C-Command Software Forum

Suggestion: CBR & CBZ files

I hesitate to suggest expanding the scope of a program because not every program should be treated as though it should do everything. In this case, however, it may be that EF could attract a new and relevant base of potential customers.

Digital comics are generally stored as CBR and CBZ files, which are in fact just ZIP and RAR files with different names for comic readers to recognize. Sometimes comics are also stored as PDFs, which EF already recognizes. There are already some comic organizer programs, but none quite as good as EF in my opinion. So I begin to wonder: what would it take for EF to recognize those files?

I know that these files can already be added to an EF catalog and will even duplicates will even be detected, but there is one feature that would make it feel like they are truly being cataloged: look inside the archives to recognize the images.

This would allow for two things: displaying the covers as icons and perhaps allowing users to read the comics in EF, just as it’s possible to read a PDF. I personally don’t read an entire PDF in EF, but use the function to see what is in a PDF. The same would suffice for comics, I think. People could use their favorite reader for reading, but use a “look inside” feature in EF to at least see the cover and perhaps scan through the contents to determine if something in particular is present.

Would this functionality be difficult to implement? I have no idea what it would take in terms of programming. Maybe it’s harder than I can realize. I can understand that it might not seem worth doing if it would involve a lot of really base-level programming.

Would it take EF too far from its core functionality? I suppose it’s a little bit of a stretch, but it doesn’t seem like too much. The field for a good comic organizer is pretty open right now and EF does all the “organization” parts well already. Bringing EF to this market might be worth taking a look at.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll look into it. Do you know of a good source of sample files I could play with?

The CBR and CBZ files are nothing more than archives of images, usually jpegs. So you can ZIP or RAR a bunch of images, rename the file CBZ/CBR, and you’ll be good to go.

There are two potential stumbling blocks that I am thinking of.

First, image size. The size of images used in these archives varies, so you’ll have to be able to deal with that.

Second, directories. I couldn’t tell you how often the images are stored flat in an archive and how often they are in a single folder/directory that is in the archive. So whatever routine you use to peek inside the archive, you’ll need to be able to deal with that.

I’m pretty sure, though, that there aren’t multiple directories in these archives. The images themselves are all either in that one directory or not. Does this make sense?

I’ll be happy to provide any help/testing you need.

Yes, but I’d still like to see some typical CBR/CBZ files, not ones created specifically for testing.