifies as a manager rather than a utility due to major changes:
-Stores your library of collections in a separate file all human readable
-Saves on close and Loads on open said file
-A nice spreadsheet-like listing of books instead of that hideous debug box in the center
-The ability to remove books or whole collections from the "library"
-IMPORTANT: It replaces the collections.json file completely with the new data rather than adding, since it maintains the collections in itself permanently (if you want the old functionality use a older version - or wait for it to be reintroduced)
-Added more user-proofing (preventing mistakes since I rarely explain myself well)



A user pointed out that you may require:
.Net version: 3.5 to run these.
Here's the download link on microsoft's site
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en


Instructions for v1.2:
first of all, should it start you will be greeted with 2 text areas, one that should say "New Collection", one blank and a big open empty one

Change the "New Collection" to whatever you want it named (try to avoid special characters, not sure how they will work, spaces are fine)

Press the Search button and browse to your kindle, then documents folder then the book (should be something like E:\documents\Tzu, Sun\The Art of War - Sun Tzu.mobi)

then press the "Add Book" right above the large text area.

you should end up with something like

,"Sun Tzu@en-US":{"items":["*49a5222ba8e7fa3d8110fb81adec13b22359cef3"],"lastAccess":1280813909602}}

in the large area

now press "Apply to Connected Kindle 2" and go to your kindle2's system directory and open the collections.json (MAKE A BACKUP OF THIS FILE FIRST) and your done.


Once disconnected reboot your kindle (hold the power switch until the screen goes blank, then leave it for ~30 seconds while it boots up.
-UPDATE: Alt-Shift-R on the kindle achieves the same thing, there is a menu selection from within the settings that resets the kindle the proper way)
Home->Menu->Settings->Menu->Restart Kindle

remember, this is very rough stage. and improvement suggestion are very welcome.

Instructions for v2:

1. Name your collection in the top text box (Default: "New Collection")
2. Either browse for an individual book and press the Add button to create/add a book to the collection, or press the Whole Folder to add every file inside a specific folder (all paths must be on your Kindle's hard drive, not yours!)
3. You should now see your collection in the grid below, to add additional collections follow steps 1 and 2.
4. When you are ready to apply your collections press the "Apply to Kindle" button and find your collections.json file in "<DriveLetter>:\System" (creating a backup first is ALWAYS a great idea). The file will be replaced completely with your current collections in the manager (which should take over collections management (any changes done in the kindle will be replaced next time you Apply)
5. Exit the program, all your collections are saved for the next time you open the Manager and are automatically reloaded
Note: if you want to back them up its the "manager.skm" file which needs to be in the same folder as the executable.

Completely optional, if you found this helped you and want to support it:


Attached Files
File Type: zip Kindle Collection Manager.zip (5.4 KB, 177 views)
File Type: zip Kindle Collection Manager 1.2.zip (6.0 KB, 110 views)
File Type: zip Kindle Collection Manager1.2.1.zip (6.3 KB, 167 views)
File Type: zip Kindle Collection Manager2.1(beta).zip (8.9 KB, 147 views)
File Type: zip Kindle Collection Manager2.2.zip (9.0 KB, 1063 views)

Last edited by noxin; 08-09-2010 at 12:21 AM. Reason: 2.2 - Append Function is back!
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:58 AM   #2
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absolutely, that was my grievance, too.
I hope your utility can be used for KDX as well.

Last edited by eLiNK; 08-03-2010 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:03 AM   #3
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Can you make sub-folders in the Collections?

I would like my structure something like this:

Action novels
Reading Yet to be read Finished
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:05 AM   #4
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I'd use it - though I hope that at some stage something can be ported into Calibre. When I plug my K2i in to Calibre, the Collections do actually show on the device, as I have named and created them on the device. So Calibre can see them, but can't manipulate them.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:08 AM   #5
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wow, fast replies.

#1: I don't know how the dx's collection system works as I am using the kindle 2. Post your system/collections.json (if it exists) and I'll see what I can do. either that or test the utility on it (after making a backup of course)

#2: Sadly that not a possibility, I would have really liked that as well but the file structure / kindle2's software doesn't lend itself to that kind of functionality.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:33 AM   #6
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Such a utility would be really nice since ordering books via Kindle's 5-way is pita. Thanks for it! However I can't use this one since it's Windows binary and I am on Linux. Do you mind sharing your code? Can you test whether is possible to build Kindle Collection Manager on Linux by Mono (Linux implementation of .NET)? Or perhaps writing the tool in multiplatform language such as Python might be another option.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:41 AM   #7
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I was planning on it fellow Linux brother but tonight is just about my insomnia driven windows utility, I'll probably just write a shell script to do it later tomorrow after I wake up (just checking here so see if anyone has it working even in a rudimentary form) so most people won't have to suffer with kindle collection management (new collection->scroll though 190 books to find the one you want->repeat from step 2)

Hang in there.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noxin View Post
wow, fast replies.

#1: I don't know how the dx's collection system works as I am using the kindle 2. Post your system/collections.json (if it exists) and I'll see what I can do. either that or test the utility on it (after making a backup of course)
Will provide it this evening (in about 8-9 hours).
Thanks
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:33 AM   #9
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Backup by default

Feature proposal: JSON database should be backed up by default when modified.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:40 AM   #10
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You're right. I'll get on that for 1.3 after my coffee is ready.

Update: small feature, squeezed it in as a special 1.2.1

Last edited by noxin; 08-03-2010 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:20 AM   #11
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Is it possible to add content of audio/ folder to collection? It should because Kindle firmware allows that. It's not clear from the comment #1 description.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:27 AM   #12
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Working very well - it would be great to be able to see existing collections on the device.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:14 AM   #13
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sadly that is a feature that can't be done, the values stored on the kindle are not reversible.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:39 AM   #14
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Which Dont.NET Framework version is needed by application ?
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noxin View Post
sadly that is a feature that can't be done, the values stored on the kindle are not reversible.
Which feature?
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