Thoughts on College eBook Textbooks using VitalSource

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by datapolitical, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. datapolitical macrumors regular


    Jul 28, 2006
    One of the potential uses for the iPad 2 i'm planning on buying is the ability to read books for grad school. I had assumed until literally 10 minutes ago that I'd be stuck with only those books that were offered on Google Books or Amazon, as I couldn't find info on an iOS app that would read them.

    Digging around further I found VitalSource Bookshelf. The only problem is that the reviews on iTunes, well, suck. In no uncertain terms most of them say "do not use this." I've found that such reviews aren't always accurate, so I was wondering if anyone in here had tried reading an eBook they bought from their university on the iPad, and how the experience went.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Haven't ever used that app, but with a 2.5 stars average from 15 ratings of the current version, and a 2.0 star average from 216 ratings, I'd probably take the reviews at their word! :)

    I've not bought into the electronic textbook thing yet. None I've seen allows buying a used ebook version, and you can't resell it after you're done. I've saved a ton of money buying textbooks used (or international versions) via Amazon or ebay, then reselling them again via amazon or ebay after I'm done with them.

    Depending on your grad program, if a lot of the material is provided in PDF format (as is the case in mine), then there are a number of good apps allowing your to read and annotate on an ipad. My preference is PDF Expert, but there are others as well.
  3. reputationZed macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2011
    34°55′42″N 80°44′41″W (34.
    I used the desktop version of VitalSource a few semesters ago. The app was OK, but nothing special. Not sure if this is still the case but when I used it there were two options, online - can access the content from any computer as long as you have an internet conection, and offline - can download content to a singlePC. There are also limits on how many pages you can print. I don't remember what the limit was but it was enough for a single class. I'd give it an other go now that I have an iPad but they do not carry none of the books I need this semester.
  4. Ibycus macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2011
    I use it pretty regularly, and have experienced few problems with it.

    If you read the reviews, most problems are related to download issues. You can bypass this (if you experience it) by using your computer to download, and then transfer with iTunes.
  5. cisojoki macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2013
    Vital Source Bookshelf

    Vital Source is terrible!! You pay for a book and you can only print 10 pages at a time. The print is too small to read, and if you try to create a pdf from it, the pages are not properly centered and sentences are cut off. I would rather just pay for a used book.

Share This Page