Calibre Portable - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Calibre Portable

CNET Editors' review

Managing collections of books (we'll call them "libraries") used to be easier. E-books introduce new complexity. Thanks to competing formats and technologies, e-books that play on one e-reader might not on another, even when it's supposed to be compatible. Calibre Portable is a free e-book manager that not only serves as an e-library but also converts electronic text between various formats. It also handles a wide range of e-readers.

Since it's portable freeware, you can save Calibre Portable's program folder virtually anywhere, though we had to relocate the database folder after saving the program to one disk and running it on another, which could be an issue in some systems. We've seen every style of e-book manager, and many use 3D graphics and game-style functionality to add the "feel" of handling real books. But Calibre's basic Explorer layout is refreshingly familiar, making it very easy to add books from our existing collection, get new titles online, edit metadata, and perform other functions.

The left-side panel numbered and categorized our collection by Authors, Languages, Series, Formats, Publishers, Tags, and other identifiers, and we could sort, match, and manage titles in various ways. Selecting a title in the central list window displayed its metadata and cover image in the right-side panel. The download includes one title, "Calibre Quick-Start Guide" (there's also an excellent manual accessible from the Help button). We were more interested in the "Convert books" button, though. Clicking it with a title selected opened an impressive, comprehensive wizard that not only converts formats but also configures Metadata, Look & Feel, Heuristic Processing, Page Setup, Structure Detection, and other aspects of the program. There's even a Debug feature.

With thousands of free titles available and soaring sales, the e-book market is poised to take off, once it sorts itself out. Until that day comes, e-book lovers will need tools like Calibre Portable to help them get the most out of their collections and accommodate the ever-changing parade of e-reader technology. This sophisticated freeware seems capable of handling whatever books you can throw at it without ducking.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-5 of 5

  • 5.0 stars

    "Great! Amazing!"

    August 31, 2012  |   By Jason__Ong

    Version: Calibre Portable 0.8.67

    Pros

    comes with a ebook reader that can view nearly all the different types of ebooks
    allows to have more than one version of a ebook (especially i like to have a pdf version for my laptop and a epub version for my iPod touch)
    can convert ebooks very well
    you can easily edit or search amazon/google books for metadata
    has a great news feature
    allows you to sync your calibre library to iTunes for iBooks

    Cons

    sometimes you have to add a isbn to help it find the right metadata
    cant really think of any other negatives

    Summary

    get it, its the best ebook manger, i wish there was a app for iOS/andriod

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  • 5.0 stars

    "EXCELLENT Book Manager"

    May 31, 2012  |   By TomSinclairJr

    Version: Calibre Portable 0.8.54

    Pros

    Everything in this software is phenomenal!

    Cons

    There is Nothing NEGATIVE about this software!!

    Summary

    This software even CONVERTS from one format to another.
    If you do not like this software, then it is because YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO USE IT CORRECTLY.

    All my Kindle MOBI and PDF books are in this manager.
    Simply Excellent!!!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "should clearly differentiate between Calibre and this"

    January 22, 2012  |   By HvonD

    Version: Calibre Portable 0.8.36

    Pros

    zero -- See all the Calibre reviews

    Cons

    no apparent reason for this

    Summary

    waste of time to download if you already have Calibre up-to-date

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  • 5.0 stars

    "GREAT SOFTWARE"

    January 22, 2012  |   By capitanflorius

    Version: Calibre Portable 0.8.36

    Pros

    I say all the best of this software.

    Cons

    NONE. I have't nothing to say at this regard.

    Summary

    Very useful software for all users who needs a web library and its organization.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Any version is Great"

    January 11, 2012  |   By DaDreamWizard

    Version: Calibre Portable 0.8.34

    Pros

    Works as Calibre does. Perfect and always has some of the most dedicated programmer(s) ever encountered. Not a soul I know of that has any type of eReader and a PC and even those without eReaders but do read eBooks have Calibre. It just works, correctly I should add.

    Cons

    never could find one CON even if I tried.

    Summary

    There are more than a few PC eReaders for different formats. Calibre reads them all with MANY other features that only amny different apps could offer, and Calibre has them all and works better then most of them that are dedicated to only one specific task!

    Reply to this review

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