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Old 10-01-2009, 10:19 AM   #1
zelda_pinwheel
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Simon & Schuster introduces the "Vook" : read it and watch it

The latest foray into multimedia e-Books comes from Simon & Schuster, and they're calling it the "Vook". According to an email I got today,
Quote:
An entirely new concept, a vook blends text and video into a single, complete story.

With a vook you can:

Read your book
Watch videos that highlight key moments in the story
View visual how-to's
Connect with authors and other readers
You can purchase a vook to view on any computer or iPhone and iPod Touch. No special software is required. Enjoy it anytime, anywhere.
Titles available include :
Promises by Jude Deveraux
The 90-Second Fitness Solution by Pete Cerqua with Alisa Bowman
Embassy by Richard Doetsch
Return to Beauty: Old World Recipes for Great Radiant Skin by Narine Nikogosian

Get more information on their site here.

I've not tested out any Vooks myself, but for educational works, this is a direction I think we'll see more of which could bring a whole new dimension to textbooks. How-to manuals as well could benefit, as well as books like musician biographies or books about the cinema. So what say the early adopters ? Pointless gimmick, or promising innovation ? Are there any Vooks you'd be interested in (available or not) ?

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Old 10-01-2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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I don't think I'd be interested in fiction vooks.

But non-fiction would be intriguing - tourist guides, how-to manuals, cookery vooks etc.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:25 AM   #3
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i agree, i might be interested in non-fiction and reference vooks, but for fiction, i'd rather either read or watch television, not both at the same time.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:47 AM   #5
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People tend to hate subtitles, so why are they wanting to mix video and text?
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:16 AM   #6
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People tend to hate subtitles, so why are they wanting to mix video and text?
Well, here in Europe in most small countries (i.e. not Germany, France or Spain) the movies most of the time are shown in original language with subtitles and no one seems to mind.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:54 AM   #7
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Might be kind of useful for exercise manuals - have a video instead of still photos demonstrating how to perform the exercise correctly.
I have an older book on calligraphy that included a CD to demonstrate the correct sequence of brush strokes - the Vook sounds like a digitized version of this.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:19 PM   #8
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Yawn, just what we DON'T need: another proprietary DRM!
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:20 PM   #9
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I could see this working very well for Romance. I don't know many authors who write sex scenes well. Now they can show it!

Like everything else on the Internet - porn - it's where the money is.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:57 PM   #10
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Any vooks with vexingly villanous Venetian Vespertiliones?

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Old 10-01-2009, 12:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
I don't think I'd be interested in fiction vooks.

But non-fiction would be intriguing - tourist guides, how-to manuals, cookery vooks etc.
Ditto.


PS: The image is breaking the formating in the site's main page.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:24 PM   #12
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I guess when I read a book, I want to READ a book. I don't need video as a distraction. I think this will just make for lazy readers!
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:42 PM   #13
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While clearly (?) a bad idea for fiction, I can surely see a use for this kind of media. Specifically, math and science textbooks would be vastly improved if moving figures or short videos were embedded. Some publishers are trying to make up for this now by having the figures/videos on their websites, but having to swtich between media can be a barrier to learning. If the video was right there, it would be way better.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:58 PM   #14
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Note that PDFs can already include interactive diagrams and graphs (change a parameter and see how a graph varies, or how the properties of some system change), which for some sciences would be even better than videos.
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:49 PM   #15
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I guess when I read a book, I want to READ a book. I don't need video as a distraction. I think this will just make for lazy readers!
"Lazy reader?" Seriously? Look into the research on brain activity when reading, particularly when reading without speaking what is being read. It's one of the very least brain intensive activities a regular person participates in. Period. It requires much more brain power to pay attention to a video, or even plain audio. This is why reading helps people get to sleep at night while even trivial TV is more likely to keep you awake.

Lazy readers is a redundancy.

And as for the "Vook" idea, this is plain stupid. Welcome to the internet circa 2002 S&S! Web pages with video inserts every 10 paragraphs? Oh where have I seen that before... I don't know, maybe nearly every blog/news site on the web now?

Yet another move proving how bassackwards the thinking of publishers is at this point. Just like the RIAA, trying to uselessly defend an outdated business model or way of doing things.

Now, I'm not against the idea of a standard way to pack a site which includes some video together into a single file or archive, this is something that could theoretically be done with the HTML 5 standard if they would have the guts to specify a standard required video codec. In reality though, if it was really necessary for this to be a special eBook format, it should just be ePub with video embedded where images would've been in the past.

So once again, thanks S&S for apparently never using a modern web page before.
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