make kobo and nook play nice without ade!
January 5, 2013 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Help me read Kobo eBooks on a Nook Tablet. Snowflake problem: Ubuntu.

I'm actually posting on behalf of a customer in my bookstore, but being our store's go-to tech support person, I'm interested in knowing how we can work around this issue.

She wants to buy Kobo eBooks, since they're our provider and she wants to support our bookstore. She recently purchased a Nook Tablet and does not want to buy another device. Her home computer is running Ubuntu.

Normally one would just install Adobe Digital Editions on a Mac/PC and use that to transfer files to the Nook, but ADE is not available for Ubuntu. I explained how WINE works, but it didn't seem like an ideal solution.

Also, there isn't a Kobo app available for the Nook like there is for Android/iPad etc., so there is no way to open eBooks directly on the Nook if they are Adobe DRM files.

And the Kobo and B&N phone support people were about as helpful as you'd expect them to be.

tl;dr Help us find a way to open Kobo eBooks on a Nook Tablet without the use of Adobe Digital Editions.
posted by wintersonata9 to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd look into rooting the tablet, then installing Kobo from there.
posted by jeather at 3:24 PM on January 5, 2013

As I recall, getting ADE working under WINE in Ubuntu was about as simple as it is under Windows. Open Synaptic or the software center or whatever Ubuntu calls it these days, install WINE. Download the ADE installer for Windows, double-click it, and go from there. It even put an icon on the desktop, I think. I've got a fresh Ubuntu 12.10 VM here; I'll give it a try and see if it's how I remember.
posted by hades at 3:31 PM on January 5, 2013

(And, honestly, my answer for anything to do with ebooks is usually "Install Calibre and this set of DRM-breaking plugins so you can put any book from anywhere on any device", but if she's resistant to Wine and ADE, I doubt Calibre's gonna fly.)
posted by hades at 3:35 PM on January 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

Calibre is the answer, but it won't strip DRM from the files by default; she'll have to install plugins for that. Once those plugins are installed, Calibre will convert the ebook files to whatever format she likes and transfer them to her Nook without much hassle.

For further info, MobileRead's a good source.
posted by asperity at 5:29 PM on January 5, 2013

Oh -- actually, I'm not sure she'll be able to download the files at all without ADE or software that incorporates the ADE stuff in itself (Sony's reader software does this). So Calibre will handle the conversion, but not the initial download of the file -- for that, she's going to need ADE.
posted by asperity at 5:31 PM on January 5, 2013

Easiest thing might just be for her to follow these instructions.
posted by asperity at 5:40 PM on January 5, 2013

Yeah, installing Wine under Ubuntu is a matter of launching the Software Center, finding the "Wine Windows Program Loader", and installing it.

Once Wine is installed, download ADE version 1.7.2 from this page (NB: using this version is important; ADE 2.0, which is the one available from the main ADE download page, does not work under Wine, as far as I can tell.)

Once the installer is downloaded, double-clicking on it should launch the installer as if you were running Windows, and places an ADE icon on the desktop. Double-clicking on that launches ADE, which you can use to open the .acsm files from Kobo and load the books onto the Nook.

So, yeah. I know the question is how to do it without using ADE, but I think the answer really is "just use ADE; it's simple". I installed Wine and ADE on a fresh Ubuntu install just now, and it took about ten minutes.
posted by hades at 5:51 PM on January 5, 2013

Asperity makes a good point -- the file she can download from Kobo isn't the book itself. It's a file that ADE uses to download the real file. She can't not use ADE. That's the way you download Adobe epub books, regardless of what you're going to read them with. My standard Calibre advice is in addition to having ADE to download the books initially.
posted by hades at 6:05 PM on January 5, 2013

Thanks, all. I should have mentioned that she isn't the most tech-savvy person (I think it was her husband that installed Ubuntu on their computers) so Calibre and WINE are beyond her, and that she was really just looking for a way to open the books directly from her Nook Tablet. All of y'all's good advice really confirms what we already know: that this is an impossible wish.

However, it is helpful for me should I receive future questions of this nature! :)
posted by wintersonata9 at 7:26 PM on January 5, 2013

Perhaps her husband can set the system for her, combining ADE and Calibre+plugins, as that is the only way that I know of to do this. Once it is set up, it is very easy to run.

The only other option is for her to restrict her Kobo-books purchases to books without DRM -- there are some publishers who have actively chosen to sell books through Kobo without DRM, and these can be downloaded directly from the Kobo webpage as an epub file. But, obviously, this is a restricted catalogue - though luckily for SF&F fans, all of the Tor books are now DRM-free.
posted by jb at 9:08 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh - I just noticed that she has a Nook tablet (as opposed to the ereader). Is it Android based? Can she get the Kobo reading app? If the Nook Tablet allows you to install Kobo app, then she should be able to read all of her Kobo books (and it will sync more easily).
posted by jb at 9:10 AM on January 7, 2013

Sorry - just re-read and realised no app. Please disregard.
posted by jb at 9:11 AM on January 7, 2013

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