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Old 02-11-2018, 03:41 AM   #1
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Still syncing questions

I am still confused after reading many, quite different, suggestions about using Calibre on different devices. Many posting are quite old. So, what is the current best practice?

I use Calibre on my Windows 10 desktop where I do all the maintenance of my library.
I want to have my Calibre library available on at least two other devices: a Windows 10 tablet and an Android Phone while traveling. I would like to have all books accessible when traveling.

I am thinking of have the standard Calibre Library on my desktop and using MS One Drive to store a copy of the library. Is that a good idea or is it better to store the original Calibre library on One Drive (remember my slow and expensive internet connection).

If I store a copy of the Calibre Library on One Drive: how to I ensure that it is updated when I use Calibre to maintain the original library?

How do I use Calibre on my tablet? Install Calibre and tell it the library is on One Drive?

How do I use Calibre on my Android phone? Do I need Calibre Companion, CalibreBox, Calibre-Go or ??? I would like to be able to search the Calibre library for books of a specific author, or based on genre, ... Which is the best solution?

Thanks for any concrete ideas.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:44 AM   #2
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I start Calibre on my desktop from a shell script instead of from the binary. This makes it possible to run/fork some commands before and after Calibre is run.

I use this to update snapshots of my Calibre libraries on my NAS, using rsync, every time Calibre is started. This is very fast since I only delete (before calibre) old snapshots and only changes to the library has to be written (after calibre) to the new snapshot. And rsync is smart enough to use links to existing copies of files instead of copying over new copies. So each snapshot looks and smells like a full copy of the calibre libraries but takes up very little space. Instead of a NAS a separate folder or external HD could be used. Perhaps networked.

In my Calibre libraries I tag the books I want to have on my reading devices. Then, when I want to add (new) books to my devices, I just connect to a folder on my NAS and write the books to that folder from Calibre, just as if the folder was a device. Again this is fast because only changes have to be written.

On my Android devices I manually run the sync app FolderSync to update the books on the device from the folder on the NAS. This could be automated, but I never bothered. I use the functionality of the Android reading app to browse.

So the flow is strictly one way. From desktop Calibre to NAS to device. I don't bother with syncing reading positions. And snapshots as backups. And I don't bother with cloud storage. This means that errors can't creep back upstream to the main Calibre libraries. And I never open libraries in Calibre from anything but a local unshared HD.

Once I also used to run a Calibre content server, but I rarely used it. I am considering starting to use this again, it has been updated and seems very powerful now, with reading directly from a browser... It might streamline things a lot. I have to build a new NAS first so I can run the content server on that.

Some books (must read now!) I handle manually and read before I store them in calibre at all. Magazines and some new purchases. I upload a copy of the new books to an "Incoming" folder on the NAS as soon as possible for future addition to the calibre libraries.

If I used cloud storage I would put the latest snapshot on the NAS in the cloud.

I use Linux, but I think all of this is possible to do in Windows as well.

Last edited by Adoby; 02-11-2018 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:10 AM   #3
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I have my Calibre library on my PC and my Surface tablet. The main library is in Dropbox and I use FreeFileSync for syncing. I also keep several back-up copies and regularly run Library Maintenance, just in case. Sometimes Dropbox makes conflicted copies of a few files (mostly the database file) and that must be fixed asap. OneDrive had the same problem when I still used it. I always have the syncing stopped while Calibre is open, so I have no idea why these conflicted copies happen. But it's a minor annoyance if you check regularly.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:11 AM   #4
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For the Android phone, Calibre Companion is the best solution.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:32 AM   #5
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Ask 10 users and you'll get 20 answers...

True syncing is a problems with calibre. Its database is not multi-user compatible, and by "user" that means AI daemons (e.g. file syncing processes, ...) as well.

Many users do fine with most cloud services, but it is essential that you:
  • Disable all syncing before launching calibre to do anything. Only re-enable syncing after existing all calibre apps.
    Keep an un-synced backup copy of the library
    Use a cloud service that accepts any and all filenaming characters and lengths that are supported on the OS you use for calibre. Historically, Google Drive fails this criteria.

I only use two devices so my "syncing" is less of an issue and I find no need for cloud storage. I have calibre installed on both with my primary calibre library on my Windows 10 tablet. I copy this to my desktop periodically to "sync" the two. I do true library management on the tablet only, either using a bluetooth keyboard and mouse or remote controlling it from my desktop using TeamViewer.

When I acquire a new book that needs massaging and/or conversion, I usually to that on my desktop, adding it to the library there. I then do a Save to Disk to export the book (all formats) to a holding folder which is periodically copied to a complimentary folder on my tablet using a local network share. I can then Add the book to my "master" library on the tablet.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:03 PM   #6
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Thanks

Thanks for the many useful replies. I think I will first start by using Onedrive.
Is it correct I can just open Calibre and move the library to Onedrive. Is it simple as that?

BTW: does Onedrive not do automatic syncing? Or may Onedrive miss some changes and not sync them?
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:03 AM   #7
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I would recommend that you instead start with setting up a robust system to backup (and restore) your calibre library locally. Especially if you intend to store your library in a networked/shared/cloud folder.

You should also research what guarantees there are for the cloud storage service you want to use. Most likely you will find that there are very limited guarantees, if any, and that you are recommended to always have a local backup.

It could be a very good idea to set up your solution so that glitches, errors or lost files in the cloud or on other connected devices don't propagate automatically to the main local library.

Last edited by Adoby; 02-12-2018 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:04 AM   #8
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Backup OK

Quote:
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I would recommend that you instead start with setting up a robust system to backup (and restore) your calibre library locally. Especially if you intend to store your library in a networked/shared/cloud folder.

You should also research what guarantees there are for the cloud storage service you want to use. Most likely you will find that there are very limited guarantees, if any, and that you are recommended to always have a local backup.

It could be a very good idea to set up your solution so that glitches, errors or lost files in the cloud or on other connected devices don't propagate automatically to the main local library.
I already have on the build-in hard disk the Calibre Library and a backup, plus an additional backup on a separate hard disk. I intend to keep these synced with a manual sync by the Goodsync app.

So, I guess it is save to move my Calibre library to Onedrive.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:46 PM   #9
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Calibre on both Desktop and tablet work fine now with the library on Onedrive.

I am still trying to download the whole library on my Samsung phone. Onedrive seems to only do off line folders if I buy the premium version. I dont want to buy software where I have to pay every year, so, I am still looking how to force Onedrive to download everything on my phone
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Roshni Patel View Post
Use Android device as it is the perfect solution.
Sorry, I dont understand. I am using a Samsung S8 which is an android device. I use Onedrive on this phone, but Onedrive does not dowload all the files. It only download a specific required file.

Since I want to read books while traveling (no internet connection in plane) I would like to have my whole Calibre Library download on my phone
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:26 AM   #11
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I assume that you have wifi? Then you can either use Calibre Companion on your phone to connect to calibre, and download books, or just copy files over wifi from a shared folder on your PC using a file manager on the phone.

You can use Calibre to save the books to a folder tree structured with folders like genre, author and series or whatever you like. And then copy over the whole folder tree to the phone. It is possible to treat the folder tree like a device, then you can just update it and afterwards sync to it from your phone.

A sync app on the phone can simplify things a lot. It can be used for more than ebooks. You use it to sync a folder tree on the phone with a folder tree on your PC. Or the other way around. Or both at the same time. I use "FolderSync".

Or you can save the books to a USB-stick. And plug the stick into the phone and copy that way. You may need an OTG-adapter or a stick with contacts for both PC and your phone.

Most likely there are many other ways to get the books to your phone.
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:45 AM   #12
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I use "FolderSync".
Me too, been using it since it was Cheetah Sync.

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Old 02-16-2018, 04:54 AM   #13
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I am trying foldersync now. If it works well can i stop using onedrive on my phone? Or does foldersync use onedrive on the phone? I think it connects directly to onedrive in the cloud. Is that correct?
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:00 AM   #14
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FolderSync does have support for OneDrive, but I never tried it. If you do try it, please report back here if it works fine or there are problems.

You don't have to use OneDrive, it is just one of several server types FolderSync can attach to. I use FolderSync to attach to a NAS. You can use it to attach to a shared folder on your PC. Then there is no need for OneDrive, unless you want to use it for backup purposes or something.

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Old 02-16-2018, 07:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
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FolderSync does have support for OneDrive, but I never tried it. If you do try it, please report back here if it works fine or there are problems.

You don't have to use OneDrive, it is just one of several server types FolderSync can attach to. I use FolderSync to attach to a NAS. You can use it to attach to a shared folder on your PC. Then there is no need for OneDrive, unless you want to use it for backup purposes or something.
Thanks for the information. FOldersync is still syncing (slow internet here in Indonesia)/ When finished I will try to add book on my Desktop and see if the change is automatically synced to tablet and phone. I will also try to modify metadata and see if that change is also automatically synced.

When everything works I will make a small kind of user guide that might be added to sticky notes maybe
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