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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Still experimenting with the "best" way to organize (HA!) my K2....

Discovered two issues today with sorting by author.

A.)  Some free downloads (from Baen, in this case), don't include the Author at all in the metadata.

B.)  The Amazon downloads are all over the map.  Some come through First Last.  Others come through Last, First.  Some of the freebies are even worse--found a couple that had dates in the middle of the author's name.  Some sort into weird places that I simply wouldn't expect, and I wonder what the heck the metadata actually says!

Now I understand from some digging that part of this is format (the older mobi/prc formats may not show metadata) and some of this is just the publishers being ornery about how they enter the Authors' names.  I downloaded Calibre for the Mac & redid the Baen books with Author metadata, converted them to mobi, sent them back to the Kindle and that cleared the problem for those. But when I looked at all the .azw files with the same program, none of the metadata shows.  Since I **know** there's data there that the K2 is reading, I didn't want to mess with them.  But it's frustrating as heck to have so many files showing out of order--what's the point of sorting by author at all if nothing shows where you expect to see it?

And heck, I really don't want to have to convert every single book I download from Amazon, even if it's possible.

Has anyone found a relatively easy solution to this problem?  Anyone?  Bueller?  ;)
 

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Well, there's the mobi2mobi scripts that can supposedly change the metadata in amazon books.  (I haven't tried it yet, myself.)  I don't know if that would really fall into the category of "easy," although I don't think it's too hard once you get the hang of it.  That's one reason that I like to format public domain stuff myself rather than get it from amazon, even if it is free.
 

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Yes, you are correct. That's the way things are.  ;D

on A.) - Baen knows about the author metadata problem, I emailed back and forth with them a few months ago. They have been in the ebook business for quite a long time (since before the metadata specs were implemented... something about v.3 instead of v.4) and therefore earlier books don't have it. The newer books have the info and they are converting the earlier ones as they get time (they said).

on B.) - Publishers apparently aren’t told or choose to ignore information about how to enter data into the author field. I've seen the things you describe.

The metadata in the ebook file itself is in the form Lastname, Firstname. I've looked with a hex file editor to verify this. When the info is entered this way, it will sort correctly on a Kindle. I don't know how it sorts on any other devices that read Mobi files.

If you read a file with correctly (from the Kindle standpoint) entered data, Calibre gets it wrong, as it assumes the author name is entered as Firstname Lastname. If you are using Calibre as a library program, which is what I wanted to do, you re in for a treat. You can either have Calibre sort correctly in its lists, or you can have the Kindle sort correctly. But not both. If you are using Calibre only as a metadata corrector, then this won't affect you.

Does anyone know if there is an actual document that spells out the metadata protocol? This would go a ways toward curing the problem. I told the author of Calibre there was a disconnect here and he seemed unimpressed. He's primarily a Sony Reader user.

Personally, I use the mobi2mobi scripts to deal with metadata, even though it's a nuisance to use the command line (I'm mostly on a Mac). I bought a book to brush up on my AppleScript skills to write a graphical interface, but haven’t got around to it yet.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jmiked said:
The metadata in the ebook file itself is in the form Lastname, Firstname. I've looked with a hex file editor to verify this. When the info is entered this way, it will sort correctly on a Kindle. I don't know how it sorts on any other devices that read Mobi files.

If you read a file with correctly (from the Kindle standpoint) entered data, Calibre gets it wrong, as it assumes the author name is entered as Firstname Lastname. If you are using Calibre as a library program, which is what I wanted to do, you re in for a treat. You can either have Calibre sort correctly in its lists, or you can have the Kindle sort correctly. But not both. If you are using Calibre only as a metadata corrector, then this won't affect you.

Does anyone know if there is an actual document that spells out the metadata protocol? This would go a ways toward curing the problem. I told the author of Calibre there was a disconnect here and he seemed unimpressed. He's primarily a Sony Reader user.

Mike
Ah, very interesting indeed. I did enter mine for the Baen books as First Last, but told it to sort under Last, First so I may need to go back & edit it. I'll have to check to see where those are falling on the Kindle when I sort by Author.

At the moment, I'm only using Calibre for metadata correction; I'm not yet ready to manage books on the Mac as I'm still under the delusion that eventually Amazon will give us a way to manage them directly on the K2. :D But I can see where that would be a seriously annoying issue if/when I change my mind. For me, Calibre **seemed** like the easiest to use from a Mac, but I'd certainly love to hear otherwise from anyone who's used the others.
 

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VictoriaP said:
Ah, very interesting indeed. I did enter mine for the Baen books as First Last, but told it to sort under Last, First so I may need to go back & edit it. I'll have to check to see where those are falling on the Kindle when I sort by Author.

At the moment, I'm only using Calibre for metadata correction; I'm not yet ready to manage books on the Mac as I'm still under the delusion that eventually Amazon will give us a way to manage them directly on the K2. :D But I can see where that would be a seriously annoying issue if/when I change my mind. For me, Calibre **seemed** like the easiest to use from a Mac, but I'd certainly love to hear otherwise from anyone who's used the others.
The author of Stanza has said that changing metadata is something that will eventually be in his program, and is now available if you use the ePub format. I can only hope that it will trickle to the mobi format before long.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ScottBooks said:
Note to self: If have hard question, ask VictoriaP or jmiked. ;D
LOL

I'm no more than a week into this. Just have a geek's mind & enough time to research!

But I figure there are plenty of people here who've already been through this, so it's worth asking before I try something more complex on my own. :)
 

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I've also sent emails to the Kindle feedback addresses asking them to PLEASE find a way to get the author's information entered consistently.  I gave up for now and just sort by most recent unless I'm feeling really patient...
 
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Easiest solution: don't load more than five or six books at a time onto your Kindle.  Then they don't need to be sorted. ;D
 

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I have had a similar problem, not only with Baen books but even with books from Amazon. I have had books from the same author end up sorting some by first name and some by last :( That drives me NUTS!
 
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jmiked said:
Is this even possible? I think it violates several laws of quantum physics.

Mike
Quantum physics only comes into play when you DON'T look at your home page. Then your books are simultaneously both there and not there.
 
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