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Topic: Calibre tips and tricks..

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Subject: Calibre tips and tricks..
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,493
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I need them. I'm having a hard time figuring this program out. I go into it and seem to bog down. Anyone (MARILYN) use it on a regular basis and can give some hints?

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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I'm far from an expert and in fact just uninstalled it. I don't know whether the last update was buggy or if I got a bad install, but I can't get the ____ thing to work for toffee lately. We might have to shout out to Cindy, I think it is? 

I just uninstalled it and I'm going to let my computer rest and relax for a little bit, catch its breath, and then see what I can find out. You know how sometimes software just doesn't download properly and it's best to start over fresh. I think that's where I am. I wish, to tell you the truth, that I could find the old program from a year or two ago. It didn't have a lot of bells and whistles, very plain vanilla, but I happen to like plain vanilla. I never had a minute's trouble with the older versions. It's always possible that I'm quietly losing my mind, too. :-/  I may email the developer, who is said to be an remarkably nice guy, to see if he still has the old version, the Safe-For-Granny version. 

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 8:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,493
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Marilyn, you totally crack me up! OK< so its not just me. Although I have not had it do wierd things, I m just not sure what its supposed to do (other than convert non-DRM protected ebooks).

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,442
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I haven't had any problems with Calibre at all.

Kathy, Calibre lets you organize your ebook collection!  I just love it.  I can create my own tags for my ebooks to categorize them however I want to.   If you have ebooks in a series, you can note that also.  The series name and what # the book is in the series.  You can put the book descripion in Calibre too so when you click on the name, you can read a synopsis of it.  You can rate your ebooks with a star system.  Convert your ebooks from one format to another.  Sometimes an ebook I purchase isn't available in EPUB format so I get it in PDF and use Calibre to convert it to EPUB.

Best of all, when I transfer my ebooks from Calibre to my Sony reader, the categories and collections are on my Sony for me automatically.  Once they're on my Sony, I can browse them by author or title or category or series.  Oh, and when I hook up my Sony, Calibre will tell me which of my ebooks are on my device and which are not.  Very helpful when you have over 250 ebooks.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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Maybe there is still a version before the last update online somewhere. Marilyn said that one worked. I'll look for you gals tomorrow.

If you still have that one downloaded to your pc somewhere, re-install that one.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Older versions of Calibre are available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/calibre/files/  I may try to download one of the older versions this weekend when I have a minute to think. This is the first version that hasn't worked like a charm for me. It's normally very user-friendly, and you just have to kind of dink around with it and play to see what all it does. I have so much non-Amazon stuff on my Kindle that it's been very helpful to let me change the metadata so I don't have titles like "9740923284306" showing up, and it lets you correct the author's name (sometimes Amazon or other sites get them backwards on some downloads, and it's annoying to have to look under L for Louisa May Alcott's books.) 

What I did when I first got it was to download a freebie from Gutenberg and play with it. I wasn't out anything if I messed it up, and I was pretty sure I wasn't going to start WWIII if I hit the wrong button, having failed to do that the first time I had to operate a microwave oven. 

There are some decent YouTube videos on running Calibre. The developer has one video that I know of that walks you through some of the steps and features. If you don't mind an Indian/Pakistani accent, he's quite clear. [Apologies for being too ignorant to be able to tell the difference in the accents or to be able to tell by his name.] 

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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I just call them the "overseas accent" now, from hearing them so much whenever I have to call customer service. :lmao:

Date Posted: 1/6/2011 5:37 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,493
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Marilyn, which version did you have that was giving you trouble? Mine is telling me to update, but I'm hesitant to do it because so far, Im not having problems with it (at least that I know of).

Date Posted: 1/6/2011 7:07 AM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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I *think* it was 7.21, and looking around the internet, it looks like it might have been a bit buggy. I would imagine the the newest is just fine. Again, it may have just been a bad download. My internet connection, while cable, is uncertain at the best of times, and can stutter with a gust of wind or sunspot activity, or I dunno, maybe it gets cramps. 

EveDallas, I like "overseas accent" and am now adopting that term! 

Date Posted: 1/6/2011 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,442
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The newest update took forever to download!  Like 15 minutes.  I haven't installed it yet.  Usually updates take like 30 seconds.

Date Posted: 1/6/2011 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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That does not sound good. You don't have to install the latest updates if your current version of any software is working fine. The only exceptions woud be a Windows update, that is designed to stop viruses & hackers.

I still haven't installed the latest update for Firefox. Other people reported it as buggy. I get a pop up box allerting me every day, and I just click it closed.

I accidentally never got around to another previous update and missed a whole version. I finally installed the update after that.

I also don't like to install patches onto an existing version. That seems to be where the most problems happen. I prefer to uninstall the whole software, get the lastest version, and start with a clean install. This is why I missed one whole version of Firefox. I never got around to uninstalling and installing the next version.



Last Edited on: 1/6/11 12:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/6/2011 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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What kind of problems is every one having? I have .07.37 installed and it's working fine for me.

Not that it always does. Sometimes a new version will break something, and then there will be a fix in a few days. I've had to back up one version once in a while myself. Especially when the server stopped working.

I've just gone completey to Calibre recently, and learned how to make several seperate libraries. I also have a Sony, in case that makes a difference in how I can help.

I'm always learning something new with it, and am still a beginner, but I don't mind trying to help.

Date Posted: 1/7/2011 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Here's a couple of tips about Calibre I just learned recently.

1) Best of all, when I transfer my ebooks from Calibre to my Sony reader, the categories and collections are on my Sony for me automatically.

If you find that there are just too many collections on your Sony because it's creating a collection for ever series you have and not just the personal tags, you can tell the program to not have the Sony consider 'series' as a collection.

Go to [Preferences] to [Plugins] to [Device Interface plugins] and scroll down to find [Sony Device Interface]. Make sure it's selected, then click "Customize plugin".  A screen with choices on what files to have available, how to sort author sort, to use sub directories, the save template and how the Sony lists 'collections'.

At the bottome you'll see a text box that says, "Series, tags". That means the Sony will include your series information along with your personal tags in the 'collections' information on the device itself. Leave everything else alone (unless you want to play with it, I'm not sure what all it does right now) and just remove 'Series'. then hit 'okay' and back out. Restart the program

When you load your books on the Sony it will then only make collections out of your Tags. I've got a ton of fanfic, a lot in series, and I had over 800 collections on the Sony. I dropped down to just my personal Tags, and came down to 160 collections. And I've found the Sony indexes a lot faster without having to rebuild all those collections over and over.

There's a list of various device plug-ins under [Device Interface], some will let you customize the setting for your machine. I wouldn't change anything I didn't understand, but it might be worth taking a peek to see what your choices are, and then do more research.

 

Date Posted: 1/7/2011 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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2) I can make various libraries! (This may be obvious, but I'm slow on the up-take at times. ; )

I'd just been using Calibre to convert and upload books to my Sony, (And Iphone and Ipad through the server) but hadn't been keeping a library on it. I have a massive amount of fanfic, and unless I could keep all my freebies, my purchases and fanfic all in one spot I decided not to load it all. I've found Calibre gets a bit slow over 2,000 entries.

But someone tipped me in on how to make seperate libraries. So I can keep them all in Calibre, but cut them up into seperate libraries to keep them more manageable.

Go to the top where you see the leaning books. Click on the small triangle next to it and go to [Switch/Create Library] Give it the new location for this new library, and if you want to start an empty library there, move the current one to that location, or use a library that's already there but that Calibre didn't know about. You'll be asked to name it at one point.

Then Calibre will open a new library. And you can do a [Quick Switch] from the same tab to switch from one library to another, and it's dead easy to move your books from one to another. Just sort them out, mark them in bulk and right click. You'll see various things you can do with the books, and one is to move them to a new library. You can either copy them to the new library or move them and delete them out of the old one.

I now have all my books and fanfic entered into eight different libraries, and it's a lot easier now. I can make changes to a book/story and not have to worry about saving it to disk for long-term storage. The book/story stay in Calibre, and I can see what I have without having to search my files.

Very Handy!

 

Date Posted: 1/7/2011 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,493
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Cindy,

I copied a book file from my Kindle to my PC so I could categorize it on Calibre. Calibre "sees" it on my computer but doesn't "see it on my Kindle (because the book was downloaded to the Kindle, not the computer). There is no green check mark indicating that it is on the device (like my other books).

It doesn't need coversion.

The version of Calibre I have doesn't "see" Kindle 3 (but will transfer books to my Kindle 3). I have 7.12. Should I upgrade to 7.37?

Date Posted: 1/7/2011 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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The version of Calibre I have doesn't "see" Kindle 3 (but will transfer books to my Kindle 3). I have 7.12. Should I upgrade to 7.37?

It probably wouldn't hurt, but hard for me to say since I don't buy Sony books from the Sony store and then take them off the Sony. All my stuff starts as individual computer files. So I'm of limited help here.

Is the file DRM'd? (password locked?) Could be that's a problem?

When I make changes to files, sometimes on the next sync with the Sony the book doesn't show as being on my Calibre library, yet on the Sony it shows a copy. In those cases I've changed the file enough that Calibre doesn't recognize them as the same file, so there's no "On Device" mark. If you go back on to the kindle and find the file, and mark it "Add Books To Library", do you then have two copies on Calibre?

If so, then keep the second one, the one that shows up on both. If that's the unconverted copy, then it may be that copy is DRM'd and you can't change any of the info on the file. It won't 'take' and let you copy it back. So you just have the original on the Kindle and no real matching copy in Calibre.

 

 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 1/8/2011 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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I may go back to Mobipocket Creator. It doesn't do nearly as many things as Calibre does, but maybe that's not always a bad thing for a old bat like me. Simple is best when you don't know what the heck you're doing. :-)  All I do with Calibre really is change metadata and convert, so a simpler program is probably better for me. Less opportunities for PEBCAK. 

Date Posted: 1/8/2011 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,272
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I like Calibre for its news features.  It will cull stories from a variety of newspapers and magazines from around the world and format them for reading on your ereader.  You can schedule it to download the stories every day at a certain time.  I do it in the middle of the night since it is slo, then upload everything to my Nook on mornings when I anticipate having some time to read at work. 

Date Posted: 1/9/2011 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,493
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OK, so I am slowly figuring this out. My previous issue somehow resolved-Calibre now "sees" all the books on my Kindle (oh and I did upgrade to the current version),, and if I right click on the book (after displaying them by clicking on the 'device' button), then it gives me an easy option to "add to library".

baby steps.