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Old 12-23-2011, 07:57 PM   #1
mkelley
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How are Titles for transferred Mobi files sorted?

I bought a Kindle Touch for my wife this Christmas and I have a number of books in non-DRM mobi format (managed with Calibre) that I plan on transferring via USB. These books are in a series, and I have read the Kindle sorts by Author and Book Title.

I'd like the series to be sorted by the number of the book in the series, so I need to add this number but I'm not sure which field the Kindle uses for this. Is it File name? Or is it metadata? If metadata, there are two separate fields, Book Title and Sorted Title I could use. I'd rather only change the one I need to change, and I'd rather not experiment if someone knows the answer.

It's too bad it can't use the Series numbering metadata but I guess the Kindle software is pretty primitive in this regard.

TIA for any help (I can't wait for Christmas to be here to surprise my wife!).
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:37 PM   #2
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You need to change the titles so that the series is first, and if the series is a long one, make sure to use zero-padded 2-digit numbers for the book number. Like: "XXX Series 03 - Book Title". Then, they will sort in order.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:50 PM   #3
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Let me be *real* stupid here -- we're talking about just the Book Title metadata, right? Not the file name or the sorting title?

If so, I understand just fine. On the Kindle forum it was suggested that they would sort correctly if the pub dates were in there (and, I assume, put all the series books in a single collection if the author wrote more than one series with crossing pub dates) but I'm a little suspicious of that -- it doesn't seem to me that this is the case at all when I use mobi books in Kindle on my iPad (admittedly a very different beast, but one in which there are certain similarities).
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:39 PM   #4
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Personally, I rather dislike disturbing the title and title sort fields in calibre so I use a "Save Template" template for the file name and a plugboard for the internal title.

These are set in preferences. You should set a Save Template in both the "Save to Disk" and "Send to Device" sections. This way only the file saved to disk or sent to the device has the altered title. The copy in calibre's library still retains the standard title and you leave the series information in the Series field.

The template I use is:

{series} {series_index:0>2s} {title} - {authors}

The prepends the series name, a space, and then a 2 digit series number with a leading zero when necessary followed by another space.

The plugboard is similar but uses two lines:

first line:
source template: {series} {series_index:0>2s} {title} - {authors}
destination field: {title}

second line:
source template: {author_sort}
destination field: {author}

The first line changes the internal title prepending the series info. The secont replaces the author with author_sort so that my K3 sorts properly (read: sorts by last name) when set to sort by author.

Last edited by dwig; 12-23-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:53 AM   #5
HarryT
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Yes, this is what Calibre plugboard are for - they are the way to automatically attach series name and number to a book.

I'd recommend asking Calibre questions in the Calibre forum in future - you're more likely to get help there.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:04 AM   #6
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Sorry, Harry, I didn't see the Calibre forum -- besides, I really wanted to know how the Kindle sorted things out.

Since my only use for these files is for my wife's Kindle I don't have a particular problem altering their name and title, but I can definitely see that keeping a Calibre collection it would be better to use the template as you folks suggest.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:21 AM   #7
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Oh, and Dwig -- I noticed you put author at the end of the output title field. Do I need to do this? Won't the Kindle, by sorting on authors, also sort on title? The answer I got from Susan as well as answers on the Kindle forum seemed to suggest this would be the case. I'd kind of hate to put author in that already long title field if it's not needed.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:39 PM   #8
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You can put whatever you wish there. I don't put authors personally. As you say, the Kindle can sort on author anyway.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:40 PM   #9
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To add a wrinkle here:

As far as the Kindle itself, there are 2 Title fields that it appears to read. There is the Title field itself and there is "UpdatedTitle" which is exth record 503.

As far as I can tell, if UpdatedTitle is present, the Kindle reads that and disregards the Title.

I'm not sure how Calibre handles this but I expect it changes the UpdatedTitle where relevant.

If, however, you use something like Mobi2mobi to edit the fields directly, you'll need to check for the presence of UpdatedTitle yourself.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:54 PM   #10
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Just use Calibre - it will do the right thing.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:01 PM   #11
mkelley
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Thanks.

I went back and re-edited my Calibre library to reflect this and use the plugboard for the corrected output. While it's only for my wife's Kindle I guess I never know what the future may hold -- maybe we old people will live long enough to transfer the files to a different device <g>.
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