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View Poll Results: Deskitop Software should it sync all your books accross the board or just the kpubs?
Thats all that is needed! 1 4.35%
Definately a needed feature! 13 56.52%
Who cares, I read many books at once on many devices. 2 8.70%
Don't Care one way or the other. 7 30.43%
Holding out for the Soft Ice Cream maker before I worry about any other features! 0 0%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-14-2011, 09:17 PM   #1
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Needed Features in desktop software.

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Old 11-14-2011, 09:50 PM   #2
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I don't think it's really short-sighted as such. After all, how many other e-readers offer this service? It could be a point of differentiation, but my guess is that it would require them to build new and reasonably hefty infrastructure so that it wouldn't break down at inopportune moments. After all, there's no point rolling out an awesome new service if it just craps up and everyone bags you out for teething problems.

The only way I can see it working is if they basically do what Google Music does. AFAIK, right now, Kobo, Amazon, etc. do it by having a single copy of a book on the server synced to many thousand devices. Google Music instead uploads each person's every single MP3 file and allows you access it from other devices.

On the surface, this allows for variations in formatting and covers and metadata and crap like that. The actual reason is that it means Google Music is essentially a glorified storage service, so they're covering their butts from legal action from record companies.

For instance, what if Google Music only had a single 'definitive' copy of, say, Eleanor Rigby? Lots of people upload their music. Google Music detects that they all have Eleanor Rigby, and then directs their Music apps to the single definitive file.

Then someone comes along with a pirated copy of Eleanor Rigby and suddenly has access to this definitive copy without having to pay for it in the first place. Which is why Google doesn't do this. Amazon can do this with books from the Kindle, because they can verify that the book has been paid for. Same with Kobo and their kePubs.

And this kind of situation can happen with e-books as well. Look at how paranoid most publishers are about pirating. If Kobo took the 'single definitive file' approach, they could be opening themselves up to legal action. Whether or not it would actually happen's a different thing altogether.

So in order to protect themselves, the better approach would be to upload every user's every e-book file. Hell, Kobo would probably have to sign up with Amazon S3 for the space required if all their users opted into this feature.

It would be a cool feature, sure. It'd be an awesome feature. But there are the logistics to work out, which is why it's probably not going to be a feature popping up in the short term. Not unless they've already started working on it, that is.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:24 PM   #3
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I think that is the only thing that is really needed for Kobo and the Kobo desktop app, especially if I could set it to automatically pick books up from a certain file, but not every file. (e.g News from Calibre)
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:30 PM   #4
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Great in theory, likely pretty tough in reality.
Look at how challenging it is to get syncing to work with their own books where they have control over format/structure. Imagine trying to cover all kinds of different formats/file structures etc for e-pubs from various sources. It sounds like they pretty much have to duplicate the programming to make features work with e-pubs vs kepubs. Heck, for footnotes/endnotes alone there are a bunch of different ways they can be set up in the book. I can understand the desire to have it, but the reality would be where's the economic payback for Kobo to put the development money into it (even more so since you wouldn't need a Kobo device to use it (just the Kobo app on whatever device) = potentially no sale of books or hardware).
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:46 PM   #5
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:46 PM   #6
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jackastor View Post
I think this has been over looked and its a definate need to be done feature.
We need the desktop software to manage our library so that non kobo books can be tracked accross our dif formats. Its kind of short sighted that we can only manage books bought from kobo. I have a huge collection of books and would like to be able to sync them all accross the board. For example if i have a book on the iphone kobo reader app, then i should be able to sync my reading to my touch if the touch has the same book on it.
I think the lightest way they could possibly do this is to have some kind of DB consisting of fields filename and percentage in the book. If you have multiple versions of an ebook then each would have an entry. The percentage completion would be easiest to use since each synced device may have different font, margin, spacing settings. With this scheme you don't have to have a copy of every single ebook file up at kobo.com. It may not be accurate but it should be close to where you were reading.. On the other hand it may also depend on how many decimal places they put on that percentage field.
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:37 AM   #8
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You are certainly way off base here. Totally way off
Okay. Where did I veer off-course? Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought you were after 'sync all my stuff across all my devices', which I've seen requested fairly often.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:16 AM   #9
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I don't think it's really short-sighted as such. After all, how many other e-readers offer this service? It could be a point of differentiation, but my guess is that it would require them to build new and reasonably hefty infrastructure so that it wouldn't break down at inopportune moments. After all, there's no point rolling out an awesome new service if it just craps up and everyone bags you out for teething problems.

The only way I can see it working is if they basically do what Google Music does. ......
I don't really see the need for Kobo to have a definitive copy or have to load your ebook to their servers if the only data you need in order to keep books in sync is the filename/identifier for the ebook and how far they have read in said book. The various devices would run an app that would query the DB for that single record and write to it when it needs to be synced.. This way there is no legal problems for Kobo. All they have is a DB filled with 2 field records. Pretty lite if you ask me.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:26 AM   #10
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Okay, I did definitely misunderstand, then. If it's just status in a book, then yeah, that's easy. I thought we were talking about full-on syncing of everything, ePub, bookmarks, highlights, notes, the works. The ePub itself was where legal troubles could be, hence my entire, you know, five paragraphs on Google avoiding legal issues with MP3 files and how that could apply to an 'everything being synced' situation.

But given that we're not talking about everything being synced, feel free to ignore my post back there.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:36 AM   #11
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Okay, I did definitely misunderstand, then. If it's just status in a book, then yeah, that's easy. I thought we were talking about full-on syncing of everything, ePub, bookmarks, highlights, notes, the works. The ePub itself was where legal troubles could be, hence my entire, you know, five paragraphs on Google avoiding legal issues with MP3 files and how that could apply to an 'everything being synced' situation.

But given that we're not talking about everything being synced, feel free to ignore my post back there.
Actually, you could sync all that other stuff up in a similar way w/o needing a definitive copy uploaded to kobo. The data would just be in other tables in the same DB. As I understand it the ebook file itself does not get modified with bookmarks, highlights, notes, etc. The only reason you would want a definitive copy at Kobo would be so you could download the file from a central source or your device has no way of sideloading otherwise.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:55 AM   #12
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Well, that's what I was thinking of. Having the file itself completely backed up along with everything else, able to be downloaded to each Kobo device without actually needing access to your computer. Kind of like how you can set it up so you can download files from Calibre over wifi, only doing it directly from Kobo's servers. Hence the laboriously long post before.

I'm pretty sure you're right on the ePub not getting modified, too. Hard-coding metadata and extra information like that is so five years ago.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:53 AM   #13
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Amazon seems to handle this by accepting mobi files, which are drm free, by email and converting them so they can join the library and sync, etc. Maybe, just maybe, when Kobo has deeper pockets behind them (assuming the sale is approved) Kobo could do something equivalent in the future. IMO, it is a lot to ask of them at this point in their development, considering everything else they are trying to do with a relatively small amount of capital.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:51 PM   #14
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:03 PM   #15
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