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Old 08-28-2010, 02:12 PM   #1
Larksong
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Question Newbie needs help

I'm new at the whole e-reader software game, and I'm not particularly tech-savvy, so I need some step-by-step help. I have a Sony PRS-505, and I have Calibre. I've downloaded a lot of public-domain books, either in ePUB format or as .txt files which I had Calibre convert to ePUB. I can get those books into Calibre and from there onto my Sony Reader without a problem.

Now I want to start buying some e-books from Kobo Books (and possibly the Sony store as well), and I can't figure out how to do it and still use Calibre. Kobo Books wants me to use Adobe Digital Editions to download books and then upload them to my Sony Reader. However, I read somewhere that using more than one program to load books onto my reader (or SD card) will make my reader freak out.

I like Calibre a lot, and would prefer to keep using it. Is there a way to download the DRMed books to Digital Editions, then somehow transfer them to Calibre to put them on my Sony Reader? And if there is, can the same process be used to share those purchased books with my daughter, who has the same model Sony Reader I do (and lives in my house)? (I understand I can "authorize" several devices using Digital Editions?) And if the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, could someone please walk me through the process step-by-step?

Thank you,
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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There is something you must keep in mind: Calibre doesn't operate with DRM-sporting files. In order to operate with those books you've bought, you need to extract the DRM from them, for which there are various forms. While they cannot be discussed here, appropiate searches in Google will turn up the desired results
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:54 PM   #3
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OK, I've Googled the process, and frankly, it appears to be beyond my technological savvy. (I have ethical qualms, too, although all I want to do is use a single, useful library management system and make sure I can still read the same book in 10 years, when I'm on my 3rd or 5th e-reader device which may not be from the same manufacturer. <SIGH> I don't want to share or sell pirated copies to anyone else; the only sharing would be within my household, analogous to saying, "OK, I've finished this book, you can read it now.")

So -- Will I have to give up Calibre and switch everything over to Digital Editions? Or can I use Digital Editions to manage and upload the DRM'ed files, and still use Calibre for the public-domain stuff? If the latter, can I add books to the Sony Reader using DE without messing up the device's memory of what is already on there from Calibre?
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:14 PM   #4
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Your target of being able to read it many years time is incompatible with DRM which normally ties the book to a particular hardware device. I must admit I personally have no serious qualms about removing DRM on books I am using purely for my personal use as I think that should have been a fundamental right in the first place.

Note that Calibre still be used to manage an ebook library that contains books with DRM although it cannot download them in the first place. Without removing the DRM you will not be able to change any of the metadata or anything like that, and also can only send them to the authorised device.

After you have thought about it you may decide to try the tools that can remove DRM - they are not that hard to use.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larksong View Post
I like Calibre a lot, and would prefer to keep using it. Is there a way to download the DRMed books to Digital Editions, then somehow transfer them to Calibre to put them on my Sony Reader?
You can drag/add the epubs from wherever ADE or Sony place (do a search under My Documents for epubs) them to calibre and use calibre to manage your library and send books to your device.

Since these books are DRM retricted calibre can not convert them or use its internal viewer to view them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larksong View Post
And if there is, can the same process be used to share those purchased books with my daughter, who has the same model Sony Reader I do (and lives in my house)? (I understand I can "authorize" several devices using Digital Editions?)
If both devices are authorized under the same account then it might be possible. Ask over on the Sony forum if you don't get an answer here.

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Originally Posted by Logseman View Post
There is something you must keep in mind: Calibre doesn't operate with DRM-sporting files.
Calibre manages these books fine as far as sending them your device goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logseman View Post
you need to extract the DRM from them, for which there are various forms.
I agree this is the easier solution. I have removed the DRM from every book I bought from Sony or via ADE. The original poster can go to Apprentice Alf's blog and check out a post on Adobe Adept ePub for more info.

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Originally Posted by Larksong View Post
OK, I've Googled the process, and frankly, it appears to be beyond my technological savvy.
Trust me its not that hard. The tools have a nice GUI front end now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larksong View Post
(I have ethical qualms, too, although all I want to do is use a single, useful library management system and make sure I can still read the same book in 10 years, when I'm on my 3rd or 5th e-reader device which may not be from the same manufacturer.
If you want to be able to ensure you can read your purchased book 10 years from now it would be best to remove the restriction now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larksong View Post
So -- Will I have to give up Calibre and switch everything over to Digital Editions? Or can I use Digital Editions to manage and upload the DRM'ed files, and still use Calibre for the public-domain stuff? If the latter, can I add books to the Sony Reader using DE without messing up the device's memory of what is already on there from Calibre?
My advice is to add all the books to calibre and use it any time you want to communicate with your device. Mixing software sending books to a device never ends pretty.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 08-28-2010 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:34 AM   #6
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Good to have your company, Larksong. DRM is a pest. It can be stripped if you're prepared to fiddle (like you, I'm so technology-challenged and haven't even tried). Instructions are all over the net, but we can't discuss the subject openly here -- no matter how much we hate DRM -- because removing it is only border-line legal. Best wishes. Neil
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:14 PM   #7
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Thank you, Dwanthny. That was very helpful. I'll check the blog post you suggested.

Neillmarr, I agree that DRM is a nuisance. Would that we could convince publishers to issue books without it -- but I understand why they won't.
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larksong View Post
However, I read somewhere that using more than one program to load books onto my reader (or SD card) will make my reader freak out.
I've used both Calibre and Sony's software to load books onto my PRS-505; they worked fine. (I no longer have Sony's software, and I've never used ADE.)

I believe there's no direct problem with using both; it's just that Calibre's tags and Sony's collections may not quite mesh, and the two programs create a different folder structure on the reader or memory card. (Which, if you never directly look at the folders, doesn't matter. If you do, the only problem I've noticed is that it's confusing.)
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:50 PM   #9
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I agree that DRM is a nuisance. Would that we could convince publishers to issue books without it -- but I understand why they won't.
If you think it's because they don't want the book copied and spread around the internet, then you don't understand why they won't. They know every DRM scheme has been broken and every book they sell is already on the internet.

If you think it's because they want to make it difficult for you to read your book on all your devices (so you will buy books only from them and will have to buy the same book multiple times for different e-readers), then you're closer than most people, but you still don't have it right.

If you think it's because they are stupid and don't yet understand (the way music publishers now do) that DRM hurts sales, then you're right - you do understand them.
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