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Old 02-16-2013, 10:42 AM   #901
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humler, Noted.
Perfect, Kris. Thanks a lot!
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:17 AM   #902
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ProfCrash, the Calibre feature is fine. It just needs proper configuration and knowledge about what it does. I strongly suspect the latter being the problem here.
I am sure that it user error. This is my first foray into Calibre.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:33 AM   #903
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The more I've been thinking about textured backgrounds, the more convinced I become it would be simplest and smartest for Kris not to lose too much time over implementing this functionality -- although I consider it crucial for improving Marvin.

Isn't that wonderful and eye-popping?
This is one of the worst, most gimmicky app ideas I have ever read. It is eye-poppingly gaudy, without a doubt, but no more crucial for improving Marvin than adding animated gifs and looping sound effects to every page.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:44 PM   #904
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The more I've been thinking about textured backgrounds, the more convinced I become it would be simplest and smartest for Kris not to lose too much time over implementing this functionality -- although I consider it crucial for improving Marvin.

My suggestion to Kris: just make a a modest sample (say, 15 or 20 pictures) of textured backgrounds available in Marvin. This would simply demonstrate to the Marvin user how nice textured backgrounds can be. So, the small sample of 15-20 textured backgrounds should be well-chosen, representative.

Other than that, just give us a button, please, to upload our custom textured backgrounds for use in Marvin.

Why? Because it's infinitely easy, using Google Images search, to find just the right textured background for you. Why should Kris even attempt to oblige each of our different tastes and preferences in terms of textured backgrounds? Just let every Marvin user find their own preferred textured backgrounds using Google Images search, and that's it.

I tested yesterday how incredibly easy this is. For Day Mode, I prefer a "wood" theme as my textured background, so I entered "wood texture" (without the quotes) into Google Images search.

And here is what you get: https://www.google.com/images?q=wood...D4vRsgaD0oGwBA

That's enough wood textures of all sorts of varieties to make your head spin for 3 days. Similarly, I prefer a black-and-red textured background for my Night Mode reading, so all I had to do was to enter "black red texture" into Google Images search...

... and the engine immediately spewed forth: https://www.google.com/images?q=blac...SsFsaytAasuoEw

Isn't that wonderful and eye-popping? Why should Kris even try and compete with Google Images search? It's pointless.

Not to mention that there are entire online catalogs of textured backgrounds, neatly and logically organized and categorized, like these two:
Further, if Kris wanted to distribute any of these textures directly inside Marvin, he would first need to clear the copyright issue for every single such image, and I'm sure he has more important things to do. Whereas if users can just use their own, custom background textures/images, then their use, after locating any nice picture via (for example) Google Images search, conforms with "fair use for personal need only", on one's own personal iDevice only.

To conclude, below are 2 screenshots with "wood" and "black/red" textures I was able to collect using Google Images search engine yesterday within only a few minutes, for potential future use in Marvin. Looking forward to that day, because solid-colour backgrounds definitely are dreary (for me) to behold!
I've been catching up on reading about all the wonderful features that Marvin has and wanted to thank you for the links to these backgrounds. Whether or not this becomes available in Marvin, thank you for this information.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:06 PM   #905
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Angry Calibre and OPDS usage problems

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I have no problem with this now Marvin supports OPDS catalogs.

I have nearly 5000 books in my Calibre library which I store in Dropbox. I have created a catalog with Calibre2OPDS which is also stored in Dropbox. I have put this catalog into the list of OPDS catalogs in my Marvin app and I now have access to all of my books (at least up to the last update of my catalog) wherever I have wifi access. I update my catalog every couple of weeks, but could do it more regularly. I always can resort to the Dropbox app for anything I know I downloaded since the last catalog update.

Calibre2OPDS is much more helpful in finding books than the Dropbox app itself as books can be found under Authors, Tags, Series, Recent additions, Rating, All books (I don't use this, but is a list of titles). Each of these is sub-divide alphabetically or by date as appropriate. Brilliant - not only can I find a specific book I am looking for, but I can also browse my library for a book to suit my fancy at that particular time!
I've been looking at Marvin, downloaded the program and want to start moving my books over to use there. It looks like a fantastic ereader app. I'm pretty savvy for many things connected with the computer, but as yet I don't understand this OPDS thing (or connecting via WiFI). I've learned how to convert books to ePub, so I assume it's just learning these other processes. But I did run across information that Dropbox is canceling accounts for OPDS users, found here - http://calibre2opds.com/2012/04/30/d...re2opds-users/ . Before I edit my Calibre metadata and try to understand how to import books from Calibre to Marvin, could someone address this issue for me? Does anyone have more information on this? I love Dropbox and really don't want to lose it!
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:52 PM   #906
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Nope, I used iTunes which was easy.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:00 PM   #907
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Before I edit my Calibre metadata and try to understand how to import books from Calibre to Marvin, could someone address this issue for me? Does anyone have more information on this? I love Dropbox and really don't want to lose it!
You won't lose your account if you keep your Calibre Library private. I worried about this, also. However, there really isn't any need to use Calibre2OPDS... and probably not a great idea anyway, because you'll have to change it every time you add new books. Like Faterson, I just keep my actual Calibre library in Dropbox (he uses Sugarsync) and so, every time I add or remove a book, the change is immediately updated to Dropbox on the net. Its a good system.

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Old 02-16-2013, 08:11 PM   #908
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Before I edit my Calibre metadata and try to understand how to import books from Calibre to Marvin, could someone address this issue for me? Does anyone have more information on this? I love Dropbox and really don't want to lose it!
But did you know you can also sync directly between calibre and Marvin? If you don't need all your library on the internet that's the easiest way.
All you have to do is to ad calibre to the list of servers in Marvin: Tapping on the cloud icon at the bottom, you can choose "Web Browser" oder "OPDS Catalogs". Both works, OPDS gives you a more structured list. There is a "tap here" line that opens a window to enter the address for your calibre server.
You find the address in calibre when you click on the "connect/share" button, there it says stop or run Content server. (I think by default this is activated in calibre). You'll have to type in all those digits and points in Marvin, but only once, then you can save it as a favourite.

That's the way I do it and it works just fine.
I like Dropbox for many things, but I prefer to keep my ebook library locally and just carry the few dozen books I need at a time.

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Old 02-16-2013, 09:21 PM   #909
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I'm not sure what you're talking about here, but Marvin must definitely keep all of the font and solid-background colours it offers now! The incredible amount of available colours is, once again, one of Marvin's strongest selling points. Just because some of us prefer textured backgrounds, doesn't mean the choice should be reduced in any way for those users who prefer solid-colour backgrounds.

What I proposed to Kris is to subdivide the current list of colours into subcategories, because the list is very long to scroll through right now if you (for example) wish to access colours from the bottom of the list.
To me the list also feels quite long to scroll through, I thought the best way to offer a lot of choice in a small space would be a colour picker. Bluefire has three sliders, which offers all possible colours, but might not be very easy to use. My favourite would be a "colour wheel" like in many Apple apps. But that's quite low on my priority list.

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The more I've been thinking about textured backgrounds, the more convinced I become it would be simplest and smartest for Kris not to lose too much time over implementing this functionality -- although I consider it crucial for improving Marvin.
I very much agree with the first part of the sentence
Textured backgrounds definitely come at the bottom of my wish list. There are some very cool backgrounds on the pages you linked, but I'd want them on a computer desktop or a website, definitely not behind text I want to read. I try hard to avoid everything that distracts my weary eyes.
Some of the "subtle patterns" that Kris referenced are nice though, I could imagine using some sort of paper look, but a red and black background would seriously count as torture for me

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Other than that, just give us a button, please, to upload our custom textured backgrounds for use in Marvin.
You wouldn't even need a button, if you could set your background locally. Stanza lets you do that.
This way nobody has to sacrifice their server for loads of pictures and textures ...
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:39 PM   #910
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This [textured backgrounds] is one of the worst, most gimmicky app ideas I have ever read. It is eye-poppingly gaudy, without a doubt, but no more crucial for improving Marvin than adding animated gifs and looping sound effects to every page.
Holymadness, you don't know what you're talking about. Textured backgrounds, to me, are crucial, essential for good e-reader usability. They are not an empty effect for effect's sake, and they are no eye candy, although they might appear that way to a superficial observer. You might wish to read what our fellow posters Tacty and Turtle said about this subject a few pages earlier in this thread.

Nothing is more crucial than for your eyes to feel natural while reading a book. If your eyes perceive an unnatural reading environment, they will feel eye-strain sooner rather than later.

And that's exactly what Marvin's current solid-colour backgronds are: they feel unnaturally smooth, too perfect to my eyes, which may contribute to my eyes feeling fatigue sooner than they might, if there had been a textured background instead.

Each of us is different. For many Marvin users, solid-colour backgrounds, the way Marvin offers them now, will be preferable.

For other readers, though, I'm sure structured backgrounds will be preferable. I can't wait till we get to use them in Marvin -- only then will I start feeling fully comfortably, right at home in Marvin.

In case you haven't noticed, holymadness, a traditional book printed on paper, has a structured background, too! Yep -- because that's what natural paper looks like: it has a background structure, too, albeit very fine. And that's the type of structured backgrounds I like most in e-readers: no gaudy ones, but ones with a delicate, hardly noticeable pattern in them.

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as yet I don't understand this OPDS thing (or connecting via WiFI). [...] Before I edit my Calibre metadata and try to understand how to import books from Calibre to Marvin, could someone address this issue for me? Does anyone have more information on this?
You don't ever need to use the OPDS feature, Sharon. If you wish to use it, you just enter the IP address Calibre shows under the "Content Server" button, into Marvin. The address will end in :8080/opds.

What's even easier, Sharon, is what kyteflyer mentioned: you can just put your Calibre Library inside Dropbox. That way, whatever book you add to Calibre, will automatically become available for you for download on your iPad, iPhone, and anywhere else. Including inside Marvin, using its Dropbox button.

If you have misgivings about using Dropbox for books, you can use any other, similar cloud service for the same thing. I use SugarSync. You simply instruct SugarSync to monitor your Calibre "Books" folder, and that's it! Every book from Calibre will automatically become available for you to download on your iPad, iPhone, etc., using (for example) the SugarSync app. The SugarSync app, of course, gives you the option to open a book in Marvin after you download the book in the SugarSync app.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:24 PM   #911
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To me the list also feels quite long to scroll through, I thought the best way to offer a lot of choice in a small space would be a colour picker.
I disagree. It's fantastic to have the exact (and very poetic, at the same time) colour nomenclature at our fingertips in Marvin. I get a thrill activating a "Battleship Grey" or "Schoolbus Yellow" font colour in Marvin now. A "colour-picker" is a technocratic, non-poetic solution.

I don't mind Kris giving us a colour-picker or colour-wheel in addition to the current list of colours, but whatever happens, please keep the current list of colours in its full extent. It's one of Marvin's most delightful features.

The only thing we need, is to organize that long list better, because it is indeed too long to scroll through now. As suggested, folders for shades of the basic 7 (+ white, black) colours, would seem like the ideal solution.

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There are some very cool backgrounds on the pages you linked, but I'd want them on a computer desktop or a website, definitely not behind text I want to read. I try hard to avoid everything that distracts my weary eyes.
Kretzer, your eyes are not my eyes. I assure you, Kretzer, that my eyes get weary precisely by looking at Marvin's current solid-colour backgrounds -- but they get refreshed (not distracted!) by looking at a textured background. I have years of experience with this, Kretzer, due to my use of the "Wood" (Day Mode) and "Bedroom" (Night Mode) structured backgrounds for years in Stanza. I'm missing them in Marvin a lot.

Each of us is different, ladies and gentlemen. Let's not try to enforce our private preferences onto everyone else. Just like I wouldn't presume to enforce my preference for textured backgrounds on Kretzer and Holymadness, I expect the same courtesy from them: not try to enforce solid-colour backgrounds on me.

Here is how you can instantly recognize top-quality software: it can oblige every user's preferences, without inconveniencing or confusing any user. Marvin can definitely achieve this here, by simply making textured backgrounds possible for those of us who prefer using them.

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a red and black background would seriously count as torture for me
That's just your private perception, Kretzer. I find that the black & red combo is exactly what I need, to keep me fully awake and alert when I read a book at night -- and I use that particular background in Night Mode, remember. I don't read books to put myself to sleep -- on the contrary: if I read a book at night, my mind needs to stay as sharp as if I was reading it in daytime. (Then again, I consider reading books my vocation, not a passtime.)

Exactly because you hate black & red, Kretzer, and I love it -- that's why I'm suggesting to Kris not to lose too much time over this, trying to oblige us all. Simply give us the option to use our own favourite structured (or simply photographic) backgrounds in Marvin, and that's that.

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You wouldn't even need a button, if you could set your background locally. Stanza lets you do that.
I think that's what I'm suggesting above, isn't it?

What I want Marvin to do: let me "integrate" (or whatever term you wish to use) 10 or 15 or 50 of my favourite screen backgrounds whose screenshots I posted earlier. The 10/15/50 textured backgrounds (or simply photographs, picked from the iPad's Photo app, its Camera Roll or any album) would be stored in Marvin locally -- no servers or anything like that is necessary.

And then, Marvin would give us an easy way to cycle/fast-switch through the display of all those 10/15/50 background textures effortlessly, using the 1-finger and 2-finger tap gestures, the way it's possible today to cycle/fast-switch through the 3 (solid-)Colour Themes.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:12 PM   #912
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Holymadness, you don't know what you're talking about. Textured backgrounds, to me, are crucial, essential for good e-reader usability. They are not an empty effect for effect's sake, and they are no eye candy, although they might appear that way to a superficial observer. You might wish to read what our fellow posters Tacty and Turtle said about this subject a few pages earlier in this thread.

Nothing is more crucial than for your eyes to feel natural while reading a book. If your eyes perceive an unnatural reading environment, they will feel eye-strain sooner rather than later.

And that's exactly what Marvin's current solid-colour backgronds are: they feel unnaturally smooth, too perfect to my eyes, which may contribute to my eyes feeling fatigue sooner than they might, if there had been a textured background instead.

Each of us is different. For many Marvin users, solid-colour backgrounds, the way Marvin offers them now, will be preferable.

For other readers, though, I'm sure structured backgrounds will be preferable. I can't wait till we get to use them in Marvin -- only then will I start feeling fully comfortably, right at home in Marvin.

In case you haven't noticed, holymadness, a traditional book printed on paper, has a structured background, too! Yep -- because that's what natural paper looks like: it has a background structure, too, albeit very fine. And that's the type of structured backgrounds I like most in e-readers: no gaudy ones, but ones with a delicate, hardly noticeable pattern in them.
To have presented your case in favour of colourful backgrounds as a personal prejudice, rather than as a question of objective fact, would have at least had the merit of coherence, if still not of being correct.

Writing and reading are artifices that do not exist independently of human contrivance. As they do not exist in nature, they have no natural state. Reading on a backlit screen is no more unnatural than reading on vellum, paper, or stone tablets. One assumes you do not reject Carolingian minuscule because it deviates from the origins of Roman majuscules engraved with styli, nor sans serif mechanical typefaces for their unnaturalness in comparison to handwriting, or else what would you be doing here?

It is a unique lack of self-awareness that can prompt an individual to both promote black and red textured backgrounds while fulminating against the unnaturalness of a plain white one. Of course, no study has ever concluded that natural textured backgrounds reduce eye strain, though at least one has concluded that it is more difficult to read light text against a dark background.

So much for what is crucial to you, which we see is either of no, or inferior, benefit. What is crucial for this app is to not descend into design by committee, the end result of which can only be mediocrity.

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Old 02-16-2013, 11:21 PM   #913
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no study has ever concluded that natural textured backgrounds reduce eye strain, though at least one has concluded that it is more difficult to read light text against a dark background.
I assure you there are studies that claim the exact opposite. You can prove anything you want, in a study -- it often comes down to who sponsors the study, rather than to any objective findings.

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What is crucial for this app is to not descend into design by committee, the end result of which can only be mediocrity.
What's your point, holymadness?

Like I said: I'm not enforcing my structured backgrounds on you. If you don't like them and don't need them, just ignore them. Is that too much to ask of you?

In return, I expect the same courtesy from you: please, don't enforce your solid-colour backgrounds on me. But that's exactly what you're doing, if you're contemptuously dismissing your fellow Marvin users' requests to make structured backgrounds possible in Marvin. No code bloat can occur by simply making such backgrounds possible -- so why resist the additional, user-friendly Marvin option?
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:23 AM   #914
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Ummm whats a textured background?
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:40 AM   #915
Faterson
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See the 2 screenshots I posted on the previous page, ProfCrash, in post #894.

Each of the thumbnails in those 2 screenshots shows a different textured background. Imagine reading your Marvin books with a background like that, or indeed any (photographic) background you yourself prefer. Why not? Someone might even wish to read texts overlaid on a photograph of their beloved (wife, or kids, or house pet) -- again, why not? Background textures are standard functionality in many iOS readers, for example in Stanza, which comes preloaded with several of them. It would be wise for Marvin to follow Stanza's example in this area, too, as it has usefully done in so many others.

Kris has already confirmed background textures will be possible in future in Marvin, so the only question now is how to implement them optimally. And I believe the optimal way for Marvin would be to come preloaded with 12-15 nice background textures, to showcase this particular aspect of functionality, plus give users a button to integrate an unlimited amount of custom background textures, simply by picking them from the Photo app's Camera Roll or any other album there.

Last edited by Faterson; 02-17-2013 at 12:47 AM.
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