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

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
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    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.
    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.

    Article Link: Some iPad Textbooks Weigh In Above Apple's 2GB Book Size Limit
     
  2. macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Well, that's one way to up-sell to students wavering between the 16GB and 32GB versions.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

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    #3
    Now I know why Apple acquired Anobit.

    128GB iPads can't come soon enough.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

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    #4
    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. I really wonder when or if they will introduce educational pricing for iPads. Or possibly a cheaper iPad 2 come March.
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    jayducharme

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    #5
    Let's hope students can not only afford an iPad (unless the schools give them one) but also afford a speedy ISP. Can you imagine all of your textbooks being delivered to your iPad? It could take the better part of an afternoon to download them!

    But the best part about Apple's digital textbook concept is that the books themselves are now affordable.
     
  6. macrumors regular

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    #6
  7. macrumors newbie

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    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors G3

    charlituna

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    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

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    #11
    You could be right. Although I have seen schools using the iPad not only for books, but apps too. It would be a bit of a waste to use the iPad solely for books and nothing else. These new textbooks have interactive features, but they probably won't make all the learning apps obsolete.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #12
    Or they should use better compression methods (same visual quality).
     
  13. macrumors 6502

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    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Wonder if they will have a 256gb version as well
     
  15. macrumors G3

    charlituna

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    #15
    Multiple books but rarely multiple TEXTBOOKS. And even then it isn't many teachers when you are talking high school. Advanced history and English classes will have supplemental reading almost always but those are standard books like "The Things We Carried" and "Hamlet" that will be 10MB or so at most. The rest of the classes are generally one text book with perhaps a workbook that is now in the textbook

    ----------

    True, but often those apps are in place of a textbook so it balances out.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Before kids could complain that books don't fit their backpack, now that books don't fit their iPad.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    garylapointe

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    #17
    But this is one of the largest available texts. They aren't all going to be that big!!!

    Besides, isn't there probably some AUDIO and VIDEO in there too?
    It's not 5 MB every page!

    As someone who works with schools, $14.99 for a text book this large is incredible. I don't know how long it would take to pay these off to make them cost effective.

    But, if I have kids with these replacing other books and sheet music and all sorts of things.

    Having the iPads will also result in lower computer lab use.

    If you don't have enough rooms in a school building this could help solve that, especially How? If I can close a computer lab or two in my high school, I

    Gary
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    flottenheimer

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    #18
    Bags used to be stuffed with books.
    Pretty soon they'll be stuffed with 16gb iPads.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    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.

     
  20. macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    The Wilson book is only 2 chapters. And weighs in at about a gig.

    That's pretty...hefty.
     
  21. macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #21
    Dang that seems like a lot of content for one book. I guess I can see why apple has set limits
     
  22. macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Dropping the cameras might help. Having cameras are fun but not extremely important in my opinion.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #23
    My thoughts:

    -this might be a large incentive to buy 32GB and 64GB models :p

    -if you're really using this for school, how many books do you actually need at once? Maybe it's not as bad as we'd think. With iCloud you could always delete the books at the end of the quarter/semester/year (however long you need them for) and if for some reason you wanted it back in the future, you'd still have them.

    -but, even during the school year... yeah, that's a lot. If you have the 14GB (yes, cuz that's about all you have on the "16GB" model), you'd really want to limit your media.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    FloatingBones

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    #24
    Back in July, there was a rumor that Apple would be hosting Lion updates on servers in its stores to ease the download times. This didn't happen, but Apple could use that for schools where a mini-in-a-closet cached books that students were likely to use.

    I think Clarke's second and third laws are quite applicable to deployment of these shiny new books in schools:

    • 2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
    • 3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

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    #25
    16GB is fine. You don't need all the books at the same time - you can have 32GB worth of books and a 16GB iPad and then simply ensure you sync the relevant books on each day, depending on your lessons.

    Nevertheless Apple do need to look at building in compression here - text should weigh in at nothing, but images can be compressed without losing resolution - see Adobe's 'Save for Web' function for example. Another answer would be to 'Zip' the books up on the iPad when they are not being read, and 'Unzip' them when they are opened?
     

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