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Old 06-24-2018, 05:30 PM   #1
varaonaid
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Calibre conversion questions

Hi!

Sorry for the sort of generic title but I couldn't figure out how to distill my question to be short enough to work for the post title.

So, here's my situation. I have ebooks from different stores, Project Gutenberg, even a few really old MS Reader books, etc and therefore they are in all different formats. Some books are already in multiple formats per title but many are not. I don't want to overwrite any files which already exist in the correct format. So, is there a way to be able to get Calibre (either directly or via plugin) to be able to find and convert every mobi/azw3 book without, for example, an epub version already? And vice versa for epub missing mobi? Even if I could just search for these books first, then convert, rather than all in one step? I just mentioned these two formats to start with as they are the most prevalent and I know PDFs can be much more tricky to convert (and potentially dependent on what device you want to read it on for the most readable outcome). Plus, PDFs are somewhat more ecosystem agnostic than the epub/mobi (meaning that, for example, iOS cannot read mobi directly but can read PDF, and the same for other ebook apps or devices that can read primarily epub or mobi).

Also, I don't know if this is possible or even desirable, necessarily, but would it be possible to save multiple versions of a PDF file converted to mobi or epub that was correctly formatted for a particular device? From what I understand, Calibre can make a PDF converted book much more readable if you tell Calibre which device it's converting for. For instance, if I wanted to save files for viewing on a 9.7" or 10.5" iPad Pro with a second version setup for a 5.5-6" smartphone? I'm thinking if this was the case, it would probably be best organized by having a completely separate "Calibre Library" for each device size. The downside, of course, being that it would take up a lot of extra space. So, looking for an alternative option, can one have Calibre convert for the correct screen size "on the fly" so to speak, when accessing one's library via the internet and downloading to a device that way? I'm guessing no, but any thoughts about a viable alternative options would be brilliant.

Lastly, I read that there a "hack", so to speak, that allows any azw or azw3 file (non DRM'd) to be "converted" to mobi without actually doing the conversion with Calibre by simply changing the filename extension from azw/azw3 to mobi. Is this true? And is this something that Calibre can do in a batch job somehow? If so, how would I go about doing this? To be perfectly clear (and to ensure I am in full compliance with the forum rules! ), I am NOT asking how to remove the DRM from any files. Just how to batch rename any already DRM free azw or azw3 files to mobi for greater reader flexibility. If this info is in the Calibre help section already, could someone just point me to it (rather than having to re-explain it here)? I'm not sure what search queries I'd even be looking for.

I'm trying not to litter up the forums with multiple questions at the same time by asking these here. But if this is too long to practically get an answer, please let me know and I can split it up.

Thanks so much in advance!! Really looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
Rae
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varaonaid View Post
Sorry for the sort of generic title but I couldn't figure out how to distill my question to be short enough to work for the post title.

So, here's my situation. I have ebooks from different stores, Project Gutenberg, even a few really old MS Reader books, etc and therefore they are in all different formats. Some books are already in multiple formats per title but many are not. I don't want to overwrite any files which already exist in the correct format. So, is there a way to be able to get Calibre (either directly or via plugin) to be able to find and convert every mobi/azw3 book without, for example, an epub version already? And vice versa for epub missing mobi? Even if I could just search for these books first, then convert, rather than all in one step? I just mentioned these two formats to start with as they are the most prevalent and I know PDFs can be much more tricky to convert (and potentially dependent on what device you want to read it on for the most readable outcome). Plus, PDFs are somewhat more ecosystem agnostic than the epub/mobi (meaning that, for example, iOS cannot read mobi directly but can read PDF, and the same for other ebook apps or devices that can read primarily epub or mobi).
This is really: How can I find all books in my library that don't have a specific format?

In the tag browser, find the "Formats" entry. Expand this and find the format you are interested in. Click on it, the icon will change to a plus and calibre will show all the books with that format. Click on it again, the icon changes to a minus and calibre will show all the books that do not have that format.

You can also use ctrl-click to select more than one the format. If you look in the search bar as you do this, you can see the search that is created for you. There is an option near the bottom of the tag browser to change how multiple selections are handled - using using an "or" or an "and" to join the parts of the searches.

Once you have the list of books without the desired format, you can select them and do a conversion.
Quote:

I'm trying not to litter up the forums with multiple questions at the same time by asking these here. But if this is too long to practically get an answer, please let me know and I can split it up.
I think you would have been better to split them. The questions are not really related. Asking them separately will lead to more focussed discussion on each of them. And it is likely that someone will read the first part and decide they can't help so won't read the rest. And I can't help with them, though I'm not sure I understand the second question.
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Old 06-25-2018, 03:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varaonaid View Post
Lastly, I read that there a "hack", so to speak, that allows any azw or azw3 file (non DRM'd) to be "converted" to mobi without actually doing the conversion with Calibre by simply changing the filename extension from azw/azw3 to mobi. Is this true? And is this something that Calibre can do in a batch job somehow? If so, how would I go about doing this? To be perfectly clear (and to ensure I am in full compliance with the forum rules! ), I am NOT asking how to remove the DRM from any files. Just how to batch rename any already DRM free azw or azw3 files to mobi for greater reader flexibility. If this info is in the Calibre help section already, could someone just point me to it (rather than having to re-explain it here)? I'm not sure what search queries I'd even be looking for.
.azw files are of indeterminate format, and if in calibre are almost certainly still with DRM applied. They could be any of MOBI, KF8, Topaz, PDF or KFX.

.azw3 files are probably KF8 files, although they might be joint MOBI/KF8 files.

If the .azw file happens to be a DRM-free MOBI file, then just changing the file extension is all that's necessary.

If the .azw3 file happens to be a joint MOBI/KF8 file, then just changing the file extension to MOBI would allow older readers to see it.

But to actually convert formats, you need to do a conversion.
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:02 AM   #4
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@pdurrant - Is there some place folks can go to get a doctorate in Kindle Formats
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:12 AM   #5
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@pdurrant - Is there some place folks can go to get a doctorate in Kindle Formats
I've updated the WIKI a bit.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:44 PM   #6
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I use Ant Renamer when I need to rename multiple files, including the extensions.
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