KDeasy Wants to be a Fool-Proof Calibre Alternative Which Only Works With Kindles

kdeasy logoFor as long as I've been into ebooks, calibre (and its predecessor, libPRS500) was always the goto app for managing my ebook library, so much so that I've never really looked at alternatives.

So when KDeasy came across my desk last week, I was quick to dismiss it as simply being a poor man's alternative to calibre. But now that I have used it for a day I can see that it has value. The Windows software is still rough (there's also an OSX app), and the app doesn't do what I need, but KDeasy does have its strengths.

This tool offers a simple interface for managing the ebooks on your Kindle. It doesn't support any other device, it doesn't convert from other formats to the Kindle format, and it doesn't have any of the ancillary features found in calibre (plugins, gathering news posts, automation, etc).

While those might sound like deficiencies, they are also KDeasy's strengths.

KDeasy has a simple interface which is much less complicated than calibre and thus easier to use. It's Kindle-centric and won't let you do anything without a Kindle plugged in to your PC, but once I connected my Kindle Paperwhite I found it easy to use this tool.

It automatically scanned my Kindle, and on the Library screen it showed me all of the ebooks sitting on that Kindle. From this screen I can double click on a title and edit the metadata:

kdeasy screenshot

I can also delete books, select ebooks stored on my PC and load them in the Kindle, or change the cover image.

I know that doesn't sound very impressive, but the lack of features results in a simple interface which is easy to use. Calibre's more complex interface is much more confusing, thus leading to a greater chance of errors.

kdeasy screenshot

click to embiggen

And KDeasy isn't just simple; it's also automatic. One of the other menus is the Cleaner menu.

Here is where you can tell KDeasy to fix the metadata for your ebooks. The Cleaner only works so long as the screen is visible, but it doesn't actually take that long to run through a few dozen ebooks.

There's also a menu for managing collections, but I can't use it because I am running a firmware later than v5.6.

And last but not least there's a Transfer menu. This is where you can copy some or all of the ebooks off of your Kindle and on to your PC, or vice versa, or from one Kindle to another. This includes the X_Ray, annotation, and other sidecar files, making this the equivalent of backing up the ebooks.

The Transfer menu is not fast, and obviously DRM will be an issue when transferring from one Kindle to another, but this is an easy way to back up the contents of your Kindle.

kdeasy screenshot

KDeasy is only a couple weeks old. While it's not a bad tool, it's not without its issues.

  • There's no option to drag&drop ebooks and load them on to your Kindle. Similarly, pressing the delete key on your KB won't let you delete files.
  • When you load an ebook on to your Kindle, KDeasy does not create a backup copy in its own folders; it only cares about the copy you put on the Kindle.
  • The Cleaner didn't fix the disappointing cover images; so long as they were present they were ignored.
  • The Transfer menu defaults to the User/Name folder, and not a subfolder. You'll want to choose a folder, otherwise all of the files transferred to your PC will make a mess of the clean and neat organization.

And most importantly, KDeasy is Kindle-centric.

Where calibre is an ebook library tool, KDeasy is only interested in managing ebooks as they relate to your Kindle. It has no option for managing the files you transferred off of your Kindle, and it doesn't exactly make it easy to add more ebooks to your Kindle.

That complete disinterest in the ebook files on your PC makes KDeasy only half as useful as it could be. In fact, aside from the ability to see and edit metadata,  KDeasy isn't much more useful in its current state than the file manager in Windows.

KDeasy is simpler than the file manager, though, and that could be enough for some users.

I, however, need Epub support and so I will have to pass.

Have you tried the app? What did you think?


About Nate Hoffelder (10600 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

9 Comments on KDeasy Wants to be a Fool-Proof Calibre Alternative Which Only Works With Kindles

  1. Thank you Nate, for reporting our program.

    I’m from KDeasy, and I want to make some complements and explanations.

    1. In the home screen, AKA “Library”, users can easily drag & drop to add books into Kindle. Choose books and click “Delete Books” can delete the book files from Kindle.

    2. At the moment, we won’t automatically replace a book’s cover, because we cannot judge the quality of the existed cover image yet. We only handle the book which is lack of cover or metadata, won’t modify the existed information. However, improving the capability of “Cleaner” feature module is on our schedule.

    3. Another advantage of our program is in the “Collection” feature, compared to Calibre or Kindlian, our users need not to install any extension on Kindle, or update/restart Kindle again and again. With our program, users only need to update Kindle for only one time. Then all the following operations will take effect immediately, no need to update Kindle any more. The pity is, like the jailbreak, we cannot support later firmware version.

    Your advice are all valuable for us, thank you Nate. And we are also open to all other advice and suggestions.

    FYI, a new version will be released in one week if everything goes well. Another new feature will be added, which provides you 100+ limited-free Kindle books everyday, you need not to hunt for freebies around the internet anymore.

  2. Al the Great and Powerful // 23 April, 2015 at 9:52 am // Reply

    The Calibre interface is complicated? Seriously? No. I will not be buying this, and I cannot recommend such a limited tool to any of my friends who own Kindles.

  3. Thank you for reviewing this new tool for our libraries. Unfortunately, though I buy exclusively from Amazon, I do 999% of my reading on my PC. It would be too much of a hassle to load 1,000 books onto my aged Kindle just to move them back to the laptop.

    Maybe in a later KDeasy iteration?

    But your having taken the time to look it over and report is much appreciated.

  4. Yikes—an errant decimal point! Make that 99.9% of my reading.

  5. Popping over from the Kindle forums on MobileRead…

    We have gotten (two now) expunged spam accounts recommending KDeasy.

    A member has noted that the KDeasy installer contains metadata linking the product to Epubor — those are (one of) the people who rebundle Apprentice Alf’s tools and try to sell it. Then there is their ebook conversion program, which like many others of its ilk is probably using calibre’s code –in violation of the GPL.
    If Epubor is the driving force behind KDeasy, I would be deeply suspicious of them.

    KDeasy, in order to manage collections, is probably using the jailbreaks developed on MobileRead, and probably barsanuphe’s cli collections manager.
    I have found libalfcrypto in there, which is slightly odd since KDeasy apparently doesn’t even handle DRM? But Apprentice Alf’s work is definitely there, and `strings` reported the inept/adept/k4mobi dedrm scripts in the main executable as well.

    Basically, KDeasy raises ALL my red flags.

    I cannot speak as to how well it works (get back to me when they port it to linux, oh wait, calibre as well as all the plugins and stuff developed in the Kindle developers corner already does that), but it appears to do so based on the work of others, without accreditation.

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