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Tech: Putting song words on Kindle

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Tootler 20 May 12 - 04:07 PM
John MacKenzie 20 May 12 - 04:52 PM
Tootler 20 May 12 - 06:04 PM
Roger the Skiffler 21 May 12 - 05:59 AM
GUEST 21 May 12 - 06:30 AM
Will Fly 21 May 12 - 06:35 AM
Joe Offer 21 May 12 - 06:47 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 24 May 12 - 06:25 AM
Tootler 24 May 12 - 08:44 AM
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Subject: Tech: Putting song words on Kindle
From: Tootler
Date: 20 May 12 - 04:07 PM

There are various ways you can put songs on a Kindle, not all of them entirely satisfactory.

Probably the simplest way is to convert your song file to pdf. This works fine but you need to use a large font for it to be comfortably readable, I suggest at least 20 point and 24 point is better. PDF files are not readily scaleable on the Kindle itself, but if you are using a Kindle app for iPad or Android, you can scale them quite well so this method is probably OK in that case.

I have also tried using Amazon's own conversion service where you email your file in .doc format to Amazon and they convert it and send it to your Kindle. This is unsatisfactory as the layout gets lost and the song just comes back as prose.

There is an app called "Calibre" which will convert files on your PC. This is availabe for PC, Mac and Linux and can be downloaded from http://calibre-ebook.com/download. If you are a Linux user, you may well find you have it in your software repository.

As well as converting your files, Calibre will organise your eBooks so it is quite a useful app. You will need to set up your conversion as Calibre's default is ePub and for Kindle you need Mobi, but there is a preferences option where you can set it up.

Calibre will convert from a variety of formats and I have tried converting from MSWord, Rich Text (.rtf) and PDF. All worked but were not entirely satisfactory as the formatting was less than ideal. The main problem was that large gaps were left between the title and the song and between verses so you didn't get much on each page, but as a quick fix, saving your song files in rich text format and converting from their will work.

I read somewhere that all ebook formats are based on html, the language used to format web documents. I tried formatting a song using html and coverted it using Calibre and the result was far and away the best I have had. The songs are well laid out, though page breaks are usually in the middle of a verse. This is a nuisance and I have not found a way of forcing a page break. However if I were able to force a page break, it would cause problems if you change the font size as you would then want the page break in a different place.

If you want some guidance on html itself, there is the Mudcat Permathread on html.

You can find an html tutorial at http://www.comptechdoc.org/independent/web/html/index.html

You can find an example of a file for a song here. Select the "view source" option in your browser to view the html I used for the song.

Hope you find this useful.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Putting song words on Kindle
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 May 12 - 04:52 PM

Thanks my friend


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Subject: RE: Tech: Putting song words on Kindle
From: Tootler
Date: 20 May 12 - 06:04 PM

You're welcome.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Putting song words on Kindle
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 May 12 - 05:59 AM

My lyrics database on my PC is in Word format, I've had no problem sending songs to my Kindle for perpetration in Greece later in the year (also sent some to friends who will also be there & joining in). My only problems come in performance...!

Rts


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Subject: RE: Tech: Putting song words on Kindle
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 12 - 06:30 AM

I think the best bet is to make an html file, that way you can format the lyrics in an acceptable format, although due to font size limitations, some lines will have to be split into two or even three (you don't need three lines on purely space / size considerations, but you may want to do this to at least keep the song verses / stanzas in a logical order.) Also, if even some of the verses have very lengthy lines it would best not to centre them but to keep them left justified, this way releases more width to fit more in.

If you have image files of the basic scores / dots, then do consider uploading them in an oblong shaped file but rotated right by 90 degrees; in Word terms, Landscape orientation. It will mean folks having to turn their screen on one side, but apparently millions do this anyway for charts, table, maps etc, so it's nothing new to the Kindle / EReader world.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Putting song words on Kindle
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 May 12 - 06:35 AM

I've played around with PDFs on the Kindle, but only for chords. If I need to make a note of song words, I find that the physical act of writing them by hand in a notebook (I use the little Mouleskin ones) is actually a great aid to remembering the words. While I'm learning the song, I refer to the handwritten text then, when it gets into my brain a little better, I can close my eyes and visualise the handwriting.

I've also used Calibre and found it very handy for converting e-text from one format to another - in my case, PDFs of chords to the Kindle/Mobi format. The main problems are with my screen size - I have the smaller version - and the inability of the Kindle software to resize the PDFs with enough variation.

In the end, I started another notebook - for chords - to be used for material I'm asked to accompany only occasionally!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Putting song words on Kindle
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 12 - 06:47 AM

I have a Kindle Fire, which may be different from other Kindles. I don't know where I found it, but I have a program on my computer that allows me to right-click a file and select "send to Kindle" - it sends stuff to my Kindle Fire through the "Amazon Cloud." I've tried it with Word and PDF files, and it works perfectly.

I uploaded some files through the "Manage Your Kindle" page at the Amazon Website, and a popup suggested that I download the "send to Kindle" utility. It works like a charm.

I did use my Kindle as a crutch for words for one song last night. I found the song and opened it, and then turned off the Kindle. It came back to the same page when I turned the Kindle back on again. I would advise singers to use tablets with discretion, if at all. They could be a real annoyance. Still, have to say that I just don't have the ability to remember lyrics. If I restricted myself to songs I've memorized, my repertoire would be limited to church hymns and songs I learned as a kid. I'll sing gospel at singarounds because it's fun, but I won't sing hymns....and people DO get testy if I sing "The Hole in the Bottom of the Sea" too often.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Putting song words on Kindle
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 24 May 12 - 06:25 AM

I use Calibre as well.

Yes, epubs are specialized HTML files. For more control on the epub creation, look at Sigil. I haven't mastered it yet. Sigil Home Page


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Subject: RE: Tech: Putting song words on Kindle
From: Tootler
Date: 24 May 12 - 08:44 AM

I looked at Sigil, but Kindle doesn't read epub so it wasn't much use. The resultant file would still have to be converted. For Kindle you have to have mobi format which is also a specialised HTML file. I format the songs as html, then use Calibre to convert them to mobi. Works fine, though Calibre is prone to cause my Linux Mint OS to crash which is a nuisance.

As you only need a limited number of html tags I simply save the words of the song as a plain text file then add the html tags using a plain text editor. I have "template" file with the basic html header and body tags together with the tags I mainly need which I can copy and paste into the song file. The text editor I use highlights the tags with colour when the file is saved with a .html suffix. I find this almost as quick as using a dedicated html editor and you retain total control over your html, unlike many html editors, especially the WYSIWYG ones which add a lot of unnecessary bloat.


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