Who is this?

Technology Editor of Times of London until July 2010. Now swimming in the freelance shark pool, with abiding interest in games, gadgets and what it all means. If you're looking for product reviews, head elsewhere. Unless it's a really nice product. This is more of an attempt to sift out what matters from what doesn't. With a bit of gossip thrown in for good measure. I'm also learning to use Blogger as I go along, so please bear with me.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, the iTunes of eBooks has arrived!

Here's something that caught my eye while I've been away doing not much apart from reading, eating French food and painting the odd door.

It's a piece of free software called Calibre, and it could just turn out to be the iTunes of the eBook world. Or the Vuze, if you prefer.

Calibre not only supports drag and drop library updating, but will also convert text from just about any format into just about any other. So, if you have a free book from Project Gutenberg in, say, txt, you can make your own ePub eBook out of it.

Calibre also detects the presence of a host of eBook reading devices, from the iPad to the iRiver or your friendly smartphone, and allows you to push content to your device at the touch of a button.

If you've taken the plunge into electronic reading, and are becoming increasingly annoyed by proprietary software, give it a go. I don't think you'll regret it. I, by the way, have nothing to do with Calibre in any way. I just stumbled across it and loved it. Linux, Mac and Windows flavours are available.

While I'm on the subject of eBooks, my favourite online retailer of the moment is Kobo.  Not only does it offer a host of out of copyright books for free (are you listening, W H Smith?), but its app can keep track of where you are in a book, so if you put down your iPad and pick up your iPhone, you will resume reading from the same page. Nice. And a bit spooky. Offers good - sometimes unbeatable - discounts on new books too.

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