Some iPad Textbooks Weigh In Above Apple's 2GB Book Size Limit

Thursday January 19, 2012 9:51 AM PST by Jordan Golson

Cult of Mac took a look at the size of the digital textbooks available on iBooks after today's education-focused media event. File sizes range from Pearson's 793MB Environmental Science up to a hefty 2.77GB for Biology.

- Pearson’s Environmental Science – 793MB
- National’s Chemistry – 959MB
- E.O. Wilson’s Life On Earth – 965MB
- McGraw Hill’s Algebra 1 – 1.09GB
- McGraw Hill’s Geometry – 1.22GB
- McGraw Hill’s Physics – 1.25GB
- McGraw Hill’s Biology – 1.49GB
- Pearson’s Biology – 2.77GB
For regular authors, Apple limits the file size of books created with the iBooks Author app to 2GB -- something that Pearson's tome easily exceeds. Unsurprisingly, major publishers get to bypass limits that the average author must abide.

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Posted: 37 months ago
Before kids could complain that books don't fit their backpack, now that books don't fit their iPad.
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 37 months ago
Now I know why Apple acquired Anobit.

128GB iPads can't come soon enough.
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 37 months ago

A 500 page text book at 2.77GB is 5.54MB/page... maybe tone down the picture resolution a bit?!

Or allow downloading of individual chapters?! :rolleyes:


Maybe Apple told them to make the books ready for higher resolution iPads? When they are going to announce a Retina display iPad 3, it makes sense to have all these things ready for it. Just a hopeful guess.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 37 months ago

Or allow downloading of individual chapters?! :rolleyes:


That's actually a pretty good idea... It seems like frequently teachers only teach select chapters out of a textbook, like, 12 chapters out of a 20 chapter textbook.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 37 months ago
For something like biology, high res is great. For example you can see a cell at 10 X and then by zooming take it down all they way to 1000 X (for example). So you could look at cells with different conditions, different types of cells or whatever. Imagine checking out red blood cells that are anemic vs normal or sickle cell at amazing resolutions without having to go to a lab, just while studying.

Or an image sequence of a virus infecting a cell. Lots of amazing stuff. And for most of this type of thing you want lossless compression so you don't lose details.

Ditto for Chem. Or Physics. Or Computer Engineering to zoom in on an entire CPU layout.

Think about a book on nano-tech too! Interactive exercises.

I can see why it might need to be large for many books - hopefully the size limits are bumped up for everyone eventually.

Pretty cool - gives lots of new capabilities. I think Steve J would've really loved that type of capability.

A 500 page text book at 2.77GB is 5.54MB/page... maybe tone down the picture resolution a bit?!

Or allow downloading of individual chapters?! :rolleyes:

Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 37 months ago

This will be interesting. Especially for schools iPads have to be as cheap as possible and now it seems that the 16GB version will be quite insufficient.


Not really. Schools aren't going to care about leaving space for students to have music and games on the iPads. Especially if they are school owned and loaned to the students. When you consider that most students are taking between 6-8 classes, a 16 GB could be exactly the right size for these texts which is all the school is going to care to have on the iPads.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 37 months ago
Well, that's one way to up-sell to students wavering between the 16GB and 32GB versions.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 37 months ago
Apple should use LZMA or LZMA2 instead of BZip2 and ZLIB for all compression tasks on the Mac OS X platform (App Store, eBooks, Updates, File System...). Lion uses still a zlib-compressed file system.

Edit: I see a lot of pictures in these books. They should use JPEG2000 compression instead of JPEG 6.0.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 37 months ago
Bags used to be stuffed with books.
Pretty soon they'll be stuffed with 16gb iPads.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 37 months ago

Not really. Schools aren't going to care about leaving space for students to have music and games on the iPads. Especially if they are school owned and loaned to the students. When you consider that most students are taking between 6-8 classes, a 16 GB could be exactly the right size for these texts which is all the school is going to care to have on the iPads.


16GB isn't big enough when you consider that many teachers teach from multiple books. In this case, being able to download specific chapters would be a great way to do it.
Rating: 1 Votes

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