mrv3000: made by elismor (book reading)
mrv3000 ([personal profile] mrv3000) wrote2011-03-31 10:54 am

eReader question

It looks like Amazon only sells eBooks in their proprietary Kindle format. Has anyone dealt with converting this to ePub? Is it easy? Any problems with it?

I'm still debating buying a Nook, but it'd be nice to be able to buy books from Amazon if I wanted.

It would be nice if there was a cross-platform standard instead of Amazon trying to be exclusive.
ext_24600: (acts - billie - laughter is always the b)

[identity profile] marcasite.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a Kindle and I love it. It reads the AZW (Amazon's proprietry format) as well as MOBI and PDF. I have a converter that I downloaded to my laptop that converts files to MOBI so I can upload to the Kindle.

Just 15 minutes ago, here at work, I was given the Nook Color to play with and it is twice the weight of the Kindle. I was surprised by how heavy it was. The Kindle uses eink so there is no glare. I realized that after ten minutes that I would get a headache if I wanted to read on the Nook as much as I would on the Kindle.

I think the Nook would be good if you wanted something in between a tablet and a reader and you don't plan on using the Nook soley for reading.

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 06:05 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't think I'd get the Nook Color - I'd just want the basic version. I have a hard enough time reading off a computer monitor for long periods of time - I'd want something that looks like ink and paper. And I'm not really interested in internet surfing with it, just reading.

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 06:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Have you converted fic to your Kindle before? Does that work well?

(And now I'm back looking at the Kindle...)

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[identity profile] bittybye2000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 06:13 pm (UTC)(link)
You'd have to strip the DRM, which is pretty easy if others are to be believed, you can google it. Unfortunately stripping DRM is the US is one of those legal murky areas. Technically I think it's illegal but just about everyone does it.

It's easy to convert non DRM'ed books. And then there's a lot of free content on line too, if you like 50 year old literature.

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 06:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Hmm. Sounds like a pain.

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[identity profile] larissa-j.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 06:53 pm (UTC)(link)
You're right in that it's technically illegal thanks to DMCA but it's also been ignored when individuals make copies for themselves for their own personal use. This holds true regardless of the format. In short, if they can't see the files (i.e. you're not sharing via file swapping), they don't know you have them.

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[identity profile] sumeria.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 06:14 pm (UTC)(link)
If what you're wanting to do is convert proprietary kindle .azw files to epub, it's not impossible, but it's a lot of work. An azw is basically a mobi file with amazon's DRM applied to it-- so first, you have to break the DRM. (For which people have, of course, made utilities, but I don't have universal success with them.) There are plenty of utilities out there that will convert pretty much any kind of texty thing you have to epub or mobi, or between the two, so once you deal with the DRM, it's not tricky to do.

As for the cross-platform thing... ebooks are basically in the betamax/VHS place right now; mobi and epub are the two main ebook file types, and I honestly see no particular reason to prefer one to the other. Amazon went with mobi for the kindle, because its html based and that simplifies some issues of behind-the-scenes coding, and as near as I can tell, B&N went with epub with the Nook because Amazon was doing mobi.

Full disclosure: I myself have a kindle, and I like it much better than the Nooks I played with (though in fairness, only the color version of the Nook should have the backlit screen problem mentioned above). Kindle, I have personally verified, supports mobi, pdf, html and txt files; I'm not sure what formats beyond epub are supported by the Nook, but it does have an internet browser, so I imagine it must support html.

If you are interested in the internet browser feature, the kindle would be a better choice, though; its browser works quite a bit better.

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 06:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Interesting. Thanks!

I think I'd been leaning towards Nook because for some reason I'd been thinking that it was easier to upload fic. Hmm.

I don't want to be illegal about things, but I don't like the thought of having to buy exclusively from either Amazon or B&N. I'd like to buy anywhere.

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ext_18985: (read)

[identity profile] aj.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 06:35 pm (UTC)(link)
If you want to upload/read fic on a reader, go poke a Sony. I've had one for a couple years (if you hit up Amazon, get a used PRS 505 - they're not currently in production but they're the best fic-and-book-friendly of the lot and are light, but well-made) and it's incredibly easy to upload fic. Sonys tend to have the largest diversity in readable file types, but they'll also read .rtf files, so you can just copy and paste something off a webpage into a .rtf file and read it, no problem.

Also, it's eInk, so no glare and reads like a Kindle.
Edited 2011-03-31 18:36 (UTC)

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 06:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Hmmm. I might have to poke a Sony.

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[identity profile] papilio-luna.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 07:15 pm (UTC)(link)
It looks like I'm going to have to represent for the Nook since everyone else is Kindling.

If you've got a Nook, you buy your Officially Official books off of Barnes and Noble, and in practise it's basically the same as Amazon if you're a Kindle owner. I've got a 3G e-ink Nook, and via the 3G network, I can connect to B&N's bookstore from basically anywhere in the US and buy books quickly and easily. Or I can buy them online on a computer and my Nook will find and download my newly purchased content next time I turn it on.

For most things, the Nook and Kindle are identical. You buy your books off of B&N or Amazon, they are DRM'd files in either ePub or mobi, and either which way you're at the whims of what publishers feel willing to release as e-books.

With a Nook, you can get library books, in theory, but publishers have been so infuriating about the library market that this really is mostly still just theory. With a Kindle, the library isn't really an option, but in practise neither is really an option anyway.

With non-DRM'd files like fic and web pages and public domain books, Nook or Kindle makes no difference. Calibre will convert whatever to whatever quickly and easily.

One thing that did have me wishing that I had a Kindle (though normally I love my Nook and specifically chose it over a Kindle because I do think that ePub is the more widely-available format) is that Nook, as a B&N product, only has 3G access and support within North America. Kindle is worldwide because Amazon sells worldwide. Normally this wouldn't make any difference at all, but I had weird technical problems with my Nook while in the UK that would have been much more easily solved if it wasn't an invasive species rather than a native one.

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 07:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I guess I need to decide if the library aspect is a huge thing to me or not. Hmm.

I'd be more inclined towards Nook just because of ePub, which seems like it's becoming the standard outside of anything that's not Amazon.
ext_2180: laurel leaf (reading - this year i resolve to buy mor)

[identity profile] loriel-eris.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 07:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I haven't read thru the other comments, so this may be superfluous.

My Sister is in NZ with a Sony eReader and is having helluva trouble buying epub books. So, for her Christmas, I used my Google-fu and wrote her a Dummies Guide to Converting From Amazon Ebooks to epbub (or format of your choice). I then bought a ton of Amazon ebooks, did the conversions for her and she can read them.

So, thus, if you want the Christmas package, with software (and links to what was too big to email), I'm more than happy to provide.

(PS. I did this using Calibre, so if you want to do your own Google-fu, you're basically searching for stuff using Calibre (and I think I searched for stripping DRM as well - I think that's what other people's motivations were!). If you're really desperate, I could maybe find the original comment thread where I got my pointers.

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 07:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks! If/when I get to that point, I may poke you!

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captaintish: (BSG -- Reading is Sexy)

[personal profile] captaintish 2011-04-01 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
I have some links that come in handy, -- just google Apprentice Alf.

[identity profile] yourebrilliant.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 07:28 pm (UTC)(link)
I thought about getting a Kindle but ended up with a Sony eBook Pocket instead. It's a great size (just a bit smaller than a paperback) it's got the eInk software and it's nice and light. You can buy a very nice leather case for it in four different colours which protects its touch screen and looks swanky and its integrated software converts everything from ePub to Word docs into its ebook format without fuss.

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 07:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Another Sony rec! I'm really going to have to look at it.

How's the screen? Is it like reading paper?

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[identity profile] goldy-dollar.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 07:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I like my kindle. And it mostly reads PDFs beautifully re: fic.

(Everyone else had these very long answers, but I still wanted to make my feelings known!)

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 08:00 pm (UTC)(link)
A vote for the Kindle! :D

[identity profile] littledivinity.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 07:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I just want to toss this out there in favour of the Nook: Calibre is a really great book converter. I've had no issues with it, but I haven't tried my Kindle files yet because I'm scared of them.

The Nook is a BIT heavy, but that's not really a problem for me, and to reduce eyestrain, I just turn the brightness down or use the gray or 'cream' background instead of the standard black & white.

Plus with Calibre it's super easy to convert fics and other such things to ePub for my reading pleasure.

(However, my dad has a Kindle and loves it with all his heart. But then, he doesn't want bells and whistles, and I kind of like being able to play music on my Nook while I read.)

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 08:02 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm not really a bells and whistles person either. I just want to read. :D

From my research, it looks like the Nook is a few ounces heavier. I'm not interested in the color version, so it doesn't look like it'd be that big of a difference.

[identity profile] javabreeze.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 08:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I have nothing substantial to add other than thank you for this post because I've been thinking about buying a Kindle and now that I know you can easily add fanfic to it, I'm more inclined to buy one.

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 08:17 pm (UTC)(link)
That really is a big thing for me too.

[identity profile] darkmoon711.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 11:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I bought a Sony Ereader and I love it.

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-03-31 11:56 pm (UTC)(link)
All these Sony lovers! I really need to take a look at it.

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[identity profile] stef94.livejournal.com 2011-04-01 12:03 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm in the Sony eReader camp too :-)

I'm not a fan of Amazon's proprietary format. And their ability to remove books from your account, books that you have paid for.
Nook is useless to me, as I can't buy through B&N, what with not being in the US 'n stuff.
I used to own an iRiver Story until the screen broke :-\
The iRiver was, at the time, the most amazing ereader for supported file formats. If I were to replace it, though, I'd buy the Sony prs-650 or prs-350, as they support the most useful file formats for me. For the moment I'm making do with my Android phone.
If you should choose the Sony, make sure you get either the 650 or the 350, not the 600 or the 300. The screens of the former are far =far= superior to the screens of the latter.

Calibre is awesome. It's a library and conversion software that supports a wide range of ereaders. I've been using it to slowly convert my fanfic library to ePub, so I can easily read it on my phone or a future ereader.

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-04-02 12:18 am (UTC)(link)
I heard about Amazon removing things - that's...not cool.

And thanks for the advice about the Sonys! Funny how there's such a difference.

[identity profile] pittsburghgirl.livejournal.com 2011-04-03 02:04 am (UTC)(link)
I really recommend the Kindle though. I really love mine

[identity profile] mrv3000.livejournal.com 2011-04-03 03:34 am (UTC)(link)
They do look really nice.