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Old 09-11-2010, 12:40 PM   #1
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Trying Manga on the PRS-650

Hello everyone,

I thought i'd try to see how well the PRS-650 could be used in reading comics. These are early days yet so I appreciate any input.

Before we get to the reading experience there are some database issues I should go over. First time around I put on about 2600 pages, BIG MISTAKE. I put the memory stick in and the Reader paused for about 2 hours as it generated thumbnails for each one. Next time I only put on 212 though which was actually pretty quick, like 5 minutes. So don't be too ambitious in loading it up unless you leave it overnight :P

Now loading times are fine IMO because the Reader only does it once, if you take the memory card out when it's done you dont have to worry about a repeat performance either.

The first major issue I encountered was the file system. Pictures are arranged either by date or title and the reader does not see them in folders. Unfortunately for me I had 10+ chapters each with the file names 1,2,3...12. So when flicking through you would read page 1 of chapter 1 then page 1 of chapter 2 ect. I got around this by using a free program called Renamer. Basically it can batch rename files adding their folder name as a prefix. So I renamed and put on 9 chapters (10 would make the file name 1001 and I wasn't sure if that would mess up the order, will have to test that one.)

All in all this isn't too big a deal. The program renames files almost instantly and unless you load up 1000+ files I don't think the load time is that bad.

OK so i've got 9 chapters on in sequential file names I can now start reading. How is it?
Well as you can see by (1) the image quality is very nice. Looks great in black and white and I like the contrast.
Problems began to occur when there is dialogue however. As you can see by (2) the Reader is just a bit too small to fit a whole page so you have to squint a bit to read the text.

At this point I was thinking, 'hey i remember them saying that you could lock the zoom for PDFs, i'm going to try that!'
Well to my disappointment I found that the zooming interface for pictures is completely stripped down. You will see in (3) that when looking at a normal book there is a neat zoom lock feature at the top of the page.
In (4) this is completely absent! Without a way to lock zoom it is impossible to read in landscape mode because unless it's a double page spread the reader tries to display the whole page without zooming in, leaving massive black borders, see (5.)
I found landscape mode pretty much unreadable and only really useful to take in the gist of a double page spread.

My conclusions?
Well I might try reading a bit in portrait mode and see how it goes but I do find the text a bit small. Zooming each separate page is too much work and I guess i would only use it for double pages when there's no other option. The screen is just so nice though, I can't resist giving it another go

What needs to be fixed? A few things IMO. Here's what really stuck out for me:
There is no way to view folders (get used to a massive list of JPEGS)
Scrolling through files alphabetically only (again, give me folders. lots of files are just named after the page numbers)
No zoom lock for pictures ()

Maybe some third party applications will be out eventually that can do some of those things? Anyway I did get the PRS-650 to read books so i'm not going to dwell on this too much. Still I like to experiment with the gadgets so this was a fun little test for me.
Hope someone was helped by this information.
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:03 PM   #2
penkin
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Hi, I just got my PRS-650 today also in Sydney. Would you mind to recommend a site where I can download manga in bulk (a zip file)? and a tool to convert it into a suitable resolution/BW format for reader?
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:26 PM   #3
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Try one of those freewares that converts all jpgs to a PDF file. This way you can use the zoom lock feature and don't have to deal with folders.
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:35 PM   #4
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Why don't you simply convert the jpgs of one whole chapter in a single PDF?

You can also convert their size slightly so one pic fits on the screen. You'll have a slight quality loss if you do that of cource, but the advantage of not having to zoom and pan exept for 2 page pictures should be well worth that loss.

Not 100% sure if the free version of the Adobe Reader can do this, though.
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penkin View Post
Hi, I just got my PRS-650 today also in Sydney. Would you mind to recommend a site where I can download manga in bulk (a zip file)? and a tool to convert it into a suitable resolution/BW format for reader?
Hi, I tried this one which seems to work pretty well:
http://domdomsoft.com/home/category/manga-downloader/
I think it makes them all JPGs so it can be read on the Sony.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yts06mgr View Post
Try one of those freewares that converts all jpgs to a PDF file. This way you can use the zoom lock feature and don't have to deal with folders.
Thank you! This is a great idea, and it probably won't cripple my device with so many files either :P
Gonna give it a go tomorrow
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:48 PM   #6
danhibiki
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Hey, on my 505 I just convert manga to LRF with Calibre.

In Calibre, just drag a zipped (.zip .rar .cbz or .cbr) manga in and click "convert". Change the conversion in the top right corner from EPUB (the default) to LRF. In the "Comic input" tab, be sure to check "right to left" (which will split double-page scans and order them correctly for manga) and "keep aspect ratio" (which always seemed to give me better images). Leave everything else unchecked.

Conversion for a typical 200-paged manga in 1 zip file takes about 10 minutes for me. I'm doing it on a netbook, so it might be faster on a PC(?).

I don;t have images to post, but everything is nice and crisp, and page turns and initial load times are really snappy (since it's a LRF file, the reader treats it like any other book).
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danhibiki View Post
Hey, on my 505 I just convert manga to LRF with Calibre.

In Calibre, just drag a zipped (.zip .rar .cbz or .cbr) manga in and click "convert". Change the conversion in the top right corner from EPUB (the default) to LRF. In the "Comic input" tab, be sure to check "right to left" (which will split double-page scans and order them correctly for manga) and "keep aspect ratio" (which always seemed to give me better images). Leave everything else unchecked.

Conversion for a typical 200-paged manga in 1 zip file takes about 10 minutes for me. I'm doing it on a netbook, so it might be faster on a PC(?).

I don;t have images to post, but everything is nice and crisp, and page turns and initial load times are really snappy (since it's a LRF file, the reader treats it like any other book).
Thank you so much, this worked brilliantly!
I put chapters 1-9 in a zip and converted them to LRF. It loaded pretty instantly on the reader! Also Calibre made it so that the pages fit the width of the reader so the text isn't as small in portrait mode
This is brilliant, I feel pretty stupid now going through all that work trying to make it work with JPGs :P
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:11 AM   #8
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Lol, was going to say about using calibre with zip files, but got beat to it. Only thing to add, is that I sometimes get better page turning speeds with lrf's instead of epubs. I guess its a better algorithm.

Last edited by Kaitou Ace; 09-12-2010 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:52 AM   #9
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Alright, it took me 4 hours but I think i've found the best reading solution.
My problem was that each chapter was in a separate folder which made things difficult for filenames and chapters. I read this:
http://calibre-ebook.com/user_manual...ok-collections
and decided that would be the best way to organize my files so:

I found a program that converts multiple folders into .zip's
Then I used Renamer to rename the .zip's to .cbz's
Then I put the .cbz's into a new zip along with the comics.txt mentioned in the calibre manual (hardest part in all of this was typing out each chapter entry)
Then I renamed the zip to cbc and converted it to epub in Calibre (tried lrf but the table of contents didn't show up)

So now I have a series in one file that navigates quickly with page turns, zooms, handles landscape mode well and has a table of contents with each chapter in it.
Pretty pleased now to streamline the process somehow
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:23 AM   #10
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If anyone's interested I took a short video just showing how it handles the comics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcvtGPiHJ6I

I think Calibre trims the pages a bit so it's definitely readable for me in portrait mode (before when i just put the JPGs straight on the writing was a bit too small)
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjw View Post
So now I have a series in one file that navigates quickly with page turns, zooms, handles landscape mode well and has a table of contents with each chapter in it.
Pretty pleased now to streamline the process somehow
Do you have to re-make the file every time a new chapter is added? (For on-going series)

Quote:
In the "Comic input" tab, be sure to check "right to left" (which will split double-page scans and order them correctly for manga) and "keep aspect ratio" (which always seemed to give me better images). Leave everything else unchecked.
I can't seem to find this tab when trying to convert with calibre. I must be blind >_<

edit: nevermind. I was trying to do a bulk convert, it's only in individual convert

Last edited by Quantum.Cat; 09-17-2010 at 02:45 PM. Reason: I'm dumb
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:29 PM   #12
Ayle
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Im gonna start loading manga this weekend!
Any tips to keep order? I have tons of scanlations and would like to keep SOME kind of order in the reader.
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:00 PM   #13
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Okey i got all my manga on my computer now and getting my Sony-PRS650 tomorrow but the problem is i dont know how to create this comic.txt that i need to insert into my .cbc file that will contain my manga.

I also wonder if there is any program to create a list more easily then writing such a file with over 1000 chapters would be a pain!
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:28 PM   #14
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Just got my PRS-650 last night! YAY anyways...
I found it easier method but a bit time consuming then the original by unzipping the comic first and just renaming the order as alot of scanlations actually go "chapter 01" then inside contains "00.jpg etc" then "chapter 02" and insider contains "00.jpg". Just from chapter 2 onwards whatever the last jpg file number was eg. chapter 01 00-34 then rename chapter 2 35-60 etc. you get the giest. Works like a charm and done that with most of my manga.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kookiie View Post
Okey i got all my manga on my computer now and getting my Sony-PRS650 tomorrow but the problem is i dont know how to create this comic.txt that i need to insert into my .cbc file that will contain my manga.

I also wonder if there is any program to create a list more easily then writing such a file with over 1000 chapters would be a pain!
Do you use windows? If so I can help with a vbscript to build it automatically.
I have done this with a 60 volume manga with 8-10 chapters each, all just basically subfolders with images in it. zip the contents of each chapter, create a comic.txt file in each volume folder, then rename it in to cbz, finally zip the volume together then rename again to cbc.

just tell me how you arrange your comic directory.
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