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Using your iPod for reading ebooks

[UPDATE: See TextWedge File Splitter for an easy-to-use solution for splitting text files for your iPod.]

I recently got an iPod Classic, and I hoped it would make a good ebook reader to replace my very excellent but dying Palm Tungsten. Well, it turns out it isn’t; there are no reading features important to obsessive ebook fans: no automatic scrolling, no screen reverse (black background, white text for nice relaxing nighttime reading), no bookmarking and no support for multiple file formats – only text (this is almost as frustrating as its lack of support for AVI video files!). But worst of all, text files have a size limit: 4 KB!! You can load any size text file on your iPod, but when you view it, it will truncate it and show you only 4 KB worth!!

Not to be outdone by my iPod, I was determined to find some workarounds. I wasn’t able to find portable (i.e. no install) software solutions yet, but if anyone knows of any, please let me know!

iPod library (Windows) takes care of managing your ebooks: you can convert from PDF, HTML, TXT, LIT into split-up text files that resepct the size limit and you can use it to add and remove ebooks (although this is just as easily done using Windows Explorer and going to your Notes directory on your iPod).

There is also an online solution at eBook Hood for converting (that is, splitting up your document into smaller text files) your text, RTF, HTML and RSS feeds.

If your MP3 player (non-iPod or iPod) displays photos but not text, you can download this utility called eBook to Images (Windows). This software turns your books into graphic files.

Finally, you can head over to http://ebookhood.com/catalog to download free, ready-to-go books for your iPod.

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