19 January, 2010

Are ebooks finally here?

When you start seeing articles everyday in the daily newspapers about ebooks you have to think that maybe the tipping point is coming soon. Today there is the announcement that Apple has invited journalists to a special event in San Francisco on January 27 which is expected to be the unveiling of the long awaited tablet computer. The new Apple is expected to be a colour, touchscreen tablet that can browse the web, display video and also serve as an electronic book and newspaper reader.

Reports are that Kindle was one of the most popular Christmas presents this year, and the ability to download books and newspapers wherever you are really simplifies the whole business of getting your content. One of my friends got one, and showed it to me last week. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the screen, the weight and size and also interested that it is not back lit. I remember the early versions of ebook readers, back in 2000, the Rocket in particular which was rather bulky and the very difficult time we had sourcing content for it for Brisbane libraries.

We are pleased that Overdrive, our supplier of online content, is enhancing their offerings too, and Windows Mobile® users – OverDrive Media Console for Windows Mobile is here! For more on this new release of OverDrive Media Console, click here. This allows you to directly download to your device, rather than the previous 2 step process.

The notion of all these functions converging on one device is full of possibilities, though I can't but wonder how many people will want to skype on their tv. But certainly the functionality promised by the new Apple tablet may well revolutionise the way we access ebooks and online content, the way that iPods revolutionised music. I can't wait to see one!

Did you get a Kindle for Christmas? We love you to tell us about it.


Mikea said...

I think the Apple Slate may be a Kindle killer?

Judith said...

Do you think it will be possible soon for public libraries to lend out ebooks as per the Overdrive system?

Christine said...

Hi Judith, I'm not sure what you mean, but if the question is will libraries lend out hardware, I don't think most will. There are ongoing issues regarding Digital Rights Management that are limiting the titles we offer on Overdrive and there is not yet a business model for iTunes or Amazon. But we will be enhancing our downloadable audio books very soon.