Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ereading Apps Frustration...

So I'm up a bit early due to a pot roast, so I might as well write this!

I've been spending some time thinking about ereaders and ereading apps, preparing for a meeting and for revising my library ebook guide and my Packaged Paper for Digital Devices workshop. Reading apps are interesting - if you just want to read an ebook, most of them are fine. Sure, there are certain basic functionalities (font size, background,etc.), but most do the job. When you are thinking of using them for reading academic / scholarly or professional stuff, however, things get more complicated.

Functionality I want (list may be modified in the future -- and yes, I'm asking for a lot):

  • highlight text
  • annotate text
  • export notes and highlights! (this is a biggie...and I'd like to export either individually or collectively)
  • export with metadata: title, author, page number/location
  • text-to-speech
  • endnote links work (optimally foward and backward)
  • Dropbox/SugarSync integration
  • search
  • font size changing
  • backgrounds (I totally love sepia)
  • Granular (not automatic)  social sharing to Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Ability to take advantage of all smartphone/tablet sharing options
  • Multi-format (this one isn't so important, but reading both EPUB and .mobi would be nice, and I guess it has to read PDFs although those are problematic)
  • Adobe Digital Editions-compatible
  • EPUB version ? Not sure about this one...

I know there are comparison lists out there [add link(s)], but they don't quite include what I want - so, I guess I'll be working on this! The thing is, I don't think its going to be a successful project. The situation with exporting is especially not likely, unfortunately. I remember an initiative to create some sort of cross-app standard (?) to do this... [look up; check status - probably dead in the water...]

Some of the apps to look at: BlueFire, Aldiko, Moon+, iBook, Kindle (desktop, device, and app), Nook (desktop, device, and app), ebrary, ADE, Mankato.. (no, that is a city; I mean Mantano ;-)

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