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Old 04-22-2011, 11:35 AM   #1
1611mac
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My dream "study system" for eBooks...

IMHO.. If someone developed a really good system for e-book "STUDY and REFERENCE" (not just reading) they'd have a very unique product with some potential.

Here's my hypothetical "system." Assume all public domain and/or non-DRM works. This example uses my particular devices, an iMac, iPad, and iPod Touch and it would work much like a good Bible study program (all notes and marks for all books linked for easy access.)

I would have my master library on my iMac, (much like Calibre). It would be able to convert formats and do all that Calibre does. But... it would also have a high end "reader/study app" that worked in conjunction with it. The reader/study app would display books as Calibre does, (it's custom columns, tags, size, etc) so I could find my books in the reader (on my iPad) exactly as I do in Calibre. Of course, this app would work and look the same on the Mac Desktop, iPad and iPod Touch.

The reader/study app would sync between the Mac Desktop and the iPad. It would sync "furtherest point read" (set as a special bookmark) as well as regular bookmarks, notes, highlights, etc.

Marking tools would be more robust than anything currently available and there would be a MASTER NOTE FILE (all annotations and marks) which was housed in the master library (iMac). This Master Note File would allow the browsing of all notes in ALL BOOKS and, when you make a note, it would "guide" you to your common note themes (a pulldown menu perhaps.) While within a book, you could highlight a word, name, or place, and you could browse a listing which showed ALL books with a note or mark that you have made on that topic. A click on a button would collect and show those notes from all those books in a single pane.

Think of it like this: Bible Study software can "link" books and commentaries to bible passages and with a click on a tab or link, you can read that passage and it notes in any number of reference works. Why not the same for ebooks? With a networked system and a "Master Note File" working with your main book library, it's possible.

Well, I won't hold my breath…. But I'll keep on dreaming….
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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I expect all of this and more once ebooks really take off and the respective hardware manufacturers open up access to the public i.e. The Kindle SDK. There's just so much that can be done with the reading interface it's not even funny.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:59 AM   #3
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I expect all of this and more once ebooks really take off and the respective hardware manufacturers open up access to the public i.e. The Kindle SDK. There's just so much that can be done with the reading interface it's not even funny.
I wish the "take off" were sooner rather than later!
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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Great idea for what you want to do with ebooks... but, for a lot of people, ereaders are for reading and that's it... many of us just want to relax with a nice simple device and get into our book, we're not doing study and cross-referencing the world... I hope you get what you want but not at the expense of a straightforward ereader without these facilities...
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:28 PM   #5
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Great idea for what you want to do with ebooks... but, for a lot of people, ereaders are for reading and that's it... many of us just want to relax with a nice simple device and get into our book, we're not doing study and cross-referencing the world... I hope you get what you want but not at the expense of a straightforward ereader without these facilities...
Does the 16gb wifi only iPad suffer because there is also a 64gb 3g model?
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:12 PM   #6
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Frankly, yes... I haven't bought one yet because the 16GB WiFi doesn't meet my needs and I can't justify the expense of the 64GB model... if there wasn't a more expensive (because better featured) model around then I might have got the 16GB and worked out ways to do what I want.

This wasn't the point I was making, it was more of a case of manufacturers adding features to new models and reducing basic models and thus keeping prices up... and I wasn't digging at what you want, just hoping that it wouldn't come out at the cost of what I want...

Why does a comment on one person's requirements differing from another's always seem to get jumped on in the MR forums these days... aren't differing viewpoints and needs allowed any more?


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Does the 16gb wifi only iPad suffer because there is also a 64gb 3g model?
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:37 PM   #7
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Why does a comment on one person's requirements differing from another's always seem to get jumped on in the MR forums these days... aren't differing viewpoints and needs allowed any more?
I apologize. I wasn't jumping on any viewpoint, just trying to point out that there are different needs by different people.

But it is a little strange to me that when you have all kinds of reader apps available to fulfill your needs, and I have none, your response would be "I hope you get what you want but not at the expense of a straightforward ereader without these facilities..." That simply isn't going to happen. There will always be plenty of "straightforward" reader apps and they will only get better and better (simpler and simpler?).

Again, did not mean to be jumping on anyone... I apologize if you took it that way.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:59 PM   #8
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I just wish the ePub people would come up with a standardized basic dictionary and annotations format that any developer could write software/firmware to use.

And I think the annotations should be kept in a separate file from the actual book, and that for maximum portability, the annotations files should be separate individual files themselves (.enote corresponding to the .epub name, perhaps?), which can be transferred to any supporting reader, and possibly even shared between people (give a pre-highlighted public domain text with study notes to students along with the Project Gutenberg file, or something).

I'm okay with copied highlights being optionally DRM-ed/encrypted or otherwise "protected" by being pointers to locations in the text of the ePub if the publishers insist, and even non-exportable beyond a certain percentage if they're paranoid about that (like Amazon's "clipping limit" on the Kindle, beyond which your highlights will still show in the book, but no longer auto-copied to MyClippings.txt).

But your personally written notes and bookmarks should always be in readable text, and fully exportable via any compatible program.

Anything beyond that in the way of notes-management would be nice, but really, I want this simple basic officially promoted consensus first, just for interoperability.
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
I just wish the ePub people would come up with a standardized basic dictionary and annotations format that any developer could write software/firmware to use.

And I think the annotations should be kept in a separate file from the actual book, and that for maximum portability, the annotations files should be separate individual files themselves (.enote corresponding to the .epub name, perhaps?), which can be transferred to any supporting reader, and possibly even shared between people (give a pre-highlighted public domain text with study notes to students along with the Project Gutenberg file, or something).

I'm okay with copied highlights being optionally DRM-ed/encrypted or otherwise "protected" by being pointers to locations in the text of the ePub if the publishers insist, and even non-exportable beyond a certain percentage if they're paranoid about that (like Amazon's "clipping limit" on the Kindle, beyond which your highlights will still show in the book, but no longer auto-copied to MyClippings.txt).

But your personally written notes and bookmarks should always be in readable text, and fully exportable via any compatible program.

Anything beyond that in the way of notes-management would be nice, but really, I want this simple basic officially promoted consensus first, just for interoperability.
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:23 PM   #10
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Unfortunately that makes far to much sense to be implemented... it's nowhere near complicated enough, should be cross-platform and actually useful to people needing annotations... no chance...


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Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
I just wish the ePub people would come up with a standardized basic dictionary and annotations format that any developer could write software/firmware to use.

And I think the annotations should be kept in a separate file from the actual book, and that for maximum portability, the annotations files should be separate individual files themselves (.enote corresponding to the .epub name, perhaps?), which can be transferred to any supporting reader, and possibly even shared between people (give a pre-highlighted public domain text with study notes to students along with the Project Gutenberg file, or something).

I'm okay with copied highlights being optionally DRM-ed/encrypted or otherwise "protected" by being pointers to locations in the text of the ePub if the publishers insist, and even non-exportable beyond a certain percentage if they're paranoid about that (like Amazon's "clipping limit" on the Kindle, beyond which your highlights will still show in the book, but no longer auto-copied to MyClippings.txt).

But your personally written notes and bookmarks should always be in readable text, and fully exportable via any compatible program.

Anything beyond that in the way of notes-management would be nice, but really, I want this simple basic officially promoted consensus first, just for interoperability.
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