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Old 08-26-2012, 05:44 PM   #1
BeccaPrice
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AZW file won't load into calibre

I'm trying to set up my husband with calibre on his computer (32-bit win7 box, most current version of calibre). He downloaded a book that opens just fine in K4PC, but when we try to add it to his calibre database, the Adding screen comes up and just sits there - no progress meter, nothing happens.

I remember vaguely that there's something that I need to do to make sure his instance of calibre can deal with azw files, but I don't remember what it is.

He downloaded another book, a free one from Amazon (Treasure Island) that came across in AZW format, and loads into calibre just fine.

Can anyone suggest things that I ought to be doing that I'm not?

Thanks!

(there's a Tools issue, too, but I asked that question in the most appropriate spot, and know better than to ask it here.)

-becca
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:00 PM   #2
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It all sounds like a "Tools" issue, Becca. Download and install the latest tools, and all should be well. Remember that it's at the time that you add the book that the tool runs.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:04 PM   #3
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We just installed the v 5.1 Tools. It worked just fine for one free AZW file, but not for the purchased book. I've suggested that he re-download the book, and see whether that helps.

If it was just a Tools issue, wouldn't I still be able to load the book into calibre, just not be able to convert it?
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:53 PM   #4
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OK, the problem is solved. Turns out it wasn't a Tools issue, but a corrupted book file - probably. We tried to re-download the book from Amazon several times, and each time they said it downloaded but it didn't. We called kindle CS, and they forced the download.. and the book came across in HTMLZ format, rather than AZW. That converted to epub and mobi just fine, so we're all set.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
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OK, the problem is solved. Turns out it wasn't a Tools issue, but a corrupted book file - probably. We tried to re-download the book from Amazon several times, and each time they said it downloaded but it didn't. We called kindle CS, and they forced the download.. and the book came across in HTMLZ format, rather than AZW. That converted to epub and mobi just fine, so we're all set.
That means it was a Topaz format file, I think.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:58 PM   #6
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When we first tried to load the book we got an error message saying the book was topaz format - isn't that what AZW is? i wonder why it came down as htmlz (as seen in calibre) although the file extension was .azw. Does calibre not work well with topaz?
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
When we first tried to load the book we got an error message saying the book was topaz format - isn't that what AZW is? i wonder why it came down as htmlz (as seen in calibre) although the file extension was .azw. Does calibre not work well with topaz?
azw just means Kindle. It might be Mobi, KF8, Topaz, or, I suppose, Print Replica. (.azw is usually mobi, azw1 topaz, azw3 KF8 and azw4 Print Replica. But there's no guarantee that the file extension matches what's inside.)

Very little software knows how to handle Topaz files, as they are a format specific to Amazon, and the format isn't documented, and always DRMed.

The tools can convert into a variety of formats, the most useful for onward conversion being an HTML file derived from the OCR text inside the Topaz file. That's what the HTMLZ file is.

Using the stand-alone version of the tools, you can get access to SVG format images of all the pages if you like.

Personally, I hate Topaz format ebooks.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:17 PM   #8
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Is there a way to avoid getting topaz books, or is it just luck of the draw?
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:00 PM   #9
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Unfortunately, some of older books are *only* available as Topaz. So no, there is no way of avoiding the format.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:51 PM   #10
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I think she was asking if there was a way to know, Before Purchase, whether an ebook is topaz or not.

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Unfortunately, some of older books are *only* available as Topaz. So no, there is no way of avoiding the format.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:14 AM   #11
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Is there a way to avoid getting topaz books, or is it just luck of the draw?
It used to be that the file size was not listed for TOPAZ, but now the only clue from the ebook's web page is that the file size is typically large (at least a few MB).

The only sure way to tell is to download a sample. If you open the file with a text editor, its 1st 4 letters will be TPZ0. You can also import the sample into Calibre to get its type.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:28 PM   #12
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Thanks, all.

Is Topaz still being used by Amazon, if it's an older format?

it's funny; I buy books from Amazon all the time, download them to my kindle, run them through Calibre and The Tools, and it works seamlessly. My husband, who isn't quite sure about all of this, had a major problem his first time out. I'll hope that was a one-off, and it'll work seamlessly for him, too. I'm slowly seducing him to the ebook side of the Force.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:43 PM   #13
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Is Topaz still being used by Amazon, if it's an older format?
Yes, I still get them from time to time, it's not common though. For example most military history books from Stackpole seem to be Topaz.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:07 AM   #14
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Yes, I still get them from time to time, it's not common though. For example most military history books from Stackpole seem to be Topaz.
Yep, just got a Stackpole freebie that was Topaz. Still, the tools handled it fine (ended up with a HTMLZ file).
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:20 AM   #15
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Yep, just got a Stackpole freebie that was Topaz. Still, the tools handled it fine (ended up with a HTMLZ file).
But how good is the HTMLZ? Have you converted it to Mobi or ePub and looked at it?

Calibre's "conversion" of Topaz uses OCR, and suffers from the problems that any OCR conversion does. Best to leave Topaz in its original form, unless you desperately need to convert it to some other format. There's nothing wrong with a well-done Topaz book - I have some nice ones.
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