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Old 08-24-2008, 04:35 AM   #1
heron61
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Advice for reading ebooks using an ipod Touch & a Windows XP PC

I'm considering buying an ipod Touch and one of its major uses would be reading ebooks. I use a Windows XP PC, and I'm wondering how easy it is to move ebooks from an XP PC to an ipod Touch. Also, what ebook reading and data transfer apps would people recommend for reading plucker, rtf, html & pdf files from an XP PC to an ipod Touch.
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by heron61 View Post
I'm considering buying an ipod Touch and one of its major uses would be reading ebooks. I use a Windows XP PC, and I'm wondering how easy it is to move ebooks from an XP PC to an ipod Touch. Also, what ebook reading and data transfer apps would people recommend for reading plucker, rtf, html & pdf files from an XP PC to an ipod Touch.
I am also considering the touch. Stanza seems to do most of what you want, though not the plucker files. If any of your files need specific graphics or formatting, though, Stanza seems pretty aggressive about removing formatting and does not support graphics. Also, the Windows beta is relatively new, and I am told that it is less polished.

Bookshelf sounds like it may do all including plucker, except the PDF files. At one point in the faq, RTF is listed as a to-do, but a note on the latest ShelfServer (the file transfer utility) update lists RTF support, so it is not very clear. Any users who can comment?

As for the transfer process, most people seem to find ShelfServer very easy to use and setup. Stanza is also supposed to be very easy on the Mac, and off to a good start on Windows, but still in need of tweaking.

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Old 08-25-2008, 09:32 PM   #3
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I'm using XP and Vista and still have not been able to upload anything with Stanza. I can't get my Touch and Stanza desktop to communicate. It has been pretty good at converting books.

eReader is picky about the files I can upload to it's site so I haven't got that one up and running yet.

I haven't worked on either too hard because I can tell that the majority of my reading will be done on my Kindle. It's just so much more pleasant for me.

I am enjoying the iTouch immensely. It's rockin' my world. I had to laugh about it with a Mac friend of mine. He's died in the wool Mac and I'm died in the wool Windows. He recently purchased an Asus Eee and I bought the iPod Touch and we're both in love with our little machines. Something is wrong with the world.
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:33 PM   #4
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Daffy--I'm the recent proud owner of an iPod Touch as well. I'm loving it as well--even though like you, I'm a die hard Windows fan. The Touch has replaced my aging Palm PDA--and it's great!

I have been successful at getting books uploaded through the Stanza software, but it did take some doing. I don't remember everything, but do know that I had to re-install the Stanza desktop software at least twice. Something about the Stanza software not properly acknowledging that Bonjour (Apple's networking stuff) was properly installed on my system.

But, I also will be doing most of my reading on my reader (in my case a Sony PRS505). It is so much easier on my eyes than the backlit Touch!

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Old 08-26-2008, 09:15 PM   #5
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Thanks dordale,

I think you're right that it's a problem with Bojour. I'll try the re-install and see if it makes a difference. I have installed Bonjour through the Stanza install and directly from the Apple sites. I'll reinstall both.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:45 PM   #6
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I finally got it working. It may have been any or a combination of a few things:

1) I had never completely un-installed Bonjour as I thought I had. I had re-installed it over an existing install. This time I un-installed it properly and on the new install I ended up with a desktop icon and a folder in the start menu, which I never had before.

2) I downloaded a Java upgrade that had been sitting ignored in my taskbar for a while.

3) I unchecked "Allow Anonymous Sharing" and just left "Enable Sharing" checked.

Whatever, it works now. I converted a text document to epub and was able to upload and read it. The formatting was pretty good. I also uploaded a pdf (full of tables) which didn't turn out so well.

All this on my Vista Desktop. Now to try my XP/Vista laptop.

Thanks again for the help dordale.

Last edited by daffy4u; 08-27-2008 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 08-28-2008, 02:19 PM   #7
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No problem Daffy--Glad you got it working!

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Old 08-29-2008, 12:53 PM   #8
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Actually... the best way to get files to the iPod Touch without leaving wifi on and sending things over-the-air is to use the iPhone Tunnel Suite. Google it and you can d/l it. Basically this software package creates a tunnel via the USB connection and then use WinSCP to send files to the Touch via a nice GUI or you can use PuTTY to "tweak" you system at the command prompt level. This method does require a jail-broken Touch, but it's actually quite easy to "own" your Touch. To actually view books, the Touch is actually perfect for PDF's, what with the whole App Store online and lots of juicy-cool packages available. The one I use is "Files." This particular piece of software lets you set bookmarks within PDF's and you can still utilize the landscape mode of viewing without any issues (I think it hooks into Safari and hides that fact, but the bookmark feature definitely sold me!). If you want a free way, simply use Cydia and download the "file://" fix for Safari so you can view PDF's natively in Safari (or any other format the Touch supports.) There is also a eBook app out, though I have no experience with it yet.

Have fun with the Touch, it's a worthwhile investment!
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:28 PM   #9
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Actually... the best way to get files to the iPod Touch without leaving wifi on and sending things over-the-air is to use the iPhone Tunnel Suite. Google it and you can d/l it. Basically this software package creates a tunnel via the USB connection and then use WinSCP to send files to the Touch via a nice GUI or you can use PuTTY to "tweak" you system at the command prompt level. This method does require a jail-broken Touch, but it's actually quite easy to "own" your Touch. To actually view books, the Touch is actually perfect for PDF's, what with the whole App Store online and lots of juicy-cool packages available. The one I use is "Files." This particular piece of software lets you set bookmarks within PDF's and you can still utilize the landscape mode of viewing without any issues (I think it hooks into Safari and hides that fact, but the bookmark feature definitely sold me!). If you want a free way, simply use Cydia and download the "file://" fix for Safari so you can view PDF's natively in Safari (or any other format the Touch supports.) There is also a eBook app out, though I have no experience with it yet.

Have fun with the Touch, it's a worthwhile investment!
Jailbreak = Scary

I just watched a YouTube video on jailbreaking the Touch.

I've only had my Touch for a couple weeks, so I'm very leary of messing with it too much (don't want to brick it like I've seen with some of the PRS-505 upgrades). I'm surfing around to see what kind of apps are available for jailbroken units to see if it's worth it. If I find apps that will make the Touch completely replace my Palm, I'll probably try it.
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:34 PM   #10
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Sorry, guess I was a little hasty in stating that the Touch needed jail-broken to get files on it to view. The "Files" application from the App Store will let you send files to the Touch via wifi, and you can then view them on the Touch. Not sure if they have a trial version, but I love the app!
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:38 PM   #11
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Sorry, guess I was a little hasty in stating that the Touch needed jail-broken to get files on it to view. The "Files" application from the App Store will let you send files to the Touch via wifi, and you can then view them on the Touch. Not sure if they have a trial version, but I love the app!
I've been using something called MobileFinder to move files between the Touch and my PC. I'll look into the Files app you suggested. Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:41 PM   #12
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Reading ebooks on an iTouch vs. on my Kindle.

I just saw the new ITouch which arrived two days ago. It is identical to the new iPhone, except it has no phone capabilities. Besides the obvious things it is designed to do, I would like to use it to read ebooks. I would use my iMac to transfer things I need to the iTouch.

I also have a Kindle with lots -- over 700 -- titles on it, many (but not all) being DRMed. I don't need all of them on my iTouch if I buy one, and would like to restrict it to the active books i am really reading (when i get time) on my Kindle, since the iTouch is much easier to carry around than the Kindle, which while relatively small, is still much larger than the iTouch.

I love my ability to read my Kindle in bright sunlight, but the backlit iTouch also appeals to me since many times my reading must be done in a relatively dark environment, such as inside my car, etc., where it's too dark to read my Kindle, even with a bright battery light which I don't enjoy using. And I do know that my Kindle is better on my eyes, but reading is important to me, even if I have to read a backlit iTouch in a dark environment.

If you say why not buy the iPhone, it's becauses AT&T has been so bad to me in the past, that I won't have anything to do with them, even to get an iPhone. However the monthly charges for the iPhone are also a big deterrent, and this doesn't exist on the iTouch of course. So I'll stick to the iTouch, if it can meet my needs, including ebooks.

Charles Wilkes, San Jose, Calif.

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I'm considering buying an ipod Touch and one of its major uses would be reading ebooks. I use a Windows XP PC, and I'm wondering how easy it is to move ebooks from an XP PC to an ipod Touch. Also, what ebook reading and data transfer apps would people recommend for reading plucker, rtf, html & pdf files from an XP PC to an ipod Touch.
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:30 AM   #13
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I thought that each application's files were invisible to other applications, so that downloading books via Files or Air Sharing type applications doesn't make them available to Stanza? Is this not the case?

Getting my books onto Stanza is a bit of a pain as it doesn't seem to have a mini-browser that would let you navigate to the book you want from the top of a web site, you have to type the exact URL, and if you get it wrong you have to type it all over again. An easier route via another application would be nicer, but I don't think it is possible.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:01 PM   #14
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Luckily e-book reading apps aren't mutually exclusive.

eReader is the best app for paid books from eReader or Fictionwise (at least, the ones that aren't Mobipocket-only). Easy to download in, and it just works. As a side benefit, if you're one of those masochists who likes to roll your own eReader files, all you need is your own webserver to load books onto it. You don't even have to upload the files to eReader's or Fictionwise's website if you've got a home webserver on your PC.

Bookshelf, though it costs $10, is the easiest app, hands down, to put content onto if you've got it as mobipocket or even straight HTML. The current version does have some annoying issues, but 1.2 (which is in the pipeline at Apple, only being held up on Apple getting around to approving it) fixes a lot of them. Unlike Stanza, where you can only load in one book at a time, you can slap a whole directory worth of files into your reader at once. And best of all, it integrates with Baen's Free Library and Webscription so you can download anything you've bought from them right to your phone automatically.

Stanza has a really great selection of public-domain and free-from-author books in Feedbooks that can be downloaded directly into your cellphone, and it's free at the moment (but will be $15 when it comes out of beta)—but it's an ePub reader, not a Mobipocket reader, and the desktop conduit really does a piss-poor job of converting books from Mobi or HTML into ePub. As in, it loses all the formatting (bold, italics, etc.), table of contents, etc. And there are no prospects of that changing. Apparently to convert a book into ePub is a fairly complex process that can currently only be done through Feedbooks's on-line editor.

I use all of them for different things. You might too.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:12 PM   #15
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Apparently to convert a book into ePub is a fairly complex process that can currently only be done through Feedbooks's on-line editor.
Give Calibre's MOBI/HTML (etcetera) to ePub conversion a try. It already works well, for screenshots see Book Uploads #4. I assume Stanza's conversion will also get better as the product matures.
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