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Old 03-17-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
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I have a PRS-600, which came with the Sony Reader Library software and I also downloaded Calibre.

Sony Reader Library is REALLY problematic. I cannot get the syncing to work. It always hangs after a few syncs and I usually have to disable syncing or delete my books altogether and start over. When I manage them manually, I STILL have problems with uploads and such where it hangs and I don't know why. It seems to be PDFs or Word DOCs that cause it to hang, but they are supposed to be compatible! Whenever I am forced to hard reset or remove books and try again, i lose all my notes and highlights and such which is really upsetting.

Calibre on the other hand is okay. I can tag books to put them into collections and I can manage them. However, I can't see my notes and highlights which is frustrating. I am not even sure Calibre saves them at all, so I am afraid to make a full switch to Calibre. Not only that, I have one DRM book so far (most everything else are PDF articles). I cannot view that DRM book in Calibre. This is REALLY frustrating. Why can't I read it? I got it from the Sony store, it's mine, but I can't even see it.

I am really at a loss here as to what I should do. They make this so complicated that it's going to take years for people to seriously use eReaders on a regular basis. I am starting to have regrets myself...

Any thoughts on how to manage my books, view them, and see my notes and highlights all at once without the program I am using hanging/crashing on me?
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:03 AM   #2
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The problems I always had with the Sony software and the device-computer sync were when I moved files around. Say you have a book you want to add to your reader. You downloaded it from whatever place and save it on your desktop. You add it from your desktop to the Sony software and add it to your Reader. If you then move that file into a different folder, any time you plug in your Reader and the software tries to sync, it won't be able to find that file on the desktop any more and it will just hang there forever instaed of skipping it or giving you an error message. It tries to sync the whole library, every time. So if you're moving the files around it's going to mess everything up, even ones you thought were already synced. As long as you keep everything in the same place you had it when you added it to the Sony library it should be fine.

Calibre makes a separate copy of your files in its own directory so this problem doesn't exist. It also doesn't auto-sync, or display DRMed books at all. I think you can use Adobe Digital Editions to view those. As far as the notes and highlights go, you're probably stuck with the Sony software.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:21 AM   #3
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...You add it from your desktop to the Sony software and add it to your Reader. If you then move that file into a different folder, any time you plug in your Reader and the software tries to sync, it won't be able to find that file on the desktop any more and it will just hang there forever instaed of skipping it or giving you an error message. It tries to sync the whole library, every time.
Exactly! I often don't know how to recover from this, so I usually end up removing the books from my Reader and starting all over which kills all my notes!

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So if you're moving the files around it's going to mess everything up, even ones you thought were already synced. As long as you keep everything in the same place you had it when you added it to the Sony library it should be fine.

Calibre makes a separate copy of your files in its own directory so this problem doesn't exist.
Maybe I need to learn to organize all my books via Calibre first. Once I have the meta info in order, THEN I can use Sony Reader Library to upload the books from the Calibre storage location...

Do you ever have problems with Word DOCs causing the Sony Reader Library to hang? I think I need to convert them to PDF in the future (cutepdf) so as to avoid this, even though my device supports DOCs.

Ugh. I am getting irritable with this thing.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:27 AM   #4
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your device does not actually display DOC files - the software just converts your DOCs to RTF then loads that. but don't use the Sony software to convert DOCs, especially if it's hanging on you.

instead, save straight to RTF from Word.

or better yet, copy-paste the contents of your file into WordPad and save as RTF from there. you'll keep the formatting, but the output file will be considerably smaller (Word adds a lot of invisible garbage to the file that you definitely don't need).
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:59 AM   #5
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I've had very good experiences with RTF files. It doesn't show any pictures but you can make the text larger or darker in Word or Wordpad to make it show up better on the reader.

This is a solution to the sync problem that I got from someone else on this forum:

Open Reader library on your computer. Double click on every book, one at a time. If you have one that says it can't be displayed, that is one that has been moved from its original place on your computer. Delete it from the Sony library, and add it again from its current location.

I did this once, and it was a pain, but it solved the problem. Now I use Calibre exclusively unless I'm buying something from the Sony store. I don't care about exporting notes or anything, though.

Yeah, main thing is don't move your files around. You could try adding them to the Sony library from the Calibre directory. I haven't tried it. Once you get it squared away you'll love your Reader. Don't give up!
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:34 PM   #6
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your device does not actually display DOC files - the software just converts your DOCs to RTF then loads that. but don't use the Sony software to convert DOCs, especially if it's hanging on you.
Wow, I just verified this. I didn't realize there was a conversion. I am aware of the extra info that you mention in Word files, so I will be more careful to trim it down. I have enough problems with complex PDFs as it is. I don't need to add to the burden with other formats as well. *grin*

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Open Reader library on your computer. Double click on every book, one at a time. If you have one that says it can't be displayed, that is one that has been moved from its original place on your computer. Delete it from the Sony library, and add it again from its current location.
I will try this out next time. I wish I correlated the moving books problem with the syncing issue. I would have done this sooner. As a software developer myself, I am really aggravated that Sony would produce a piece of software that can't identify when a file is missing and give you an option to relink it to the new location or delete it entirely.

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Now I use Calibre exclusively unless I'm buying something from the Sony store. I don't care about exporting notes or anything, though.
I like taking notes (especially highlighting) and I would like to use Calibre exclusively, but I worry about losing notes/highlights with it. I haven't quite figured out how it handles them.

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Yeah, main thing is don't move your files around.
ha! yeah. It's new to me and I keep reorganizing because I find a better way to do it. I just didn't realize that was why my eReader kept breaking.

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Once you get it squared away you'll love your Reader. Don't give up!
I won't be giving up yet. No worries. I really NEED this reader as opposed to wanting it. We won't be able to maintain our paper back library soon, but there are many books I want to (have to) keep.

Thanks for the tips guys.

Last edited by bakura82; 03-17-2010 at 12:51 PM. Reason: can = can't
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:41 PM   #7
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As a software developer myself, I am really aggravated that Sony would produce a piece of software that can identify when a file is missing and give you an option to relink it to the new location or delete it entirely.
For someone whose only source of books is the Sony store, it's a great system. I doubt that person is on this forum, though!
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:54 PM   #8
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For someone whose only source of books is the Sony store, it's a great system. I doubt that person is on this forum, though!
ha! You see, I read a LOT of articles and journals. So most of my books are actually PDFs and DOCs. This has definitely been a source of frustration at times. Many PDFs are formatted in ways that my reader doesn't understand. So, I have to use the "Zoom In" feature almost exclusively. For instance, the eReader doesn't understand how to follow text when it's in columns. It gets worse if you have an enlarged quote in the middle of a column or two. Gah!
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:57 PM   #9
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Many PDFs are formatted in ways that my reader doesn't understand. So, I have to use the "Zoom In" feature almost exclusively.
I really dislike reading PDFs on mine. The only way it's manageable is to set it to landscape mode, but then the page isn't cut in exactly half, so when you shift to the bottom, the first few lines have already been on the top half and you lose your place. It's enough to make a sane person crazy!
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:10 PM   #10
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I really dislike reading PDFs on mine. The only way it's manageable is to set it to landscape mode, but then the page isn't cut in exactly half, so when you shift to the bottom, the first few lines have already been on the top half and you lose your place. It's enough to make a sane person crazy!
Yeah, I think I saw a tool that someone made that could reformat PDFs. My cursory overview immediately told me that it was much too complicated for me to figure out at the time. In the next couple of weeks I will check it out. (Sorry, I don't have the link right now). Ideally, I want to reformat PDFs in a manner that pulls out unnecessary garbage, formatting, images, and etc. so that the Sony eReader won't have a problem flowing the text normally. I would like to avoid the "Zoom In" tool when possible.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:41 AM   #11
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I haven't had any significant problems with the Sony Reader Library or with PDFs on my reader once I figured them out. After working with it, there are many tips that make it much easier to work with and that might help you:

- I only sync collections to my ereader rather than my entire library. Some collections are designated to sync to my ereader's memory and others to a memory card. This makes it easy to control the books I want on my reader. Just drop it into the appropriate collection(s) and it will be loaded when I next sync my reader. In turn, to remove a book from my ereader I just delete it from the collections it's in (while leaving it in my library) and then sync my ereader.

- I do all of my ebook management off-line (meaning without my ereader connected to my computer). It's only when I'm finished arranging my ebooks (adding books to the library, adding and removing them from collections, and sorting my collections) that I connect my ereader to my computer and let it completely sync. When it's finished I eject it from the computer. When done this way, everything that I want is loaded perfectly on my ereader.

- When it comes to PDFs I've had great success with them as long as they are formatted for the size of my ereader's screen. When that is the case they are look great and due to this PDF is my format of choice for my reader for the ebooks I create. However, like others have mentioned its a whole different situation when the PDF is not formatted for my ereader screen. Even though reflow is available on my reader, I dislike the results.

I hope the above helps.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:17 PM   #12
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I only sync collections to my ereader rather than my entire library. Some collections are designated to sync to my ereader's memory and others to a memory card. This makes it easy to control the books I want on my reader. Just drop it into the appropriate collection(s) and it will be loaded when I next sync my reader. In turn, to remove a book from my ereader I just delete it from the collections it's in (while leaving it in my library) and then sync my ereader.
This is a good idea, however, when you say delete, do you mean directly from the eReader? Because if you delete from the collection in the Sony Reader Library (SRL), the book remains in the main library. This also means it remains in your eReader without an association with a collection. (You can access it from the eReader "Books" menu rather than a collection.)

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I do all of my ebook management off-line...
Yeah, I can see this preventing problems too.

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When it comes to PDFs I've had great success with them as long as they are formatted for the size of my ereader's screen.
Any ideas for reformatting PDF's that are 8.5 x 11?

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Even though reflow is available on my reader, I dislike the results.
If there are no photos and it's all inline (ie. NOT newspaper style with columns) then it will work well for me. I rarely end up with PDFs like this though. lol.


What about books between two computers? Does everyone insist on one library/PC only to prevent issues, or will the SRL actually sync on both ends properly?
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:24 AM   #13
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(I copied, pasted, and formatted the original post to retain all of the text for context)
Originally Posted by Solitaire1:

I only sync collections to my ereader rather than my entire library. Some collections are designated to sync to my ereader's memory and others to a memory card. This makes it easy to control the books I want on my reader. Just drop it into the appropriate collection(s) and it will be loaded when I next sync my reader. In turn, to remove a book from my ereader I just delete it from the collections it's in (while leaving it in my library) and then sync my ereader.
Originally posted by bakura82:

This is a good idea, however, when you say delete, do you mean directly from the eReader? Because if you delete from the collection in the Sony Reader Library (SRL), the book remains in the main library. This also means it remains in your eReader without an association with a collection. (You can access it from the eReader "Books" menu rather than a collection.)
To avoid syncing problems I don't delete ebooks on my ereader. Instead, I do all of my ebook management via the SRL. When I sync my ereader with the SRL, only books in a collection will be loaded on my reader.

To illustrate, yesterday I synced my ereader with the SRL and I ended up with duplicates of all of my ebooks (the version originally on my reader and a new version from the SRL). To correct this I did the following after starting the SRL and connecting my ereader:

- When into the Source View List (on the left size of the screen), clicked on "Sync" for my reader and unchecked all of the items.

- When into the Source View List, clicked on "Sync" for my memory card and unchecked all of the items.

- Synced my reader. When I was finished there was nothing on my ereader.

- When into the Source View List, clicked on "Sync" for my and checked the collections that I wanted on my ereader's internal memory.

- When into the Source View List, clicked on "Sync" for my memory card and checked the collections that I wanted on my ereader's memory card.

- Synced my ereader. When finished only the ebooks in a collection were on my ereader and only one copy of each ebook and the collections I selected were on my ereader.

One thing that may help when syncing is to ensure that when selecting the collections that you want synced to your reader is to ensure that the first two items on the list ("Library" and "Books") are not checked. If "Library" is checked then your entire library (including photos and music) will be synced to your ereader even if it's not in a collection, and likewise with all of your ebooks if "Books" is checked.

Originally Posted by Solitaire1:

I do all of my ebook management off-line...
Originally posted by bakura82:

Yeah, I can see this preventing problems too.
For me, this was especially true with my old computer (which had about half the power of my current system) where the SRL software was functional but sluggish due to my slow system. Even now, with my more powerful system, I find that the SRL works best if it's allowed to work undistracted when syncing with my ereader.
Originally Posted by Solitaire1:

When it comes to PDFs I've had great success with them as long as they are formatted for the size of my ereader's screen.
Originally posted by bakura82:

Any ideas for reformatting PDF's that are 8.5 x 11?
Not really. When it comes to PDFs, I think of them as electronic paper. With physical paper I have to reformat the source document and then reprint it to change the formatting. With PDFs if I want to change the formatting I have to go to the source document, reformat it, and then regenerate the PDF.
Originally Posted by Solitaire1:

Even though reflow is available on my reader, I dislike the results.
Originally posted by bakura82:

If there are no photos and it's all inline (ie. NOT newspaper style with columns) then it will work well for me. I rarely end up with PDFs like this though. lol.

What about books between two computers? Does everyone insist on one library/PC only to prevent issues, or will the SRL actually sync on both ends properly?
I only have one computer so I can't speak to this issue. I haven't heard of any problems but I haven't looked into the issue.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:56 PM   #14
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Your a genius...thanks for that. I was frustrated.
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