Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > General Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-31-2015, 04:56 PM   #1
maximus83
Enthusiast
maximus83 began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 28
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jan 2011
Device: Android
Future-proofing my ebook collection given the churn in ebook formats

I am trying to future-proof my ebook library as best as I can, given the churn and uncertainty about future directions of ebook formats. Realizing full well that today's options could all be bypassed and we could end up with some book format like HTML5 + CSS3 + some extensions. In any case, I would like to hear the thoughts and advice of others on this, I'm sure many here have thought about this more than I have and figured out all the landmines to avoid.

Here's my thought for how to future-proof my ebook collection. Interested to hear discussion, alternatives.

What I do today:
  • Buy mostly Amazon Kindle ebooks due to selection and price. Download and liberate files with open source tools.
  • Convert and manage the files in Calibre.
  • Store the converted files in a cloud drive.
  • Access them with android devices using 3rd party ereader apps.

What I see that concerns me today:
  • Amazon is moving more to a closed ecosystem. Case in point, their new KFX format. They are not embracing the Epub spec nor the spirit of "open" formats.
  • This means in the future you will be increasingly hard pressed to convert the formats, and to read on apps and devices that they have not developed for.
  • This is already causing some issues with conversion in tools like Calibre, as new books in KFX format have to be first retrieved in AZW3 format. I suspect given Amazon's direction, eventually only closed formats will be available.
  • I am philosophically against one e-tailer monopoly controlling the whole market in book publishing and proprietary ebook formats and devices. This does not seem like the path to good interoperability in formats between libraries and different hardware and software platforms. I'm under no illusion that epub is a "standard", it's just a published spec that everybody implements differently, and nobody is bound to follow. But at least with an open spec, as with HTML5, everybody is aiming at the same thing with a shared goal of keeping it "open" and consistent. And this is a good thing as over time, the implementations should converge, and a de facto 'best standard' approach should emerge that every tool and platform can render with relative consistency.


So with the above concerns, I am leaning toward just acquiring epub books from now on, rather than Amazon formats. And then otherwise, following my current approach listed above. The idea is that by getting and storing only epubs, it won't be perfect nor will all the epub files be "standard", but at least I'm keeping my books in an open specified format that tools (like Calibre) in the future will have a chance at interpreting and being able to convert to other future formats if needed. With Amazon, the concern is they will increasingly retreat into "closed" and "proprietary", making it ever harder to read and access your purchased books if you are outside their system, their devices, and their software.
maximus83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 10-31-2015, 05:04 PM   #2
fjtorres
Grand Sorcerer
fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 10,502
Karma: 96498826
Join Date: May 2009
Location: 26 kly from Sgr A*
Device: T100TA,PW2,PRS-T1,KT,FireHD 8.9,K2, PB360,BeBook One,Axim51v,TC1000
Backup, backup, backup.

Cloud services have their uses but if you don't trust the vendors you shouldn't trust the cloud services either.
fjtorres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 05:07 PM   #3
maximus83
Enthusiast
maximus83 began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 28
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jan 2011
Device: Android
Oh yes, valid point, and I do backup ALL my cloud files on local storage as well.

My real question though is about the formats, and a workable approach to future-proofing. It just doesn't feel like Amazon is it, due to their direction.
maximus83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 05:07 PM   #4
Cinisajoy
Just a Yellow Smiley.
Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Cinisajoy's Avatar
 
Posts: 17,624
Karma: 77381283
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Texas
Device: K4, K5, fire, kobo, galaxy
I am confused by your one e-tailer. Amazon is not the only ebook seller. Last time I looked I can think of at least 6 other places to buy ebooks.
All Romance, Baen, Google, Apple, Kobo, B&N and Smashwords.

Not to mention for public domain there is Project Gutenberg, Archive.org and Mobileread.
Cinisajoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 05:11 PM   #5
maximus83
Enthusiast
maximus83 began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 28
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jan 2011
Device: Android
Amazon uses a proprietary ebook format, and it looks like they are increasingly trying to lock that down and lock users in. Many of the other e-tailers use some version of epub that follows the open spec (Google, for instance). That's the main concern about future proofing: formats that (at least attempt to) follow an open spec, versus those that don't.
maximus83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 10-31-2015, 05:22 PM   #6
Cinisajoy
Just a Yellow Smiley.
Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Cinisajoy's Avatar
 
Posts: 17,624
Karma: 77381283
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Texas
Device: K4, K5, fire, kobo, galaxy
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus83 View Post
Amazon uses a proprietary ebook format, and it looks like they are increasingly trying to lock that down and lock users in. Many of the other e-tailers use some version of epub that follows the open spec (Google, for instance). That's the main concern about future proofing: formats that (at least attempt to) follow an open spec, versus those that don't.
I get that but the point is that I can buy ebooks from other places so they are not locking down ebooks.
So how are they locking me in?
It is a choice to get books there.
There are no locks.
Except for some indie books, I don't have to buy at Amazon.
I can always sideload any mobi, or azw to my kindles. Or key point, I can download any format straight to my computer or tablet.

Like fjtorres said, backup. Be sure and store them in at least 5 different places.
Cinisajoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 06:25 PM   #7
crossi
Guru
crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crossi ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 852
Karma: 3290000
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Seattle Wahington U.S.
Device: kindle
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinisajoy View Post
I get that but the point is that I can buy ebooks from other places so they are not locking down ebooks.
So how are they locking me in?
It is a choice to get books there.
There are no locks.
Except for some indie books, I don't have to buy at Amazon.
I can always sideload any mobi, or azw to my kindles. Or key point, I can download any format straight to my computer or tablet.

Like fjtorres said, backup. Be sure and store them in at least 5 different places.
But which format is the best one to backup for long term compatability with devices?
crossi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 06:36 PM   #8
Cinisajoy
Just a Yellow Smiley.
Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Cinisajoy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Cinisajoy's Avatar
 
Posts: 17,624
Karma: 77381283
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Texas
Device: K4, K5, fire, kobo, galaxy
Quote:
Originally Posted by crossi View Post
But which format is the best one to backup for long term compatability with devices?
I would say that depends on your choice of device.
Cinisajoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 06:41 PM   #9
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,292
Karma: 98392641
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: H2O, Glo HD, Aura One
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinisajoy View Post
Be sure and store them in at least 5 different places.
I may be in the minority, but five seems like overkill to me. My books reside on my computer (which backs up regularly); they also live in one cloud and on one external memory. The odds of everything failing simultaneously seem sufficiently slim that I don't feel obligated to throw anything else into the mix. And even in such a catastrophic situation, most of my library could be resurrected from original vendors or the ones that got their libraries when they went paws up. Not perfect, but even my real library has suffered from loss, theft, damp and so forth.
issybird is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 07:00 PM   #10
pdurrant
The Grand Mouse 高貴的老鼠
pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pdurrant's Avatar
 
Posts: 50,840
Karma: 178773661
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Norfolk, England
Device: Kindle Voyage, Yotaphone 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus83 View Post
That's the main concern about future proofing: formats that (at least attempt to) follow an open spec, versus those that don't.
Buy from Amazon, convert to ePub. If Amazon start to provide only formats for which no conversion is possible, stop buying from them. Problem solved.
pdurrant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 07:06 PM   #11
latepaul
Guru
latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.latepaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
latepaul's Avatar
 
Posts: 892
Karma: 5867582
Join Date: Dec 2011
Device: a variety
Stone tablets.
latepaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 07:09 PM   #12
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 50,133
Karma: 43266947
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Kobo Aura H2O, Sony PRS-650, Sony PRS-T1, nook STR, iPad 4, iPhone 5
My suggestion is ePub. Without DRM, you can access the contents of ePub with just a program to unzip and a text editor. It's that easy.
JSWolf is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 07:26 PM   #13
DiapDealer
Grand Sorcerer
DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
DiapDealer's Avatar
 
Posts: 17,305
Karma: 90379824
Join Date: Jan 2010
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD
I didn't back up my physical books. Fire or flood could have wiped me out at any time. Therefore, I'm not going to be overly concerned with backing up or future-proofing my ebooks either. I don't own very many that I haven't already read anyway. *shrug*
DiapDealer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 07:31 PM   #14
pidgeon92
Wizard
pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pidgeon92 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pidgeon92's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,143
Karma: 8426142
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Device: Kindle PW2, Kindle Voyage, Kindle DXG, Boox M90, Kobo Aura HD
Here's two older threads on the same topic, if you're interested:

Future-proof buying choice-- which e-book format, e-bookstore?

Future proofing - which format?
pidgeon92 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 10:22 PM   #15
eschwartz
Ex-Helpdesk Junkie
eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.eschwartz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
eschwartz's Avatar
 
Posts: 19,223
Karma: 83049275
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: The Beaten Path, USA, Roundworld, This Side of Infinity
Device: Kindle Touch fw5.3.7 (Wifi only)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Buy from Amazon, convert to ePub. If Amazon start to provide only formats for which no conversion is possible, stop buying from them. Problem solved.


Why worry about future Amazon formats being indecipherable by calibre, to the point where you refuse to buy the current formats which ARE decipherable?

The first time you see a book that cannot be downloaded as AZW3, return it -- Amazon gives you 7 days to do so, or you can probably figure something out with Amazon CS.

In fact, I suggest you go the ACS route, so you can tell them what you think of their policy.

...

...

Not that I expect it to be a problem, as Amazon still supports the Original Kindle, and I suspect there are at least one or two people who actually use them today.
And KFX may be reverse-engineered... once it becomes sufficiently complex to get your hands on the AZW3 version, and someone decides it is worth it to put in the effort.

Either way, it is isn't a lifetime commitment.
eschwartz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Future proofing - which format? please55 General Discussions 7 12-16-2014 12:38 PM
Future proofing: Books vs. eBooks Katsunami General Discussions 63 04-18-2013 09:48 AM
DRM and future proofing in the UK spinningdoc Which one should I buy? 11 05-03-2011 07:34 PM
Future-proofing my username... bornagainpenguin Introduce Yourself 6 01-18-2010 03:26 AM
Future proofing and LRF... Student1 Calibre 5 03-26-2009 09:11 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:08 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.