MangAI FAQ

General Questions:

Q: What is MangAI?
MangAI is a digital manga processor and organizer. “Processor” means that MangAI performs image manipulation operations on the manga scans given to it such as resizing, rotation, color alteration, and white space trimming. “Organizing” refers to MangAI’s ability to interpret input publications by volume-chapter and input scans by volume-chapter-page, then use this data to correctly name and sort the output files.

Q: Why would I want to use MangAI?
MangAI takes care of all the work that comes after you have downloaded or scanned manga. This means the user doesn’t have to worry about such things as unarchiving, renaming, moving files around, or altering images. You can even process an entire series at once rather than a single volume/chapter at a time. Simply point MangAI to the location containing all the files of a manga series and it will take over from there. The output is properly organized, named, and formatted for optimal enjoyment on your particular ereader (or you can use the organization features alone if reading on a pc/laptop).

Q: There are other manga processors out there, why should I choose MangAI?
It’s the artificial intelligence (AI) of MangAI that separates it from the competition. AI is a fancy way of saying that MangAI understands digital manga the way a human would rather than the standard computer approach of treating everything like sterile files. MangAI conforms to the Manga Intelligence Model, allowing it to interpret publications by volume-chapter and scans by volume-chapter-page.

There are other unique features in MangAI that you won’t find in other programs. It can take your entire series as input rather than having to process each volume/chapter separately. It can auto split landscape two-page scans while avoiding splitting when the two pages form one giant picture. With the growing population of non-Windows users in mind, MangAI was written in Java so that it can run on any OS (Windows, Mac, Linux). It also has settings profiles optimized for many different ereaders. If your ereader isn’t already included, ask me to add it, or you can modify any setting yourself to meet your particular needs.

Runtime Problems and Questions:

P: When I double-click the jar file, it is opened by an archiving program (like WinRAR) instead of launching MangAI.
MangAI is distributed as Java ARchive (jar). Since this format uses the same compression as a zip file, archiving programs may mistakenly want to open it. If this happens, right-click the jar and select “Open with” from the menu that appears. Look for an option that says something like Java Runtime, JRE, or Jar Launcher. If possible, you should also make this choice the default opener of jar files so you won’t have this problem again.

P: MangAI gave me an exception error or froze while processing my manga.
First check the included readme to see if you may have done something wrong. For example, a simple problem could be you forgot to install ImageMagick. If your problem is not covered in the readme, please email me through the Contact page and I’ll address it as soon as possible. Your email should include:

  1. Copy/paste of your run window with error message
  2. Copy/paste of your mangai.properties file
  3. Debug map of the manga you are trying to process (see below)

If the problem occurs during publication or scan interpretation, you should include a debug map of the manga you are trying to process. To create a debug map, fill in the MangAI fields like normal (source, Title, etc.), click the “Other Operations” tab, then enable the check box for “Create Debug Map”. After running MangAI, you will get a file named map_Title.txt. Email me that map file (as attachment or copy/paste its content), and I will use it to recreate your file structure without having to send me the actual scans.

I may require additional information from you in order to debug the problem, so be sure to specify a valid email address in the contact form.

P: I get an error message that “ImageMagick directory was not specified in the .properties file” even though I have already installed ImageMagick.
MangAI is usually able to auto detect your ImageMagick install location if you accepted the default options during installation. If for whatever reason it is not able to do so, you must manually specify the location in the .properties settings file.

Look for the line “image_magick_dir = ” and insert your location. It should look like one of the following (depending on your OS and the version of ImageMagick installed):

For Windows: image_magick_dir = C:\\Program Files\\ImageMagick-6.7.0-Q16\\
For Mac: image_magick_dir = /opt/local/bin/
For Linux: image_magick_dir = /usr/bin/

P: When I try to request a trial license, it errors saying that I’ve already requested one before even though this is my first time.
A trial license is tied to both your email address and computer. If either has been used before, such as by a family member that shares the same computer, then another trial license cannot be issued. If you know this is the first time your email and computer have been used for a trial license request, please email me through the Contact page. Be sure to include a copy/paste of the error message you are receiving.

P: I did not receive the full/trial license email, or the email is missing the license attachment.
Full and trial licenses are handled automatically by a licensing server. The full/trial license email can take a few minutes to arrive. If it’s been a while and you still haven’t received the email, or if you receive the email but it doesn’t have the license attached, please email me through the Contact page.

P: I do not see my ereader in the list of devices when creating a .properties settings file.
There are a ton of ereaders on the market with more coming out every month. MangAI contains settings profiles for the most popular devices, but it does not have them all. Please contact me if you would like a device profile added to MangAI. I can easily add new profiles and they will be downloaded automatically with the Check for Update feature. In the mean time, you can select a similar device from the list and then modify its settings to better match your device.

P: MangAI’s publication or scan interpretation is incorrect.
Like all artificial intelligence, MangAI is not perfect. There is a good reason that no other manga program conforms to the Manga Intelligence Model… it is brutally difficult to program. For a long time I didn’t even think it was possible, but I continued working on it and eventually developed something that seems to work pretty darn well. It’s an evolving process. I continually work to make the logic as strong as possible.

If you run into a faulty publication or scan interpretation that you think MangAI should be able to handle, contact me and I’ll see if I can improve the AI. If you’re having problems with a particular series, you can always change from Manga Intelligence Model interpretation to simple filename string comparison by modifying the .properties settings to change @folder_interpretation and/or @scan_interpretation to “string”. Alternatively, you can disable those features on a per-series basis in the Advanced tab of the GUI or by setting runtime options in the command line. This is especially useful for @scan_interpretation since, in many cases, filename string comparison is good enough for basic sorting.

Q: Can I force MangAI to auto split all landscape scans instead of only those with detected independent pages?
Yes, you can force all horizontal (landscape) pages to be split by using the following settings:

auto_split_landscape_scans = true
allow_auto_split_color_scans = true
auto_split_gray_strictness = 0.0
auto_split_color_strictness = 0.0
auto_sense_landscape_folders = false

Other Questions:

Q: Where do I get digital manga?
No digital manga is hosted on this site. Do a Google search, it’s not too hard to find. Before you do anything, make sure you know the laws of your country. Manga, like all books, is intellectual property and protected by copyright laws. As far as I’ve heard, scanlations are a legal grey area, so be sure to only download scans that you either own a hard copy of or are not licensed in your country. If they later become licensed in your country, buy a hard copy. Support manga creators, they are awesome :3

Another option is to scan your own manga. This is not easy to do properly and requires some form of scanning hardware (although even a simple digital camera can get you started). Check diybookscanner.org for info on setting up your own scanning system.

Q: What ereader do you recommend for digital manga?
If you have the money, iPad is best digital manga reader I’ve come across. It has many advantages over epaper readers like Kindle, such as:

  • Marketplace with apps designed specifically for reading digital manga. Makes a big difference when compared to using generic image readers. I hope to eventually write my own iOS comic reader that will utilize the AI from MangAI and provide the end-all digital manga experience.
  • 9.7″ screen is big enough to display an entire page and still have all text easily legible.
  • Pinch-to-zoom support. So awesome for tiny text and picture details.
  • Color screen. I know, color doesn’t sound important for manga, but it sure is nice for covers and other special pages.
  • Backlit screen means you can read in any room regardless of lighting conditions. Sure you can’t read outside like you can with an epaper screen, but do otaku ever go outside?
  • When you’re not reading digital manga, the iPad has a million other amazing uses, including an Internet browser to catch up on the latest manga/anime news.

I initially tried a 6″ Sony PRS-505 and found the screen too small to display a full page and have the text be comfortably legible. If you do get a 6″ reader, I’ve heard from users that rotating all images to landscape orientation (i.e. each page fills the full height dimension of the screen as its width and you scroll to read the up/down the page) can make the experience much more enjoyable. The larger screen of the Kindle DX is great, but if you’re spending that much I would save a little more and get an iPad.

Android tablet prices have come down lately. Personally I dislike Android (for many reasons). I tried my Dad’s Asus Eee Pad Transformer and the best comic reader available at the time paled in comparison to an average comic reader on iPad. Depending on cost though, an Android tablet may be an overall better choice than an epaper device such as a Kindle since it has many of the advantages of an iPad listed above… the features just aren’t implemented nearly as well on Android as they are on iOS.

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