audiobooks, comics, and iOS apps

It looks like we’re right in the middle of our second wave here in NJ. There are a few bright spots, but I think, overall, it’ll get worse before it gets better. So… happy Thanksgiving, I guess?

I spent my Thanksgiving alone in my apartment, but I probably would have done that this year, even if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic. I also spent Black Friday alone in my apartment, and will likely be spending today and tomorrow home alone too. If the pandemic was over, I’d probably have gone into NYC at some point this weekend, but that’s out of the question now. So I’m definitely feeling a bit of cabin fever. But I’ll get through it.

I managed to get the Audible app on my iPhone working, somehow. After last week’s trouble, I’d pretty much given up on it, but I decided to take another shot. I don’t really know what I did to get it to work, but, well, it’s working now. Though I should say that I haven’t actually tried to listen to anything yet, so I don’t really know if that’ll work. But at least I can launch the app and poke around in it without having it crash.

And I still haven’t decided what I want to listen to next. I started listening to a BBC adaptation of War and Peace some time ago, and I should probably get back to that and finish it, but I haven’t been in the mood for anything like that. I should probably listen to one of the Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas instead. (Neither of those requires Audible, though, and I’d like to find out if the Audible app is really fixed or not, so I may try something from my Audible library instead.)

Meanwhile, on my iPad, I wanted to read a comic last night and tried to launch Comic Zeal, which is the iOS app i use for reading DRM-free comics. It crashed as soon as I opened it, and I couldn’t find any way to get it to work. I didn’t want to delete and reinstall it, since that would also remove the 4 GB worth of comics that I had loaded in to it. Comic Zeal hasn’t been updated in about four years, so I’ve been expecting that it would eventually stop working. I assumed that iOS 14 had finally killed it. But, then, after deleting it and reinstalling it, it does seem to work again. Of course, that killed all the comics I had in there, so I decided that maybe I should just try another app.

I’d picked up iComics at some point, when it was on sale or something, maybe last year, but hadn’t tried it out at all. I looked at the app store, and I saw that it was updated to work with iOS 14 a couple of months ago, so that seemed like a good bet. So I’m going to try to switch over to that. Dealing with situations like this always reminds me of how annoyed I am about the file system on iOS. On a normal computer, I would have been able to just drag and drop the files from Comic Zeal over to iComics. But, with iOS, if you can’t launch an app, then there’s really no way to get to that app’s files. So I had to go through the work of figuring out where the CBZ files were for the comics I wanted to load, pull them down from OneDrive to my Mac, then copy them over to the iPad. That took quite a while.

One nice thing about iComics over Comic Zeal is that it exposes its files via the Files app, so I think that means that I could access them even if I couldn’t launch the app. I’ve played around with iComics a bit now, and I think it’s good enough for me, but it definitely doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that Comic Zeal had. It’s a shame that the developer on that one seems to have given up on it.

I see that the developer for iComics started working on a new version in January of this year. But, of course the pandemic (and other stuff) got in the way, per this blog post from mid-year. He just posted a personal update a few days ago, coincidentally. He’s only written three blog posts this year, but they’re pretty lengthy and interesting. I, on the other hand, have written 93 posts so far this year, according to my stats. And most of them are probably dumb and boring. But that’s OK.

So, anyway, I guess I’ve got my audiobook and comic book situations figured out for now, so if I’m in the mood to listen/read this weekend, I’ll actually be able to do that. I have no clue what I really want to do for the rest of the weekend, though. I was pretty restless yesterday, for a while, and couldn’t decide what to do with myself, and started to get a bit annoyed with myself. Then, I didn’t sleep well last night. I guess I’ll get something for lunch soon. After that, maybe I’ll try to settle down and read something. Or take a walk. Or a nap. I guess it’s good that I have options.

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