ISBN to cover photo
November 20, 2007 9:29 AM   Subscribe

How to turn a list of ISBNs into a folder of JPEG photos of those book covers?

I want to use photos of books in my library as a screen saver/ advertisement. I want to do this using the ISBNs. Is there an online tool that will take a list of ISBNs, pull the appropriate cover images from Amazon or another service, and dump them into a folder for me? I'm looking for functionality similar to Shelfari's bookshelf, but with JPEG output.
posted by cosmicbandito to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure exactly how, but I think your best bet involves LibraryThing.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:06 AM on November 20, 2007

Data Crow is a library catalogue/database application which will do what you need, although it's obviously not the software's primary function. Just load up your books and the images will be stored in the application's data/images folder.

It says that you can import csv data (although I've never tried it), otherwise you may need to copy & paste each ISBN number individually, which might be a pain if your list is particularly long.
posted by dogsbody at 10:12 AM on November 20, 2007

I can only help with a small piece of the puzzle, but if all of your ISBNs are the nine digit ones (or are converted to nine digits), you can use this link

where X = the cover you're looking for

It returns a big jpg of that books cover with some other things.

Someone might be able to help you do something with this info.
posted by drezdn at 10:25 AM on November 20, 2007

if you'd prefer to use booksense to do it...

13 digit Booksense image links are in the form
posted by drezdn at 10:29 AM on November 20, 2007

Best answer: I think kiltedtaco's got it. I haven't tried this, but here's how I'd do it.

1) Sign up for an LT account.
2) Import your list of ISBNs.
3) Go through you library and select the correct covers. (optional)
4) Install Firefox and the DownloadThemAll extension.
5) LT created a page especially for projects like this: All your Covers (you'll probably need to be signed in)
6) Use DownloadThemAll to, well, download them all.

For more info:
* Tim from LT's blog post
* How to make a poster
* LT's Talk discussion about All Your Covers
posted by natabat at 10:31 AM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

(What follows goes with my last comment)

XXX is the last three digits from the right (in this case 123)
YYY is the next three from the right 789

You could create a page that displays all of your book covers by loading an array of values of your ISBNs (they need to be in the 13 digit form or converted to 13digit).

Then it takes the ISBN for each and generates an img link.

I have no idea how you could make that work as a screensaver.
posted by drezdn at 10:31 AM on November 20, 2007

Response by poster: Natabat's idea worked great with minimal effort. Thanks! Now if Amazon would just provide high res images of covers, I'd be a much happier man.
posted by cosmicbandito at 11:10 AM on November 20, 2007

You could also use Amazon's API to do this.
posted by rachelpapers at 5:15 PM on November 20, 2007

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