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Old 11-04-2009, 11:08 PM   #1
Jim Thompson
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purchasing ebooks with intent to convert

In another thread we were talking about scanning/ocr and the thread began to drift to purchasing ebooks and converting them. I promised to post my results in a separate thread, so anyone who was interested could read about my experience without getting too off topic on the original thread.

For my purposes, I decided I would rather figure out how to scan because too many of the books I want are not available as eBooks as of this posting.

Also, as a newbie, I found experimenting difficult and results sub-optimal. My goal was to get a book into a .txt file so I could have some other software analyze word and expression usage within the books.

I tried purchasing a lit file (microsoft reader). After I paid for the lit file, I was informed that I would need to install Microsoft Reader on my computer before it would download. Half way through the Microsoft Reader install, I was informed that I needed to create a Microsoft Passport Account to activate the software. Then I had to activate all kinds of Active-X controls to download the software. Then the file I purchased didn't download anyway because the default settings of IE8 on my WinXP computer (or perhaps the fact that I had popup blocker on) did not permit the download. I eventually figured that out and the got the eBook downloaded.

To convert it to text, I had to "unlock" it by "turning off the DRM." That required downloading software from what struck me as an "outlaw" company -- which made me nervous. Enough people told me it works that I tend to trust the company and believe it would work, but I just decided it wasn't worth all the hassel to me. Most of the books I want aren't available as eBooks, so I may as well just solve the scanning problem.

I do have faith that I could have gotten everything working and that it makes sense for others with other circumstances. I just thought I should alert anyone starting out like I was that unless someone is holding your hand, this isn't as straight-forward as you might hope. (Of course, I may say the same thing about scanning after I've tried that
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:33 AM   #2
delphidb96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Thompson View Post
In another thread we were talking about scanning/ocr and the thread began to drift to purchasing ebooks and converting them. I promised to post my results in a separate thread, so anyone who was interested could read about my experience without getting too off topic on the original thread.

For my purposes, I decided I would rather figure out how to scan because too many of the books I want are not available as eBooks as of this posting.

Also, as a newbie, I found experimenting difficult and results sub-optimal. My goal was to get a book into a .txt file so I could have some other software analyze word and expression usage within the books.

I tried purchasing a lit file (microsoft reader). After I paid for the lit file, I was informed that I would need to install Microsoft Reader on my computer before it would download. Half way through the Microsoft Reader install, I was informed that I needed to create a Microsoft Passport Account to activate the software. Then I had to activate all kinds of Active-X controls to download the software. Then the file I purchased didn't download anyway because the default settings of IE8 on my WinXP computer (or perhaps the fact that I had popup blocker on) did not permit the download. I eventually figured that out and the got the eBook downloaded.

To convert it to text, I had to "unlock" it by "turning off the DRM." That required downloading software from what struck me as an "outlaw" company -- which made me nervous. Enough people told me it works that I tend to trust the company and believe it would work, but I just decided it wasn't worth all the hassel to me. Most of the books I want aren't available as eBooks, so I may as well just solve the scanning problem.

I do have faith that I could have gotten everything working and that it makes sense for others with other circumstances. I just thought I should alert anyone starting out like I was that unless someone is holding your hand, this isn't as straight-forward as you might hope. (Of course, I may say the same thing about scanning after I've tried that
People have used several .lit-to-whatever converters without problems. The same is true for .prc/.mobi-to-whatever and .prb(ereader version)-to-html converters. Also, Acrobat Pro can export to .doc, .rtf, .html and .txt among others.

But there's that 'ethical' question of whether you have the right to convert *your* purchased ebook to a format that works for you. I just go ahead and do it, but it is an individual's choice.

However, that is not to say that you'll avoid legal entanglements if you scan your dead-tree versions onto the computer - and that can get costly simply because of the equipment needed.

It is a problem, indeed.

Derek
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:00 AM   #3
HarryT
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LIT conversion is a "one time" hassle. Install and activate Microsoft Reader, download and install "ConvertLIT", generate the key file for your machine, and you're done. Once it's set up, converting LIT to, say, Mobi or ePub, is easy and reliable.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
wallcraft
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At one time LIT was the best option for format shifters. The hardest part is getting MS Reader to activate, and the requirement for a Windows PC to download the ebook is an issue for some. Once you get the 1st LIT to work, all subsequent LITs are very easy.

Now, Adobe ePub is the better choice when available. It needs a Windows PC or a Mac (e.g. Desktop Adobe Digital Editions) to download the ePub. Stripping the DRM on a Windows PC is very easy, and it is also possible on a Mac.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
Now, Adobe ePub is the better choice when available. It needs a Windows PC or a Mac (e.g. Desktop Adobe Digital Editions) to download the ePub. Stripping the DRM on a Windows PC is very easy, and it is also possible on a Mac.
The scripts to remove the DRM as well as Digital Editions all work on Linux using Wine. It's a bit more work than using Windows or OS X directly but it isn't much harder.
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