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Old 01-29-2015, 05:51 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Importing MobileRead library into calibre library

Hi there,

We are currently contemplating the migration of the existing MobileRead library to a calibre library. Ultimately we would like to detach the MobileRead library from the forums and present it as its own OPDS-powered website, with the content powered and managed by calibre.

One aspect that I am currently struggling with is how we could preserve a link to the original attachment id. In other words, once books have been (batch) imported to calibre, we need to have a marker (a customer column for example) that contains the id of the original attachment that we can refer back to if needed. I see two possibilities right now:
  • Use filenames to contain metadata. Like {attachmentid}_originalfilename.epub and tell calibre to extract the metadata from the filename rather than from the file data. Would that even work with custom columns? Anyhow, this doesn't seem to be as useful as long as it results in calibre not importing the metadata from the book content at the same time.
  • Use hash checksums of the files to correlate book ids from the imported books in the calibre database with the original attachment ids. Once we know which calibre book id relates to which attachment id, we could directly modify the calibre database and fill a custom column table with the respective attachment id data.

What I am curious about is, are there any better ways of handling this situation? There may be even more information from the original attachment that we would like to extract and embed in the calibre database. For example, the timestamp of the original upload date. Again, this could probably be encoded in the filename if we could somehow tell calibre that this part signifies a custom field named "upload date", or it could later be inserted manually in the calibre database using the book id<->attachment id correlation.

Thanks for your help.

Alex
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:39 PM   #2
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@Alex - as things stand the only metadata items that can be extracted from file names are those you see below

Click image for larger version

Name:	Capture.JPG
Views:	165
Size:	88.4 KB
ID:	134327

However - if you add the custom columns you want to the library, and you add the books via/with an opf, then if the opf contains the data for a custom column it will be populated - eg if you created a column called origattach/Original Attachment and you had something like this in the opf files

Code:
<meta name="calibre:user_metadata:#origattach" blah-blah, "#value#":"MR attachment id 1234",blah blah>
then that book would put "MR attachment id 1234" in the Original Attachment column.

Which begs the question - how would you go about getting such values into an opf file - I'll leave that to others, who have the requisite scripting and regular expression skills.

BR
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:55 PM   #3
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@BR -- I finally have my excuse, I guess...

@ Alexander, I have for a while wanted to be able to store the original filename in a custom column (for reasons explained HERE).
But... I was always too lazy.

One way would be to patch calibre, to add in a feature that allows keeping the file contents metadata and overriding it with the filename regex (and also enabling custom columns in the from_filename metadata). The other way would be to add it via a script, possibly via calibre-debug, possibly via bash.


I will have to see sometime soon, if I can bash something together.

Last edited by eschwartz; 01-29-2015 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
@BR -- I finally have my excuse, I guess...

@ Alexander, I have for a while wanted to be able to store the original filename in a custom column (for reasons explained HERE).
But... I was always too lazy.

One way would be to patch calibre, to add in a feature that allows keeping the file contents metadata and overriding it with the filename regex (and also enabling custom columns in the from_filename metadata). The other way would be to add it via a script, possibly via calibre-debug, possibly via bash.


I will have to see sometime soon, if I can bash something together.
The file name could encapsulate multiple properties (attachment id, upload timestamp, number of downloads...), which could be subsequently pulled apart into separate custom columns with bulk edit S&R.

BR
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:15 PM   #5
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I am thinking of duplicating the regex functionality, actually. I personally would match it all to the #origfile field, but others might prefer differently. Hence -- fluidity.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
I am thinking of duplicating the regex functionality, actually. I personally would match it all to the #origfile field, but others might prefer differently. Hence -- fluidity.
Would that handle this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post
There may be even more information from the original attachment that we would like to extract and embed in the calibre database. For example, the timestamp of the original upload date. Again, this could probably be encoded in the filename if we could somehow tell calibre that this part signifies a custom field named "upload date"
Why reinvent the wheel for what could be done with a handful of saved bulk metadata edit Search and Replace items - we know they will work, I assume the bulk upload to calibre is one off job.

BR
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:11 PM   #7
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On the other hand once the attachment id is in the database, producing a csv with calibre book number, attachment id is easy enough. As Alex alluded, it could be used to extract data from the attachment id file for use in calibredb set_custom commands.

BR
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:30 PM   #8
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What about adding extra, Unique pattern, tags to the OPF, then use S&R to move them to the extra fields: MRID123456
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:32 PM   #9
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As calibre can read an OPF file that is supplied with the book, maybe the way to go is to generate that. I'm pretty sure this doesn't need the manifest and spine, so it would be relatively simple. The OPF can include custom columns, so adding an original file name that way would work.

The other thing is that it sounds like the attachment id could be used as an identifier. Storing it as an identifier and creating a MobileRead metadata source plugin would allow easy navigation back to the source. And the metadata source plugin doesn't have to have search capabilities. It just needs to translate the identifier into a display string and a URL.
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Old 01-29-2015, 11:00 PM   #10
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If I were you, I'd write a simple script to do it with calibredb, like this, in bash like code:

Code:
for filename, attachment_id in filenames:
   book_id=$(calibredb add filename | grep 'Added book ids:' | cut -d: -f2 | cut -d' ' -f2)
   calibredb set_metadata book_id --field identifiers:mobileread:attachment_id
It can be easily changed to whatever programming language you like. And you can set any custom columns like this as well, use

calibredb set_metadata --list-fields

to get their names.

You can even create the custom columns using calibredb, if you dont want to involve the GUI at all.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:25 AM   #11
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Thanks! Following your tips, I did some test on the following book:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=255021

Code:
$ calibredb set_metadata --list-fields
Title                                    Field name 

Attachment ID                            #attachmentid
Uploader                                 #uploader
Author Sort                              author_sort
...

$ calibredb add ~/mrlibrary/AlexBell/255021/134208_What\ Diantha\ Did\ -\ Charlotte\ Perkins\ Gilman.mobi   

Backing up metadata
Added book ids: 6
Notifying calibre of the change

$ calibredb set_metadata 6 --field \#uploader:"AlexBell"      

Title               : What Diantha Did
Title sort          : What Diantha Did
Author(s)           : Charlotte Perkins Gilman [Gilman, Charlotte Perkins]
Publisher           : Bellware
Tags                : humanism, servant question, romance
Languages           : eng
Timestamp           : 2015-01-30T09:51:46+00:00
Published           : 2015-01-24T13:00:00+00:00
Identifiers         : mobi-asin:cec96dd0-e53e-4f26-b392-166f8c160ce4
Comments            : <p class="description">'What Diantha Did' was serialised in 'The Forerunner' from November 1909 to October 1910, and published separately in 1910. The main themes are 'The servant question' and the grief caused by having to do work in which one is not interested; set against a background of future female in-laws who would be ashamed to earn their own living, and a fiance who believes that 'No man - that is a man - would marry a woman and let her run a business.'</p>
Uploader            : AlexBell
Backing up metadata
Notifying calibre of the change

$ calibredb set_metadata 6 --field \#attachmentid:"134208" 

Title               : What Diantha Did
Title sort          : What Diantha Did
Author(s)           : Charlotte Perkins Gilman [Gilman, Charlotte Perkins]
Publisher           : Bellware
Tags                : humanism, servant question, romance
Languages           : eng
Timestamp           : 2015-01-30T09:51:46+00:00
Published           : 2015-01-24T13:00:00+00:00
Identifiers         : mobi-asin:cec96dd0-e53e-4f26-b392-166f8c160ce4
Comments            : <p class="description">'What Diantha Did' was serialised in 'The Forerunner' from November 1909 to October 1910, and published separately in 1910. The main themes are 'The servant question' and the grief caused by having to do work in which one is not interested; set against a background of future female in-laws who would be ashamed to earn their own living, and a fiance who believes that 'No man - that is a man - would marry a woman and let her run a business.'</p>
Uploader            : AlexBell
Attachment ID       : 134208
Backing up metadata
Notifying calibre of the change
Looking good.

Also changing the identifier would work as suggested:

Code:
$ calibredb set_metadata 6 --field identifiers:mobileread:134208

Title               : What Diantha Did
Title sort          : What Diantha Did
Author(s)           : Charlotte Perkins Gilman [Gilman, Charlotte Perkins]
Publisher           : Bellware
Tags                : humanism, servant question, romance
Languages           : eng
Timestamp           : 2015-01-30T11:42:14+00:00
Published           : 2015-01-24T13:00:00+00:00
Identifiers         : mobileread:134208
Comments            : <p class="description">'What Diantha Did' was serialised in 'The Forerunner' from November 1909 to October 1910, and published separately in 1910. The main themes are 'The servant question' and the grief caused by having to do work in which one is not interested; set against a background of future female in-laws who would be ashamed to earn their own living, and a fiance who believes that 'No man - that is a man - would marry a woman and let her run a business.'</p>
Uploader            : AlexBell
Attachment ID       : 134208
Backing up metadata
Notifying calibre of the change
From what I understood performance and schematic wise it's better to use the identifier field for the attachment id rather than a custom field, right?

As Kovid suggested using a small script to parse the filenames and to embed the info via calibredb set_metadata during the import process seems like an easy solution.

@BetterRed, @davidfor, I tested importing the extra metadata via an opf file (which would be another easy solution as I could include all the extra data in the opf while extracting the attachments from the MR database), but it appears that calibre then erases part of the existing metadata.

Code:
$ calibredb add ~/mrlibrary/AlexBell/255021/134208_What\ Diantha\ Did\ -\ Charlotte\ Perkins\ Gilman.mobi   

Backing up metadata
Added book ids: 8
Notifying calibre of the change

$ calibredb show_metadata 8

Title               : What Diantha Did
Title sort          : What Diantha Did
Author(s)           : Charlotte Perkins Gilman [Gilman, Charlotte Perkins]
Publisher           : Bellware
Tags                : romance, humanism, servant question
Languages           : eng
Timestamp           : 2015-01-30T12:18:08+00:00
Published           : 2015-01-24T13:00:00+00:00
Identifiers         : mobi-asin:cec96dd0-e53e-4f26-b392-166f8c160ce4
Comments            : <p class="description">'What Diantha Did' was serialised in 'The Forerunner' from November 1909 to October 1910, and published separately in 1910. The main themes are 'The servant question' and the grief caused by having to do work in which one is not interested; set against a background of future female in-laws who would be ashamed to earn their own living, and a fiance who believes that 'No man - that is a man - would marry a woman and let her run a business.'</p>

$ cat ~/mrlibrary/AlexBell/255021/metadata.opf        
<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
<package xmlns="http://www.idpf.org/2007/opf" unique-identifier="uuid_id" version="2.0">
    <metadata xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:opf="http://www.idpf.org/2007/opf">
        <meta name="calibre:user_metadata:#uploader" content="{&quot;kind&quot;: &quot;field&quot;, &quot;#value#&quot;: &quot;alex&quot;, &quot;column&quot;: &quot;value&quot;, &quot;colnum&quot;: 1, &quot;is_multiple&quot;: null, &quot;is_multiple2&quot;: {}, &quot;search_terms&quot;: [&quot;#uploader&quot;], &quot;is_csp&quot;: false, &quot;is_category&quot;: true, &quot;table&quot;: &quot;custom_column_1&quot;, &quot;is_custom&quot;: true, &quot;is_editable&quot;: true, &quot;rec_index&quot;: 22, &quot;link_column&quot;: &quot;value&quot;, &quot;label&quot;: &quot;uploader&quot;, &quot;#extra#&quot;: null, &quot;datatype&quot;: &quot;text&quot;, &quot;name&quot;: &quot;Uploader&quot;, &quot;category_sort&quot;: &quot;value&quot;, &quot;display&quot;: {&quot;use_decorations&quot;: 0}}"/>
    </metadata>
</package>

$ calibredb set_metadata 8 ~/mrlibrary/AlexBell/255021/metadata.opf     

Title               : Unknown
Title sort          : Unknown
Author(s)           : Unknown
Publisher           : Bellware
Tags                : romance, humanism, servant question
Languages           : eng
Timestamp           : 2015-01-30T12:18:08+00:00
Published           : 2015-01-24T13:00:00+00:00
Identifiers         : mobi-asin:cec96dd0-e53e-4f26-b392-166f8c160ce4
Comments            : <p class="description">'What Diantha Did' was serialised in 'The Forerunner' from November 1909 to October 1910, and published separately in 1910. The main themes are 'The servant question' and the grief caused by having to do work in which one is not interested; set against a background of future female in-laws who would be ashamed to earn their own living, and a fiance who believes that 'No man - that is a man - would marry a woman and let her run a business.'</p>
Uploader            : alex
Backing up metadata
Notifying calibre of the change
The Uploader field was set correctly, but notice how Title, Title sort and Author are erased?

@davidfor, I love the idea of a metadata source plugin that could translate the attachment id to a relevant URL! Would that be very difficult to write?
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:01 AM   #12
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No there is no perfomance advantage to identifiers vs custom columns. The main advantage is that in the calibre GUI identifiers can become clickable links. Note that you dont have to bother with writing a metadata plugin for MR. Simply add the full URL, like this

identifiers:url:http://whatever

that will automatically become a link in the UI
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:51 PM   #13
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But we would need a single book record to have several identifiers (of the same kind), one for each format. With a custom column we can store the different ids as a list, can we do this with standard identifiers?
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Old 01-30-2015, 03:14 PM   #14
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See the OverDrive Link plugin, which does the same thing for OverDrive library links.

{identifiers:select(odid)} ==
Code:
UUID****-****-****-****-************@library1.lib.overdrive.com&\
UUID****-****-****-****-************@library2.lib.overdrive.com&\
UUID****-****-****-****-************@library3.lib.overdrive.com
And then maps those to the appropriate links.
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post
@BetterRed, @davidfor, I tested importing the extra metadata via an opf file (which would be another easy solution as I could include all the extra data in the opf while extracting the attachments from the MR database), but it appears that calibre then erases part of the existing metadata.
@Alex - I admit to not testing in context of adding a format direct, I edited an existing OPF to put something in the custom column, added that to the library, and then I added the real format file - I suspect it worked because I used the 'get metadata from book' option in Preferences->Add Books.

That approach required me to remove the .opf file masquerading as a format file. But no matter, calibre invariably has more than one way to get the desired result - sometimes I wonder if too many ways

BR
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