eBook Distribution – Experiment 2 – Calibre

While sharing a folder via a simple webserver is a bare-bones way of distributing content, much of the work for a clean, well-presented content server for ebooks has already been done.

Kovid Goyle’s Calibre program is the iTunes of eBooks. Calibre can handle just about any ebook format, and can convert that ebook format to any other format with a high degree of accuracy.

Calibre can download some metadata about a book, including the cover and manage multiple copies of an ebook in different formats.

Calibre also comes with a content server that serves up both HTML and ODPS (XML ebook catalog format) versions of the catalog.

The Calibre content server delivers a very attractive interface that is easy to update and maintaing

The advantages

1) Excellent program with automatic news updating

2) Content server solves many security/privacy concerns, open source program minimizes tracking & privacy problems

3)Easy conversion allows future-proof access to library materials

4)Integrates tightly with widely used Stanza iOS ebook reader. Fails gracefully with HTML catalog.

Disadvantages

1)Like the previous post, not user friendly unless directly linked from a familiar page

2) Fiendishly difficult to get the latest versions working on Ubuntu flavors of Linux. The PPA’s are usually woefully out of date.

3) Requires a more powerful computer with GUI unless one is very familiar with the command line

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