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Old 01-29-2010, 11:29 AM   #1
Direct Ebooks
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iPad and eBooks – Match made in hell or heaven?

Firstly, some confessions – I have an iPhone. I’m also not afraid to admit that it is probably the single best piece of technology that I have ever used. I’m a big fan. That’s not to say though that I have been infected with the Apple virus, a condition so serious that you may find yourself twittering and blogging yourself to near death in an almost orgasmic, elevated state of excitement whan an Apple announcement is nigh.

I did get a little dose though – I was really interested in what the iPad would and could be. Overall, I’m a little underwhelmed. There’s no doubt its an aesthetically great product and it looks like it would be fun to use. Stephen Fry’s blog waxes lyrically; “The moment you experience it in your hands you know this is class. This is a different order of experience. The speed, the responsiveness, the smooth glide of it, the richness and detail of the display, the heft in your hand, the rightness of the actions and gestures that you employ, untutored and instinctively, it’s not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multi touch enhanced laptop – it is a whole new kind of device. And it will change so much”

While he might be a little fervent in his worship, his main point – that the device is incredibly tactile and a joy to use is probably correct. Is it a game changing device? I don’t think so – not right now anyway. Right now it’s an ideal multi-media device. If I was going to buy a laptop for the kids to surf the net and watch movies it would be great. (mind you my boys are a little clumsy!)

The iPad seems a little rushed to me and the absence of multi-tasking and a camera for video conferencing are major oversights. It will be a great springboard for development though. Apps and accessories will spring up virtually instantaneously on launch and new uses and function will be weekly discoveries. I would be amaxed if there isn’t at least one upgraded version within the next 12 months – iPadPlus anyone?

Of course, my main interest was in eBooks. Very briefly, some of my initial impressions which I will expand on later;

* There will be an iBooks store. US only to start but available worldwide by Autumn I would imagine.
* Rumours of Apple’s own DRM system is rife meaning only eBooks purchased at iBooks wil be readable by their software.
* Will other apps for eBooks such as the excellent Stanza software be allowed on the iPad? Unknown, but probably will – won’t be able to read iBooks though!
* The software looks pretty neat albeit very close to the Classics app
* Page turns, font changes etc all look great, but what about eye-strain – unknown

Hopefully, iPad will bring eBooks more into the mainstream, but it’s neither David or Goliath in the eBook marketplace. I agree wholeheartedly with Michael J Miller in PcMag that the future of eBooks is in the software, not the hardware. Devices will come and go.

Ultimately what readers want is to be able to read any eBook , anywhere on any device. Thats it – no magic formula. No all-singing, all-dancing wireless life-changer. Just let us read!

Blog and links at www.directebooks.com/blog
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:48 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Direct Ebooks View Post
Ultimately what readers want is to be able to read any eBook , anywhere on any device. Thats it – no magic formula.
That is the magic formula - "let me read any book I want, when I want, where I want, on whatever I want". Now that Steve Jobs has passed on the opportunity to put on his robe and wizard hat we need to hope somebody else steps up to the challenge.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:49 AM   #3
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In every way, shape, or form, E-readers will stay in the race regardless of whatever advantage the Ipad may have.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:49 AM   #4
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Man, the term "game chang[er/ing] has become so overused since 2008.

How many redundant threads we got going for this topic now? Anyone keeping track?
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:17 PM   #5
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I say the match is made neither in heaven or hell. It is simply an alternative. For those that are not interested in portable net browsing, email, photos, games, music, movie and reading device, they can choose alternatives. Just want to read books? Get a reader. Just want to listen to music, get an mp3 player.....etc....

There will still be laptops, readers, mp3 players and dvd players after the iPad. The iPad is just a all in one, portable alternative. I welcome it, and all competitors, and those that don't like the iPad will not buy it.

It is much like any other device, including the Kindle. I do not like the Kindle, so I did not buy it.

Does that mean the Kindle is junk.... no.
Does it mean Sony is better than the Kindle....no
Does it mean people that buy a Kindle are fools.....no
All it means is that "I" do not want a Kindle, and did not buy one.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:23 PM   #6
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Healed from apple virus

i was an addicted.I have to confess that i had to buy what Mr Jobs was presenting, even if the philosophy of the apple firm changed from revolution to establishment, from "Mr nice guys" to microsoft-esque.
i got feverish, whenever someone shi. a apple keynote.
and now..... now finally im healed and clean.

ipad is my saver!

what is it: a fat iphone but no tablet( dont dare to speak of a tablet).a ibook reader but no ebook reader because in the end you cant read all the book you want, but the ibooks of apple.......and naturally we europeans are fu..ed again because ibook store is US store.
no possibility to see flash, no camera, no possibility to apply office and for sure another costly contract with a telecom firm ( even if i have one for the iphone) to use 3G.

My only hope would be that the community hacks this device because thats the answer to apples global controling mechanisms.

lets stop to discuss ipad in this forum because its no ebook reader!
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direct Ebooks View Post
I agree wholeheartedly with Michael J Miller in PcMag that the future of eBooks is in the software, not the hardware. Devices will come and go.
I partly disagree with this quote. I think in the case of EBooks specifically, the hardware is important. I for one can not read for long periods on a laptop display.

Ereaders need an appropriate display and a bunch of other specific hardware (like weeks between charges), and good software to support it.

Robert
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Direct Ebooks View Post
Ultimately what readers want is to be able to read any eBook , anywhere on any device. Thats it – no magic formula. No all-singing, all-dancing wireless life-changer. Just let us read!
Only a minor disagreement with this-basically, if there's a device that will let me read any ebook, regardless of format or DRM, anywhere I am, then I'd probably buy it. (Providing it fits some subjective criteria, such as 'reasonable' pricing, 'comfortable' to read, etc. These could be met by providing various models of the same device, e.g. a pocket-size model & a large-screen model. The Kindle does this.) I'd even accept the capability being restricted to that 'device' as long as 'device' is limited to brand/model rather than a specific unit.(I.e. I wouldn't mind an ebook being limited to the Kindle if I could read it on any Kindle I owned, and if I could read any ebook, no matter where I got it, on the Kindle. There are some devices that meet the first criteria, but none that I know of that meet the second.)
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:38 PM   #9
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Any book, and any device.... this is why I am so pro ePub (novels, popular books) and PDF (technical). Is ePub and PDF the best that can be? I'm sure not. no more than MP3, DOC, html, VHS, Blueray...etc... are necessarily the best. But we need a standard, and these are the most widely used. There is no doubt in my mind in 5 years Amazon will not use the format they use now. The closed system only works for so long, and then the competition forces the change.

DRM is a whole separate issue.
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