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Media365 stole my ebooks

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by simpler, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. simpler

    simpler Member
    Thread Starter

    Well, not really stole, but blocked access to them so I can no longer read them.

    A few years ago I downloaded Universal Book Reader for my public-domain and Creative Commons ebooks, and for ebooks from maverick publishers like O'Reilly. Then I bought the full-version key to get rid of the ads. That suited me well for years, and I was very happy with it, even tho it would not let me name my own bookmarks.

    Then UBR changed its name to Media365, and my troubles began. I noticed ads on my library shelf (tho not in the books themselves), and I thought, why am I seeing ads - don't I have the full version? So I opened the app through the full-version key. Same result - ads in the app.

    Now I was getting mad, because I paid money to read without ads, and the app was taking away what I'd paid for. So I went to the Play Store. Lots of angry comments and one-star ratings from users who'd had the ad-free experience suddenly taken away from them. All Media365 said in reply was that they have to run ads in the free version in order to cover the cost of development - why don't you just click the icons? Well I had, and it didn't work. So I did what had worked in Kobo and Pocket - I uninstalled and reinstalled the apps, both free and full.

    The result of that was even worse than before. When I clicked Import Books, I did not get my books back, except for one. I got Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which I had downloaded before. I also got The Little Prince, which I had never downloaded. (It was really there, and readable.)

    The last book I'd opened in Media365 was neither Alice or The Little Prince, but one of the over 100 books that Media365 wouldn't restore to me.

    Full disclosure: The ebook files are on my SD card rather than on my device. Is there any way to get sround this?

    How can I get my ebooks back?
     


    #1 simpler, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    If the eBook files are on your SD card then any app can read them. So scrap this piece of junk, write off the money you paid and install a different reader. I've long used Moon+ without problems, and that handles many (but not all) formats. I've more recently been trying Lithium for epub (I use Calibre on my laptop to make epub copies of all of my ebooks anyway, so an epub only reader works for me).

    I'm assuming here that they are in a standard format rather than something specific to this reader and aren't DRM locked to specific apps (which public domain/creative commons books should not be), and that this app hasn't done something evil like encrypted files so no other app can read them. DRM can be dealt with (legality may depend on jurisdiction).
     
    chanchan05 and Unforgiven like this.
  3. simpler

    simpler Member
    Thread Starter

    Yes, they're all DRM-free. For DRM'd ebooks I have Kindle and Kobo. Does Google prevent importing from the SD card?

    I'm between full-size computers so I can't use Calibre.

    Are there any good ad-free reading apps, either "as is" or through an additional purchase? Because this whole fiasco came about through my attempt to get rid of ads.
     
  4. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    No, nothing stops you importing books from the SD card. In fact the SD card's main purpose in Android is media storage (the OS is not really designed for storing apps there).

    The Lithium app I mentioned is ad-free even in its free version. It has a paid add-on to unlock some theming features and sync of reading positions and similar (not the books themselves) between devices. Moon+ (the other one I named) contains ads in the free version, has a paid version without. There are many others, but those are the only 2 I've used in the last couple of years and so the only ones I can comment on currently.
     
    chanchan05, Dannydet and Unforgiven like this.
  5. simpler

    simpler Member
    Thread Starter

    OK, I have my list of ad-free epub reading apps. Now I'm emailing the developers, one by one, to ask whether the apps can be moved to the SD card of a Samsung Galaxy S5. The SD card is where the storage space is.

    One thing that beats me is how an app can go from good to useless - overnight! There was no period of slow decline.

    ETA:Just read more of what Media365 is telling its readers. Ad-free reading is no longer part of what premium readers get. As they tell it, they serve the interest of authors, period. Not dead authors in the public domain, not CC authors, but up-and-coming authors who want to support themselves by writing. They don't want readers who don't want to see ads.

    Media365 is no longer UBR. The name change is truth in marketing. Fine. Let those bright young authors write for each other. Meanwhile, I'm shopping for a new reading app. Know any ad-free epub readers that can be moved to an SD card?
     
    #5 simpler, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  6. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    I think Hadron gave you one that's free
     
  7. simpler

    simpler Member
    Thread Starter

    I asked the developers of both Lithium and Moon+ - the ones that Hadron recommended so I asked about them first - whether the apps are movable. Now I'm waiting for the answers.

    Hadron, do you know if they're movable?

    Meanwhile I can uninstall Media365 for good :)
     
  8. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    I use Bookari (previously Mantano Reader) for years. I have the premium version, and I just tried moving it to SD card and it does.
     
    Dannydet likes this.
  9. simpler

    simpler Member
    Thread Starter

    Thank you, chanchan05. I'll look for Bookari.
     
  10. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    Also, I think the issue occurred when UBR got sold off. It used to be developed by Mobisystems (makers of Aquamail and OfficSuite, owns the license for distributing Oxford Dictionary for Android), but now in Play Store, the listed developer has changed and if you google UBR Mobisystems, you find the link to the Mobisystems website but it ends in a page not found error.
     
    simpler likes this.
  11. simpler

    simpler Member
    Thread Starter

    Well, that explains why the app went in a whole different direction.
     
  12. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    No, I don't know whether this apps can be moved to SD. I'm using a Pixel so don't have that option. But you don't need to move an app to SD to read media from it.

    If moving apps to SD is important then the quickest way to find out is to download, see whether it has the option, remove if not. Remember that moving to SD only moves part of the app and none of the app's data, so the saving will be perhaps half of the size of the app when installed. Hence a larger app that can be moved can still use more space than a smaller one which cannot.
     
    Dannydet likes this.
  13. simpler

    simpler Member
    Thread Starter

    I'm learning a lot from reading the reviews on different reading apps at the Play Store. If ads are a deal breaker, inability to read the SD card is another. Most reading apps can but some can't. When UBR became Media365 it apparently lost that ability.

    Just got a query from Media365 support. Doesn't matter because I'm through with that app anyway.
     
  14. simpler

    simpler Member
    Thread Starter

    Just got some emails - Moon+ has to stay on the device but it can see files on the SD card.
     
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