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Old 01-16-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
Eugenie
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Overdrive and Calibre: Does it work for you?

I hope those of you who borrow local library ebooks via Overdrive can give me some feedback. I can't get Overdrive & Calibre to work together. If it works for you, can you post back with some info (see end)?

Here's my issue:
  • Calibre is my preferred ebook software. But when I borrow an ebook from my local library via the Overdrive service and import it via Calibre,* I cannot access it on my device. The device screen shows "Protected by Digital Rights Management."
  • This only occurs with Overdrive. If I use my local library's other ebook service (EBSCOhost), I don't have this issue. I can manage the ebook in Calibre and access it on my device just fine.
  • The only way I can access and read an Overdrive ebook on my device is if I import it with the SONY READER software that came with my device. But I prefer to import and manage the ebook in Calibre because I can edit the metadata and do so much more.
I don't understand this behaviour. This is a borrowed library ebook, not a purchase from the Sony Reader Store. As long as my device and my computer are authorized (which they are), I should be able to open the ebook on the authorized device using ANY ebook management software.
_______________

Feedback request:
  1. Do Overdrive and Calibre work for you?
  2. What brand of device do you have?
  3. If you have a Sony Reader, what Sony Reader software do you have installed on your system? Do you have the old Reader Library v3.3.00, the new Reader v1.1.04, or both?
  4. When you open the acsm file with Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), do you have your device connected at the same time? Does ADE recognize that you have a connected device (mine doesn't -- is it supposed to? It does show that my computer is authorized, though. It also shows the ePUB being downloaded, and it's readable within Digital Editions)
_______________

Footnote

* I followed the Calibre Help guide's instructions for importing DRM books (opened the acsm file with ADE, brought the resulting epub file from the "Digital Editions" folder into my Calibre book list, etc.) Both my computer and device are authorized.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:32 PM   #2
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I should be able to open the ebook on the authorized device using ANY ebook management software that has the appropriate DRM authorization protocols built into it.
Fixed your post.
Authorization happens at the software level. Calibre does not have the capability to open e-books with Adobe DRM. Neither does Microsoft Word. Neither does Kindle for PC.

Adobe Digital Editions does.

You need to either use software that supports the DRM scheme you are dealing with, or remorve the DRM, so you can use software that doesn't support it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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1. Do Overdrive and Calibre work for you? Yes, but I remove the DRM before importing to Calibre if I'm not using ADE directly.

2. What brand of device do you have? Nook Classic

4. Does ADE recognize that you have a connected device (mine doesn't -- is it supposed to? It should - you can use ADE to transfer DRMed books from your PC to your reader.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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1.) Yes, works fine. But that's because I use the Tools to remove the DRM as I import into Calibre, and then use Calibre to convert the ePub to Mobi.

2.) Kindle Keyboard 3G

4.) ADE does NOT recognize that I have a connected device. But Calibre does, and happily uploads the book to my Kindle.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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Thank you SleepyBob and everyone for your feedback.

SleepyBob, I might not have been clear about what I'm trying to do.

You wrote that --
Quote:
Calibre does not have the capability to open e-books with Adobe DRM...
I'm not trying to open the ebook in Calibre's ebook viewer and read it from within Calibre. I know that this is not possible with DRM content.

Instead, I'm trying to use Calibre as the METHOD by which the DRM ebook gets sent to my authorized device so that I can read it on the device.

According to Calibre Help, it is perfectly possible for Calibre to SEND DRM ebooks to ANY authorized device. Once the ebooks are on the device, you can open and read them.

Direct quote from Calibre Help:

How do I use purchased EPUB books with calibre?

Most purchased EPUB books have DRM. This prevents calibre from opening them. You can still use calibre to store and transfer them to your ebook reader. First, you must authorize your reader on a windows machine with Adobe Digital Editions. Once this is done, EPUB books transferred with calibre will work fine on your reader. When you purchase an epub book from a website, you will get an ”.acsm” file. This file should be opened with Adobe Digital Editions, which will then download the actual ”.epub” ebook. The ebook file will be stored in the folder “My Digital Editions”, from where you can add it to calibre.

I've followed the above instructions exactly, but I can't access the DRM ebook on my device. Instead, I get the "Protected by Digital Rights Management" message on the device.

Important Point: The above instructions work perfectly for other DRM ebooks I've downloaded from the local library that don't use the Overdrive service (such as EBSCOhost).

What am I doing wrong with Overdrive?
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugenie View Post
Thank you SleepyBob and everyone for your feedback.

SleepyBob, I might not have been clear about what I'm trying to do.

You wrote that --


I'm not trying to open the ebook in Calibre's ebook viewer and read it from within Calibre. I know that this is not possible with DRM content.

Instead, I'm trying to use Calibre as the METHOD by which the DRM ebook gets sent to my authorized device so that I can read it on the device.

According to Calibre Help, it is perfectly possible for Calibre to SEND DRM ebooks to ANY authorized device. Once the ebooks are on the device, you can open and read them.

Direct quote from Calibre Help:

How do I use purchased EPUB books with calibre?

Most purchased EPUB books have DRM. This prevents calibre from opening them. You can still use calibre to store and transfer them to your ebook reader. First, you must authorize your reader on a windows machine with Adobe Digital Editions. Once this is done, EPUB books transferred with calibre will work fine on your reader. When you purchase an epub book from a website, you will get an ”.acsm” file. This file should be opened with Adobe Digital Editions, which will then download the actual ”.epub” ebook. The ebook file will be stored in the folder “My Digital Editions”, from where you can add it to calibre.

I've followed the above instructions exactly, but I can't access the DRM ebook on my device. Instead, I get the "Protected by Digital Rights Management" message on the device.

Important Point: The above instructions work perfectly for other DRM ebooks I've downloaded from the local library that don't use the Overdrive service (such as EBSCOhost).

What am I doing wrong with Overdrive?
The DATE on your reader is wrong, the book has expired
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugenie View Post
I've followed the above instructions exactly, but I can't access the DRM ebook on my device. Instead, I get the "Protected by Digital Rights Management" message on the device.

Important Point: The above instructions work perfectly for other DRM ebooks I've downloaded from the local library that don't use the Overdrive service (such as EBSCOhost).

What am I doing wrong with Overdrive?
Can you read the authorized epub file in calibre with its reader? If so, then the problem isn't with Overdrive, it's with your device. Perhaps someone with a Sony Reader can give some insights, but I'm guessing that authorizing the book using ADE doesn't work for Sony Readers and you have to process it using the Sony software.

Last edited by Synamon; 01-16-2012 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Synamon View Post
Can you read the authorized epub file in calibre with its reader? If so, then the problem isn't with Overdrive, it's with your device. Perhaps someone with a Sony Reader can give some insights, but I'm guessing that authorizing the book using ADE doesn't work for Sony Readers and you have to process it using the Sony software.
No, you can't read DRMed eBooks with the Calibre viewer. It doesn't work that way.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:43 PM   #9
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No, you can't read DRMed eBooks with the Calibre viewer. It doesn't work that way.
Oops, you're correct, I tested that on the wrong file when I was messing with library downloads yesterday.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:42 PM   #10
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The DATE on your reader is wrong, the book has expired
No, the date on my Reader is right. I checked.

The book has not expired. To reiterate from my first post: I can read the book on my device just fine if I import it via the Sony Reader software. But I wish to import all my books via Calibre because I prefer Calibre's capabilities (proper author sort, etc.). The problem is that when I import it into Calibre and send it to my device via Calibre, the device won't let me read it.

This only occurs with ebooks borrowed from Overdrive.

But anyway, I've found the reason for this dilemma; see next post.

Last edited by Eugenie; 01-17-2012 at 04:45 PM. Reason: add information
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:25 PM   #11
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I'm guessing that authorizing the book using ADE doesn't work for Sony Readers...
No, I checked Overdrive's requirements. The Sony Reader -- like all ebook readers that read Adobe formats -- MUST have ADE installed; ADE is required to authorize all computers and devices on which one intends to read Adobe content, even if the device comes with its own proprietary ebook management software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synamon View Post
... and you have to process it using the Sony software.
Bingo! I double-checked the Help Section on the Overdrive site and I discovered that they have a specific instruction for Sony Readers: Sony's own Reader software must be used to transfer the ebook to your Sony device. If you use any other software to send the ebook to your Sony, the Sony won't open it. (I assume Overdrive made some legal agreement with Sony.)

Overdrive does not dictate specific ebook software for other several other ebook readers (Nook, Kobo, etc.), only for the Sony. I assume these devices don't have their own proprietary ebook management software as Sony does.

So my question is now answered. This is not a flaw in Calibre; it's a restriction imposed by Overdrive. There is nothing to be done but accept it and use Sony's software to import my Overdrive ebooks, OR to apply a DRM-removal tool to them.

Thank you to everyone who contributed and who tried to help me out with this one.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:36 PM   #12
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You should be able to use ADE as well to copy Overdrive DRMed ePub to your 650.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:24 AM   #13
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I would have thought so too, but I tried it and I can't. When I have my PRS-650 connected to my computer and i open ADE, ADE does not even recognize that I have an ebook device connected (yet Calibre does).

When I click on the option to authorize (in ADE Library view), it shows an option to authorize my computer (and it tells me that my computer is already authorized), but no option to authorize a device.

I find this odd because I can open all DRM ebooks with ADE -- even those I've purchased from the Sony Store (including periodicals) -- and I can read them from within ADE.

JSWolf, I see that you have a PRS-650 as well. Can you tell me if your experience is the same as mine? Does ADE recognize that you have a device connected?
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Eugenie View Post
I would have thought so too, but I tried it and I can't. When I have my PRS-650 connected to my computer and i open ADE, ADE does not even recognize that I have an ebook device connected (yet Calibre does).
Eugenie, do you by chance have a Mac? ADE for Mac does not recognize the 650 as an attached device. The PC version should recognize the 650 and should be a viable option to transfer library books.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:11 AM   #15
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I did some fiddling my first time out with Overdrive and if I'm remembering events correctly, discovered this oddity:

If you load the book to the reader using Sony/ADE software, then connect the reader to Calibre, you can copy the book from the reader to your Calibre library. If you delete the book from the reader at that point, you can re-add it from Calibre and it will work fine, but you lose the countdown to expiration in the book list.

I think. I was rushed and got fairly confused when I played with this but I think that's the sequence of events I went through. Even though you don't have the countdown showing, the book will still expire, and I didn't see enough value in it to pursue whether it really happens the way I think it does. (I like the countdown and don't use the metadata so much.) If you wanted to do your metadata editing without stripping the DRM, this might be a way to do so.
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