CalibreBox - New Cloud-Based App
#31  Hofferic 06-03-2015, 09:04 PM
I just pushed version 1.6.3, which comes with three nice features:

Tags in the detail view can now optionally be shown in a grid instead of the long list (defaults to on)

There are now several dynamic coloring options for the detail view
- muted (as it was after the last update)
- vivid (as it was before that)
- monochrome muted (what it sounds like)
- monochrome vivid (what nqk asked for)
- none (for those who like the blue or have slow devices)

New download menu with new download modes
- tap big button to open, select download mode by tapping or swiping up to the desired mode (just like the "add note" button in google keep)
- download modes as they were before, update modes will force an update of a local file even if the app thinks its up to date
- download format picker shows icons next to formats to indicate if there is a compatible app on the device (checkmark for yes, x for no, ? for unknown)

#32  nqk 06-03-2015, 11:46 PM
1) Clickable Tags layout works (good)
2) monochrome vivid: great ()
3) Google-Keep like button: nice. I didnot know there is a swipe action for it.

Keep it up.

I have problems with custom columns:
Type: Comma Separated Text, like tags, shown in tag browser. Contain names.
Issues: It doesn't appear in Filter List. It appears in Sort List but returns blank pages.

#33  Hofferic 06-04-2015, 11:02 AM
Quote nqk
I have problems with custom columns:
Type: Comma Separated Text, like tags, shown in tag browser. Contain names.
Issues: It doesn't appear in Filter List. It appears in Sort List but returns blank pages.
For filtering I have to custom-create the ui and logic for every datatype to support it. Currently the supported types are numbers (int, float), yes/no values (boolean), dates (datetime) and ratings. The columns selectable for filtering are trimmed down to that set so this type of column will not be shown for filtering.

Sorting needs columns that lend themselves to easy coparison (larger/smaller value) or some custom logic if I can think of a sensible way to do it.
I will make sure these columns do not show up in the sort dialog until I have found a sensible solution for sorting them.

Also I will look into adding logic and ui elements to allow filtering for these columns. both of those things will take a couple of days though (especially actually supporting these columns) as I will be on a trip to bavaria for the next couple of days.

#34  Hofferic 06-07-2015, 06:44 PM
Just pushed a new update with a crash fix for libraries in the root folder of Dropbox, filtering of custom columns to sortable ones in the sort dialog and some assorted improvements.
Improvements include better quality for zoomed covers, less data usage for regular covers and default download format selection as well as showing that formats file size in the detail view for pro users.

#35  Hofferic 06-12-2015, 08:16 PM
I just pushed version 1.7 which introduces badges for downloaded books and filtering for downloaded books. A checkmark badge indicates a downloaded book, a "sync" badge indicates a downloaded book for which a newer version exists in the databse (basen on last modified timestamp in library).

When you first open a library after the update the local books should automatically receive their badges, but if they don't show up after some waiting you can force the import with the new button at the bottom of the drawer menu (below "relink dropbox").
Books that have been deleted/moved/renamed should lose their badge after two days at the latest (the check for deleted local book files is not done every time to avoid bogging down your device every time a library is opened but rather in interval of at most two days).

#36  Froide 06-13-2015, 03:25 PM
To date, I've been using Calibre Cloud to view and search my Calibre library remotely, and either Calibre Cloud or Dropbox to download to my mobile device Calibre library items (when not on the network Calibre is hosted on). Between Calibre Cloud and Dropbox, I have access to all my ebooks and edocs.

Nonetheless, I learned about CalibreBox today and tried it out. Here are my reactions to the free version of CalibreBox, so far:

When I stumbled across CalibreBox, I was in the process of seeking apps that allow one to do the following. Anyone familiar with apps that:
FYI: my devices are listed in my profile; both are Android (Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, NOOK HD).

#37  Hofferic 06-13-2015, 08:02 PM
Quote Froide
Anyone familiar with apps that:
First off, thank you for your kind review

Regarding apps that can open ebooks in the cloud: I am not familiar with any apps that can do so. Such a thing would require a server component that copies the books to a server to open them and then only transfer the part you are currently looking at in a slightly different format (whether if be in form of a website or part of an app). This would (over time) still amount in you downloading the whole book and probably be less feature-rich and more involved to develop than a local application on your phone/tablet. It would also require you to implicitly trust the developer with your files because of the "invisible" server component (which you kind of have to do with CalibreBox etc as well, but there you still have more/easier control as the credentials never leave your device and you kann kill/delete the app at any time).
Your best bet is to hope that Dropbox will implement support for ebook formats (as they have done with office formats before). This is because the reasons I listed before (as well as setting up a server being kind of expensive and the "threat" of dropbox implementing the same feature without need for third party sotware) make it rather improbable that someone will implement it third-party. That said, it is not impossible that someone will do so (or already has done it!).

For managing audiobooks like CalibreBox does ebooks you might want to look for a calibre equivalent for audiobooks and go from there or use a "music locker" or "cloud music storage" service like google play music and manage your audiobooks like albums with the author as the "artist" etc (which would be kind of a hack but may work).

For playing audiobooks without first downloading them or downloading a chapter at a time and then deleting them you could also (if you cannot find a dedicated service/app for that purpose) be satisfied with something like google play music, which has the option to stream music (or any audio files you add, really) without storing them (permanently) on your device. They will simply be cached and removed when you need space for the next one or other apps... The only audiobook apps I can think of which support something like what you want would be apps from services like audible, or librivox, but those would require you to buy all your audiobooks from them, which is kind of restrictive (and stupid if you already have audiobooks....)

You might, however, like Overdrive (which lets you "borrow" ebooks from actual libraries). Or you could maybe find a developer somewhere on here who would be willing to write something like you want (or extend some existing app to work with cloud storage, like the local-only open-source Material Audiobook Player - Good Luck!

#38  zan5hin 06-22-2015, 03:02 AM
Thanks for creating this app, new apps for Calibre are always appreciated.

I have a question though. I have limited Dropbox storage, 11GB. My Calibre library is about 8GB already, and always growing.

Is there a third way I can create a Calibre library in Dropbox instead of moving my entire library or creating a symbolic link?

I have a program called SyncBackPro, I was hoping I could just create a folder in Dropbox called Calibre and copy the database file or whatever it is, and then selectively sync some of the Author folders manually. Is this possible?

#39  Hofferic 06-22-2015, 06:34 AM
Quote zan5hin
Is there a third way I can create a Calibre library in Dropbox instead of moving my entire library or creating a symbolic link?

I have a program called SyncBackPro, I was hoping I could just create a folder in Dropbox called Calibre and copy the database file or whatever it is, and then selectively sync some of the Author folders manually. Is this possible?
There may be other options to get your library into dropbox, but those would still result in the full amount of space being used. The only alternative to reduce space usage would be a selective synchronization for the actual book files, as you proposed. Just to be clear, I DO NOT recommend doing this (especially for novice users), but as long as the folder structure remains intact and you include the file "metadata.db" the app should work mostly error-free. You should, however, be prepared for missing cover images and failed book downloads (no surprise there, can't download whats not there).
This may also lead to slightly higher network activity (although with much reduced volume) as the app will retry to download cover images that should be available according to the database whenever they are shown and not stored in the local cache.

Regarding the folder structure:
Make sure you create a folder with nothing but your selected part of the calibre library in it, the name of which will be used as the library name (as in Calibre itself). You absolutely, no way around it, have to include the file "metadata.db" from your library in this folder. To apply changes in your local library to the dropbox copy, update this file! Then, for all the authors you would like to include, copy the according author folders. If you make any changes to your library that results in file or folder renames within the library folder those will also have to be mirrored here so that CalibreBox can find them based on the information in the database, else any download attempts for these files will fail just as if they were missing.

In conclusion everything should work relatively well if you set up SyncBackPro to automatically keep the database file and your selected author folders up to date

#40  nomistakes 06-26-2015, 04:10 AM
Quote Hofferic
  1. Yes, CalibreBox takes the predominant "vibrant" colors from the book cover to color the ActionBar. I might add an option to disable this completely but I do not have any input into the process Android uses to determine these colors. I tried several variants of color palettes Android can create and liked this one the best as the "muted" version tends to go into mushy colors. I also think that in most cases having two different colors works very well and computing my own "darker shade" for the upper bar would be rather involved if I try to avoid edge cases. I will have to look into this and either find some intelligent way to handle wildly disparate colors or allow users to disble the behaviour if they are annoyed by it.
  2. The "open book" button tries to open a local copy first. It will only result in a new download if there is no ocal copy or the local copy is outdated. Id will also dismiss the notification and open the file as soon as it is available instead of keeping the notification around for you to click later.
    Updates of existing book files are handled by the "open" download mode (the regular mode will _always_ overwrite existing copies) as long as the change has also had an impact on the library.
    Auto-updating books would require a list of all downloaded files and checking them in the background regularly. It would also most likely have to use dropbox timestamps directly, which I do not currently keep on file. But I MIGHT implement such a list of books in the future to support cards for google now when the api becomes available, so it might be a possibility then
  3. Yes, that is indeed space reserved for ads. I tried to make them hide when no ads are available but that led to no ads loading when they where available again when a user wasn't blocking them and that defeats the purpose of an ad-supported version
    The Pro version should be available as long as you have an internet connection and are logged into your google account. Could you show me a screenshot of the "no internet connection" error message so I can verify if the problem lies with my implementation of Googles interface?
  4. Custom Columns are supported in the pro version. The detail view shows most custom column values (some I didn't test so the presentation may be a bit off for dates and enums ). Also you can filter and sort based on them! (One of the reasons I decided to build my own app was missing something along those lines on mobile. Plus I needed a topic for my bachelors thesis )
  5. Right now I have no plans to support other cloud storage options because my code is tied very closely to the Dropbox programming interface right now. I would have to look into whether or not OneDrive offers the same features and put some abstraction in between to support more than one option, but for now I am aiming for the most integrated expirience possible (like the library update reminder and library adding feature which use specific dropbox funtionality. That functionality may not be available in a similar enough form with other storage providers).

I don't know in which direction you want to propagate the changes you make.This would require me to practically re-implement the entire dropbox app, which is not happening. If you change a file on your device you will have to overwrite it using something like the dropbox app (which will then cause dropbox to update the file on your compter int turn). For a way to keep the file permanently in sync see below.
If you make any changes to a file that is synchronized with dropbox (which the have to be to wirk with the app, so that is obviously not the problem) dropbox will update the copy on their servers. After that you will at the moment have to re-download the book in CalibreBox to get the changed copy to your device. This is required because auto-updating copies on your device would use a lot of ressources (and programming effort) for rather little return. If the right-hand download option (open directly) does not update the copy on your device (because the entry in the calibre library has not changed, which is checked to avoid multiple downloads of the same file in this mode) you can force a new download by using the right-hand download menu, which will ALWAYS download the file anew and overwrite any copy that may have been downloaded before.
Direct synchronization of a file, one-way or in both directions, is not what this app is built for. If you want to do this frequently you may want to look for an app that actually synchronizes files with dropbox rather than allowing a simple way to find contents therein for download. One example of such an App would be Dropsync which I have neither tested nor am I affiliated with the developer
With Leger Calibre is it possible to read the Calibre db stored on the device and syncronized with dropsync pro.

The result is that each time I open and edit a pdf, that modification is synced back on the cloud.

I was looking for a solution in order to do the same thing directly from Dropbox, it doesn't make sens (for me) creating a duplicate file of cloud service

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