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This post is part of TeleRead's "Using Calibre for E-Book Management" Guide: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2Ch. 3 | Ch. 4Ch. 5 | Ch. 6Ch. 7 | Ch. 8Ch. 9 | Ch. 10

CalibreUp until now, we’ve covered mostly basic stuff. This post discusses a more “advanced” and seriously cool feature: Using Calibre’s Content Server to manage your library wirelessly, no cords needed!

Begin by firing up the content server:

Then fire up a browser on a tablet, smartphone or even on an E Ink reader that supports Web browsing. Enter your computer’s IP address in the URL box, using this format http://xxx.xxx.x.x:8080, where “x” is your IP address. (Don’t know your IP address? No problem. Calibre will tell you what it is.)

Please don’t take offense at me blacking out my own IP address. No reason to make hackers’ lives that much easier!

Here’s what you’ll see in your browser:

Your Calibre library, right there, including all tags and formats available for each book! You can tap the format you’d like, and download right from here.

Easy as that. Open the book in the e-reading app of your chosing, and you’re ready to go.

Notice that you can see all your tags? And the box at the top of the screen? Yes, you can filter by tags, author or title to find exactly the books you’d like. Let’s see what I have in “Fantasy”…

Very cool. And better than USB cords, right? Remember, this works on your Wi-Fi-equipped E Ink reader as well. It’s not very fast (OK, it’s actually deadly slow), but here’s what it looks like on my Kindle:

You can select a compatible format and download, just like on a tablet. Note that it does seem to take longer to download than when I get a book from Amazon, but it does work.

What I’ve been showing you supposes that your device and library are on the same wireless network. Can you access your library from a remote location? Apparently, yes, but you’ll have to set up port forwarding on your router. That’s beyond my technical capabilities. If any reader knows how and would like to share, feel free to add it in the comments.

Astute readers no doubt noticed another option under ‘Connect/Share’: “Start wireless device connection.” Using that feature requires the Calibre Companion app, available on Google Play or Amazon. I haven’t used the app yet, but I plan to buy it and test it out. Look for an app review article about it in the coming weeks.

 
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