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Old 07-29-2010, 05:15 AM   #1
AdrianM
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How good is Epub -> Mobi conversion really?

I'm suffering a little from buyers remorse after seeing the new Kindle.

I just ordered (yesterday, believe it or not!) a Nook (and a cool Oberon cover to go with it). I decided on the Nook because it ticked a lot of the boxes I had as a list of requirements but primarily because it supports the ePub format and I didn't want to be tied to the propriety Mobi format on the Kindle.

But now, after seeing the new Kindle with it's small form factor, new pearl screen and extended battery life, I have to say that I'm wondering if made a mistake and I should get one of them instead. But how good is the ePub to Mobi conversion in Calibre really? Does it ever fail or mess up the formatting badly often/sometimes/never?

As far as I can tell, the new Kindle is supported quite well in Norway now so it won't be an issue for new book purchases but I have a lot of ePub books and if they couldn't be converted properly it'd be very annoying to say the least.

Last edited by AdrianM; 07-29-2010 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:27 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by AdrianM View Post
I'm suffering a little from buyers remorse after seeing the new Kindle.

I just ordered (yesterday, believe it or not!) a Nook (and a cool Oberon cover to go with it). I decided on the Nook because it ticked a lot of the boxes I had as a list of requirements but primarily because it supports the ePub format and I didn't want to be tied to the propriety Mobi format on the Kindle.

But now, after seeing the new Kindle with it's small form factor, new pearl screen and extended battery life, I have to say that I'm wondering if made a mistake and I should get one of them instead. But how good is the ePub to Mobi conversion in Calibre really? Does it ever fail or mess up the formatting badly often/sometimes/never?

As far as I can tell, the new Kindle is supported quite well in Norway now so it won't be an issue for new book purchases but I have a lot of ePub books and if they couldn't be converted properly it'd be very annoyed to say the least.


Both epub and mobi and reflow formats, meaning they just present the data to the device/reader and the device displays it as it sees fit. Its not positional like PDF or Doc files.

Is the conversion 1:1?, no it will never be. It is reasonable enough so you can read the book? yes it is.

I rent all my books via overdrive and they are all epub, but I put them on my kindle and for the most part they work well.

The nook for me is just to bug and clunky. Plus I like Amazon as a company. B&N not so much, but they arent the worst. I much prefer Borders as a bookstore.


Anyway, why don't ya just buy both and try them out, The kindle has a great return policy. Im not sure of the nooks return policy. So you may want to check that out.


Here is a example picture [Epub on left, mobi on right] in the calibre viewer



As you can see there are are formatting differences in this novel by Sedaris, but its all still readable and you will get the same exact format distortion when you resize text on your reader.

Last edited by Zorz; 07-29-2010 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:38 AM   #3
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Anyway, why don't ya just buy both and try them out, The kindle has a great return policy. Im not sure of the nooks return policy. So you may want to check that out.
Thanks for the reply.

I guess I'll buy it anyway, even if it's just for new books as it seems just too cool not to but I'll probably wait for the first wave of buyers to give some feedback on it first.
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply.

I guess I'll buy it anyway, even if it's just for new books as it seems just too cool not to but I'll probably wait for the first wave of buyers to give some feedback on it first.
I originally purchased a Sony PRS-500. It was slow, clunky-to-use, heavy and had a screen which was almost unreadable in most lighting situations.

I then purchased a Bookeen Cybook Gen3 and got a much lighter device with a better screen and a simple reading interface. Unfortunately, Bookeen went out of it's way to delay firmware updates to the point that I went out and bought two *broken* Kindle 2s and had them repaired by Amazon. Those are the e-readers I now use.

I cannot imagine NOT using my K2s. They're easy to use, easy to carry, easy to buy books for. Not only that, but if an epub ebook is properly formatted, the Calibre conversion process makes for excellent .mobi ebooks that read well on the Kindle. I'm quite happy with my K2s.

Would I like to see an epub viewer for the Kindle? Sure. But it's not a necessity. Go ahead and grab one of the new 3G+WiFi Kindles, you won't be sorry.

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Old 07-29-2010, 04:07 PM   #5
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The covers, chapters, etc... will show up when you format an epub to mobi, right?
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:09 PM   #6
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The covers, chapters, etc... will show up when you format an epub to mobi, right?
Yes.


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Old 07-29-2010, 04:10 PM   #7
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How well does Mobipocket's software covert ePub to Mobipocket vs Calibre converting?
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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How well does Mobipocket's software covert ePub to Mobipocket vs Calibre converting?
Don't know, never tried it. KindleGen does a good job usually, don't know if that's based on Mobi's software or not.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
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How well does Mobipocket's software covert ePub to Mobipocket vs Calibre converting?
I always use mobipocket's software to convert epub to mobipocket. I get virtually the same layout in mobi as I have in epub.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:24 PM   #10
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How about when you convent from Epub or PDF using Mobi's software or Calibre

once you have converted it into the kindle format, can you change the size of the size of the font or text?
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:27 PM   #11
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How about when you convent from Epub or PDF using Mobi's software or Calibre

once you have converted it into the kindle format, can you change the size of the size of the font or text?
Once it's in Kindle (Mobi) format you can change size just fine, although PDF can be a pain to convert well.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:29 PM   #12
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Converting PDF can give you all kinds of strange errors.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:39 PM   #13
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How well does Mobipocket's software covert ePub to Mobipocket vs Calibre converting?
I use mobipocket to convert my files (mostly epub) to mobi for my phone. They usually work out great, but every now and then I can't get the cover to show up. Then I use calibre. This is for my phone, so I don't know if it would be different on the kindle.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:41 PM   #14
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I am from Canada, and I am hearing there is a 2$ charge for using whispernet is this speaking of the 3G network, if this fee is true, would this also apply if I was only using Wi-fi?
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:43 PM   #15
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I am from Canada, and I am hearing there is a 2$ charge for using whispernet is this speaking of the 3G network, if this fee is true, would this also apply if I was only using Wi-fi?
The $2 surcharge is added to the price of all books AFAIK. From what I've read it's no longer charged in the UK, not sure about Canada.
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