Tag Archive | ebook formats

Search Terms

I was looking through the stats for this blog and noticed some themes in the search terms that people use to get to this website. I know that posting those just perpetuates the same information, but I want to make sure that people get to the correct pages to find answers to their questions.

Adobe Digital Editions and ACSM Files

The bulk of the search terms have to do with Adobe Digital Editions and .acsm files. I wrote an entire post about what .acsm files are because I know that people are very confused about them. This is a sampling of the related search terms:

acsm files to epub
convert .acsm to .pdf
convert acsm
adobe digital editions how to save to another format
how to open acsm file
ascm what support e reader
how many devices does adobe digital editions allow
can you authorize more than one device to adobe digital editions
download failed. content has already been authorised to another user. adobe error

Please see my post about .acsm files to learn everything you need. In a nutshell: they must be opened with Adobe Digital Editions. You can’t convert them to any other file type.

Adobe has a big list of all of the e-reader device types that they support. Check that to see if your device is included.

As far as I know, they allow you to authorize up to 6 computers and/or devices with the same Adobe ID. If you’re getting an error message that says the ebook was already licensed to a different user, that means you’re using the wrong Adobe ID.

Android Tablets

Another group of search terms has to do with Android-powered tablets.

what ebook reader to use on my xoom
importing ebooks from pc to aldiko android
androide adobe drm ereader
samsung galaxy for reading e books
how to put ebook on android tablet

The ebook reader app that I recommend for all Android phones and tablets is Aldiko. The post I wrote about it explains how to use it. It supports Adobe DRM and non-DRM ebooks.

iOS DRM eBook Apps

There are similar search terms that indicate people want to know how to read DRM ebooks on iOS devices like the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Examples:

drm ebook apps for ipod touch
adobe ebook to itunes

For that, I recommend Bluefire Reader. Like Aldiko, it supports DRM and non-DRM Adobe ebooks.

Other General ebook Stuff

Then there are also general search terms related to ebook usage, such as:

ebook reader v tablets
why ebooks have grown in popularity
software for .azw readers for computers
possible ereaders
ereaders formats

See my fabulous Squidoo lens for information about eReaders vs Tablets.

Why have ebooks grown in popularity? I think the biggest boom came when Amazon released newer versions of the Kindle. After that, more and more e-readers became more popular. eBooks have been around for a long time, but Amazon managed to make the Kindle a household name, and that boosted the entire ebook industry.

.azw is the file extension of a Kindle ebook. If you want to read that on your computer, you can use the Kindle app.

If you just want to learn about “possible ereaders” then you should check out my eReader Comparisons page for an overview. My eBook Software page covers all of the ereader formats that I’ve reviewed so far.

How To Choose an eBook Format

There are currently many different ebook formats from which to choose. As the ebook industry develops, the amount of formats will probably decrease, as some become standard and others fall away. We’ve already seen this happen to some extent with older e-readers being discontinued and their ebook formats disappearing with them.

These are the most common current ebook formats:

PDF — .pdf
EPUB — .epub
Microsoft Reader — .lit
Mobipocket — .prc
eReader (Palm) — .pdb
Kindle — .azw

There are other formats that can usually be read by e-reader devices, such as .txt and Word files, but I don’t really consider those to be actual ebooks. It’s nice that e-reader devices can display those types of files but they’re really just general text files that you use on your computer.

The best way to choose the format that’s best for you is to make your decision based on what kind of computer or e-reading device you’ll be using. Here is list to get you started:

PDF — Windows, Mac, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, Cool-er, Cybook, BeBook, Pandigital Novel
EPUB — Windows, Mac, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, Cool-er, Cybook, BeBook, Pandigital Novel
Microsoft Reader — Windows, Windows Mobile
Mobipocket — Windows, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Blackberry, iRex iLiad, Nokia
eReader (Palm) — Windows, Mac, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (Apple devices with Stanza)
Kindle — Amazon Kindle

You should always check the tech specs for your particular device to verify the ebook formats that it can use.

eBookMall has a useful comparison chart that shows many devices, the best ebook format for each, and some tech specs like size and weight. Also, there is a huge chart on Wikipedia that shows a comparison of devices and their supported formats.

I used to recommend that people consider whether they need to print the ebook when choosing a format, but so few ebooks are printable now that it’s almost becoming a non-issue. Your best choice for printable ebooks is PDF, but many (if not most) book publishers disable the printing function on their PDF files because they are concerned about copyright protection. In general, if you need a book on paper, it’s best to just buy the paperback.

The formats listed above are the most common that I’ve seen. If you have an e-reader that reads a different ebook format, please leave a comment and mention it. That might be helpful for others who are trying to figure out which ebook format they should use.

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