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Old 05-21-2011, 03:36 PM   #1
johnnyb
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Problem with conversion epub to mobi

I have already started a thread here:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=133273

But now I can finally verify that my problem (dictionary search takes 5 seconds instead of instant lookup, pages turn much slower) definitely has to do with calibre conversion...
I got a mobi file from the web and it worked perfectly well on my Kindle (either copied to the documents folder directly or uploaded onto the Kindle via calibre), everything was snappy and worked like I charm...
The same file then, converted with Calibre showed the behavior I knew, dictionary lookups took forever, page turns longer too...
I'm not so sure if anyone can help me as it seems I'm the only one having this problem but maybe someone could suggest a foolproof method of getting the conversion right (I already reset everything to factory settings, to no avail) or even, if that's the only thing that works for me, a different conversion tool so I can finally transfer my ebooks onto my Kindle (3) and actually use them properly...
Thx a lot folks!
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:10 AM   #2
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Ok I have excluded any possibility that it wouldnt be Calibre that made the files so slow... Converted from txt, rtf and html, Calibre mobis are slow (even if sent via email with conversion), if I convert them through Amazon, they are lightning fast...
The only question that remains is then, how can I remove Calibre from my Mac so that everything will be restored to initial settings in Calibre without me losing my library... How much work is it to reload the whole library? Can I just drop them in and everything will by in place or will I have to retag everything and download covers etc (I am planning to just import the epubs and not the Calibre metadata)... How can I reset my Kindle so that all Calibre data on there will be gone? And finally, why does it take over an hour until Calibre has initially set up metadata files on my Kindle (on first connection after deleting the present metadata file)? Is it advisable to begin with a totally empty Kindle and redownload my Amazon books afterwards? Could a jailbreak have ANY impact on this behavior?
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:31 AM   #3
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Ok I have excluded any possibility that it wouldnt be Calibre that made the files so slow... Converted from txt, rtf and html, Calibre mobis are slow (even if sent via email with conversion), if I convert them through Amazon, they are lightning fast...
The only question that remains is then, how can I remove Calibre from my Mac so that everything will be restored to initial settings in Calibre without me losing my library... How much work is it to reload the whole library? Can I just drop them in and everything will by in place or will I have to retag everything and download covers etc (I am planning to just import the epubs and not the Calibre metadata)... How can I reset my Kindle so that all Calibre data on there will be gone? And finally, why does it take over an hour until Calibre has initially set up metadata files on my Kindle (on first connection after deleting the present metadata file)? Is it advisable to begin with a totally empty Kindle and redownload my Amazon books afterwards? Could a jailbreak have ANY impact on this behavior?
Locate the 'Calibre Configuration Directory' (Preferences: Micellaneous (near the bottom): Click the button' Make a Note of the folder: DO Nothing else at this time. Exit Calibre

Uninstall Calibre normally.
Now: Delete the folder you noted above.
DO NOT delete your Library folder (the one wit books and metadata.db)

You now have a clean (settings) slate tor a fresh install
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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Ok I have excluded any possibility that it wouldnt be Calibre that made the files so slow... Converted from txt, rtf and html, Calibre mobis are slow (even if sent via email with conversion), if I convert them through Amazon, they are lightning fast...
MOBI is a proprietary format. The only public documentation is a partial specification of the file that was achieved though reverse engineering. For instance Amazon created MOBI files are indexed. calibre tries to index them in the same way but this isn't 100% as the process is not publicly available.

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The only question that remains is then, how can I remove Calibre from my Mac so that everything will be restored to initial settings in Calibre without me losing my library...
Why do you want to do this?

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How much work is it to reload the whole library?
Reloading as in importing each individual book back into calibre? That's going to depend on how many books you have and how good the metadata is in the books themselves.

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How can I reset my Kindle so that all Calibre data on there will be gone?
Just delete everything on the Kindle.

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Originally Posted by johnnyb View Post
And finally, why does it take over an hour until Calibre has initially set up metadata files on my Kindle (on first connection after deleting the present metadata file)?
The metadata file is a cache of the metadata in each file. It's much faster to read from this file. If it's gone (first connection) then calibre has to read the metadata from each individual file on the device. As you've found this is slow.

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Is it advisable to begin with a totally empty Kindle and redownload my Amazon books afterwards?
If you're worried about removing all calibre files then yes.

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Could a jailbreak have ANY impact on this behavior?
Possibly. We don't provide support for non-stock devices.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:49 AM   #5
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Hey thx for your answers! The actual question I now have is why Calibre converted files are so much slower on my Kindle (even as stock Kindle) than what other users report... Are there any other tools for mobi conversion (from epub) that I could try? Or even just Mobi reconversion?
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:53 AM   #6
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Hey thx for your answers! The actual question I now have is why Calibre converted files are so much slower on my Kindle (even as stock Kindle) than what other users report... Are there any other tools for mobi conversion (from epub) that I could try? Or even just Mobi reconversion?
I am sure that if this can be identified and it is genuine problem with Calibre produced MOBI files, then Calibre would be altered to rectify the problem.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:56 AM   #7
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Hey thx for your answers! The actual question I now have is why Calibre converted files are so much slower on my Kindle (even as stock Kindle) than what other users report...
If it's slower for you than other users then it probably has something to do with the non-standard changes (jailbreak) you've done to you Kindle.

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Are there any other tools for mobi conversion (from epub) that I could try? Or even just Mobi reconversion?
There's always the official tools provided by Amazon... Google kindlegen.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:41 PM   #8
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Ok, I removed the screensaver hack and jailbreak and ... nothing has changed, dictionary still takes 5 seconds to show an entry, page turns are slow...
last resort: reinstalling Calibre from scratch, if that doesnt work, I will have to look at kindlegen (which I so far am not able to use, doesnt load)
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:14 PM   #9
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I will have to look at kindlegen (which I so far am not able to use, doesnt load)
If you can't get KindleGen working on its own for some reason you can download Kindle Previewer. Once installed and open just drag your epub into the Kindle Previewer window and it will do the conversion to Mobi for you (using KindleGen).
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:26 PM   #10
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Hey thanks for all of your tips... Kindle Previewer really did it... books work flawlessly (only have twice the size of the original but that's no big deal)...
I'm 100% convinced that it's simply the calibre conversion that is suboptimal...
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:43 PM   #11
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Hey thanks for all of your tips... Kindle Previewer really did it... books work flawlessly (only have twice the size of the original but that's no big deal)...
I'm 100% convinced that it's simply the calibre conversion that is suboptimal...
The size thing is because it basically includes the ePub inside the file also (there has been speculation that this may mean a switch to ePub by Amazon some day, but I have no idea). There is a script floating around here on MR that will remove that info to give you a smaller file if need be.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:04 PM   #12
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Hey thx for your answers! The actual question I now have is why Calibre converted files are so much slower on my Kindle (even as stock Kindle) than what other users report... Are there any other tools for mobi conversion (from epub) that I could try? Or even just Mobi reconversion?
Open the ePub in Mobipocket Reader and it will convert to Mobipocket for you. That would be the best alternative to Calibre for ePub to Mobipocket.

If the ePub looks good enough in Mobipocket Reader, the Mobipocket eBook can be found in C:\Users\name of account\Documents\My eBooks

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:25 PM   #13
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I tried Mobipocket Reader before Kindle Previewer but the results were bad, special characters missing etc. Will look for the script while waiting for the fresh Calibre install to "metadata" my Kindle... last straw...
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:39 PM   #14
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I tried Mobipocket Reader before Kindle Previewer but the results were bad, special characters missing etc. Will look for the script while waiting for the fresh Calibre install to "metadata" my Kindle... last straw...
Do you have your Kindle modded to use a different font? There should be no reason to have missing characters converting from ePub to Mobipocket using Mobipocket Reader unless the ePub has an embedded font and the ePub is using special characters that the Kindle's default font does not have.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:17 PM   #15
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nope the Kindle is now on factory settings again, I reinstalled calibre and cleaned everything, reloaded my books (only the epub files without metadata) and still ... it takes like 5 seconds to load up a dictionary entry, something that still doesnt happen with books converted with Mobipocket Reader, Converter, directly from the web as mobis, an online converter i found and of course not Amazon's own conversion tools (the same is the case if the source file is epub or rtf)...
My only conclusion: the mobi conversion plugin in Calibre is flawed and needs a lot of fixing... I'm not so sure why people claim this is not the case with their files and I myself wouldnt have noticed it if i hadnt tried to read a french book in which i have to look up a lot more vocabulary (and move the cursor around a lot more)... (still, the behavior is also the case with english books and factory dictionaries)...
I don't know if you Calibre guys will want to invest more time in trying to fix that problem, I could upload some of the files in question, could give more detailed step by step descriptions of what I've done (nothing different from what I used to do with my Sony Reader) and you could check them against files converted with Kindle Previewer but you surely know better what to do with your software (which is still a great piece, only useless for conversion for me right now)...

Edit: and btw, all I have described is also the case with News downloaded with Calibre...

Last edited by johnnyb; 05-30-2011 at 07:21 PM.
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