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Old 11-16-2012, 10:44 PM   #1
smallhagrid
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Question Please recommend: freeware for mobi=>epub ?

Hi Folks.
Yes, I know Calibre does this - and one day when I go to 100% Linux I may use it again, but as things stand I do not like it under windows, it's mandatory file structure is simply abhorent to me, as is that it makes copies of copies of copies of everything it touches.

So I ask this, please:
Any recommendations for either another freeware or very inexpensive program for converting .mobi files to .epub files ??!?

I am not fussy about covers, etc, and there is no DRM involved.

As an alternative, I could just as easily use a program that does .mobi to plain .TXT files if anyone knows of such a one, please.

Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:15 PM   #2
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Why not use calibre but strictly from the command line?

See http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/cli/ebook-convert.html

For instance, I just typed
Code:
"c:\Program Files (x86)\Calibre2\ebook-convert.exe" unixfaq.mobi unixfaq.epub
and did a conversion from mobi to epub and did not store anything in it's database, and could put the files where ever I wanted.

And there were no extra copies of anything made either.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:21 PM   #3
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Thanks PeterT.
I've done that before, but was trying to find something a bit simpler (with a GUI...).

Reason being that I got rid of my Kindle and have a bunch of titles nicely stored in folders by author - so doing a cli thing over and over and over seems a bit like banging my head against a wall when there MUST be a simpler way...?!?
(I have at least 3 freeware PDF to TXT converters that do their jobs really well, too bad they cannot do MOBI files !!!)

Thanks.

Last edited by smallhagrid; 11-16-2012 at 11:22 PM. Reason: me dumb.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:31 AM   #4
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I'd just make a batch file to handle them all; at the command line in a recent Windows version try

Code:
for %1 in (*.mobi) do "c:\Program Files (x86)\Calibre2\ebook-convert.exe" "%~n1.mobi" "%~n1.epub"
to convert all mobi's in a given directory to ePubs.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallhagrid View Post
...have a bunch of titles nicely stored in folders by author - so doing a cli thing over and over and over seems a bit like banging my head against a wall when there MUST be a simpler way...?!?
Batch files / shell scripts?
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:46 AM   #6
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Thanks Again PeterT.
Given that there are many directories, and that they have anyplace from 1-10 files in each...
Is there some clever way to make a batch file so it'll do each subdir under the top level and save all the outputs into the input dirs ?
(What is so appealing about doing conversions GUI-style is the ability to merely drag-n-drop titles from anyplace at once when the program uses the origin directory for saving.)
Thanks.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:08 AM   #7
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Sure ..

At command line
Code:
for /r %1 in (*.mobi) do "c:\Program Files (x86)\Calibre2\ebook-convert.exe" "%~dpn1.mobi" "%~dpn1.epub"
In a batch file
Code:
for /r %%1 in (*.mobi) do "c:\Program Files (x86)\Calibre2\ebook-convert.exe" "%%~dpn1.mobi" "%%~dpn1.epub"
In either case it will go through all directories starting at the current directory and convert mobi files to epubs.

The difference in the two command lines is due to the interpretation of the % symbol at the command line, and in a batch (or cmd) file.

The weird stuff %~dpn1 is just extracting the drive, path and file name from the whole file name; ie dropping the extension.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:05 PM   #8
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Thank You Very Much PeterT !!!
Now all I must do is remember what very safe place I stashed those MOBI files in...?

As for the whole Calibre thing...
I'll still avoid using Calibre as much as possible - it's main program's NEED to make messes just upsets me.

MY files in MY chosen directory structure are as -I- want them - and just because Mr. Kovid Goyal made such a wonderful graphical ebbok-managing app does NOT mean he gets to arrange my files by proxy !!!

I seriously hope someone will (or has already made...?) make an alternate GUI for Calibre's command-line tools, then I would use them alot more - but as things stand, having to re-visit DOS-land to convert a MOBI to EPUB is not my preferred way of doing things at all.

Even in the realm of Linux it has become clear that the GUI is what folks want and must be provided for fully.
I don't miss DOS at all anymore, so why would I want to re-visit DOS so as to enable the graphical viewing of graphically-oriented Ebooks !?!?!?!

For most conversions I've wanted or needed I've been able to find small, free GUI-centered tools to do them easily and in batches, keeping the converted titles in their source directories.

Oddly it seems that the ONLY conversions impossible to cover this way are MOBI to EPUB or MOBI to TXT.
Is this because of some iron-fisted influence of Amazon, or ???
I really don't know; all I want is to be able to read in comfort.

Best Wishes to All !!!
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:36 PM   #9
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Mobiunpack will unpack the mobi files to editable stuff, but generating a proper ePub from the coding inside an ordinary Mobipocket file is no simple task. If it's a KF8 Kindle file, MobiUnpack will make a pseudo-ePub, but whether the HTML inside it will still be straight from the KF8 file.

calibre is the only tool I know that properly converts.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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There is nothing with a GUI that can take the place of Calibre. Basically, it's Calibre or nothing.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:51 PM   #11
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For anyone not caring about keeping their own file-structure, it's great.
I work with folks whose PCs have copies of copies of copies of everything and are in a continuous state of panic because they cannot find ANYTHING - so they make more copies of copies and the problems get WORSE.
In short, their structuring does not exist and their storage looks like one big trash can.

I am a freak, I try to keep things a bit organized and when it is in my HDD it can easily be found - my problem is when I put stuff on a disc like I did with my saved f/w; it is in a 'safe' place in my house...too safe, I guess.

As to Calibre's tools and maybe for someone to make use of them, I see what I wrote may have been a trifle badly worded, so here, I've fixed it:
Quote:
I seriously hope someone will make (or has already made...?) an alternative GUI specifically for Calibre's command-line tools, then I would use them alot more.
But as things stand, having to re-visit DOS-land to convert a MOBI to EPUB is not my preferred way of doing things at all.
As to the notion of using Calibre's horribly messy, forced file structuring which makes copies of copies; on a day when I have excessive patience I'll let it process my files for some purpose I need right then - and clean up it's mess via simple isolation and deletion.

BUT:
No program, no matter how unique is welcome or allowed to boss me around at all.
That is what the main Calibre program tries to do, and IMO that is NOT cool.
The rest of it is a grand & wonderful idea.
Too bad it has no real competition...
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:09 PM   #12
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Calibre only makes ONE copy of the book you put put into it to deal with. After that, the other copies/versions are created by you can the copies/versions you don't want you can delete. So I don't see how you are forced to have copies of copies of copies by Calibre. You don't want any of the eBooks, just delete them and gone.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:13 PM   #13
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Also; try to think of calibre as a black box; the fact it happens to store eBooks in files that you can access manually should be thought of as irrelevant. Kovid could always have selected obfuscated file names, and directory names, or even have implemented an encryption scheme on the files themselves.

For what its worth you could keep a single copy of the files OUTSIDE of calibre, and then allow calibre to manage another set for it's own purposes.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:36 PM   #14
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Cool confusion (it seems) is king in this matter.

Thanks JSWolf.

My collection of really old scifi alone is over 9000 titles:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Calibre only makes ONE copy of the book you put put into it to deal with. After that, the other copies/versions are created by you can the copies/versions you don't want you can delete. So I don't see how you are forced to have copies of copies of copies by Calibre. You don't want any of the eBooks, just delete them and gone.
So the verbiage 'just delete' is quite absurd IMO here.

And thanks also PeterT:
Quote:
Also; try to think of calibre as a black box; the fact it happens to store eBooks in files that you can access manually should be thought of as irrelevant. Kovid could always have selected obfuscated file names, and directory names, or even have implemented an encryption scheme on the files themselves.

For what its worth you could keep a single copy of the files OUTSIDE of calibre, and then allow calibre to manage another set for it's own purposes.
Like that garbage-ware called itunes...GACK!!!!!!!!!
You'll NOT find that horrible garbage on any of my PCs or HDDs, at all.
(I explain below how I think the 2nd-set idea is best handled - for & by me.)
Restrictive content management that encrypts, renames, etc. can go where the sun don't shine IMO - and for those who adore these programs I say:
Good for you !!! (I've been immunized, thanks.)

There is this heavy-duty confusion which I've seen a zillion times regarding the actions taken by Calibre's main program, and it goes like this:

Folks call it a 'database'.
Then for some reason they also excuse the fact that it's so-called 'database' is an entire re-structured COPY of ALL their media.
Got a GB of ebooks ? Thousands of files ?
No problem, now it's all moved around and doubled, no biggie (just an unnecessarilly excessive space-using mess).

In the purest sense, this is very mistaken; if it were to make JUST a database, it would store info, locations, etc - and leave a single copy of your stuff how & where it is as a data source ONLY.

The thinking that says 'Calibre is IT' and 'Calibre can do no wrong' is highly disagreeable to me.

When I got a Kobo, and needed to use it because the Kobo was awful for side-loading, so I actually connected a HDD externally via USB and used the portable Calibre - got the Kobo loaded, and later just formatted that HDD to purge it's mess quickly & easily.
(I kept MY original structure as I prefer it, undisturbed, thank goodness.)

Of course now my former Kobo, Kindle and others are gone because the EZReader proved to be a perfect fit for me, and it side-loads perfectly with no fuss or need for any specific program to make it take on content.

So why am I even bothering to mention a program I avoid using ?!?

Because it also does conversions, and I'm wishing there was a non-CLI way to handle it's conversion modules - this is what I posted for, and it remains what I seek even though PeterT was nice enough to help me by providing the batch code needed to convert a big batch of MOBI files I've got left over from the Kindle days.

For those who consider Calibre perfect and adore it, a tip of me olde hat; Please do pardon me if'n I stay a wall-flower (it's what I do).

Best Wishes.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:05 PM   #15
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Since calibre's CLI gives you all the tools that you require, why don't you have a go at building your own GUI to utilise them? It may take a bit of effort to understand the CLI in detail and some sort of GUI designer, but it could be an interesting project and you could share your results with the calibre community.
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