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Old 08-05-2010, 03:58 PM   #1
tomsem
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Another confused journalist...

The Two Minds of Amazon on eBooks

Just because this journalist can't make any sense of things, Amazon is 'of two minds', and the entire publishing industry is 'confused'. Please. Amazon is in the business of selling/renting digital media, of course they are going to be in the thick of things with 'enhanced ebooks'. Publishers are pursuing a variety of strategies for their move to digital, but that is business as usual when you can't predict the future, not 'confusion'.

The idea and reality of 'enhanced ebooks' has been around for quite awhile (at least since CD-ROMs showed up for PC's). We've been able to embed video and audio in PDF for years (including Flash in the latest versions), and the idea is enshrined in the ePub standard (which Amazon's mobi format is closely related to). The fact that the current generation of 'dedicated' reading devices don't support consumption of such content is a reflection of lack of content, lack of demand, and lack of sufficiently powerful mobile technology, but not lack of clarity.

Kindle and other readers already provide an 'enhanced' reading experience, with instant access to dictionaries, built in web browsing, and annotation features (including Kindles new social networking features). Even in their current form, they could probably be updated to support embedded audio as well (if there was any content and or demand, which there isn't). But until requirements for dedicated devices and for general purpose tablets converge a good deal more, which will take some time, the continued existence and promotion of the former is not a reason for confusion.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:29 PM   #2
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"Just because this journalist can't make any sense of things, Amazon is 'of two minds', and the entire publishing industry is 'confused'."

There was a time when journalists would have been readers and some were even writers. That time seems to be long past and this "journalist" doesn't even understand the concept of a reader.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:06 AM   #3
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"So even with the same company, conflicted feelings reign: Amazon will sell enhanced ebooks, but that doesn't mean its CEO has to like them."
-----
That has got to be one of the stupidest sentences ever to make a "news" article. Is this journalist honestly under the impression that Jeff Bezos has to personally give a 5 star review to every product Amazon sells?

I mean, what if he doesn't personally like to read Vampire Chick Lit - is there a danger that Amazon might pull my Kate Daniels novels from their offerings.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsem View Post
(snip)
We've been able to embed video and audio in PDF for years (including Flash in the latest versions), and the idea is enshrined in the ePub standard (which Amazon's mobi format is closely related to).
(snip).
I was not aware that ePub and .mobi were closely related. I admit I don't know all that much about file formats--could you refer me to a link where I can find out more about this?

Last edited by catsittingstill; 08-06-2010 at 01:39 PM. Reason: remove mangled code
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:45 PM   #5
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As far as I understand, they aren't !! [feel free to enlighten]


Amazon use azw which is comparable to mobi ...

Last edited by GeoffC; 08-06-2010 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:46 PM   #6
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The actual file formats are completely different, but the "source" format used for both LIT and Mobi - the "Open eBook Standard" (OEB) - is very closely related to that used for ePub. Essentially ePub is "OEB mark 2". It's very simple to create both Mobi and ePub files from a common set of source files.
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