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Old 12-13-2009, 04:11 PM   #1
daffy4u
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The Kindle and Newspaper Subscriptions and Calibre

I just thought I'd share a little visual example of how well, Calibre works on newspaper subscriptions for the Kindle (and most if not all of the current ebook readers). You can use nearly any newspaper or magazine with a proper RSS feed to create a "subscription" book of articles (you can even choose which sections you want and don't want in your "subscription" book).

You have the choice of having Calibre deliver the subscription to your Kindle via Whispernet (Amazon will charge a small amount for sending the file using Whispernet but it is way less than the Kindle store subscription) or you can use your @free.kindle.com email address and transfer the content with your USB cable.

Attached are sample images from the Los Angeles Times.

- Copy of an article from the website with a picture
- Copy of how the same article looks in the Kindle subscription [no picture]
- Copy of how the same article looks in the Calibre recipe [with picture, in 2 parts with image and caption on one page and the article beginning on the next]. BTW, this recipe was not created by me but another Calibre user.

So give it a try, play around and leave a tip.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:58 PM   #2
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I use Calibre to grab Houston Chronicle feeds, creating a hometown paper I can read when traveling. Calibre is outstanding! However, I haven't seen how to grab the pictures (they aren't in the raw feeds). Can you point me to any help in figuring this part out?

Thanks for posting the comparisons, it shows how great Calibre is.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:50 PM   #3
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I use Calibre to grab Houston Chronicle feeds, creating a hometown paper I can read when traveling. Calibre is outstanding! However, I haven't seen how to grab the pictures (they aren't in the raw feeds). Can you point me to any help in figuring this part out?
It looks like it has to do with the way the RSS feed is created. The recipe I used was created by Darko Miletic and Sujata Raman. The Calibre wiki help file says you can make a request to have a recipe for your newspaper to be added to the collection here. I don't know how long it takes for one to become available. I couldn't find one for the Houston Chronicle though feeds for a lot of other major papers and magazines are already built in.

If you're a programmer there seems to be a lot of information on customizing feeds but it's all over my head.

You can also post in the Calibre forum and maybe Kovid can provide some pointers.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
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Small question:

If calibre (which is a great piece of software, and I love it) can send feeds wirelessly through WhisperNet, can one combine multiple feeds into a single emailed file to reduce fees to a single, $0.15 charge per morning? Additionally, what's the standard file size like for an average emailed feed?
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:30 PM   #5
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Small question:

If calibre (which is a great piece of software, and I love it) can send feeds wirelessly through WhisperNet, can one combine multiple feeds into a single emailed file to reduce fees to a single, $0.15 charge per morning? Additionally, what's the standard file size like for an average emailed feed?
The Sunday L.A. Times feed for today From Calibre was 2657K but it doesn't have every single article in the paper. The Kindle edition was 351K with no images but more articles.

The file size outcome of your recipe is going to depend on how many feeds are in it and the number articles per feed (and how long those articles are from day to day). I would suggest using the @free.kindle.com address while you fine tune your feed into something within the budget you want to stick to.

As far as combining multiple feeds into one email, there are a couple of somewhat related posts in the Calibre forum here and here. It looks like the answer is not at this time but it's something on Kovid's plate the future.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
The Sunday L.A. Times feed for today From Calibre was 2657K but it doesn't have every single article in the paper. The Kindle edition was 351K with no images but more articles.

The file size outcome of your recipe is going to depend on how many feeds are in it and the number articles per feed (and how long those articles are from day to day). I would suggest using the @free.kindle.com address while you fine tune your feed into something within the budget you want to stick to.

As far as combining multiple feeds into one email, there are a couple of somewhat related posts in the Calibre forum here and here. It looks like the answer is not at this time but it's something on Kovid's plate the future.
Daffy, thank you so much for bringing this subject up. I own a K2i and until now, everytime I tried the calibre recipes to get one or another newspaper, I was not really enthusiastic about the result. I will try the LA Times, but is there somewhere here a "calibre newspaper recipe for dummies" I can read and try to understand ?
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:21 AM   #7
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Daffy4U,

A few weeks ago I decided to stop having my daily (printed) newspaper delivered to my breakfast table, and to look for an electronic alternative.

I described the options and my reasons, in the first post in this thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63632

Today, I adopted a method similar to the one you describe, except that I read the paper on a laptop rather than on the Kindle (as I don't have access to Whispernet, it would be an extra step to transfer to the Kindle).

So far, the system has worked well. The only major glitch is that each article is followed by a long list of links to every other article, taking up seven or eight pages. I have to constantly page past this list, which is irritating. But in other respects, reading a digital version of the paper is so much more satisfactory than the old-fashioned way.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Daffy, thank you so much for bringing this subject up. I own a K2i and until now, everytime I tried the calibre recipes to get one or another newspaper, I was not really enthusiastic about the result. I will try the LA Times, but is there somewhere here a "calibre newspaper recipe for dummies" I can read and try to understand ?
It's pretty simple to set up. You just need to visit the web site of your favorite periodical and find the page with their RSS lists (try the site map if you have trouble). Copy the URL for the RSS feed of each section you want into Calibre.

You should check first the recipes already installed because a number of the major newspapers are already included.

If you go 4:49 minutes in to the Demo Video for Calibre, Kovid walks through the process of setting up your newspaper.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:52 AM   #9
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Daffy4U,

A few weeks ago I decided to stop having my daily (printed) newspaper delivered to my breakfast table, and to look for an electronic alternative.

I described the options and my reasons, in the first post in this thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63632

Today, I adopted a method similar to the one you describe, except that I read the paper on a laptop rather than on the Kindle (as I don't have access to Whispernet, it would be an extra step to transfer to the Kindle).

So far, the system has worked well. The only major glitch is that each article is followed by a long list of links to every other article, taking up seven or eight pages. I have to constantly page past this list, which is irritating. But in other respects, reading a digital version of the paper is so much more satisfactory than the old-fashioned way.
I remember your thread. I'm still learning to use Calibre and have barely scratched the surface of its power. I don't think I'll ever do a whole visual guide for it but Leep and I talked some time ago about adding some of the features of Calibre to the Visual Kindle Guide wiki. Newspaper subscriptions may be the feature to add (I just have to learn how to use it better before trying to teach others ).

Not taking away from Calibre have you also tried using MobiPocket Reader for newsfeeds read on the computer?
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:13 PM   #10
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Not taking away from Calibre have you also tried using MobiPocket Reader for
newsfeeds read on the computer?
Yes, I did try that. I found I got better results with Calibre, although off-hand I don't recall the details. I might re-visit it at some point.

As far as actually reading the content is concerned, I think MobiPocket has the edge on Kindle For PC: more viewing options, and a generally better appearance.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:20 PM   #11
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As far as actually reading the content is concerned, I think MobiPocket has the edge on Kindle For PC: more viewing options, and a generally better appearance.
I agree but since it doesn't work with Kindle books unless the DRM is stripped it's not as useful. I do hope the Kindle for PC app will become much more robust.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:43 PM   #12
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It's pretty simple to set up. You just need to visit the web site of your favorite periodical and find the page with their RSS lists (try the site map if you have trouble). Copy the URL for the RSS feed of each section you want into Calibre.

You should check first the recipes already installed because a number of the major newspapers are already included.

If you go 4:49 minutes in to the Demo Video for Calibre, Kovid walks through the process of setting up your newspaper.
Oh, that sounds easy... I'll give it another try and report, thanks for your help !!!
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
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Daffy4U,

Where did you find the LA Times recipe that downloads the pictures? I found a version that only grabs the news feeds themselves. I thought I might be able to figure it out if I can look at the correct LA Times recipe. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:19 PM   #14
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Oh, heck, never mind. I found it in Calibre, I hadn't scrolled down past the "L"s to see it with "The" leading "Los Angeles Times". :/ Ack!
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:22 PM   #15
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Daffy4U,

Where did you find the LA Times recipe that downloads the pictures? I found a version that only grabs the news feeds themselves. I thought I might be able to figure it out if I can look at the correct LA Times recipe. Thanks in advance!
In Calibre 0.6.27 it's under "English [137]" and listed alphabetically as "The Los Angeles Times". Yesterday I tried to find a way to open the recipe and dissect it but couldn't. Let us know if you find a way.
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