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Archives: March 2010

iPhone to Support eBooks Too?

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Somebody want to take a stab at explaining this screenshot? Notice the category between “TV Shows” and the emusic playlist? It says “Books”! The shot is from this blogger’s iTunes, into which the official eBookNewser iPhone was plugged. This is iTunes 9.1, the new version that supports eBooks. While the books icon showed up under the iPhone, iTunes wouldn’t allow eBooks to be dragged and dropped onto the phone.

What do you all think? Is eBook support coming to iPhone soon too? Is this just a messup? Is iBooks for iPhone on the horizon?

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More About This Crazy WePad Thing

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While the buzz over here about iPad is building to a frenzy, they’re got other ideas in Germany. We reported a little while ago about the WePad, a German-engineered tablet device that does a lot of what the iPad does and some other stuff. Well, now Germany publisher periodical Gruner + Jahr is endorsing the WePad and paying the iPad no mind.

TFTS reports on the recent Gruner + Jahr press event at which the company tooted WePad’s horn. But here’s the most juicy tidbit, about Random House:

An interesting (and unreported) note–Random House is the only of the “Big Six” book publishers who hasn’t signed a deal to put their books on the iPad, citing Apple’s control over the book store. Random House is owned by Bertelsmann, and Bertelsmann also owns a majority stake in G+J. Definitely not a coincidence.

Ooh! These tablet computers are making enemies of everyone.

iPad Won’t Be Used for Reading, According to A Survey

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iPad won’t be used for reading? What? Who are these people who answered this survey conducted by PriceGrabber? Cavepeople, that’s who.

PC Magazine reports on the survey, noting that one in 10 of the 1,600 respondents said they’d use their iPad as a reading device, while the majority of respondents said they’d use it as a “mobile productivity device.” (Of course, reading isn’t productive.)

But, in a confusing twist, while 20 percent of those surveyed are considering buying an iPad, 12 percent are considering a Kindle. Now that’s more than one in 10, isn’t it?

Free eBook of the Day: The World Almanac and Book of Facts

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While poking around Google books, this popped up. It’s The World Almanac and Book of Facts from Facts on File from 1914. Totally useless! But interesting. You can learn all kinds of important stuff, like the helpful fact that 20 grains equals one scruple (check page 80). It’s only available as a PDF, but totally worth it.

eBook Cover Problems in New iTunes

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The relentless Mike Cane has already noticed a glitch in the new iTunes update. As we reported earlier today, iTunes 9.1 accepts eBooks, but, as Cane noticed in the comments to our earlier post, the jacket art for some eBooks doesn’t come up once the eBook is imported into iTunes, and he’s delved deeper into the matter.

In a detailed blog post, Cane charts which kinds of eBook covers pop up and which don’t, as you can see in the image above from Cane’s blog, in which the yellow, green and purple eBooks come from Project Gutenberg, Munsey’s and Feedbooks respectively, and the red are from Smashwords, whose book jackets are apparently supported. He then wonders: “Why wasn’t this tested and prevented? Who at Apple has been neglecting eBooks?”

Apple, do you care about eBooks? Let’s hope you don’t bear out early fears that eBooks are an iPad afterthought.

Enhanced Editions and Canongate Ponder eBooks and the iPad

pc23.jpgWith multimedia eBook apps for book Hilary Mantel, Philip Pullman, and Nick Cave, one company is betting that the iPad and iBookstore will enhance the publishing industry.

Today’s guests on the Morning Media Menu were Enhanced Editions co-founder Peter Collingridge (pictured, via) and Canongate digital editor Dan Franklin–talking about what digital reading will be like in a post-iPad world. Earlier this week the pair helped launch an eBook app for novelist Philip Pullman‘s new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. The digital edition contains an audiobook, ebook, and video footage in a single package for the iPhone.

Press play on the player embedded below to listen.

Around the 9:00-minute mark, conversation turned to eBook pricing. Collingridge explained: “There is an attachment to the physical object–people think the physical object is worth more. So a cheap physical object compared to a digital object they couldn’t hold in their hands … [We are asking] what value can we add back into the eBook? All of the feedback we’ve received about pricing–you can go look at it on iTunes now–is that the prices we’ve been charging seem like a really great value. Because you get three products in one.”

Read more

Vook Teams Up with Deepak Chopra

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Vook and the Trident Media agency announced a partnership today to release two Vooks by Deepak Chopra. The first is his novel Budda: A Story of Enlightenment; the second is a collection of interviews with academics sponsored by the Chopra Foundation, called Sages and Scientists.

Chopra is excited about the project, as he says in a statement: “I am delighted to be working with Vook and am grateful that Trident Media brought me this opportunity…We are entering a new era of multimedia expression that brings information and knowledge into the human nervous system through a variety of sensory inputs. For the last 25 years, I have written about consciousness and the ramifications of understanding our spirit through the window of science. Today I believe this is possible because of the new technologies.”

Scientists and Sages seems like an especially good use of the Vook platform, offering Chopra the ability to introduces readers to the various scholars in a way a print book truly couldn’t.

University to Give iPads and Macs to All Incoming Students

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Seton Hill University, a private Catholic school in Pennsylvania, has promised to give all incoming freshmen a 13″ Macbook and an iPad starting Fall 2010. The school plans to integrate these two devices deeply into the curriculum, training faculty in how to use them and building course materials around them.

Here’s what Seton Hill’s Web site says about the initiative: “You will have complete access to these mobile technologies for classes as well as at all times for personal use. After two years, Seton Hill will replace your laptop with a new one – one that you can take with you when you graduate! With this technology at your fingertips, you can create a just-in-time learning environment, stay in touch with professors, advisors, and classmates, research any topic at any time, engage in hybrid and fully on-line courses, and access a whole host of Seton Hill technology services. In doing so, you will be learning the technological skills you’ll need in the twenty-first century workforce.”

If only your boss would come up with the same idea for your company…

iTunes Now Accepting eBooks!

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Yesterday Apple sent its newest version of iTunes through the software update pipeline. It’s iTunes 9.1, and it’s iPad ready. If you’re looking for more iPad crack to keep you going till iPadurday, you can now drag and drop EPub eBooks into iTunes!

iTunes only accepts EPub, and once you’ve got your eBook in your library, all that happens is iTunes creates a “Books” category in the upper left, and you can’t open your eBooks or do anything with them at all. But you can put them in there!

So start building your iBooks library now while you’re twiddling your thumbs, waiting for the UPS guy.

Don’t Write Off Kindle Yet, Analysts Say

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Analysts at JP Morgan say iPad won’t be killing Kindle, or Amazon’s eBook business, anytime soon, reports Gigaom. The analysts note that Amazon has managed to take a strong share of the digital music business, despite Apple’s considerable lead in that arena, and Amazon’s lead in eBooks puts it in a good position to defend its territory against a hip, new gadget.

Here’s more from Gigaom: “Despite (a) Apple’s 4-year head start in MP3 sales and (b) Apple’s dominance in devices, we estimate Amazon had ~10% of the digital music market by the end of ’09. We estimate that, even if Amazon’s eBooks market share dips to 30%, it could still drive ~$900M in incremental revenue as eBook penetration grows. Note that Amazon (a) has enjoyed a head start with the Kindle store, (b) manufactures the dominant dedicated device and (c) has aggressively expanded the Kindle platform to PCs and smartphones.”

We’d tend to agree. As we’ve said before, even if eBook readers fall in love with iPad, they are still likely to use the Kindle app to do lots of their reading. Right? What do you think?

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