Calibre audio app

iOS and iPadOS

Hi all,

Has anyone in the UK had similar problems to me with the Calibre Audio app? For a couple of weeks, I have had difficulties in downloading books on the app. The problem was that there was always an error in downloading tracks (this was the error message). Therefore, I deleted the app today and reinstalled it. However, I can no longer login. I write-in my membership number and then my pin. I then get the error message <too many devices on the database> I'm not sure what's going on here but could it mean that the Calibre app thinks I've got two apps on my iPhone rather than one and I'm trying to login to a second app?
The other thing is: what do people think of the app? I've looked at the reviews and the app only get's 1.5 stars! I'm not surprised, I find that it doesn't work too well and the swiping motions to undertake processes are non-intuitive. As I said before, trying to load books is difficult. I wish Calibre had used Overdrive, it would have been much cheaper for them and it would have probably worked ok.




Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, January 6, 2019

I don't like the calibre audio app at all, for starters the fact it can't remember your log in details is ridiculous, plus the fact it can't detect when VoiceOver is running and disable its self voicing interface, I also didn't find searching and picking my titles easy, I deleted it from my phone within a day or so.
I did try giving feedback to calibre twice, the first time the woman I gave it to didn't seem particularly interested, the second time was them contacting me for it, they claimed they would listen, and I even offered to assist with beta testing and giving feedback but heard nothing after that.
I think they said they were putting an update out last year to at least address the log in issues but I didn't see it get posted.
I think they certainly didn't consult VoiceOver users when creating the app, instead they have just assumed what we need because lets be honest the majority of there members are elderly. But I don't understand how any of them could have found it easy or a pleasure to use.
as to your point about overdrive, I actually don't like it at all its basically not even a proper app its a website that runs from an app and really poorly as well, plus playing titles isn't particularly accessible.
Now the app I do like is the dolphin easy reader app, and I use that instead if I am getting rnib titles, if calibre offered books through dolphin easy reader I would probably use it more, as easy reader its clear was thought through properly with blind users in mind.

Hi Alex,

You have some really good comments about the Calibre app. As I suggested, I also find it troublesome to the extreme and I too think that they failed to design the app with blind users. Why create an app with a screen reader interface when those devices where it will be used have their own? The membership number issue has now been fixed, so now you only have to enter a pin number after the first time you use the app. However, it really needs some bottom up redesign to make it really useable.
In terms of Overdrive, I'm afraid that I must disagree. After some trouble getting used to the app, I really find it easy to use. I constantly download books from the RNIB, Listening Books and my local library. The other app I now use is Borrowbox. This is the Belinda app used by my county library and that's even easier than Overdrive.


Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Monday, January 7, 2019

I have a way that you could make overdrive more accessible.
Read books from them via the kindle app.
Just choose the kindle format and borrow it.
I just did this a week ago, and loved the results!
Plus, I could read it with my Echo, which I was really happy with!
I think you can set it so will only show the kindle format of a book. I agree that reading books via Overdrive is a pain in the rear!I have a way that you could make overdrive more excessiveThe way that you could make of the track marks Estable a bowl
I wish Overdrive and Hoopla used Easy Reader.
Because then, I would get the app. Because it sounds like a wonderful app!

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, January 7, 2019

my issue with overdrive is navigating when a book is playing back, plus if I am listening to rnib titles all those numbers everywhere that are supposed to help with navigating using daisy.
overdrive really isn't an app though its just a website, as we have to wade all the time through that nonsense about cookies, plus searching there is just so much flicking involved, for those who like overdrive give easy reader a go, you will certainly like it I am sure as there is just so much less flicking involved and no useless clutter on screen like with overdrive.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Monday, January 7, 2019

Does anyone know if Overdrive uses Dolphin Easy Reader? I tried finding out and can't find anything when I Google it.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, January 7, 2019

overdrive won't use easy reader as they themselves are a portal for services to make content available, easy reader is simply a portal that various services can use to make content available, I am sure the easy reader app description lists all the providers they support, anyway overdrive certainly isn't one, but the rnib talking books library is, and it would be nice if calibre could also join it.

Submitted by steven carey on Monday, January 7, 2019

Hi again Alex,

I called Calibre membership services this morning and I was correct. You cannot delete the Calibre app and then reload without the database thinking you have two devices. A user is only allowed one device, so, that's why it locked me out. One of the membership staff had to unlock me from the database in order for me to use the app again. This seems rather stupid as advice on this forum is always to delete and reload an app when one has problems.
The other thing I noticed was that the staff at Calibre were very defensive when I tried to suggest there were problems with loading books. I explained my issue and the reason why I deleted the app and reloaded it. However, they didn't want to know about my issues, they ust said there were no problems... when all said and done I guess to get the best out of an app, an organisation has to spend lots of money and time to get it right. The likes of Calibre and the RNIB being charities haven't got that much money to spend, unlike companies like Amazon with their Audible app.


Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, January 7, 2019

well at least the rnib use easy reader which works very well compared to overdrive, calibre just didn't take the time to look into what we needed properly. what annoys me is that they actually took an interest in feedback last year then I never heard anything after that.
I also don't see why the app forces us to enter a pin after getting logged in its not like they are a banking app, to be honest I never use there services anyway because most of there books are the sorts of things elderly people read and some of there home made recordings are laughable.
I actually don't know why they don't just merge with rnib talking book library given that both are now free seems a bit pointless for both free libraries to exist.
the first time I rang calibre they were definitely defensive but second time when they rang me the guy actually seemed interested but I guess its who is at the top that counts.

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