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Calibre Companion Has Been Sold

I am sure everyone here is familiar with calibre, the free and open-source ebook library management tool. It is a great way to manage your ebook library, and it was a great tool even back when it was called libPRS500.

But I am not sure quite so many people are as familiar with Calibre Companion. This is a paid app for Android and iOS that you can use to wirelessly download ebooks from your calibre library to your mobile device.

I just read over at MobileRead that the app has a new developer by the name of Sam Cohen.

CC’s former developers announced the change a couple weeks ago:

Dear CC community,

As many of you have noticed, neither Steve nor I have been actively developing CC for quite some time. The reasons are diverse but can be summarized as "Life Happens". That said, neither of us want to leave CC unloved. For that reason we decided to pass the CC project to another developer, Sam Cohen (@samcohen). The transfer has started and will complete over the next few days.

Sam is very excited about taking over the projects and reviving active CC development on both iOS and Android.

Steve and I thank all of you for your encouragement and support over the last 7 years (has it really been that long?). We very much appreciate all the comments, complements, and criticisms you took the time to give us. We hope that you will be as supportive of Sam as you have been of us.

I will remain involved with calibre and will continue to hang out in this CC forum, commenting when I think I add value.

— Charles & Steve

I own a copy of Calibre Companion (I bought it in 2014, actually) but I can’t say that I ever really used it. Now strikes me as a good time to try it and post a review.

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Zinc July 12, 2019 um 3:42 pm

Interesting. Never even heard of it before.
I just use the built-in web server in Calibre.
Only works locally…but works for me.

Chuck Dee July 13, 2019 um 12:24 pm

I use it to sync with my android devices and it works well. Hopefully, this will continue that; I just considered it stable software which would explain the lack of releases. I wonder what the future will hold.

Susan R Mastrodemos July 13, 2019 um 3:36 pm

I use CC almost daily. I set up my Calibre Library to act as a server over WiFi. I connect to the server from Calibre Companion and transfer books onto my Android Device by local network WiFi. Since the USB connection, and especially connection to flash memory cards, has been deprecated in Android development, it was increasingly difficult to use USB connection.

Highly recommended.

ShellBell July 13, 2019 um 7:44 pm

never heard of it – will be interested in reading your review

Nate Hoffelder July 14, 2019 um 1:19 pm

TBH I think it’s redundant in the era of Kindle Cloud.

I mean, Amazon has offered free cloud storage and delivery of your ebooks since late 2011. I don’t need an app that does less and is clunkier.

Michael Kaufman August 3, 2019 um 4:55 pm

I guess if you only read in the kindle app, and you only have kindle books, and you don’t care about categorizing your books, then Kindle cloud is fine.

But Calibre and Calibre Companion do a lot more than just store your books, and there are a lot better boom readers than the Kindle app.

BB December 9, 2020 um 7:28 pm

Some of us do not like living at the mercy of Amazon.

Chuck Dee July 14, 2019 um 1:47 pm

Well, if you’re not using a Kindle, it becomes a bit more necessary. I have some books on Kindle, some on Nook, some as just bare epub, pdf, and mobi. Having this lets me concentrate my collection in one place, and access them in sometimes better readers.

Nate Hoffelder July 14, 2019 um 3:09 pm

I don’t use a Kindle – I use the Kindle app on my smartphone.

Chuck Dee July 14, 2019 um 4:48 pm

By "Kindle" I mean Kindle infrastructure. If you don’t use that, then Kindle Cloud is useless, no?

Nate Hoffelder July 14, 2019 um 7:42 pm

ah, gotcha

aus July 16, 2019 um 4:15 am

I used it to access my Calibre library from Dropbox when I used an Android reader. Really excellent software that just worked.

Lynn July 21, 2019 um 4:26 pm

Love CC. I’m hoping nothing really changes, because it works well for me now. I’ve been using it for years. However, I definitely wouldn’t mind it working with USB instead of a wireless only connection that it currently requires to sync my books.

My ebook library is about 2400 books at the moment. The vast majority of my books do not come from Amazon, so I’ve chosen to consolidate my library in Calibre instead of just using the various retailer apps.

I use CC to keep my Calibre library synced between an android phone, a couple of android tablets, three kindle fire tablets, and my computer. I bought the CC app through the Amazon app store, so I’ve been able to install it on all my android devices. The reason I like CC so much is because I can easily flip through my books by tag, author, series, and/or other criteria and find something to read without having to go back to Calibre to do it. I’m a careful tagger, so I can really make use of these lists.

Lynn July 21, 2019 um 4:39 pm

Oh, also, after taking a look, I’m not that happy to see that the new guy in charge of CC has immediately put up links and posts on the new CC blog that promote pirating of ebooks.

I’m not particularly vocal about my stance on that and am not going to get into a discussion of it here, but having a paid product like CC promoting pirating ebooks is not a great first impression. I might have to disallow updates and find a new way to manage the syncing of my library once things start to break.

Chuck Dee July 21, 2019 um 4:43 pm

Yeah, he’s being pretty flagrant with his position on piracy. No matter that I want my books to be free of DRM, I still want to pay the authors for writing them.

Samuel Cohen July 21, 2019 um 5:36 pm

Sorry to hear some of you are upset about a post. My opinion on the matter is that intellectual property doesn’t exist and information is meant to be shared. 🙂

Chuck Dee July 21, 2019 um 6:00 pm

Information is meant to be shared, but that doesn’t mean it’s meant to be free unless the author makes it so, or you recompense them. Many people make their living wage off of that writing. I’m surprised with that outlook that you don’t open-source Calibre Companion? Or make it free? I mean, after all… it’s information, right?

Samuel Cohen July 21, 2019 um 8:00 pm

Copies of Calibre Companion are pirated every day. Having an app is great but having it being pirated feels greater. I lose nothing by someone pirating Calibre Companion. I gain a user and a potential champion who will get others to enjoy it. I am all for recompensation of creators but for me not mandatory.

Chuck Dee July 21, 2019 um 10:51 pm

If you’re being pirated, why not just make it free? There seems to be some sort of dissonance going on here. Why make anyone pirate it? Why make anyone pay for it? There’s a certain arrogance to that stance.

Samuel Cohen July 22, 2019 um 11:42 am

I’m a capitalist. I’m not making anyone pirate anything just simply allowing it to happen. Free content is some of the best advertisement. More people will have Calibre Companion because of this stance. Due to the files being digital in nature it allows an unlimited number of copies to exist with no negative downside for me. If this was something physical that cost me money I wouldn’t condone it being stolen from me. Do you support used book stores? The author makes no royalties off of the resale of books from there. I support used book stores.

Chuck Dee July 22, 2019 um 10:02 pm

That’s a pretty sharp knife you’re using to split those hairs.

Lynn July 21, 2019 um 7:12 pm

What a joke.

BB December 9, 2020 um 7:29 pm

And yet you bought software and charge people if they want to download it.

Pentcheff September 7, 2019 um 12:38 am

Mr. Cohen,

I write as a sympathetic reader who has been involved in IP issues for over a decade in my professional life. Please be cautious in bringing an ideological angle to this table. Rightly or wrongly, many readers and writers have strong stances on these issues. Engaging those issues as a tool builder cannot end well. Focus on the tool. Let the tool users determine its moral context. Sword makers do not come to work each day wishing to optimize killing. They seek to create tools so excellent that expert practitioners can dissuade violence.

Thank you for taking up work on this excellent tool.

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