[App] Ebook Reader (Freda)

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Jim Chapman

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2007
386
53
London
www.turnipsoft.co.uk
Is there a way to reformat the text at all? It's going to be really difficult to read with that little spacing between lines, etc.
There are options on the 'Settings' screen that allow you to:
  • add space between paragraphs
  • increase the line spacing (or decrease it to 0.9 if you want an even denser reading experience)
  • change font
  • change font size
  • define an external margin (a blank border) around the edge of the page
Between these, you'll probably find a way to get an appearance that works for you
 

wheresmybeaver

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2008
244
22
Yep, I spent 30 mins at the O2 shop yesterday, getting fingermarks on the screen of an HTC HD7 and checking that Freda works OK on a real phone. Conclusion: it's usable, but there are a few niggles. I'll be pushing out a new release in a few days to deal with them ...

Fair dues, developing such a complex app without even having the phone!

I'm interested in particular in having an ereader that can read epub files from my own server, since we don't seem to be able to add epub or txt files to our WP7 devices just yet.

Thanks for all the hard work.
 

Jim Chapman

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2007
386
53
London
www.turnipsoft.co.uk
I'm interested in particular in having an ereader that can read epub files from my own server, since we don't seem to be able to add epub or txt files to our WP7 devices just yet.
The app knows how to work with any server that can produce an OPDS catalog, and I have tested it with Calibre (both using the Calibre Content Server and also the Calibre2Opds solution based on DropBox). There is one major ugliness: because of the brain-dead way that Microsoft have implemented (well 'not implemented') HTTP authentication, it only works if you set a blank password on your Calibre server. Not really an issue if you're using it on your own local wireless network, but not suitable for wider internet use.
I'm hoping Microsoft will roll out a patch for this in the Q1 release; if they don't, I can code proper authentication myself, but it will be a tedious job.
 

digitaldon37

Senior Member
Oct 19, 2007
231
1
Houston, TX
It's true - I admit it. Freda is off the marketplace at the moment.

There was a problem with the last update, and I have temporarily pulled it. It should be back in a couple of days.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Thanks! I tried to write a review and rate it from within the Zune software, wouldn't let me do that either. (used your web site link to find it that way) There seems to be a lot of recent additions of ereaders in the Marketplace. Freda still tops them though.
 

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  • 8
    I have ported the Windows Mobile 6.x program Freda to Windows Phone 7.

    The program is an Ebook reader for books in EPUB (DRM-free), HTML and TXT format.

    I've published a demo video.


    [UPDATE: See here http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=795753&page=15 for the latest version of the program.]
    3
    Beta-testing Freda ebook reader (version 2.6)

    I've got a new release (2.6) of Freda ready for beta-testing. I've just emailed my regular beta-testing team with a link - but if you're interested in testing the program (and you've not received an email from me in the last few minutes) please contact me and I will sign you up to the beta-testing group.

    The new version includes assorted new features, such as:

    • The main screen is now a panorama style display with a pretty background image (which you can turn off if it annoys you)
    • The bookshelf uses a metro-style virtualising list box (which means it can list all your books - I tested it up to 1000 books, and performance was still OK). If you sort by author or title, you'll get a jump-list view.
    • OPDS, SkyDrive and DropBox sources provide a 'get all' bulk download feature, that will let you download all the books shown on the current screen (or you can select only some of them if you prefer).
    • The book info display is a proper screen, and allows you to edit the book title and author if you want.
    • The main screen (now a panorama) includes a 'more' tab with shortcuts to popular options, and a 'feedback' screen.
    • The control panel on the book screen is reorganised (I added a 'go to' feature, and made the bookmark screen look more Metro-like)
    • The program now supports FB2 format as well (but doesn't yet handle embedded images)
    • The settings screen now includes a tab for controls - which shows you what areas on the book page have particular control actions associated with them, and lets you change these actions.
    • <CODE> and <PRE> content is now displayed in a fixed-width font (though not very prettily)
    • You can backup and restore your bookshelf and sources to your SkyDrive. This affects only the list of books and source definitions - it does not back up/restore settings, presets or bookmarks. It also doesn't do anything with the book files themselves (and actually, I doubt I will ever want to implement that because it might put Freda dangerously close to being a 'tool for content piracy').
    • Performance is generally somewhat faster.
    • Memory usage is lower, and if you want to ensure really low memory usage, there is a special 'low memory mode' setting that you can use to do that - mainly it works by turning off the background images in the UI, and by insisting on keeping more book data in (slow) IsoStore, rather than (faster) program memory. This mode gets set automatically if the program detects that it's running on a low-spec device.
    • If you have a book which uses <DIV> rather than <P> to mark paragraphs, the previous version of Freda would not understand this, and would not apply paragraph formatting (e.g. line breaks) correctly. There is now an advanced setting ('divs are paragraphs') that you can use to tell Freda to treat DIVs as if they were Ps.
    • SkyDrive credentials get remembered consistently (in the previous version, there were some situations where a user was being asked to re-authenticate every time they accessed SkyDrive).
    • Advertising is no longer shown on the bookshelf/sources page. Instead, it appears on an interstitial page that comes up the first time you open a book, and from time to time thereafter.
    • You can now set a password (it's in the settings screen) - and thereafter you will need to enter that password before the program will start.
    • The UI is translated into German and French. Anyone willing to translate any to other languages would earn my eternal gratitude ... also the opportunity to have your name on the credits screen, and the offer of a pint of beer.
    3
    Freda ereader for Windows Phone – new version 2.5

    Turnipsoft are pleased to announce the latest update to their free ebook reader program, Freda. As usual, a big vote of thanks to the Freda beta-testing team for all their help with this release.

    Freda is a free program for reading electronic books (ebooks) on Windows Phone. It reads EPUB (DRM-free), HTML and TXT format books. The program offers customisable controls, fonts and colours, plus annotations and bookmarks, and the ability to look up dictionary definitions and translations. Freda understands EPUB formatting information (such as bold/italic text, margins and alignment) and can display images and diagrams in books.

    You can download books from on-line catalogs like Feedbooks, Smashwords and the Gutenberg Project. Or if you have an existing book collection, you can use SkyDrive, DropBox or Calibre to share it with your phone. Freda can also download books from any website, using an in-application web-browser (which works even for sites – like O’Reilly – that require cookie-based authentication).

    You can download books and keep them on your phone, so you can carry on reading when you don't have network connectivity, and you can pin your favourite books to the Start page.

    Version 2.5 adds new features including:
    • Downloading books from SkyDrive
    • The ability to keep as many books as you want on your phone, and browse them by author, title etc.
    • Improved experience for browsing DropBox, and for downloading books
    • Assorted other UI and usability improvements

    For more details, head over to the developer’s web-site at http://www.turnipsoft.co.uk/freda , and to download the app, visit the Marketplace .
    1
    Hopefully the new version (when it actually works) will be even better. It features:
    - capability to download from any web-site, using an in-application browser
    - Digest Authentication (which is to say, it will now work with a Calibre setup that does use passwords)
    - Downloading books from DropBox (either public or private folders) [to be precise, this won't start working until Freda completes DropBox's application approval process]

    Performance is, I am sorry to say, still rather slower than I would like. Sigh.
    1
    I don't know how difficult it would be for you to do, but I like how "ezReader" goes chapter to chapter with a side swipe.
    Interesting idea. I'll look into it.

    I haven't seen anyone implement this yet - but it seems like it would be possible. I'd like to see the ability to upload to dropbox; that way I could upload while reading and pick up where I left off on another device. I'm assuming that the bookmark/last page read info can be saved back into the epub.
    Hmmm. The idea of writing back to the epub file is, for Freda at least, a bit of a non-starter. There is a lot of structure and information inside an EPUB file, and Freda throws away some of that information when it loads the book, because it relates to features that Freda cannot process. But having thrown away the content, Freda isn't able to easily regenerate the original content (and then insert some custom entities to keep track of the last page read). I could work round this, but it wouldn't be simple, and it would carry the risk that Freda might corrupt your EPUB (or at least, might mess with its content in some way that didn't matter to Freda, but caused problems for your other reader program). In any case, there is, as far as I am aware, no standard way of recording bookmarks/last-read-indicators in an EPUB file, so even if I came up with a way for Freda to record last-page-read, there is no guarantee that it would be compatible with the scheme used by some other reader program.

    I'll have a think about it though, because the requirement 'I want to keep my bookmarks file on DropBox' does seem to be something worth implementing.
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