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E-READING EXPLOSION [SOAPBOX]

25 Apr

Many figures have been banded about over the last few weeks, including Apples amazing second quarter results. However, one of the most interesting ones in the explosion in the use of EBook readers and the sales figures they are generating. With even more tablets coming onto the market and Apple and Amazon expanding their lists of publishers and independent authors self publishing this can only increase.

People sometimes complain about the iBook store on the iPad, as having a lack of books (especially in the U.K.), this is true especially, if the publisher has not signed up with Apple. I have spoken before about the lack of titles on the iBook store. There are many british authors who do not even appear on the store.

This is one of the main reasons why the Kindle application is so popular on the iPad, as it allows you access to many more electronic books.

This comes to my one warning about the E-Book explosions, and that is long term access to the books that you purchase. With all the formats and digital rights (on some items), you could find yourself unable to access the product within days, weeks or years.

One example is Kindle, these books are in there own format, so cannot be viewed in anything other than the Kindle application, if this is pulled for any reason (why unlikely Apple will do this) you would not be able to access the items any more without purchasing a Kindle or another tablet.

Another example, is the Marvel comic reader, I learnt from personal experience when the latest update was released the application removed all my comics and then started to redownload them all automatically. What happens if one of the books was no longer available online, it would have been deleted without my permission and I have no way of exporting the files out of the application. The other annoying thing is I have over 1GB of comics that had nothing wrong with them, and I had to download them all again.

If possible, you need to think about the files you are buying, if you do not mind a book or comic disappearing after you have read it, then there is no issue for you. However, if you want to have access to it twenty years from now, then you are going to think long and hard about what format to purchase and if it will be usable and transferable long term. iBooks at least does have the option to get the file in and out of the iPad (via iTunes) 

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Article, Soapbox

 

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