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Old 07-20-2010, 09:00 PM   #1
riverteeth
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Paid alternatives to Calibre?

So I started playing around with Calibre yesterday on OS X. While I'm definitely impressed with all it can do, my overall impression is that has some serious limitations, perhaps steming from the fact that being tri-platform, it's trying to be all things to all people. It doesn't have the professional feel that a paid for catolog program like Adobe Lightroom for pictures or Thomson Reuters Endnote for Bibliographies has.

So I'm really looking forward to getting the max out of it in the coming weeks and months, but I'd love to at least know about some other similar software, some of which might not be free and open source, to compare it with.

Any thoughts? Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:35 PM   #2
kovidgoyal
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By conservative count, calibre has approximately a million more features than any paid alternative. If you're looking for a professional "feel", you're not looking for features. The two are orthogonal.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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I rather believe it's actually only 987,013 more features ;-)

By conservative count, of course
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
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But if you're looking for alternatives, they would be (in no particular order):

1) Adobe Digital Editions
2) Kindle for PC (not sure if it has an OS X version)
3) Alfa Ebooks manager
4) Sony ebook library
5) Stanza Desktop
6) Kobo Desktop

All with very professional feels and approximately zero features


Oh yeah, and iTunes, this one is particularly featureful

And then there are gazillions of generic "collection managers"

Last edited by kovidgoyal; 07-20-2010 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:08 PM   #5
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While you're at it, why don't you go to the Microsoft forums and ask for alternatives to MS-Office?
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. Sorry if anyone thought it was inappropriate to ask for alternatives in the Calibre forum... didn't mean to offend anyone, that's why I said that, overall, I'm impressed by the program, right at the top of my post.

kovidgoyal, you're right, there's a big difference between 'professional feel' and features, but they are related. I used to use Mediamonkey when I had a Windows box, and I loathed moving to iTunes when I switched to Mac at first, mostly because there were all tons of missing features I was used to, but the slick feel of it won me over in the end.

So I guess I'll just post seperately about some of the features I'd like to have but can't seem to find in the help files... minor ones at this point.

I'll check out some of the alternatives you listed, but I suspect you're right in that their dearth of features will negate any advantages of a slicker gui. That said, looks and interface do matter to many users I think. The current version just doesn't fit in with the Mac environment; it's pure Gnome/KDE. The interface just feels unfamiliar.
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
While you're at it, why don't you go to the Microsoft forums and ask for alternatives to MS-Office?
I'm with Worldwalker on this one.

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Originally Posted by riverteeth View Post
Sorry if anyone thought it was inappropriate to ask for alternatives in the Calibre forum... didn't mean to offend anyone,
Now you sound like one of my kids. I was going to parse the above statement, but decided not to. I'll let others look at the word "Sorry" above and try to figure out if there is any apology in the above language.

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that's why I said that, overall, I'm impressed by the program, right at the top of my post.
You sound like Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights, he thought as long as you start the statement with "With all due respect..." you could say anything you like after that statement.

Stating "overall, I'm impressed by the program" does not mean you're entitled to bad manners and ask about alternatives in a forum dedicated to the improvement and use of Calibre. If you have a desire for this kind of information there are other forums right here at mobileread where you could have stated your impression of Calibre and asked if there were any other alternatives that people might recommend.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:28 AM   #8
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I'll let others look at the word "Sorry" above and try to figure out if there is any apology in the above language.
OK, I'm genuinely sorry for posting my question in this forum, as opposed to the general discussion forum. No qualifications, my bad.

Quote:
Stating "overall, I'm impressed by the program" does not mean you're entitled to bad manners and ask about alternatives in a forum dedicated to the improvement and use of Calibre.
I don't think my post was that rude, but I am sorry for criticizing Calibre without first spending more time with it. I've already proven myself wrong on several counts.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:17 AM   #9
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I don't think my post was that rude
I didn't find your post rude, just its location which you have already acknowledged as bad form.

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I am sorry for criticizing Calibre without first spending more time with it. I've already proven myself wrong on several counts.
I think it is safe to say that constructive criticism is always welcome. Many of the improvements in this software is because users have spoke up and Kovid has listened.

Of course if you are gifted in programing your suggestions might get to the top of the list when accompanied by the code to accomplish the suggestion. Unfortunately I lack that skillset, but admire those that do.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:28 AM   #10
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Calibre is extremely good software and Kovid is a really great programmer. You are not going to find anything more professional around because there would be no profit in it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:54 PM   #11
Lady Fitzgerald
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With all due respect (just kidding )

All seriousness aside, before trying calibre, I looked high and low for a program that would do what calibre does for me. While many of them had some really nice interfaces without unnecessary bells and whistles, none were able to do as much for me a calibre. And most didn't have a forum like this. While I do like an attractive, showy interface, in the end, I'll take functionality over glitz any day of the week (especially the ones with an "a" in them). Of course, there are the ones that were written by geeks for geeks (geek is not a derogatory term here; quite the opposite actually) that are totally over my head. Kovid has done a pretty good job of appealing to both geeks and users like me who only know enough about computers to get into serious trouble (thank God for forums like this one to bail me out!).
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:32 PM   #12
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A very long time ago, I was selling a program which had a very plain UI, for important and carefully-considered reasons. Several users requested more bells and whistles. So in the next release, there was a menu item for "Bells & Whistles" ... a .wav file was involved. I'll let you guess the details. I met up with one of the requesters afterwards, and he got a real laugh out of it ... and he also got my point.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:27 PM   #13
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A very long time ago, I was selling a program which had a very plain UI, for important and carefully-considered reasons. Several users requested more bells and whistles. So in the next release, there was a menu item for "Bells & Whistles" ... a .wav file was involved. I'll let you guess the details. I met up with one of the requesters afterwards, and he got a real laugh out of it ... and he also got my point.
Ever hear Blue Danube played on a Line Printer?
Wonderful use of a case of Fan Fold
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:35 PM   #14
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Yes.

And "Bicycle Built for Two" played on the backplane of a PDP-10 (via a transistor radio).
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:07 PM   #15
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30 years ago, I so much envied the second year older students who knew how to do these tricks. Never found out how.

Forgot all about it, up until now

Can you also play it on the inkjet printer?
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