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Calibre

Keeping it simple with Calibre
June 17, 2014 | 2:25 pm

CalibreAs a heavy user of the Calibre ebook library program, I have been interested to see my usage evolve over the years. I began with the premise---which I still maintain---that Calibre would be a digital bookshelf for me, the e-version of a physical shelf which one could browse and view. I like being able to turn on cover view and flick through the books! But I also see the advantages of the electronic filing system. You can sort the books by title, author or genre; you can filter the collection---only unread books, only five-star books, only kids books, however you want....

App Review: Google Play Books for Android
June 17, 2014 | 12:19 pm

Screenshot_2014-06-17-10-57-52I hadn’t paid much attention to Google Play Books before. I’d installed and even paid for readers like Aldiko and Moon+ (TeleRead review), and snagged a couple freeish ones like UB Reader, but Play Books just sat in my app drawer, unused, like most of the pack-in Google apps. But when I came across this Lifehacker piece calling it “the best e-reader for Android,” I figured it was worth trying out. And darned if I don’t by and large agree. Offering a simple and easy-to-use reading interface and cloud reading-position sync with all books, Google Play Books is...

Ars Technica exhaustively documents all Android versions
June 16, 2014 | 2:37 am

its-been-quite-a-journey1-980x439In the interest of documenting it for the historical record, Ars Technica has just posted an immense 40,000-word retrospective on all versions of Android to date, with as many screen shots and as much information as they can gather. It’s possibly the biggest article I’ve seen on their site, at 26 separate pages; Ars Technica premier subscribers can view it in single page form on the site or download a PDF. Those folks who don’t pay for a subscription may want to use an aggregator like Instapaper to view it in a more manageable form. It might even...

Put your e-books on a shelf with Digital Library Wallpaper
June 4, 2014 | 5:42 pm

vodafone-digital-library-wallpaperOne of the problems paper bibliophiles often cite in e-books is that you can’t show off your e-book collection on your shelves. It’s all hidden inside a computer. But Engaget reports that Vodaphone Romania has found a clever way around that as part of its own e-book lending program. which it calls Digital Library Wallpaper. Customers can go to Vodaphone’s web site, pick out the books they want, and then have a big wallpaper “shelf” printed that has book decorations and scannable QR codes on it so that they, or their friends who are visiting, can load the books onto...

Dropbox uses file hashes to comply with DMCA requests. So what?
April 2, 2014 | 2:50 am

Surprise! Dropbox has anti-piracy measures in place. You’ve probably seen the stories by now. When you right-click that file on your drive and ask for a public link that you can share so your friend can download it, Dropbox runs a hash on the file—it basically takes the file’s fingerprint by assigning a specific character to particular bits. If it finds that hash matches a list of hashes that have been declared verboten by DMCA request, it tells you that you can’t share it. (Likewise, it hashes files so that it can save space by only storing one copy of...

Adobe’s change of DRM could end old e-readers’ compatibility with e-book stores
February 3, 2014 | 5:27 pm

Here’s a story Nate covered over on The Digital Reader, that could be important in months to come. Adobe is changing up its DRM format, and as of July, will stop supporting the old format altogether. Any new EPUB e-books sold with Adobe DRM on them will be incompatible with older readers unless they have been upgraded. This really is a pretty big deal. Pretty much every e-reader sold besides Kindle and Nook used Adobe ADEPT e-book DRM. (And I seem to recall even Nook could support ADEPT DRM even though B&N used a slightly different DRM format for...

Fanfiction.net blocks FLAG fanfic e-book converter, disallows copying and pasting
November 5, 2013 | 8:47 pm

fanfictionWe’ve run a couple of articles about useful apps that can turn fanfiction posted at popular online fanfiction repositories into e-books readable on portable devices. But lately, it seems that one of the most popular fanfiction repositories, Fanfiction.net, has taken issue with one of the more popular downloading tools, the Fanfiction Lightweight Automated Grabber (FLAG). FLAG admin Steven Gilberd posts an email exchange he had with Fanfic.net’s administrators. When he originally developed the tool in 2008, Gilberd asked for and received permission from Fanfiction.net to allow the tool to operate. However, Fanfiction.net has suddenly changed its tune, saying, “Please note it...

Calibre Reaches 1.0 Status
August 23, 2013 | 11:41 am

CalibreCalibre, the popular e-book manager, has finally reached 1.0 status. The news, announced on their blog yesterday, begins with an entertaining look at the genesis of Calibre seven years ago, and then enumerates the features that pushed it into 1.0 status:  A cover grid view  A faster database backend  Allowing images in the comment field  Enhanced conversion options  Virtual library partitions  Other small fixes and improvements I am thrilled with these new enchancements. As a loyal Calibre user, I want to thank Kovid Goyal and his team for all their hard work and congratulate them on their new 1.0 status. I also would like to remind people that...

Creating Chapter Breaks in Calibre from Word Docs
August 12, 2013 | 4:00 pm

Calibre Plugins Now that Calibre can convert Word documents into e-books, it's become even easier to create books with proper chapter breaks. I'd experimented with the "Edit ToC" feature in Calibre before, but I hadn't been able to get it to work quite right. Then over the weekend, as I was creating e-books from some fanfics I found on Livejournal, I figured it out. Cut and paste your text into a Word document and locate your chapter headings. Odds are they look like the highlighted text in the following screen shot: Highlight the text and click the "Heading Style" (where the red arrow is...

Marvin and Calibre: Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly (video)
July 16, 2013 | 10:35 am

Since I just received a shiny new iPad (fourth generation) as an early birthday present, I've been doing more reading in Marvin, which I reviewed earlier this year. There have been several updates since my initial review, and one of the things I noticed was a "Calibre Connector" in one of the menus. I did some searching and discovered that books can by synced to Marvin directly through Calibre, over a wired sync. Since Marvin has one of the best Dropbox integrations I've ever seen, I wouldn't suggest this for loading one or two books, but it's a great way to sync...

End-of-month roundup: My Answers Expert articles
June 30, 2013 | 3:08 pm

Just a quick end-of-the-month postscript to add four more Answers Expert articles I wrote with e-reader relevance. From here on out, I will probably limit these posts to one a month at the end of the month, though you can get instant notification of each new article as I write it if you follow my Twitter or Facebook. Using Instapaper to Read Articles Later Feedly Web RSS Reader Will Ease the Pain of Google Reader's Loss ...

Calibre now converts .docx files
June 7, 2013 | 4:15 pm

Calibre PluginsThis is a huge new feature, and one that makes me very happy. I like to download stories, compile them in Word to make one big document and then use Calibre to convert them into something I can read on an e-reader. And I'm picky; I like my italics, bolding and other formatting. Previously, I've saved the file as an .rtf, which works, but half the time, I'd forget and save as a .docx file instead, add it to Calibre, and see the "File Format Not Supported" dialog box. Blast! Back to save the file again. No more. I updated Calibre and...