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Calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application made by users, for users. Many languages, designed around the concept of the logical book, i.e., a single entry in your library that may correspond to actual e-book files in several formats.
Calibre can sort the books in your library by title, author, date added, date published, size, rating, or series, along with extra metadata such as tags and personal comments. You can easily search your book collection for a particular book, based on any of this information. Calibre can also go onto the internet to find online books based on existing title/author or ISBN information.
In addition, Calibre also:
-syncs to your ebook reader
-downloads news from the internet and converts it into ebook form
-offers a ebook viewer that can display all major ebook formats
Syncing to e-book reader devices
Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form
Built-in e-book viewer
Content server for online access to your book collection
E-book editor for the major e-book formats
calibre is also a platform with 1 apps listed on AlternativeTo. Browse all 1 apps for calibre.
Auto update Batch conversion Book organization Bookkeeping Built-in e-Book converter Built-in editor Built-in Adobe Flash Player Built-in PDF converter Built-in viewer Custom cover image Customizable Database organization App discovery DRM Free Email notifications Facebook integration File-organization File-sync Handwritten Notes Indexed search Integrated PDF Viewer Inventory management Live Push Notifications Live updating Multiple languages Portable Read fb2 format SMS Reminders Supports All Ebooks Format Sync with e-reader Update notifier Add a feature
bibliography bibliography-generator bibliography-management bibtex books e-book-management ebook-collection ebook-conversion ebook-editors ebook-library ebook-management ebook-reader epub epub-reader ereader library-management rating-system search-books text-messaging
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This software forces you to copy your entire ebook collection into a single directory. The developers aren't willing to consider anything else. Additionally, it doesn't modify the original files. So...See why people do not like calibre 😡 Post your review
This software forces you to copy your entire ebook collection into a single directory. The developers aren't willing to consider anything else. Additionally, it doesn't modify the original files. So literally, this software will — without confirming with the user — duplicate your entire reading collection.
I've used the application for a number of years now and am abandoning it for good now. Can't believe this software won't let you manage a collection manually. I don't know about other users, but my reading collection contains both fiction and educational material, which I've spent a great deal of time organizing to be accessible. I'd love to use this application but it's just not possible unless you want to mix EVERYTHING you have into one folder. Yet another application that could be 100x better with little to no change but wont because the developers are religiously bound to a flawed approach to ebook management.
I recommend using another application called Blio for personal reading needs. It also has a flawed approach to file management, but it makes up for the fact with looks.
I fully agree with you! I spent a lot of time to THINK about the best way to organize books even before using any e-book management software. I concluded that due to the following reasons:
Lack of dedicated ISBN number filed in metadata in official standards for all the popular e-book file formats (PDF, CHM, DJVU, EPUB) I am forced to use file name as a ISBN storage. If popular e-book file formats did have dedicated ISBN number in that case ISBN number for my e-books would be inserted into book files (and then extracted easily with any e-book management software) and in that case I wouldn't care if Calibre or any other e-book management software insists on its own naming scheme. The essential point here is -> I cannot trust a buggy SW to control the connection between file names and ISBN numbers for my book collections!
Performance hit when Calibre accepts a large number of new books (e.g. >100). Since Calibre insists on controlling book files it hits performance wall when it has to ask operating system's File System to check for name collisions for every file and directory created. I am using another e-book management software which does not care how the file will be named (in fact it relies on the fact that the book files already exist somewhere so there is no performance hit). Importing 500 book files in Calibre is extremely SLOW especially if your e-book collection is large. On the other hand importing 500 books in the SW I am using right now is almost instantly (however that SW is poor in search capabilities which is a strong feature of Calibre).
Normally I would use Calibre but due to its deep reliance on its file/folder naming control (which is deeply rooted in its architecture) I am forced to use a weaker SW... Too bad!
You just have to accept that the manager, manages your ebook collection for you. That's it. Simple!
I would not say Calibre is useless! It is the BEST ebook software out there. If you don't like it, you don't like any of them.
You can always manage your ebooks manually however you like, but Calibre HAS to have its own libraries in order to store the metadata, sort books into folders, by author, etc. It's also very useful because you can search for a book by title or part of one, author, or part of an author's name, rating, etc. This would not be possible (or at best extremely slow) if you used your own folder system. It DOES sort all books into folders by author! They're readily accessible through your computer's File Manager, as well, if you want to find a book the hard way. I've done this using Thunar (which isn't available on Windows, for those of you thinking you could use a better file manager than the horrible one provided by MicroSoft.)
AS to ISBN number, it CAN download that metadata from the web and insert it. It's not automatic because there are different sources, and you choose the best match. Otherwise you might get the WRONG metadata for a book titled
"Ocean" By "Waves" or something.
You can have multiple libraries. You can name them "Fiction" and "Education" and switch between them, in your example.
If you do decide to modify the Calibre Libraries manually (say, adding a book, or modifying a book, or deleting a book) you will most likely ruin the databases for the metadata, number of books, etc. Instead, clone the library to another partition or drive and do your modifications there! Also, if you do manage the content of your Ebook reader manually you're doing it the slow, hard way, unless you have one with that capacity built in, such as Kindle (in which case, USE THE KINDLE software if you're happy with it.)
On Android devices I sorely miss the full-blown Calibre. There are no good alternatives to it for this OS. They all require you to manually sort your book collection, which is difficult to even find in the Android file system and its persnickety icon based interface with all those slide and tap and touch the screen things (shudder)! I'd prefer an automatic Library where, when you open your Calibre application, you could sort your books, etc. as in the full Linux edition (and I suppose there's one for you few remaining Windows users, as well.) One day we'll have Android with NO ICONS and NO TOUCHSCREEN needed, I hope. Ubuntu almost had a solution...
Calibre CAN modify original files, saving the originals. With this feature, you can convert books to other formats, MOBI to EPUB, etc, and you can optimize them for whichever reading device you prefer, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc. You can even modify an EPUB that has no chapter structure, and add a table of contents, if you want. You can edit a book with a lot of typos in it to correct them.
As to others objections to its "clunky" look, YOU CAN MODIFY the interface however you like, removing icons/shortcuts you don't use, selecting wide or narrow screen format, etc.
Yes, it CAN be slow if you try to add 100 books to an ereader device (also not recommended.) That's not Calibre, that's the DEVICE speed holding you back!
If Calibre were slow in moving books, when you clone a library of 100 or even 500 books with it, it's almost instantaneous. I've done it. You COULD also do this using File Manager on your Linux based computer, of course. (I don't think you can do it with Windows, which is one of its many flaws.)
Calibre is primarily a powerful ebook organizer and secondarily a viewer. For smaller epub and mobi files I find that Calibre works well enough even if the internal reader is simple. I suggest users setup Calibre to view PDF files in either Okular (linux) or SumatraPDF. The internal reader tends to be slow or occasionally crash with larger or unusual files regardless of ebook format.
You should take note of where Calibre is storing it's ebooks (Calibre Library icon > first line of text will contain your folder/path). From here add this path to a backup program so that you don't lose all the work you will eventually put into Calibre.
Calibre is incredibly good software and updated often. I have donated to the project twice and recommend others do so as well. $5 (or less) goes a long way towards helping the creators of open source software.
Where are you getting ebooks that don't have ISBNs? Commercial ebooks do have ISBNs and Calibre does have the ability to extract those (or download from multiple online metadata sources) and list them in a column.
Calibre does copy all ebooks into a single directory PER LIBRARY. I have yet to determine the limit on how many libraries it will support, but I currently have separate library folders for Fanfiction, Short Unread Fanfiction, Long Unread Fanfiction, Unread In-Progress Fanfiction, Commercially Published Fiction, Cookbooks/Gardening, Manga/Graphic Novels, Nonfiction, Poetry, and a fileless database of my Physical Fiction collection (which I brought in as a list of ISBNs I scanned with a barcode reader into a file on my computer).
More than about 2000 books in a library does tend to slow it down, which is why I subdivided my libraries. A library with only metadata and no book files opens very fast.
Calibre does have an update notifier. When there's an update available, there will be a link at the bottom right. It does require you to download and install the update, but that's not really all that hard.
Calibre is primarily aimed at managing books, so all entries in the library are called "books" but the program will handle image, video, and audio files as well, and call your default program for that filetype when you click on it to open. Each "book" will accept multiple files, as long as there is only one of each format. For example, one book can have PDF, EPUB, MOBI, MP3, MP4, PNG, JPG, and ZIP, but you can't have a folder full of JPGs. Honestly, that's my main gripe. I prefer my graphic novels and downloaded webcomics as individually numbered image files, rather than forcing them into EPUB or ZIP.
There are lots of useful plugins, and if the default metadata options are insufficient, Custom Columns can be created. Too many Custom Columns may impact performance, depending on how many books Calibre has to sort when you use them, but you'd have to go pretty crazy with the columns.
There don't seem to be any AV-related metadata plugins yet. Someone requested an IMDB metadata plugin years ago, but since plugins are made by volunteers, there apparently hasn't been enough interest to get it done yet. Maybe someone could be persuaded to customize the Ant metadata scripts for Calibre...
When I moved away from proprietary ebook readers, Calibre saved me when it came to transferring my ebook library to epub format. It's simple, quick, and being able to edit the metadata to change sort functionality is an added bonus.
The calibre reader is the only one that I have tested that renders source code examples correctly in EPUB books. I have tested about 10 different other readers and none of them did that.
The best personal library/collector/organizer for my books. Free + Open Source.
I first started using Calibre whilst playing around with some applications for digital book keeping. At first, not only did I find it useful in the regard that it could open any type of book format for free. No premium version needed. Simple, straightforward interface, but after some time I did notice it started to slow my computer down a bit and make it very heavy. Ended up uninstalling it but was good while it lasted.
You might want to checkout a cloud based alternative called BookFusion(https://bookfusion.com/ ). We allow readers to not only upload and organize their own books but we also provide integrated and feature rich apps across all platforms
From my point of view this is the best app for managing e-book library. Very simple interface and great functionality! good job
I usually don't write review (too lazy) but after reading the last review, I felt that I had to write this.
Firstly, I admit that Calibre is slower than other native program (Calibre is developed mostly in python) but it is a very active project ( there is new code written almost everyday and new release every Friday). Believe me when I say that Calibre will be faster and faster (if you are curious, you could compare v0.6.x with v0.8.x: I didn't use v0.6 cause it too slow but I'm very happy using v0.8).
Secondly, there are lots of features/options (+plugins) in Calibre. Using Calibre is fun for those who like to play around with softwares and easy for new users. You can also get help/tips/guide (or whatever related to Calibre) from Calibre's website, the manual and MobileRead forum.
Lastly, after setting Calibre to my liking, I can stop worrying about book management and enjoy reading.
Calibre will not satisfy every user, but give it a try. :)
Calibre has a lot of features, does a reasonably good job of importing metadata and book covers, but is so slow and unresponsive to the point of being quite useless. This is on a quadcore i7 4gb of ram on Ubuntu 11.10. It was slow with just a few books, but by the time I added a hundred it became practically unresponsive, and actually opening an ebook from within the software takes far too long.
It's a pity that there are few alternatives, I will try using Mendeley instead.
Calibre is a good piece of software. And contrary to the opinion above very responsive. The only issue (from my point of view) is that when adding books to the library, the books are COPIED to a Calibe Library Folder. It is not possible to stay on your former folder structure.
I see no reason why the database could not work with a user defined folder structure.
Helps me manage my ereader
While its library management is flawed (yes it is), it is unparalleled when it comes to viewing (with the
ebook-viewer app) and conversion (with the
ebook-convert command line utility), which can be used without adding the book to the calibre library.
I use it exclusively for converting epub to mobi for viewing on a kindle without jailbreak.
Great ebook manager to complement your ebook-reader
It’s clunky, yeah, but there is no real alternative :D