How to Convert RSS Feeds into EPUB files with Calibre

How to Convert RSS Feeds into EPUB files with Calibre


For my money Calibre is one of the most indispensible pieces of software in GNU/Linux. It can handle all your e-books in all the major formats, including PDF, EPUB and Mobi. It supports up to thirty e-reader devices but this article will tell you how to use Calibre to convert RSS feeds to EPUBs (which can then be read in Calibre's own E-reader or synced and transferred to your external reader of choice).

Despite what the Calibre webpage says about not installing from distro repositories, this really is the easiest way to do it and it should be in all the major distros. So, once installed start it and let's get cracking. By default, Calibre come preloaded with RSS feeds that you can convert to EPUBs but we're going to create a customised one and we'll try that with FSM.

You should now be looking at Calibre's main interface. Select Add a custom news sourcefrom the Fetch News button.

Figure 1: Select a customized RSS feedFigure 1: Select a customized RSS feed

And you wiil be presented with three fields to populate.

Figure 2: Cooking a recipe for an EPUBFigure 2: Cooking a recipe for an EPUB

First, open FSM in your browser and click on the RSS feed in the location bar.

Figure 3: Copy and paste the FSM feedFigure 3: Copy and paste the FSM feed

and then copy and paste the URL into Calibre and give the feed and recipe a name too.

Figure 4: Copy feed url and give it a nameFigure 4: Copy feed url and give it a name

Again, select Schedule news download expand the custom category and click on FSM. Now, choose Download now. Calibre will download and do the necessary EPUB conversion. Hit Save and you're done.

Figure 5: FSM has been added. Now downloadFigure 5: FSM has been added. Now download

You will now see FSM in the Cover Browser (if you have it enabled, Highly recommended) but as you can see from the screenshot, because Calibre could not find a contextual cover it loaded its own default cover image.

Figure 6: The FSM EPUB book ready to viewFigure 6: The FSM EPUB book ready to view

We can fix that by selecting Download Metadata and covers from the Metadata button.

Figure 7: Download Metadata and coversFigure 7: Download Metadata and covers

From the resulting screen click on Browse and select an image from your hard drive.

Figure 8: Browse your hard drive for suitable cover imagesFigure 8: Browse your hard drive for suitable cover images

And, finally, we have the finished product!

Figure 9: Now our EPUB has a proper coverFigure 9: Now our EPUB has a proper cover

Click on it and read FSM articles in the built-in EPUB reader.

Figure 10: FSM in Calibre's built in E-readerFigure 10: FSM in Calibre's built in E-reader
Category: 
License: 

Comments

Leonatus's picture
Submitted by Leonatus on

Great! But you describe how to change the RSS cover once. The next time the RSS feed is to be downloaded, you will have to change the cover image again. I have on my reader two newspaper rss and would like to change the cover image once to stay. The best would be, if I could get the front page of the respective paper daily, but I suppose this is not possible if the publisher does not provide it. Can I at least fix the logo of the newspapers? This would be nicer, and on the screen of the reader I could better distinguish the papers.
Thanks for your help!

Author information

Gary Richmond's picture

Biography

A retired but passionate user of free and open source for nearly ten years, novice Python programmer, Ubuntu user, musical wanabee when "playing" piano and guitar. When not torturing musical instruments, rumoured to be translating Vogon poetry into Swahili.