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Old 07-27-2019, 06:31 AM   #1
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Covers dissapearing

From some time ago, I find that some covers from books bought in the kobo store are substituted by generic ones in the Initial page and in the library (not in the book itself).

After a synchronization, the original covers are recovered, but after a couple of power cycles (not with the first), they are lost again (with wifi off and then no synchronization at all).

Looking inside the thousand folders with covers, I am able to find them (not easy due to the strange name), but no way having them shown. Maybe something changed in the database, but I cannot guess what it is triggering this behaviour.

Curiously, in the PC Kobo application, when I hit "details" for the affected books in "my books" page, the following message appears:

"Sorry, this item is no longer available. You can look for other items by this author or about this topic using the search above."

It seems that the book is no longer available, although it is still in the kobo store .

Any help or ideas to solve this problem will be well received
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:32 AM   #2
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That means the edition of the book you bought is no longer available for sale from Kobo. You will still be able to download the book from your library in the store, or on the device. If you can still find the book in the store, it is probably a different edition. I have quite a few books from Kobo like this.

As to the covers on the device, I haven't seen that. But, I also have WiFi on all the time and it syncs whenever needed.

Loosing data on the Kobo devices after a power cycle, can be a sign of database corruption. I haven't heard of it affecting cover display, but the database stores an id for the cover image. If that is corrupted somehow, then the cover won't be displayed. But, if this was the case, I would expect that you would be missing other things such as losing the reading status. The database can be checked with any SQLite database manager, or with my Kobo Utilities plugin in calibre.
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
That means the edition of the book you bought is no longer available for sale from Kobo. You will still be able to download the book from your library in the store, or on the device. If you can still find the book in the store, it is probably a different edition. I have quite a few books from Kobo like this.

As to the covers on the device, I haven't seen that. But, I also have WiFi on all the time and it syncs whenever needed.

Loosing data on the Kobo devices after a power cycle, can be a sign of database corruption. I haven't heard of it affecting cover display, but the database stores an id for the cover image. If that is corrupted somehow, then the cover won't be displayed. But, if this was the case, I would expect that you would be missing other things such as losing the reading status. The database can be checked with any SQLite database manager, or with my Kobo Utilities plugin in calibre.
Thank you for the answer.

I supposed that if the book is available, the cover should be also downloaded.
I understand the matter of new editions, but I have now 8 books in this case, some not read and bought only a couple of weeks ago, and although is not a big deal, I like to see the covers when I look for a book.

About the database corruption, I expected it, but I recovered a backup when this was not a problem and it happened again.

Looking in the database for books bought in the kobo store is a nightmare as they are identified by an id no by its title as the sideloaded ones. Is there any trick to find them?
I would like to check where the cover points (the file) after the sync and after the cover is lost

Anyway, I am confused about what it is triggering the problem, as with a sync the cover is recovered, but after some time it is lost again without any event that can be related to a change in the database (e.g. the book has not been opened in this time) .

No other issues about reading position or other data stored in the data base for the affected books. Only the change of the cover by a generic one.

It is a small nuisance, but I would like to know why it is doing that.

By the way, it never happened with a sideloaded book ...

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Old 07-27-2019, 08:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JIPG-reader View Post
Thank you for the answer.

I supposed that if the book is available, the cover should be also downloaded.
I understand the matter of new editions, but I have now 8 books in this case, some not read and bought only a couple of weeks ago, and although is not a big deal, I like to see the covers when I look for a book.
I checked a few books that I have like this. They all show the covers on my devices.
Quote:
About the database corruption, I expected it, but I recovered a backup when this was not a problem and it happened again.
This can work, but, it depends on how old the backup was. And what changed in between. I wouldn't expect the ids for covers for purchased books to change, but, it isn't something I have really checked.
Quote:
Looking in the database for books bought in the kobo store is a nightmare as they are identified by an id no by its title as the sideloaded ones. Is there any trick to find them?
I would like to check where the cover points (the file) after the sync and after the cover is lost
The book is described by the row in the content table with "contentType=6". The column "Title" is what I usually use when searching for a book. The "ImageId" is used as part of the filename of the covers. You will need to do a search to find the actual file. My Kobo Utilities plugin does have a function to open the directory holding the cover image for any book on the device. You can use this to check if the cover image is on the disk when it disappears, and what it now looks like.
Quote:
Anyway, I am confused about what it is triggering the problem, as with a sync the cover is recovered, but after some time it is lost again without any event that can be related to a change in the database (e.g. the book has not been opened in this time) .

No other issues about reading position or other data stored in the data base for the affected books. Only the change of the cover by a generic one.
If the database isn't being corrupted, then I don't know. If it was something that happened after a while of use, I would suspect it was memory leak or other bug triggering the loss. But, unless the database is being updated, the image id should be recovered after the power cycle. Otherwise, something would have to be removing the actual file.
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
I checked a few books that I have like this. They all show the covers on my devices.

This can work, but, it depends on how old the backup was. And what changed in between. I wouldn't expect the ids for covers for purchased books to change, but, it isn't something I have really checked.

The book is described by the row in the content table with "contentType=6". The column "Title" is what I usually use when searching for a book. The "ImageId" is used as part of the filename of the covers. You will need to do a search to find the actual file. My Kobo Utilities plugin does have a function to open the directory holding the cover image for any book on the device. You can use this to check if the cover image is on the disk when it disappears, and what it now looks like.

If the database isn't being corrupted, then I don't know. If it was something that happened after a while of use, I would suspect it was memory leak or other bug triggering the loss. But, unless the database is being updated, the image id should be recovered after the power cycle. Otherwise, something would have to be removing the actual file.
Thank you for all this information.

I will try with your proposals.
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:53 PM   #6
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I have checked the database following your advice and the cover id in the database is not in the folder .kobo.images.

In the backup I have from a time the book was OK, the cover id is different and it is in the folder .kobo.images.

In the actual database it is the cover id that was pointed in the old database


Therefore, in the moment the book is not longer available in the kobo store, something is changed in the database after a sync, and the cover disappears (but the question is: why it reappears briefly after a sync?.

Is it relevant the subfolder where the cover file is?. I have not found any reference to them (e.g .kobo.images/250/4).

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Old 07-28-2019, 06:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
I checked a few books that I have like this. They all show the covers on my devices.

This can work, but, it depends on how old the backup was. And what changed in between. I wouldn't expect the ids for covers for purchased books to change, but, it isn't something I have really checked.

The book is described by the row in the content table with "contentType=6". The column "Title" is what I usually use when searching for a book. The "ImageId" is used as part of the filename of the covers. You will need to do a search to find the actual file. My Kobo Utilities plugin does have a function to open the directory holding the cover image for any book on the device. You can use this to check if the cover image is on the disk when it disappears, and what it now looks like.

If the database isn't being corrupted, then I don't know. If it was something that happened after a while of use, I would suspect it was memory leak or other bug triggering the loss. But, unless the database is being updated, the image id should be recovered after the power cycle. Otherwise, something would have to be removing the actual file.
Well, finally I have solved the problem with the covers .

I expect it will survive after next syncs (I have done one, without losing the covers ...).

Basically, it seems that when a book (edition?) is not longer available in the kobo store, an update is done to the database (KoboReader.sqlite) during a sync, and the pointer to the cover is changed with and id that does not exist. Nevertheless, the image with the previous cover still exists with the old id within the folder .kobo-images.

I have opened the database of an old backup which has not the problem and looking for the book title in the field "Title" (NOT in the field "BookTitle", this was my mistake), I identified the old cover id (in the field "ImageId") and copied it to the actual database ImageId field for the corresponding book (looking for the title again in the field Title, not BookTitle). By the way, check that the entry you are changing has a field contentType=6. Other entries of the same book has different numbers (e.g. 9 or 899).

Saving the changes, I have now the covers still "alive" after some power cycles

As always, if someone try this, first make a backup of the content of the memory or at least of the database KoboReader.sqlite.

And finally, thank you to davidfor for his hints to solve the problem.
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Old 07-28-2019, 08:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIPG-reader View Post
Well, finally I have solved the problem with the covers .

I expect it will survive after next syncs (I have done one, without losing the covers ...).

Basically, it seems that when a book (edition?) is not longer available in the kobo store, an update is done to the database (KoboReader.sqlite) during a sync, and the pointer to the cover is changed with and id that does not exist. Nevertheless, the image with the previous cover still exists with the old id within the folder .kobo-images.
All I can say is that this isn't an issue for me. While I haven't looked at every book that has stopped being sold by Kobo, I haven't noticed any missing covers. And for everyone I have looked at, the cover is there with no issues. I don't track the various ids, so I have no idea if they have changed over time.
Quote:
I have opened the database of an old backup which has not the problem and looking for the book title in the field "Title" (NOT in the field "BookTitle", this was my mistake), I identified the old cover id (in the field "ImageId") and copied it to the actual database ImageId field for the corresponding book (looking for the title again in the field Title, not BookTitle). By the way, check that the entry you are changing has a field contentType=6. Other entries of the same book has different numbers (e.g. 9 or 899).
Which is what I said in my post. I have a very good understanding of most of the database.
Quote:
Saving the changes, I have now the covers still "alive" after some power cycles

As always, if someone try this, first make a backup of the content of the memory or at least of the database KoboReader.sqlite.

And finally, thank you to davidfor for his hints to solve the problem.
That is very unlikely to survive a sync. I have fiddled with the data in the database for purchased books before and it is always "fixed" by a sync. I'm pretty sure that on the next sync, the cover ids will change again.

Three things you could try are:
  • Remove the book from the device, and download it again. This might force an update.
  • Remove the book from "My Books". This removes it from the device and puts it in the archive. Then restore the book and let it download again. This will force an update for the book.
  • Use "Repair account" that is on the Device info page of the settings. This will check and update as necessary everything for the books. If there are problems like you are seeing, it should fix them.

The covers are stored on akamai servers. If you want to fetch/check an individual cover, you can. The URL looks like:

Code:
http://kbimages1-a.akamaihd.net/a7511e44-7dd2-4334-a188-003611d34c07/353/569/80/False/cover.jpg
That is the imageId for the book. The next two numbers are the resolution. Those are the size used used the book details page. The full book size is the same as the screen resolution. The "80" appears to be a quality, "False" for colour or "True" for greyscale and the name doesn't matter. That is the for one of the books that I have that Kobo has since stopped selling. The covers show up fine on the device. And I did the second of the above checks to make sure they didn't disappear.
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
All I can say is that this isn't an issue for me. While I haven't looked at every book that has stopped being sold by Kobo, I haven't noticed any missing covers. And for everyone I have looked at, the cover is there with no issues. I don't track the various ids, so I have no idea if they have changed over time.

Which is what I said in my post. I have a very good understanding of most of the database.


That is very unlikely to survive a sync. I have fiddled with the data in the database for purchased books before and it is always "fixed" by a sync. I'm pretty sure that on the next sync, the cover ids will change again.

Three things you could try are:
  • Remove the book from the device, and download it again. This might force an update.
  • Remove the book from "My Books". This removes it from the device and puts it in the archive. Then restore the book and let it download again. This will force an update for the book.
  • Use "Repair account" that is on the Device info page of the settings. This will check and update as necessary everything for the books. If there are problems like you are seeing, it should fix them.

The covers are stored on akamai servers. If you want to fetch/check an individual cover, you can. The URL looks like:

Code:
http://kbimages1-a.akamaihd.net/a7511e44-7dd2-4334-a188-003611d34c07/353/569/80/False/cover.jpg
That is the imageId for the book. The next two numbers are the resolution. Those are the size used used the book details page. The full book size is the same as the screen resolution. The "80" appears to be a quality, "False" for colour or "True" for greyscale and the name doesn't matter. That is the for one of the books that I have that Kobo has since stopped selling. The covers show up fine on the device. And I did the second of the above checks to make sure they didn't disappear.
David, you are an encyclopedia! .

I will take a look on akamai servers, but up to now, after 3 syncs, the covers are still there , so I prefer not to fiddle with the options to repair the account or to load again the book (I did it as you mention with a couple of books and I lost all statistics ).

By the way, I can confirm that this problem happened only for all my books that are no longer available. As soon as one is not available, the cover disappears.

Anyway, thank you again for all the data you have provided that has been the key to solve (at least at the moment) the problem

If they are lost again, I think that other possibility is to change the name of the old covers with the new ImageId.

Edit: I have checked the new ImageIds (the ones that are not in the ebook) in akamai servers and voila, they are there ...

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Old 07-29-2019, 10:44 AM   #10
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Having said all that, I finished a book on the way home and when looking for something else to read. I searched for a book because of a discussion at work, found it, but it didn't have a cover. That was on the Aura ONE. I had the Clara HD and it was the same. I've just finished looking at it, and I don't know why. The book is still available at Kobo. It has been on the device since November last year. I purchased it about two years ago. Checking the image URL was able to fetch the cover. I haven't tried the other things I mentioned to see if that fixes it yet.

I'll probably experiment a bit more before I do this. But, it seems to be a problem for multiple devices, so I can probably try several times. But...

Just tried the Aura H2O. Again, when I found the book via search, cover wasn't there. But, WiFi was enabled and after a few seconds, the cover appeared.

This is probably a different scenario. It's likely that something stopped the cover download before. Probably WiFi dropping out or me stopping the sync at some time. And until now, nothing triggered the need for the cover and hence it wasn't downloaded. I'll have to experiment a bit more and see if I can find a pattern.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:17 AM   #11
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It sounds very similar to my case: Books not available (but available!) at kobo store, covers not in the reader, and they re-appears after (maybe) a "silent" sync ...

Do you still have the covers after a power cycle (without a new sync)?
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:09 PM   #12
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Hello @davidfor, I have a different problem with cover: I bought a book from Kobo and I can see the cover only when I have WI FI enabled. After disabled WI FI cover disappears if I turn off or make sleep Kobo when I turn on it again.

OK this is just a curiosity and it is not very important, but it is a little strange.

I bought many books from Kobo and this is the only one which has that strange behavior.

The book is "Metamorfosi, Publio Ovidio Nasone" Latin and Italian version, ISBN: 9788811147404
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ps67 View Post
Hello @davidfor, I have a different problem with cover: I bought a book from Kobo and I can see the cover only when I have WI FI enabled. After disabled WI FI cover disappears if I turn off or make sleep Kobo when I turn on it again.

OK this is just a curiosity and it is not very important, but it is a little strange.

I bought many books from Kobo and this is the only one which has that strange behavior.

The book is "Metamorfosi, Publio Ovidio Nasone" Latin and Italian version, ISBN: 9788811147404
And I just turned WiFi off and looked at the book I was looking at yesterday. No cover now. Turn WiFi and make sure it connects (the Aura ONE and the modem don't always like each other) and a few seconds later, the cover arrives. But, when I checked, it isn't stored.

I'll have to do some experimenting. And I ran the repair account on one of the other devices last night. I'll have to see what it has.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:52 AM   #14
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@davidfor: FWIW, I vaguely recall seeing such a case of weird cover flipping before, too.

Never actually looked into it, but it was with a store bought and store pulled book, IIRC.
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:06 PM   #15
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I've had this problem on and off for awhile. Through more than one firmware. I did write about it in one of the firmware threads. But no one responded to it at all, iirc. It still happens now, but I just decided to ignore it. I tried repair account and various other methods to trigger a proper download of the cover, but it never had a long-lasting effect. If I connect to wi-fi, I get the cover to show, otherwise, it disappears (not always immediately) and won't return until I connect to wifi (and sometimes do something, such as sync). At least initially, it wasn't a case of the books being no longer available, as some were just bought. It seems to happen to certain books, but it almost seems like other books "catch it", since books that didn't have the problem, suddenly had their covers disappear (I *think* when I started reading them and they were then on the home page, but I may be misremembering that)

edit: oh and these are bought books (mostly, if not all) and all kepubs, downloaded from kobo, not sideloaded (tho I have those too, I think they were all direct from kobo versions)
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