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Old 09-27-2009, 12:03 PM   #1
DMcCunney
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Electronic book devices crowd the marketplace

Not a source I expect to report on this...

http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...&cs=1&nid=2562
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:17 PM   #2
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The multiple eBook formats are the real problem, not multiple eReader devices per se.

That would be a non issue if the books were the same--just like there are lots of different DVD players, MP3 players, Blu Ray (now that HD-DVD died) etc.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
The multiple eBook formats are the real problem, not multiple eReader devices per se.

That would be a non issue if the books were the same--just like there are lots of different DVD players, MP3 players, Blu Ray (now that HD-DVD died) etc.
Oh, I quite agree. I've been hoping the industry would support one standard format. I want to download electronic content once, and view it on whatever I have at hand. A standard format would make that more likely.

But it's a chicken and egg situation. To be successful, it needs to be supported by publishers, and ebooks to be part of the standard workflow. Manuscripts get copyedited, proofread, marked up and typeset, and output as PDF files that are sent to printers to make plates. It would be nice is a standard ebook format was something that was output alongside the PDF file as part of the process. There are pushes to make ePub that standard format. The problem with that is that publishers mostly use Adobe InDesign to do markup and generate files for printing, and InDesign currently produces poor ePub output.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:44 PM   #4
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Due to a lack of a presence by amazon, ePub does actually seem to be the standard for new releases in europe, so hopefully that will lead to a requirement for better ePub output from that software.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:58 PM   #5
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Due to a lack of a presence by amazon, ePub does actually seem to be the standard for new releases in europe, so hopefully that will lead to a requirement for better ePub output from that software.
Since Adobe is the principal backer of the ePub format, it's more than a bit ironic that their own markup software produces poor quality ePub output.

I'd thought of ePub as an intermediate format: it contains all the content and metadata, and it should be possible to convert it via scripted processes to other formats readable on devices that don't support ePub native. My dream is for ebooks to be created automatically as part of the work flow that produces paper books, with the ebook files simply one more output format for the markup program used to create publication files.

But first, your markup program has to generate decent ePub. Maybe in Adobe InDesign CS5...
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:28 AM   #6
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I just hope this cookie-cutter mentality will start to dissolve once there's sufficient enough competition present. I'm tired of the mediocrity of ebook devices, and would very much like for some of this competition to lead to innovation or at least improvement. Seems that some manufacturers' idea of innovation is to add a webcam, external speakers, more pointless software, or more touch options to the same sluggish, ugly, badly-designed reader devices with bad screens. I hope that's not the extent of development with these things.
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