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Old 10-14-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
RichKOrea
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Reading eBooks from a website – browser is opening the book as text

I want to be able to go to a website and download ePUB formatted books on an Android phone (Motorola Droid) and have them open in a reader, but the browser keeps opening the file as a text file (the text starts with the ePUB file’s header string).

I’ve tried Aldiko and Kobo, and both open the book as a text file. According to the Aldiko blog, I should be presented with a selection box with the option to open an eBook in Aldiko when I tap a link to an eBook in the browser, but it’s not happening.

Is there some setting that needs to be set after installing a reader like Aldiko to let Android know that files with an ePUB extension should be sent to the Aldiko app? Is there a site with a clear set of instructions on what to do?

Thanks
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:57 AM   #2
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I have a similar question. When I open an ebook a list of 3 readers pops up, but the reader I wanted is not listed. I tried to go to applications and make sure the default is set. But after that I can't figure out how to add thr reader I want.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 10-15-2011, 02:00 AM   #3
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go to settings>applications select the app that is opening the epub and clear defaults
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:06 PM   #4
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Hi Dopedangel - Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, no difference. I reset the Aldiko app and then re-accessed the website with the ebook, but I'm still getting the ePUB file as straight text.

Any other ideas?

Thanks
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:06 AM   #5
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Just some thoughts.

How are you "downloading" the book? If the book appears in the browser and you save as or copy paste you will not get the epub format.

If you click on a download button and it downloads the file from the browser - what is the file extension. Is it .txt, .epub or what. If .epub then coping it to the reader directory it should work - if not the .epub file might be corrupted or bad on the website. If this is the case try downloading from another site.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:43 AM   #6
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Hi exscentric,

The website has a link to the book, which is stored in a folder on the site's server. The HTML code is <a href="eBooks/Assignment-10-12.epub">.

I'm tapping the link and the browser app is opening the file as a text file (I'm assuming it's the browser app that is opening the file as text). The file is starting off with the ePUB file header string.

According to the Aldiko website, at least the Aldiko app should present me with an option to open the book in Aldiko, but that's never showing up. I have not tried saving the text file to the SD card (I'm not sure how to do that, but hopefully, once the file is open as a text file, I can then tap it and get an option to save it).

The files from the website work with iPhones and iPads. The files are school reading assignments and the students with iPhones just tap the link from the website and and they are shown an option to open the file in iBooks. The file then opens in iBooks and they can save it from there, if they want to keep a local copy. I'm assuming that since the files will work with iPhones, that there's no problem with the site or the files.

I'll try the two step process (open in the browser and save to the SD card) and see if that works (although if it does take two steps, the guys with iPhones will be laughing at me).

I should note that none of the students with Android phones are able to get this to work. The teacher provides PDF versions of the files so they can be read on a smartphone, but eBook versions would be easier to read. The schools IT department doesn't understand what's causing the problem.

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Old 10-17-2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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Use a different browser. Try opera or dolphin. It sounds like your browser is converting the epub to text.


Btw I download epub books all the time and I do not experience that problem, but then again I don't use the stock browser.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:48 PM   #8
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After further research, it's the website where the books are hosted that apparently is causing a problem, rather than the software on the phone.

To dig a little further into the problem, I got a new Motorola Atrix with Android 2.3.4 installed. Using Aldiko with the standard Android browser, I'm able to visit a site like epubBooks and download, save, and open one of their free books. I then had the school upload that same file to the school's website, and when I try to open it using the phone, the file shows up as text.

I did try Opera, and it wouldn't connect the file as an ePUB either (Opera thinks the file is a ZIP file, which technically it is, even though it has the epub extension).

Anyone have an idea about what Android wants in an eBook website that iPhones don't care about?

Thanks
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:51 PM   #9
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Try using a downloader like XwindDown that might help you to download files. It works for me trying to download from mobileread library. When I press a link it gives me an option to save as. Or just give me the link where you are trying to download from so I can try it.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:57 PM   #10
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I think the problem you are having is something with mime type not being recognized by the browser or the server. Why I am not tech guru to know why.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:21 AM   #11
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I'm not sure why opera didn't connect. Opera should have tried to download the file. I've used Opera forever and never had problems downloading zip files.


From your description, the problem seems to be a server side issue. The server seems to be detecting your device as a mobile device and is rendering the ePub to a text page, then serving it to your browser.

The only work around I know is to trick the website into thinking it is serving up a page to a desktop client.

This can be done with a browser like dolphin HD. Change the user agent to either desktop/iPad and you should be in business.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:59 PM   #12
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Problem fixed - it was a problem on the server side that was causing the server for my host to send a Content-Type: text/plain.

I had added the string "AddType application/epub+zip .epub" to my .htaccess file, but it did not fix the problem. Using the Rex Swain's HTTP Viewer, I was able to compare the header for the file coming off of my site with the header for a file from a known working site (Gutenberg). I was still getting the Content-Type: text/plain. I found that there's a configuration parameter in the Apache httpd.conf file that has to be set to allow AddType to work. I called the hosting company and they made that change as well as some change to an encoding setting and it now appears to work.

Thanks everyone for your help in pointing me in the right direction.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by =X= View Post
Use a different browser. Try opera or dolphin. It sounds like your browser is converting the epub to text.


Btw I download epub books all the time and I do not experience that problem, but then again I don't use the stock browser.
Firefox will do it better. I use FF and it works very well to download ePub.
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