Q: I recently retired my Treo 650 Smartphone and moved to a Blackberry since the iPhone isn’t available yet. Is there any way to convert my e-books from the Palm format to plain text so I can view them in the notes section on my iPod?
A: Although there are no actual e-book reader applications available for the iPod, the “Notes” feature can be used to read any files that are in text format.
Unfortunately, for working with existing e-books, it’s difficult to suggest a solution that will work for all types of content, as there are many different e-book formats for the Palm OS, and whether you can convert them back to text will depend upon where you have obtained your e-books from and what format they are in.
If your e-books were encoded yourself, or downloaded from free or open e-book services, there are some methods available that can convert these e-books back to text format. Unfortunately, e-books that were purchased from online e-book stores such as eReader and MobiPocket are encrypted with DRM protection in much the same way that iTunes Store purchases are, and therefore cannot be viewed using any e-book software other than the applications provided by those services.
If you do have standard Palm “DOC” format e-books (not to be confused with the Microsoft Word document format), you can convert them back to text format by using the free MakeDoc tool.
Once you have an e-book in text format, it will still needs some processing to be usable on the iPod, since the iPod Notes feature can only display files that are less than 4 KB in size. Therefore, all but the very smallest e-books will have to broken up into a series of 4 KB segments.