ePub Reader

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Apps' started by R0bR, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. R0bR
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    R0bR New Member

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    In one of these threads someone was looking for an ePub reader. I haven't used it but there's a new app released called Liberty Book Reader that says you can import ePub and FB2 books.
  2. Russ
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    Russ Active Member

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    R0bR --

    I am using Freda to read ePub books. It allows me to browse for books and is a good reader.

    I don't think Liberty Book Reader is ready for Prime Time. I installed it after reading your post. It needs a lot of help in the opening interface -- just an otherwise blank screen that says "Bookshelf." I finally right-clicked and got an "Add" button down in the lower right corner. I navigated to my book collection and opened an ePub book I am currently reading in Freda. I did that before I started this post. It is still opening that file, . . . . . or something. Maybe it's gone to lunch, although it really is supper time here in Georgia.

    Film at eleven? :)

    Take care,
    Russ

    p.s.: Aha! Just as I was about to hit the Post button, it opened the file. Nope; it's not ready for Prime Time. Freda is a much better ePub reader.
  3. jnjroach
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    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Liberty renders very slowly, but of all of the epub readers it renders the most true. I read many MS Press Books and O'Reilly, all technical with diagrams, charts and code samples and so far the only to render correctly is Liberty and I've tried them all...
  4. ontulmora
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    ontulmora New Member

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    So far the best one I have used is Bazaar Book Reader, beautiful interface and does a great job with ePubs, my only complaint is no PDF support. The developer did tell me in an email that PDF support is planned.
  5. Russ
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    Russ Active Member

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    @jnjroach

    That's good info; thanks. All of my ePub books are conversions from MOBI, and the conversions can be a little ragged, so I'm not able to properly assess whether the reader is making a true rendering. My use of the ePub reader is primarily for pastime, but will keep that in mind if I have a more demanding need.

    @ontulmora --

    re: Book Bazaar Reader

    Thanks for the tip. I installed it after reading your post and like it very much. I do prefer its interface over Freda. At first glance, it seems to be a bit slower than Freda, but, I don't think it's enough to matter.

    My real hope is to find a .MOBI reader for the RT. Virtually my whole library is MOBI, and, so far, the conversions to epub are erratic and produce anomalies in the text. I've tried a few different converters, including Calibre, and find that none are immune.

    Take care,
    Russ
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  6. ontulmora
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    ontulmora New Member

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    Same issue I had, a lot of my books are PDF and there isn't a good conversion that keeps everything looking good.
  7. Jim Chapman
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    Jim Chapman New Member

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    Hi,

    Just a quick post to share some info about plans for the development of Freda.

    Right now, I am working on improving the sharpness of text display, and sorting out things like CODE and PRE text in books. I'll also work on the function for selecting and highlighting/copying sections of text (right now, the highlight/annotate/bookmark function only sets a mark on a single word, not a larger piece of text). Other features in the pipeline include: more work in integration with DropBox and SkyDrive (like on the Windows Phone version of the program), and then the ability to synchronise your reading across multiple devices.

    - Jim Chapman - Developer of Freda
    1 person likes this.
  8. Mr.NK
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    Mr.NK Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That would be a killer feature :)
    And thanks for sharing your future plans, i'm using the app at my Wp 7.5 and my surface.
  9. HB_xxx
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    HB_xxx New Member

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    what is an epub reader? Is that different than the Kindle app?
  10. ontulmora
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    ontulmora New Member

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    @Jim Chapman
    Any chance we will get PDF support? That is the only thing keeping me from choosing a reader app.
  11. Russ
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    Russ Active Member

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    HB --

    Book files are in different file formats. Epub, mobi, pdf and azw are the major ones. Amazon's Kindle reader app primarily reads books in Amazon's .azw format, but on some platforms (PC and iPad) it will also read the .mobi format. On Surface RT, it will only read .azw files. There are several reader apps for the .epub format.

    Regards,
    Russ
  12. Sin
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    Sin New Member

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    I'll also add that ePub is an open file format unlike Amazon's AZW file format.
  13. Jim Chapman
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    Jim Chapman New Member

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    PDF support has been on my 'to do' list for a while (since 2009 actually). The reason for not doing it yet is that it's complicated. There isn't any good documentation for the details of the PDF format, and under the hood it comes with quite a lot of different variants. Depending how the PDF content is represented, it can sometimes be very hard to figure out how to display it on a screen size (or screen aspect ratio) that's different from the one that was used for creating the document. The only 'official' libraries for parsing PDF are very expensive, and the available free libraries and sample code are not very good - meaning that for some PDF documents they would produce really terrible layout.

    I could easily produce a Freda build that would achieve decent layout for 99% of PDF documents ... but it would make a mess of the remaining 1%. And the problem is that every time a user tried to read a document that was in that 1%, they would give Freda a bad "can't read my book" one-star review. Result: Freda's store rating drops through the floor.

    Conclusion: it's only worth doing if I can do it perfectly, and I so far haven't figured out a way to do it perfectly.

    In the meantime, I recommend using Calibre ebook library manager to convert your PDFs to EPUB; it normally does a decent job of the conversion.
  14. Russ
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    Russ Active Member

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    Jim --

    That is really too bad, but I do understand. Too many users expect perfection in an imperfect world. For instance, my MOBI to EPUB converter does a good job on most of my files, but sometimes it creates anomalies in the text. I'm just glad it does a good job on the majority of conversions.

    Thanks for your inputs on Freda development. The device synchronization feature will be welcomed by many of us.

    Teach it to read .mobi files and I'll treat you to a fine dinner (or something more appropriate). :)

    Take care,
    Russ
  15. Bjurn
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    Bjurn New Member

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    I tried liberty as well. Looking great, but terribly slow. It can take hours to load a book. And for some reason suddenly all last lines of every page are missing??? Will give bazaar a try..
    edit: Tried Bazaar, it's very quick and doesn't look too bad. And all my lines are readable :)
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013

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