Tag Archives: Reading Apps

Apple iPhone, Stanza and Project Gutenberg

With the introduction of the Stanza eBook reading application the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch have become major platforms on which to read eBooks. Since Stanza was released there have been several other eBook readers released for the iPod Touch allowing eBooks in many different file formats (including the ePub eBook standard) to be downloaded from any one of the many sources that have both free (public domain) and commercial eBook titles.

The goal of my own personal project is to provide Project Gutenberg eBooks formatted in the ePub eBook standard and make freely available from epubBooks.com. Because of this I knew I would need to test how my conversions look on an iPhone or iPod Touch, therefore I decided to purchase an iPod Touch.

I’m not a fanatic of Apple so as you can imagine, I wasn’t really expecting much from the iPod Touch other to test my ePub formatted books and listening to music.

I won’t go into too many details in this review about the different Apple apps available on the iPhone/Touch (there are already plenty of other reviews like that) as I want to keep this focused on the eBook aspects, specifically targeting Project Gutenberg fans.

During the review I will only be focussing on the iPod Touch but it must be noted that the Touch is exactly the same as the iPhone, just without the cellular phone abilities or persistent internet access. So anything that can be done with the iPod Touch should also be available on the iPhone.
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yBook Reader: A Review

Good non-clunky free e-book readers available NOW

Regarding the clunkiness or otherwise of e-book readers, I was absolutely delighted when I tried yBook, as mentioned in the George Davis article in the PG Newletter of 13 June 2007. You can tailor it to your own preferences in typeface, font size, type colour, background colour and texture, and other items such as margins, etc. I normally prefer to listen to e-books, but I do find that yBook has put me back into a reading mode. It also remembers where you got to last time, so when you open it up you have the right page before you, in a two-page display.

It reads PG books, and downloads the PG catalogue, so that you can search for authors or titles. It reads zipped text or html files as easily as unzipped ones. There has been a new version issued since George Davis’s article, and we are currently on version 1.5.5. I don’t think it is “clunky” at all, and it is free, so most of the Kellscraft Sudio’s average persons can afford it. The ones who “can’t” afford it will be the ones who daren’t, in case it contradicts their proclaimed opinions.

Nick Hodson, Athelstane e-books, London, England, UK.

Scrollbox online library and e-reader

Scrollbox.org is an online library and e-reader. It’s designed to be a simple way of reading eBooks on computers and phones with internet access.

It uses no images or video so pages load quickly, and allows users to upload books for their own use. Scrollbox remembers what you were reading last time you visited and starts you right where you left off.

The site also has a feature specifically for the iPhone that allows people to save books so that a network connection is not needed. This is great for subways, airplanes, etc. and reduces login time and expense.

Give Scrollbox.org a try if you’re reading on the go!

Leading publishers [Sony] announce support for Adobe Digital Editions

Leading publishers, online retailers and channel partners have announced their support for Adobe Digital Editions today (see separate quote sheet). By using a new export feature built into Adobe InDesign(R) CS3, publishers can easily create new Adobe Digital Editions-ready content, helping to significantly reduce cost and conversion time. In addition, with versions for mobile platforms and reading devices also planned, Sony has committed to embed Adobe Digital Editions technology into its portable reader product line.

“Adobe Digital Editions will revolutionize how publishers deliver eBooks and other digital content and how consumers experience it,” said Rob Tarkoff, senior vice president, Corporate Development at Adobe. “The combination of Adobe Digital Editions, InDesign CS3 and a new generation of hardware from innovators like Sony shows that digital publishing is front and center for content owners – and millions of readers who are looking forward to innovations in the delivery of their favorite works.”

“We’re excited to work with Adobe to pioneer new applications for eBooks and other digital documents,” said Ron Hawkins, vice president of portable reader systems marketing at Sony Electronics, Inc. “This collaboration will give us the opportunity to expand our offerings to a larger audience and new markets, allowing individual consumers, businesses, and other customers to take advantage of the portability and ease of use of Sony’s Reader products with a wider spectrum of content.”

With native support for Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) and XML-based publications, Adobe Digital Editions already works seamlessly with more than 150,000 commercially published titles. Using Adobe Digital Editions 1.0 readers will find that content automatically re-flows, adapting to different screen sizes and support for Adobe Flash(R) software promises to enhance digital publications through the integration of rich audio and video.

Click here to Read the full PressRelease

Apps for Reading PG eBooks Offline

Project Gutenberg is a web-based electronic re-publisher of (primarily) public domain works. Being web-based, most of the eBooks in the collection are readable in a web browser, either on-line or off-line, regardless of computer operating systems. While on-line reading is possible, most users download the eBooks for reading off-line.

It is safe to say that the largest number of readers of PG eBooks do so with computers based on the Windows operating system. For reading eBooks, either a web browser (most often Internet Explorer) or Windows Notepad are the two most recommended programs.

But those are not necessarily the best applications for the purpose. Notepad is primarily a text editor, not a file viewer; and using a web browser for reading eBooks is — at least some of the time — something like using an 18-wheeler to do your grocery shopping. Fortunately, there are a few other options out there which cost nothing but the time to download — they are freeware — and offer a more user-friendly interface with eBooks.

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