Originally Posted by saoir
But the interface is still so so so technical and obscure - Myriads of choices, functions, listings etc. It is FINE for people who are accustomed to using technical applications every day. And those people (incl me) probably find it quite frustrating when ordinary people are bewildered.
Am I wrong ?
I believe you are correct, and I have argued this myself. However, criticism of Calibre always seems to get slapped down by the forum regulars. The typical response is either denial, or "it's open source, fix it yourself if you don't like it."
Calibre was invented by a techie and (in my opinion) designed for technically literate users. As for the comment that there are 13M users so it can't be hard to use--as you (and others) have asked, how many are active users? And on the whole planet, how big is an audience of 13M really? Apple sells 13M iPhones every month
I think Calibre is a fabulous tool. I use it every day and I have contributed hundreds of hours to its development--fixing issues with MOBI formatting and developing and maintaining periodical recipes. However, I am a technically sophisticated user. Everyone in my circle who has a normal, pedestrian degree of computer literacy (e.g., one of the 13M/month iPhone purchasers) who I have introduced to Calibre has said "oh, that's nice" and put it aside.
Active Calibre users will always be technically inclined by necessity. One day, e-reader companies and e-publishers will realize that making their e-book environments walled gardens via format and DRM is holding the market back. When that day comes I'll be able to manage e-books much like I manage photos on my various computers and devices--I won't have to worry about formats and DRM, and I'll be able to move them around just like files. Right-click on an e-book and I'll get a properties window with all the meta-information (just like with photos). I'll be able to load any of the mainstream formats on all of my devices--MOBIs on my iPad (without having to use the iPad Kindle app), ePubs on my Kindle Fire, etc. I'll have a right-click "Send to..." menu to deliver the e-book to whatever e-reader device is on the air or plugged in.
Until this utopian vision of the future arrives, it's Calibre for the technically literate and the walled gardens for the other 99.9% of the population.