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Old 03-19-2010, 03:35 AM   #1
duxbelli
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managing e-reader notes: what's the hold up?

the recent generation of touch-screen e-readers has finally piqued my interested in buying such a device. however, i'm completely confused about the process of managing notes and highlights.

i see that in the PC version Sony's Reader Library, for example, makes it possible to export notes, but why not to import?

the "hacks" to backup notes seems like a major obstacle in promoting this function as a serious academic tool. i'm not so interested (at the moment) in the discussions on linking metadata to clouds, but just in properly managing, archiving, and on occasion restoring my own personal notes. why is this function such an obstacle for the e-readers today? what are the next steps in standardizing the management of annotations in e-books?

ps, great discussions in these forum. thank you.

Last edited by duxbelli; 03-19-2010 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:41 AM   #2
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The hold up is that there is no common standard for describing annotations, as a result your at the mercy of each vendors proprietary solutions and half assed software.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:49 AM   #3
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kovid,

i have been using calibre recently and i am highly impressed. are you active in solving the problem in standardization of annotation? or do you know of some projects out there, third party e-readers, or other solutions on the board for testing?
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:58 AM   #4
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There is no effort for standardizing them that I'm aware of.

calibre is gradually beginning to get the code to manage annotations. For example the latest release can fetch annotations from a Kindle and there is some code in development to allow you to do highlighting/text annotations in the calibre viewer, but it's a long haul, since every reader does it differently/has different capabilities.

I'm pretty confident that eventually calibre, thanks its it's multiple active contributors will eventually solve this for most of the common reading platforms, but it will take time.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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i am just curious, are there any technical limitations in saving annotations as a layer on top of the original text? analogous, say, to a layer in photoshop? it seems that the annotations should be saved in the file itself, as opposed to some central repository. i think this would be a reasonable compromise for using proprietary software.

i am still baffled by the fact that the reader software stores the notes centrally. how could this be viable over a lifetime of taking notes? the sony reader library help index, for example, does not include a single entry for "backup".
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:34 AM   #6
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SONY's annotation implementation is a joke. String annotations in epub files is certainly possible, that's how calibre currently stores bookmarks (which are a form of annotation, after all). The problem is that while calibre developers can come up with perfectly great ways to store and manage annotations, having them work with the sundry devices, is a whole other kettle of fish.
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