Friday, December 14, 2007

Read E-books on your Zune

Recently with so much talk of Kindle, I was thinking of how to read e-books or other documents such as PDF on my Zune. Then I came across a very handy application eBook to Images from Merlin Software. After you open any ebook in this program, it converts them into portable friendly images.

It supports txt, pdf, html, lit files which can be converted to images. And its a freeware.

As you can see a document 'Overview of Windows XP Service Pack 3' opened in Zune friendly format which was converted from a PDF, it can be read very easily on Zune. But it only converts texts without any image. The text are crisp, sharp and clear on Zune & can be easily read.

To get an exact idea of what size is obtained after conversion, I got the actual ebook 'Alice in Wonderland' from Project Gutenberg. It was text file of size 160KB. Now let us convert this e-book for reading it in Zune.

Start the eBook to Images and import the e-book by pressing 'open ebook' button.

And choose 'Custom' and set Screen width as 320 and Height as 240 and Image Type as JPG. Check 'Page numbers' which will display Page numbers on Top right. Let the Font be default 'Arial' as it gives very good clarity after conversion. I tried with 'Calibri' Font but it was bit thin so it may be a bit difficult for some to read. And change any other option as needed as Inverse colors, changing Background and text colors, Font Size etc. Now press 'Convert to images' button & that's all.

Now the 160KB ebook in text format is converted into series of images which can be read in Zune. After conversion of this, it was ~ 16MB in size with 330 JPGs format images which can be read in Zune. These images were put in folders, each folder containing 100 images, this can be set in options according to your choice.

The e-book after conversion is very clear & sharp to read in Zune. I have kept default background and text color and it was comfortable to read for long duration also. If one wants, one can play it as Slide Show, Just increase the Transition time to 30sec. so that one can read the full page and the page will change automatically and you will keep Enjoying reading any E-Book on your Zune. Also one can set the brightness to low for long readings. These can be changed from the 'settings' option of Zune.

So all the E-book Fans, Use your Zune to read your E-books on Zune.

Let us see what else Zune can do !! Zune Rocks !!
(Thanks Amit !)

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow thats neat!! i just bought an IPOD a few weeks back.. i now think that wasn't such a good decision.

Vasudev said...

If your iPod supports , you can follow the similar method for it also. Which model of iPod you are talking of?

Anonymous said...

a neat little app - i was surprised how easy and quick it worked

BUT had problems playing the pictures in the correct order. numbered pages and sorted pictures by name but still screwed up. number went any advice?

Vasudev said...

Yeah, its a easy way to read e-books on Zune listening to music. Now did you name the pictures yourself or the app named it ? Let it name it by itself , it'll name and put it in a directory. Sync the complete directory with Zune. You can control how many figures/pages you want to store in each directory, from the 'output' tab. I converted many and had no problem. eg:'Alice in...' e-book mentioned in my post was converted and it converted to total 330 images, stored in 4 directories , each directory had 100 pages as default so it named & stored 100 each in 3 directories and 30 in other and all the directories were Synced. And in Zune each directory is shown as 100(named as 0001-0100),100(0101-0200)and so on And all are numbered by App. You dont have to do it. Try it , it should work , but store it in a directory and Sync the directory And arrange it 'by folder' option in Zune.

Vasudev said...

One more basic thing you should look for : make sure shuffle is off for pictures.

settings>pictures> shuffle:off

else it can also be set to off by open any picture, click center of zune pad to get various options for picture, there you can also set shuffle:off.

Now your picture should be obtained in correct order for reading ebook.

Juan said...

this program rocks. next best thing after there not begn linux for zune

Anonymous said...

This app is great, I can now read on my Zune, very easy to install and use, Thanks a lot.

Ben said...

This is great! I was looking into buying a iPod Touch or Kindle. Thats going to save me bundles =0)_)
Is there an online book store that sales ebooks in pdf format?

Vasudev said...

Hi Ben, With the release of Zune 3.0 software update, Zune now also supports audio Books from Audible.com,Overdrive.com.

Das said...

Thank you SO much for this. I was going to buy an ebook reader for nearly 100 bucks and then I found this article. I put five ebooks on my zune so far and I'm sooooo happy.

Thanks for posting!!!

Vasudev said...

Hi Das, nice to know that you liked reading e-books on your Zune.
I hope you have updated your Zune also with new update 3.0, New games have been added with this update.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great info.. I had a question though. I have aZune 120Mb and wondering how many ebooks I can put on it. To tell truth that was why I bought the gynormous Zune--to read books AND hear tunes at the same time. I have 20 books on, but Zune sees less than that. Any idea what to do after that magic number is reached? I 'think' I have 30,000 pictures. Maybe more???

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the software. It works great!

Jill DZines said...

Thanks for this great info - just downloaded and tried it out - LOVE it!! I was hoping there was an app that would let me have e-books of some type.... this will do the trick perfectly! (Though I would LOVE to see Amazon come up with a Kindle for Zune app!!) :)

Thank you!

w3ll$ said...

awesome!!!!! i tried lots of other converters that messed up the text such that it wasn't readable before i found your blog. thank you very much for sharing. by the way i'm using it for zune hd and it works perfectly!!!

Vasudev said...

Nice that you found it useful. thanks !

Andrew said...

This app is freaking amazing. Im using it on the zune and successfully made all 1189 jpegs of my huuuuuge history textbook into a hand-held device. The only downpart is its taking forever to sync D: