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View Poll Results: Mobi or epub
Mobi 52 26.13%
Epub 147 73.87%
Voters: 199. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-24-2011, 09:25 AM   #1
Beerman
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Mobi or epub-which do you prefer?

If your device will allow both formats, which format do you prefer and why?
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:31 AM   #2
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I chose MOBI because that's what I know.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:32 AM   #3
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For novels, Mobi. None of the faffing around that ADE involves - just copy the file to the reader and there it is.

For more complex books, obviously ePub offers more advanced formatting capabilities, but those are rarely necessary in a straightforward novel.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:36 AM   #4
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I like pudding. Usually chocolate, but sometimes pistachio is nice.


Also... very few devices support both "out of the box."
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:49 AM   #5
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Since I have epub devices, I prefer epub. I can do all of my editing in Sigil and it is a straightforward edit for me. I do not know the conventions of Mobi, nor do I use any products that need it.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:54 AM   #6
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I like MOBI because the formatting comes across well on all my devices. I prefer EPUB, though, because I can use Sigil to fix misspellings or other errors.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by baileywick View Post
I like MOBI because the formatting comes across well on all my devices. I prefer EPUB, though, because I can use Sigil to fix misspellings or other errors.
This is true, but it's very easy to convert Mobi to ePub, edit, then convert back again.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:46 AM   #8
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A majority of what I read are novels, and I couldn't care less if they come in .mobi or .epub. If I get a book in .mobi, I read it on my Kindle, if I get it in .epub, I read it on my Sony.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pidgeon92 View Post
A majority of what I read are novels, and I couldn't care less if they come in .mobi or .epub. If I get a book in .mobi, I read it on my Kindle, if I get it in .epub, I read it on my Sony.
My sentiments exactly.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:55 AM   #10
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I prefer ePub because I know how to edit them directly if I need to. Now that I have a Nook Touch, when I get around to rooting it this weekend, I'll be able to read either format on my preferred ereader without conversions.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:55 AM   #11
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I have not experienced a reader that 'supports both' (unless you count separate apps on iOS). Notably Kobo Touch says that it does, but seems to have some issues with mobi; it's probably not a very good implementation, which does not reflect one way or the other on mobi. And of course there are a number of others that support both, though they don't have the brand recognition of Kindle/Nook/Sony/Kobo.

For the most part, mobi is a subset of ePub, so ePub is 'better'.

One exception is that mobi defines tags that can be used to create lookup dictionaries, so you can add additional dictionaries to the reading system, and even author new ones yourself. None the ePub reading systems I've seen have this capability, and so you are restricted to whatever dictionaries the reading system comes with.

But everything else leans in favor of ePub:
- ability to embed fonts, with broad reading system support
- most ePub reading systems support NCX TOC, which provides a way to navigate a multi-level TOC without jumping to another part of the book and navigating hyperlinks. mobi (or at least the Kindle implementation) uses this also, but the implementation only uses it for easier navigation between adjacent chapters.
- drop caps, right justification options, SVG (scalable) graphics, floating images are broadly supported by ePub reading systems.
- tables work better

An epub file contains all the source code, so (without DRM) anyone can open it up and modify styling, correct typos, etc. Mobi is a binary format, and does not contain all of the information of the original source code. There are tools to reverse-compile, but you don't get CSS or NCX back, so it is harder to fix some issues.

Of course the relative strengths of ePub can be neutralized if the reading system doesn't support those features, and unfortunately some implementations are very weak (don't support SVG, don't support embedded fonts, hyperlinks, or NCX navigation), while others, like iBooks, offer extended features. So ebook designers often have to make compromises or prepare more than one 'standard' ePub format, depending on the target system. By contrast, mobi pretty much means 'Kindle' these days, and there are fewer of these considerations to sort through.

Finally there is the market reality that mobi is used on the most popular platform (Kindle). You could say that makes mobi 'better'. However I think that is only true in the short term, and Amazon will have to adopt ePub eventually to maintain (or to extend) their dominance.

I prefer the Kindle ecosystem and feature set, but prefer ePub as a format. For now that means having one ereader for each, and finding ways they can complement each other. I'm reading a lot of library books in ePub format, but my purchases are still mostly Kindle format, though I'm making fewer of them.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bgalbrecht View Post
I prefer ePub because I know how to edit them directly if I need to. Now that I have a Nook Touch, when I get around to rooting it this weekend, I'll be able to read either format on my preferred ereader without conversions.
Nook touch has software that works with it for reading Mobi once rooted?
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:04 PM   #13
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For novels, epub as it has none of the faffing around like having to buy a Kindle or use a Kindle/mobi app...
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Beerman View Post
If your device will allow both formats, which format do you prefer and why?

If a device allows both formats, like the Pocketbook, it normally supports epub quite well and mobi quite modestly.
If a device supports only mobi, like the Kindle or Cybooks, it does a great job.
So I would agree with Pomtroll and pidgeon92 and use an extra reader for each format.
And if I would be forced to make a decision between these two formats then I would not choose the format but the reader that would allow me to make as many changes as possible (eg. font, font size, margins...) on the device and not in the file.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:12 PM   #15
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Nook touch has software that works with it for reading Mobi once rooted?
He's talking about installing the Kindle Android app on a rooted Nook Touch. It's a talking dog trick, not a real option that most people would consider.
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