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

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Apr 12, 2001
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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.
- 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.

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

utwarreng

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2009
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Well, that's one way to up-sell to students wavering between the 16GB and 32GB versions.
 

sexualchocolate

macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2008
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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.
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
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The thick of it
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.
 

sexualchocolate

macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2008
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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.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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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.
 

charlituna

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Jun 11, 2008
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Los Angeles, CA
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.
 

Mr. Retrofire

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2010
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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.
 

sexualchocolate

macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2008
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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.
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.
 

utwarreng

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2009
381
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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.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
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16GB isn't big enough when you consider that many teachers teach from multiple books.
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

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You could be right. Although I have seen schools using the iPad not only for books, but apps too.
True, but often those apps are in place of a textbook so it balances out.
 

garylapointe

macrumors 68000
Feb 19, 2006
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Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
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
 

centauratlas

macrumors 65816
Jan 29, 2003
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Florida
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:
 

damir00

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2011
744
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The Wilson book is only 2 chapters. And weighs in at about a gig.

That's pretty...hefty.
 

chameleon81

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2006
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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.
Dropping the cameras might help. Having cameras are fun but not extremely important in my opinion.
 

Yumunum

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2011
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U.S.
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.
 

FloatingBones

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2006
1,270
274
-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.
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.
 

mrjobs

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2011
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0
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?