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Old 12-30-2012, 10:02 AM   #376
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Massive update! Can't wait. Almost deserving of a Version 2 designaton rather than 1.2.

(The only thing I'd miss after this one goes live is that inability to compare the relative length of books among each other. It's always a mystery, whenever I start reading a new book in Marvin, trying to figure out how long that book is going to be. Difficult to estimate the reading time required for a particular book if you have no idea how long any book really is. This destroys a bit the electronic "metaphor" relative to the world of paper books where all you need is to take a look at any book made of paper to get a rough idea of its demands in terms of reading time. Is it a slim novel like Conrad's Heart of Darkness? Or just a short story/novelette like Kafkas's Verwandlung? Or a mammoth like Tolstoy's War and Peace? A booklet of several pages' length? There's currently no easy way to tell them apart in Marvin.)
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:04 AM   #377
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Faterson, I'm working on that and almost nailed it. It probably won't make into 1.2 but in the following one.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:05 AM   #378
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:01 AM   #379
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Hi Kris - thank you for all the work you've done on Marvin. It looks really good and I'm looking forward to discovering the good things in the next update.

I'm one of e people who keeps my Calibre library in Dropbox. I know what I see is limited to 1000 books, but I'm puzzled about how the most recent are selected. I can only see a few of the books I have uploaded in the past week (It's difficult to check back further). I upload through Calibre, removing DRM, and then convert everything to epub. Do you have any idea what I've done so that I can't see all of them?

Are you planning access to OPDS2 catalogs in the future? I know everybody has their favourite Stanza feature, and accessing my books via my own catalog kept in the public folder of my Dropbox folder was mine.

Great work.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:09 AM   #380
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Hello Rachel. I cannot find a way to ask Dropbox to give me the 1000 most recent files. Dropbox just gives me the first 1000 ePubs it finds and they are sorted afterwards by Marvin. I'm afraid I have no control on it. In the next update you'll be able to selectively pick which Dropbox folder to get books from (although, I don't think this will help in your particular case).

Yes, the next version supports OPDS catalogs with authentication and search support, as well as a built-in web browser designed to download ePubs straight into Marvin. You can also access you Calibre library from it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:45 PM   #381
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I'm one of e people who keeps my Calibre library in Dropbox. I know what I see is limited to 1000 books, but I'm puzzled about how the most recent are selected. I can only see a few of the books I have uploaded in the past week (It's difficult to check back further). I upload through Calibre, removing DRM, and then convert everything to epub. Do you have any idea what I've done so that I can't see all of them?
This post from Dear Author indicates that Dropbox lacks the ability to sort by date, and recommends an iOS app called Airfile that works with Dropbox to achieve this. I've tried it and it works; however, I have only a small number of files in my Dropbox account (my Calibre library is too large for the amount of free space on my account) so I don't know how well it works for persons with hundreds of files.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:27 PM   #382
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Very superfical, slap-dash assessment of iOS e-readers by DearAuthor, whoever that is. Sorry, but Bluefire in its thousand+one varieties can't polish Marvin's shoes in terms of quality. Saying it supports DRM-protected EPUBs and PDFs changes nothing about that.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:48 PM   #383
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Interesting!

Tried out Airfile - useful for some situations, not mine.

Does not, as far as I can tell, sort by new file, but by new folder, so not useful for the above discussions in my opinion.

Agree with Faterson re simplistic review of apps by Dear Author - it's very easy to make professional-sounding pronouncements with little to back them up.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:55 PM   #384
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Very superfical, slap-dash assessment of iOS e-readers by DearAuthor, whoever that is. Sorry, but Bluefire in its thousand+one varieties can't polish Marvin's shoes in terms of quality. Saying it supports DRM-protected EPUBs and PDFs changes nothing about that.
For what it's worth, I only became interested in Marvin after a previous Dear Author post about it. I'd seen the Marvin thread here at MR in passing but never checked it out because I assumed it was another run-of-the-mill ePub reader. Also, I'm sure all the people who can't (or won't) de-DRM their ebooks appreciate the Bluefire reader, and that takes nothing away from Marvin's awesome qualities.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:57 PM   #385
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Interesting!

Tried out Airfile - useful for some situations, not mine.

Does not, as far as I can tell, sort by new file, but by new folder, so not useful for the above discussions in my opinion.

Agree with Faterson re simplistic review of apps by Dear Author - it's very easy to make professional-sounding pronouncements with little to back them up.
Sorted by new file for me
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:19 PM   #386
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I'm sure all the people who can't (or won't) de-DRM their ebooks appreciate the Bluefire reader
Yeah... it's just that to say, "For reading e-books on your iPad, there are A, B, C, and D, and the best is A," is rather misleading if it's not explained in more detail. Moreover, most of the objections against Marvin will be moot in a couple of weeks' time.

The way I see it, if you wish to read DRM-protected EPUB books, Bluefire might be the best out there, but not because it's "better than Marvin" -- it's because Marvin does not compete with Bluefire in that department. When it comes to DRM-free EPUB books, Marvin wipes the floor with Bluefire. You could compare them feature by feature, and Marvin seems a step ahead of Bluefire in each of them. I don't mean to slight Bluefire -- competition is a good thing, and maybe this will inspire Bluefire to try and catch up with Marvin.

The biggest difference to me between the two apps, though, has been their "look and feel" -- Marvin seems lightning-fast and fluid, whereas Bluefire strikes me as clunky, jerky, as if it were a struggle for it to display the books. Don't know about you guys, but I've had trouble performing some basic tasks in Bluefire, like tapping & holding a word and drawing the right and left selection markers to their desired positions.

But, I'm perfectly willing to give Bluefire (as well as MegaReader, etc.) another try in future. Like I say, competition is a good thing. The more these apps compete among each other, the more us readers are going to profit. And it's slightly comical to observe the behemoths of iBooks and the Kindle app in their lethargy and utter complacency -- it's as if they weren't interested in competition at all, so sure they are of their position, and so happy about their mediocrity.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:43 PM   #387
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Yeah... it's just that to say, "For reading e-books on your iPad, there are A, B, C, and D, and the best is A," is rather misleading if it's not explained in more detail. Moreover, most of the objections against Marvin will be moot in a couple of weeks' time.

The way I see it, if you wish to read DRM-protected EPUB books, Bluefire might be the best out there, but not because it's "better than Marvin" -- it's because Marvin does not compete with Bluefire in that department. When it comes to DRM-free EPUB books, Marvin wipes the floor with Bluefire. You could compare them feature by feature, and Marvin seems a step ahead of Bluefire in each of them. I don't mean to slight Bluefire -- competition is a good thing, and maybe this will inspire Bluefire to try and catch up with Marvin.
Good points. (I remember being similarly irritated when people compared the Kindle ereader to the iPad tablet )

And I agree about Bluefire feeling "clunky, jerky,"; I never use it and only keep it around as a 'just in case' measure, should I ever need it for DRMed ePubs, though I liberate all my books, whatever format they come in. I used to use iBooks for ePubs but Marvin has kicked that to the curb
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:59 PM   #388
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Feature suggestions:
  1. smart-snapping: right now, when you're inside a chapter and "smart-snap" backwards, this takes you to the last page of the previous chapter. I think this is inconsistent behaviour. Can you, Kris, please make it so that this "smart-snap" backwards takes you to the beginning of the current chapter first? I would find it extremely useful, because I often need to remind myself of the current chapter title or how the current chapter began.
  2. a dedicated (but optional) Wiki button next to the Web button, to take the reader to the Wikipedia entry for the selected word(s); the Wikipedia language version should automatically match the e-book's language; if Marvin cannot auto-detect the e-book's language, default to English Wikipedia
  3. a dedicated (but optional) Wictionary button next to the Define button, to take the reader to the Wictionary entry for the selected word(s); the Wictionary language version should automatically match the e-book's language; if Marvin cannot auto-detect the e-book's language, default to English Wictionary
  4. a dedicated (but optional) Translate button next to the Define button, to enable Marvin to interact with 3rd-party, external dictionary iOS apps (user-configurable in Marvin settings) such as Lingvo, via their URL launch schemes
  5. ability to set up arbitrary folders/groups (see Stanza) in Marvin's Library (the one thing I agree with in the criticism of Marvin by Jane/DearAuthor!)

Last edited by Faterson; 12-30-2012 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:35 AM   #389
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Hi Fatersion. Regarding point 1, it already does that. Could you double check?

The other points are very valid and I added them to the to do list. Thanks.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:24 AM   #390
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Regarding point 1, it already does that. Could you double check?
You're right, Kris, I apologize. "Smart-snapping" works 100% correctly.

(I must have inadvertently switched over to the 5-page flip while testing this, which exhibits the other behaviour, which is correct as well.)
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