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Old 05-11-2013, 02:59 AM   #1
Zora
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Renamed PRC files don't work when sideloading

I read on an old iPod a friend gave me, with the Kindle app. I am slowly moving my huge library of ebooks (accumulated over the last ten years) to Dropbox, so that I can access my whole library wirelessly.

My old PRC and PDB books are seen by Calibre as mobi files. The Kindle app on my desktop sees them as mobi files, and opens them right up. But if I sideload the old pdb and prc files from Dropbox to the Kindle app on the iPod, Dropbox refuses to hand them off to Kindle. I get an unable to load file message.

Rather than just renaming my files, I have been converting them with Calibre. Long, slow, painful. I have thousands of books, I would guess. I've never counted them.
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Zora View Post
I read on an old iPod a friend gave me, with the Kindle app. I am slowly moving my huge library of ebooks (accumulated over the last ten years) to Dropbox, so that I can access my whole library wirelessly.

My old PRC and PDB books are seen by Calibre as mobi files. The Kindle app on my desktop sees them as mobi files, and opens them right up. But if I sideload the old pdb and prc files from Dropbox to the Kindle app on the iPod, Dropbox refuses to hand them off to Kindle. I get an unable to load file message.

Rather than just renaming my files, I have been converting them with Calibre. Long, slow, painful. I have thousands of books, I would guess. I've never counted them.
Zora:

Have you tried renaming the prc files, at least, to .mobi? That has worked fine for various purposes, and it might help you, at least with those. I doubt it would work for the pdb files, but it may for the prc files.

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Old 05-11-2013, 05:58 PM   #3
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I tried renaming, but Dropbox sees a renamed prc file as prc and won't hand it off to the Kindle app.

I figured this out when a file wouldn't load. I copied it FROM Dropbox to my desktop and it showed up with a .prc file extension ... even though I had renamed it with a mobi extension.
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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I tried renaming, but Dropbox sees a renamed prc file as prc and won't hand it off to the Kindle app.

I figured this out when a file wouldn't load. I copied it FROM Dropbox to my desktop and it showed up with a .prc file extension ... even though I had renamed it with a mobi extension.
Hi, Zora:

Honestly...wow. That makes no sense to me. (I just mean...literally, I don't understand what's happening to you.) When I copy a renamed file from my dropbox to my desktop, it stays renamed. Are you sure that Calibre isn't mixed up in this somehow? I just copied an old PRC file from my archives to a folder on my Dropbox. I then renamed the file "name.mobi" and then copied to to my desktop, and I have a fully-functioning .mobi file on my desktop. (Which works fine in Previewer, etc.).

Do you have this dropbox hooked up to Calibre at the time you are renaming or trying to rename the files? What about moving all the .prc files to another folder, just on your computer somewhere, renaming them all in bulk, and then copying them BACK to your dropbox?

And, lastly: are you sure it's the prc file extension? What happens if you try to directly (not via Dropbox/Calibre) sideload a prc file to the iPod app? I mean, I can still load .prc files to any Kindle I have, so that part also seems very odd to me. Can you try this a bit more, and narrow down the real issue? I think you may have too many things bridged here...dropbox to Calibre to an Apple product to a Kindle reading app. .prc files should still be working on Kindle apps and readers, so...somewhere, as they say, something is rotten in Denmark, (it's just a saying, don't everybody leap on me for something un-PC) and I can't reproduce your renaming issues here. (Win7, 64-bit).

And...this isn't a DRM issue, is it?

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Old 05-12-2013, 05:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zora View Post
I tried renaming, but Dropbox sees a renamed prc file as prc and won't hand it off to the Kindle app.

I figured this out when a file wouldn't load. I copied it FROM Dropbox to my desktop and it showed up with a .prc file extension ... even though I had renamed it with a mobi extension.
Where were these books originally bought from? Mobipocket? It would help to know the source in order to diagnose the problem.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:19 AM   #6
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The only way I can get books onto the iPod from my PC is through Dropbox, so far as I know. Amazon downloads bypass Dropbox.

My non-Amazon books come from many different sources. Blackmask -- remember that? Older Baen books. Peanut Press. Other ebookstores now gone. I used to read on a Sony Clie.

I just now experimented with renaming a prc file and putting it in Dropbox. We'll see if I can read it. It's not showing up on my iPod menu yet, though it's there when I look at my Dropbox account from the PC. Where it is indeed listed as Mobi. Hmmm.

I am also having problems loading books onto the iPod. I keep getting "There was an error loading the file" messages. I have found that if I try again and again, I can usually load the file. I don't know what's wrong. I don't think it's the WiFi or the iPod, as I can download Amazon purchases without fail.

Perhaps I need to erase and redownload the Dropbox app on my iPod.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:27 AM   #7
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OK, the renamed prc file finally showed up in the Dropbox app on my iPod. After about six tries I was able to download it. It shows up in my Kindle menu as a DOC, not a mobi file. When I try to open it, I get an error message that reads:

ERROR Please remove the book from your device and redownload it ....

I don't think you need the rest. The Kindle app does not recognize the renamed file.

I cannot figure out what is going on.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:38 AM   #8
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The only way I can get books onto the iPod from my PC is through Dropbox, so far as I know. Amazon downloads bypass Dropbox.

My non-Amazon books come from many different sources. Blackmask -- remember that? Older Baen books. Peanut Press. Other ebookstores now gone. I used to read on a Sony Clie.

I just now experimented with renaming a prc file and putting it in Dropbox. We'll see if I can read it. It's not showing up on my iPod menu yet, though it's there when I look at my Dropbox account from the PC. Where it is indeed listed as Mobi. Hmmm.

I am also having problems loading books onto the iPod. I keep getting "There was an error loading the file" messages. I have found that if I try again and again, I can usually load the file. I don't know what's wrong. I don't think it's the WiFi or the iPod, as I can download Amazon purchases without fail.

Perhaps I need to erase and redownload the Dropbox app on my iPod.
Is this dependence upon Dropbox a Calibre thing? Because you should be able to load the files directly to your iPod via iTunes, to the Kindle for iPod app. Can't you just hook the iPod to your computer with a USB cable and do it that way? This--dropbox--should be the simplest way (I do this all the time, to my iPad for all types of eBook files), but for some reason, this seems arduous for you. Have you tried the simple expedient of emailing them to your Kindle email address? Which should open them in your KforiPad app auto-magically?

Is there something here we should know? I am not trying to be nosy, but...something here feels off. You should be able to
  1. synch the iPad with a USB cable and iTunes, and load the files that way;
  2. You should be able to email the files to your iPad/iPod;
  3. You should be able to email the files to your document Kindle address via the Document service;
  4. You should be able to simply send the .prc files directly to the Kindle app, without needing to change the file extension
I have innumerable prc files on my Kindle2, Fire, etc. So...all of this seems very weird to me.

Unless these files are DRM'ed, which is another discussion, somewhere else, with someone who isn't me, I don't see why any of these wouldn't load. Simply changing the filename to .mobi won't solve any structural or other oddities within the file, so...again, I'm at a loss as to what the issue is. Can you be a little clearer as to your physical hardware and set-up? Why no USB cable, why not load via iTunes, why not just send them to your Kindle account...? I would like to help you, but I'm not getting any brainstorms now because the reason for the failure to load doesn't yet make sense to me.

Thanks,
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:01 PM   #9
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When I first got the iPod, I couldn't figure out how to load books onto it. Someone at Distributed Proofreaders said to use Dropbox, which was working OK until I decided to move my entire library to Dropbox. That was suggested by an article at Teleread. I added four levels of file structure, which I am guessing what might be causing the problems loading files. (The levels would be something like Fiction - SFF - Bujold - Spirit Ring.) But I need those levels to chose among thousands of books.

I have a USB cable to iPod connector, but I thought that was just for recharging. I just now hooked it up and I cannot figure out how I am supposed to load directly onto the iPod.

The iPod has an iTunes icon, but that just connects me to the online store. I am not storing music on the iPod; it's just for books. I have a fair bit of music in my PC iTunes folder and I don't want it on the iPod. I originally synced the iPod and iTunes and then decided to erase the music and stop the syncing. The music took up space that I could use for books. If you tell me that there's a way to use iTunes to add books, I would have to make a choice between keeping books or music in my iTunes folder on the PC.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:55 AM   #10
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When I first got the iPod, I couldn't figure out how to load books onto it. Someone at Distributed Proofreaders said to use Dropbox, which was working OK until I decided to move my entire library to Dropbox. That was suggested by an article at Teleread. I added four levels of file structure, which I am guessing what might be causing the problems loading files. (The levels would be something like Fiction - SFF - Bujold - Spirit Ring.) But I need those levels to chose among thousands of books.

I have a USB cable to iPod connector, but I thought that was just for recharging. I just now hooked it up and I cannot figure out how I am supposed to load directly onto the iPod.

The iPod has an iTunes icon, but that just connects me to the online store. I am not storing music on the iPod; it's just for books. I have a fair bit of music in my PC iTunes folder and I don't want it on the iPod. I originally synced the iPod and iTunes and then decided to erase the music and stop the syncing. The music took up space that I could use for books. If you tell me that there's a way to use iTunes to add books, I would have to make a choice between keeping books or music in my iTunes folder on the PC.
Zora:

I'm sorry, I'd like to help you, but...there just seems to be a lot of very peculiar things going on. You should have no trouble whatsoever transferring files from your Dropbox to the Kindle app on your iPod, either directly OR with Calibre, yet you seem to be able to do neither. You should also be able to simply hook your iPod to your USB, then open iTunes and drag and drop the books onto the Kindle app (on iTunes on your computer) that should be displaying as being on your iPod, as an app registered to that device, under your account. You can add books without synching the device, simply by adding the books. You open the device in your iTunes account, go to the apps, then open the Kindle reader app, then drag and drop the books there.

I don't know how to say it better, and I think at this point, you need to be asking these questions over at the Apple store forums, because it sounds to me like there is something hinky with your iPod. I told you some posts back that there are at least 4 different ways that you should be able to transfer the files; I don't know why you cannot. You should be able to simply transfer the files by doing nothing more complicated than opening your Dropbox (app) on your iPod, and "opening" the Kindle book; you'll get a message telling you it cannot open it, and then you click the arrow to open it instead in Kindle for iPod. OR, use Calibre, which seems to not work for you either.

Have you tried to email one of the prc files to your Kindle account? At your Kindle email address, which I assume you have? And then tried to synch the Kindle reading app to your account, and pull the book in that way?

I'm really out of my depth here, because at least one of the alternatives I gave you should work fine with a Kindle account, non-DRM'ed .prc files and an iOS of whatever type. And, yes, having 4 levels of folders for Calibre is possibly bollixing it up, but I'm not a Calibre folder expert. You should ask about this over at the Calibre forums--they are far more accustomed to these Cloud questions than I or other mobi folk would be, particularly as this has nothing to do with mobis, per se, but is instead a Calibre--iPod transfer problem.

Sorry--I think you need to ask Apple, at this point, (or the Calibre gang) I really do.

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Old 05-17-2013, 04:06 AM   #11
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News! I renamed hundreds of files to drop one level of hierarchy from my Dropbox library. Three levels not four. I did this while I was waiting for my roommate to return with the replacement modem, after the old one gave up the ghost. Whether it's flattening the hierarchy or replacing the modem, Dropbox is now delivering files quickly and easily.

That won't fix the pdb and prc problems, but I am resigned to converting and renaming hundreds? thousands? of files. I'm now done with all the authors through C from 19th century England. Dang but Wilkie Collins wrote lots of novels.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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... That won't fix the pdb and prc problems, but I am resigned to converting and renaming hundreds? thousands? of files. ...
BTW, PDB files are never MOBI format. Prior to using the newer extensions, MOBI files always used the PRC extension.

The old PalmOS only accepted two file structures, he PDB (Palm DataBase) and PRC (Palm ResourCe). Palm apps were required to use PRC and most data files used PDB. When MOBI created their file format, a derivitive of the original Open EBook initiative that later gave birth to ePub, they chose to use the compiled PRC format rather than the more text-like PDB database format. This allows them to include more features (read: images) in their ebooks than other popular ebook formats of the day (PalmReader and PalmDOC) which used the PDB format. There were a few other ebook formats that also used PRC as their container format.

Early MOBI reader software supported the PalmDOC format ebooks in addition to the MOBI format. Some of the newst Amazon Kindle (nee MobiPocket) reading software has dropped support for the antique Palm oriented formats. They also no longer support the earliest versions of the MOBI format seen in the older of the PRC MOBI files. As with other "antique" orphaned formats, calibre is your friend.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:25 PM   #13
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BTW, PDB files are never MOBI format. Prior to using the newer extensions, MOBI files always used the PRC extension.

The old PalmOS only accepted two file structures, he PDB (Palm DataBase) and PRC (Palm ResourCe). Palm apps were required to use PRC and most data files used PDB. When MOBI created their file format, a derivitive of the original Open EBook initiative that later gave birth to ePub, they chose to use the compiled PRC format rather than the more text-like PDB database format. This allows them to include more features (read: images) in their ebooks than other popular ebook formats of the day (PalmReader and PalmDOC) which used the PDB format. There were a few other ebook formats that also used PRC as their container format.

Early MOBI reader software supported the PalmDOC format ebooks in addition to the MOBI format. Some of the newst Amazon Kindle (nee MobiPocket) reading software has dropped support for the antique Palm oriented formats. They also no longer support the earliest versions of the MOBI format seen in the older of the PRC MOBI files. As with other "antique" orphaned formats, calibre is your friend.
Hey, dwig:

Yes. I should have restated that a few times; I just got sidetracked by the entire .prc issue. Thank you for pointing that out.

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