C18th, meet C21st

Amazon have just released the Kindle software for the iPhone/iTouch. It’s only available to US customers, but I have a US credit card so was able to download it. This means I can now get any of 240,000 books on my iPod, within a few seconds.

And the reading experience is pretty good: there’s not much text visible at once in the standard font size, but a slight swipe of thumb or finger is all that’s needed to turn the page. Mmm. This could prove expensive.

No prizes for guessing which book I downloaded first, though! (Kindle version)


The expensive aspect relates to Amazon as a system. Have you thought about Stanza and the ePUB format? ePUB is mostly XHTML so fairly open as I understand it. Public domain, out of copyright, this is what we need more of. Feedbooks can create ePUB from an RSS feed, most blogs.

I think amazon are doing an excellent job from a commercial point of view. Publishers should be reassured. But the potential value of e-books relies on more open systems. I am trying to follow the formats and hoe to create them. Getting ePUB on to a Kindle is not impossible but maybe easier starting earlier, maybe with text files. This sort of thing can be worked out. Amazon have not stuck with digital rights control as a priority for music so non standard formats may be reviewed. I think ePUB can survive outside Amazon.

Will – yes, I use Stanza too, and I’ve written elsewhere about various experiments with the Sony Reader.

Sites like manybooks.net are excellent sources of free material, but as I’m married to a novelist, I also have an interest in paid-for content 🙂

Hi – Need your advice. Am just in the process of putting my puzzles onto Apple Iphones and Ipods. Is there any form of interactive process with this new Kindle that enables people to solve puzzles directly on the page (Or is that something for the Mark 3 version?) Can you photocopy from a Kindle 2 ?
We create monthly Ebooks of Trigon Puzzles but 90% of our players are American.
John Naughton is a must read for me – he illuminates the tech world for us mere mortals
Would appreciate any thoughts when you have a spare five minutes

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