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Old 06-02-2008, 06:29 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Stanza e-book reader for Mac released

If you're an avid e-book fan and Macintosh user, you probably need some way to decipher all the various e-book formats out there and parse them on your computer. Stanza is a new application that seems to be up to the job. Not only does it claim to support a variety of formats, including ePub, LIT, Mobi, Palm, Amazon Kindle, HTML, PDF, RTF and Word, but also does it allow you to convert from one e-book type to the other for many of these formats. In addition, an open API is in the plans to allow developers to write their own format plug-ins. And as if this wasn't enough, Stanza also allows you to export content to the iPhone. From the official description:

Quote:
Featuring a clean, well-organized interface, Stanza is expressly designed for reading digital publications, including electronic books, newspapers, PDFs, and general web content. Stanza is built from the ground up to make reading on your Macintosh laptop or desktop an enjoyable and hassle-free experience. It gives special attention to details that are usually overlooked in other software readers such as hyphenation, text columnation, automatic text scrolling, and user-friendly page and chapter navigation. Lengthy content that can be tedious to read using a web browser or PDF viewer is easy and natural with Stanza.
The free beta version is available for download here.

Thanks to Marc from Lexcycle for the tip!
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
ePub, LIT, Mobi, Palm, Amazon Kindle, HTML, PDF, RTF and Word
ohygoshohmygosh!!!!

For all y'all iPhone users:
Quote:
Its native export to the iPhone makes it the first product that allows you to convert all your digital texts to iPhone "bookmarklets", which then sync with your phone for reading anywhere: no internet connection required.
Let's go do some b*tching in the mobi forums

Unfortunately, this is one of the slowest servers I've seen in a long time.

Last edited by mores; 06-02-2008 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:25 PM   #3
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This sounds very good. Only DRM-free ebooks of course, but taking the FBReader and uBook approach of supporting many formats. Offering export to MOBI format for Kindle (and others) is also a nice touch.

If you try this out, please post screenshots. For testing ePub, I typically use Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with screenshots here. Note that if the CSS is being interpreted correctly, there is text formated in the shape of a mouse tail in the middle of Chapter 3. For testing MOBI I use Dickens, Charles: A Tale of Two Cities (Illustrated), for example see Kindle screenshots and iLiad (FBReader) screenshots both from an earlier version of the same ebook.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:26 PM   #4
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When the download started, it was reporting 1 day, 11 hours to finish *yikes* Slow server doesn't even begin to describe it. I left it downloading while I went and worked out and obviously something changed 'cos it was done when I got back.

First impression, it looks pretty good. I don't know that I actually want to read on my Macbook, but the conversions interest me greatly. I've been running Mobicreator under Fusion, and that gets old, quickly.

So far, and I haven't really stressed it, it seems to have converted everything I threw at it.

On to trying the iPhone bookmarklets...

ETA - spoke too soon, I guess. Although it happily converts everything I throw at it, I can't seem to do anything with the output files (Kindle and Mobipocket Reader both give up) So close, yet so far.

Last edited by tlrowley; 06-02-2008 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:39 PM   #5
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I took a look at this before I came into the office. Looks pretty nice, and I look forward to testing out the exporting features.

As to the question of special CSS formatting, I have my doubts. This is from their FAQ:
Quote:
What sort of content can I read with Stanza?

Anything! However, Stanza is especially designed for reading large bodies of text where formatting is not an integral part of the reading experience. Since Stanza strips out all graphics, tables, and other formatting items, it is more appropriate for reading novels, stories, essays, and news articles. Graphics-heavy content like textbooks and multimedia web sites will be difficult to read using Stanza.
And later:
Quote:
Help! Stanza isn't displaying my graphics/tables/bullet lists/etc.

That is by design. Stanza removes nearly all of the formatting of the text that it reads. This is in order to maximize the flexibility of the user interface, as well as maximize the number of formats we can support. As mentioned above, this makes Stanza unsuitable for content where graphics or formatting is an intrinsic part of the reading experience.
I did note some centered/bold text used in a chapter heading in at least one of the files I tested with, but I do not expect it to get fancier than that based on the information provided.

Jack

Last edited by Jack B Nimble; 06-02-2008 at 01:41 PM. Reason: Added the second quote.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlrowley View Post
When the download started, it was reporting 1 day, 11 hours to finish *yikes* Slow server doesn't even begin to describe it. I left it downloading while I went and worked out and obviously something changed 'cos it was done when I got back.

First impression, it looks pretty good. I don't know that I actually want to read on my Macbook, but the conversions interest me greatly. I've been running Mobicreator under Fusion, and that gets old, quickly.

So far, and I haven't really stressed it, it seems to have converted everything I threw at it.

On to trying the iPhone bookmarklets...

ETA - spoke too soon, I guess. Although it happily converts everything I throw at it, I can't seem to do anything with the output files (Kindle and Mobipocket Reader both give up) So close, yet so far.
Hunh? I started about 20 minutes ago and I'm up to 45% complete. Of course, I've had faster downloads from Russia - I'm in California.

Can't wait to try it out.

Derek
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:03 PM   #7
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2K/s is not really fast

While I'm waiting for the download to finish, tlrowley's experience with mobipocket exporting problems is worrying me ... I hope it's not too good to be true

Then again, it's a beta.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mores View Post
2K/s is not really fast

While I'm waiting for the download to finish, tlrowley's experience with mobipocket exporting problems is worrying me ... I hope it's not too good to be true

Then again, it's a beta.
When I left, I was getting .5K/s

I opened a mobipocket book, and exported it in mobipocket. The exported file would not open in MobiReader - got a "not enough memory" error. I also can't open the exported file on my Kindle - "the item can't be opened".

I would love to hear of someone's success.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:58 PM   #9
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tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.
 
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The iPhone reader/bookmarklets are working for me, at least. It's not a fabulous experience compared to using my Kindle, though. I suppose I could keep a book loaded in case of emergency, but I usually just surf on my iPhone when I'm bored. It's great to have another option, though, I'm not complaining.

I expect to see the iPhone reader apps to start coming fast and furiously at the end of the month with the release of the 2.0 software (and the app store). Well, perhaps "fast and furiously" is an exaggeration, but a gal's gotta dream!

Last edited by tlrowley; 06-02-2008 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:16 PM   #10
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If someone has the binary, can you please post a mirror? I'm growing very frustrated with several attempts timing out. Thanks.
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:27 PM   #11
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It took forever to download, and thus far, I'm not really impressed. It doesn't handle PDFs or HTML well at all. Which is a shame. I was looking for something that convert the non DRM PDFs to a good looking rtf that I can then work with. Ah, well.
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:30 PM   #12
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I might be wrong, but I have the feeling we are maxing out their Internet line. It seems to be "home" hosted:

Quote:
# nslookup static.lexcycle.com
Server: 127.0.0.1
Address: 127.0.0.1#53

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: static.lexcycle.com
Address: 71.237.179.8
Quote:
# whois 71.237.179.8
Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. JUMPSTART-5 (NET-71-224-0-0-1)
71.224.0.0 - 71.239.255.255
Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. OREGON-20 (NET-71-237-128-0-1)
71.237.128.0 - 71.237.255.255
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:32 PM   #13
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I'll upload it once my DL is finished ... 1h49min to go
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:36 PM   #14
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I'll upload it once my DL is finished ... 1h49min to go
I cannot even connect (connection refused).
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:40 PM   #15
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tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.tlrowley is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.
 
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deleted, because lexcycle has worked to fix the download problem.

Last edited by tlrowley; 06-02-2008 at 04:20 PM.
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