Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ebooks on the IPhone

My previous solution to reading documents on the IPod Touch was emailing myself the document as an attachment and opening it up in the email reader on the device. Inspired by the many ebooks offered at Pragmatic Bookshelf, I tried to find a better way today.

It seems I have just found a pretty good solution thanks to this post. The parts are:
  1. Calibre -"a complete e-library solution and thus includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion, as well as e-book reader sync features and an integrated e-book viewer."
  2. Stanza for IPhone - The most popular IPhone ereader.
There are limitations with converting a pdf for example and displaying that on the device. For example, I took an Apple developer library PDF file, converted it to epub format with Calibre and synced it too my touch. Opened it in Stanza and most of the text was missing. The same book opened in Stanza desktop opened and showed words just fine, however lacked the images.
I also tried the Stanza desktop app for converting the pdf and syncing it to my device. It couldn't open the PDF file and display it correctly for some reason.

I guess converting pdfs is still a fine art. It appears that for books targetted as ebooks, the Stanza reader will work out just fine and Calibre will do its job helping to keep it all organized.

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