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Sun_Cat
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Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

I get strange and inconsistent page number reporting and remembering for some books sideloaded on the microSD card. Here's a typical set of symptoms.

  • While I'm reading the book, it shows page n of 199 at the bottom of the page. Quite correct.
  • When I go to Home, the "reading now" box shows me the correct book cover and says "on page 1 of 1."
  • When I tap the cover, I get the "Sync to furthest read page?" dialog, which tells me that on this device I'm on page 1 while on another device I'm on page n. (There is no other device involved.)
  • When I tap "Yes, Sync to Furthest Read Page" it goes to page 1 of 199.
  • If I have created bookmarks, sometimes they've vanished. Sometimes they're still there.

Rebooting makes it more likely that the "Sync" dialog will pop up (it doesn't always). Ejecting and replacing the microSD card has no discernible effect. I haven't tried any of the more drastic reset procedures. I'm on 1.1.0, with a 4Gb microSD that's almost half full. I don't think I had so many of these problems when the card wasn't as full, but I do think I had some.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

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gstone
Posts: 1,317
Registered: ‎09-05-2010

Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

It's a bug in the software that as far as I know only affects sideloaded books. The Home Screen will display page 1of 1. Both the Home Screen and the Reading Now icon take you to page 1 and none of your bookmarks are listed. If you access the book from the Library it takes you to the last page read.

 

The page counts for the  Home Screen and Reading Now icon appear to be stored on a seperate data file. That file sometimes becomes corrupted during disconnect from the computer if a book was open when you connected the nook to the PC and you have added or removed books from the device.  This also happened to every sideloaded book after the update for many of us.

 

The only way I found to correct the problem when it occurs is to remove the affected books from the nook, disconnect from the computer and then sideload them again. The problem is persistent enough that I never use the Home Screen or Reading Now icon to open books.

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Sun_Cat
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

Thanks for the reply.

 

What's making me nuts is the inconsistency in behavior. To keep my OP reasonably simple I omitted some of it. For instance, sometimes it forgets my bookmarks when I go to the book from Home or the Reading icon; sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it goes to page 1 when I go to the book from Home or the Reading icon; sometimes it goes to the correct page. Sometimes it pops up the Sync dialog when I go to the book from Home or the Reading icon; sometimes it doesn't.

 

I think I must be one of the many for whom this affects every sideloaded book since the update, which would explain my impression that it used to happen less frequently. It probably has nothing to do with the number of books on the microSD.

 

I may try reformatting the microSD and resideloading the books. This wouldn't be too painful, since I have all my content on my PC in Calibre.

 

Thanks again. If anyone else has details about what has and hasn't worked for them, I'd appreciate hearing about it. (I did find a couple of threads under N1E that discuss what sounds like the same issue.)

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gstone
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

There is no need to reformat the card, the file that is giving the problem is located on the system partition.

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Sun_Cat
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

I did reformat the card just because that's a simple way to erase it. Then I re-sideloaded all my books. Proper functionality is restored, for now. We'll see if it remains.

 

Thanks again.

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Sun_Cat
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

[ Edited ]

Interesting additional observation:

 

Even after formatting the microSD card and rebooting, the NST did not delete or even empty whatever metadata file it uses to save bookmarks, track locations, etc. How do I know? Now I can open other sideloaded books that were completely gone before I re-sideloaded them, and the NST magically recalls the bookmarks and furthest page read.

 

That's an interesting feature. It means that you could potentially have a whole set of different libraries on different microSD cards, and the NST would retain your places, bookmarks, and presumably annotations for books in all of them. Very nice -- at least until it runs out of space in the hidden partition.

 

Now I have to wonder exactly why doing what I did fixed the problem. If the problem was caused by that same file being corrupted, what happened to fix it without data loss? If what I did forced the NST to run some kind of database integrity check and rebuild utility, maybe we can hope that one day the developers will let us run it manually on demand. Or maybe someone could tell us a simpler workaround to force it to run.

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gstone
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

The best I can figure is the Home Screen UI was added on top of a core program for reading ebooks.

 

When you open books displaying page 1of 1 from the home screen you loose your place and bookmarks. Open from the Library and it takes you to the last page read and still has your bookmarks.

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Sun_Cat
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

Yup. I can't help feeling major cognitive dissonance whenever I read about B&N's profits being eaten up by their vast R&D expenses for the NOOK line. All I can say is that not much of those funds are going into software development for the NST, based on the available evidence.

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hattrik21
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

Add me to the list of users affected by this. I'll try the reformatting and reloading my books to see if that helps.

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Sun_Cat
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

[ Edited ]

Okay, here it is a couple of weeks later. During that time I've accessed a dozen or more books and magazines -- B&N and sideloaded -- with no glitches. And I've added both B&N and sideloaded content to my library.

 

Now, as of this morning, the glitches are back. I'm reading a sideloaded book, and it shows "page 1 of 1" on the home page. If I reboot, touching the book cover on the home page brings up the "synch to furthest read page" dialog. If I don't reboot, touching the book cover or the read icon currently takes me to the proper page.

 

In other words, it's a slightly different combination of symptoms than I described in the OP. Bookmarks are not lost and current page is not lost, except for the display on the home page and the confusion after rebooting.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if I see further deterioration during the next week or so. Maybe it's time to erase and re-sideload the whole library again. :smileyfrustrated:

 

BTW, I've been very careful not to connect the device to my computer unless it's on the home page, so that isn't a permanent preventative, contrary to gstone's suggestion.

 

I've posted this on the Issue Reporting board, including links to other threads that reported the same issue. Please post any further replies there.

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keriflur
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books


Sun_Cat wrote:

Okay, here it is a couple of weeks later. During that time I've accessed a dozen or more books and magazines -- B&N and sideloaded -- with no glitches. And I've added both B&N and sideloaded content to my library.

 

Now, as of this morning, the glitches are back. I'm reading a sideloaded book, and it shows "page 1 of 1" on the home page. If I reboot, touching the book cover on the home page brings up the "synch to furthest read page" dialog. If I don't reboot, touching the book cover or the read icon currently takes me to the proper page.

 

In other words, it's a slightly different combination of symptoms than I described in the OP. Bookmarks are not lost and current page is not lost, except for the display on the home page and the confusion after rebooting.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if I see further deterioration during the next week or so. Maybe it's time to erase and re-sideload the whole library again. :smileyfrustrated:

 

BTW, I've been very careful not to connect the device to my computer unless it's on the home page, so that isn't a permanent preventative, contrary to gstone's suggestion.

 

I've posted this on the Issue Reporting board, including links to other threads that reported the same issue. Please post any further replies there.


LOL, the workaround for this is the same as for the people receiving bad/old book recommendations.  Just don't go to the home page.  Ever.  Use the library, the search and the shop to navigate all your needs on the device, and you won't have any issues.  :smileyhappy:

 

Yes, I know this sucks.  But whoever developed the home page wasn't as on-the-ball as whoever developed the rest of the nook application, and we're stuck with the workaround until B&N decides to fix it.  :smileysad:

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gstone
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books


Sun_Cat wrote:

Okay, here it is a couple of weeks later. During that time I've accessed a dozen or more books and magazines -- B&N and sideloaded -- with no glitches. And I've added both B&N and sideloaded content to my library.

 

Now, as of this morning, the glitches are back. I'm reading a sideloaded book, and it shows "page 1 of 1" on the home page. If I reboot, touching the book cover on the home page brings up the "synch to furthest read page" dialog. If I don't reboot, touching the book cover or the read icon currently takes me to the proper page.

 

In other words, it's a slightly different combination of symptoms than I described in the OP. Bookmarks are not lost and current page is not lost, except for the display on the home page and the confusion after rebooting.

 .......



I've never seen it do that on just rebooting. For me it has always happened after unplugging the nook from the PC (except installing the last upate also caused the problem). The only thing that is consistent for me is that it happens after unpluging from the PC and after adding\removing books using Calibre.

 

I have seen it happen when adding books to the nook not using Calibre so I don't think there is a connection there. It just happens that I use Calibre to manage the books on my nook.

 

One thing I didn't mention earlier however, is that I now close Calibre before disconnecting from the PC.

 

I have also tried just yanking the cord from the PC and not seen the issue crop up so it isn't just disconnecting from the PC either.

 

So far, after the update fiasco, I haven't had the problem crop up again.

 

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Sun_Cat
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

Thanks for prompting me to think about this again. A new idea has occurred to me.

 

When faced with an inconsistent set of symptoms that crops up randomly and can't be reproduced by any known specific procedure, an engineer would ordinarily suspect a hardware failure. That doesn't seem to be the case here.

 

The other kind of factor that can regularly cause a variety of unpredictable results is a timing issue. It takes time for the device to perform each operation associated with sideloading books and with exiting USB mode. If the Nook isn't given enough time to complete all the operations in the proper sequence, then the results could be unpredictable.

 

I too have always closed Calibre before disconnecting. However, I've noticed something that may be relevant and that does suggest timing is involved. When I first go to my library on the NST after sideloading several books, the overall library item count has not yet been updated. It can take up to a few minutes for the Nook to display the true new count. If I open a book during that time gap (while it's presumably scanning the newly sideloaded files and building them into the library database), that seems like a possible trigger for database corruption.

 

And I have done that. I suppose I could try re-sideloading the whole library and then assiduously avoid that practice. If it doesn't misbehave again, that would be suggestive that this theory is correct, but not conclusive.

 

Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon, or can confirm or deny that they've opened a book while the library was still rebuilding?

 

I'm going to cross-post part of this as a comment in the Issue Reporting thread, where I hope the engineers are reading it.

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Ya_Ya
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books


Sun_Cat wrote:

 

Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon, or can confirm or deny that they've opened a book while the library was still rebuilding?


My experience isn't scientifically useful but anecdotally could support your theory.

 

I've never experienced (that I can remember) the page number issue you describe.  I never pick up my NOOK to read immmediately after I sideload, though.  As strange as that sounds, I generally add books to it after I've been reading, right before I put it on the charger to charge for the night or into its neoprene sleeve and toss it in my purse.

 

This definitely doesn't prove anything, but if you end up being correct, that explains why I've never seen this...

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gstone
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books


Sun_Cat wrote:

......

 

The other kind of factor that can regularly cause a variety of unpredictable results is a timing issue. It takes time for the device to perform each operation associated with sideloading books and with exiting USB mode. If the Nook isn't given enough time to complete all the operations in the proper sequence, then the results could be unpredictable.

....


Timing could be part of the problem. I had never noticed the count total at top until checking my nook just now. The number is too small for me to read without a magnifying glass so I had ignored that line. :smileytongue:

 

Most often this happened when I added\removed books on my mom's nook. I usually go through the new books and set them up to open on Chapter One for her. She doesn't like reading Prologues for some reason. :smileysurprised:

 

On my nook, other than the update incident, it has only occurred when I had a book open and added\removed books. It affected the book that was open and all the books that were added. In addition to the Home Screen issue when sorting by Most Recent those books had moved to the bottom of the list and were stuck there.

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Sun_Cat
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Re: Inconsistency in reporting and remembering page numbers for sideloaded books

See also the latest comments on the Issue Reporting thread, where fjrichman provided a lilnk to a detailed diagnosis over on XDA Developers and I added a rant about the numskull B&N developers who created this situation.

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