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Old 07-23-2011, 09:00 AM   #1
Kratos
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Smile My homemade epubs are not viewable on iBooks for iPad.

Hi, I'm having a problem with epubs not being viewable in iBooks.

I've been making some epubs with InDesign, unzipped them, edited them in Notepad++, rezipped them, renamed the extension from .zip to epub and have transferred them with iTunes to my iPad 2. This had been working fine.

Two days ago they were all displaying fine in iBooks, now only 2 or 3 are displaying. On iTunes it list the epubs as being stored on the iPad. The epubs work and can be viewed on Sigil and Adobe digital Reader.

I made a copy of the files that are viewable on the iPad and renamed them, and transferred them but these copies are not viewable either.

I also transferred all the books with my iPhone 4, again the same problem but this time a different selection of my epubs are showing!

I also transferred a commercial epub to the iPad 2 and this works.

This is a crazy problem and it is stopping me from testing but I have no idea what to do. Any ideas?

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Old 07-23-2011, 09:18 AM   #2
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Your re-zipping is the most likely culprit. An ePub ZIP file has very specific requirements. How are you doing the zipping? Have you tried opening the files in any other reader - eg, ADE?
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:07 AM   #3
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The epubs open fine in ereader programs including Adobe Digital Editions, Sigil, and Calibre.

I'm re-zipping with both WinRar and WinZip, and I've tried doing both with the slowest/ highest compatibility. Is there a better program to zip with?
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:08 AM   #4
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I was referring to the ORDER of the files in the ZIP. I believe I'm correct in saying that the OPF file has to be physically the first file in the ZIP, and that it has to be uncompressed.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
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Sorry Harry, I don't know how to zip files but exclude one from compression.
Browsing this forum I found a program called ePubPack which is meant to create proper epub files. But when I transferred these to my iPad these don't display either.

Looking in my epub/zip file the order of the contents is...

META-INF
OEBPS
mimetype

the order of the contents in the OEBPS folder is
fonts
images
content.opf
template.css
page1.html etc



This is driving me up the wall.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:09 PM   #6
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The mimetype must be the first file and it must not be compressed. Usually it is so small it is won't compress. Make a zip with only mimetype in it and then add the others to the already created zip file. You said you were trying different compression settings so the mimetype would be 0. The idea is that you could view the contents of the file without uncompressing it and still be able to see the mimetype. This is a requirement of the standard. All of the various ePub check programs test for this, by the way.

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Old 07-23-2011, 02:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice DaleDe. What I did was make the mimetype into a zip using WinRar with the best compression option. Then I added Meta-Inf and OEBPS into the zipped folder. Then I change the extension to epub. Then I transferred it to the iPad. But it's still not showing.

Edit: I also tried the method of creating an empty folder, zipping it, adding the mimetype, then adding the Meta-inf and oebps and still it don't show.

Ive tried emailing and dropboxing but still nada.

Last edited by Kratos; 07-23-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
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The mimetype must be the first file and it must not be compressed.
Thanks, Dale. I knew that there was one file which had to be first and uncompressed, but I couldn't remember which one it was.
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kratos View Post
Thanks for the advice DaleDe. What I did was make the mimetype into a zip using WinRar with the best compression option. Then I added Meta-Inf and OEBPS into the zipped folder. Then I change the extension to epub. Then I transferred it to the iPad. But it's still not showing.

Edit: I also tried the method of creating an empty folder, zipping it, adding the mimetype, then adding the Meta-inf and oebps and still it don't show.

Ive tried emailing and dropboxing but still nada.
The first zip should have the mimetype in it. Not empty and not compressed at all. It you open a command window and then type more filename.epub you should be able to read mimetypeapplication/epub+zip in clear text near the beginning. Or if you open the file in Notepad you should also see this text on the top line.

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Old 07-24-2011, 10:38 AM   #10
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I understand you must be pretty knowledgeable but Im really not understanding about the mimetype 0 setting, and I don't really know anything about cmd or the commands. I'm a complete beginner in this field. Is there anywhere I can go for step by step instructions or even an easy to use epub zipper for PC?
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:37 PM   #11
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The easiest way to deal with ePub is to use Sigil to perform any editing. If you have a existing ePub and do not want to use Sigil I suggest 7zip. With 7zip you just right click on the epub and open it. You can then drag anything out and fix it and then drag it back. you can directly edit files inside the open window.

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Old 07-24-2011, 07:16 PM   #12
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Hi DaleDe. I do appreciate you trying to help.
I used 7zip to open a copy of an epub I'd transferred. I took out the css and a couple of html files, made some minor adjustments and put them back. I then use iTunes to transfer it to my iPad but again it didn't show up in iBooks.

So again I created a new epub direct from Indesign, named it V1 and transferred it to my iPad and it did display in iBooks. I then took that exact same epub, copied it, renamed it V2 and transferred it to my iPad and it didn't display in iBooks. I repeated the experiment a couple of times and got the same results.

I then renamed a copy of a commercial epub which I previously transferred to ibooks. I've got and transferred it but that didn't show either in iBooks.

Bear in mind I don't know anything about zips/epubs but I now doubt the zipping is the problem. Is it possible that each epub has a unique identifier in it somewhere, and iBooks won't display duplicates?! And if there is, where would it be, and is there a 'safe' way to change it?
I'm using the latest version of the iOS software which is 4.34

Last edited by Kratos; 07-24-2011 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kratos View Post
Hi DaleDe. I do appreciate you trying to help.
I used 7zip to open a copy of an epub I'd transferred. I took out the css and a couple of html files, made some minor adjustments and put them back. I then use iTunes to transfer it to my iPad but again it didn't show up in iBooks.

So again I created a new epub direct from Indesign, named it V1 and transferred it to my iPad and it did display in iBooks. I then took that exact same epub, copied it, renamed it V2 and transferred it to my iPad and it didn't display in iBooks. I repeated the experiment a couple of times and got the same results.

I then renamed a copy of a commercial epub which I previously transferred to ibooks. I've got and transferred it but that didn't show either in iBooks.

Bear in mind I don't know anything about zips/epubs but I now doubt the zipping is the problem. Is it possible that each epub has a unique identifier in it somewhere, and iBooks won't display duplicates?! And if there is, where would it be, and is there a 'safe' way to change it?
I'm using the latest version of the iOS software which is 4.34
That is very strange. Maying a copy should be identical. There is a unique number inside and Apple also adds a special file inside. I could kind of understand that if you already had the book they would fail to show a second copy but there should certainly be a way to replace a bad copy with a new one. If you remove the original will the copy show up? I will be getting my iPad at some point but for now I can only guess.

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Old 07-25-2011, 06:25 AM   #14
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I deleted all previous versions from iTunes & the iPad and the new version works fine!
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:55 AM   #15
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Yey! I was about to recommend doing just that. Also, if it was side loaded to a Kindle or Kobo or Bluefire app in the iPad to delete them as well. One of the apps keeps the original if it has the same metadata title. (I think) You can also get around it by changing the title metadata but that's just nuts.

Also, if someone else would at least try to right click the 3 main components of an epub in windows 7 and verify that you can zip an epub with a right click by selecting SEND TO and COMPRESSED FOLDER as long as that right click is on the mimetype file I'd really appreciate it. That's all I have done in the 11 months of zipping up epubs and they validate every time. No one has said they can replicate it, but I don't know if anyone else tried. It's so easy I've never even tried to replicate all the scripts and hoop-la I've seen posted here.
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