Nov 3, 2006

iPod: e- and guidebooks

Apple iPodWhen I travelled to Goa recently, I felt the urge to carry my fairly bulky Lonely Planet India guidebook. Short of ripping out the section on Goa (there's an idea), I had no option. I also happen to own a bunch of Outlook Traveller guides. Which are printed on art paper, and are really, really heavy (d-uh!). So what to do?

Compulsive-obsessive behaviour ensured that I'd done loads of research about the place. I had in fact, copy-pasted a 39 K text file (I kid you not) which history, places to see, places to eat etc. The question was how to carry this info. That is when I found this site.

If you don't want to read his fairly long version, here's what you do. Go to this site ( and upload your text file. Also type in a name (if you type in book, the split file will be book--1 and so forth, I think.

After a moment's delay, you'll get a link to download a zip file. This file will have a whole bunch of serialised text files which contain xml/xhtml (I'm not a techie) that link up to each other in sequence.

Copy all the files into your iPod's notes folder (I think you're supposed to exit iTunes before you use your iPod as a hard disk) and you're done. While travelling, now you can access your full guide book without any weight penalty.

In actual use, I found this quite handy and perhaps the only irritant is having to scroll backwards to exit the guidebook. As in, if you're on page 40 of the guidebook, you will have go backwards (all the way to page 1) to exit it. Music will play in the background, but you can't adjust volume etc while reading. Since the backlight remains on while you read and the hard disk spins up when you change pages, the iPod does consume a bit more battery than usual when you're reading.

This process also allows you to store ebooks on your iPod for reading. Same advantages and pitfalls apply.

I found that offers free guidebooks for many European cities.


Anonymous said...

thnx a lot for the tip....just a request....if u could also tell us how to convert those ripped movies to play on the ipod video, maybe some tool....and no, videora ain't working

rearset said...

What ripped movies?

From what I understand, Apple gives fairly easy to grasp movie specs, all you need to do if find a converter. I've never ripped movies, so can't help you. All the video I have on my pod are some video podcasts (mostly spanish lessons) and some short films that I happen to love.

nJ said...

well, i use a ripper, used to convert any vdo file into da ipod compatible vdo file(h.264 or mpeg4). i use a software called Xillisoft Ipod Video Converter. its a trial version, u can use it, and if u dont mind, u`ll easily get a crack for it. it works well for me.