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Old 07-11-2010, 06:47 AM   #1
FlorenceArt
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Simple and quick tool to convert epub to mobi? (on Mac!)

Hi All,

I'm wondering if there is a tool, available on Mac, that simply opens an epub file and converts it to mobi with minimum fuss, and will let me put the files wherever I want them? Of course, free, or cheap would be best

I've been using Calibre to do my ebook conversions, but the way it handles files has become more and more of a problem now that I've started buying epub books (virtually the only format for French commercial ebooks). Not only do I need to use ADE to import them and then find them in the ADE library on my hard drive, if I want to convert them I have to import them again to Calibre, who will duplicate them to another hard-to-find folder. Not only is it a pain, but I am starting to worry that I will end up losing books that I have bought. I am a very lazy person, and I tend to do only the minimum, so sometimes I will end up copying the books directly to my reader without first moving them to my own book directory, where I know (more or less) how to find them again.

I'm sure this has been discussed already, but I didn't find much with the forum search, only references to programs that are only available for Windows apparently.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:42 AM   #2
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Calibre works just fine. Just do what I do. Use the command line program ebook-convert to convert your ePub to Mobipocket. Though since you have devices that handle ePub, just strip the DRM and forget going to Mobipocket.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:13 AM   #3
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Calibre works just fine. Just do what I do. Use the command line program ebook-convert to convert your ePub to Mobipocket. Though since you have devices that handle ePub, just strip the DRM and forget going to Mobipocket.
Thanks, I've never tried the command line, I'll have to give it a go. I have to admit that command line is more a last resort than anything else for me though.

I did try reading epub books on the Opus, and came to the conclusion that I'm not ready for it yet, and neither are the publishers. The quality of some epubs is almost as appalling as their price At least with mobi I can choose my own font. I finally gave up on epub when I found that many books were harder to read, because of the font used. And I don't want to spend hours figuring out how to change the font in an epub file.

I wish I could just download a book and read it, but until that happens I try to find the less troublesome path, and so far mobi has worked best for me (though far from perfect).
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:16 AM   #4
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if you know CSS, then editing an ePub can be quite easy. Also, you can give Sigil a go as well.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:33 AM   #5
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if you know CSS, then editing an ePub can be quite easy. Also, you can give Sigil a go as well.
But I don't want to! I want to go to a shop, buy a book and start reading it.

This worked fine with mobi books, at least until I started getting worried about the DRM.

Then I had to learn how to install and use some Python scripts, it took me months (mostly because I didn't spend that much time working on it, I'd rather read) but I finally had it working, and then I had to switch to epub and do the whole thing again.

Except that with Adobe epubs, I can't download the book from anywhere I want, I have to do it from my own computer and to use ADE instead of simply downloading from my browser.

Then I tried to read epub files and found that they are more trouble than they're worth, so I went back to mobi and started converting the epub files I bought. More trouble

OK, I admit that my reluctance to switch to epub is not entirely rational. In part, it's because I was doing fine with mobi and I'm being forced to switch against my will. In part it's because I hate the Adobe DRM implementation. And in part it's because publishers just don't know how to make a decent epub file.

But I don't see how editing manually each epub book I buy or download is going to make my life easier...

Maybe I should just go back to paper books, they are easier to find, cheaper and much less trouble

I'll give Sigil a go before I do that
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:11 AM   #6
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What I do is go into the CSS of the ePub and remove the paragraph spaces, fix any fond declarations that make the base font a different size then the default, remove the margins, and hopefully enjoy the book.

It's not as bad as it sounds. Once you get the hang of the CSS and making changes, it's not bad.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:26 AM   #7
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can't you buy them in mobi ... I too agree there is a lot of work to be done before purchased ePub files are worth the money ....
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:31 AM   #8
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I buy them in mobi when I can, which is not infrequent for English language books. But French publishers have arrived on the market later, and they made the seemingly logical choice of the epub format. Apart from pdf, epub is almost the only format you can find on French ebook stores. I just hope they don't take too long to figure out how to make decent ones... and I do hope they will drop DRM some day, or at least settle on a less annoying scheme than Adobe's
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:33 AM   #9
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I buy them in mobi when I can, which is not infrequent for English language books. But French publishers have arrived on the market later, and they made the seemingly logical choice of the epub format. Apart from pdf, epub is almost the only format you can find on French ebook stores. I just hope they don't take too long to figure out how to make decent ones... and I do hope they will drop DRM some day, or at least settle on a less annoying scheme than Adobe's

you may dream .....
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:37 AM   #10
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you may dream .....
I hope not, on the first part (epub quality). And didn't they drop DRM in the music industry?
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:49 AM   #11
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I hope not, on the first part (epub quality). And didn't they drop DRM in the music industry?
hopefully ePub will improve, unless increasingly readers are developed and sold that demand on-line reading ....
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:35 PM   #12
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making a mobi file from an epub is dead-easy if the epub file is properly formatted.

step 1: download kindlegen from amazon and unzip the file
step 2: open terminal.app from applications/utilities directory
step 3: drag the kindlegen executable (black rectangle icon) into the terminal.app window.
step 4: drag the epub file into the terminal.app window.
step 5: hit the enter/return key

you should get a mobi file in the same directory and with the same name as the epub file.

as mentioned above, using calibre is another option. however, i find calibre to be extremely slow on certain epub files, and competitive with kindlegen on others.

also, being a unix geek, i have a sweet spot for command line tools.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:42 PM   #13
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adobe's adept drm for epub files has been broken. i have ~30 books that i bought from sony's connect ebook store. i now read those on my kindle thanks to kindlegen.

oh, once you have recovered your adept encryption key, stripping off the drm is as easy as using kindlegen. just drag the script, epub file, and the adept key file into the terminal.app window and away it goes! you can even pipe unix commands to do the drm stripping and epub->mobi conversion in one step.

i have just one bit of advice for anyone removing drm: please don't steal. i got involved in this because i wanted to archive my legitimate purchases in a vendor-neutral and unencumbered format.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:29 PM   #14
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I'm wondering if there is a tool, available on Mac, that simply opens an epub file and converts it to mobi with minimum fuss, and will let me put the files wherever I want them? Of course, free, or cheap would be best
You want KindleGen and my KindleGen AppleScript wrapper.

1. Remove DRM and unzip epub to a folder.
2. Drag&drop folder onto AppleScript.

For best results you'd want to edit the .opf file in the ePub a little, but it should work reasonably well on most ePubs.

It probably won't be as good a conversion in some ways as Calibre, as some CSS text decorations (e.g. smallcaps) won't get converted properly by KindleGen.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:41 AM   #15
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Thank you guys, I'll try those suggestions. It seems that the whole process including removing the DRM is going to be tedious anyway... but at least I'll be able control where my files are.
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