Stanza: ebook reading and export tool for Mac OS

Stanza, currently in beta, is an electronic book reading application for Mac OS which also allows you to export content for use on a variety of portable devices. It features the ability to customize the display of text in multiple column layouts or in full screen mode. Scrolling can be set to advance automatically, like a teleprompter, based on your reading speed, or manually. You can import content from a variety of sources including directly from the Project Gutenberg site. It also provides for the ability to export content to mobile devices such as the iPhone and the Amazon Kindle.

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I spent some time this morning playing with Stanza and went to the Project Gutenberg site and found the listing for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. I copied the url for the full text version and used the Open Location feature in Stanza to download and display the book. Stanza went out and got the file and displayed the book in the default view. I then used the export feature to create versions for my iPhone and for my Kindle.

The export to the iPhone is accomplished by converting the content to a .plist file (bookmarklet file) and then importing the bookmarklet into Safari. Once imported the content is transfered to your phone on your next sync. Once it is on your iPhone you can customize the reading experience including the ability to auto-scroll the text at various rates of speed based on your reading speed. As noted in their FAQ, very large books, or documents can slow down your the iPhone browser when initially opening the document.

I tried to use the open location feature to display a print friendly article from the New York Times, but ran into an issue with authenticating on the Times site. I worked around this by displaying the print friendly version of the article and then selecting and copying the text of the article. Stanza has an import form clipboard command that then imported and displayed the article.

Stanza is an interesting way to display and read text on your Mac. It's ability to export in various mobile formats makes it a great tool for getting content on your mobile devices.

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