View Full Version : Why convert ebooks yourself?


Mattoquai
03-16-2005, 10:33 AM
Just a little thought here, why would you get into all the trouble of converting ebooks yourself? Maybe it is an idea to let e-books be converted through a central server owned by some 'e-book converting company'.

Of course this would require some extra costs for conversion, but if your downloaded e-books are automatically converted into a format your PDA, E-book or other reading device supports, it could save a lot of trouble. This way you could download all your ebooks in your preferred format, paying a small extra fee. Or maybe it could be done for free, through some sort of website.

This is not something I totally thought through, but maybe it could be an alternative to all the hustle of installing conversion programs and make reading ebooks more attractive for a larger (non-technical) group of people (at least, if you're willing to pay for something like this :wink: ). What do you guys think? I am all :ears:

Colin Dunstan
03-16-2005, 10:37 AM
The idea is great.

The problem is that if you want to convert content nicely, it usually requires manual work. Ask our member Hacker, who has probably spent hours and hours on converting custom content to mobile format. I am sure if you know of a way to automate this procedure, he'd be the first to applaud you. ;)

gadgetguru
03-16-2005, 12:50 PM
Problem is DRM, you can't just take any content and convert it to ebook format. And there's really no eBook standard, every reader has it's own DRM and format...standard formats like HTML, RTF, PalmDoc doesn't cut it with content providers.

rlauzon
03-16-2005, 06:27 PM
Well, this could solve alot of DRM problems.

If there was a central respository where you stored your eBook "tickets", and all you needed to do was prove that you were who you were, it would then let you download the content in whatever proprietary format your device needs.

If you change devices, you just go back, identify yourself again, and select a different format.

The book is still locked to you, but you are no longer locked to the format.

Naw! The publishers will never go for that. DRM is not a way to keep copying from happening - that's just an excuse. DRM is a way to lock you to a format - and, therefore, a product that someone makes lots of money off of (case in point, iPods).

Anyway, I convert LOTS of eBooks. I've got about 825MB in eBooks that are in the "unread" folder right now. All "manually" converted. Some simple standard text tools that come with Linux, plus a few simple scripts let me convert most text files easily into Palm DOCs.

hacker
03-16-2005, 06:33 PM
Just a little thought here, why would you get into all the trouble of converting ebooks yourself? Maybe it is an idea to let e-books be converted through a central server owned by some 'e-book converting company'.How ironic and timely you should mention this... I have a stealth project/startup (to be released sometime this year) that does exactly this, in an automated fashion (well, the upload, convert, download part is automated), as well as quite a few other features and options.

I can't completely reveal the business plan yet, but it should be a fun venture. I've been running it quietly for several months, but perhaps I should step up my efforts and make a larger launch.

Mattoquai
03-17-2005, 03:48 AM
Well Hacker, that's a great idea! I hope you will be succesfull in your project. I do agree wih Gadgetguru that DRM is still an issue in this scenaio, but maybe with this businessplan you could hook up with some publishers and make a deal ;).

@ Rlauzon: You might be a Linux user and a 'heavy e-book user', but for people who are not that much into technology and computers, converting issues could be a problem. For a widespread use of e-books you wouldn't want this, right?

rlauzon
03-17-2005, 06:02 AM
You might be a Linux user and a 'heavy e-book user', but for people who are not that much into technology and computers, converting issues could be a problem. For a widespread use of e-books you wouldn't want this, right?

Well, yes and no. I'm still of the opinion that morons shouldn't be permitted to use the Internet. Someone who doesn't know enough to run a simple program to convert a file to an eBook format simply shouldn't be permitted to use a computer.

Putting that idea aside for now, there are already several free utilities out on the market today that will convert files to eBooks. Plucker will take an HTML file and easily convert it. There are several that will take a text file and convert it to Palm DOC. Converting something to HTML or plain text is easily done with the standard word processor of your choice.

The bottom line is that unless the eBook convertion is free, it won't be something that will be around long term. As users gain more knowledge, they will be drawn to the much quicker and (probably) free alternatives for converting eBooks.

ptr_lks
08-10-2005, 08:49 AM
I bought the Mobireader Creater, and my question is: how do I manuelly adjust the output?

Yours