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Old 09-19-2009, 07:37 AM   #1
JohnDoe
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Calibre: excellent program, but...

I recently started making some order in the mass (and mess) of my e-books (mainly stuff from Project Gutenberg and similar, downloaded over the years since the early 90s - OK, that shows my age )

So I did a little bit of research and tried basically every imaginable e-book manager out there (at least, the ones I managed to find - ebooks are not exactly mainstream yet).

Most of them were rather disappointing, until I stumbled upon Calibre.

Free, very complete, manages format conversions, works with Sony e-readers (I'm gonna receive a Sony PRS-505 next week)... it's definitely an excellent program!

My only gripe is with its user interface...

While from a "functional" standpoint it's workable, it's severely lacking in the "wow" department - it simply doesn't have the level of polish we're used to these days.

My wet dream would be an iTunes-like GUI for Calibre... that would be awesome!

But even without going so far, I think at least having the book covers displayed in a "virtual bookshelf" (like Mobipocket Reader or Sony eBook Library) would go a long way towards both pleasing the eye and furthering the diffusion of this wonderful program...
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:48 AM   #2
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John, Calibre is indeed an excellent program and I disagree about the UI. It doesn't need much of anything. It is clear, mostly intuitive and very usable. The only addition I can think of that might be useful is some way of managing folders, but that is more a function of the E-Reader and difficult to do in a generic way I suspect.
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:02 AM   #3
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I agree, mostly, with Kenny, there is not much wrong with the gui. The only option I can think of, that is missing, is the ability to remove icons, it is possible to make them smaller but personally I hate icons and would like the option of removing them.

This program seems perfect for my purposes apart from the importing of books with different meta tag formats, I have 12,000 books and I need to check them all to get at least the titles and authors consistent. The gui is perfect for this.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDoe View Post
But even without going so far, I think at least having the book covers displayed in a "virtual bookshelf" (like Mobipocket Reader or Sony eBook Library) would go a long way towards both pleasing the eye and furthering the diffusion of this wonderful program...
You mean in addition to the Coverflow mode that is already there? How do you see it being different? I find the Coverflow mode much less efficient to navigate (although it is pretty).
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:14 AM   #5
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Nah, Coverflow is just eye candy - very very pretty but not so efficient to use and next to impossible to navigate.

I thought something like this mockup I created with Photoshop and I'm attaching - clean, "iTunish", nice to look at

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Old 09-19-2009, 11:25 AM   #6
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I would have thought something like that becomes unmanageable as soon as you get a lot of books in your library (I have around 7500). I switch my iTunes library to list mode just for that reason and I only have a few hundred albums in that.

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Old 09-19-2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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A grid view of covers is on the TODO list.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:30 PM   #8
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A grid view of covers is on the TODO list.
Cool!!!

Man, you just made my day!
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:11 PM   #9
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Is there anyway of listing books in the library in order by author rather then by title.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:47 PM   #10
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Is there anyway of listing books in the library in order by author rather then by title.

If you click the header of the column it will re-sort
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:34 AM   #11
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Just to chime in, I think the current GUI is fine. I actually dislike lots of eye candy because it just gets in the way. I don't like iTune's interface, it's too busy. I like the simple interface Calibre has because it lets me do what I want quickly.
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