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View Full Version : Can a Widescreen iPod Jump Start the eBook Revolution?


MacBytes
Oct 12, 2006, 02:54 PM
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Category: History
Link: Can a Widescreen iPod Jump Start the eBook Revolution? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20061012155410)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

jephrey
Oct 12, 2006, 03:09 PM
I always thought it'd be cool if apple could use the text-to-speech on the iPod. It'd almost be like a book on tape but take the space of a text file. Only problem would be the lacking vocal inflections and different voices. It'd be cool if in a text doc, you could set the colors of the text to be associated with different voices. The new voices in OSX sound pretty smooth. Black=narrator (you can set to man/woman), and other colors are set at the top of the text file almost like code. You could have articles and stuff you download read to you by the pod. That's better for car driving anyway.

I suppose smaller paperbacks are about 4" wide, so reading would work pretty good.

J

gloss
Oct 12, 2006, 03:21 PM
Sony's Reader looks like the way to go.

ghall
Oct 12, 2006, 03:36 PM
Personally, I greatly dislike the concept of eBooks. Sure it will save lots of trees, and lots of money, but nothing beats turing off the computer, and reading a good book. Another problem I see are eGraphic Novels. I read a lot of graphic novels and they just whouldn't translate well into digital format.

Snowy_River
Oct 12, 2006, 04:06 PM
Did anyone notice that this article was classified as "History"? Shouldn't it be "Opinion", or something like that?

billyboy
Oct 12, 2006, 06:18 PM
The author makes a reference to the fact that scrolls probably had lots of advantages over the book format when the bible came out. He also implies that not all the best (older) ideas are kept in preference to lesser (newer) ones. VHS, Windows, Heinz baked beans, etc are all examples that back up that theory.

However, I doubt Apple are relying on a jammy success with a wide screen iPod that takes the ebook world by storm without meaning to. I presume their marketing department is a little more focussed and professional and are banking big time on a success with an innovational and better idea of interest to a specific market segment? Unless of course Apple are going the MS 'hit and miss' route.

tk421
Oct 12, 2006, 06:33 PM
Did anyone notice that this article was classified as "History"? Shouldn't it be "Opinion", or something like that?

Definitely. Especially when one considers that no accurate history even exists in the article. Take this passsage:

That began to change when the Bible was published 1900 years ago. The book form was particularly suited to the Bible, scrolls did not admit page numbers, chapters were separate scrolls and scrolls were bulkier and more difficult to hide.

What absurdity. This statement is full of so many false statements, I don't know where to begin!!

The Bible wasn't published 1900 years ago, it didn't even exist The writings now contained in the Bible were not compiled together and canonized for some time - hundreds of years. Even then, the books were not divided into chapters and verses until Medieval times! Even today, page numbers don't match from Bible to Bible. It depends who published it, what translation it is, and if there are footnotes, etc.

While it is true that early Christians preferred the codex (pages and a spine, like a book) to the scroll, the "publication" of the Bible had nothing to do with their adoption as the dominant literary form.

Did the author of the article do any research?

Mudbug
Oct 12, 2006, 08:51 PM
I fixed the front page history tag - oversight on my part.

nagromme
Oct 12, 2006, 09:14 PM
I like conventional books, but I'm not afraid of them going away: they won't.

And alongside books, I would also enjoy reading on my iPod. I'd probably use that more than video. Because I don't carry a book everywhere I go... but if it's on your iPod, you have it.

Some_Big_Spoon
Oct 12, 2006, 11:55 PM
a widesceen ipod with input would jumpstart dozens of industries. All Apple has to do is get off their duffs and get it out the door.

Don't panic
Oct 13, 2006, 09:07 AM
I am not convinced. the article starts from a questionable (and completely unsupported) statement: that scrolls were 'inherently better' than books and goes on missing completely on why the book format was successful, especially in the current shape (the paperback): it works.

it's easy on the eyes, cheap, portable, rugged, you can have a substantial amount of information right under your eyes simultaneously (typically two pages) and it's easy to quickly move around.

The e-book can obviously add a lot to it (meta references, basically unlimited size, cost), but it needs to retain the main characteristics that make books work: large enough to be able to 'read' a few paragraph at the time, and 'pleasant' to read (LCD and other current monitors are not easy on the eyes).

Any iPod-like device will not cut it, for now: way too little text space and too hard to read.

Eventually paper-based reading material will mostly disappear, but electronic books will become successful, IMO, when a medium is developed that 'mimics' paper in how 'easy' it is to read and how portable
it is. I think the e-ink flexible displays are more likely to illustrate the right direction rather than the iPod

shecky
Oct 13, 2006, 09:44 AM
Eventually paper-based reading material will mostly disappear

i think this is extremely unlikely. i think its possible that some "throw away" printed media like newspapers, magazines may diminish significantly over time (but not within our lifetimes) but books will always be better on paper, and people will continue to demand them as such. the whole "print is dead" statement (which you are not saying, but others do) is ridiculous.

while i could agree more with an electronic device that mimics paper, i would much sooner believe an artificial material that is identical to paper but does not use natural fibers from trees and the like.

nagromme
Oct 13, 2006, 12:48 PM
I believe that printed books WILL be completely dead. For a few wealthy eccentrics, around 2060 :)

shecky
Oct 13, 2006, 12:51 PM
not gonna happen.

OutThere
Oct 13, 2006, 02:00 PM
There will be no eBook revolution. At least not soon.

Believe it or not there are several truths:
-Reading on a screen still sucks ass.
-Scrolling through something is a pain. Flipping pages is easy.
-Books are tough as hell. You can toss them in the back of your car, in your bag, or whatever. Throw them around. Do that with an iPod and report back.
-Books are equalized (to an extent) around the world. You can get a book pretty much anywhere. Not so with computers/electronics.
-What happens when your battery dies?
-Without printed books what do you do when there is no power/internet?
-All of a sudden people will be compelled to steal your books.
-If you lose your eBook iPod, you're out hundreds of dollars (as opposed to losing a book)

it's a process that will take an extremely long time, if it happens. I'd imagine more friendly types of printing and paper, more recycling programs and sustainable type publishing before we start reading on screens. And, when something like eBooks do take hold, I bet they will resemble real books and not iPods.

FleurDuMal
Oct 13, 2006, 02:05 PM
Reading on an iPod?

Ew. No.

:(

Konfabulation
Oct 15, 2006, 11:48 AM
eBooks suck to read on a large computer screen, let alone a tiny iPod screen. Not gonna happen.

akadmon
Oct 15, 2006, 10:44 PM
eBooks suck to read on a large computer screen, let alone a tiny iPod screen. Not gonna happen.

I think you're FOS. I love reading ebooks on my Pocket PC -- just love it! Still, without a touch screen, reading ebooks on an iPod would be severely hobbled. Yes -- I would ditch my Pocket PC in an instant if Apple came out with a iPod that had PDA functionality.