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Old 05-20-2011, 11:42 AM   #1
bfollowell
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Is there any way to "unpack" a pdb file?

I'm sure I could use Calibre to convert a drm-free pdb file to epub or something else for editing but I've found that I have much better results unpacking mobi's and other ebook formats, performing my editing, then using Calibre to convert to my desired final format.

I have an unpack script for mobi that I can use to gain access to the files without the modifications conversion would perform. Is there something similar for ereader (pdb) ebooks or are pdb files more than just a "wrapper"?

Thanks.
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:51 PM   #2
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I have an unpack script for mobi that I can use to gain access to the files without the modifications conversion would perform. Is there something similar for ereader (pdb) ebooks or are pdb files more than just a "wrapper"?

Thanks.
What I'd recommend is my own version of "ereader2html" written in Perl and not the .py version floating around the...

Try my ereader2html.zip attached to this post. It will extract non-drm'ed ereader files to html, then you can go from there.

If this doesn't work, then I could perhaps change/fix that utility to "make it work" if you send me the .pdb file....
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I tried the Windows executable version of your tool but didn't have much luck. It did pull out the html but there were a lot of garbage characters anywhere "smart" punctuation should be.

Like it or not, it may just be easier for me to convert it with Calibre and then fix I don't like about the conversion. Honestly, Calibre is an awesome tool. I just don't care some of the things it does in the process of converting.

Thanks again.

- Byron
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:47 PM   #4
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If you can find the erader2pml tool, it works much better than the HTML one. Someone sent it to me so I don't know where you can get it other than that, but it saved my PDB books from being a total loss and now I have plain old mobi from them.
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:13 AM   #5
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eReader PDB's use PML internally. You will need a tool like what ficbot described to extract the actual contents. The "ereader2html" script actually converts the PML into HTML. This doesn't sound like what you want.

Do realize that there are two different types of eReader PDB files. An older and a newer one type. They are structured slightly differently. Basically anything created with makebook is using the older format and anything created with dropbook is using the newer.

Also, with the newer files some parts of the document actually compiled and otherwise not explicitly referenced in the text. I can't speak for ficbot's tool but calibre does handle these extra parts. However, PML does not map 1 to 1 to anything (EPUB, HTML, MOBI...) so some liberty is taken to make it look correct.

Have you tried using the HTMLZ output when converting? That should give you the least amount of "special processing" and give you plain HTML to work on correcting.
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:11 PM   #6
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I'm just tagging along on this thread. Good stuff here. If anything happens to my TX, I have no way to read all the pbd books. Is calibre easy to use?
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
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I'm just tagging along on this thread. Good stuff here. If anything happens to my TX, I have no way to read all the pbd books. Is calibre easy to use?
Calibre does not support DRM on files although there are some plugins that support this for some formats. Nook has support for eReader DRM as Barnes and Noble now owns this format. Calibre is pretty easy to use.

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Old 05-21-2011, 04:26 PM   #8
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Thanks. I never had a use for it before. Probably time to download it and check it out.
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