Thorium Reader is the free desktop EPUB reader published by EDRLab. It can be installed on Windows, MacOS and Linux and it is the perfect all-in-one reading application for casual or heavy readers, library patrons and students. And its codebase is open-source.
The application was already one of the best EPUB 3 readers on the market and it was already supporting W3C Audiobooks, Divina mangas, comics, webtoons and bandes dessinées. With this new version, Thorium Reader also supports PDF and DAISY 3 publications.
Why PDF? because many libraries and booksellers have a stock of PDF ebooks they cannot exchange for EPUB 3 versions, and many users also have an history of PDF ebooks. It was therefore necessary to open our app to this format (even if there is no question: EPUB 3 is a better ebook format).
Public libraries need to loan ebooks with an “end date”, which requires the use of a DRM; PDF files can therefore now be protected by the LCP DRM and Thorium supports LCP protected PDF ebooks without effort.
This highly accessible application was already compatible with all major screen readers: Jaws, NVDA, Voice Over (on MacOS) and Narrator (on Windows). With this version, we’re reaching a new level of accessibility for people with visual disabilities: the support of the DAISY 3 format in its different variants: text, audio and text+audio. The DAISY format is a highly accessible ebook format created by the DAISY Consortium and it predates EPUB 3. Most libraries for the blinds distribute DAISY ebooks today; until now, these ebooks were only usable in specialized devices and applications. Thorium seems to be the first generic desktop app with DAISY support. Note that the DAISY 2.02 format will also be supported in Thorium in a future version.
Another important evolution in this version is a better support for OPDS catalogs (ebook feeds proposed by booksellers and public libraries), with support for user authentication: from Thorium, one can browse a digital library, borrow / purchase ebooks, access to a personal bookshelf and download items directly in-app. No need to access a Web portal, acquire and download an ebook, then import it into Thorium for reading: everything is done from the app itself, a seamless experience.
Another interesting addition to Thorium is code signing on Windows: now, a company can deploy the application on multiple desktop computers within an intranet without having Windows Defender complaining about potential security issues.
Thorium is now counting more than 50.000 installs worldwide and is localized in 13 languages (!). Three locales have been added in this version: Finnish, Chinese and Russian. Localization is easy and you can help us getting the software usable in your preferred language with few efforts: contact us if you’re ready to help.
The next steps will be about optimizations: better storage, better performances, better user interface. And we will then add the last missing feature necessary to a professional reading app: user annotations.
EDRLab is looking for sponsors for the development of Thorium Reader; you can easily help via Github Sponsors or by becoming an EDRLab member. Let’s make this application the best reading app ever.