Color books are downloaded as black and white

4 points by jsx91 a year ago

There is "Bell's Common Place Book", which can be viewed or downloaded for free:

When I view it without downloading, the pages are color.

But if I download it as PDF, the same pages are simply black and white.

Why? (And how is it possible to workaround this?)

pwg a year ago

> Why?

Since the URL is 'google' one obvious reason is to encourage viewing the "live web copy" -- which can have live advertisements inserted.

The 'offline pdf' can't have live ads inserted that change as you view the content.

Therefore the black and white download version to encourage usage of the version that provides for more ad revenue to google.

> And how is it possible to workaround this?

For that you'll have to investigate how the color pages arrive in the live web view. If you can see the content in your browser then it is possible you might be able to capture/save off the color content. But you'll have to dig into how the page works to find out if it is possible.

schwartzworld a year ago

My guess is that it's to optimize for ereader users, as the colored pages would be hard to read on eInk. It probably saves a LOT of bandwidth while improving the legibility.

You could download the individual pages as images directly from the google books page, but the list is virtualized, so there are only ever a few pages being rendered at one time, which is why you can't just crtl-P the whole thing.

Looking at the URLs of the images, they seem to be sequentially numbered. I tried using CURL to fetch one of the urls, and it fetched the full color version as a PNG file. This means it should be trivial to write a script that iterates through the page numbers and downloads each page. Any programming language could do it, even BASH. These images could be combined into a PDF using the tool of your choice.