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eReader App for Android/ Nook Support for eReader PDB Format

Nov 5, 2010 7:48AM PDT

I have been reading ebooks for many years on my faithful Palm TX. I have the eReader app installed with 200+ books in my eReader library that I want to maintain access to. I know B&N purchased eReader/Fictionwise, but there's no support for the .pdb format on the Nook that I can find. eReader's website says it has a reader app in Beta for Android. My questions are: (1) has anyone tried the eReader Android app, and (2) if it becomes necessary, is there a way to convert my books from .pdb to a format supported by the Nook or Kindle?

Discussion is locked

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Best bet.
Nov 9, 2010 6:31AM PST

Find a link to contact the eReader's author and see what they say.

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Thanks for your repy, but.....
Nov 9, 2010 11:10PM PST

eReader became the property of Barnes& Noble when they purchased Fictionwise/eReader websites. Both websites now link back to B&N..... which gets me basically nowhere. The rumor (from the Nook user forum) is B&N will cease supporting the sites in the future. I'd love to get the new Nook Color, but I'd like to find a way to read my existing ebook library on the new device.

I know I'm not the only ebook fan who comes from a Palm background. I'd like to know how others with old Palm devices are handling the move to the newer Nook and Kindle ebook readers. Are you just abandoning your old libraries or have you found a way to convert to the format(s) supported by Nook?

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Don't take this wrong.
Nov 14, 2010 4:00AM PST

But .pdb is not a format. It's just a Palm DataBase and the file extension you see for all PalmOS databases when you sync. As an author of PalmOS apps this database is mildly interesting in that what I write into any .pdb is not restricted to any format. So if I write content to said pdb then only I know how to translate it to other formats.

This is why in this case only the author of the apps may know the correct answer.

I fear the content is locked to the device.

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try calibre
Nov 29, 2010 4:25PM PST

Try Calibre. It's a free program that converts most formats to epub format which the nook, and aldiko support on the android platform. If that doesn't work for you, ubook should be available for the android platform soon.

I don't have any pdb ebooks, but mobipocket may support them, but I think they only supported non drm ebooks.

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Good find.
Nov 30, 2010 3:04AM PST

I see Calibre list PDB but as a PalmOS app author PDB is not a standard we can rely on.


Try it, try it Sam I am.

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at least 2 characters
Mar 25, 2011 7:02AM PDT

The eReader format is a compiled PHTML file; the formatting comes from the tags within the database.

eReader pdb files are encrypted using "social DRM"; that is, the keys are your name and your credit card number. The idea is that if you are going to share the encrypted media, you'll only do so with a small circle of trusted friends and family. In the larger scheme of things, this is actually a fairly sensible approach to Digital Rights Management - but I digress. In the end, the files are still encrypted, and you're still stuck without a reader which will open the format.

Fortunately, the DRM is easy to strip with simple Python scripts (Python is a widely used scripting engine and language) - but bear in mind that in the U.S., stripping DRM from almost anything is illegal. I'll leave it to you to find the tools and means to extract the PHTML from your pdb files.

Once you have the PHTML extracted, conversion to ePub is also straight-forward using Calibre. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, Calibre is an (excellent) open source (free, as in beer) ebook format converter. It also serves as a reader and library manager, and even if you're not trying to convert formats it's probably worth your time to check out.

It should be noted, however, that PHTLM isn't a flowed format (it won't repaginate from display to display), and that the conversion to ePub or other formats that support flowing (flexible pagination dependent upon screen resolution and font size) can be clunky. The resultant ePub is likely to have odd sentence, paragraph, and page breaks.

Unencrypted ePub files can be "side-loaded" on many (most?) ebook readers on the market today, including the Nook and Kobo readers, as well as numerous ebook readers for Android, iOS, WebOS, Blackberry, and Symbian.

I hope that helps.

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eReader for Android
Mar 25, 2011 9:08AM PDT

Also, to answer your question in regards to eReader for Android, it's actually very stable and works exceptionally well for me (I have an HTC Evo 4G). Except that it only supports a dying file format and that development has likely been halted by B&N, I'd actually make the claim that it's the most full-featured reader available for Android right now.

I don't know how well it works on other Android devices; in particular, I suspect it might be problematic on the larger-screen tablets like the Xoom.

If you have an Android device already, I'd encourage you to try it.