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Old 04-15-2010, 02:50 PM   #1
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Testing .epub Files from Calibre on iPad

I have several .epub files I wish to view on an iPad using iBook. I do not own an iPad. However, the Apple computer store is just up the street from me and they are happy to let me putter with theirs.

I uploaded my .epub files to my iDisk Documents folder. I was able to see the files in the Documents folder on an iPad. Now here's the rub. I could not download the files to the iPad. It tells me the file type is not supported.

Any suggestions on how to test my files on an iPad that is not synced with my computer?

FYI I was able to see the files in .pdb format on Mac/Kindle software. They looked fine.

Thanks - Fabe
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:07 PM   #2
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Right now the only way to import your own .epub files into iBooks is through iTunes, which would require that the iPad be synced with a computer. No one has yet released an application that allows you to import them in directly to the iPad similar to GoodReader. But given that it is only software functionality, someone will probably come up with it sooner or later.
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:57 PM   #3
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You can use readMe and calibre-server to get them on the device and read. This won't help you test in iBooks much though since readMe does not use the inter-app sharing folder yet. Also, iBooks does not offer its application as a method to open files from other apps yet. (Goodreader does as of yesterday morning, but does not read ePubs.)
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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readMe
calibre-server
inter-app sharing folder
Goodreader


I have to do some homework. I am not familiar with these terms. I assume readMe and Goodreader are "readers" and I may be able to get them on my Mac. Calibre-server is something I saw referred to on Calibre, but haven't explored. "Inter-app sharing folder" sounds like a universal dream of compatibility.

So it appears to me there is no way to test .epub books on an iPad using iBook, without having them published already.

Is it 5 PM yet? Can I have a drink?
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:34 PM   #5
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Well, you could sign up to be an iPad developer ($99/yr) and get the development tools, then use the iPad simulator to run iBooks, test it in there. I think. I haven't tried this myself, my Mac development system is at home, and I'm not.

Actually, I re-read your question. You can drag-and-drop any non-DRM epub file into iTunes and sync up your iPad and the book will be in the iBooks application.

I had thought you asked if there was a way to test on a Mac without an iPad at all. No. There is no iBook application from Apple for the Mac (or the PC).
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:13 PM   #6
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Well, you could sign up to be an iPad developer ($99/yr) and get the development tools, then use the iPad simulator to run iBooks, test it in there. I think. I haven't tried this myself, my Mac development system is at home, and I'm not.

Actually, I re-read your question. You can drag-and-drop any non-DRM epub file into iTunes and sync up your iPad and the book will be in the iBooks application.

I had thought you asked if there was a way to test on a Mac without an iPad at all. No. There is no iBook application from Apple for the Mac (or the PC).

The iPad simulator does not have iBooks, so that won't work. My best guess if you don't want to own one is to wait until iBooks offers itself as an app that can open attachments, find out what email account the stores have set up on their iPad, and then mail your book to that address.

For now, I can think of no other options that don't involve buying one or finding a friend that has one and having him let you install readMe or Bookshelf.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:28 AM   #7
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Nikkie & Scotji - Thank you both for your input. Over on the Apple-iPad-iBooks discussion board it's been said Apple will release its epub guidelines soon. I shall wait for those and then rework my files to conform if necessary. - Fabe
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:24 AM   #8
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Nikkie & Scotji - Thank you both for your input. Over on the Apple-iPad-iBooks discussion board it's been said Apple will release its epub guidelines soon. I shall wait for those and then rework my files to conform if necessary. - Fabe
Apple's ePub guidelines should not be any different then the spec for ePub. If it is, then it's not truly ePub.
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:35 AM   #9
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I agree, I don't think there's currently a way to put ePubs into iBooks without using iTunes.

However, I have converted a number of books into ePub using Calibre and they all work fine in iBooks. So if this is how you created your files, I don't think you'll have any problem.

From what I understand, there are a few ePub standard elements that iBooks does not currently support -- the most notable are alternate font faces, and embedded fonts.

However, if your books don't require these features, then your books will probably work just fine. I don't think that Calibre can create books with those features anyway -- can it?
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:40 AM   #10
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What about converting ebooks from pdf to epub with calibre? does calibre do a good job or any other work is needed?
I tried a couple and one of them turned out with funny lines, with many more words in them than the others.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:37 PM   #11
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Apple's ePub guidelines should not be any different then the spec for ePub. If it is, then it's not truly ePub.
Yes, that certainly would seem to be the case - if the grapes aren't grown in the Champagne region of France, it's just sparkling wine.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:31 PM   #12
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What about converting ebooks from pdf to epub with calibre?
I've tried converting ebooks from pdf to epub using Calibre. My experience (YMMV) was that it basically produces whatever is in the "background text". So for example, if you just select the whole PDF in Acrobat and copy-paste it into Word, what you see there is pretty similar to what you'll get from Calibre. Equations, graphics, etc. don't get transferred at all. Text gets transferred but line breaks can end up mangled. A PDF that consists of scanned images won't work at all.

Generally, I think Calibre does a decent job with simple pdfs, but it has few advanced features.
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Old 04-16-2010, 07:23 PM   #13
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What about converting ebooks from pdf to epub with calibre? does calibre do a good job or any other work is needed?
I tried a couple and one of them turned out with funny lines, with many more words in them than the others.
For the iPad i would keep them in pdf and use good reader to view. Pdfs are beautiful on iPad.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:02 PM   #14
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For PDFs to epub, I save the PDF as HTML. I don't know if you can do that in Acrobat Reader or only the expensive Acrobat--the expensive one is what I have. Adobe does have an online tool where you convert to HTML--just Google search on "Online PDF to HTML". Once I have the HTML file, I use Calibre to make an epub, and the problem of funny line breaks is usually gone.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:07 PM   #15
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For PDFs to epub, I save the PDF as HTML. I don't know if you can do that in Acrobat Reader or only the expensive Acrobat--the expensive one is what I have. Adobe does have an online tool where you convert to HTML--just Google search on "Online PDF to HTML". Once I have the HTML file, I use Calibre to make an epub, and the problem of funny line breaks is usually gone.
Thanks for the tip, i´ll try that.
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