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Old 10-16-2004, 12:49 PM   #1
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TomeRaider 3 first beta available

TomeRaider 3 has been in development for over 2 years and you can finally download a first beta.

This is new: Categories/Filters for database queries, image support, accelerated full text searches, better and faster compression, full html support, DRM and encryption.
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Old 10-16-2004, 09:45 PM   #2
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How odd... I can't seem to find out how it purports to support HTML, but provides no interface to import or convert HTML.

It doesn't import HTML files, and it can't deal with plain text files easily without turning it into pseudo iSilo-text. That isn't real text, and they should make that very clear, and report a proper error message when you try to import a plain text file.

Try this, put 'The End' in a plain text file, and try to import it. Boom, it can't deal with anything past the word 'The'. Not really a useful reader if you ask me, if it can't even deal with plain 7-bit ascii text, and fails on the first word of the file. (Yes, I realize you have to turn it into iSilotext, but then it isn't plain text anymore, yet another deficiency in their GUI).
Code:
      Parsing input file... 
      [  Error  ] Line 1 : Col 5 : Unexpected token "THE"
      [  Error  ] Errors occurred while compiling!
      2 error(s), 0 warning(s)
They're also seem to be in violation of copyright for redistributing the IMDB content without a proper license (which costs $10k/year from IMDB), and without a clear indication of that license in the .tr file. I wonder what other books they have there that they don't have proper permission to redistribute.

I still have high hopes for them, but not if it can't deal with text or HTML files directly like the other dozen readers out there.
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Old 10-17-2004, 06:27 AM   #3
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I haven't tried it out yet, thanks for the first mini-review, hacker. I hope they will soon clearify what they mean by "full html support". And of course you are right, distributing the IMDB snippet for demoing TomeRaider is not really a smart thing.
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Old 10-17-2004, 06:37 AM   #4
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They could have a license to distribute IMDB content. The TR IMDB database has been available for years, also from sites like MemoWare. I assume the Proporta people know what they're doing and I suppose IMDB would've complained by now if it was illegal.
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Old 10-17-2004, 06:44 AM   #5
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Is the IMDB license really $10k/year? If yes, it would seem insane to me for a e-book reader company to pay that lot to make it freely available in TomeRaider format.
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Old 10-17-2004, 07:25 AM   #6
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I don't know the exact price of an IMDB license, but $10K is definitely not much for a business. Making such a popular source as iMDB available for free could be considered a form of sales promotion for your product.
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Old 10-17-2004, 12:39 PM   #7
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The minimum cost to license the IMDB data is $10,000/USD per-year.

We've already been approached by a client who is VERY interested in repurposing this content + images for his project, and we approached IMDB as a liason for the client.

Now we know quite a bit about the innards of their content and structure, and how they do business. We have the whole IMDB datastore + images here (no, not "spidered" from their public website). With the proper conversion logic and queries coming from the database, with a moderate amount of work up-front, it is possible to make a really high-quality product out of the data.

Some interesting statistics:
Code:
    Total Titles: 416,989
     ----------------------------------------
     movies released theatrically     303,846
     made for TV movies                44,915
     TV series                         30,342
     direct to video movies            30,675
     mini series                        3,874
     
     Links Offsite
     ----------------------------------------
     Photos/Images                      3,347
     Comments/Reviews                 176,028
     
     Total People: 1,613,762
     ----------------------------------------
     Occupation      Names            Entries  
     ----------      -----            ------- 
     actors          539,977       2,410,701  
     actresses       326,978       1,239,687  
     directors        90,159         409,546
     producers       121,717         397,418
     writers         132,971         465,157
      
     Photos/Images                     8,338
There is a lot more contained in each record, but that should give you an idea of how utterly massive the whole project actually is.

That being said, if their redistribution of it is within legal limits, they've already paid $20,000/USD at a minimum to redistribute the IMDB content for 2003 and 2004.

I didn't see any sort of license or notice disclaiming or exclaiming ownership or liability of the content. Can I export the IMDB data to another format, and sell it, using the iSilo version as a base? (No, I cannot, but it isn't mentioned anywhere, as it should be, since iSilo does not own this content).

They're all minor nits, but since I represent several commercial clients who are in the publishing business, making sure the "quality of the mobile ebook industry" remains fairly pure, is important. If there are companies who are abusing the benefits of their own industry (such as redistributing copyrighted content without proper licensing), it makes everyone look bad.
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Old 10-18-2004, 01:39 PM   #8
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Moprheus, does anyone still use this reader? I remember using it some time ago, and finding it clumsy and frankly unfriendly. If it is, now, 2 YEARS after it started on v. 3.0, offering categorization - which has been present in iSilo and Plucker, to name just 2, for a long time, then I think it's time to retire it. Its calling card, as I recall, was that it could handle large databases, but other readers do that now. All this to say that I don't think it's a reader to which we need to pay attention. Philippe Radley
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