Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Comparing Calibre vs Instapaper mobi (Kindle books) conversion capabilities

I've been using Instapaper for a while now and the only thing that has kept me from subscribing is the poor quality of the conversions to mobi, which is the main usage I've given the site.

Generally speaking pictures are a no show on any converted to mobi website by Instapaper, there are formatting issues too, but until very recently this had not been a major problem, as it was pretty much the only game in town, but then I learnt about Calibre's news feature and after giving it a try, I've not really used Instapaper anymore. Admittedly I have had to write an application to use the news feature in Calibre in a similar way to Instapaper, but there you go.

Here's a side by side comparison of conversions from Calibre (left) and Instapaper(right):

As mentioned above, the first image of the article is missing, this is not a major issue, however all the code samples are images and thus do not appear on Instapaper's conversion, which makes the conversion next to useless in this particular example.

There is hardly any difference here between the two, I still like the Calibre conversion better as it's removed some of the useless links at the top.

Again, Calibre's conversion is a lot neater, the first page hardly contains any content in Instapaper's conversion. Plus the "twitter" text is not separated from the main article, given the impression that it's part of the article.

The code in Calibre's conversion is a lot neater to read than it is in Instapaper's. This time Instapaper packs more content in, but since it's code we are talking about, this is probably a bad idea, as it impacts negatively in the readability of it.

Instapaper beats Calibre in convenience, all one needs to do is have a bookmark on one's browser's toolbar and clicking on it will send the page to be stored in Instapaper's servers ready for conversion at a later time.

I realize that it's taken me a while to write this post and Instapaper might have got better in the meantime. 

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