BookPort and Linux

T. Joseph CARTER knghtbrd at
Fri Apr 28 08:05:47 UTC 2006

Sam, I have to say, your message wasn't much help.  The point is that FOR
WINDOWS there is a nifty set of software for this device called a BookPort
which has 18 buttons, a USB port, a headphone jack, and a CompactFlash
slot.  It reads books, it plays mp3, and it handles DAISY 2 and 3.

The software FOR WINDOWS lets you send random files to the BookPort from
context menus and whatnot.  It has a directory where you can drop any file
you want copied over.  One of the things the software will do is analyze
audibook mp3 files and create navigation bookmarks which map to next
sentance, next paragraph, and next chapter.  It does this by length of the
pauses between words.

The software, again, FOR WINDOWS, supports more file formats than the
hardware device does.  Exactly which formats are really supported and
which ones are conversions from other formats, I can't really tell you.
I can't really tell you how it indexes mp3 files so you can go back and
forth quickly either.  And probably I'll never be able to tell you how it
does DRM encrypted books from certain audiobook producers.

Now, I assume that probably about half of its functionality is available
under Linux.  The other half would have to be written.  I need to be clear
here: I do NOT know that this thing is anything but a paperweight under
Linux.  It may do nothing.  It may cause your hard drive to spin backwards
or change your language settings to Ancient Egyptian.  Probably though, it
shows up as a USB Mass Storage device.  Either way, it costs US$400, so I
am not inclined to buy one if I can't use it.

rsync doesn't even begin to enter the equation until someone who's got one
reports what the thing does when you plug it in to a Linux box via USB.
Presumably someone has done this.  I'm looking for that person.

On Fri, Apr 28, 2006 at 09:24:18AM +0200, Samuel Thibault wrote:
> T. Joseph CARTER, le Thu 27 Apr 2006 20:59:58 -0700, a écrit :
> > I'm considering getting myself a BookPort.  Generally, my understanding is
> > that under Linux, a BookPort would show up as a basic USB Mass Storage
> > device similarly to the way the iPod works, but special software under
> > Windows does extra stuff like synchronizing files, indexing mp3s, and
> > whatnot.
> And linux has such tools for any device, even remotely mounted
> nfs/smb/ftp/whatever shares.
> synchronizing files: rsync or unison.
> indexing mp3s: I don't know any existing software, but this should be
> relatively easy to develop (a friend of mine considered this at some
> time).
> >  If I get one of these things, I will probably want a set of
> > tools for manipulating the content of the BookPort to whatever degree bash
> > isn't suitablein a UNIX-based OS, either Linux or MacOS X, probably both.
> Bash alone, indeed. But bash with the abovementioned additional tools,
> yes.
> > I'm guessing RFB&D and are right out, for the time being.
> As I don't know what these are, I can't say.
> > Everything else (Word document, RTF, mp3, unencrypted DAISY, etc)
> > should probably work fine--or does it?
> Word, RTF and mp3 are no issue. There is a Daisy reader, I don't know
> whether it is finished.

"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act,
but a habit."
	-- Aristotle

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