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Old 07-23-2010, 08:52 PM   #1
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One (open) device replaces Kindle, Nook, Borders, etc...

I noticed several years ago that every ebook seller offered some program for Microsoft Windows to let you read their ebooks on a PC.

That meant that if you wanted to read everyone’s ebooks, you needed a PC. The problem, of course, was that PCs were not as handy as dedicated ebook readers.

I gave up on DRMed books and went with a $200 7” ARM-based tablet. It read the non-DRMed books.

Then I was checking the web site for my tablet, and learned that if I installed the latest version of Andorid on it, I could read almost all the commercial, DRMed ebooks.

ONE READER CAN READ JUST ABOUT EVERYONE’S EBOOKS! It seems to me that if one device could replicate a Kindle, a Nook, and a few other devices…that news should have been a big headline.

Lately, a new standard has emerged from the publishers of DRMed ebooks: Android.
Amazon’s Kindle books can be read on an Android device: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...droid+standard
Barnes & Noble’s Nook books can be read on Android Devices:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...droid+standard
even Border’s books can be read on Android Devices.

Android appeals to publishers because they can keep their content locked inside their own executables. (I have DRM, but I will have to deal with it to get some books in the foreseeable future.)

How much longer before major text book publishers (e.g., Course Technology, Mcgraw Hill, Prentice Hall) adopt Android? If they did, we would have a very usable standard. Students and avid readers could buy their own Android-based reader, or Windows-based PC and read everything they wanted. Content would have been separated from the hardware (at last!)

When Jeff Bezos introduced the Kindle, he said it was a stop-gap to get Amazon into the ebook market until the ebook reader (hardware) market matured. I think it has.

So, is the ebook Tower of Babel we’ve all been dealing with over? Can we finally buy any Android tablet and read whatever we want?

Did anyone cover this?

Andy
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:15 PM   #2
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So, all you Android app devs, how about a library app that searches the SD card for ebooks, and knows which app to call for which book.

It would be a real PITA to try to remember which format a particular book is in so I'd know which app to open.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:48 PM   #3
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We were already at this point several years ago with Windows Mobile. All of the major formats had an app for WinMo. Then Microsoft had to go a and ruin it, and then everyone stopped developing for WinMo.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:05 PM   #4
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Yes, both Android devices and Apple devices can now read almost all DRM'ed content, thru different apps.

But that's not the same as one app reading all DRM'ed content. Which would mean one standardized interface and one library/storage. We aren't there yet.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:50 PM   #5
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Yes, both Android devices and Apple devices can now read almost all DRM'ed content, thru different apps.

But that's not the same as one app reading all DRM'ed content. Which would mean one standardized interface and one library/storage. We aren't there yet.
True. It's not a common file format, but it is a common platform.

It's not perfect, but it's a start.

Likewise, it's not a world without DRM, but it is a world with DRM I think I can live with.

Now, I need the textbook companies to start supporting it.

I also need to create a table for what formats & OSes what publishers support. I prefer a common format, but a common platform at least lets me survive for now.

Andy
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:38 AM   #6
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So, is the ebook Tower of Babel we’ve all been dealing with over? Can we finally buy any Android tablet and read whatever we want?
No. Will be over the day every shop uses the same format.

Can you load you own ePub into the borders or B&N apps ?
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by recycledelectron View Post
ONE READER CAN READ JUST ABOUT EVERYONE’S EBOOKS! It seems to me that if one device could replicate a Kindle, a Nook, and a few other devices…that news should have been a big headline.

Lately, a new standard has emerged from the publishers of DRMed ebooks: Android.
Amazon’s Kindle books can be read on an Android device: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...droid+standard
Barnes & Noble’s Nook books can be read on Android Devices:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...droid+standard
even Border’s books can be read on Android Devices.
This is also true of the iPad, so hardly breaking news?
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:45 AM   #8
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ONE READER CAN READ JUST ABOUT EVERYONE’S EBOOKS! It seems to me that if one device could replicate a Kindle, a Nook, and a few other devices…that news should have been a big headline.

Lately, a new standard has emerged from the publishers of DRMed ebooks: Android.
With the very greatest respect, Andy, that's a little disingenuous, given that exactly the same thing could be said about the iPad, too. Both the iPad and Android are "open systems" in terms of being able to read pretty much anyone's DRM system.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:00 AM   #9
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Both the iPad and Android are "open systems" in terms of being able to read pretty much anyone's DRM system.
No. Android is open. IOS4 is close source, proprietary. So are the software for kindle, B&N and so on.
"Open", means using a format everyone can use. (That uses a free licance).
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:03 AM   #10
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That's why I put "open" in quotes. I meant that they are "open" in the sense that you can install whatever application you want on them, as opposed to dedicated reading devices where you're stuck with the reading software that the manufacturer supplies, and can't install any other.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:41 AM   #11
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Lately, a new standard has emerged from the publishers of DRMed ebooks: Android.

and

Android appeals to publishers because they can keep their content locked inside their own executables.
Android is not a "new standard". It is not a format. It is an operating system and I doubt very, very much if publishers had anything to do with its development. It was originally developed as a mobile phone operating system and most probably consideration for e-books never entered into the developers mind.

Android does not "appeal" to publishers. They still publish their books in their preferred format ... ePub, PDF, PBR, TXT, HTML, etc, etc, etc, ... and most likely give minimal thought to which OS the reading device will use (unless it is specifically for Kindle, of course).

To me, your entire assertion, from starting point to conclusion, is meaningless.

Gary

Last edited by gastan; 07-24-2010 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:17 PM   #12
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No. Will be over the day every shop uses the same format.

Can you load you own ePub into the borders or B&N apps ?
I can't use my Adobe PDF reader to read DJVU files either.

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This is also true of the iPad, so hardly breaking news?
The IPAD is a single product. Based on decades in academia, I can say that forcing everyone to buy one device usually fails. Forcing everyone to buy compatible devices usually works.

We did not say "everyone must buy a Toshiba S100 notebook." We did say "everyone must run Microsoft Windows."

Based on my experience, asking everyone to buy an IPAD would fail, but asking everyone to buy an Andorid device would work.

Andy

Last edited by recycledelectron; 07-24-2010 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:21 PM   #13
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Forcing? Sorry, who is being "forced" to buy something?
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:23 PM   #14
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Android is not a "new standard". It is not a format. It is an operating system
True. I'm saying we might be able to compromise on an OS as we head towards a format.

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and I doubt very, very much if publishers had anything to do with its development. It was originally developed as a mobile phone operating system and most probably consideration for e-books never entered into the developers mind.
True. And yet, Android might provide enough standardization for my college to adopt it as a standard ebook platform.

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Android does not "appeal" to publishers. They still publish their books in their preferred format ... ePub, PDF, PBR, TXT, HTML, etc, etc, etc, ... and most likely give minimal thought to which OS the reading device will use (unless it is specifically for Kindle, of course).
When I ask for digital review copies of text books, I don't get any of those formats. I get executables or plugins for web browsers. These access the publishers web site, and grab the book I want.

My experience is that the publishers want an executable so a 3rd party tool from a Russian web site will not strip their DRM as easily.

Andy

Last edited by recycledelectron; 07-24-2010 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:24 PM   #15
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Forcing? Sorry, who is being "forced" to buy something?
As a college professor, I force my students to buy text books.

If we (as a college) decide to switch to ebooks, the students will be forced to buy the ebooks and a device to read them on.

Andy
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