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[Tips & Tricks] Using Copy.com with Marvin + calibre
#1  GRiker 08-28-2013, 11:06 AM
Here's a power user tip that you might find useful.

Copy.com is a cloud file storage service, similar to Dropbox.

I keep my calibre library in a local Copy folder which syncs to my cloud storage at Copy.com. My calibre library is accessed by both a server running calibre-server (OPDS), and my laptop, where I do my library maintenance. Copy.com takes care of keeping both local copies of my library in sync.

There is a free iOS app for Copy.com which allows you to navigate your library in the cloud and use 'Open in' to send a book to Marvin. Or, you can simply use Marvin's Web browser (from the cloud icon) to log into Copy.com, then download a book from there.

Copy.com is attractive for calibre users as they offer 15GB free storage, and an additional 5GB for both of us if you sign up using this link.

Migrating an existing calibre library to Copy.com is quite simple:
Syncing will begin immediately. You can keep an eye on the progress from the Copy status icon (location varies depending on OS). If you have a large library and a slow upload speed, it may take some time.

The good news is that once you've done the initial upload, syncing changes is quick. And, if you have multiple machines on your LAN syncing the Copy folder, they sync over your LAN instead of going to the cloud.

DoctorOhh has a thorough review of using Copy.com with calibre at this post in the calibre forum.

As he notes in his post, follow these steps with *any* cloud syncing to avoid problems:
Quote
  1. ONLY ONE computer connecting to calibre at a time.
  2. Allow any changes you make to the calibre library to sync to the cloud before logging off your computer.
  3. Allow the cloud software to fully download/sync the cloud to your computer upon logging on.
  4. Do not open calibre until the cloud as synced with the computer you just turned on.
  5. When doing bulk operations such as bulk conversions, pause the syncing software first.
  6. If installing calibre portable in the cloud, pause syncing prior to installing.
  7. When bulk operations / installing are complete don't forget to resume syncing.
  8. ALWAY BACKUP your library. Cloud storage is great for syncing machines and should work fine as a simple backup, but often life happens so please also backup your library separately.
Follow these rules when using any cloud storage solution and you should be fine.
G
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#2  MeSue 08-28-2013, 01:40 PM
I have not tried this yet, but according to Copy.com FAQ, you can use shortcuts to include other files in Copy without moving them. This might be another option for people who do not want to move the Calibre Library folder to a new location. Let us know how it works out!
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#3  GRiker 08-28-2013, 02:53 PM
Quote MeSue
I have not tried this yet, but according to Copy.com FAQ, you can use shortcuts to include other files in Copy without moving them. This might be another option for people who do not want to move the Calibre Library folder to a new location. Let us know how it works out!
Here's a Copy.com support document with more information about syncing files and folders outside of the primary Copy folder.

G
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#4  cortman 08-28-2013, 02:56 PM
Another thing to note (and kovid says the same thing) is that it is very important not to let Copy and Calibre run at the same time. If you are going to sync your Copy.com folder, close down Calibre first.
I use a similar setup- I have Calibre on two computers, and the library is on Copy.com. It works pretty good for me.
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#5  GRiker 08-28-2013, 04:35 PM
Quote cortman
Another thing to note (and kovid says the same thing) is that it is very important not to let Copy and Calibre run at the same time. If you are going to sync your Copy.com folder, close down Calibre first.
I use a similar setup- I have Calibre on two computers, and the library is on Copy.com. It works pretty good for me.
I don't think that there's any problem with a single instance of calibre running at a time (this doesn't apply to calibre-server, that's read-only). What you don't want to do is have two instances of calibre trying to update the same db at the same time.

Let's say I have a laptop and a desktop, both with a Copy folder with a local copy of the calibre library, synced by Copy.com. And let's also assume that the Copy.com client is actively running on both machines.

I open calibre on my laptop, do some library things, close calibre. Copy.com is uploading the changes as it sees them to individual files. When I close calibre on the laptop, the metadata.db file is updated, which Copy.com will sync up to the cloud. Depending on your upload speed and the number of changes you made to your library, this could take some time. Even if you simply open and close calibre without making any changes, your metadata.db file will be updated. Get familiar with monitoring Copy.com's status to know when it's done updating the cloud.

So far so good.

Now we turn to the desktop, where Copy.com is actively running. You definitely would want to make sure that the local Copy folder has been updated before opening calibre on the desktop. The Copy.com icon shows activity, but assuming you didn't make a lot of changes, that resync should be very quick. Again, you make changes to the db from the desktop version, and the affected files are uploaded to the Copy.com cloud.

My point is that as long as only one machine is editing the local copy of the db, all changes will pushed up from the active machine to the cloud. As long as you don't have more than one instance of calibre trying to edit the db, you should be fine. If you have more than one person managing your library, this would require some coordination. Otherwise, as long as it's one open instance of calibre at a time, you shouldn't need to do anything special for Copy.com.

What would be bad (very bad) would be having the laptop and the desktop both editing the same library at the same time, with Copy.com valiantly trying to push changes to the cloud, then the other machine. Very bad.

And, just to reiterate, none of this is a factor for calibre-server. It monitors changes to metadata.db and reloads as needed.

G
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#6  Faterson 08-28-2013, 07:40 PM
Quote GRiker
As long as you don't have more than one instance of calibre trying to edit the db, you should be fine.
I confirm this. I run 2 instances of Calibre on 2 computers, keeping them in sync via SugarSync, and everything works without a glitch, as long as you don't open those 2 Calibres at the same time, like Greg says.
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#7  cortman 08-29-2013, 10:04 AM
Quote GRiker
I don't think that there's any problem with a single instance of calibre running at a time (this doesn't apply to calibre-server, that's read-only). What you don't want to do is have two instances of calibre trying to update the same db at the same time.

Let's say I have a laptop and a desktop, both with a Copy folder with a local copy of the calibre library, synced by Copy.com. And let's also assume that the Copy.com client is actively running on both machines.

I open calibre on my laptop, do some library things, close calibre. Copy.com is uploading the changes as it sees them to individual files. When I close calibre on the laptop, the metadata.db file is updated, which Copy.com will sync up to the cloud. Depending on your upload speed and the number of changes you made to your library, this could take some time. Even if you simply open and close calibre without making any changes, your metadata.db file will be updated. Get familiar with monitoring Copy.com's status to know when it's done updating the cloud.

So far so good.

Now we turn to the desktop, where Copy.com is actively running. You definitely would want to make sure that the local Copy folder has been updated before opening calibre on the desktop. The Copy.com icon shows activity, but assuming you didn't make a lot of changes, that resync should be very quick. Again, you make changes to the db from the desktop version, and the affected files are uploaded to the Copy.com cloud.

My point is that as long as only one machine is editing the local copy of the db, all changes will pushed up from the active machine to the cloud. As long as you don't have more than one instance of calibre trying to edit the db, you should be fine. If you have more than one person managing your library, this would require some coordination. Otherwise, as long as it's one open instance of calibre at a time, you shouldn't need to do anything special for Copy.com.

What would be bad (very bad) would be having the laptop and the desktop both editing the same library at the same time, with Copy.com valiantly trying to push changes to the cloud, then the other machine. Very bad.

And, just to reiterate, none of this is a factor for calibre-server. It monitors changes to metadata.db and reloads as needed.

G
See this thread- especially posts 6 and 8.
It still think it would be bad, however, to make changes to the Copy folder on one PC, then open Calibre and Copy on the second, and have Copy replacing things while Calibre is trying to read the folder.
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#8  Faterson 08-29-2013, 10:35 AM
Naturally, cortman. You don't open Calibre on your second computer, until after Copy successfully synced itself with the cloud server. Which typically only takes a few seconds.

It's only common sense not to do anything on that second computer, until all of your files have been synced with the cloud. That doesn't just apply to using Calibre. I have Dropbox, SugarSync and Copy running at the same time, and whenever I start up/wake either of my two computers, I first wait for all 3 of those cloud icons to "stop spinning", and only then I start working on that computer. That way, you ensure there will be no file conflicts in any software you use.

As mentioned, that wait typically only takes a few seconds. For me, it's not really a "wait" at all, because it has long been my practice to push the computer's start button, and go make some tea. By the time I'm back from the kitchen, the computer is ready to go. It's a useful practice to proceed in this way, regardless of the use or non-use of cloud sync software. As is well-known, it may sometimes take a few moments for a Windows or Mac computer to fully "wake itself" from slumber, even though the official start-up/wake-up times proudly advertised by hardware/OS vendors would have you believe otherwise.
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