Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kindle for Mac vs. eManga - Reading on Your Computer

eManga is Digital Manga Publishing's online storefront that directly sells DMG titles. Purchased titles are streamed through your browser via their online reader, so books are not downloaded as files. The image quality on eManga is very, very good, and you have a few page size settings to choose from. In the screenshot below, eManga is on the left and is zoomed to 800 pixels high. The small side text in a handwritten font is easy to read, and there are almost no compression artifacts. You can view one or two pages at a time, and of course, when you view two pages, they are oriented right to left like native manga.

As mentioned in previous posts, Amazon's Kindle format has some image compression that creates artifacts, which makes some side text difficult to read and makes some of the gray patterns ugly. The image quality is comparable to the Kindle iPad app, and there's no way to zoom in. Full screen mode puts the pages side by side, but they are left to right like English books, and I haven't found a way to only show one page or swap orientation while in this mode. Don't use full screen mode.

The bottom line is that eManga is optimized for reading manga and has no file size restrictions since it streams one page at a time. Amazon limits file size and so the quality suffers here and on other devices. If you enjoy reading on your computer and do not mind streaming, then eManga is your best option.

eManga on the left, Kindle for Mac on the right

See all the small gray dots around the text? Those are compression artifacts. Notice that the gray tone on the right has some weird plaid patterns, too. Those shouldn't be there.


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