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Old 12-20-2011, 09:01 PM   #1
Nathanael
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epub3 and kf8: What happened to the "book" in e-book?

So epub3 and Kindle Format 8 are out, and are supposed to be the future of ebooks. As a Bookeen/iPad/Linux user, I don't own a Kindle or any Kindle-reading software, so I haven't seen anything in KF8 format. However, a week or so ago I downloaded Azardi 7 and InfoGrid Pacific's three sample epub3 ebooks.

My initial reaction -- to be very impressed with the flash and dazzle of the, well, flash and dazzle -- was quickly replaced with something more visceral. Under whose rules is this a "book"? I really felt like I was browsing a Flash-laden website, long on animated sprites, fly-out text and interactivity up the wazoo, but conspicuously short on "book".

At what point does a book cease to be a "book" and transmogrify into a multimedia presentation? From embedded video, to read-aloud features, to sprite animation, will the next Stephen King offering be a novel, a Hollywood-mogul-directed feature-length cinematic event, or full-fledged computer game?

So what do you think? Is the future of books not books at all?
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:03 PM   #2
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DEAD HORSE THREAD ALERT.

Can we just cut to the point where half the posters point out that flash-and-dazzle can be highly convenient for specialty/minority needs and the other half can ironically yell Get Off My Lawn?
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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I think I see the fnords.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:16 PM   #4
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I think I see the fnords.
I learned a new word!
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:49 PM   #5
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I think I see the fnords.
I'm pining for the fnords. / Norwegian Blue Illuminati
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:53 PM   #6
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I'm pining for the fnords. / Norwegian Blue Illuminati
I got an award. For Norway.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:27 AM   #7
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I guess the point is that a technology which permits such things as embedded audio and video allows people to create "enhanced" eBooks where the enhancements add value. I can certainly see the value, for example, of video clips in travel books, or of audio clips in a book on bird identification. Most books don't benefit from such things, but it's nice to have it there when it does.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:36 AM   #8
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I guess the point is that a technology which permits such things as embedded audio and video allows people to create "enhanced" eBooks where the enhancements add value. I can certainly see the value, for example, of video clips in travel books, or of audio clips in a book on bird identification. Most books don't benefit from such things, but it's nice to have it there when it does.
That... and I don't believe my favorites authors are going to be tied down and forced to include audio/video in their works, just because the tech makes it possible.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:45 AM   #9
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I don't believe my favorites authors are going to be tied down and forced to include audio/video in their works, just because the tech makes it possible.
You'd think, wouldn't you?

Just wait till Macmillan 'encourages' Mieville to include little snippets in his ebooks so they can justify hiking prices.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:07 AM   #10
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You'd think, wouldn't you?

Just wait till Macmillan 'encourages' Mieville to include little snippets in his ebooks so they can justify hiking prices.
For Mieville it may be worth it.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:13 AM   #11
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You'd think, wouldn't you?

Just wait till Macmillan 'encourages' Mieville to include little snippets in his ebooks so they can justify hiking prices.
Sure, enhanced versions will be available for a higher price—we have that now. But they exist alongside the normal version. I really don't see text-only ebooks going the way of the dodo anytime soon, regardless of the technology.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 12-21-2011 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:42 PM   #12
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Haven't we figured out yet that this always happens with new technology?

The first round or three of epub3/kf8 books will have all of this "look at me!" flashy stuff because they can, just like the first (modern) 3D movies all had to have at least one "It's coming right at us!" scene to show off their 3D-ness, the first CD-ROM computer apps and games all had to have full-motion video, etc.

Just wait it out. The novelty will wear off, publishers will stop trying to embed videos, animations, games, whatever, and in the end we'll have better looking books thanks to the improved layout capabilities of the new formats.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:47 PM   #13
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That... and I don't believe my favorites authors are going to be tied down and forced to include audio/video in their works, just because the tech makes it possible.
Mercedes Lackey: No! NOOOOO! No, Tor, I don't want to include an audio teaser of my tie-in filk songs with the next book! STOP MAKING ME RICH AND POPULAR!
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:33 PM   #14
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I'm pining for the fnords. / Norwegian Blue Illuminati
I woner, is someone obsessively interested in Norwegian geographical features a fnerd ?
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:27 PM   #15
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