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Old 02-03-2012, 02:57 AM   #16
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I believe an app needs to have an agreement with Microsoft to convert .doc files?
No. You do not have to have an agreement.
You just have to be able to parse an undocumented file format that is difficult to open on anything non-MSWord BY DESIGN.
In "good old times" when MSOffice 6.0 ruled, .doc file was basically an rtf file, so anybody could open the documents. Then MSOffice 97 came and with it a new format. It took tens of thousands man-hours to have it reverse-engineered for open-source programs, such as OpenOffice.org, and even then it is impossible to open and display/print it with 100% accuracy on anything than the right version of MSWord.

OpenOffice.org, now forked to Libre Office, can open .doc files if you do not want to pay over a hundred bucks for the cheapest version of MSWord. Besides rtf, Calibre can also convert OpenOffice.org writer format, the .odt file. Please keep in mind that Calibre was originally developed for connecting Sony Reader PRS-500 to PC with Linux. Calibre runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OSX and on FreeBSD, so the author can not rely on an installed MSWord like some other tools. If Calibre wanted to convert .doc files it would have to use component that works on all above mentioned systems, or the author would have to write such parser in python. Which is highly non-trivial undertaking.

The difficulty with communicating with Apple products is caused by Apple. You can't just connect an Apple product, such as iPad, iPhone, iPad to a PC with Windows and just drag and drop files to it as if it was an external disk. You have to use iTunes, because Apple doesn't let you - the owner of the device - access your own device. They do not want you copying your own files to the device and they are going to great lengths to prevent you from installing your own programs. All programs you want to install on an Apple device have to come from an Apple app-store and they want you to purchase your content that way as well.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:00 AM   #17
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Can anyone throw any light on this? I have an iphone. You'd think getting books on to an iphone might be one of the commonest tasks, and therefore pretty automated.
You get an ebook on the iPhone the same way you get your music on your iPhone via iTunes.

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I know it's a free program, but really - putting an epub file on to an iphone...? Shouldn't that be simple?
It would be simple if Apple didn't make it difficult to directly write to the device. So in calibre you need to use the Connect to iTunes feature. The sticky post (Calibre + Apple iDevices: Start here) at the top of the Calibre - Devices sub-forum explains how to do this.

Good Reading.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:10 AM   #18
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duplicate, please ignore

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Old 02-03-2012, 07:49 AM   #19
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Nothing wrong with Calibre.......
There are lots of wrong stuff with calibre IMHO. (File organization for once).

Though in that case, it's more apple's and microsoft's proprietary stuff that are to blame.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:51 AM   #20
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I've found reading the Calibre users info, etc. to be very valuable learning the ins and outs.
Using MS Office I just "save as" and rtf file then import the material to Calibre and convert it to the file type I want to use, ie epub, etc.

Apple is Apple. You are not going to change them no matter how you wish you could. Learn to work with them for their devices or use another device.
I really like my ipod and iphone4 and learned how to get the most out of them as well as the shortcomings like playing nice with others.

While Calibre is not perfect learning how to use it well can be easy or difficult depending on what sort of user you want to be. I am not a "power user" to use an old computer phrase but have learned to use Calibre to get the most out of it for my needs and it does the job just about perfectly, especially for free program that only asks for a donation...I've donated, have you?...
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:59 AM   #21
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Ok, first up, while you think that it is common putting files onto an iPhone, actually getting it to work is tricky, because Apple doesn't like people leaving their walled garden. They want people to stick to iTunes for transferring stuff back and forth between iPhones and iPods. Apple makes it very difficult sometimes to use their hardware with out their software.

<snip>

If you want someone to blame for Calibre being "difficult", blame Apple and Microsoft. Those of us who live outside their walled gardens find Calibre to be extremely simple to use.
Exactly. I've had no issues getting content to my Sony PRS-350 or Android devices. Calibre's already the easy way to get books into Stanza. The first run wizard already does all the stuff necessary to enable the content server and that's pretty much the easiest way to access your ebooks from Stanza (the server automatically shows up in the Shared tab).

Getting epub files to iBooks is easier - just drag and drop the epub to iTunes and it'll sync with your device. Just goes to show that if you want easy, you'd have to stick with Apple's walled garden.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:56 AM   #22
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Getting epub files to iBooks is easier - just drag and drop the epub to iTunes and it'll sync with your device. Just goes to show that if you want easy, you'd have to stick with Apple's walled garden.
For iBooks you can use the Calibre built-in support for iBooks via iTunes. I find this much easier than using drag-and-drop. In addition that method allows all basic Calibre functionality to be used just like with any other eReader device.

Unfortunately iTunes does not have easy to access support for any other eReader type software. If I want to use a different ebook reader on an iOS device, then I use the browser to pull down books on demand from a web server. I normally use the iOS QuickReader app in conjunction with a Calibre2Opds generated catalog resident on my NAS, but it also works well with the Calibre Content server.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #23
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For iBooks you can use the Calibre built-in support for iBooks via iTunes. I find this much easier than using drag-and-drop. In addition that method allows all basic Calibre functionality to be used just like with any other eReader device.
I don't really use iBooks so meh. Besides, it's a hassle transferring stuff via cable. I really only do that with my PRS-350 (maybe once every two months so I pretty much transfer as much of my library as the device can hold). The rest of the devices get their stuff via wifi.

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Unfortunately iTunes does not have easy to access support for any other eReader type software. If I want to use a different ebook reader on an iOS device, then I use the browser to pull down books on demand from a web server. I normally use the iOS QuickReader app in conjunction with a Calibre2Opds generated catalog resident on my NAS, but it also works well with the Calibre Content server.
*sigh* So true. If you go with any other reader app, then on you're own with regards to transferring books to said app. Oh well, calibre's content server works great with Stanza. I especially love the download all functionality. QuickReader/MegaReader's OPDS support is pretty decent and the option to be able to open downloaded ebooks with other readers is great but the lack of formatting (no support for even bold or italic) is a huge turn-off.

Last edited by ilovejedd; 02-03-2012 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:16 AM   #24
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Many thanks for all the replies. I realise that Apple does not make this easy. However, I note that manybooks.net/m (used on the iphone) makes it extremely simple to transfer any of its 000s of books on to the iphone. From the details about the book you want, you just touch ePub. Immediately the phone gives you an 'open with...' screen, where you can choose ibooks or another reader. I always choose the excellent Stanza. In about five or ten seconds the whole process is complete. If manybooks can manage this, why can't Calibre? (The reason behind my quest is that I want to transfer word processed files from the PC in the form of ebooks on to the iphone).
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:19 AM   #25
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Calibre can do exactly that, using its web server.
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:27 PM   #26
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Calibre can do exactly that, using its web server.
Exactly. Don't even have to go through "Open In..." with Safari. If you're connected to the local wifi, the Calibre Content Server automatically shows up in the Shared tab in Stanza.
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:34 PM   #27
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I don't really use iBooks so meh. Besides, it's a hassle transferring stuff via cable. I really only do that with my PRS-350 (maybe once every two months so I pretty much transfer as much of my library as the device can hold). The rest of the devices get their stuff via wifi.
You *can* sync over wifi now with iOS 5. I do it all the time. The trick being you have to be on the same wifi as your computer.

As an alternative for when I'm not home, i also keep my entire calibre library stored in my dropbox folder, so I can download anything sitting in calibre wherever I am. I even pulled my daily news downloads every day by this method when i was overseas. I use ibooks when I do this, but dropbox gives the option of opening in any of the ebook reader programs you've got stored on your ipad.

I think something similar can be done with the whole Calibre 2OPDS thing and Stanza, but I had issues setting that up (most likely due to my own technological knowledge limitations). For me, the dropbox method was simpler.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:52 PM   #28
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You *can* sync over wifi now with iOS 5. I do it all the time. The trick being you have to be on the same wifi as your computer.
I sync my iOS devices to my laptop which is always turned off when I'm not actively using it. Besides, the reason I don't use iBooks doesn't have anything to do with the ease of transferring files to it. I generally find iBooks annoying and distracting and the margins on the iPhone/iPod are stupidly huge. I don't really use my iPad for reading (aside from comics and magazines).

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As an alternative for when I'm not home, i also keep my entire calibre library stored in my dropbox folder, so I can download anything sitting in calibre wherever I am. I even pulled my daily news downloads every day by this method when i was overseas. I use ibooks when I do this, but dropbox gives the option of opening in any of the ebook reader programs you've got stored on your ipad.

I think something similar can be done with the whole Calibre 2OPDS thing and Stanza, but I had issues setting that up (most likely due to my own technological knowledge limitations). For me, the dropbox method was simpler.
If you already keep your PC on all the time, using the built-in content server in Calibre is easier than running Calibre2OPDS. If you're connected to the same LAN, the content server automatically shows up in some iOS ereader apps (e.g. Stanza, MegaReader). Granted, setting it up for access over the internet does require *some* technical know-how.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:15 PM   #29
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If you already keep your PC on all the time, using the built-in content server in Calibre is easier than running Calibre2OPDS. If you're connected to the same LAN, the content server automatically shows up in some iOS ereader apps (e.g. Stanza, MegaReader). Granted, setting it up for access over the internet does require *some* technical know-how.
I've used this method for quite a while with both Stanza and Megareader. Works great. Going through iTunes is a hassle.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:41 AM   #30
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Calibre is not as user-friendly as an Apple product.

Mainly because it is made by nerds, not by software designers with a sense of usability :-)
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