Mobileread
iPod Touch as an e-book reader
#1  Liviu_5 11-30-2007, 01:28 AM
After I saw a demonstration video of the ITouch (IPhone) and pdf reading and after checking for myself in an Apple store with a pdf math book available online from the author's site, I was very impressed and got a 8GB one since my classic Ipod is getting old though I still use it for music, while this one I use for pdf's and video and some txt/html e-books though I still prefer my 770 for that last.

It took a little bit of work to get going (jailbreak, install UNIX tools, Apache to access internal files with Safari and Books to read txt/html - the pdf reader is junk, iPhone browser to transfer files from my Pc over USB).

Everything was fast and trivial (jailbreak site over Wi-FIi and jailbreak took 1 minute, install the applications another 4-5 minutes with the install button) except for modifying the Apache config file (/etc/httpd/httpd.conf) to read files from the big 7+ GB media partition, not the default system 300 Mb partition since after all I want to load quite a few pdf's. Using the terminal and vi (with a list of commands found in 1 minute on Google) it took me another 10 minutes or so - there are 2 lines to be changed - and then restarting Apache from the terminal another 1 minute.

Iphone browser works quite fast (transferred about 200 Mb of files in 2 minutes) and the only thing you need is make your pdf and ebooks folders in the Apache directory (I chose Media for it) with mkdir, and move the files with mv *.pdf, *.txt, *.htm* from Media where Iphone browser deposits them to Media/Pdf or Media/Ebooks and you are set.

Then with safari you open your pdf, play with it (rotate, enlarge) and it's amazingly fast and nice. There are about 14-15 lines of text per screen at a readable zoom without horizontal scrolling and moving around is amazingly fast with the fingers.

The drawbacks - safari does not open pdf's larger than ~10 Mb so those need to be split and it does not bookmark so every time you open a pdf you have to get back where you were, but that takes several seconds of scrolling with your fingers so it's not a big deal for me.

Also you can open as many windows as you want and move between them easily so you can have as many books displayed as you want.

I tried the Books application and is ok, fast with regular txt or html books and you can change the colors to black background and white text, customize fonts and so on, but I like my 770 more because of higher functionality. Still a good experience though.

Hopefully if and when Apple follows the promise to open the Touch, there will be many improvements, but right now I am quite happy to finally being able to read pdf's fast and convenient on the go.
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#2  happynow 03-02-2008, 07:05 PM
put some favorite dvd and video onto it ,it is an interesting thing .
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#3  yvanleterrible 03-02-2008, 09:07 PM
@Liviu_5

How is power mangement on the Touch while reading? Do you get good battery duration?
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#4  atrophic 03-03-2008, 12:11 PM
My entry into mobile reading has been with the iPhone so I don't know what the battery life is like on other devices; I would guess longer than the iPhone. I use the Books application to read, with ebooks I reformat myself for optimization on the iPhone. I use the white text on black background and the battery life seems to be very good with it. I also break the ebooks up into individual chapters as I find it easier to read, faster to load, and better on the battery life.

The only time I've really put the battery to the test (as iPod chargers are everywhere!) was a 7 hour business meeting. I read for 6 hours on a 50% charge before the battery died.
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#5  flumbo 03-06-2008, 05:21 PM
Quote yvanleterrible
@Liviu_5

How is power mangement on the Touch while reading? Do you get good battery duration?
The battery life is surprisingly good. I regularly fly between Hawaii and LA and have plenty of charge for 5+ hours of reading, movies and music. If I turn the brightness down to a less eyeball-searing 10% I've been able to get over 7 hours of use on a charge for reading only.

There's also a new version of books.app that came out this week. It finally allows a landscape view. I like the application but it still needs some development. Ereader.com says they are looking into porting their reader to the iphone/touch platform so hopefully things will get easier.
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#6  yvanleterrible 03-07-2008, 02:54 PM
Quote flumbo
The battery life is surprisingly good. I regularly fly between Hawaii and LA and have plenty of charge for 5+ hours of reading, movies and music. If I turn the brightness down to a less eyeball-searing 10% I've been able to get over 7 hours of use on a charge for reading only.

There's also a new version of books.app that came out this week. It finally allows a landscape view. I like the application but it still needs some development. Ereader.com says they are looking into porting their reader to the iphone/touch platform so hopefully things will get easier.
Nice! I can now feel a Touch coming in my life... huh! ...Y'know what I mean...
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#7  Liviu_5 03-10-2008, 01:00 PM
Forgot about this thread, but for an update - I am very happy about my iTouch for pdf's (and music/movies); I still use heavily my 770 for regular (text based) e-books

In terms of battery life, I've never used it so much to have problems, but I have chargers in the car, home and at work, and I do not take long plane trips.

I estimate you easily get 5-6 hours if you avoid heavy net surfing and movie watching (just books and music)
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#8  Toadkillerdog 03-17-2008, 11:30 PM
I just got an iphone and found that textonphone.com was the best way for me to read ebooks. You can upload your own text to the site and using the safari browser read your book. It caches ahead quite a bit, too. You can alter font, font color and font size on the fly. Working well for me. Also, they have plenty of ebooks on line already.

Very easy on the eyes. Overcame my reluctance to purchase the phone. 3rd party apps are just around the corner in June, I hope for true native applications.

Edit: Yikes, how did I get my email as a user name!? Would a moderator please help me out and change it to just my last name. Thanks.
There is a you tube video showing in detail how it looks and works on their site.
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#9  Azayzel 03-18-2008, 11:38 AM
You can also jailbreak you iPhone and have a dedicated ebook reader that can do most popular formats and get another one that does PDF's quite well. The PDF one is actually a hack that allows you to view PDF's on your iPhone through Safari, that way you can rotate your screen and see things much better. I even have jComics installed so I can load up cbr comic archives and read them too. Nice!
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#10  DaleDe 03-18-2008, 12:55 PM
Quote Azayzel
You can also jailbreak you iPhone and have a dedicated ebook reader that can do most popular formats and get another one that does PDF's quite well. The PDF one is actually a hack that allows you to view PDF's on your iPhone through Safari, that way you can rotate your screen and see things much better. I even have jComics installed so I can load up cbr comic archives and read them too. Nice!
do you really mean JE-comics? I can find no current version of jComics which originally was a management program, not a viewer.

Dale
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