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Old 05-30-2010, 07:08 PM   #1
GlennMaples
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Flexible internal file structure and a Usability question

It looks like that one of the changes made in the past few months has been the construction of an abstraction layer that allows deviation from the "set" internal file structure in Calibre.

Question: if we can denote the storage structure as something like: {author_sort}/{title}/{title} - {authors}

is there any reason we cannot also allow people to specify the input format similarly (ala media monkey) when adding files? This would be a lot more user friendly than asking the average bibliophile to write regex expressions.

I also (think) I read in a thread that the DB only holds the metadata for .txt files. Is this true???

thanks
-glenn
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:23 PM   #2
kovidgoyal
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No you cannot change the internal file structure

Fell free to request a feature to allow placeholder based filename parsing

No it's not true
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennMaples View Post
It looks like that one of the changes made in the past few months has been the construction of an abstraction layer that allows deviation from the "set" internal file structure in Calibre.

Question: if we can denote the storage structure as something like: {author_sort}/{title}/{title} - {authors}

is there any reason we cannot also allow people to specify the input format similarly (ala media monkey) when adding files? This would be a lot more user friendly than asking the average bibliophile to write regex expressions.

I also (think) I read in a thread that the DB only holds the metadata for .txt files. Is this true???

thanks
-glenn
Think about the can of worms there would be if everyone had there own version of Calibre file structure
Who would unravel the changes needed to be applied after every update. (Hint: Not Kovid)

Kovid may have made an error, leaving any reference to the author or title in the file structure. Use of non-intelligent "Calibre Keys" for file names on the library manager would eliminate all these "problems" by requiring the intended use of the UI to transfer or read a filed book.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
GlennMaples
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Kovid --My mistake, and I know that this was a sensitive issue in the past so not trying to raise this issue again. But I did copy that code from the app and was surprised and thought if the code was already written for one interface it wouldn't take much to add it to another.

theducks -- This is exactly how it works in media monkey -- you can store all your music files using any file naming convention you like. Which means that your backups and restores (especially in case of a DB failure) are much easier as you can include all important metadata in the file names for re-importation. And a flexible naming convention allows MM to play nicer with other apps.

Great app guys.

-glenn
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:50 PM   #5
chaley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennMaples View Post
is there any reason we cannot also allow people to specify the input format similarly (ala media monkey) when adding files?
Hoping not to beat a dead horse:

One difference between audio files and ebooks is that all of the audio file formats of interest can (and do) store all metadata of interest within the file. When you change the metadata for a file in MediaMonkey, you change the music file, not the library. Ebooks do not, and in some cases cannot, store all metadata (consider txt files).

This fact means that although MediaMonkey (which I use) can recreate the library from the files no matter where the files are stored, calibre cannot. Because of this inconvenience, calibre must separate the metadata from the files, then choose some method to store the book files and stick to it. If it did not do this, then it would be incapable of presenting a unified user interface, and (perhaps more interestingly) knowing whether a given book format is in fact a copy of the given book.

If we could guarantee that all books were in a format that could store arbitrary metadata, then could guarantee that the metadata in the file followed the standards, then could guarantee that the metadata was complete, then we could avoid the fixed-path storage. Unfortunately, none of these three guarantees exist.
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