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Author Topic: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?  (Read 4276 times)

Offline Mr. Greyfox

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Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« on: September 27, 2011, 02:54 PM »
Another post got me thinking about how I add/change book covers to files.  Currently I add the cover to the metadata in Calibre, then convert to [my favorite format] (whether or not it's already in that format), making sure to select "remove first image" under "Structure detection."

Is there a better way?  Perhaps some method to inject the cover without having to reconvert the book?
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Offline Mr. Greyfox

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Offline Anngee1119

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Re: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 05:36 PM »
OK, I have been using Calibre for about 6 months and have no idea what you are talking about. Either you are making this too hard or I am. ;-) For a book that I have in any format, I will go to that book and click on the download metadata button. This usually brings up a current book cover and a summery, then I click on OK and convert to any format I want. Or I can convert formats then download metadata. As long as I click on OK my covers don't change.
Am I doing this the hard way? I have not had a problem with book covers changing.
I admit that Calibre has many more features than I use, though.
 

Offline Mr. Greyfox

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Re: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 06:15 PM »
Perhaps it's format specific...
When I add a mobi file to Calibre (to later be used on m Kindle) then update the meta information and cover, it only changes the cover.jpg file shown in Calibre. It does not actually change the book cover; the book still has the old or missing cover when I transfer it to my Kindle.

Maybe I'm missing something...
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Offline flipflop

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Re: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2011, 07:34 PM »
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Perhaps it's format specific...
When I add a mobi file to Calibre (to later be used on m Kindle) then update the meta information and cover, it only changes the cover.jpg file shown in Calibre. It does not actually change the book cover; the book still has the old or missing cover when I transfer it to my Kindle.

Maybe I'm missing something...

No, this happens with the Nook Color, too. Took me FOREVER to figure out why the covers were not showing up in the screen properly. I must also convert epub to epub and add in the jpeg cover. Annoying... but since I am OCD about the covers, it must be done  :P
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Offline Mr. Greyfox

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Re: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2011, 08:09 PM »
@dansonya - So, just to make sure I understand you correctly... When you change a book cover using the Edit MetaData tool in Calibre, you can then open it on your device and the cover shows ON THE DEVICE? Hum... I tried updating an ePub cover that way in Calibre just now and then opened the book in Sigil to see if any changes were made.  ... I found no changes - i appears to be only a change to the Calibre database. 

I wonder, are you using calibre to transfer the file to your device? Maybe there's an on-the-fly update or something...

@flipflop - Thank you. I'm not going crazy! And so far I still can't find any other way. Funny, I was just saying how OCD I am about covers ;)
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Offline DaNs0nYa

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Re: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 08:38 PM »
I went in and looked at it, and apparently it doesn't.  I guess I was wrong.  How did I not ever notice this before???? Not only does it not change it on devices, but whatever program I am using on my computer won't recognize the cover either.  It only shows up in the calibre program.  Great, now you've given me something else to obsess over, lol.  I just updated Calibre today.

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Offline Anngee1119

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Re: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2011, 09:17 PM »
OK I think I am still lost. I download metadata and my covers don't change when i change formats. I transfer books to my e-reader and the covers transfer too and are the same as on my Calibre...is it not that way on other ereaders?
I am really freaky about my metadata and covers so I am not sure that I am having this problem.

Unfortunately my only problem is that i cant transfer the "summaries" to my ereader so when i have 4 or 5 books in a series, I never know which comes next or what the book is about.
 

Offline jessadia

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Re: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2011, 10:06 PM »
I must say I have never had a problem with the covers sticking...and i use a variety of ways to get my books where i want them...almost every way possible as I am totally OCD about making sure I have the books i want to read on every available book reading device i own,  but i was using the older version of Calibre. just updated today and have not tested any new conversions out. i do, however, usually always convert to epub first and then if needed, convert back to .mobi or .lit depending on where i want the file. maybe the problem is the file format? try converting to epub then back to wanted format and see if that works....if not, maybe update your plug-ins for Calibre (or roll back to previous version)
 

Offline Mr. Greyfox

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Re: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 11:28 PM »
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OK I think I am still lost. I download metadata and my covers don't change when i change formats. I transfer books to my e-reader and the covers transfer too and are the same as on my Calibre..
Quote from: Jessadia
I must say I have never had a problem with the covers sticking...

Huh, 'kinda glad I brought this up now... seems to be different for everyone. 
So, Anngee1119, just want to make sure I'm getting you right: you download metadata but do NOT update the book covers? That makes sense actually. You're just seeing the original embedded cover. no? 

Calibre creates a "cover.jpg" file when you add a book to the database (using the book's embedded image bearing the "cover image" semantic) and places it alongside the book in your library folder.  This is the is the image you see (and update) while browsing calibre.  This is common in databases really; it's much cheaper (faster) to access a dedicated meta file than it is to open and query the book every time you land on it. The problem is the book itself is not updated when you update the cover in calibre; only the cover.jpg meta file is updated. So if you open the book in a device, it's cover page (and thumbnail, if you open it in Kindle for PC) will still be the original. Only by converting the book (even to its own format) is the cover injected into the book itself.

However, tonight I found a note in Calibre's update log around v0.8.5 that said "[nook color]...do not upload cover thumbnails as users report that the NC/TSR don't use them." This makes me believe that, if you use Calibre to transfer books to your device, it must also transfer the cover.jpg for devices that do support it.  Those devices must override the embedded cover image with a manually included one?  ...though I have no idea which readers these must be. Anngee1119, Perhaps your device is one of these? What make and model do you have? Do you use Calibre to send books to your device?

Quote
Unfortunately my only problem is that i cant transfer the "summaries" to my ereader so when i have 4 or 5 books in a series, I never know which comes next or what the book is about.
Almost the same thing. Ever notice how some books come with metadata and others don't? Just like the cover image, when you add the book to Calibre it also looks for corresponding tags in the embedded "content.opf" file (for ePubs anyway) and writes them out (if they exist) to "metadata.opf" on your hard drive next to the book itself.  Like the cover, all changes are made and read from this metafile, not the actual book.

[edit]There's another problem here though: some formats don't have a place for this type of metadata. Mobi files, for example, support a MUCH more limited set of tags than ePub.  You can instead have Calibre write this data into the first page, and I believe it's smart enough to find it there later when re-adding to a Calibre library. 

Which brings me back to the same problem, and I'm getting less hopeful that there's a solution.  How do we update the embedded metadata/cover without doing a full reconvert.  Or maybe reconverting isn't so bad... I guess as long as it doesn't introduce cascading artifacts over multiple conversions there's nothing to worry about....
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 11:38 PM by inferno999 »
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Offline mayabelle

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Re: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 11:00 PM »
Wow, now that I'm totally overwhelmed - chuckle, chuckle  :laugh: may I add something I've been finding lately:

Often, when I have a .txt file (and want to add a cover), I'll convert it with Calibre but it doesn't convert properly.  I've tried converting it to all the major formats (.epub, .lit, .mobi, .pdf) and either it replaces quotation marks with question marks or the whole book is 'wonky'.  :D

Today, I copied and pasted the .txt file to a word document, added the cover to the top of the document, and saved it as a .pdf document and it worked fine.
I also converted the .txt file to an .epub file (online at: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login ) and it converted perfectly.  The only problem is it didn't have a cover.

Is anyone else having difficulties with Calibre lately?
 

Offline dao2522

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Re: Calibre question: Injecting covers wthout converting?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2012, 04:01 AM »
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