Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A technological breakthrough...

I love books.

The poor saps dear friends who have helped me move my library can attest to this.

Much as I love books, I am perfectly happy with the idea of all my books being digitized, and readable on a device. If anyone want to buy my a iPad, Nook, or Kindle I will be more then happy to use them. I'm actually excited about the new android tablets on the horizon... and you'll soon read why...

I spent weeks converting books to .LIT format to read them on my old Dell PDA.

However, it died and there was much sadness.

Then came my iPod touch. I was excited. The app Stanza produced clear readable text, and I could store hundreds of books. All that I had to do was get them on.

Where I firmly got bitch-slapped by Apple. You see, Apple doesn't want you actually having access to the storage of the app*. So the only way to get my fairly massive e-book library on was to install Calibre on my desktop point it at the e-book library, share the folder holding the e-books without password protection on the network, connect the iPod touch to said network and instruct Stanza to go there and get them.

It never worked.

Months... nay years of me intermittently trying new things, new settings, new routers ended in failure. As someone who makes their living solving technological problems it was pretty disheartening. I was reduced to downloading books from a pirate Stanza server. This worked... but the site had a lot of things I carried nothing about and not enough of the books I wanted to read which I owned legitimate electronic copies of.

Then came the Droid.

Want to access the device? Not a problem, plug it in with a USB cable and you can copy to it to your hearts content. The Android OS is open. Access is allowed. It isn't a walled garden. This BTW also makes it stupidly easy to backup my photos and videos off the phone.

Sure Stanza isn't available on the Android OS (Amazon bought Stanza shortly after I discovered it...) and I don't like Aldiko as much... but you know what? I don't care.

I just converted (with Calibre) three books in the series I am reading to the format Aldiko wanted, and copied them over. In less then 20 minutes from when I thought... "I wonder if..."

It'd have taken even less time but I am a teensy bit OCD about proper meta-data so I cleaned up the files before conversion.

Is my phone the ideal platform? No. But if it was this easy to do... imagine what the crop of Android tablets coming out will be like...

The future it is a little brighter today.

*Yes I could Jailbreak my iTouch... and I tried... every time I tried it very nearly bricked... only hard rest to factory defaults and original firmware made it unbrick.