I'm a data guy, so my solution might not be for everyone but I kind of need it... especially with the number of files and titles I've downloaded.
), with lots of custom columns.
I wrote a script to go through my entire OBS download folder and load all the files into calibre. (Next step is making it so it recognizes updated files and will update the matching file in the library... I haven't gotten to this yet.). I wrote another script that scraped metadata from OBS and loaded that. Sadly, no automatic concordance available, but because the metadata includes the publisher name and the files are downloaded into folders by publisher, it's not hopeless. I can match the OBS metadata to the downloaded file and merge titles. Tedious! So. fucking. boring. But doable, and worth it in the end because I can find my shit.
... 'scuse. When you've got this many files downloaded and their metadata is basically absent in the file (kudos to Green Ronin and Echelon Game Design -- i.e. me -- because you care to get do it, most people either leave it blank or worse, wrong
For merged titles, I've got title and authors and artists and tags and game systems and sales copy from OBS, plus the files with path I loaded it from -- which will be used to updated as new versions come available.
Then I add my own metadata, such as a keywords indicating content (I don't often do this), what stage it's in for capturing information for the Echelon Reference Series
, and so on. My list of game systems is a little more detailed than the list OBS uses, so I often augment the information.
Files downloaded via the DriveThru desktop app... if it had more metadata and search capabilities, and could better handle duplicate files such as when multiple titles include the same file names, I'd consider using it as more than a downloader, because it's crap as a document manager.
Calibre Title List
In the first image below, I show the entries for Echelon Game Design titles. I have some work to do.
- Blue text indicates I've got OBS metadata and a file
- Green text indicates I've got OBS metadata only
- Black text indicates I've got only a file and what metadata was available from the file. Notice I've got title, author, and publisher all set! THIS IS HOW YOU DO THIS, PUBLISHERS! ... sorry, sore spot.
This next image shows much of the detail I have about the file. I left out a bunch of the purely technical details (they don't fit on the dialog box the way it's configured; I could scroll down to show you file names, obs title ID number, file size, file update date, etc. if you want, but didn't here).
... and I managed to pick a title that I don't identify the artist. I'd composited that cover myself and left that field out. Huh.
Calibre Tag Browser
I tag things as much as possible, to help me find them later. Calibre comes with authors, languages, series, formats, publishers, ratings, news, tags, and identifiers all built in. I declared a new identifier, 'obs', for the OBS product number, then added the columns shown below.
- Artists, those credited with art in the title
- Book Class (which normally would be things like 'core rules', 'supplement', 'adventure'... this is set manually and I haven't done it yet)
- Capture State, to do with Echelon Reference Series data capture
- Content Tags: 'classes', 'feats', 'spells'... set manually
- Game System, initially from OBS metadata but will be extended and made more detailed
- Product Line, Publisher Code, Publisher Product ID... all manually set, covering how it seems the publisher organizes things.
- Publisher Stock Number, when present. For instance, all ERS entries are 'ers-YYYYMM-##-[3p]' (ers for Echelon Reference Series, year and month of publication, number of publication within the month, then '3' to indicate it's a 3pp+prd title, or 'p' to indicate PRD-only)
- Setting: Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Golarion, etc.
- Source Added: when the source was added to OBS
- Download Date: date stamp of when it was downloaded to my system
- Source Format: Original Electronic, Scanned Image
- Source Path: Where the file was loaded from my hard drive to calibre -- used when looking for files to update
- Source Site: right now only OneBookShelf, but I expect to eventually add the Open Gaming Store, Humble Bundle, etc.
- Source Updated: last time the title was updated at the store
All dates are presented in a tree view, YYYY-MM-DD. I don't use the date fields often
, but I do
use them at times... and this was an easy way to navigate them.