For Scanlators

While we respect and revere the mangaka's and manwha's that make manga a possibility, without scanlation groups, people such as myself would be ignorant of the joys of manga (thank you very much =:) ).

The MangaCat software suite therefore acknowledges these efforts through the built in functionality which allows both scanlators and users to tag files thereby acknowledging ownership and effort of scanlated works.

Introducing MangaCat Tag

The MangaCat software suite is built around the concept of file tagging which includes the process of adding a defined byte sequence of data to a scanlated archive which in effect "tags" it. This process can be compared to tagging mp3 files. The benefit of this method is that once the file is tagged, the data travels with the file wherever it goes. This has immeasurable benefits for the whole Manga community because it will introduce a standard file information retention policy.

How does it benefit Scanlators?


When tagging files with MangaCat tag, the scanlation data is written to the file. This is useful because:

  1. It acknowledges scanlation teams and individuals
  2. It discourages intellectual property theft which is very common (other people passing off your work as theirs). 
  3. The details go wherever the file goes
  4. Software programs and websites can check for the tag and so extract manga and scanlation group information to display to the end user.

It also helps enthusiasts such as myself because when a scanlation archive gets distributed, it will be nicely tagged having such information as manga name, chapter, volume and scanlation group details. End users such as myself won't have to break open compressed archives to get at the images to see who scanlated it, what chapter and volume it is and how to get in contact with said scanlation team.

For Developers and Distrabutors 


Scanlated archive/image  distributors, developers and websites spend lots of time in keeping files organised using there own methods. If scanlated archives that have been 'tagged', they can be programmatically interrogated and the tag information can be retrieved from the file to be displayed to the end user.

Various manga software can plug into the Tag specification and so maintain and update the tag information as necessary

End users

Users can now decide to read/download files based on tag information. This will be especially useful in environments such as IRC where the file can be checked if it has a tag. If yes, then the tag is retrieved and shown to the user. Based on this information, the user can decide to download or not.

How do I tag files?

The MangaCat software has this functionality built into it however this software is aimed more at the end user. For scanlators, you can download the MangaCatTag executable here. Download the latest version of the file or one applicable for your OS. Note that you need java 1.6 or later to run this file.

Once the program has started, open your scanlated archive and then insert the information that you want to be in the tag. Click save and then distribute your file.

In conclusion

The popularity of music players and music sharing sites in the late 90's and early 2000's owe their popularity to the introduction of the mp3 file specification. It was this little idea that helped people all over the world to share their music.The MangaCat tag file specification seeks to do the same but it requires the buy in from scanlators. The distrabution chain starts with you. If you tag the file, then send it out to the time reaches me, I will be able to track its origin back to you. The circle is comeplete.

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