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Bookpedia Help

Getting Started


Working with Bookpedia

On your iPhone / iPad

Building your database

Adding entries

Start to build your Bookpedia database by adding entries to the Library collection. There are several ways of adding entries but most of them require an internet connection: Once the program has found a book, you can retrieve further information about it using the other search sites. For more information about that, take a look at the advanced information section.

Adding entries by keyword

Once the program has found a match for your search, the Add window will come up with the first result displayed. If it's a match, press the 'Add' button and the entry becomes part of your library.

If there is more than one result for your search you will see the number of results displayed at the bottom of the Add window. To see the titles of the next results, click the little arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the Add window to slide out a drawer. Click on the titles to see the results.

Search All

When you select "All" from the search site menu, the program will cycle through the selected sites until it finds a match for your search. In the Preferences > Sites, found under the Bookpedia menu, you can select the sites and drag them into the order you'd like the program to cycle through them.

Adding entries with an iSight or webcam

Adding entries with a USB scanner

Adding entries with a bluetooth scanner

Scanning entries using Pocketpedia

If you have PocketpediaPocketpedia on your iPhone or iPad 2 then you can also use that as a scanner to get your barcodes into Bookpedia.
Adding entries manually

If you don't have an Internet connection, if Bookpedia can't connect to any of the search sites or if none of the sites have any information about the book, you can also add entries manually.

You can still update information for an entry even though the information was added manually. All the information the program needs to conduct an advanced search is the title of the entry.

Adding multiple entries

If you have a scanner, a webcam or a list of UPCs/EANs or titles, use the "Add multiple" feature to add many titles in one go.

If you already have a list of UPCs or titles, each separated by a return, then you can also copy paste that list into the search field and hit the 'Add' button. The list will appear in the window underneath the search field and the search will start automatically. Although the field is just one line in height, it will accept a paste of many lines as input.

Please note that when you are using the 'Add Multiples' feature, the entries will be added directly to your library and you will not be able to review them before adding since the 'add multiple' feature was designed with UPCs/EANs in mind.

Advanced searches - adding and/or updating info

Individual entries

To gather more information about an entry or to update information, use the little gear button in the Add/Edit window to choose the site you'd like to query for info. If there is more than one result returned, the drawer on the side of the window will pop out and present you with the choices. Select the correct title and the information will automatically be added to the entry. Please note that Bookpedia will never overwrite information already present so if you want to update a field, delete the data from it first and then use the gear button to query for more data.

You can also use the Update from... command found under the Book menu however this will download the first result found from the chosen website. In most cases that'll be the result you're looking for but for some books, especially those with a common title, it can happen that the wrong result is returned. That's why using the gear button is generally the safer option.

Multiple entries

To do an advanced search for more than one entry at a time, select the entries in the list view and choose 'Update from >' under the Book menu. Choose the site you'd like to query and the program will download the information.
PLEASE NOTE: With this option the program will automatically add the first result returned. You will not be able to check whether this result is the correct one until after it has been added. (Especially if the title has many common words in it or it is part of a series, it can happen that the wrong result is added.)

Keyboard shortcut for searches

Instead of choosing a site from the magnifying glass in the search window or the gear button in the Edit window, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Command-Control-[digit] to choose the site. The digit depends on the order of your sites in the Preferences > Sites.

For example, if your sites are ordered like this in the Preferences: Then a search in Doghouse would correspond to the keyboard shortcut Command-Control-1, a search on the LoC would correspond to Command-Control-2, a search on AbeBooks would correspond to Command-Control-3, etc.

Cover images

When you add an entry through the internet, the cover art, if available, will be downloaded automatically.

Should there be no cover available or if you are adding an entry manually, either drag an image into the image well below the collections window or use the 'Download from...' command found in the contextual menu of the cover image well (Ctrl-click or right-click the image well to open the menu).

If you have an iSight or a firewire camera you can also use that to capture an image of the item. Use the 'Capture Cover...' command under the Book menu.

When you click on the cover image below the Collections column, it will appear in a separate, adjustable window which you can use to print the cover image.

To hide the cover image well, click on the cover image toggle button at the bottom left of the main window. Ctrl-clicking (right-clicking) a cover image brings up a contextual menu which lets you copy the image, remove it or if there is no image present, download it. There's also an option to "Show in Finder" which will show you the original image file in the Finder.

Adding eBooks or PDFs

To give you the opportunity to check that the import went correct, imported entries are put into a library-independent collection first. (Marked with a grey collection icon instead of a blue one.) To make the import part of your library:

If you're just looking to link a PDF to an already existing entry in Bookpedia, take a look at the linking section.

Searching Amazon for information

If you'd like to integrate with Amazon you have to sign in with your personal Amazon Web Services (AWS) secret and access key as well as your Associates ID in the Bookpedia Preferences > Sites tab. Here's how you get those keys and IDs:

To get your free AWS keys,

Then sign up for a free Associates ID at the Amazon Affiliate Program. You will be asked to provide a website but this does not need to be a book selling site. A personal blog or even a friend's webpage, if they don't mind, will do. (This means the Amazon sales commission generated via the Amazon access will now go directly to you!*)

With your keys ready,

Amazon Preferences

The Amazon sites will now appear in your Sites window. Check the box next to those you'd like to use and drag them into the order you want the search to access them.

* Whenever you click on a link in the Pedias that takes you back to Amazon it has an ID attached to it. If you end up buying something on Amazon, the commission generated by that sale gets paid to the ID attached. This can happen through direct links in the program or if you export your database to the web and someone clicks on your link to Amazon. To generate referrals, click on the Amazon link in your Pedia program after adding an entry through the Amazon search.

Amazon search troubleshooting

If you have all three required IDs yet still get the error that "Your Access KeyID is not registered for Product Advertising API", please go back to the Amazon Associates page and log in once with your username and password. After that return to the Amazon Settings window and you shouldn't have any further trouble.

z39.50 servers

z39.50 is an international standard defining a protocol for computer-to-computer information retrieval, mainly used by libraries and universities. You can add those servers to your Bookpedia search list through the 'z39.50 servers...' option found under the View menu.

To download information from a z39.50 server, you first have to add the institution to the Bookpedia search list.

The information you need to access a server is contained in these three fields: Host, Port and Database Name.

Enter the information into the Bookpedia z39.50 window in this format: "server:port/database"

Note: The default number of results returned is 50. If you'd like to change that, open the application "Terminal" found in Applications/Utilities and copy paste the following line into it, followed by a return (the number at the end is the number of results returned, i.e. in this case 20):

defaults write com.bruji.bookpedia NumberOfResultsYAC 20

The target directory site provided is one of the best we've found online so far, but there are many others available on the Internet, for example:   (UK targets)  (international targets)  (Australian targets)

Unfortunately at this point Bookpedia cannot access servers that require a password or login.