Have you heard about blio reader, the free ebook reader from Baker & Taylor? I got a demo of it last week at the American Library Association conference in Boston. It’s pretty cool, offering full color and audio for any open system – MAC, PC, iPhone, netbook, etc. Blio was developed by a gamer – very cool and wise decision in my opinion. Even children’s books looked and sounded good on this reader. Some cool features I saw included:
- full color
- text 2 speech (TTS) – which sounded pretty good
- track audio down to the word, start reading again at the exact word
- embedded multimedia
- page turning
- highlight word and get a definition
- reflowable text
- change font
- some titles were narrated, depends on publisher
- publishers can edit/control the voice for text 2 speech reading – change gender, tone, speed, etc.
blio will be available for the retail market in February with access to over 1 million free ebooks and a large selection of trade/childrens titles for purchase, through the online bookstore. B & T plans to expand to the library market in the summer of 2010. The website offers a comparison chart of various ereaders. Check it out.
Very cool news from OCLC/NetLibrary. Their e-books are now compatible with the Nook as well as the new SONY Daily Edition (they were already compatible with the 4 versions of SONY Readers). This is a real benefit for libraries who are looking for more e-reader options. It opens up so many potentials for patron downloads and the use of e-readers by libraries (for circulation). I hope to see other aggregators and publishers following suit and (fingers crossed) adding more textbooks to the mix. The press release from OCLC is below.
NetLibrary eBooks compatible with new Barnes & Noble nook, new ony Daily Edition and other popular eBook readers
140,000 eBook titles available for download to portable devices
From a Gale/Cengage Press Release:
Gale Announces New iPhone Application
Library research? There’s an application for that!
Farmington Hills, Mich., Dec. 16, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced the launch of the AccessMyLibrary (AML) mobile application for the iPhone – making access to library research just a click away on a mobile phone. Continue reading
A new Google discussion group has been launched to discuss eBook devices in libraries. According to the site, “this group is designed for discussions of what libraries are doing vis-a-vis eBook services designed primarily for reading on portable electronic reading devices.” As of this morning, 85 members have joined, but the discussion is a bit quiet. I’m certain that will change soon as there is plenty to talk about on eBook devices in libraries. Anyone can join and the group email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
A press release from Overdrive, September 9, 2009
First in a Series of Mobile Apps for Over-the-Air Downloading From Booksellers and Libraries
(Cleveland, OH) – September 9, 2009 – OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading global distributor of digital audiobooks and eBooks to libraries and retailers, announced the release of the first in a series of free digital book applications for mobile devices. OverDrive® Media Console(TM) for Windows Mobile® (http://overdrive.com/software/omc) enables users with Windows Mobile phones to wirelessly download audiobooks, music, and video to their devices and play the titles with the same superior navigation features of OverDrive’s desktop software. To view a list of supported devices including Sprint Palm Treo(TM), AT&T Samsung Jack(TM), and Verizon HTC Touch Pro(TM), visit http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/devices/default.mspx.
Attended a virtual conference today, “The Handheld Librarian.” There were two presentations on ebooks, one related to Kindles in libraries and the other on ebook devices. The latter, presented by Charlotte Johnson of Southern Illinois University, highlighted the resourceful LibGuide she has developed on ebook reading devices. It is available from the SIU Edwardsville site. She has a section for each major device including Sony Reader, Kindle, Apple iTouch/iPhone, Plastic Logic, iRex, and Augmented Reality.
A great debate between ePub and DRM is going on between Paul Biba and David Rothman at Teleread. They both have posts supporting their arguments. NSR will interview Paul Biba next week, so stayed tuned for more on this exciting discussion. Continue reading
Being part of the Wright State University community has given me a whole new perspective on students with disabilities. Approximately 10% of our population is part of this community. It is very difficult for these students to get their textbooks and other course material in a format appropriate to their needs. That has just been made easier with the announcement of the U.S. College and University Partnership with Bookshare. Bookshare is the largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities. Their press release contains all the details of this new program. Text of this release is also below, click on more. Continue reading
From the EBL blog:
We’ve recently announced that EBL titles can be downloaded to the Sony Reader, but did you know that EBL’s new reader is already accessible on an iPhone and iPod Touch?
Patrons can access EBL titles on their iPhone or iPod Touch through the normal webpages. The image view in the reader will render the full book. Scrolling works by using two fingers. We’re planning to offer a scaled down view more suitable for mobile access later this year.
And news just in… downloading EBL ebooks to the iPhone/iPod Touch is soon to follow. Adobe have just announced a partnership with Stanza Reader, the reader application designed for the iPhone. Read more here.
According to an ebrary press release, they have launched their new QuickView. QuickView “enables end-users to instantly view documents in many of the leading web browsers and even works on the iPhone. No software downloads or installations are needed.” Groovy. QuickView will not replace the existing Java Based Reader, it is offered in conjunction.
ebrary’s key features of QuickView:
- Instant viewing and page flipping in a web browser
- Relevancy ranking at the chapter level with links to specific sections
- Navigate to search terms or specified pages
- Search within documents for key words
- View and navigate to highlights and notes created using an ebrary Reader
- Multiple view magnifications
I’ll check this out at Charleston this week and give it a whirl on the iPhone. Anxious to see how legible that will be!