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Old 01-28-2011, 06:38 PM   #1
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Comparing eBook library software

I was reading another thread, and heard mention of another ebook library manager called Alfa. Now, this it the first I've heard anyone anywhere talk about any other ebook management software besides Calibre, so out of curiosity I googled "alfa vs. calibre" (w/o quotes) just to see what anyone thought of it, but got no relevant results.

Let me make it clear that I do like Calibre alot and have no intention of switching. For one thing, it's truly a life saver with editing metadata, especially on K1 or when K2 didn't have collections. I'm also trying to get my parents and my brother-in-law to start using it.

I just wanted to know what else was out there, why they're different from Calibre (aside from the obvious price) and why Calibre is so much better.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:27 PM   #2
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I tried Alpha and found it to be less flexible and versatile than calibre. Many prefer Alpha because it preserves their directory tree while calibre uses its own. It's also prettier. I'll take flexibility and versatility over primitive organization and good looks any day of the week.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:44 AM   #3
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Also, "prettier" is in the eye of the beholder. I hate hate HATE bookshelf metaphor UIs (yes, iBooks, I'm looking at you ). Yes, Alfa has a list view and I've not actually tried it so maybe it's half decent, but that bookshelf metaphor ... ugh.

Sorry, but if calibre ever adds a stupid "wooden bookshelf of cover pictures" metaphor, I'm going to have to fork the code.
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:47 AM   #4
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I took a look out of interest and found two main issues with Alfa. First, it is only available for Windows and not Mac, and second, it does not appear to do conversions.
I think I will stick with Calibre.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddos View Post
Also, "prettier" is in the eye of the beholder. I hate hate HATE bookshelf metaphor UIs (yes, iBooks, I'm looking at you ). Yes, Alfa has a list view and I've not actually tried it so maybe it's half decent, but that bookshelf metaphor ... ugh...
I SO totally agree with you. Besides being Michael Mouse and childish looking, it is horribly inefficient. A list is much more efficient. It makes me think of the people who resist e-books because they like the feel and smell of "real" books so programmers try to emulate the feel of books with nonsense like animated page turns or swiping a screen a screen to emulate the act of turning a paper page.

Alpha's list view is not as flexible as calibre's, especially now that calibre has customizable columns (that was one of the two most valuable improvements to calibre since I started using it last summer, the other being easy to access libraries).

Btw, by "prettier" I was referring to the fact that Alpha's screens were a bit more colorful than calibre's drab gray backgrounds. However, I'll take functional over pretty any day of the week (although I'll admit I'm a greedy old bitch who wants it all ).
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:17 AM   #6
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In terms of library management, both of them sucks, lol.

Both user interface sucks.

Alfa is not open source.

But Alfa is getting more covers and much faster, while Calibre is pathetic in that department.

I'll stay away from both programs.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:41 AM   #7
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Thread closed since it has attracted its first brainless moron.
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