[Feature Request] Offline "Fake" library

Hi !

I’ve just started using Panels and love it.

But (obviously), I’d really like to have an offline library. Let me explain.

I’m also reading Comics/Manga using Cover on a Windows machine, and the “offline” library is perfect.

I have a large library of comics/manga stored on my NAS (but could be DropBox, iCloud whatever), so I cannot have them all downloaded on my iPad or iPhone (or they’ll quickly run out of space), which means my library in Panels only contains the file I’m currently reading.

So, what I would love, would be to use the Import section to select which folder or manga I’d like to add to the library, but not download them to the device, unless I download it from the library to read it.

This would kind of be a “virtual” library and the download would be on demand, with the possibility to clear those I have read for example.

This is clearly a big work, so I don’t expect to see that anytime soon, but except if I’ve missed something in Panels, there is no way to do this at this time, which means the Library feels more like a “will read soon” than a full Library of all my manga.

Anyway thanks for the good work, I’ve tested a lot of apps, and this one is really great (design/feature/etc…) :+1:

Soon we will release iCloud support, and we have support for OPDS-based comic servers. You can install Kavita or Komga on a NAS, and you’ll get a much better experience than if it’s on a cloud storage service. They have streaming support, they generate the covers an metadata etc…

Panels OPDS implementation allows you to navigate the server offline, and it appears as a second library. You can download the comics you want on demand.
iCloud support on Panels 3 gives an experience similar to what you would find in iBooks.

So, what I would love, would be to use the Import section to select which folder or manga I’d like to add to the library, but not download them to the device, unless I download it from the library to read it.

This that you describe is quite complicated to achieve. Some cloud services like Dropbox or Google drive, for instance, provide a temporary identifier to download the file. After it expires, you can’t use it and must request a new server download. It’s way more complicated that storing a remote URL and downloading it in the future. Also, every service have their own way of downloading, which forces us to have and maintain a different implementation for each service. Building such a core feature on top of a third-party SDK is quite risky for us.

We recommend using any of the OPDS servers, or using iCloud (soon on Panels 3).

I hope that makes sense :pray:

Thanks for the reply!

It definitely make sense. I couldn’t try Komga (or other) as they require docker to run on Synology and mine is to old, but I’ll find a way to try it from my locale computer to have an idea.

Looking forward to check iCloud library, mays be it will works for me as I have a decent sized library that could fit on iCloud.

Thanks!

Awesome!

You can install the Panels 3 beta if you want to test the iCloud integration now. We are still polishing some rough edges but we are getting very good feedback from testers.

Also, we are slowly transitioning the community to our new Discord server. Feel free to join and give us feedback about the beta.

:wink:

I know many apps that do exactly this, it’s a solved problem. Yeah I guess it’s more initial effort, but ultimately you already integrated with these services for Importing, I can’t imagine how much extra effort it is to just handle scanning a folder? This is a subscription based product after all. Even KyBook 2 and 3 did this and they haven’t been updated for years and the Dropbox scanning implementation works to this day! It fetches all files in a folder, keeps local database and has them ready to read instead of manually having to download 1 by 1 which also allows users to search their entire collection without having everything downloaded locally. Just like Cover - please read how they’re handling the metadata/cover issue you’ve mentioned before: Blog | French Fry.

Adding this and improving the panel-by-panel view will make Panels the perfect comics app, I really don’t want to keep using OPDS.

lol thats funny. Other apps implementing something doesn’t make it a solved problem. It’s solved for them for sure. But we would still have to build it ourselves.
It’s not that we don’t know how. It’s that we have decided not to do so at this moment.

What’s your point exactly?

——-

I think I’ve answered and explained our reasons. We are focused on implementing these features on iCloud and improving OPDS integration.
We have our own strategies and roadmaps.
It’s great that there are other apps that do different things. I’m sure some do things better than us. I’m sure we do some other things better than them.
But we don’t have to replicate whatever other apps do.
Our bet is on OPDS and iCloud Drive. We think those are the best long-term solutions at this moment. Not only for us but for the majority of our users.

We get lots of feedback from many users almost daily. We implement lots of feature requests and that helps us model Panels to satisfy the majority’s likes/needs.
But I always recommend supporting us, or any other app, for what they are now. Not for what you expect them to be.
If you don’t want to use OPDS, neither iCloud, it’s clear that Panels does not match your needs.