View Full Version : PDF vs CBR/CBZ


crackhammer
03-21-2013, 09:02 AM
Hello folks,

I am not really too sure if this is a right section to post this question. If its wrong, mods, feel free to move.

Its been about 5 years since I got into scanning my book library business and I chose exclusively pdf files as final output. I managed to get some files into a reasonable file size, some are still as large as 400mb+. These large files can not be opened on any portable device that I own (iPad 1st Gen, Xoom 1st Gen LTE, HTC One X or Droid Razr), Hence, I am forced to use laptop.

On an experiment basis, I exported that book to jpeg files, resampled jpegs to 150dpi in addition to adjusting their dimensions using Fotosizer. Those images, I can easily open on my portable devices and can read without any troubles. I do not need OCR for all books (actually I hardly need OCR because majority of my books have colorful biology images).

So I started thinking, how about using CBR or CBZ format (i.e. comic book format) for my books? I wonder if pdf aficionados can comment on what pdf format offers extra in addition to CBZ (apart from OCR, highlighting and commenting), that I should stick to pdf formats for future scans.

Many thanks for your comments.

Bonus question - Does anyone know good CBR/CBZ reader app for iOS and Android? I tried VReader for iOS, worked well for a while and then crashed. Since then the library is wiped out (but the files are still there). The developer won't answer the question.)

DSpider
03-21-2013, 12:55 PM
I wonder if pdf aficionados can comment on what pdf format offers extra in addition to CBZ (apart from OCR, highlighting and commenting), that I should stick to pdf formats for future scans.

There are a lot of differences between CBR/CBZ and PDF, but what you need to know is that CBR/CBZ suck. They are basically RAR and ZIP files with a different file extension, and I'm not even sure that they can store metadata (i.e. author, title, publisher, year, ISBN, etc). PDF files can. PDF files can also have proper page numbers. For example, from the e-reader, if you tell it to go to page "6" and the scans start at page 4... you'll end up with out of sync pages compared to the numbers that are written at the bottom of the pages:

Page 1 in the e-reader = page 4 in the scans
Page 3 in the e-reader = page 6 in the scans
Page 5 in the e-reader = page 8 in the scans
Page 10 in the e-reader = page 13 in the scans
Page 29 in the e-reader = page 32 in the scans
...

So you can number the pages accordingly in Acrobat Pro, and if the PDF reading software is not some crappy basement project, they will respect the page numbers that you set. That's not possible with CBR/CBZ.

Compression-wise, Acrobat Pro does a much better job than simply placing them in a RAR or ZIP archive, and OCR is sometimes a very good thing to have, especially for the ability to search the damn book, not just highlight stuff from it. Ctrl+F ftw! For a better OCR accuracy, I would recommend ABBYY FineReader, not Acrobat. Acrobat is only good for touch-ups and optimizations (there is no equivalent tool for CBR/CBZ).

Bonus question - Does anyone know good CBR/CBZ reader app for iOS and Android? I tried VReader for iOS, worked well for a while and then crashed.

A decent CBR/CBZ reader for iOS is iComic. Google "comic readers for ios" or something similar and you'll have your answer, plus other perspectives, reviews, etc. Also, I have opened ~900 MB PDF files with GoodReader on my pathetic iPod touch, and I'm sure there are plenty PDF readers to choose for Android, as well. Page turns may get a little slow if you scanned them at above 300 dpi, bot it's doable.