Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Downloading Books From The Digital Library of India

If you are reading this, you are probably frustrated from trying to download books from DLI. DLI is an ambitious project. But, over the past couple of years, I've been wondering why anyone would go to the trouble of uploading so many valuable books and not ensure easy access. The pages are presented as .TIFF images to be downloaded one page at a time. Imagine doing 600+ pages. All the same, the fact remains that the website does  contain books you will not find anywhere else. So, how do you go about accessing them?

Tutorial on Using DLI Downloader
Go through the instructions in this link. Yeah, you really need to go through them, before you can proceed further.
Wait, don't move on. Remember, DLI has some really wonderful and rare books you can download for free. It's not a complete waste of time reading the instructions in this link. Think of all those times you had to go to the library, hustling for seats in two crowded buses or crawling through the traffic in your car (these days using sun controls in your car is not allowed). All you need to do here is, sit in front of your computer, and read instructions.

Okay, so now you've downloaded and installed the DLI dowloader. How do you go about actually downloading books from DLI. Let me say this before I proceed. The DLI downloader software is the best there is out there for this purpose. Here's how you use it.

Step 1: Go to the DLI page.

Step 2: Choosing a Book: Let's say the title of the book you are looking for is "The Synthesis of Yoga". Type it in the title slot and click "Search". Let's do that and see what happens. Please note that your search may not be recognized if there are spelling mistakes

This is what you'll see. Click on one books from the list.

If you don't know the title, but you know the author's name, fill in the author box and hit "Search". If you want to browse, click the down arrow beside the subject box or the one beside the language box, you'll get a drop down menu with a list of choices (shown in the pic below) select the subject and language to and hit "Search".

After you have selected the subject and the language and hit "Search", you'll see something like this on your screen.

Note: When you search for a book by title or author, set the subject to "any subject" and make sure that the language search is set correctly. Also set the scanning center to "any center".

Browse through the list and click on the book you want to download. But before you do that take note of the number of pages in the book. As we proceed, you'll see why you need that information later.

When you select the book, you will be taken to the page you see below.

Step 3: Click on your DLI downloader to open it and follow the instructions in the picture below.

Note: For some reason it is not possible to copy and paste the barcode; you'll have to enter it manually. The easiest way to do this is to open the downloader on top of the DLI page and position it such that the code is visible and copy it one number at a time. Now hit "download".  You'll see the picture below on your screen.

It downloading, but in all probability, within the next few minutes, you'll see the screen below.

Oops!!! So, what went wrong? It probably got timed out. But this sometimes happens when I have a slow connection, or when is book has over 300 pages or perhaps there's a problem with the DLI server. But what I do know for sure is, it does not work when you try again later either. The next day maybe. I don't know. Here's something I've tried that works almost always.

If you check out the picture above once more, you'll notice that the barcode too has gone. So, yes, you'll have to enter it manually once again.

Remember, I told you to take note of the number of pages in the book? We need that information now. Let's  break the download down to a few pages at a time, based on the number of pages that were downloaded before the connection was lost. Okay, so let's try only 50 pages for now.

This usually works.  When the download is complete, you'll see the 'status' message as in the screenshot below.

and finally, this the message below.

So, the book has been created successfully. But where is it? Go to 'My Computer' and type 'DLID books' in the search box. Note down the location for future reference, and  then cut and paste the book in the desired folder.

Hope you found this tutorial helpful. Let me know if there are any errors here or if you come across any problems other than the ones I've mentioned here.