CNET Editors' review
For those with certain e-reader devices, working with e-books on a computer can be difficult. Calibre for Mac is a free program that helps you manage your e-book libraries and create e-books from other sources for use on portable devices.
Calibre for Mac is an open-source freeware program, and it's easy to download and install. The initial setup is easy, but requires an e-mail address to link to the user's e-reader. Once this is done, the user is prompted to go to an outside Web site for more instructions on using the program, and some streaming demonstration videos. These covered the program generally, as well as specific, more complicated features. The interface is a little cluttered and confusing, making thorough reading of the instruction manual necessary. Fortunately, this popped up immediately after we started the program.
Despite the fact that the program is freeware, it offers functions beyond simply organizing and managing an e-book library. Calibre converts files between multiple e-book formats, allowing users to read books on different devices and even generate e-books out of Internet news sites for use in an e-reader later. It can also search out availability of e-books across many Internet sites.
For those with the time to work through its manual to learn all available features, Calibre for Mac may be a great option for e-book library management, especially considering that it's free.Calibre for Mac - Manage your eBook library - Download Video Previews:
From Kovid Goyal:
Calibre is a one stop solution to your e-book needs. It is free, open source and cross-platform in design. Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution and thus includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to e-book conversion, as well as e-book reader sync features and an integrated e-book viewer. Calibre's features include: library management; format conversion (all major ebook formats); syncing to e-book reader devices; fetching news from the Web and converting it into ebook form; viewing many different e-book formats; giving you access to your book collection over the internet using just a browser.
What's new in this version:
- Fetch news: Allow automatically creating custom news sources by importing OPML files. Many RSS news reader programs can export their list of RSS feeds in the OPML format.
- Conversion: When inserting metadata as a jacket page, alter the font sizes in the jacket so that the sizes match the sizes used in the rest of the book. Also pretty print the generated jacket HTML.
- Allow searching for books by id and uuid using the id: and uuid: prefixes. See all new features
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All versions:3.6 stars
out of 27 votes
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"Don't virtually touch an eBook without it"
Version: Calibre 1.0.0
Free! Totally, inexplicably Free!
The GUI has been smartened up for its birthday. It's useful for anything having to do with eBooks: Reading, cataloging, editing, creating and converting eBooks. No other program is this capable and comprehensive for its purposes. It's a terrific blessing for the Mac community.
Then there are the added bells and whistles: Click the 'Fetch news' button and ogle. Then check out the Fetch news settings for adding your own news sources and scheduling downloads. This is for reelz! Then delve into tutorials and notice the depth of capability of this application.
The developer is terrific and very dedicated. He is constantly improving Calibre and adding features.
It has a learning curve and can be overwhelming to a newbie. The GUI can be confusing as it offers so much capability in one window.
I personally would provide the manual with every download. However, we are considered an Internet connected world, so downloading the latest version of the manual from the net can be an advantage.
The GUI elements used to be very plain, but recently they've spruced up nicely.
Calibre is a hefty gem, weighing in at about 250 MB, worth every byte! This has to be one of the most remarkably capable and important free programs in the Mac hemisphere. Highly recommended to one and all who enjoy reading, cataloguing, editing, creating and converting eBooks!
Don't virtually touch an eBook without it.
Incredibly grateful thanks to the remarkable developer of Calibre and his dedicated work on this terrific software project. (^_^)
Happy Birthday Calibre!
"Ignore the bad reviews"
Version: Calibre 0.9.11
Free, quick to install, simple to use, and provides a wide range of tools with simple options.
As with any programs with easily customizable tools, spending five minutes reading the manual is necessary.
This is a great little program with a lot of options that seems to get regularly updated. I really don't understand the complaints about bad visuals or complex options. Are you familiar with computers, the concept of buttons, drop down menus, and directories? Then, you'll be fine. If you are only comfortable with dragging and dropping, you may be in trouble, but five minutes spent reading should cure that.
I downloaded it and installed it within five minutes and had converted 15 files and transferred them to my device within eight minutes of installation. No issues with formatting, but if I had, there are tools to adjust the formatting and a manual that explains these tools in detail.
As I have many books that aren't in a format for iTunes and my iPad, this will become my ebook library.
"Fantastic application - difficult interface"
Version: Calibre 0.9
Converts to and from most any e-book format and does it quite well. Once you figure out how to use it, it's practically a "killer app" for e-book lovers.
It's tough to figure out how to use it. A tutorial, simpler interface, or something like it is needed to make it live up to its true potential.
This is a "must-have" program, but you really need to work with it for some time in order to figure it out. Not everyone has that much patience.
"cross-platform implementation on the Mac makes no sense"
Version: Calibre 0.8.61
probably works, but
Fails to automatically look at original document, to then set conversion defaults. The result is a document with lines too long or too short.
The bigger problem is that this doesn't work like other Mac programs, you can't drop a file on the application, it takes FOREVER to load, and there is no obvious logic to follow to change a .PDF file to an eBook.
I'd be delighted to pay real money to someone who turns the underlying engine into a real Mac program.
Version: Calibre 0.8.55
Converts small files well
Unable to convert large files,
My computer becomes soooooooooooooooooo slooooooooow
Some good features, but need a bit of upgrade
"Killed my Kindle"
Version: Calibre 0.8.51
I have nothing good to say about it.
I converted the e-book file to be kindle-compatible, and then installed it on my kindle. It basically killed my kindle, and I am unable to start it up. I've tried all the tricks to get it working again, but to no avail.
"Useful but Ugly"
Version: Calibre 0.8.8
Converts to different ebook formats
GUI and Icons could use some work
You can convert from and to different formats; epub, mobibook, pdf, etc..
Needs a better looking interface and icons. Try to get a mac designer to work on this.
"Important functionality but confusing array of options"
Version: Calibre 0.8.4
Allows filing as well as access
"Outstanding program for its use."
Version: Calibre 0.7.50
Easily imports books, no matter their formatting. Even works with ebooks which are not designed for an electronic reader. Allows reformatting to meet your needs. Can, in most cases, retrieve the metadata for your ebook.
If you aren't careful with your settings and selections, if you can delete your files without realizing that your doing so until their gone. Be sure to read the online program manual or you may be sorry.
I have thousands of digitized books in PDF format on my old Mac which I thought I was going to lose. This program allowed me to batch convert these files to text files which I will be able to use on whatever system I get to replace my dying computer.
"Good tool, bad interface"
Version: Calibre 0.7.49
Offers eBook conversion, allowing us Kindle types to convert ePubs, etc.
A clearly "cross platform" interface, keeps its files in odd places, insists on running as a library rather than merely a tool.
A fantastic quality tool for free, but insists a little too much on trying to become the centre of your electronic book collection.