iOS5 kills Stanza!


Received this info from Chris Bridges.  Here is what he says in his Bashing in Minds blog:

I also am not exaggerating when I say that when I upgraded to iOS5 this morning, my displeasure at finding out that Stanza no longer works was epic, loud and very likely offensive in a family setting. Just error after error, no way to open a book, nothing. Imagine a heroin user being told that needles don’t work any more and he’d have to find another way to get the stuff into his veins, and you’d have the general idea.

A quick Google search revealed this was a known problem among beta-testers and that there is very likely no update coming since a) Amazon bought Lexcycle and doesn’t really have any motivation to improve their competing product and b) the developers no longer work for Amazon anyway. I hope I’m wrong and it updates anyway, but now I have to find another ebook reader, and this is going to be tough because I’ve tried them all as they come out and not a single one combines the features I want as elegantly as Stanza, an app that hasn’t had a significant update in two years.

54 Comments on iOS5 kills Stanza!

  1. Just remember “Amazon is my friend” so Amazon must have done this to protect us from ourselves.

  2. Thanks for the warning. I use Stanza on my iPod Touch. I just hope I remember not to click yes when an update reminder comes up for 5.

  3. you might want to try shubook i’m in the exact same boat as you dude, and i spent most of the morning demoing e-readers …closest thing i could find to stanza is shubook…it’s not perfect, but it’s lightyears closer than other ones i’ve tried…

  4. I was a huge supporter of Stanza till they sold out to Amazon.

    I just use iBooks with the iCloud feature turned on now.

    I use iTunes to organize my ePublished eBooks that I do not buy from either Amazon or Apple.

    So my indie eBook PDFs get the royal Apple iTunes backup and organization and delivery on the iCloud and I think I have only bought all of one eBook from them.

    So you work with what you got. But I think my way makes more sense in all. It’s less likely Apple will stop supporting iBooks.

  5. MegaReader seems like an adequate substitute, though not as feature rich, if, like me, you ONLY used Stanza for quick-n-dirty ePub reading ( I use dotEPub to grab long web articles and online fiction for offline reading in ePub format.).

    Unfortunately, it isn’t free $1.99), doesn’t have quite the same aesthetic as Stanza, has a name that makes me grit my teeth, and doesn’t support other formats like the old Palm drm’ed format used by Fictionwise before they started supporting ePub. But at least the developer seems to be willing to listen to user requests.

  6. I now use iBooks and have done so since I first read about issues with iOS5 and Stanza. Although I don’t and won’t use the iBook store (no eBooks available for NZ buyers apart from the freebies) the iBooks app is better than BlueFire for my ePub books. I can at least amend the metadata through Calibre before loading my eBooks on to my iPad/iPhone and iBooks appears to be capable of handling a large number of eBooks – no metadata editing available in BlueFire and limited number of books can be stored due to memory issues. Although I would like a couple of changes to iBooks to make it more user friendly I am happy to have something that pretty much meets my requirements.

  7. I have managed to get books into iOS 5 Stanza and read them, but it’s not convenient. Basically, Stanza’s Library function is borked. To get a book, you have to get Stanza into Shared mode and use Calibre or download books from other Shared book sources, and that can take some patience–the program crashes over and over. I just kept punching Ignore when the error message showed up and finally got into Shared Mode. At that point, I could dowload a single book from those sources and read it. Rinse and repeat. Do not touch the Library button, or you will have to start all over again. Gaaaaah.

    What I did was delete Stanza to clean out the library, and reinstalled Stanza. It comes up with a cheery face and good old Alice in Wonderland. I carefully touched the back arrow on top, let it gyrate and crash a few times until I could get to the Shared button. The program instantly recognized the Calibre content server and I could choose a book for download. Touch the Read Now button and you’re off. I could also download from shared Bookstores, such as SmashWords, and read the books I downloaded from there.

    All other Stanza features, including the dictionary, work just fine for me.

    I tried every single reader in the iTunes store today priced below $2, and hated every one of them. MegaReader was passible, as was BeyondPrint (based on BlueFire). But each had some annoyance that drove me to figure out how to get a book back into poor Stanza.

    No other source–Dropbox, iTunes, iEplore–worked. One at a time is the only way, sigh.

    I have touching faith in the eBook community that someone will figure out how to fix the Library problem. Please (sob).

  8. Based on the error messages I’ve seen, fixing Stanza would require access to the source

    (which, reading the Stanza support forum, Amazon seems to be ignoring requests for – I suspect there’s proprietary code in it (like the code that lets Stanza read DRM’ed ebooks?) that they can’t share because they don’t own it. Or they actually plan to fix it themselves, though I have no confidence in that happening.).

  9. I’ve been pretty happy with BlueFire, though lately I’ve discovered Blio for non-DRM’d EPUB books, and it really is nice – it’s based on some of the same display technology as Eucalyptus on the iPhone. I used to love Stanza but haven’t touched it in a year or two as other apps have come along. For PDFs, I prefer GoodReader…

  10. Works ok on my iPod Touch /w iOS 5. Same /w eReader app. Won’t work on my iPhone 4 though. And, the eReader app is no longer available in the App store.

  11. I knew it would survive the flight but not the landing when my iPod Touch bounced off the wall and onto the floor after trying to use Stanza after the upgrade to IOS 5. Stanza was head and shoulders above all others.
    For my 3rd generation Touch the improvements with IOS 5 seem to be less than the loss of Stanza and now I’m researching how to downgrade back to IOS 4.*

  12. If anyone figures out how to downgrade from iOS 5, please post the fix! I don’t need an Emoticon keyboard; I do need my reader back.

  13. Susan – why on earth would you upgrade the first day any software upgrade comes out ? it’s looking for trouble with any software producer.

    if you want to downgrade then Google is your friend. I got detailed instructions the first time I searched.

  14. Howard, the answer is simple. My brain clearly exploded and I upgraded before I had collected all the pieces.

    As for downgrading, I got zillions of hits for downgrading from an iOS5 beta, but nothing yet for the released OS. Rather than make matters worse, I’ll wait for someone explain how to downgrade from the released version.

  15. Yeah, I saw that one, but, um, I am blobless. I do have backups, but I wouldn’t know where to find a blob within them.

    “Before you downgrade, please remember you can only downgrade your iDevice firmware if, and only if, you have saved your SHSH blobs somewhere safely, hopefully with Saurik’s Cydia server, or locally on your machine.”

  16. I have switched to i2Reader. Surprised that nobody has mentioned this one.
    I have used Stanza for years and it has always been my favorite. i2Reader
    is as good and in some cases better than Stanza.

    You can customize almost everything, not just text color, but color of main
    text separately from headline text and italics, footnotes etc.

    You can choose from a lot of fonts, I did not count but would estimate
    maybe 60 or so.

    You can choose font size by slider or specify by point size.

    You can choose background color, overlay a picture with slider controlled

    You can save unlimited styles you make or use the pre-configured ones.
    Switch in Book while reading by double tapping the page.

    There is a custom status line setup which shows any combo of time,
    progress bar, page number or percentage of book read and all this can be
    separately color and size controlled. Or removed completely.

    Full Screen Reading option.
    Animate-able page turns or the ability to turn them off, also the ability for

    tap zones if you don’t like sliding the page and the ability to Define where
    the tap zones are on the page.

    Sleep mode or Not.

    Orientation Lock for both directions, you choose or let it rotate.

    The library can have indexes (the letters to quickly get down large library
    pages like Stanza).

    Large cover icons or small.

    Auto grooping of books, by metadata.

    Option to open book at startup or not.

    Choice of TXT encoding… the list is Sooooooo Long!

    You can Sort the library by Author, Title, Sequence, Sequence #, Publisher,
    Publishing Series, Generas. One at a time or all at once. Although you have
    to go into Prefrence tab to change. I just sort. “Author, Title,Sequence,
    Sequence #” so everything is in order.

    In the library there is no author folders like Stanza, but with the sorting
    turned on everything in the list shows up together if your metadata is correct.



    A built in web browser.

    OPDS Libraries. (they put in Feedbooks, you add whatever you want.)

    Shared Libraries to use with Calibre and i2Librian.
    A built in FTP server to upload books to your device.
    HTTP Server to upload books to your device.

    Dictionaries!!! You can add as many as you want (StarDict format), and use
    one at a time or all at once, you choose.

    Supports bookmarks with names, has a page with history of last 5 books
    opened and new books added and a button called “Bookmarks in Library” so
    you can get into whichever book you want to read where you left off.

    The one bug I have found is that when visiting hyperlinked footnotes I have
    trouble using the link back, but I always bookmark before following and
    then use the bookmark to get back, I just call the bookmark “q” every time
    and overwrite it.

    Also no Sharing function from in the app.

    All in all I will say this beats the hell out of Bluefire and all the rest

    of the readers out there, but I will miss Stanza.

    One more thing it’s $4.99 U.S.D from the app store.

    But worth it!

    I will post how to install the dictionaries on my blog soon as it is a bit
    of a pain in the butt. You can find the instructions here when posted:


  17. On your say-so, I bought i2Reader. There are some amazing features in there, particularly the ability to define your own styles and configure the tap zones. It’s quick and seems pretty stable.

    On the down side, it won’t connect to Calibre, and I used the same IP as that in ShuBook, which connects with no trouble. Not so big deal, because I can just drag and drop books into iTunes or get them from DropBox.

    The ghastly documentation says you can sort books by genre, buy it didn’t respect my Calibre tags and there’s no way to add genres to the books or put them into any subcategories.

    Love the fact that it uses a dictionary format that’s so old, every single page I went to to try and find StarDicts gave 404–Not Found. I recall using those dictionaries on my old WinCE PDA…but the files are long gone.

    It’s not bad, but I am annoyed that it touts Calibre integration and doesn’t have it, and the lack of dictionary is sad. But it will have to do until I can downgrade my iPad back to 4.3.

    Thanks for the heads-up!

  18. I just checked and Susan is correct, the integration with calibre seems to not be working, hopefully they will update this later. Not sure how to sort by Geners yet either but the sort function in Preferences seems to work with Authors fine, how I use it.
    Also at the top of the library page you can search for book names authors etc.

    I just figured it’s the best I can find, better than Bluefire so other people out there with Stanza would be glad like me to have it. I thought about downgrading also but I think I can live with this for now.

    As I use an iPod Touch I can not say how well the iPad version works.
    Good luck all

  19. I did finally find a StarDict dictionary, and managed to get it installed. Pressing on a word brings up the dictionary option…too bad every attempt to look up a word brings up the Not Found box. Something’s not right there, even though the installation appears to be correct.

  20. Susan follow the link from my other post above to my blog and follow the directions exactly.
    You probably did not do the step where you change the “d” to a “g” then unzip the second file.
    I had this problem at first also but got the dictionary to work.

  21. Changing the .dz to .gz fixed it–thank you so much! I am liking i2Reader a lot–it outshines Stanza in many ways and is an excellent substitute. I do wish he would fix the Calibre problem. I couldn’t add Project Gutenberg either, so perhaps it’s the program has a general problem with OPDS.

    I emailed the author, but never heard back. I wonder if this app is abandoned as well…

  22. Correction. The addresses for the Gutenberg catalogs that I used seemed to be wrong. This one works:

  23. And finally, I did get Calibre to work with i2Reader. You have to add /opds to the end of the address. For example:

    So, as far as I can see, i2Reader meets or exceeds all of Stanza’s features, with the exception of Library organization. I’m a happy camper. Thanks so much for all your help, DangerD!

  24. It’s been obvious for a long time that Stanza was on death watch, it was only a matter of time before either Amazon withdrew it or an iOS update killed it. I switched to iBooks months ago and haven’t missed Stanza much at all.

    The Mac version of Stanza still works on Lion and is still useful in certain circumstances (e.g. quick conversions of short stories and articles to epub, adding meta-data, etc. prior to transferring them to iTunes), but it’s clearly going to die from lack of updates at some point too.

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