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I have a very large e-book archive (approx. 1TB) including various file formats eg. PDF, DJVU, MOBI and EPUB.

I put them in different folders by subject eg. Engineering, Programming etc. But after many years, things are going crazy. The programming folder itself is 220GB and file names are cryptic. Some filenames are well defined like: 236659889_Final_Report_of_2012_Climate_Change_Conference.pdf but some filenames are just ISBN numbers or just download.pdf.

I need an application for organizing and searching my e-books. I already tried Calibre, Mendeley and Debenu. But all these apps try to import files first and I dont have any spare 1+ TB for the apps import folder.

Is there any good Windows application for just indexing filenames and contents of ebooks without importing them?

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You are going to need to have space for any solution to be honest.... – Ramhound May 25 '12 at 15:14
I have got a 500GB external disk and 320GB free space on my laptop's disk. i know "the index" will take some space and i'm ok with it. what i dont want is copy all books to another space. – Cnkt May 25 '12 at 22:07
Are you looking for a Windows application? – haimg May 29 '12 at 15:59
Yes a windows application is what i'm looking for. – Cnkt May 30 '12 at 23:49
Considering that you'll probably have to import and clean up metadata in stages, find out which tool you like best and do your imports in batches, deleting items from your unsorted collection as you go. – afrazier May 31 '12 at 20:54

I have the same problem as you, and I'm stumped at how nobody has come up with an app that doesn't physically move your files, but instead allows you to create virtual directories, tags, etc. The future of data storage is either NAS-based or Cloud based, so this lack of solutions is bizarre. Nobody is going to keep a TB of library files on a local hard drive --especially if it isn't protected by RAID 5 or some other backup measure.

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Two more products that might be worth trying :

Adobe Digital Editions (free)
All My Books (commercial)

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It is amazing, but there is not even a good solution for Unix/Linux - and I have tried hard on finding one. Actually, I was looking for an offline solution, but I ended up looking even into online stuff. It's hell.

My "best" idea so far is using a desktop search engine and restricting it to the "library" (e-book-archive) folder. Right now, I am using Tracker. Before that, I was using Beagle, which is not maintained any more. A good engine can read all your file formats and create at least an index database.

My "second-best" idea needs a bit of time. Go through your files ... and rename them. Or put groups of them into sub-folders and give good names to your folders. Well, for 1TB, this may take a while. Most modern file systems support very long file names, so you can think of a good pattern for tags and information, which can be part of folder-/file-names. I use patterns like


where the class can be anything like "book", "proceedings", "paper", "report", "thesis" ... Having a good pattern, you can use shell commands (like find, awk, grep etc) in order to find, what you are looking for. This method requires some discipline, because you need to give good names to every new entry in your library.

Last but not least, a while ago, I was putting some hope into WinFS, but it appears to me that this project was stopped. Anyway, it would be cool, if one could associate tags to files and store them as meta data within the file system.

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