Calibre

Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
4.1
out of 218 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
2.0
File Size:
58.96MB
Date Added:
August 22, 2014
Price:
Free
Operating Systems:
Windows XP/Vista/7/8
Total Downloads:
446,997
Downloads Last Week:
1,094
Product ranking:
#2 in eBooks
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' review

Quicker than you can turn a page, e-books have gone from a novelty to a publishing mainstay and will soon be the dominant format (perhaps by the time you're reading this). While many book-lovers use handheld e-book devices such as Amazon's Kindle, others read e-books on their tablets or even their smartphones. All you need is a good e-book reader. We tried the 64-bit release of Calibre, the free, open-source reader and library manager. It's a good e-book reader.

Calibre's welcome wizard let us choose from a long list of interface languages. It also prompted us to set up our e-book library by creating a destination folder or browsing to existing e-books. By default, Calibre creates its library folder in your Documents library. Of course, you can change it later, but it's not a bad idea to start with the right folder in the right location, since your e-book collection may grow rapidly when you see what's available for free (or cheap). It's also easy to establish your e-book library on a USB drive, memory card, or external drive. (You can lug your entire library around with you without giving yourself a hernia! Try that with hardbacks.) Next, we set up Calibre to be compatible with our specific e-book gadget. We could choose devices from a list of 15 different manufacturers, including Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble, as well as generic devices such as smartphones and tablets. The setup finished with links to demo videos and an online User Manual. Better yet, Calibre's main interface opens with one free e-book already displayed: "The Calibre Quick-Start Guide." A colorful interface with a familiar layout makes for easy navigation, aided and abetted by icons with easy-to-grasp labels such as Get Books and Fetch News, each with equally clear submenus.

We've got nothing but good things to say about Calibre, whether it's the 32- or 64-bit version. Adding, converting, and removing books, editing metadata, and even sharing our favorite titles all proved to be as easy as a few clicks. If you don't have a favorite e-book reader and library app yet, or even if you do, check out Calibre.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    4.1

    out of 218 votes

    • 5 star: 117
    • 4 star: 58
    • 3 star: 10
    • 2 star: 8
    • 1 star: 25
  • Current Version:

    0 stars Be the first to review this product
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    Results 1-10 of 218

  • 3 stars

    "Program deletes files without warning"

    July 28, 2014   |   By NCSympa

    Version: Calibre 1.46

    Pros

    Organizes documents

    Cons

    Cumbersome way to organize files putting each one in separate folder. The most serious problem is that the program may automatically delete your document without warning. Later when you try to access the document, you discover it no longer exists. I have had this program delete documents multiple times. It does not give you the option of a warning but just does it. This is a very significant problem and users need to be aware of it.

    Summary

    The most serious problem is that the program may automatically delete your document without warning. Later when you try to access the document, you discover it no longer exists. I have had this program delete documents multiple times. It does not give you the option of a warning but just does it. This is a very significant problem and users need to be aware of it.

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  • 5 stars

    "One of the better programs."

    June 21, 2014   |   By Bob1019

    Version: Calibre 1.40

    Pros

    Everything seems to work as it should - very complete.

    Cons

    oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxo

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  • 1 stars

    "Crashed for the 6th time"

    April 24, 2014   |   By pjh1398

    Version: Calibre 1.33

    Pros

    The management tool is fantastic. I like the fact you can customize the plug-ins for this allowing you to modify the program to best use. It makes modifying the Metadata very easy as well as renaming and tagging files. The library feature is very nice because you can set up various libraries to hold books. For example I have a Fiction, Non Fiction, as well as a few others making it easy to organize. I also modified it to let me put Genre on it instead of using the tags

    Cons

    It crashed AGAIN. The only program I have that crashes more is Adobe Digital Reader. Every 3rd or 4th time I modify a file, it locks up and I have to use Alt/Ctrl/delete to get out of it. It has severe emotional problems when I add a larger ebook selection to it as well as when I move ebooks. At least it doesn't crash when I do that, yet. It wants to be too many things therefore it hogs resources. I can't run anything else when I run something like conversion. Frankly I get sick of staring at the program struggling to process the conversion for minutes on end. 15 minutes is my limit and I'll stop the program just to get out of it. When you ask a question, you get 'Calibre' speak which, I'm sorry, normal humans don't want to deal with. We just want the program to work. It sounds more like hedging than answers. Lots of new gadgets, lots of features but nothing needed for a good management system.

    Summary

    It's no longer fast, easy and fun. The program is trying to be everything to everyone instead of what it should be, a simple management program with an attached ereader. It is the only choice at the moment so you are stuck with it if you want to do intensive management and convert files easily. If I was offered a good alternative, I would even pay for the alternative just so I wouldn't have to deal with Calibre's problems. If you have a life and don't want to learn Calibre speak, it isn't the program for you.

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  • 2 stars

    "Is NOT a reader. Only organizes."

    March 02, 2014   |   By ScurvyMcRickets

    Version: Calibre 1.26

    Pros

    None so far. I keep all of my files organized. Well I guess it's cool that you see the book covers.

    Cons

    Only downloaded this because I thought it was a reader, but it's not. If it was a reader and I didn't have to download a separate program to actually open my books it would be great. As it is, it's like iTunes with out a music player. just a program to keep everything organized...which is what file directories are for. No need to make a book playlist.

    Summary

    Think iTunes if iTunes didn't play music. It's just a library and it can sync to other devices.

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  • 5 stars

    "Darn good e-reader"

    January 24, 2014   |   By Lestwist40

    Version: Calibre 1.21

    Pros

    Everything works good and always the maker of this software updates this often.

    Cons

    Found some bugs that always got fixed later.

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  • 1 stars

    "Packed with adware!!"

    January 23, 2014   |   By tyrus4191

    Version: Calibre 1.20

    Pros

    I've always felt confident with using CNET's download.com previously, but downloading Calibre brought all kinds of adware to my computer. That's with me deselecting all of their free offers. I'm not sure if I've found all of it yet. Beware!!

    Cons

    I've always felt confident with using CNET's download.com previously, but downloading Calibre brought all kinds of adware to my computer. That's with me deselecting all of their free offers. I'm not sure if I've found all of it yet. Beware!!

    Summary

    CNET needs to have a higher standard for what programs it's making available on its site.

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  • 2 stars

    "Combines some nice features with some BIG problems."

    January 14, 2014   |   By BoopShooba

    Version: Calibre 1.19

    Pros

    Imports books easily, decent reader, with special DRM-stripper plug-in allows backing up of Nook and Kindle files. Easy to learn and use, with a farily intuitive interface, and good on-board documentation. Allows metadata to be edited (but saves in a separate file, so you can't move the new metadata back to your reader). And, it's free.

    Cons

    The biggest con is that this program is a resource hog. I've found dozens of users who have posted on the web about this, users of both PCs and Macs. This is especially bad when doing book conversions: Calibre runs CPU usage up to 100% on all cores, and gloms onto 2Gb or more of RAM. The net effect is that you can't use any other programs while Calibre conversion is running, or the CPU overheats and the system locks-up.

    When this problem was brought to the attention of the developers, they declared it "invalid", and dismissed the issue out of hand.

    Summary

    This has the potential to be a very good program. Unfortunately, the huge (and apparently unmodifyable)resource requirement for conversion will render the software useless for that function on many users' systems. This, coupled with the unresponsiveness of the developers, has caused me to lower my rating by two stars, and abandon the software.

    There is other free eBook software out there, and until Calibre fixes the resource-hog issue, I will be supporting that other software.

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  • 5 stars

    "Great Product"

    December 19, 2013   |   By Smartymalin43

    Version: Calibre 1.15

    Pros

    Best piece of software I've used in years!

    After writing a book I wanted to put it on my Kindle and Calibre was great. However, intially I saved my book as a pdf and imported it to Calibre and then onto my Kindel. The problem with this was, 1. I couldn't adjust the font size and 2. every two lines was followed by a space. The solution was to save my word document as a HTML. This worked great! Well done Calibre.

    Cons

    None that I know of

    Summary

    Great software, does exactly what it said on the can. I liked it so much I even made a small donation

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  • 5 stars

    "Just got better!"

    December 16, 2013   |   By LesleyZA

    Version: Calibre 1.15

    Pros

    Not only does this program convert seamlessly from epub to mobi, it now has a built-in editor.
    Fabulous that I can connect my Kindle and manage my books from Calibre.

    Cons

    None that I have found. OK, so books bought from Amazon has DRM which the program respects.

    Summary

    This is one indispensable program for anyone with a large book collection. And anyone who has a Kindle but has friends who read on their iPads!
    I love the fact that I can tag my books which means that if I've forgotten the name of the author (happens often!)but know it's a book on wildlife, it's a doddle to find what I'm looking for.

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  • 5 stars

    "Great tool for novice E-book users."

    October 27, 2013   |   By rlmalphus

    Version: Calibre 1.8

    Pros

    Easy to use.

    Cons

    None found to date.

    Summary

    This is a valuable tool for E-book readers and it's free!

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  • Results 1-10 of 218

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