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Old 04-04-2012, 08:17 PM   #1
louwin
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Which is the best format for an iPad 3 (AND Calibre)?

I am getting a New iPad (iPad 3) and I wondered which is the best format?

I apologise if this is the wrong place to add this thread.

I have eBooks in three formats - pdf, epub and mobi.

Can anyone say which is the best format sight unseen?

Should I "Add Books" them all and let Calibre decide?

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
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PDF is OK if you are using GoodReader.

ePub is good using Bluefire Reader.

Mobi is OK if you can side load into the Kindle app.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:33 AM   #3
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This is just my opinion so others may feel completely differently but of the three, epub is definitely the one to go with. I say this because there are a bunch of different readers that will let you read epub files and I like customization which really only epub will give you a lot of choice with.

PDF is great, especially on the new iPad's retina screen, for replicating the exact layout of a printed book. The problem I have with PDF is that that's really all you can do with it. Again, others may have some app I've never heard of that will let you change the font size or typeface of a PDF, but in my experience all you can really do is flip from one page to another and read it. And you mentioned using Calibre, if you ever want to convert PDF to another format it is possible, but in my experience it never comes out as well as I'd like and a lot of times you'll get things like the book title or page numbers between paragraphs which I find very distracting.

Mobi is good if you want to use the Kindle app and really, that's the only positive thing I can say about it. I have nothing against Amazon, I have a Kindle and I've purchased a few books from them, but I don't like the Kindle app on the iPad. You only get one font, there are only six size choices, and you have no control over the margins or line spacing. Like I said, I like customization and setting up the text just how I like it and the Kindle app is way too limiting to me. Plus, side loading has always been wonky for me, covers don't show up, things like that. And if you have epub files and you do want to use mobi files and the Kindle app, you can easily convert them and they come out pretty much perfectly.

The thing I like about epub is that besides being supported by basically everyone but Amazon is that like I said, there are a ton of readers that you can choose from. I personally use iBooks because I like the way it displays the text, the things like the pages left per chapter in the bottom corner and the general presentation of the app. I'm sure others disagree but I've tried nearly every app I could find and it's the one I always come back to.

Finally, let me just say the great thing about the iPad is that you really don't have to choose. Almost every reader app is free so you can try them all and find the one that you like the most.

EDIT: After writing this, I saw that Bluefire Reader had JUST been updated for the retina display. I have to say that from what I've seen so far, it does look like it may be my new favorite reader for epub files.

Last edited by belden; 04-05-2012 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:05 AM   #4
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ePub is by far the best format and Stanza by far the best application to read your epubs. We used to say here, 'Stanza+Calibre+iPad = Perfection' till Amazon started choking the life out of Stanza in order to promote the Kindle app. Stanza still works and my whole library of ePubs is dependent on it but I don't trust Amazon any more. For this reason alone, I will never buy a Kindle.

Good Reader is good for pdf files. An excellent app which has been around and developing towards perfection steadily for a long long time now.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:36 PM   #5
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ePub is also my preference for format, via Calibre. Just got my New iPad a few weeks ago and played with the readers and the two I liked the best were

Stanza is great and allows for dimming only in the app (slide your finger down the right side and it works like a dimmer). This means I can dim it in the reader at night without mucking up my main dimmer settings

iBooks via iTunes is also pretty good. You can use Calibre to 'send' files to iTunes that will then sync with your iPad. No cool in-app dimming function that I could find, tho.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:08 PM   #6
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another point to consider is that especially since the new iPad came out most good ereader apps are updating their apps or have done so. Some more than once (it seems?) so apps may change considerably one day to the next? (or month?)

I agree with above I ways disappointed in Kindle app on the new iPad, but that might change ???
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:25 AM   #7
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Actually iBooks does have in-app brightness adjustment. Same spot where you select font and size. Lately I've been using iBooks more than stanza. I still don't like the large margins on iPhone but I usually prefer iBooks formatting over stanza.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:18 PM   #8
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I, too, have been using iBooks.... Epubs look great, and I've converted a few .mobi novels to ePub with Calibre, and the formatting has been very good in iBooks.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
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Bluefire Reader has a better way to handle the brightness. You can swipe up or down to change the brightness. Plus, Bluefire has been updated for the the retina display and it uses ADE so it's more compatible. Plus, it doesn't have such wide margins and it has an orientation lock.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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Orientation lock is easy to set on iphone. Double click home button and scroll left to music control. Lock is right there. Brightness control is easy enough in ibooks app too. And the reason I prefer ibooks is that it always shows how many pages are left in the chapter and total pages. And since I liberate my books of drm right away, support for it is not essential. Once bluefire supports chapter pagecount I'll have another look at it.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:14 AM   #11
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I may be completely wrong here but I know that file sizes for epubs are noticeably larger (often double or more) when loaded with iBooks compared to the original file size of the epub. I think I read that that is because when you transfer a book to use with iBooks it decompresses the contents so that when you open a book it is faster. Also, I know that if you download cover art with Calibre it attaches that image file to the epub when you transfer it to iTunes and that image file can be 100kb or more. I was curious if any other reader apps do this or if anyone knows of ways that can keep the file size down in iBooks?
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:20 AM   #12
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You don't need itunes to transfer books into ibooks. I use dropbox as my calibre folder and usually download directly from the dropbox app or my calibre2opds catalog. No computer or itunes or syncing required. Don't know if file size is affected this way or not. I usually have less than 20 books in the app.

Last edited by frozennorth; 04-09-2012 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:46 PM   #13
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I believe the format depends on the content of your "book". If it contains table, pictures and those kind of elements you should go with Goodreader and PDF. Otherwise epub is my preferred format.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:04 AM   #14
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louwin,
How are you enjoying your iPad 3?
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frozennorth View Post
Orientation lock is easy to set on iphone. Double click home button and scroll left to music control. Lock is right there. Brightness control is easy enough in ibooks app too. And the reason I prefer ibooks is that it always shows how many pages are left in the chapter and total pages. And since I liberate my books of drm right away, support for it is not essential. Once bluefire supports chapter pagecount I'll have another look at it.
But, you can set the orientation for Bluefire and not have to set it for the entire device. I like that feature.
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