With the arrival of Liwen Guo, we now have a ticky box in Mobot’s, er, “back end” for Mobile Hacks. To be honest, I’m feeling a bit hard done by, as I’ve been petitioning for a “Ramblings of a Madman” option since day one. I feel I’ve earned it.
Actually, come to think of it, today’s feature isn’t particularly ranty or mental. Au contraire, it actually has some practical tips for reading comics on your Android phone.
EDIT: Having finished writing the feature, I’ve realised how remarkably easy the process is. However, I spent a good hour or two faffing around the other night, so hopefully this guide will save the odd person some time. “It’s easy when you know how.” Or something.
Yesterday I posted my review of Droid Comic Viewer and noted a rather gaping problem. Y’see, comics tend to come in either CBR (rar) or CBZ (zip) format, and Droid Comic Viewer doesn’t much like the former. Worse still, most of the comics I currently have on my laptop are CBR. Argh.
On my HTC Desire HD, Droid Comic Viewer will open CBR folders from the SD card, but after a couple of pages it inevitably throws up an “out of memory” error. As I mentioned in my review, this appears to have been a problem for some time.
Fortunately, it’s dead easy to convert the folders to a format that doesn’t make Droid Comic Viewer explode, namely plain old zip. Don’t ask me why that should make any difference; it’s not like I have a degree in Computing Science or anything. Ahem.
Anyway, here’s what I’ve been doing with my CBR folders. Oh, I’m using a MacBook Pro with OSX 10.6.8. If you’re a Windows fella, the process is a little more complicated. Head over to this thread on Android Forums for full instructions.
I use a program called Zipeg (free) to unpack stuff. For me, Zipeg is the default program for CBR and CBZ, so all I have to do is double click on the folder to bring it up. Easy.
Zipeg really couldn’t be any more straight forward to use. At this stage I simply click Extract and Zipeg puts the uncompressed folder (which contains a bunch of JPEGs) on my desktop.
Incidentally, with the JPEGs now available individually, this is ideal if you fancy using a particular page – or section of a page – as your background.
Now we want to zip the uncompressed folder. To zip folders with OSX, all you have to do is right click and choose “Compress <filename>”. Job done.
Now our (formerly) CBR folders are as good as CBZ, and ready for Droid Comic Viewer action.
To move the comics onto my HTC Desire HD, I connect via USB. My phone gives me the option to show the Micro SD card on my MacBook as a drive (as opposed to, say, simply charging via USB).
Finally – this is the hard bit – drag the zipped comics from the desktop onto the Micro SD card.
Somewhat confusingly, Droid Comic Viewer shows as ACV. Anyway! To open comics within Droid Comic Viewer, tap Menu > More > Open. Makes sense, huh?
The contents of the Micro SD card are shown in alphabetical order. Tap on your .zip file and – all going well – your comic should be available in its entirety, sans “out of memory” errors.
I’ve converted around half a dozen comics so far and had no problems whatsoever. Touch wood.
And that’s the end of that. Hit up the comments if you have any trouble.