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Old 12-12-2009, 11:40 AM   #1
tkingny
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Question Will Kindle ever adopt an ePub format?

I really like the Kindle, but have not bought one because I really want to have the option to check out books from my local library in addition to purchasing books. Do you think Kindle will ever adopt ePub like Sony has?
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:44 AM   #2
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My guess, and this is strictly my opinion, is they will never support ePub.
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:41 PM   #3
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Well, never and ever are a long time. Jeff Bezos was always jealous of the closed system Apple has/had with iTunes... so he put up his iTunes busting DRM free MP3 music store. He claimed at the time that open standards blah blah blah....

Now, he totally copied the closed iTunes/iPod system with the Kindle/Kindle Store. The have created software for the iPhone/iPod Touch, PCs and Mac on the way. I hear they are also going to support other devices to. They own the mobiepocket software which will be pretty easy to port. They also supposedly loose money on each 9.99 ebook they sell... so making up that revenue with Kindle sales and also making sure all the back catalog ebooks that they do make money on will be there.

So, all the above is the argument against them moving to ePub.

The argument for it is that pretty much every other reader device has been adopting ePub using the Adobe DRM. So, if the Kindle store did support this form they could possible sell a lot more ebooks. But, unfortunately you can't make up a loss in volume.

BOb
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:44 AM   #4
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I think inevitably Amazon will adopt ePub and do what Sony did on Friday. I mean even Apple switched to selling MP3's. The real question is how long would it take them to write a comparable renderer to Adobes (actually probably could write one better from what i have heard about Adobes) as I doubt they really want to pay Adobe.

In the end though I cannot imagine why publishers wouldn't eventually force the switch we just would not see that till they realize they can make money off ebooks.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:06 AM   #5
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I think inevitably Amazon will adopt ePub and do what Sony did on Friday. I mean even Apple switched to selling MP3's. The real question is how long would it take them to write a comparable renderer to Adobes (actually probably could write one better from what i have heard about Adobes) as I doubt they really want to pay Adobe.
What you're paying Adobe for isn't really the renderer - it's the DRM system and use of their DRM servers. The ePub rendering isn't really the issue - it's basically just HTML, and not hard to render.

Unfortunately, if Amazon were to adopt ePub, but not not use Adobe's DRM system we really wouldn't be any better off - we'd still have an incompatible format. One of the problems with ePub is that DRM isn't part of the defined standard; anybody can bolt their own DRM system on to ePub and still call the result "ePub", even if no other software than their own can read it.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:53 AM   #6
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In the end though I cannot imagine why publishers wouldn't eventually force the switch we just would not see that till they realize they can make money off ebooks.
They need to realise that they can make *more* money off an open ebook standard - that's the critical thing. And given the history of the music and movie industries in this area, I think we have little cause for optimism. Both those industries have responded to every suggestion of openness by investing in ever-more restrictive technologies (and, of course, litigation)
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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What you're paying Adobe for isn't really the renderer - it's the DRM system and use of their DRM servers. The ePub rendering isn't really the issue - it's basically just HTML, and not hard to render.

Unfortunately, if Amazon were to adopt ePub, but not not use Adobe's DRM system we really wouldn't be any better off - we'd still have an incompatible format. One of the problems with ePub is that DRM isn't part of the defined standard; anybody can bolt their own DRM system on to ePub and still call the result "ePub", even if no other software than their own can read it.
Well maybe not so much the rendering on screen but the formatting for the renderer is done by it from what I have read. I think Amazon might be able to manage a deal with Adobe for the drm but I don't think it would do them as much good but was not Amazon saying they were planing to expand ebook sales to other devices? At the time I was thinking they meant other ebook readers not just iPhone.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:34 PM   #8
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Well maybe not so much the rendering on screen but the formatting for the renderer is done by it from what I have read.
Sorry, I didn't express myself very well. You're right - ADE does do all the rendering. What I meant was that you don't have to pay Adobe their large fee if all you want is ePub rendering, because ePub is very easy to render, being HTML-based. The reason that a company licences ADE from Adobe is to be able to use DRM-protected books, which (other than B&N) all use Adobe's encryption technology.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:52 PM   #9
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Sorry, I didn't express myself very well. You're right - ADE does do all the rendering. What I meant was that you don't have to pay Adobe their large fee if all you want is ePub rendering, because ePub is very easy to render, being HTML-based. The reason that a company licences ADE from Adobe is to be able to use DRM-protected books, which (other than B&N) all use Adobe's encryption technology.
Ok, I did not think Amazon wouldn't want to pay i think that from the way it seems Amazon built the Kindle (all in-house software wise) It seems unlikely they would want to take anything more then the drm parts of Abobes. I wonder if maybe eventually enough people talking about getting books from libraries will convince them it wont destroy their bottom line?
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:07 PM   #10
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The ePub rendering isn't really the issue - it's basically just HTML, and not hard to render.
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What I meant was that you don't have to pay Adobe their large fee if all you want is ePub rendering, because ePub is very easy to render, being HTML-based.
I saw it the first time, and couldn't believe you said it. Then I saw it the second time, and I still can't believe you said it.

Rendering HTML + CSS correctly is horribly difficult. Throw in SVG which the EPUB standard supports and now it's eyeball-gouging difficult. I mean geez, half the Webkit source tree is SVG, and the other half still makes for hundreds of thousands of lines of code. And Webkit is considered light.

So no, rendering EPUB files is not easy. It's far, far from easy. It's the reason why Adobe chose Webkit as the basis for their ADE renderer.

Last edited by Valloric; 12-13-2009 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:24 PM   #11
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Ok, I did not think Amazon wouldn't want to pay i think that from the way it seems Amazon built the Kindle (all in-house software wise) It seems unlikely they would want to take anything more then the drm parts of Abobes. I wonder if maybe eventually enough people talking about getting books from libraries will convince them it wont destroy their bottom line?
I keep thinking that Amazone will have to crater on this fairly soon, given the increased competition they are now facing. I just wish they would all adopt an open format. The funny thing is, I don't generally check books out of the library and would likely continue to purchase 90% of my books, I still really want the option. I believe that would be true for many people.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:26 PM   #12
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well either epub is a horribly messed up version of html or Adobe ruined webkit then since from what i have heard the more advanced epub features are really poorly implemented in ADE. Mind you it is stuff most books probably never use but still it should be implemented correctly before we really expect epub to be able to actually take off fully.

I do support epub and I hope the fact B&N and Sony both are using it will finally force Amazon to consider it.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:54 AM   #13
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well either epub is a horribly messed up version of html or Adobe ruined webkit
It's the latter.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:01 AM   #14
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It's the latter.
That is exactly what I expected.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:07 AM   #15
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What you're paying Adobe for isn't really the renderer - it's the DRM system and use of their DRM servers. The ePub rendering isn't really the issue - it's basically just HTML, and not hard to render.

Unfortunately, if Amazon were to adopt ePub, but not not use Adobe's DRM system we really wouldn't be any better off - we'd still have an incompatible format. One of the problems with ePub is that DRM isn't part of the defined standard; anybody can bolt their own DRM system on to ePub and still call the result "ePub", even if no other software than their own can read it.
And we already have an ePub DRM nightmare thanks to B&N.
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