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Old 10-07-2011, 01:56 PM   #1
KevinTMC has learned how to buy an e-book online
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Georgia, USA
Device: Kindle 3
Archiving periodicals to Calibre, &c.

Greetings all. Since purchasing my Kindle back in February, I've learned a fair bit from this forum...and hadn't bothered to register before now, as answers to all my questions were easily enough located with a little searching.

I'm a bit stumped today, though, so I thought I'd sign up here and ask. It's not a huge or convoluted issue, but I'm feeling chatty, so forgive me if I meander a bit.

I've subscribed to several magazines on my Kindle. (Having the latest issue of The Spectator delivered to me every week, instantly, as I'm lounging in my bedroom 4000 miles away from the presses in London, for $4.99 per month, still seems positively miraculous to me.) As a recovering periodical hoarder, I of course make liberal use of the "Keep This Issue" feature.

My Kindle 3 has, however, started running kind of pokey as I clog it with more and more content (836 items amounting to roughly 1GB, so far ), so I've decided that I really ought to treat Calibre as my primary digital library and archive, freely deleting content from my Kindle whenever I'm done reading it (or when it seems unlikely that I'll want to read or refer to an item anytime soon). As wonderful as the Kindle is as a reader, Calibre is so much better as a library, isn't it?

For books, this looks like it will work brilliantly--especially since I, being just a skosh OCD, am taking the opportunity to correct/improve/augment metadata, sort things into better Collections, and fix the odd book cover as I go along. (It boggles my mind that I'd need to do this even with paid content from the Kindle store...but not everyone's as persnickety as me, I suppose, not even when they publish books for a living.)

Periodicals seem to not work as smoothly. Since every issue of, say, The Spectator has the same title, Calibre seems to think they're all duplicates, and it assigns them all the same value under the Date column (i.e. the current date, as I just added them to my Calibre library all at once).

Yet my Kindle knows what the cover date is for each issue, so it must be in the metadata somewhere, yes? Is there any way to get Calibre to find this date automatically, or am I going to have to edit every single issue's metadata by hand?

And is there some way to convince Calibre that these are not, in fact, duplicate items? The biggest problem I have with that behavior is that, instead of getting a green checkmark in the On Device field for each issue--so I know at a glance which ones are on the Kindle and which are not--I get a checkmark, and "Main (33 books)" or suchlike, next to the top entry in the list, and nothing next to any of the others.

Oh, and finally, for those of you who have bothered to read this far: does anything above call out to you: "He's doing it wrong!" Any threads I should be sure to consult before tinkering and rearranging any further?
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:48 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Gosh... You bring up a lot of good questions. I really don't know the answer, so I hope others will help you.

One item that you could do in the meantime is treat the magazine as if it is a series (which they really are) and number each issue sequentially. That might make them appear as independent titles.

You might also simplify your question a bit and ask it over at the Calibre forum. I don't subscribe to Amazon's periodicals but I do use Calibre's news feeds and they do sort them independently. That date may be the key difference. I'm not at my computer at the moment to see if that is the case.

However, the Calibre people may have ideas on how to automate any changes you may need to make.
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