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Voluminous finds free, public-domain books on the Internet, downloads them, formats them for easier reading, and manages the collection. Offering more than 20,000 books from the outset, including many famous plays, novels, poetry and reference works, new titles are added to the catalogue regularly. Voluminous also includes a variety of ways to pick out the titles you want: search by title or author instantly, or browse the topic catalogue, based on the Library of Congress classification scheme.

What's New

Version 1.0.7:
  • Snow Leopard compatibility update.


Mac OS X 10.5 or later

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Voluminous User Discussion

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Paolopavia Member IconReview+0

Unfortunately, this product is now discontinued.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.0.7
//idn Member IconComment+14

A great piece of software. However, it would be significantly better if it was able to export the Gutenberg text into the epub format, cleaning it up and formatting it nicely, so it could be read on a mobile reader like the Sony PRS-505.

I'd buy this instantly. For the time being I stay clear.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.0.6
thebrix Member IconReview+8

Back after a month or so of using it. It is still the best ebook reader I have used (and I have used a few, both on PDAs/smartphones and on desktops) because the authors have taken a great deal of effort to present books clearly. I was surprised, on briefly using an Amazon Kindle, to find out that Gutenberg texts are presented as they are input, with no attempt to clean them up.

The previous commentator is misguided because there is a big distance from a raw ASCII file downloaded from Project Gutenberg's Web site to something which is reasonably pleasant to read on-screen; all texts contain lengthy doses of boilerplate legal and licensing information and, especially with older text, hard formatting (chapter headings, page headings, page numbers, tables of contents etc.) which takes no account of the actual screen size and looks dreadful on anything not 80x24 (?) characters. As well as the hyphenation bug noted earlier ...

I mark Voluminous down slightly because I still feel it is a bit expensive and because the new output to text file outputs the original Gutenberg text, not the parsed and cleaned text (which shows how untidy the raw text frequently is!) - a slight annoyance.

Now ... can we have an Apple ebook reader?

Reply1 reply
Version 1.0.3
Wooji Juice (Developer)

Just a quick note to let you know, version 1.0.4 gives you the choice of "unprocessed" text (same as 1.0.3) or processed (converting the Voluminous version back to plain text). Hope that helps!

uncoy Member IconReview+195

Unbelievable direct ripoff of Project Gutenberg. All these books are easily available in text, doc and pdf format here: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

It's clowns like this who give Mac shareware a bad name. Turning freeware volunteer labour into payware for the naive.

Reply6 replies
Version 1.0

I partly follow Project Gutenberg's recently updated RSS feed. I rarely use it though as if I go to any of the pages I get a whole load of info that is overkill to my needs and a series of mirror links to get varying formats of the book. These links, at least in my experience, often fail. The point I'm making is that it's not as simple as you suggest and the point of this software (from my reading on its site) is to help you MANAGE your books.

Your argument against it is a bit like saying that our local public library provides books for free, therefore no-one should profit from selling the backpacks or bookshelves that are used to manage those books. In other words you are comparing apples and oranges.

Another example: There are millions of people who earn a living developing web applications using open-source software developed by volunteers. Is that wrong too?

Ironically, I've never used this software, but even a quick look over its website shows how unnecessary and poorly considered your point was.


No, but the marketing for Voluminous is deceptive (they don't tell you very clearly where the books are coming from).

Frankly, I don't see the value added in Voluminous. Project Gutenberg has perfectly decent search and perfectly decent display options (.txt, .doc, .pdf).

Voluminous more like someone coming along and trying to charge you for the right to breathe.

Can you say no value added?


>they don't tell you very clearly where the books are coming from).

Now I'm confused. Surely the following descriptions on this site make it quite clear that the books are "public domain":

"Find/download free public-domain books online."

"Voluminous finds free, public-domain books on the Internet, downloads them, formats them for easier reading, and manages the collection."

...not to mention the FAQ on their own site. Even the product by-line "Internet Librarian for Mac OS X 10.5" makes it clear that this isn't selling you the books themselves.

> Voluminous more like someone coming along and trying to charge you for the right to breathe.

Clearly you're just beginning to troll now. If that logic applies to this product, then does it apply to a product like OmniWeb which dares to charge for browsing the "public domain"?


> Frankly, I don't see the value added in Voluminous.

I think that was all you needed to say in the first place.


Hey Nick,

You know what Voluminous needed to do to enable people to enjoy Project Gutenberg on their computers?

Put up this list of links:

Top 100 Ebooks
Recent books
Offline Catalogue
Bookshelf by Category

If Voluminous were freeware with donations going to Project Gutenberg, it would be a nice contribution.

Right now, it's straight parasiteware.

For those of us who had to put up with Nick and I this far, here's a bonus:

The University of Adelaide's Collection of Ebooks, even better presented than Project Gutenberg. If you've got extra cash to spare, donate to either Gutenberg or the University of Adelaide. Those are the guys bringing the books to you, not these crooks.


> For those of us who had to put up with Nick and I this far

Ha ha, yes I can see we could be at this for a while so I'll sign off reiterating that I don't think this developer is doing anything wrong providing a service that makes accessing public domain content easier. There are many many cases of people making a living in similar ways.

That said, I think it's time for the developer(s) to defend themselves as I'm not even a user!



One important point is being missed:

I for one cannot use Voluminous.
Tiger users and earlier are apparently being ignored.
Don't blame me, blame Apple for their Leopard problems and restrictions.

Project Gutenberg as-is works on almost *any* system!

AFAICT there is no reason to shut us out like this.
Please stop doing that, all you Leopard-only developers!

thebrix Member IconComment+8

Very slick - simple but powerful interface with Spotlight-like searches for anything and with a lot of nice touches (for example, resize the window and the book text resizes accordingly), and the full screen view is particularly good; I am also impressed by the inbuilt styles, which are clear and effective without distracting effects or bright colours.

The application automatically putting books into Library of Congress categories is very helpful when trying to find things, although it is a pity that about 40% of the Gutenberg catalogue appears not to be classified at the moment.

The only minor problem I have come across at the moment is that hyphenation is not removed or redone - I see text such as "bor- rowed" and "news- papers" in the book I am reading. However, having tried to do this sort of thing in the past, I know how hard it is to knock glitches out of Gutenberg text, and the authors have done an excellent job for v1.0.

Some might think that the application is a bit expensive (£15/$30) for what it does, but there is a lot going on under the bonnet and I will be buying it soon.

Reply1 reply
Version 1.0
Wooji Juice (Developer)

Thanks for your support, thebrix! One of our customers (perhaps it was you?) emailed us about the hyphenation issue, and I'm pleased to say that version 1.0.2 fixes it, amongst other improvements we've made.

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Current Version (1.x)


Downloads 5,410
Version Downloads 1,846
License Shareware
Date 31 Aug 2009
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price $29.95
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