Lifestyle and Emerging Technology In Plain English

How to easily convert almost any eBook to open ePub format

My iPod Touch is also my eBook reader. I use the Stanza app (recently upgraded), and the Stanza desktop application to get pdf and other formats into my iPod Touch. But Stanza can’t read all formats, and occasionally an imported file will not display correctly — the layout gets messed up.

This is where 2epub.com comes in. This online eBook converter will take up to 5 eBooks of various formats (doc, epub, fb2, html, lit, lrf, mobi, odt, pdb, pdf, prc, rtf, txt) and convert them to ePub (or fb2, lit, lrf, mobi) format.

Then it’s a simple matter to share the file with Stanza, and send it to my iPod Touch.

I’ve only converted a couple of titles so far, but the output files have worked like a charm.

2ePub is a very cool and sophisticated application, utilizing a few ‘hidden’ backend applications — according to the developers:

2EPUB relies on various open source software, including Calibre, OpenOffice, AbiWord, Unoconv and pdftohtml.
2EPUB can convert only those documents that were, intentionally or not, made suitable for automatic conversion.
So now, when I get a new eBook (in whatever format) I’ll be running it through 2ePub first, to clean it up and make it more sharable with my variety of hardware platforms
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8 Responses to How to easily convert almost any eBook to open ePub format

  1. Another program I have found that works very well with the Stanza iPhone/Touch app, and also does a good job converting other formats to ePub, is calibre. I haven’t tried 2ePub, so I can’t say which program is better, but I would be curious to see a review of the two compared!

    • Thanks! I’ll look into Calibre soon, esp. from the eBook management perspective which, from reading the calibre faq, seems more sophisticated 😉 Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Hi Brad ,
    I am thinking of purchasing an eBook reader and so far I like Kindle WiFi at $139.00 and Kobo at $149.00.
    Question: With either reader can I download books from any where or am I locked into Amazon or Barnes Noble?
    How about sharing reading to voice?
    Can I listen to music downloads with ear-buds?
    Finally I would welcome your comments.

    • Hi Kate,

      Great question! I’m not sure of the details regarding B&N ebooks (for the Nook), but for Amazon and Chapters / Indigo (they carry the Kobo in Canada) you are tied to buying books through their online store, or buying un-encrypted ePub format books from online retailers.

      I believe all eReaders will read unlocked PDF and ePub books, but if you buy a locked eBook from Amazon for your 2yr old Kindle (for example), and want to put it on your new B&N Nook, then you’ll have to get it unlocked — and there are a few programs and sites with details on how to do that…a bit too technical for this comment response 🙂

      Unfortunately most new books are sold locked. I guess the authors, publishers and distributors don’t really want you changing devices.

      re: Voice (audiobooks) The Kobo won’t read to you. Not sure about the Nook or new Kindle. If they play music, I assume they’d be able to read audiobooks.
      re: Music, I believe you have to manually copy the music to the device, not stream it from the internet or a server. Kobo doesn’t support Audiobooks

  3. Just a clarification of your last comment about being locked into stores:
    – with the Kindle you are basically locked into Amazon (unless you do things like break DRM and convert formats) since they use a proprietary format.
    – the Kobo does not lock you to a particular store; pretty much any ePub can be read on it (with a few exceptions like B&N ebooks). Kobo is also supported by Borders and a few other chains in other countries as well as Chapters/Indigo.
    – the B&N Nook also uses ePub, but with special DRM that doesn’t allow B&N books to be read on other readers.

  4. Thanks for the clarification Ash! I tried a few Chapters/Indigo books, and had no luck converting them, but it may be that I was testing with books that were ‘exceptions’. I’m looking forward to trying it again this holiday season as I’m expecting I’ll be picking up a few more ebooks 🙂

  5. I used the 2 ePUB application to convert some older PDB (palm) files but teh application is restricted to 250mb – is there a way to convert larger files (say 500mb)?

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