NEWSFLASH: Bluefire Reader Allows You to Read ENCRYPTED Adobe ePub DRMs
I wanted to let all the iOS users (iPad, iTouch, iPhone, etc) of the awesome new app called Bluefire Reader. What’s so awesome about this? You can read any standard encrypted ePub and PDF using Bluefire on an iOS device. I was able to get my Harlequin Books, NetGalley Arcs, Sony books all on the iPhone and iPad and read them WITHOUT STRIPPING THE DRM.
NOTE: You may have to restart your Bluefire App after you sync to get the new books to show up. Remember on the iPhone 4.0 that means you have to completely close out by accessing the app row on the bottom and then holding down the app until it wiggles and a red x appears.
So my friends who have spent years buying PDFs and ePubs, this is the App for you.
Download this app to your iThing and then authorize using your Adobe username and password. Don’t remember your Adobe username? Open Adobe Digital Editions and go to Library -> Authorize Computer. The popup screen will tell you what username the computer is authorized to:
To get your ENCRYPTED epubs on to your iThing, open ITunes and click on the App tab. Scroll to the bottom until you see something like this:
Highlight Bluefire App.
Open your “My Documents” folder or “Documents” (on MAC). There is folder called “Digital Editions”
Open this folder and then drag the books you want from Digital Editions folder onto the App section.
The Bluefire App allows you to take notes. Just highlight the section that you want to bookmark and the note section will show up. For a new app, the reader is pretty sophisticated. I’ve uploaded a number of screenshots. Just click on the thumbnails to see a larger version.
Some ways you can customize the look and feel of the Bluefire App:
Bookmarks and Notes:
Table of Contents and Info page. Note that special DRM restrictions are noted on the info page:
Text page. One is with a different theme. You can see the page number marked on the right hand side.
I was able to get Harlequin Books from the Harlequin site and digital ARCs from NetGalley and my Sony ebooks on the device. WOOT! As Mike Cane noted, this app will also allow you to read LIBRARY BOOKS on your device. Digital library books via Overdrive do not appear to be working at this time.
You can also access your ebooks by either emailing them to yourself:
or via an online storage site like Dropbox. Once you download the book, dropbox will tell you it can’t view the document. You then need to click on the arrow and it will give you the option of what program to view the epub in. Choose Bluefire, of course.
WOO HOO!!!! Now to see if I can do it!
So exciting–I’m downloading right now!
Holy cow pies! That’s abolsutely awesome. Now I can read those free ARCs that are sitting on my computer hard drive.
“Abolsutely” is a new adjective used to describe something dripping with awesome.
Thank you, thank you! The DRM didn’t concern me too much, but I’ve been looking for a reading app that retains the epub page numbering. I’m so glad to finally find an app that allows side-loading epubs and also retains the epub page numbering. This will make switching between my Sony reader and my iPod touch so much easier.
I’ll definitely be checking this out and if I am able to sort by author/title and can edit the author/title details then this will be the app for me. I currently use Txtr, but the loading of the books onto my iPhone and iPad is a tiresome process and there is no sort functionality available.
And this is why I read Dear Author religiously. Thank you!!
You guys are always bringing us the latest tech news in language even I can understand.
1. I can’t access that screen to let me load my books onto my iPhone. (It’s only a 3G if that might be a factor.) I did manage to get a file one using Dropbox.
2. Is it possible to turn off screen rotation (again, I only have a 3G and can’t afford to upgrade at this point)? I read a lot lying down for health reasons, so if I can’t turn off the screen rotation, it’s no good for me.
Wow, this is terrific news! I went to the mobileread thread on Bluefire and it appears that library loans may not be available yet, but they are continuing to work on it.
From their website it appears that they’ve done work for Adobe, which bodes well for the quality of the reader since they’re familiar with the interface.
1. Not sure
2. You might benefit from Jailbreaking your phone which you can do by visiting “Jailbreakme.com” from your iPhone. There is a screen lock app that is free through Cydia.
@Sunita: I can’t get on mobileread at the moment but why wouldn’t you be able to work interlibrary loan ebooks just like the netgalley ones (as both are time sensitive)
@ShellBell: You can sort by Title/Author/Recent.
i don’t see any way to edit the title / author.
@Jane: Here’s what Micah (who appears to be part of the development team) responded to someone who wrote that they couldn’t open the files:
When you can get to the site, the thread is here.
If you have an iPhone running iOS 4 you CAN lock rotation. Here’s a good tutorial on that: http://www.iphonefaq.org/archives/97974
But I (the app designer) now understand that we need a setting for that in the app for older devices. That has been added to my “to-do” list. Can’t promise when we can get that added, but I understand why it is important.
Good evening (from Frankfurt Book Fair)
An iPhone 3G running iOS4 still can’t be rotation locked because it doesn’t have the multitasking function, so users like me can’t access the multitasking bar to activate the rotation lock.
But I really appreciate the attempt to help and I’m delighted to have the rotation lock added to your “to do” list. Not everyone can afford to upgrade regularly so we are delighted when the app designer listens to us. Thank you.
@Sunita: @Micah Bowers: I did try to sideload & email myself a library book and it doesn’t appear to work.
Oddly, though, I think Harlequin is powered by Overdrive and those books seemed to work okay.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I am so happy that you wrote this post
Oh my god thanks for this public service announcement. It will be wonderful to be able to read my drm books on the ipad
I’ve been playing around with it this morning – very cool. It would be great to consolidate all my ADE purchases from various vendors into one reader app on my iPhone rather than each stores separate App.
Now get the library Overdrive compatibility functional and legions of fans will cheer.
Oh, man… must check this out…
So–potentially silly question but—in the instructions where you say “click on the App tab”, do you mean the App tab in iTunes, or the App tab within my iPhone that also shows up in the iTunes window? Either way, I can’t seem to drag my books from my Digital editions folder into BFR. I have never used Dropbox, but will check that out….Thakns for the info!
Is it creepy or inappropriate to say that I <3 you for sharing this info and creating the tutorial? All my secure epubs on my iPhone \o/
Thanks for this. Anotherthe way to get titles onto your iPad/iPhone would be to use the free Dropbox (http://www.dropbox.com) service. Simply copy the files into Dropbox on your computer, and open the Dropbox app on your device (also free). When you open the app, in the upper right corner is an “Open in” dropdown that will allow you to open in Bluefire. If Bluefire doesn’t show up right away, try a complete shutdown and restart of your device.
I’ve done this today and it works great!
@peggy h: App tab in iTunes on your desktop computer.
Thanks, Jane (and others with great tips!) I’m off to try to “rescue” my DRM’ed PDFs that have been abandoned (largely unread…sigh!) since I got my iPhone. I don’t really like reading on my computer…
Peggy, I don’t think you’ll find reading PDF files on an iPhone to be a joy (sorry to say). Bluefire Reader does not support reflowed PDF. I’m against it. Too unreliable, and EPUB is the right answer for reflow. And we don’t want any publishers to get lazy. PDF’s are possible to read on iPhone, but not great – to say the least. It is actually pretty pleasant on an iPad though, but they are expensive devices.
Side note, wouldn’t it be cool if someone made nice layout iPhone size pdf magazines? I think it would, but then, I’m generally crazy.
Thank you Jane, Micah and team!
I’m not sure, but I think I can read ALL of my books on my iPod Touch now, without cracking the DRM.
Okay–I truly do feel like a doofus now, so I apologize for one more question–but is there a secret (or something obvious I’m missing) to access the view Jane shows after this comment: “To get your ENCRYPTED epubs on to your iThing, open ITunes and click on the App tab. Scroll to the bottom until you see something like this”?
I’ve even updated my iTunes to the latest version but can’t get a view where I have my apps lined up on the left and the documents within each lined up on the right. Any hints?
Thanks again!! Sorry if that’s a really naive question.
That threw me, too, for a minute. It’s not the “apps” in the main iTunes menu. Once you download the app to your iThing, sync it. Leave it plugged in.
Then you click on your iThing in the left menu. Click on apps in the top nav of that screen and scroll down. It gives you the apps that allow you to transfer documents. Click on Bluefire Reader to highlight. Then, when you open your Digital Editions folder and drag and drop, it’ll do “mini-syncs” as you drop.
So excited I can barely type! I’ve retrieved my (metaphorically) dusty ebooks languishing in my Digital Editions folder!
Thanks to DA (esp Jane) for keeping your readers up to date on technology. (I’m suddenly a techie-heroine to my DH for showing him this app!)
Thanks, Micah! And I appreciate your comments re PDF files not looking that great–but better than not seeing them at all!
And though I’ve been a reader on this site and SBTB for a while, and have communicated with some of my favorite authors since, can I just say that I’m almost as excited to have recovered my books as I am to have gotten these instructions from SHANNON STACEY!?!? Yes, I know I’m shouting! But I love Shannon’s Exclusively Yours, and am counting the days to get Undeniably Yours (of course, CP is one publisher where I don’t have to worry about DRM, but that’s neither here nor there…haha!) Thanks, Shannon!
Sorry if it looks like I bought a bunch of exclamation points in some clearance sale, but I’m really excited! And happy! Thank you, Everyone!!!
@peggy h: Wow! Thank you so much! And I hope you enjoy Undeniably Yours! I love that Carina Press is DRM-free, both as one of their authors and as a reader.
And I’m so glad you were able to dust off your ADE books. I had a pile of them, too, from my brief relationships with a Sony reader and the nook, so being able to read them on the iPod Touch is definitely exlamation point worthy!!!
THANK YOU. I’m an Aussie and sometimes buying ebooks is a challenge. My latest was available at eharl but Kindle wouldn’t let me buy it and Adobe Editions isn’t ipad friendly so I had my electronic edition but couldn’t read it! NOW I can along with a heap of other pdfs and all shiny on my ipad. Your instructions were brilliant and I mangaged it all in six minutes. So glad I have an RSS feed to your blog! Not sure Harlequin has DRM, I know Carina doesn’t…. Anyhoo, again, just THANKS
@Fiona Lowe Harlequin has DRM but Carina doesn’t. I also can sideload Mills & Boon. When does the Rivas line go live?
@peggy h No problem and thanks to @ShannonStacey for pitching in and making the explanation more understandable.
This program is fabulous, thank you Micah and the rest of the development team! I loaded DRM’d books from the Sony, M&B, and Harlequin bookstores. They all work beautifully. And I really like the interface, it’s clean and elegant.
pdfs are not as comfortable to read as ePubs, but they aren’t too bad in landscape mode.
@Jane: Jane, I asked my writing mate, Nicola Marsh (http://www.nicolamarsh.com) and she says RIVA goes live in January in the UK and her book, “Deserted Island, Dreamy Ex!” is one of the launch titles. Hope that helps!
The ‘Open In’ function in Dropbox and Mail, etc. on the iPad apparently won’t be useful unless the number of existing app’s that already use this function is less than ten.
Hopefully Apple will greatly expand this number.
You wonder what takes the big ones so long to get a developer code an app like the bluefire reader and slap a label on it. When there is an adjective to describe the situation it’s probably “confusion”. You gotta hand it to them folks at bluefire, they got our full attention and deserve a round of applause. Great start, keep up the good work I say.
is there any way to directly copy the URLLink.acsm file to BlueFire Reader?
that would avoid me the need to use ADE at all.
I was wondering is the filesharing option for the iThing only for the new iOS4 version? Because I can not seem to figure it out… But I am still using an older version! Help would be much appreciated! <3
@Jacqueline File sharing option? Not sure what you mean by that. The “open in” feature? I think you do need the updated OS.
With the Bluefire Reader 1.2 update library books now work.
Dropbox (or a similar cloud storage service) seems to be the easiest way to load files into the App. Got all my old Sony PRS500 books loaded onto my iPad without a hitch, and they work great. I’m SO glad I found this! Thanks! â™¥
I’m not so forgiving about the lack of rotation lock on iPhone 3G. My favorite bookstore will now ONLY let me download into Bluefire, and rotation lock is required for me. Also, trying to adjust fonts and backgrounds is laughable: background only paints a frame around the text.
I’m so not patronizing BooksonBoard any more.
I’m here to tell you that you are awesome. I just spent 15 minutes trying to figure out how to open my Netgalley ARCs on my iPad, and was about to give up when I found this.
My only suggestion would be to change the main post to make it clearer that you need to drag the files onto the App section when the device is plugged in. I tried a few times to just drop the files on the regular “App” section in the left menu, and the books appeared in iBooks, where they obviously didn’t work.
Anyway – you are awesome, and thank you :)
@jazdegard: Open the link to the URLLink.acsm file (that was generated and placed in your receipt/order information when you bought/borrowed the ebook) from Safari on your iOS device. BlueFire should have already registered itself as a handler for ACSM files. If not, Safari should ask you what to do with it: choose BlueFire.
I have successfully downloaded the borrowed library books! You just need to find the file folder with the book in it’s .epub file rather than the .acsm file. Do a search in your documents folder!
I’m really glad you took the time and effort to post this! After doing some comparison shopping at different online bookstores I found one that had a deal going that wasn’t available anywhere else. But I had only used the store before with my old Sony Reader (which I sold after buying the iPad).
Having downloaded Blue Fire reader, I had no idea whether it would work as advertised. Following your great step-by-step advice, I was able to successfully download and sync a book by one of my favourite authors – James Patterson.
Again – thank you for doing this!
Many thanks for taking the time to share this. Excellent work!
i keep getting no valid license found for this item when i try to open my library books in bluefire
I am having the same problem.
Everything works on the iPad 1 but not on iPad 2.
It seems as soon as a problem pops up like Cindy has everyone has run for the hills.
I have found no solution so far.
@John Huh. I will have to give it a try. Thanks for the headsup.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for these directions! You ROCK!!
My Sony books didn’t show up in the Digital Editions folder, even though they show up in the app. I copied them into the DE folder and they transfered perfectly using iTunes. This is a lifesaver, not only because I prefer to have everything on the iPad2, but because my Sony Reader doesn’t really work any more.
OMG you are amazing! I just followed your instructions and its all done. It took me a freaking best part of an hour because I seemed to just IGNORE the bit where you said scroll right down to the bottom until you can see this (on iTunes bit) and I just couldnt see what you meant. Til I scrolled right down to the bottom like you said. Durrr!!!
Now to work out how to xfer all my Microsoft Reader books to the iPad. I cant even move them from one laptop to the other, ugh.
I’m having the same problem that Cindy and John commented on in posts #51 and #52, e.g. “No valid license was found for this item.”
I can read the ePub on my MacBook (OS 10.5.8) in Adobe Digital Editions (v. 18.104.22.1681) and would like to help my wife read it on the iPad1 (iOS v. 4.3.5 (8L1)) using the BlueFire Reader (v. 1.4) that has been authorized for Adobe eBooks. After moving the *.epub to iTunes (v.10.4 (80) Apps, to the BFR ‘app’ and dragging and dropping the ePub into the BFR Documents, doing a Sync, the file appears in the iPad BFR Library. The icon for the .epub has the international ‘not’ symbol on a generic file icon. When I select that icon, the ‘valid licence’ error comes up.
Additional note: when I go to the iPad ‘Settings’ application, in the Settings column on the right, at the bottom in the Apps section, BlueFire Reader does not appear. Other apps do.
Lastly, symptoms are duplicated even with deleting BFR from the iPad and reinstalling it onto the iPad via a Sync from iTunes.
I’ve also sent this post to the Support office for BFR. If/when I get a solution from BlueFire Reader Support, I’ll post it here. If others have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks! Rob
Has anyone come up with the solution for the “no valid licence found for this item error yet? I’m having the same issue as Cindy, Rob and John. Any ideas?
I’ve contacted Support for bluefire as well as the place I got the book from but do far got nothing.
@Rob Johnson: and @Annick: Unfortunately i don’t know what the answer is. I am disappointed Bluefire isn’t responding to you.
We did get and respond to Rob’s original support request and were able to resolve his issue successfully. The issue was one of having the same Adobe ID in ADE (at the time of book download) and Bluefire Reader.
We also have Annick’s support email which we recieved yesterday and will respond to today. We try and respond to all support requests within 24 hours.
Best regards, Bluefire Support
This was exactly what I was looking for! I have a few Netgalley titles that were too tiny to read on the Kobo.. was hoping to get ’em on my iPad so they’re bigger.. thanks so much!
Do you have an update to go with the new iTunes 11 release? I can see the BlueFire app, but there’s no file list like you have above…
@Ashley, the Accidental Olympian: In iTunes 11, go to the Apps tab and scroll all the way to the bottom. There will be a list of apps and Bluefire would be one of them, if installed.
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