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MR650 reviewed on 01 Aug 2009
Calibre is updated so frequently that discussing many of the bugs on MU seems almost pointless.

calibre is excellent for managing and viewing ebooks in drm free formats. After converting my books to epub I ran the server...and had to remove the epubs before 1900 (y2k python)...then I ran it again and had access to almost all my books from stanza running on my iPhone. To me, this is almost the perfect management solution.

The overall complexity of the interface makes this application a bit of a task to learn, but I have been able to enjoy reading and converting so many books with calibre that I think it is worth the effort.

I'm surprised at many of the low reviews and the 3 star average. I haven't seen any competing applications that are noteworthy, so what should this be rated on? For me this application fulfills the roles of ebook library management, format conversion, serving my network, and feeding my iPhone. It is the best at what I need and I think it deserves a lot more stars than are being granted.

If you have problems running the application, follow the directions in the comments for this application regarding downloading a new version and running that from your application folder.

My main wish for this application right now is a bug reporting system in the interface. This is a winner, but it's pretty beta (I haven't lost any files and don't expect to).
[Version 0.6.4]

1 Reply


MR650 replied on 04 Aug 2009
...and 3 days later "Fix #3028 (Field "Published" below 1900 make catalog empty on iPhone)". This application is well worth checking out. If you haven't tried it for a few versions or even a week, then consider it a new experience. Kudos to the author for vigilant debugging while adding new features on a frequent basis.
MR650 commented on 24 Jul 2009
The link is to an early version of Handbrake Lite created when Handbrake was not under active development. It was made by the author of VisualHub (a sadly missed product), and predates that product. The current version of Handbrake with VLC installed is much better in speed and encoding quality.
[Version 1.1]

MR650 commented on 23 Jan 2009
It's good but....

After numerous paid upgrades without feeling resentment towards Bare Bones for separating me from my money, I am finally beginning to feel that BBEdit has entered the realm of Roxio and is slowly creeping toward Stuffitville.

The number one reason I would not recommend upgrading to this version is that suffers from a painfully slow launch time. Should Pages and Word open faster than BBEdit? Applications that would never live in my Dock are now edging out BBEdit based on initial and subsequent launch times. On a 2.53 MBP BBEdit takes about as much time to open as it takes to launch Open Office and start a new text document from the project gallery.

The startup speed is dreadful.

I think the delay is such an issue that the use of the term was forbidden in the preferences, so instead of determining the behavior of new windows on launch in a menu called 'startup', one has to choose 'Application' from the twenty-three (23) different preference groupings. If you thought things were getting complicated when the Philip Bar went away, take a quick look at the prefs and the number of menus items that run along the top of your screen when you open this application. It feels like a 3D application that has every function under the sun added to it without using any 'room' metaphors ( very cluttered).

Considering this is the same company that markets Yojimbo, I am perplexed by the lack of organization. Merging those applications would make the price a great value and solve the entire 'barely made it past OS 9' look.

There are a lot of cosmetic issues and performance problems that I could pick away at all day, but in the end BBEdit is an indispensable tool. If you do not own this product, then it is well worth evaluating. If you own a previous version consider holding off until there are substantial improvements.
[Version 9.1]

1 Reply


MR650 replied on 04 Feb 2009
Speed Issues in 9.1.1 with current updates seem to be much better than my first post. I did not notice anything in the release notes, but on a MacBook Pro 2.53 in either performance mode my startup times after initial launch are:

BBEdit 9.1.1: 3-4 sec.
Word 2008: 2-3 sec.

I did run a full Onyx cleaning on this system, which may account for some of the performance improvements. Previously, the launch time was about 10 times as long for BBEdit, but about the same for Word. So, if you have launch speed issues try doing 'irregular maintenance' and cache cleaning after applying all updates.

I always used BBEdit for text editing and never used TextEdit because the launch times of the previous versions of BBEdit were about the same as TextEdit (Instant). The fact that launching BBEdit and creating a new document was as quick as creating a new document in other running editors was one of the reasons I found the Application so compelling when it was bundled as an external editor with dreamweaver.

So, as far as speed is concerned I would say that there is a major improvement and it should not be considered a negative point if one is considering upgrading. That said, I would urge anybody thinking about making the purchase to try the demo ( ) before spending any money.

As far as preferences, cosmetic issues, and unnecessary complexity go; I still feel that there is a lot of work to be done in this area. Without a doubt, the lessons in Help and the information in the BBEdit manual will improve most people's productivity within the application and in general. If you do not know how to work with regular expressions, then take a look at lesson 7 of help or read chapter 8 of the user guide. The find and replace functions of BBEdit are stellar and should be experienced by anybody trying the demo and all owners.

As far as the upgrade system, Roxio adds some significant features to Toast that do cost money in licensing fees, but there is still a big Popcorn/Toast feature scam occurring IMHO. I paid 29.95 to upgrade to Toast 10 and would only do 'not at the show' specials or other upgrades. It makes sense to both search for coupon codes and get the smithmicro and sonic emails if you use a lot of applications and tend to have a list of future purchases. The upgrade price for Toast 10 Pro is ludicrous, and I would hold off on that (still, they are charging you money for essentially integrating streamripper X into toast). At least Sonic TRYS to make Toast look like a single version without 'pay to use' features like their PC offerings. The reason I said BBEdit had entered that realm was that the new features tend to cater to new users and the application has been great as is for a long time. That makes upgrading less useful to many, not all, current users and buying the application as a new user somewhat tempting.

Even in the demo, one might feel slightly overwhelmed at the menubar madness. This is really an application that needs practice and reading to make use exceptional and the UI functional for many.

As for the Stuffitville issue. Stuffit never really made it far past OS 9. BBEdit was right there for the transition and for that I feel Barebones deserves two thumbs up. I don't have any major use for magic menu and no desire to use any disk doubleresque features in a modern OS. There are some limited uses, but the main sales point of that application is use of a proprietary encoding process that the free expander will already open. Upgrades to Stuffit almost feel like robbery. When an application changes from a numbering system to an 'Application 2009', scheme it had better have very few releases (01, 04, 08 word style) or it just seems like the reason to buy it is to have the 'newest stuff'. Plus, it seems like Stuffit is coded with an emphasis on deprecated functions and a hope that an OS upgrade will break the application. That kind of planned obsolescence makes it a very questionable buy, as it practically becomes a subscription model.

All of the products mentioned underwent what appears to be some level of corporate control or dictation of function for the purpose of marketing. Gone are the Made with BBEdit badges from all over the Barebones website. If your product allows people to build websites, shouldn't you promote your own use of that product for your site? Do you really want support through a mailing list? It does show you that BBEdit has a loyal following and you will be able to get help quickly. Personally, I like it. It's a hold over. It feels like 'under new ownership' with an emphasis on appearing professional. Why? Roxio went there and overboard with the animations. Eye candy is not needed to sell a text editor.

I like BBEdit and I use it every day. I don't like the way the upgrades seem marketed to new users. I find the application indispensable and gladly pay my upgrade fee; not just to support the developers, but because I have felt that BBEdit was an application that had the potential to improve significantly and already met my needs.

I honestly feel that the sweet spot for BBEdit upgrades are 2 versions at a time (7-9) instead of every release, unless there is an amazing new feature that you want. For people who are new users or just looking at the reviews on macupdate I cannot stress enough that this is a great tool and the demo is well worth using. If you do not need the power features use textwrangler. Either is a gateway application.
MR650 commented on 05 Jan 2009
This should probably be two different product entries on MacUpdate because Toast Titanium 10 Pro is Toast Titanium 10, with additional application features that cover the 'plug-in required' areas of other versions and add more functionality.

Toast 10 = 3 or 4 versions past major changes (add popcorn, add jam, add animation, add HD, etc...not streamline or improve functionality of Toast as a standalone application).
Toast 10 Pro = Toast, Plus a bunch of individual applications (Also known as Roxio Creator + Toast Mac 2009 Edition).

Toast is a solid product, popcorn compression is decent, adding Jam to Toast made sense. Doing the shazam for iTunes music is good, but selling me streamripperX as a must have feature is a joke. There are two products in any Toast bundle: The Application Toast that at various points in time has had a lot of work done, and the auxiliary applications that people may or may not use (AKA Bloatware).

I do not feel that this version of Toast is worth upgrading to from 9. I really dislike the way Roxio/Sonic tends to bundle applications (even trial ware) and pretend they are a unified product.

If you can find a discount to take this below $30 or so, and you don't have a version of toast, popcorn, or jam, then it's probably worth it. Maybe even $50 FOR THE PRO VERSION. Otherwise, it's getting more and more stuffited.
[Version 10]

MR650 commented on 20 Dec 2008 allows my computer to sleep automatically according to the settings in the Energy Saver Preference Pane. The last version of MacFuse that I installed kept my machine and display on, regardless of power settings.

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