UPCs vs. ISBNs?

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UPCs vs. ISBNs?

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1timspalding
sep 6, 2007, 10:05am

Hi. A user scanned a whole slew of books into a text file and ran them through. A big chunk didn't go through, and, of course, he can't tell which.

I asked him to send me just one that he knows didn't go through and he sent me:
.C3nZC3nZC3n2CxvYENr6DxnY.fHmc.C3r1DhTWC3n1DNn7.

Which he said should be Ben Bova's Mars, ISBN: 0-553-56241-X. Unfortunately, the CueCat translation turns into 783006508X, which is very far off from the ISBN.

Could this be a case where the book has a UPC different from the ISBN? I recall something about this paperbacks in particular.

Tim

2GreyHead
sep 6, 2007, 10:30am

ISBN 783006508X appears to be the Chinese edition of 75 short masterpieces : stories from the world's literature see here. There may be some cases where UPCs are different from ISBNs but I don't recall any.

But decoding the CueCat scan here I get a UPC code of 076783006508 which isn't an ISBN - but is a UPC code used by Bantam books (see here - and for more than one book according to Google.

I'd guess that the user has scanned the product codes on the back covers of his mass market paperbacks and not the ISBN from inside the front cover.

PS You really should send out copies of the CueCat guide with each CueCat!! :-)

3ejp1082
sep 6, 2007, 11:18am

I was indeed scanning the UPC's on the back cover - so are you saying that there should be another one on the inside of the book with the ISBN? Or do I simply have to resort to gathering ISBN's manually?

Either way I'll have to wait till I get home from work to check.

4mvrdrk
sep 6, 2007, 11:48am

>3 ejp1082: Yes. Mass market paperbacks have the ISBN on the inside of the cover, front or back. The bar code on the outside of the book is a UPC number.

5GreyHead
Redigeret: sep 6, 2007, 12:00pm

> 3 : ejp1082 : Have a look at the guide. It has some pictures of the different kinds of ISBN code. If you've scanned into a text file then you can easily check, all the valid ISBN-13 codes will start with 978. Oops no, forget that, it's a clawed CueCat and you can't see the real code :-(

The mass-market paperback have the ISBNs on the inside front cover because when they are returned for credit only the cover is sent.

6timspalding
sep 7, 2007, 8:15am

I knew the answer was something like this. I can't wait for the wiki. (Today or tomorrow, we think.)

7readafew
sep 7, 2007, 9:06am

sweet!

8fizbin
sep 22, 2007, 5:09pm

Note that using firefox, greasemonkey, and my cuecat script (see the cuecat forum for how to make firefox beep) with a clawed cuecat like this would tell you that the strange scan translates to:

UPA: 076783006508

Real ISBN codes come out of the script as type "IBN", "IB5" (ISBN plus 5 - the five digit pricing bit that's after an ISBN) or "IB2" (ISBN plus 2 - usually a case of getting only part of the price, but in this case we don't care about that part of the barcode anyway. I've never seen real ISBN plus 2 barcodes in the wild)

Anyway, "UPA" is the UPC-A barcode format.