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Old 02-09-2018, 10:53 AM   #1
DickD
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Calibre Library Accessed from Multiple Devices

If the answer to this question is already out there somewhere, I apologize. I looked but didn't find it. Please point me in the right direction.

I've recently started using Calibre after switching from Nook. All was fine when I used it from only one machine but I have 3 computers I'd like to access it from (never 2 at the same time).

I first tried putting the library on Google Drive and that didn't work well and then I saw the caveats against it saying the GD can break the library. I then switched to OneDrive.

Using OneDrive the books and virtual libraries are all there. If I add a book or a virtual library, I see it on both machines (haven't tried the 3rd yet). OTOH it does not seem to keep track of the last page read in a book or of bookmarks.

Are these stored locally or is there some other piece of this I've missed?

Thanks,

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Old 02-09-2018, 11:19 AM   #2
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The last page read, using the Calibre Reader, is stored inside the epub. The epub is updated only when you close the Calibre Reader.

You can verify this by opening the folder for a book and see how the modified time changes when you close the book, after flipping a few pages in the Calibre Reader.

I would assume that this would trigger a sync TO the cloud. And that, on the other devices, trigger a sync FROM the cloud. However it is possible that these syncs doesn't happen immediately. I assume that this can differ between operating systems and file systems, if a file change can trigger a sync event. Or if the cloud software make use of this or just poll for changes at certain intervals. I assume that you can force a sync manually?

Warning: Make sure that all your devices have the same case sensitivity. For instance all Windows or all Linux. Otherwise your Calibre library may slowly deteriorate with orphan books and database entries. The reason is that some operating systems / file systems don't care about UPPER lower case in file names, but some do care very much.

Last edited by Adoby; 02-09-2018 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Added warning...
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Adoby View Post
Warning: Make sure that all your devices have the same case sensitivity. For instance all Windows or all Linux. Otherwise your Calibre library may slowly deteriorate with orphan books and database entries. The reason is that some operating systems / file systems don't care about UPPER lower case in file names, but some do care very much.
Quoting this for emphasis.

I've found that the most useful way to use Calibre is to keep Calibre on a portable drive that can be moved between systems and use it for library maintenance tasks only. My workflow:

1) Download and import the book into Calibre Portable on my external HD
2) Tweak metadata
3) Save the book into my library folder structure

All the syncing is done from the library folder structure, so I never have to worry about Calibre interacting oddly with anything, and there's no risk of library issues. It was also really helpful the one time my Calibre install went completely bonkers and lost a bunch of books.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:09 PM   #4
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Thank you Adoby and Rbneader for your quick replies.

First, both machines I'm testing with are Windows 10.

The funny (as in peculiar) thing is that I can see the update in the last modified data. I.e. I add a bookmark and/or change the page in machine A and in a few seconds I see the update time change on machine B. Then I start Caliber on B and the new bookmark or page change is not reflected there.

I'm quite puzzled. It's not the end of the world but I'm geeky enough to be pretty annoyed by it.

BTW, I'm been careful in testing not to every have Calibre open on both machines. I modify on A, close the book and then the app, and then open on B.

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Old 02-09-2018, 08:26 PM   #5
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@DickD - the 'standard' advice is to close or pause cloud sync services (e.g.OneDrive, DropBox etc), when you're running calibre and restart it when your finished. The GD issue relates to its changing of folder names - or it did, not sure if it still does that.

BR
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:27 PM   #6
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Question, are you running Calibre Portable from the OneDrive or are you using local calibre installs and have only the library in cloud storage?
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:20 AM   #7
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Question, are you running Calibre Portable from the OneDrive or are you using local calibre installs and have only the library in cloud storage?
I've got Calibre installed locally on each machine.

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Old 02-10-2018, 12:26 AM   #8
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@DickD - the 'standard' advice is to close or pause cloud sync services (e.g.OneDrive, DropBox etc), when you're running calibre and restart it when your finished. The GD issue relates to its changing of folder names - or it did, not sure if it still does that.

BR
Interesting. Thanks. I hope that's not the solution though. It would be kind of a big PITA. :-)

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Old 02-10-2018, 12:53 AM   #9
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For what it's worth, I've ran Calibre Portable directly from Dropbox with no issues. My Dropbox is in the same location on all computers and has a relatively short path, though.

Then again, it's usually at least an hour lapse when I switch computers.
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:11 AM   #10
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Interesting. Thanks. I hope that's not the solution though. It would be kind of a big PITA. :-)

- Dick
'Fraid, it is though.

Its in this FAQ item from the calibre User Manual ==>> I am getting errors with my calibre library on a networked drive/NAS?, the third paragraph in particular.

BR
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:27 AM   #11
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For what it's worth, I've ran Calibre Portable directly from Dropbox with no issues. My Dropbox is in the same location on all computers and has a relatively short path, though.

Then again, it's usually at least an hour lapse when I switch computers.
It's typically over an hour before firing it up on a different box for me too. For obvious reasons it was a back and forth thing while testing. When I did wait it didn't seem to matter. Now that you've got me thinking about it though I may look at that aspect of it more closely.

I'll also give DropBox a shot. It's downloading now.

Thanks,

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Old 02-10-2018, 11:29 AM   #12
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Thanks. Thanks also for not saying RTFM which I would have deserved. :-)

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Old 02-10-2018, 01:56 PM   #13
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For what it's worth, I've ran Calibre Portable directly from Dropbox with no issues. My Dropbox is in the same location on all computers and has a relatively short path, though.

Then again, it's usually at least an hour lapse when I switch computers.
Well, it acts the same way on Dropbox. I add a bookmark or change the page on machine A and then close the book and Calibre. I immediately see the changed update time on that box and in a second or two I see it on machine B. I open it on B and neither the updated page nor the bookmark are there. It works the same in both directions.

I tried pausing the sync in Dropbox before touching anything but to no avail.

Then I did another test. I pointed Calibre on machine A back to my library on OneDrive and made a change (bookmark). I then copied that folder into the library on Dropbox replacing that folder there and switched Calibre to point back to the Dropbox library. The new bookmark did not come with it. It's got to be stored somewhere else.

I give up. Spent too much time on this already. Sigh.

Thanks again to all who gave advice.

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Old 02-10-2018, 02:08 PM   #14
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As mentioned, I run Calibre Portable directly from Dropbox instead of a local Calibre install so all my tweaks, settings and plugins carry over from machine to machine. No idea what gets stored where but my Calibre folder (app, settings and libraries) is self-contained.

Last edited by ilovejedd; 02-10-2018 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:02 PM   #15
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As mentioned, I run Calibre Portable directly from Dropbox instead of a local Calibre install so all my tweaks, settings and plugins carry over from machine to machine. No idea what gets stored where but my Calibre folder (app, settings and libraries) is self-contained.
OK, I misinterpreted your previous post and didn't realize you'd actually installed it in Dropbox. Before I saw this comment I tried that using OneDrive and got the same result. I'll try it using Dropbox.

Question, did you actually run the install on both machines or just on one of them and then access that install from the 2nd machine?

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