oda: droid icon on blue-violet field (android)
2011-12-25 02:37 pm

Library Tracking

More on book management... MyBookDroid will import from and export to Goodreads quite well for a beta, though it's not true sync yet. (That's on the roadmap.) It's also a partial import, but still, it hits the important part: shelves. All in all, it gives me the good key features of making it easy to see my list of desired books, so if I'm in a bookstore I can check if the book is on my list, as well as an easy way to import physical books onto my list -- I can scan a book and put it on my 'buy later' list, or scan a book I've just read to easily rate it and import it into Goodreads.

Goodreads itself is proving to be a good social library site, with good privacy options combined with social goodness, something a lot of sites find hard to balance. It's very easy to add books in, especially with app support, and it talks quite well to Calibre.

Calibre is the newest addition, and seems to be a very fine personal library server. I can selectively export to Goodreads, which I like, as well as create records for physical books. It has an ebook reader built-in, and will serve up a library. I wasn't able to get Aldiko to talk to the library, but I tried Moon+ Reader and liked a lot of its other features as well as its ability to see my Calibre library.

I'm also going to give Cool Reader a try because it's GPL, and keep an eye on Book Catalogue, which doesn't seem to have online backup/sync as of yet, and that's something I really need.
oda: zombie face on a blue-violet plane (personal)
2011-12-24 10:03 am

Ebooks and Hamster Wheels

Proof that I have a tiny hamster brain that is obsessed with tiny wireless devices: +Jenna Moran shared with me a link to the lovely library management software Calibre, I found out the trials and tribulations about how Calibre Portable isn't very, I found a more portable version on the ever-useful Portable Apps, and now I am trying to figure out how to build catalogs I can browse from my phone. (The software at Calibre2OPDS looks perfect but I haven't successfully got it to actually build anything yet, possibly because I'm running Calibre portable, or because it's a beta portable package, or because I was configuring it when I should have been sleeping.)

This would be about exactly why I never get anything done. It's rabbit trails and side quests all the way down! (This started from: "I would like to read an ePub book on my computer.) Oh yeah and I could have just used Bookworm ....

On the SAD side, Amazon let Stanza die a sudden death when IOS 5 came back out. I hear they've patched it, but the patch didn't say IOS 5 only like other 5-only apps do, so my iTouch 2 (stuck on IOS 4) got its Stanza build vaporized by the shenanigans. BOO. I don't know how to reconstruct it even though I theoretically have backups and everything, since I loaded the stuff in directly to the Touch and didn't have any library management running anywhere else, and the iTunes backup format is... opaque to say the least. Not the end of the world as I had a bunch of random Gutenberg books there and didn't read on it very often, but still boo -- I can't even get it running enough to find out what I lost. It's probably not worth doing a full restoral over, though; I also just tidied up a bunch of other apps on the iTouch, getting it ready to be more of a backup media device for both of us than a full time iPod for me. (Now using the phone for that.)

I already refused to buy Kindle books over the DRM; now I'm sad at them for buying Stanza just so they could kill it. I'm glad to see the Lexcycle programmers make good on their hard work, but I think it's awfully shoddy of Amazon to buy a very nice piece of software just to destroy it, and to vaporize my library even if it wasn't a bought library -- it still represented time choosing books. Another lesson in why it is so important to mirror everything, even if it was free and easily found -- time is a resource too! Calibre looks like it will do an excellent job at that. Open source is a good protection against those sorts of shenanigans, because loyal fans can simply fork the dead-ended project and continue support if it's popular enough, and usually it's possible to at least run unsupported legacy stuff as long as you have an OS that will support it. (NOT open source, but I'm also grooving on Good Old Games for giving us legacy software at a good price.)