Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Amazon vs. Apple vs. EPUB3?

I PROGRAMMER points to some concerns about Amazon's new Kindle format (KF8) and the EPUB3 standard:

Even where sales of EPUB ebooks lag behind Kindle sales, many publishers have now built their workflow around EPUB as their primary source files. These convert well into the current Kindle format, allowing publishers to maintain a single format. To keep this workflow, it will be important that Amazon supports error-free EPUB3 conversion in its Kindle Gen 2 toolset. But as complexity increases, so do the opportunities for things to break. We won’t know until Amazon releases more details whether EPUB3 can continue to serve as this reference format. Indications are that EPUB3 is a richer format so publishers might want to restrict themselves to a feature subset that’s common to both platforms. No mention yet, for instance, of JavaScript support, MathML, or EPUB3's extensive accessibility features.
— Martin Taylor, eReport — Digital Publishing Downunder


Amazon isn't the only major player to define its own format. Apple had already adopted an custom extension of the EPUB standard for illustrated books and magazines that worked only with its iBooks e-reader app.

Just the way things go I guess: "Could we be in for the e-reader wars?"

Wonder where Barnes&Noble (NOOK) will play? (The e-reader to be most EPUB3 friendly?)