Mangle

A couple of years ago I received an Amazon Kindle gift. I immediately began playing around with it and reading about certain undocumented features that the Kindle has to offer. After a couple of hours I discovered it to be the perfect device for reading Manga is almost always grayscale, and the aspect ratio fits the Kindle's 600x800 pixel screen almost perfectly. Better yet, the Kindle's undocumented image viewer actually keeps track of the last image you viewed and thus you are always able to return to the page you left off on when you power on your Kindle. The device supports several popular image formats (jpeg, png, gif, etc), and is able to dither and downscale images to fit the screen.

However... The Kindle's image viewer does have certain shortcomings:

I was annoyed with these issues and thus Mangle was born (the program name is a mix of "Manga" and "Kindle" in case you haven't figured it out yet; I thought it was pretty clever at the time). Fortunately you can get all the benefits of my work without really doing anything (and it won't even cost you anything since Mangle is free, GPL software. With Mangle you can easily:

Here is a recent screenshot showing off some of the export options that you can configure on a per-book basis in Mangle:

Mangle options dialog

You can also check out what Mangle output looks like on the Kindle on the action shots page.

Mangle is cross platform, and doesn't require an install (it's a standalone executable that you can run from anywhere). It is also "environmentally friendly" by not messing with your registry or modifying your system in any way. If you ever want to uninstall it, just delete the executable and you're done.

Usage Instructions

Mangle is pretty easy to use, so this won't be really in-depth. If you have any questions drop me a line though.

  1. Add images to the current book by selecting the "Book | Add | Files" or "Book | Add | Directory" menu items.
  2. If certain images are not in the order you want, select them in the window, and select the "Book | Shift | Up" or "Book | Shift | Down" menu items.
  3. Configure the book title and image processing options by selecting "Book | Options"; this will be the title you see in the Kindle home menu.
  4. Create a root-level directory on your SD memory card/Kindle called "pictures" (case might matter).
  5. Once you are satisfied with the your images and options select "Book | Export" and select the "pictures" directory you just created.
  6. After the export is complete your new manga books will show up along with all your other books (if they don't for some reason, press Alt+Z while on the home menu).

The Usual Disclaimer

You probably know how this goes by now... Mess around with your Kindle at your own risk. Honestly, nothing bad is going to happen; however if something does then it's your problem.

Running From Source

Because Mangle is written in Python it's trivial to get it up and running on the operating system of your choice. First, satisfy the dependencies by installing Python 2.7, Python Imaging Library, and PyQt. If you want to optionally convert the script to a standalone application you will also want to get Py2Exe (again, this is not required). Now you can fetch the latest version of the code and run the mangle.pyw script to execute Mangle.

Downloads

The Windows binary for the latest version of Mangle can be downloaded here. Although I don't have the means to make MacOS X releases myself, I do have the slightly older MacOS X Package built by Rob White. Note that I have never used MacOS X and I have no idea what it takes to get Mangle up and running on it so I cannot answer any questions about that platform.