Archive | February 2011

Bluefire Reader for Adobe DRM eBooks on iOS

Use Bluefire Reader for Adobe DRM eBooksIf you want to read ebooks that are protected by Adobe DRM on your iOS device (that includes iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) the app I recommend is Bluefire Reader.

Most of the ebooks being sold by mainstream publishers that are in PDF or ePub format are protected by DRM. Book publishers, just like music publishers, are concerned about software piracy, so they require ebook stores to use Adobe’s DRM on the ebook downloads. Programs like Adobe Reader and other standard programs or apps that read PDF files aren’t set up to deal with that DRM, so you need an app that can handle it.

Here is what you will need to do:

1. Follow my previous instructions for how to set up Adobe Digital Editions correctly. You’ll need to install it and then “authorize” with your Adobe ID.

2. Get the Bluefire Reader app for your iOS device. Download it from iTunes and install it on the device.

3. The first time you open Bluefire Reader, you’ll be asked if you want to authorize it with your Adobe ID. You should go ahead and do it. Just follow the instructions given.

Make sure to use the same ID that you used when you authorized Adobe Digital Editions on your computer. That is how Adobe will allow you to use your ebooks on both your computer and the iOS device.

4. If you haven’t already, get an ebook that you want to read.

5. Transferring Files

Note: This will only work with iOS 4 or later. If you have an iPad you should already have that, but if you have an older iPhone or iPod, update the OS so that you can transfer files from your computer to the device.

a) Connect your device to your computer.

b) Open iTunes and click on your device. It should look something like this:

Obviously if you have an iPad it will say “iPad” or whatever you named your iPad, etc.

c) On the top-center area of the screen, click Apps. In iTunes on my computer, it looks like this:

d) Scroll down to the “File Sharing” section, which should be at the bottom of the screen. Select the Bluefire Reader app from the list, and click “Add”. On my computer it looks like this:

e) Now you can find the ebook that you want to transfer. If you bought a DRM-protected Adobe PDF or ePub file, it should be in a folder called “My Digital Editions”. Any non-DRM ebooks will be wherever you put them on your computer.

It might sync to your device automatically or you might have to perform a sync on your own. After that you should be able to open Bluefire Reader on your device and see the ebook.

I recommend that you find ePub files rather than PDF whenever possible. It seems that most e-readers and ebook apps display them a lot better because ePub files are reflowable, which means that the text of the book can rearrange itself to accommodate your screen size much easier than in PDF files.

If you need help with Bluefire Reader, they have a good User Guide and other help information.

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Sony Threatens to Pull Music from iTunes

This isn’t directly related to ebook software, but it is a followup to my recent post about Sony’s issues with Apple. As you’ll remember, Apple rejected Sony’s eBook App because it does not allow users to purchase ebooks through Apple (which would give Apple 30% of each sale).

Now, it seems that Sony is threatening to pull all of their music from iTunes.

“SONY has signalled it may withdraw its artists from Apple’s iTunes store and withhold its games from the iPhone in a sign the two companies are on the brink of all-out war.”

Sony plans to offer their music in their own system called Music Unlimited instead, which is already available in Europe and will be available in Australia soon. This is significant because Sony is the world’s second-largest record company, representing a large amount of artists, including Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Bob Dylan. If all of Sony’s artists were pulled from iTunes, Apple’s music market would be a very different place.

“The new Sony music service, which opened in Europe last year, will have a library of 6 million tracks and users will be able to stream songs to Sony TVs, PlayStation3 consoles, PSP portable game players and Blu-Ray players.”

Michael Ephraim from Sony was quoted as saying, “Publishers are being held to ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold.”

No matter which side you take, this may end up being quite important in the history of online digital content delivery. As far as ebooks go — we are sure to see much of the market go to Android devices in the upcoming few years, and that will already be outside of Apple’s control. Apple may be left with their usual small fanbase for customers, while everyone else uses the more inexpensive options provided by Sony, Google, and Microsoft.

Source of quotes.

Common Misconceptions About Reading eBooks on Mobile Phones

Almost everyone has a mobile phone now, and many people have heard of the idea of reading books on them. But there are many misconceptions about this that people form in their mind before they even give it a try.

The screen is too small.

Here’s an interesting thing that I recently realized: If you have a modern phone, then the size of the screen is about the same width as a newspaper or magazine column. That size of text is okay for you to read, right? So what’s the difference if it’s on your phone screen? The only real difference is that you can’t see the rest of the page at the same time. But are you reading everything on the entire page at once? Probably not, unless you have some kind of mind disorder that also makes you a genius.

The font size is too small.

You know how you can change the font size in a program like Microsoft Word? Well, surprise! You can change the font size in just about any program that displays text, including ebooks. Every ebook app that I’ve ever seen has a way for you to do this.

It costs extra money.

The ebook reading apps that you need are free. The only thing that costs money are the books, and those cost money whether you buy them digitally or on paper. There are ebook apps that cost money, but you don’t have to use those.

It’s too difficult!

It’s really not difficult if you’re comfortable with using the features of a smartphone. If you’ve ever gotten an app for your phone, you can get an ebook app in exactly the same way. A lot of the ebook apps will let you buy an ebook and download it directly to the app without even having to use your computer. If you do need to purchase the ebook on your computer, then you just sync it to your phone the same way you would any other file.

It’s not very convenient.

Downloading an entire book to your little mobile phone is a lot more convenient than driving to a store to get a book, or ordering it online and waiting for shipping.

There aren’t many books available.

Nowadays most book publishers are making their books available as ebooks. There are literally hundreds of thousands of ebooks available from a lot of different sources. You can pretty much take your pick of what you want and where you want to get it.

It hurts my eyes!

Okay, I can’t really disprove that. If it hurts then don’t do it!

Top 5 eBook Apps

If you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, check out the Squidoo lens I made for the Top 5 eBook Reading Apps for iPad and iPhone.

If you have an Android phone, get your ebook apps from my Squidoo lens called Top 5 Android eBook Apps.

How To Choose an eBook Reader

Shopping Online for an eBook Reader

I have made a new Squidoo Lens called How To Choose an eBook Reader!

It is meant to be a shopping guide for someone who is new to ebook readers and isn’t sure which device is best for them. It goes over all of the important tech specs that a person should consider when looking at these device, such as: price, size, weight, screen size (e-Ink vs LCD), file format supported, memory, battery life, and WiFi vs 3G.

If someone is new to this type of technology, they might not even know what all of those terms mean. The lens explains each term and how it will affect your use of the e-reader. I think it’s a very good place to start for anybody who is considering buying an ebook reader.

It’s also a good companion lens to my eBook Reader Comparions lens. Once you understand all of the tech spec terminology, you can then look at what each e-reader offers, armed with that knowledge.

So, if you’re new to ebook readers and you’re considering buying one …

1. Learn How To Choose an eBook Reader and then

2. Look at the eBook Reader Comparions to decide which one is best for you.

Apple Wants Their eBook Money

My RSS feeds are all abuzz today about how Apple has denied Sony’s app for the Sony Reader. It seems that Apple decided they didn’t like it because users could buy content through the app, and Apple would not get a share of the profit. This kind of blows me away because, as far as I can tell, other similar ebook apps like the Kindle and Nook apps have been doing this all along, and apparently it didn’t become a problem until Sony submitted their app.

I guess it was the straw the broke the camel’s back for them. Too many companies all trying to sell ebooks without giving Apple money for each sale, and they decided to suddenly change the rules on everyone.

Read more about this on Wired. Quotes:

Apple has responded to the furor over its supposed App Store policy changes that many believe could affect the popular Kindle, Nook and Sony Reader apps. The company claims it has not changed any of its guidelines given to developers, but it indirectly confirms that accessing content purchased elsewhere could be a no-no if that content isn’t also available to be purchased through Apple’s own system.

Apple also allegedly told Sony that the app couldn’t access content purchased on other Sony Reader devices, which is where most of the outrage was focused. Amazon’s Kindle app and Barnes & Noble’s Nook app are both popular mechanisms for users to download and read books that they have purchased from the respective stores. Many feared that this supposed change in Apple policy would take their e-books away from their iPads, iPhones and iPod touches.

Apple’s second statement indicates that this is indeed the case — sort of. If an app lets users access content that they purchased via Amazon’s website, for example, then that same app must also let users buy the same book via Apple’s own in-app purchase system. If the app developer doesn’t want to use Apple’s in-app purchases to sell content, then the app can’t access content purchased elsewhere either.

It seems that Amazon and Barnes & Noble will have to rework their ebook apps so that users will somehow buy the content through Apple, so that Apple gets the 30% that they charge for content purchased through iTunes. Eh … I’m not even going to try and rewrite the details. Check out the article in Wired, linked to above. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this soon.

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