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Old 05-21-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
Lo Zeno
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Readers compatible with Microsoft's .LIT format + Archives (rar and zip)

Hi everybody,
I'm new around here, and I'm looking for a few informations to decide on which eReader to buy. I've read as much as I could of this forum before resorting to write, but I still need to ask a couple questions to you.

I have a quite large collection of ebooks, but unfortunately most of them are in Microsoft's .LIT format. I am looking for a reader compatible with .LIT ebooks: so far, I have found that only the Hanlin V3 is able to read .LIT files, but I also noticed that technical specs often do not show the complete list of compatible files (mostly because firmware upgrades enhance the device beyond what is officially told in press releases).

So, my question is: is there any other ebook reader, beyond the BeBook/Pixelar/HanlinV3, which can read .LIT files?

I know that there are conversion tools capable to convert .lit files into MobiPocket format (clit, for example), but the amount of books to convert is really VERY large, I have a great number of DRM protected .LIT files (which can't be converted by clit), and in my experience clit doesn't work that well (the output often misses whole chapters of text).

Thanks to anyone who will help

Last edited by Lo Zeno; 05-25-2009 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Changed title to add question about RARs and ZIPs
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:29 AM   #2
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There are currently no EInk Readers that support DRMed LIT. As you say, the Hanlin V3 has DRM-free LIT support, but LIT isn't one of its best supported formats (FB2 and MOBI are better).

The ConvertLIT program can strip DRM and "explode" the LIT to OEB. The clit program you mention is probably ConvertLIT, and it can strip the DRM even under Linux if you get first generate a key file under Windows. Note that removing DRM, even for personal use on ebooks you own, is not thought by some to be legal in the US and some other places. ConvertLIT is not perfect at conversion, but Calibre (has its own forum here) is significantly better. It only works on DRM-free ebooks, so use ConvertLIT (or I prefer "ConvertLIT GUI" under Windows) to strip the DRM only (leaving a DRM-free LIT) and than Calibre to convert to MOBI or ePub. LIT is a good format to convert from, and either MOBI or ePub should work well. Since almost all EInk devices provide good support for one or the other, this has not narrowed your choice at all.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:17 AM   #3
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Yes, clit actually is ConvertLIT. I have tried to strip DRM off my ebooks, but it doesn't always work: it seems that it works for DRM1 to DRM3, has many problems with DRM4 and doesn't work at all with DRM5.

As for Calibre, I have a Fedora Linux PC, and I haven't been able to install it: I think it's because Fedora 10 doesn't have the latest Python libraries available, so I'm waiting for Fedora 11 (13 more days to wait...) to try again.

I know, you'll be wondering: how comes you use Linux and have Microsoft's .LIT ebooks? It's because I buy ebooks from an Italian website which offers almost exclusively .lit ebooks. I have to use WinE + Microsoft Reader to read them. I was thinking about buying a reader because, as you can imagine, my eyes are begging for mercy.

I really hoped I could read those ebooks without converting them because they are many, and by many I mean some-hundreds.

BTW, in Italy, so far stripping an ebook of its DRM is "grey area": it *could* be considered a "first step to distribute illegally" an ebook, but still there's a law that allow people to convert/copy/adapt software and intellectual properties for personal use, for backup, for storing, and to adapt them to specific formats. This law existed since people started to make copies of Betamax tape into VHS, so that they didn't have to buy yet another machine.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:49 AM   #4
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I have a new question:
I've seen that a few e-readers are able to read .rar and .zip format. I was wondering, what formats can be put in those compressed archives? And how do the various readers behave with them?

What I mean is:
I assume that if an eReader is compatible with PDFs and DOCs, I can put a PDF in a RAR, or a DOC in a ZIP and my eReader will read it correctly. Is this always true with any eReader?
But, should I place for example two or three DOCs in one RAR, how will the eReaders treat them? Will I see three books in the library, or only one archive? and when I select the archive, will I be able to choose which one of the three to read?
And what if I place several ebooks of several format in one archive only (for example a PDF, a MOBI and a DOC in a single ZIP)?
Finally, if I place several JPEGs in an archive (as is the case of CBR and CBZ archives), how do the eReaders behave?
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:34 PM   #5
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Most ebook formats are already compressed, so the usual reason for a ZIP is single-file HTML possibly with images. Probably all readers that support ZIP files support this case. The one I am most familiar with is FBReader. What it does is automatically open a ZIP containing one recognizable ebook. It can handle multi-file HTML if there is a .opf file (i.e. it is an OEB ebook, with the .opf controlling the order of the HTMLs), and in this case it will open the .opf file. On most devices, if there are multiple potential ebooks in the ZIP FBReader will ask you which one you want to open. Essentially it unzips into a subdirectory and then opens its file view on that subdirectory.

If a reading device supports CBR and CBZ, then it probably says so explicitly.

I'm not sure what happens with PDFs.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lo Zeno View Post
I have a new question:
I've seen that a few e-readers are able to read .rar and .zip format. I was wondering, what formats can be put in those compressed archives? And how do the various readers behave with them?
I can only answer those questions for the Hanlin V3, but here goes:

Generally, the V3 and clones open ZIP and RAR files just like a directory. Which means that if you put several different ebooks into one archive, you can open the archive and select the book to read. I'm not sure that all features (like bookmarks etc.) will continue to work in all cases, though.

Renaming CBZ/CBR files to ZIP/RAR again allows you to open them like a directory. Opening the first image file in the archive will display it, and the Next/Previous Page buttons can be used to flip through the images in order. This effectively makes for rudimentary CBZ/CBR support, but features like bookmarks and returning to the last page when shutting down and restarting the device don't work.

A special case is a single FB2 file in a ZIP file, when the archive file is named bookname.FB2.ZIP. The V3 will simply treat this as a single FB2 file, which just happens to be compressed in a ZIP archive, and open it as if it were simply the uncompressed bookname.FB2. I don't know if this also works for other formats.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:33 AM   #7
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Thank you both for your help!
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