Apple Acquired 'Pandora for Books' Startup BookLamp In April

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has acquired BookLamp, a "Pandora for books" startup that aimed to provide personalized book recommendations to readers via specialized algorithms, reports TechCrunch. BookLamp first shut down in April.

    BookLamp was known for its Book Genome project, a book discovery engine that analyzed the text of books to break them down by various themes and variables to let readers search for books similar to books they liked.

    For example, analyzing The Da Vinci Code, the search engine would break it down to elements of 18.6% Religion and Religions Institutions, 9.4% Police & Murder Investigation, 8.2% Art and Art Galleries, and 6.7% Secret Societies and Communities, and then it would be able to recommend a book similar to The Da Vinci Code based on that data.

    BookLamp screenshot via Mashable
    This type of analytics service could be directly used to improve recommendations and search in iBooks, and as noted by TechCrunch, BookLamp's technology could be used to create a competitor to Amazon X-Ray, which lets readers see where in the book certain terms or characters appear.

    BookLamp also provided content analysis services to a number of e-book distributors like Amazon, Apple, and other publishers, screening books for categorization and providing a platform for publishers to screen manuscripts. The acquisition will see Apple ramping up its focus on books, according to one source with knowledge of the acquisition.
    BookLamp was purchased for a sum between $10 million and $15 million and while Apple has yet to confirm the purchase, a large amount evidence gathered by TechCrunch suggests several former BookLamp employees have relocated to Cupertino and are now working for Apple.

    Update 6:30 PM PT: Apple has confirmed the purchase of BookLamp, giving Re/code its standard statement on purchases: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

    Article Link: Apple Acquired 'Pandora for Books' Startup BookLamp In April
  2. farewelwilliams, Jul 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014

    macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2014
    *reads about Color Theory*
    "Up Next: 50 Shades of Grey"
  3. macrumors 603


    Jan 20, 2010
    Scared me for a second, am I the only one who initially thought it said: "Apple acquires Pandora..." :eek:
  4. macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    Pretty cool startup actually. Hope Apple implements them well into iBooks
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    Seems like a very good idea. I love using iBooks so anything that makes it even better would be great! ;)
  6. macrumors 601


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    Is there a chart that shows percentages of each online store's control over the ebook market? I would like to see how apple stands up to the others out there.
  7. macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    Yes, it was. Also looks like Apple was quick to shut it down too. And looking at the fruits of Apple's purchases over the last few years, I doubt we'll reap the benefits of this service anytime soon.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2012
    I don't need iBooks recommending books to me I need Apple to cut a deal with the publishers so that I can cut and paste from books into research papers.

    This purchase looks pretty useless to me.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2006
    As an avid Audible subscriber - I am curious as to how much profit there is in written word. I'm also in grad school, so I know how much books cost, but when I do any "reading" outside of school it's in my car or while I mow the lawn using audible.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2013
    Uphill from Downtown
    Then they are no longer research papers. Looks pretty useless to me.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2011
    I sure hope the USPTO approves my application for Command-F.
  12. macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2011
    I can see Puget Sound from here
    Cool! Can Apple integrate with iBooks, I wonder?
  13. macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    So, Apple can recommend Huey Lewis and the News after about 5 books now? What if they don't have a book?
  14. macrumors 65816

    Mar 31, 2009

    Same here and if that really happened: OH MY. All there would be left is Spotify and Amazon Prime Music the big timers at the moment.
  15. macrumors 601


    Mar 11, 2013
    Seems like an interesting acquisition, but at a glance I thought it was "Apple acquires Pandora...".
    I was about to say...that will help iTunes Radio.

    I'm glad Apple is trying to compete on these fronts. I don't know how iBooks compares to Amazon or Google books (I would assume its much smaller), but good to see them working on it.

    Between Apple Maps, iBooks, iTunes, etc it seems like they are trying to become completely self sufficient, which has its advantages to be sure, but economies grow with specialization of labor. Apple needs to embrace experts and not try to BE the expert at everything.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2014
    "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Isn't that the phrase everyone here keeps quoting, like the legendary "Safari feels snappier"? :)
  17. macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2011
    3 countries for tax benefit

    Would integrate perfectly with iBooks, if it also has an algorithm for fixing prices at $9.99.

  18. Ent
    macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2009
    Am I the only one who thought that was a pop-up on MR and tried closing it?
  19. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    That may not have been so bad. I don't know how Pandora will do on their own over the longer term, in spite of being exceptionally cool. What I like is that it gets you to listen to different things more than spotify.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2012
    It's pretty hard for the grade-schoolers, on MR, to understand the need.
  21. macrumors member

    Rian Gray

    Jul 13, 2011
    NJ, United States
    Does anyone actually use iBooks? I've been kept asking this question for years now, but I'm keep coming back to Amazon Kindle App.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 31, 2012
    Buffalo, NY
    Hopefully this will be implemented into iBooks soon
  23. macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2007
    The Mon Valley!
    Correct. Most of the users here don't even know what a "research paper" is.
  24. macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2012
    Dallas, Texas
    I like audio books but I must say that I find it odd that a graduate student can't see the value of the printed word. For one thing most audiobooks are abridged. Are you not curious about what is missing? Many books have maps, charts, illustrations, photos and other visual data that doesn't translate to audio at all. I often pause and ruminate over particular passages in printed books, contemplating either the beauty of the prose or the underlying meaning. With audiobooks this is impossible as the narration barrels ahead. Anyway, since you are budding academic I would ask that you consider these points.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2013
    Interesting concept. I wonder how/if this will play out in regards to analyzing what people post online to determine their thought patterns and intent. They ARE working on know.. for our 'safety'.

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