Do Your Kobo Epubs Still Look Like Crap?
But if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, read on.
A few weeks back everyone started complaining about Epubs they bought from Kobo. People were transferring ebooks to other ebook readers and apps and finding that the formatting looked terrible.The line and paragraph separation looked wrong, the font size was off, and it generally looked like crap.
Some of the more tech savvy stripped the DRM and pulled the Epubs apart. It turns out that Kobo had been adding extra files to Epubs that are sent to them by the publishers. These extra files (besides breaking the Epub spec) were the source of all the problems.
I heard about this a couple weeks ago, and after asking around I got confirmation from 3 different tech people, all of whom knew what they were talking about. But rather than post a rant about it, I decided to find out why Kobo was doing this.
You may have known about the problem, but there was one relevant detail that wasn’t mentioned anywhere I could see. Did you know that Kobo has always had their own internal Epub format? It’s been there for as long as they’ve sold Epub, but it was only recently that anyone noticed.
The problem, as I understood it, was that Kobo’s internal format had been escaping into the wild. And it had only been happening for a short while – even though Kobo had been selling Epubs for a couple years now.
Doesn’t that make you wonder what changed? And that’s why I asked before I posted.
I’m told that it was a technical error, and that it has been fixed. Also, I was told that Kobo did not intend for the modified file to get into the hands of customers. According to my source at Kobo, you shouldn’t see any more of the funky looking Epub.
But has the problem really been fixed? I’m not disagreeing with my source, but if you still see the bad formatting in the next Epub you download then the problem is obviously not as fixed as Kobo thinks.
Please let me know if you keep getting the funky looking Epubs.