Tag Archive | adobe digital editions

Aldiko for eBooks on Android

Aldiko Android eBooksLike my last post about Bluefire Reader (for iOS devices) there is a solution for reading Adobe DRM ebooks on your Android phone or tablet. The app is called Aldiko Book Reader and it can be used on Android OS 2.1 or higher. This is useful because it means that you can get Adobe PDF or EPUB ebooks from sources other than the major sellers like Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble (or even Aldiko itself) and you can read them on your Android device.

Here are instructions for what you need to do to use this app:

Step 1: Install

To install Aldiko on your Android device, scan the barcode on the Aldiko website with your device. Or, search “Aldiko” in the Android Market.

Step 2:  Authorize

Just like with Bluefire Reader, you’ll need to authorize your device with an Adobe ID. This is how Adobe verifies that you are the same person who bought the ebook. When you have both your computer and device authorized with the same Adobe ID, you can use your ebooks both places.

To authorize your device, tap on “Adobe DRM” under General Settings. If you have an Adobe ID already, type in your Adobe ID and Password and then tap on “Sign in”. If you don’t have an Adobe ID, just tap on “Register” and you will be linked to the registration page.

Step 3: Import

Here are the options that I gathered from the Aldiko website:

Option 1: Put the ebook in the SD card of your device, then tap on the “SD Card” icon at Home. Check the box next to the file that you want to import (or tap on the menu key of your device and choose “Select All”), then tap on the “Import to Aldiko” button at the pop-up window at the bottom.

Option 2: Create a folder (for example, “import”) in your SD card, and put all the files that you want to import in that folder. Tap on the “SD Card” icon at Home, check the box next to the folder and then tap on the “Import to Aldiko” button at the pop-up window at the bottom.

Option 3: If the ebook files that you want to import are under different folders, tap on the “SD Card” icon at Home, check the box next to the folders that you want to import and then tap on the “Import to Aldiko” button at the pop-up window at the bottom.

Help?

If you need help, try Aldiko’s Support website.

The Top 5 Reasons Why Your eBook Isn’t Opening — #4: The DRM Has Gone Wrong Over Time

This is an article series that will explain the most common reasons why ebook users have trouble opening an ebook that was purchased from an ebook retail website. Most of these issues are easily avoided by simply following your download instructions, installing the software you need, and making sure that you’re using the correct ebook format for your eReader. This post covers reason #4: The DRM Has Gone Wrong Over Time.

This particular problem arises when you’ve purchased an ebook in the past. You might run into trouble if you try to use the ebook on a new computer/device, a computer that has had its operating system upgraded/reinstalled, or if you’re simply trying to re-download an ebook that you’d previously lost or deleted.

Like we have in the previous articles, let’s consider this issue in terms of Adobe’s DRM, since Adobe provides the most prevalent DRM system for ebooks. Adobe does allow users to re-download previous purchases and to use their ebooks on multiple computers and devices. However, Adobe’s DRM system must be worked with properly if you want this to work.

Before you download an Adobe ebook for the first time, you must “authorize” Adobe Digital Editions with your Adobe ID. If you do that, then you can authorize Adobe Digital Editions on other computers with the same Adobe ID, and Adobe will allow you to use your ebooks on those computers as well.

Some people try to skip all of that and just email the ebook to their other computer, transfer it via a thumb drive, or something similar. That is exactly what the software is set up to prevent you from doing. The whole purpose of the DRM is to prevent people from sharing the file with others. Whether or not you agree with this is pretty much irrelevant. It is what you have to deal with right now if you want to use Adobe ebooks.

If you don’t authorize Adobe Digital Editions with the same Adobe ID on each computer, you will probably get an error message that says “ebook already licensed to a different user” or some variation on that text. If you’ve gotten that type of error message, you will have to go back to the beginning of the process and start over.

First, install Adobe Digital Editions on the computer where you want to read the ebook.

Second, authorize it with the same Adobe ID that you used when you downloaded the ebook for the first time. (If you did not authorize Adobe Digital Editions with an Adobe ID before you downloaded the ebook for the first time, then you have effectively forfeited your right to use the ebook on multiple computers.)

Third, return to the ebook store where you purchased the ebook, and download it from there to the computer where you want to use the ebook.

If you suspect that you’ve authorized Adobe Digital Editions with the wrong Adobe ID, you can redo your authorization. Learn how to de-authorize and re-authorize Adobe Digital Editions here.

The next installment in this series will be #5, the final part. See all posts in this series.

The Top 5 Reasons Why Your eBook Isn’t Opening — #3: You Didn’t Follow The Proper DRM Procedure

This is an article series that will explain the most common reasons why ebook users have trouble opening an ebook that was purchased from an ebook retail website. Most of these issues are easily avoided by simply following your download instructions, installing the software you need, and making sure that you’re using the correct ebook format for your eReader. This post covers reason #3: You Didn’t Follow The Proper DRM Procedure.

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It is software security that prevents an ebook, audio MP3 file, or other digital media, from being distributed for free. Most book publishers will not sell their books in ebook format without this security because they are concerned about copyright protection and software piracy.

DRM can cause a lot of trouble for the end-users when they don’t understand how it works, but it can also be dealt with easily and with a minimum of hardship. In terms of ebooks, if a user wishes to read a DRM-protected ebook, he or she must first install a specific program that was created for the ebook format, and register it with a free account.

Adobe (www.adobe.com) provides the most prevalent ebook DRM system in use today: the Adobe Content Server. This DRM system protects both PDF and EPUB ebooks. I am only going to explain how to deal with this system in this article because it is the most widely used, and consequently the most misunderstood.

Before you buy any ebooks, you can identify those that are being protected by Adobe’s DRM by looking at the information posted on the website that sells the ebook. If the website mentions DRM, the requirement of Adobe Digital Editions, or specifies that the ebook can only be used on a specific list of e-reader devices, then you should definitely assume that you will have to use Adobe’s DRM if you purchase the ebook.

Before purchasing an Adobe ebook protected by Adobe’s DRM, follow these steps:

1. Find out whether your computer or e-reader device is supported by Adobe’s Content Server system.

Here is some information to get you started:

Adobe Digital Editions can be used on Windows (XP, Vista, 7) and Mac (10.4-10.6). It does not work on Linux.

Adobe has an official list of devices that they support. If your device is not on that list, do not bother buying an ebook for it if it is protected by Adobe DRM.

2. Install Adobe Digital Editions

Get it here: http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/

3. Create an Adobe ID

Do that here: https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/membership/index.cfm

4. “Authorize” Adobe Digital Editions with your Adobe ID

a. Open Adobe Digital Editions

b. Click on the Library button

c. Click on the downward arrow next to the word LIBRARY

d. Click “Authorize Computer”

After you complete these steps, you will be ready to purchase and download ebooks that are protected by Adobe DRM.

I have more information about how to work with Adobe Digital Editions in the Adobe Digital Editions category of this blog, such as what to do when you get an ACSM file.

The next article in this series will cover more information about how to deal with DRM issues when you’ve changed computers. See all posts in this series.

ACSM Files – What they are and how to work with them

ACSM files are a source of much confusion for people who buy ebooks that are protected with Adobe DRM. I’m going to go over a few of the most frequently asked questions about these files, and I hope it will clear up the mystery for everyone.

What is an .acsm file?

ACSM stands for Adobe Content Server Manager. That name gives a clue as to the purpose of these files — they are download manager files. They manage the download of your ebook.

The majority of the time, you don’t even see the .acsm file when you download an Adobe ebook. Usually the only time you see it is if you haven’t properly set up Adobe Digital Editions, or you don’t even have it installed. I can’t stress this enough: before you buy Adobe ebooks, whether PDF or EPUB, install the software you need! If you haven’t installed the correct software for any file type, your computer won’t know what to do with it.

If you do have Adobe Digital Editions installed and authorized correctly, then you won’t even see the .acsm file at all. It will do its job in the background of your ebook download. The purpose of this file is to communicate with Adobe’s content server and register the ebook to the Adobe ID that you have used to authorize ADE. If you don’t know how to do the authorization process, read my post about it.

What is the purpose of associating an ebook with your Adobe ID? That is how Adobe’s DRM system allows you to use your ebooks on more than one computer or device. If you authorize Adobe Digital Editions with the same Adobe ID on each computer/device, it will let you download the ebook to each of those locations.

This might be a pain sometimes, but it is what we have to live with, at least for now.

How to convert .acsm to .pdf?

You don’t have to convert the .acsm file to another file format at all. That would be quite impossible. This question is based on the mis-assumption that the .acsm file is the ebook. It is not. Let me make that clear: the .acsm file is NOT supposed to be the ebook. It is just a little file that manages the download of the ebook.

The idea that you could convert an .acsm file to a .pdf file is based on the assumption that the .acsm file contains all the text of a book, and that it’s just in the wrong format. That might be true if it was a .doc file, or any other text-based file. That is not what an .acsm file is.

There is no need for you to do any conversion. If you have Adobe Digital Editions installed, then all you have to do is open the .acsm file with that program. Then, the ebook download will continue. When the download is finished, you will have your PDF file.

I tried to download my ebook and all I got was this 1.4 KB .acsm file! That can’t be the entire text of a book!

This is the standard freak-out message that people send. This is usually the result of a person skipping over all the posted software requirements and instructions. Any website that sells ebooks in Adobe’s DRM-protected format will tell you ahead of time that you must use Adobe Digital Editions. If you skip over all those instructions, and you don’t install the software you are told that you need, then of course your computer won’t know what to do with this .acsm file.

As I mentioned above, the .acsm file is NOT supposed to contain the entire text of a book. It is not the ebook at all. It is a small file that manages the download of the ebook through Adobe’s content server.

Still confused?

I hope not, but just in case you missed all of the information above, this is what you should do if you have an .acsm file: open it with Adobe Digital Editions. Do not attempt to open it with Adobe Reader, Acrobat, or any other program.

For the super-confused …

The next question I get from those who have ignored all posted instructions and ended up with an .acsm file that they don’t know what to do with is: But how do I open it with Adobe Digital Editions?

I really have to bang my head on my desk for this one.

Ask yourself this: how do you ever open any other file? There are always three ways:

1. Double-click it. It will open in the program that your computer has associated with that file type. If you have messed up your file associations and the .acsm file is trying to open in the wrong program (like Adobe Reader, for example) then you need to try a different method.

2. Right-click it. Right-click the file, go to “Open With”, and choose Adobe Digital Editions. If that doesn’t do it for you …

3. Open manually from inside the program. Open Adobe Digital Editions. In the upper left area, find LIBRARY. Click the downward arrow next to Library, and click on “Open”. Find the eBook on your computer. It should be in a folder called My Digital Editions, which is in the My Documents folder.

(Those instructions are for Windows, but if you’re on a Mac, you get the general idea.)

Summary

ACSM files are not ebooks.
ACSM files manage the download of Adobe DRM-protected ebooks.
Always follow the posted download and installation instructions for any software you purchase.
ACSM files must be opened with Adobe Digital Editions.

Get some free ebooks!

How To Change the Authorized Adobe ID

What do you do if your copy of Adobe Digital Editions is authorized with the wrong Adobe ID? This can happen if you’ve started using a different Adobe ID or you somehow messed up the authorization in the past.

If you’re trying to open an ebook when Adobe Digital Editions is authorized with the wrong Adobe ID, you’ll get an error message like: “License fulfilled by a different user” or something similar referencing licensing or authorization.

Important note: If you have some ebooks that do require your current authorization, those will become unreadable if you authorize with a different Adobe ID.

deauthorize

The first thing to do is deauthorize Adobe Digital Editions. This will remove your current authorization.

1. Open Adobe Digital Editions

2. On your keyboard, simultaneously press the Ctrl, Shift, and D buttons (if on Windows) or the Cmd, Shift, and D buttons (if on a Mac)

3. Click the “Deauthorize” button

Deauthorize Adobe Digital Editions

4. After this you should close Adobe Digital Editions, and then open it again.

re-authorize

If you’ve followed the steps above, your copy of Adobe Digital Editions is no longer authorized.

1. Open Adobe Digital Editions

2. Adobe Digital Editions will behave as if you’ve just installed it, and will prompt you to enter your login information for your Adobe ID. Use the Adobe ID account information that you want to use to authorize Adobe Digital Editions.

Adobe Digital Editions

The first ebook reader program that I want to discuss is Adobe Digital Editions. This program is used to manage the transfer of DRM* Adobe eBooks (both PDF and ePub) between your computer and many ebook reading devices, such as the Nook, Sony Reader, BeBook, Cybook, and others.

I’ve been using Adobe Digital Editions since it first came out. I’ve been involved with providing tech support for this program and developing documentation on its use (no, I don’t work for Adobe.) I have researched and solved many of its error messages. I have been able to compile some instructions for the best way to use it, which I will share below, along with some other related topics.

* DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It’s the digital security that prevents a user from passing around an ebook for free. DRM is a controversial topic and I will probably discuss it in a lot more detail in a later post.

authorization

The authorization process that Adobe Digital Editions uses is probably the most important thing to learn. This is the way in which the software tries to make sure that you are the person who bought your ebooks, and you didn’t get them emailed to you for free from someone else.

You should authorize your copy of Adobe Digital Editions before you buy any ebooks. This will save you a lot of headache later on. I would say that the majority of error messages that people get result from not authorizing Adobe Digital Editions, or from authorizing at the wrong time. So just go ahead and authorize it right after you install it.

how to authorize

The first thing you need to do is create an Adobe ID. This is the account that you’ll use to authorize Adobe Digital Editions and all of your ebooks in the future. Create an Adobe ID here.

Once you have your Adobe ID, you can do your authorization. Open Adobe Digital Editions, and click the downward arrow next to the word LIBRARY. Then click “Authorize computer”.

Authorize Adobe Digital Editions

From there, all you have to do is sign in with your Adobe ID and  follow the instructions.

From here on out, all of the ebooks you buy while under this authorization will be tied to your Adobe ID. Try not to mess this up by switching to a different Adobe ID later. That will render your ebooks unopenable.

.acsm files

The Adobe ebook downloading process makes use of files that end in .acsm. That stands for Adobe Content Server Manager. This is one of the things that causes a lot of confusion for people.

This file is what you initially download when you start an ebook download. It acts as a “transfer file”, managing the communication between the download server and Adobe’s servers. My understanding is that it verifies your Adobe ID and then starts the ebook download process.

The majority of the time you won’t even see this file or have to interact with it. If everything goes smoothly, it will do its job in the background and begin your ebook download for you.

If you don’t have Adobe Digital Editions installed, your computer won’t know what to do with this file. People often complain that they got a small file ending in .acsm but they didn’t get the book they bought. That’s because they didn’t follow posted instructions for downloading Adobe Digital Editions and authorizing it before they tried to download their ebook.

how to read your Adobe ebooks on another computer

This gives some people a lot of trouble. It seems like you’d be able to transfer an Adobe ebook via a thumb drive, flash drive, CD, or over your home network, but that doesn’t work. When you try to open the ebook on the second computer, you will likely get an authorization error message, telling you that the ebook was authorized to another user.

All you have to do is download the ebook to your second computer the exact same way you downloaded it the first time (if you did it properly). You should install Adobe Digital Editions on the second computer and authorize it with your Adobe ID (the same one you used before!). Then, login to your account at the website where you bought the ebook, and download it directly to the computer where you want to read the ebook.

how to transfer ebooks to an e-reading device

If you’ve purchased an ebook that requires the use of Adobe Digital Editions, then you must use Adobe Digital Editions to manage the transfer of the ebook from your computer to your reading device. This is because of the same authorization issues that we’ve discussed above — Adobe wants to make sure that you own both the ebook and the reading device, and it does that via the authorization process.

The first thing to do is make sure that you’ve authorized Adobe Digital Editions with your Adobe ID account, as explained previously. You will have to authorize your device with the same Adobe ID.

Connect the e-reading device to your computer via its USB cable, and turn it on. Adobe Digital Editions should detect the device and prompt you to authorize it with your Adobe ID account. After that, the name of your device will appear on the left side of Adobe Digital Editions in the “bookshelves” area.

Now all you have to do is drag an ebook from the Adobe Digital Editions library to the device name.

Transfer ebooks to an e-reading device in Adobe Digital Editions

The device shown in this screen capture is the Bebook, which is the e-reading device that I own. Your device name will be what shows up in your own bookshelf.

summary

Adobe Digital Editions can be very easy to use as long as you do what you’re supposed to. Just make sure to authorize it before you buy any ebooks, and make sure to always use the same Adobe ID when dealing with any ebooks or e-reading devices. That will protect you from 95% of all problems and error messages, and you’ll have a stress-free ebook reading experience.

If you have any tips for getting good use out of Adobe Digital Editions, please leave a comment!

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