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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Web App Makes Mobile Fanfic Even Easier

So I have detailed post on How to Read Fanfic On Your Mobile about how to use the Fanfiction Downloader program on your PC or Mac to create a mobi file which can then be read on multiple ebook readers including the Stanza for iPhone.

Well, there is a faster way around all of this which I have been neglecting to tell you about.

You know how it's annoying that with the old way you had to make them on your desktop and then transfer the files to your phone? This new way can make them online and then your iPhone can go and get them from the web.

The same guy who wrote the Fanfiction Downloader software also Thank God Roman Kirillov created a web program where you can use Fanfiction Downloader online and it will store your converted story files online for you automatically IF you give them your Gmail account info.

That is the kicker.

My husband (Mr. TC as you know him from my regular blog Twilight, Travel, and Treats) is an ex-hacker turned good so to speak. He is super paranoid about network security and spends his whole work life trying to prevent people from getting hacked. The idea of me giving my Gmail account info to anybody is appalling. Thus until now I had ignored the whole web app and just continued doing it offline on my laptop.

However, I was convinced to give it a go after Alison, owner of Twifans, told me that this is her go-to method for fanfiction on her iPhone. It just felt wrong to not share and give you the option.

(Btw, Twifans is revamping their mobile site to make it even better so they are technically not as mobile friendly as before but I am leaving them up just because it makes me happy they are on the list.)

You can read more about the Fanfiction Downloader Web App and how it works from the creators post here. So, if you are okay with giving your Gmail account info to the Fanfiction Downloader Web App, go ahead and try it. I went ahead and did it and it was exceedingly easy and they store your fanfic for you. They say that your password is not given out by Gmail to anyone else but I don't know enough about it to tell you if that is trustable

If you have an iPhone you can get the stories sent straight to Stanza on the iPhone; no more having to put them on Stanza desktop and transfer them.

The Web App makes epub files which are quite universal but can't be read by certain ebook readers, like the Kindle without being converted. The desktop version gives you mobi files which are Kindle friendly. Both versions output text and html files.

If it's important for you to have a working Table of Contents where you can click on the chapters:

for iPhone - both the Web App or desktop Fanfiction Downloader will work. Stanza on iPhone seems to be able to read chapter markings on prc, mobi, and epub files.

for Desktop - I tried Kindle, Barnes & Noble ereader, Calibre, and Stanza desktop. None of them could give a workable Table of Contents. The table of contents could be seen on Stanza desktop but wasn't usable. The only winner? Mobipocket Reader was able to read prc and mobi files with clickable chapters. Note that it often crashed too. Sigh, nothing perfect so far.

Hope you find this helpful and thanks to Alison from Twifans for the push.


apotampkin said...

This is fantastic and I'm using it now... but what about when a fic is incomplete and gets a new chapter. Any easy way to add it?

twilightcupcake said...

No work around - that's the toughie. Good thing the app is so simple it takes only 2 clicks really to get it done again.

apotampkin said...

yeah that's what I thought... not a biggie, but it would be nice wouldn't it!

Roman Kirillov said...

Well in fact Fanfiction Downloader and the web app were written by different guys :) I did the web app and a back-end Python library and it has very little to do with the Fanfiction Downloader which is Windows-only.

twilightcupcake said...

Hi Roman

thanks for coming by. You are of course totally right and thank you for the correction. I will make changes to my post as soon as I'm back home from vacation to give you proper credit. Btw much thanks since I'm reading lots of fanfic on my iPhone on the trains and planes in Europe.