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Contributor
Tobiii
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-04-2013
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: N/A
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Using Playbook as an EReader. Please Help!

Hi,

 

A bunch of us got together and bought my parents a BlackBerry Playbook for Christmas. My parents were saddend to learn that the Kobo App will not accept sideloading of other epub files. We tried the MyLibra app - and the entire file would not download, after so many chapters the file just ended. We tried converting the epubs to PDF, but Adobe would just show blank pages, and finally we tried another app, that would show the Chapter title, and then no words. This particular app said that it works with non-drm Epubs. We aren't a very tech-savy bunch, and don't know exactly what that means... or how to do that.

 

Can someone please help us! In Plain English - and as much detail as possibe! We would like to know the best way to sideload our own epub files onto the Playbook. What apps are recommended as ereaders for non kobo-bought ebooks? Also, when we tried loading our books onto the ereader we dropped them in the 'book' folder that appeared on our PC when the Playbook was connected to it, and then when we unhooked it, we could not find that file folder on the playbook itself - any ideas as to where it hides?

 

We would prefer not to spend $ on an e-reader app - but If we have to I guess we have to...

 

I've been trying to google about things to do, but got stuck at what e-reader applications allow sideloading (if I have to pay for one, I certainly don't want to pay for it and have it not work as expected) and got really confused as to what DRM is, and how we know if the files we were given from friends have DRM or not?

 

This is just so frustrating that we cannot find any simple solutions - especially with technology now a days. We got this gift because we thought they'd enjoy it - and now all I hear is complaining about how frustrating it is that we cannot get it to work as an ereader.

 

Thanks

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Trusted Contributor
gumnutninja
Posts: 167
Registered: ‎05-03-2012
My Device: playbook
My Carrier: n-a

Re: Using Playbook as an EReader. Please Help!

I tried a few e-reader applications and have been happiest with GoBooks which I sideloaded for free from the Good eReader site.

 

The ePub files work perfectly. The only tricky bit for me has been to figure out how to navigate the file tree to figure out where the books are stored (if I downloaded them from an email attachment) or where I put them (if I stored them in the Books folder using the Blackberry desktop application). I'll look that up and post the file path in a later post...

 

Please post what type of computer and operating system you are using - your sideloading options will be dictated a bit by this.

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Contributor
Tobiii
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-04-2013
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: N/A

Re: Using Playbook as an EReader. Please Help!

Hi!

Thanks for your quick response.

We are using a PC desktop with Windows 7.

Since I've posted this question I did fall upon the GoodEReader webstie, and am educating myself on how to set it up. Seems a little over my head, but they have videos to follow - which I might try tomorrow.
 I saw that the GoodEReader site had a Kindle converted app for Playbook. Does Kindle allow you to sideload? Or would you still recommend GoBooks?

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Trusted Contributor
gumnutninja
Posts: 167
Registered: ‎05-03-2012
My Device: playbook
My Carrier: n-a

Re: Using Playbook as an EReader. Please Help!

DRM, by the way, refers to Digital Rights Management (which you've probably figured out already) and it's purpose is to make it harder to copy and share copyrighted content. This is the downside of the "technology nowadays" that content publishers are creating on purpose because content is so much easier to pirate when it is digital than in the "bricks and mortar" days of physical products.

 

In practice, it becomes a "format war" situation. Kobo sells ebooks to read on Kobo readers; Amazon sells ebooks to read on Kindle readers; iTunes ebooks read on their iBooks app; etc.. etc. ..There are different file types (mobi, epub, pdf, etc) but, beyond that, even within a given file type (such as epub), different publishers will use different DRM encryptions.

 

There may not be a one-app-reads-all solution out there. I haven't tried reading the couple of Kobo books I had on GoBooks, for example, and don't know if it's possible. But I haven't had any trouble reading the ePubs I've been given by others on GoBooks.

 

Hope this helps.

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Trusted Contributor
gumnutninja
Posts: 167
Registered: ‎05-03-2012
My Device: playbook
My Carrier: n-a

Re: Using Playbook as an EReader. Please Help!

I'm also on PC Windows 7 and once I watched the video from Good eReader it was super easy and I had no trouble at all. It explains what you need to do to sideload applications to the Playbook - which basically just means adding applications from something other than BlackBerry App World.

 

Just to clarify - the Kindle app doesn't sideload anything. It's you who would be sideloading the Kindle app if you installed it.

 

I will say that you should always check the BB App World to see if an app is available there to install it "normally" before sideloading one. The sideloading option exists because software developers weren't making Playbook-specific applications with so many Apple and Android apps to make - but, if there *is* a Playbook version, then opt for that first.

 

I'd still recommend GoBooks. If you don't have a Kindle account or Kindle books then I'd start with GoBooks. I've had a bunch of eReaders on my phone for years (including Kindle) but it's only since I installed GoBooks and got some epub files that I started getting into the e-reader concept.

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Contributor
Tobiii
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-04-2013
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: N/A

Re: Using Playbook as an EReader. Please Help!

Makes sense.

My Dad has a Kobo reader, and using Adobe Digital Editions is able to read most files he is given on his actual Kobo. Which is why it suprised us that non Kobo books wouldn't work on the App (as they did work on the actual Kobo device).

 

So you were able to read epub files on GoBooks? Have you tried any Kobo files? I've also been researching some plug-ins and other things you can install to remove DRM from epubs and other file types. Do you think this would be something to try? Or is trying to remove DRM a bit too complex?

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Contributor
Tobiii
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-04-2013
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: N/A

Re: Using Playbook as an EReader. Please Help!

Oh...you can't sideload to Kindle. I thought you could because when I read all the complaints about not being able to side-load to the Kobo App, many people were talking about how much easier it would be if Kindle just had a BB app...darn.

 

There are e-reader apps on the BB AppWorld. We've tried two free ones with no success. When puch comes to shove we might just have to try one of the ones you pay for: PlayEpub or Book Reader. Did you have to pay for GoBooks? I know my parents aren't too keen on the idea of paying for apps....If GoBooks is free I think I'd rather fo through the sideload process for the application than purchasing PlayEpub or BookReader - only because I'm scared to purchase it and then it not work the way we thought :smileyfrustrated:

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Trusted Contributor
gumnutninja
Posts: 167
Registered: ‎05-03-2012
My Device: playbook
My Carrier: n-a

Re: Using Playbook as an EReader. Please Help!

Urm.. Somebody posted a nice concise explanation of the terms side-loading, downloading, uploading, and installing - and perhaps a few others. I'm not sure what they call it when you add books to a reader. I just thought side loading referred to how you installed the app itself. Makes the head spin..

GoBooks was free. I use it alongside the Kobo app for the few books I have there and didn't try to do read the Kobo ones elsewhere. I just got used to having multiple readers. There's yet another for library books that are borrowed (called OverDrive) and I just use them according to the book.

I tried a few in the BB app world and they were awful. But I installed OverDrive from there rather than side loading it.

Re breaking drm. No clue about it, but if you're in Canada then breaking drm is a specific offense. Most people just torrent ePub files if they want to pirate them. It's certainly a lot easier.

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Trusted Contributor
gumnutninja
Posts: 167
Registered: ‎05-03-2012
My Device: playbook
My Carrier: n-a

Re: Using Playbook as an EReader. Please Help!

P.s. this is where to find the books from within GoBooks if you save them in the Books folder:
http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-PlayBook/WhAt-Is-WrOnG-WiTh-ThEUpPeR-loWeRCase/m-p...
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Super Contributor
TexTucker
Posts: 349
Registered: ‎01-02-2013
My Device: pb
My Carrier: none

Re: Using Playbook as an EReader. Please Help!

[ Edited ]

You "Sideload" android apps into Playbook using a sideloading tool on a personal computer.

You "Install" apps from Playbook's App World

You "Upload" and "Download" documents and data files (such as ebooks) between playbook and internet.

However the sideloaded app Kindle gets its books only from the user's Amazon account, not from downloaded books.

Similarly Kobo gets its books from the user's Kobo account

 Other apps like Bookreader for ebooks (app world $1) will "Import" ebooks "downloaded" to playbook and saved in a folder such as Books,  but only if any DRM they might contain has been removed with a tool.

Gobooks seems similar, but I have not used it. 

 

There are 40,000 free ebooks at gutenberg.org that can be downloaded and imported into Bookreader for ebooks (and presumably Gobooks.)

 

It's complicated because of proprietary (profit oriented) concerns

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