ebook library/scraper

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nhybgtvfr Offline
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Post: #1
sorry if this is already suggested, I have searched but didn't find anything.
i have seen requests for pdf readers, comic book readers etc, built into xbmc, and lots of replies saying to use the advanced launcher, which i'm more than happy to do. however, i do have a lot (thousands) of ebooks, in various formats, (epub, mobi, pdf etc). what i would like to see is a dedicated library for ebooks, like the music and video ones, where i can see and filter all these books, with a scraper that goes to amazon, barnes & noble, or a public database, to get author/title/cover image/blurb/genre etc details.

i realise that reading books on computers is a minority interest, but with the increasing availability of tablets, i see this as being something that will be requested of xbmc more and more in the future.

i realise i'll probably get flamed by those who think reading books on a pc is stupid, but ebooks are media, and xbmc is a media centre, the lack of a book library is a glaring omission for some users.
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #2
XBMC is aimed at living room TVs more than it is at 2 feet from a computer monitor, so it's not that people think that reading a book on a computer is stupid, it's that people will likely think you're using the wrong tool for the job. I typically don't use XBMC to playback movies when I'm at my computer. Most tablets will have dedicated reader apps that will always be better than anything we make from scratch.

You can make easy links to the XBMC wiki using double brackets around common XBMC words: [[debug log]] = debug log, [[Video library]] = Video library, [[SMB]] = SMB , [[userdata]] = userdata, etc
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nhybgtvfr Offline
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Post: #3
maybe it is aimed more at the living room tv, but i, and i would assume, so do many others, have it installed on my home pc, and a laptop and multiple netbooks, and, if i had one a tablet, i play films/tv shows/music etc on all of them, and i know others personally that also do this. as i said, it's not so much for reading the books themselves, i'm happy to use the launcher to start a more suitable app for that, but it's the xbmc library functions i want.
i could use many applications for music or video or books, but xbmc has the nicest library displays/organisation options for music and videos. with dvd covers/cd covers/cd-art/fanart etc, plus music/album/artist/actor/actress details etc.
it would be nice to have that same library functionality for ebooks, with cover images, book details, author details etc. plus the options of filtering, so i can choose to only see biographies, or technical, or sci-fi, etc, it's more for choosing the next book to read than actually reading it.
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HeresJohnny Offline
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Post: #4
Maybe integrating calibre as external app into XBMC could be an option.
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donabi Offline
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Post: #5
Thanks to Custom Nodes and some handwork it is at least possible to show ebooks on video-level:
[Image: 8195924949_b1d23606ba_z.jpg]

Cover etc ...
[Image: 8197019002_25689be7d8_z.jpg]
Even sets, like "The Dark Tower / Der dunkle Turm" are possible.

To use/read the book, i've linked a qr-code to the file on my server.
You can scan the Code with your smartphone and the book will appear on your screen. (after a short downloadtime)
youtubelink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB4Gw1ekZVQ

Still no scraper. You have to add all infos manually in the corresponding nfo-file.
But it looks quite nice ... and it works.

http://www.xbmcnerds.com - german xbmc community
(This post was last modified: 2012-11-19 09:45 by donabi.)
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nhybgtvfr Offline
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Post: #6
nice. now that's the sort of thing i'm after. shame it's not in it's own top level library like music, movies, or tv shows, but i'm not sure if it's even possible to create a new one of those or if it's hard-coded.

calibre can scrape from a couple of places, i know one of them's amazon. i wonder if it's possible to get the source code for it's scraper that and make it into an xbmc scraper, unfortunately that would be way beyond my level, i can do basic scripting, and can usually slowly work through complicated source code and work out what's going on, but i'm in no way a programmer.
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zuroph Offline
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Post: #7
Here is why I'd love something like this

Imagine a system set up to integrate your calibre booklist into XBMC. What you can do from within XBMC is browse the books you have, like a bookstore, with covers and summary of book pulled from calibre. Then, a simple option to click to send via email to your ereader. This way, we could browse our newly downloaded books on tv, then click to send, and boom, book is now on your kindle to read. all manageable from a remote instead of needing a keyboard like with calibre
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ilomambo Offline
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Post: #8
I disagree on this with Ned Scott, I think the XBMC paradigm, if there ever was something of the sort, is evolving along with the new technologies and an ever expanding base of users.
XBMC is a media center, and books are definitely media. It is true that XBMC was originally aimed at living room TV, but since XBMC has support for mobile devices with iOS and Android there are more and more users who would have use for a Book library, with all the same features the other media enjoy ( scraper, adding folders, marking as watched/read, bookmarks, etc.).
Actually, to be honest, XBMC was on its very origins aimed at a game console (XBOX, hence the "XB") but some great people took on themselves to transform it to a real all encompass media center, and it gets better with each version. Now its time to recognize the mobile needs too, and add books as part of the media family.

Sorry to revive an old post, but I don't feel like repeating the request in a new post.
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da-anda Offline
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Post: #9
on Android you can simply launch the Kindle or GooglePlay Books app from within XBMC if you prefer using XBMC as launcher. I also see no point in writing up an eBook library/reader. The only thing that would be worth adding is a generic/universal library system to which new nodes can be added via addons. Then one could simply write a eBook-library addon. But just writing a dedicated eBook library system is IMO not worth the trouble.
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ilomambo Offline
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Post: #10
(2013-12-07 12:35)da-anda Wrote:  on Android you can simply launch the Kindle or GooglePlay Books app from within XBMC if you prefer using XBMC as launcher. I also see no point in writing up an eBook library/reader. The only thing that would be worth adding is a generic/universal library system to which new nodes can be added via addons. Then one could simply write a eBook-library addon. But just writing a dedicated eBook library system is IMO not worth the trouble.

In Android you can also launch Google Play to hear music, Mplayer to watch videos and Gallery to look at pictures, not to mention a million apps to get the weather forecast, so lets grind the Android XBMC version alltogether. Not.

I find the concept of having all media controlled by a central app has its advantages, even if there are other ways to look at that same media. The same argument goes for PCs, you have a lot of software to deal with any media that there is, so, da-anda, I ask you, in your opinion why do we need XBMC at all?
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da-anda Offline
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Post: #11
The main focus of XBMC is the TV, regardless on which platform. The Android port was not done so that it can run on your smartphone but on Android based settop boxes. And you won't read a book on your TV, will ya? So as long as the main focus is on TV I don't think things like an ebook reader will be added by core devs (mainly also because they're not interested in it). But XBMC is OpenSource and everybody is welcome to propose additions and contribute(!) code/features, So I'm not saying it might not be added if there would be a clean PR for it, I'm just saying that from my knowledge the team won't work on it and it's up to the community.
I also said that you shouldn't call/ask for an ebook specific library but rather for a generic library which in contrary will open up XBMC to get what you want via simple addons, fully integrated with all bells and whistles (scrapers, etc).
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #12
Like I said before, I don't normally use XBMC when I'm using my own laptop (exceptions being able to run Hulu and Crunchyroll video streaming without flash). XBMC is running on my laptop, but mainly to serve UPnP libraries to other XBMC boxes in the house. I do use it on my tablet, since the video controls are good and it helps keep track of my watched status, but I use the iPad's native music player for music.

XBMC makes media easy to control on a TV while giving a fantastic looking showcase that also adds to functionality. Even on tablets, it often fills a gap that other programs don't really do well, like add-on content from other websites, along side a metadata rich interface.

When it comes to books though, there's no gap to fill. Nook, Kindle, iBooks, all have fantastic eReader apps that support their own stores and external DRM-free books. There are also open source readers out there that are very usable and do just as good of a job as the "big guys". Unlike other situations where XBMC either fills a gap or fills it better than the alternatives, books are well covered.

However, I don't think anyone would object to someone wanting to work on ebook features for XBMC. I'm just explaining why I think no one has done it yet. Maybe I feel the way I do because I haven't seen something better, and maybe someone could make XBMC handle eBooks even better. All the more power to them.

You can make easy links to the XBMC wiki using double brackets around common XBMC words: [[debug log]] = debug log, [[Video library]] = Video library, [[SMB]] = SMB , [[userdata]] = userdata, etc
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ilomambo Offline
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Post: #13
Ned Scott and da-anda, I understand your point of view, and I wish I knew enough programming to join the XBMC team and help develop it further (it is not the case regretfully).

From the moment there was an Android version of XBMC it is hard, not to say impossible, to control on which devices users will install it. My whole point is that I think many of us have installed it in our tablets. My intuition says that the tablet users base is also larger than the set top box users base, for Android (I might be wrong here)

I did not find a comprehensive book reader app in Android that will support all book formats, from txt to pdf, doc, rtf, otf, etc and has good library management UI. There is always something lacking. I currently use fbreader, but I find its library browsing and book reading tracking is not so good.

I got spoiled by the UI and library management for movies that XBMC provides, a similar management for books would be ideal, if there was an app out there with those characteristics I would probably use it and I would not had the urge to bring up the issue in this forum.
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doom_Oo7 Offline
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Post: #14
I would personally be very interested in ebook support, in order to expose them through UPnP with scraped datas like title, author, genre... so that everybody in my house could read them.
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jiggsaw Offline
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Post: #15
(2014-01-03 18:44)doom_Oo7 Wrote:  I would personally be very interested in ebook support, in order to expose them through UPnP with scraped datas like title, author, genre... so that everybody in my house could read them.

I agree

[Image: all-thin-fanart.jpg]
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