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New iBooks 'Not Technically' in ePub Format


TechCrunch summarizes notes from today's media event. Of interest, they seem to reveal that Apple's interactive textbook format is not quite the official ePub 3 spec:
Books are not technically in the EPUB format, but they borrow from it (likely EPUB 3). Certain interactive elements of the books require the files to be done in the slightly different iBooks format, Apple says.
Earlier rumors had suggested that Apple will adopt ePub 3 for their new iBooks, but according to this note, it's slightly different. It's not clear what this means and if the changes are meant to eventually fold back into the ePub standard or not.

Apple's iBooks Author application creates content in this new format and projects made from that application can only be sold through the iTunes Store. At this point, however, it seems no other vendors yet support the format.

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Posted: 35 months ago

cool tool, but with Amazon being a 500lb gorilla in the room and them supporting ePub, Apple should really fold these changes back into ePub and let the authoring app export into ePub format rather than just being hooked into the iBookstore.


I'm not sure where you got the impression that Amazon's Kindle supports ePub, but they do not. Kindles can't read ePub files without converting them first.

In fact, Kindle is the only mainstream e-reader that can't natively use ePub files. It's kind of sad.
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 35 months ago
cool tool, but with Amazon being a 500lb gorilla in the room and them supporting ePub, Apple should really fold these changes back into ePub and let the authoring app export into ePub format rather than just being hooked into the iBookstore.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 35 months ago

I don't want it in PDF, because, it is inferior on any device. My book is in HTML which reformats and is readable on any device I can put it on. I've also sold site licenses which aren't possible with Apples model.

Any book you create with the Apple program cannot be sold, unless through the iBookstore. There are other free authoring tools available that don't have that restrictions. And Pages will generate epub output you can sell without restriction.

iBook Author is just a proprietary tool to create books for a proprietary target system (and not all Apple products at that!) that can only be sold through Apple's store. The price of iBook Author is right.


That's right, and Apple isn't in the business of providing you with well-designed free software that you can then use to profit elsewhere. That's kinda the point of a business.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 35 months ago

As a person who has an "ebook" that's been around for about 10 years I looked at this with interest. But there are numerous issues that make this a "no go":

[LIST]
[*]If you want to sell your book, it must be sold on the Apple iBook store
[*]Books sold on the Apple Bookstore can only be read in iOS devices (not Macs, PCs, Kindles, or other tablets).
[/LIST]

Sure it's got animations, but it's an undesirable lock-in.

On the customer end, licensing terms are unsuitable for K-12 unless the costs of ebooks drop to reflect their actual savings (or they can be resold) they aren't really good for college level either. This doesn't solve the problem of the textbook publisher oligopoly. We really needed Steve Jobs "free K-12 books if you buy our iPods" model to make the lock-in acceptable.


You can always export to PDF to make it compatible with the other inferior devices. And you are not forced to use the iBookstore; you can save or email the file to distribute it.

----------

Ibooks Author does not support importing pdf's.
I believe its only work or pages documents.


PDF documents, unless tagged, will import into any application as a total mess.
If you have a PDF, convert it to Word or Pages, then go from there.
If you wrote a book to distribute as PDF, you should have the source document, as you would need it to make updates to your book.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 35 months ago
Embrace and extend.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 35 months ago

cool tool, but with Amazon being a 500lb gorilla in the room and them supporting ePub, Apple should really fold these changes back into ePub and let the authoring app export into ePub format rather than just being hooked into the iBookstore.


That's not going to happen... sorry! Apple never looks back unless they feel they are wrong. And that hardly ever happens lately.

True, it may not be a standard format, reason why Apple provided the tools to author the books.

And you don't have to be hook to the iBookstore. Read my previous post. You can author and export to a file that can be manually loaded into iBooks.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 35 months ago
As a person who has an "ebook" that's been around for about 10 years I looked at this with interest. But there are numerous issues that make this a "no go":

[LIST]
[*]If you want to sell your book, it must be sold on the Apple iBook store
[*]Books sold on the Apple Bookstore can only be read in iOS devices (not Macs, PCs, Kindles, or other tablets).
[/LIST]

Sure it's got animations, but it's an undesirable lock-in.

On the customer end, licensing terms are unsuitable for K-12 unless the costs of ebooks drop to reflect their actual savings (or they can be resold) they aren't really good for college level either. This doesn't solve the problem of the textbook publisher oligopoly. We really needed Steve Jobs "free K-12 books if you buy our iPods" model to make the lock-in acceptable.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 35 months ago

Don't schools already have to deal with PCs made by x number of different PC manufacturers with multiple screen sizes? And, if if schools are turned off by this prospect, I see this as more of a reason just to stick with dead tree textbooks rather than choose to solely buy iPads.

As for publishers jumping on board, this is because publishing houses have witnessed eBooks take off, so that naively assume the same will happen with textbooks. But, they are very different. I can view an eBook bought from Amazon on any device I choose. Kindle is platform agnostic. In addition, I can even strip off the DRM of Amazon purchased eBooks. Secondly, what do the publishers have to loose? They're only offering a few initial textbooks, undoubtedly made with Apple's heavy guidance. Otherwise, they're committing no resources.


Wait, here's the catch. Just wait and see. Apple is going to push MACs back into schools. It has already done that with several Universities.
I know schools, specially public schools are subject to political madness, so I would imagine that Apple may cut special deals, even donate MACs and maybe even iPads to some school districts in order to gain ground.

Apple has a completely different game plan than most companies follow. They push hard to define standards; most of the time leading, hardly even following.

There are too many Tablets out there, all sizes and technical specs, hard to guarantee the same user experience. I know that first-hand, as I got burned already by buying the "alternative solution to the iPhone", so I'm stuck with an expensive piece of crap phone. The rest is just the same story repeating. I'm not getting burned with a different tablet than the iPad.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 35 months ago

And not everything Apple does is THE RIGHT THING to do.
Apple is taking an e-book format and trying to shoehorn it into a multi-media delivery system.

They're taking a perfectly good knife on its own, and tacking on crappy scissors, a mediocre toothpick, a crappy nail-file, a useless screwdriver, unusable cork-screw,... turning what was a GOOD knife into a crappy knife, and a crappy everything.
(Yes, I'm saying Swiss army knives are crappy knives. Because they ARE.)

Just like what they did to the iPhone when they got erections over what they could tack onto it while TOTALLY ignored what is was SUPPOSED to be in the first place (a PHONE for Pete's sake).
And don't even try to claim the iPhone's phone app is good. It hasn't changed since v1, and still has UI inconsistencies.

Apple needs to stop trying to make something else something it isn't, and stop and focus on fixing and refining what they've already got. Put some polish into it (and i don't mean polish as in tack on a shiny UI).

That's what Steve did.
He refined what Apple had, and actually added some quality and value. He didn't just add feature upon feature, like what Apple is currently doing.

A jack of all trades is NEVER an ace of one.


I'll have to disagree with you on this point. You are thinking as a computer user and not as an educator. I've had some training as a teacher so I see where they are going with this.

There are several different learning methods to retain information. One is reading, another by listening to words by audio, another is multimedia for visual. Its better to use all these methods have a better chance of remembering.

Children's books is another great way of using Apples software books.

A child's attention span is very short, so the book needs to be engaging as possible to want the child to read.

By the use of video and if the book reacts to how the child touches the screen and interacts with them ( like moving objects around he is more likely to use it in the future. )
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 35 months ago

Awesome. A set-up for DRM! Seriously, if Apple is truly interested in education, these Mac-produced ebooks should be able to run on non-iOS tablets (cheaper for schools) and should be sold in other venues besides iTunes. If not, these textbooks will not likely be taken seriously.


That's not going to happen either. Nobody wants to deal with diverse hardware nightmare. Imagine authoring for every single different size Tablet out there. it would be a formatting nightmare.
Apple is promoting education, by providing both hardware, software and textbooks to go with it, plus the iTunes U. No need to waste time trying to figure out why something doesn't work.

And if the big publishing houses are signing up, it's because they believe it's going to take off. Otherwise they wouldn't be spending time and money producing textbooks.
Rating: 1 Votes

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