Calibre is the Swiss Army Knife of eBook management apps. The free and open source application, which is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, makes it easy to store, sort and search your collection of eBooks, read them on a PC, send them to your eReader, download content from the web, and much, much more.

Version 6.0 of Calibre is now available, and it adds a couple of new features that make the utility even more useful.

One of those new features is support for Full Text Search, which is an optional feature that allows you to index the full text of books in your library, allowing you to search for words. Once your books are indexed, searching for a word or phrase can bring up results from all the books in your library.

Calibre 6.0 Full Text Search

Another new feature is a Read aloud button in the eBook viewer. Just open a book, hit the button, and Calibre will use the default text-to-speech engine for your operating system to read text aloud, starting on the current page. There are also turtle and hair icons you can use to speed up or slow down the speed, and a settings button that allows you to change voices or other options.

Calibre 6.0 Read Aloud

There’s also support for a new calibre:// URL scheme that allows you to click a URL to perform certain actions such as opening books or libraries, searching for books, or even opening a book at a specific position.

Calibre’s developer has also added support for new CPU architectures (and dropped support for some older ones). There’s now support for Apple Silicon, which means Calibre can run natively on Macs with M1 or M2 series processors, with no need for Rosetta translation. And there’s now support for Linux PCs with ARM-based chips, which means Calibre could work with computers like the Raspberry Pi 4 or PineBook Pro.

Calibre is dropping support for 32-bit processors with the latest build though, because it’s built using the Qt 6 framework, which has already stopped supporting 32-bit chips. So if you’re running Calibre on a very old computer without 64-bit support, you might want to stick with an older version of the software.

The move to Qt 6 also means that some third-party Calibre plugins may also fail to work if they haven’t been updated, but the developer says “most” plugins have already made the transition.

via TuxMachines and 9to5Linux

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  1. Built-in free text-to-speech. Uh-oh bring on the Lawyers from Audible and the Association of American Publishers. Audio books are a golden CASH COW empowered by DRM. Have you seen the astronomical prices of an audio book on Audible these days? And don’t think just buying the audio book is the end of it, actually the book is just a hook used to reel you into a subscription service. The last time I bounced off of Audible I had to take a shower before I felt clean again.

    I like Calibre, I just hope they don’t harm themselves by treading into the shark infested cesspool that is the business of audio books today.

    1. Okay, just because something vaguely resembles something that’s forbidden doesn’t actually mean it’s forbidden. Audiobook DRM I would imagine works by encrypting the data so that only people who signed in as the person who bought access to it can listen to it. But they don’t HAVE to use DRM to forbid you from copying the audio (in fact it’s totally pointless, you just have to plug a recording device into your headphone jack, and boom, encryption broken), what really forbids making copies is the contract and copyright law.
      And with audiobooks, the thing you’re not supposed to copy is the specific audio track, which was read aloud by a specific person, who added their own inflections, intonations, and manner of speaking to the text.
      If it’s just text on a page, having the computer run OCR and then running the results through TTS is not a copyright violation. You have the copy of the text which you are allowed to have, you’re just consuming the content using a different method that any computer could do.