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Distinguished Correspondent
Whitecat5000
Posts: 112
Registered: ‎05-29-2010
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B&N eBook Format

I thought that all eBook on Barnes & Noble were epub format; however when I connected my nook to the computer it showed that I have about 6 books that I purchased that are in pdb format and the rest are in epub. 

 

Is this normal?

Inspired Wordsmith
Ed_Mart
Posts: 661
Registered: ‎12-05-2009
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Re: B&N eBook Format

Yes.  BN is in the process of converting to epub but many books are still pdb.

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ArCar
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎08-01-2010
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Re: B&N eBook Format

Can someone explain these formats to me?  I am researching a nook purchase and I read on facebook from one nook user that he did NOT choose kindle because of the proprietary nature of file format...

Doug_Pardee
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Re: B&N eBook Format

[ Edited ]

ArCar wrote:

Can someone explain these formats to me?  I am researching a nook purchase and I read on facebook from one nook user that he did NOT choose kindle because of the proprietary nature of file format...


The important consideration is formats with DRM (Digital Rights Management, or copy protection). All of the e-books from all of the big publishers come with DRM, and DRM limits what you can do with your e-books. In the US, it's illegal to remove or circumvent the DRM, so you're stuck with whatever DRM your e-book comes with.

 

For e-books without DRM, like the free e-books from sites like Project Gutenberg or from some of the smaller publishers, you can convert them into many different formats using a tool like Calibre. Which format your device uses is not particularly important.

 

So, back to DRM. There are four main DRMed formats in widespread use today:

  • Kindle
  • B&N
  • Apple
  • Adobe EPUB

There are some other DRMed formats in limited use, such as Secure eReader, MobiPocket, and Adobe Secure PDF. I'm not going to discuss those here.

 

The Kindle format is only readable on Kindles or on Kindle apps (for computers, phones, iPad, etc.).

 

The B&N format is readable on NOOKs and on B&N reader apps (for computers, phones, iPad, etc.). It's also readable on some newer e-readers, although most of those sank out of sight after the price wars began a couple of months ago. About the only one left at the moment is the Pandigital Novel. We can hope that there will be more in the future. Also, Adobe has said that sometime this year they'll make Adobe Digital Editions able to read B&N e-books, but I don't think there's a platform that runs ADE that can't run the B&N reader app.

 

The Apple format is only readable on iPad and iPhone.

 

The Adobe EPUB format (which is called a dozen different things) is readable on almost every dedicated e-reader device except the Kindle and some of the cheapies. This is the format that library e-books usually come in, and it's the format that most e-book stores other than Amazon, B&N, and Apple sell in.

 

So the big knock against Kindle here is that it won't handle Adobe EPUB format. If you want to read a DRMed e-book, which is just about any major title, you must buy it from Amazon. You can't buy it anywhere else, and you can't check it out of the library.

 

Furthermore, once you buy a DRMed Kindle e-book you can only read it on a Kindle or a Kindle app. Every DRMed Kindle e-book that you buy locks you more and more into the Kindle world. If you ever want to change to a different e-reader, you'll have to walk away from that library of e-books. Not such a problem if you're planning on going to a tablet like an iPad, because there'll almost certainly be a Kindle app available.

Wordsmith
Tim40744
Posts: 519
Registered: ‎07-07-2010
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Re: B&N eBook Format

 


Doug_Pardee wrote:

ArCar wrote:

Can someone explain these formats to me?  I am researching a nook purchase and I read on facebook from one nook user that he did NOT choose kindle because of the proprietary nature of file format...


The important consideration is formats with DRM (Digital Rights Management, or copy protection). All of the e-books from all of the big publishers come with DRM, and DRM limits what you can do with your e-books. In the US, it's illegal to remove or circumvent the DRM, so you're stuck with whatever DRM your e-book comes with.

 

For e-books without DRM, like the free e-books from sites like Project Gutenberg or from some of the smaller publishers, you can convert them into many different formats using a tool like Calibre. Which format your device uses is not particularly important.

 

So, back to DRM. There are four main DRMed formats in widespread use today:

  • Kindle
  • B&N
  • Apple
  • Adobe EPUB

There are some other DRMed formats in limited use, such as Secure eReader, MobiPocket, and Adobe Secure PDF. I'm not going to discuss those here.

 

The Kindle format is only readable on Kindles or on Kindle apps (for computers, phones, iPad, etc.).

 

The B&N format is readable on NOOKs and on B&N reader apps (for computers, phones, iPad, etc.). It's also readable on some newer e-readers, although most of those sank out of sight after the price wars began a couple of months ago. About the only one left at the moment is the Pandigital Novel. We can hope that there will be more in the future. Also, Adobe has said that sometime this year they'll make Adobe Digital Editions able to read B&N e-books, but I don't think there's a platform that runs ADE that can't run the B&N reader app.

 

The Apple format is only readable on iPad and iPhone.

 

The Adobe EPUB format (which is called a dozen different things) is readable on almost every dedicated e-reader device except the Kindle and some of the cheapies. This is the format that library e-books usually come in, and it's the format that most e-book stores other than Amazon, B&N, and Apple sell in.

 

So the big knock against Kindle here is that it won't handle Adobe EPUB format. If you want to read a DRMed e-book, which is just about any major title, you must buy it from Amazon. You can't buy it anywhere else, and you can't check it out of the library.

 

Furthermore, once you buy a DRMed Kindle e-book you can only read it on a Kindle or a Kindle app. Every DRMed Kindle e-book that you buy locks you more and more into the Kindle world. If you ever want to change to a different e-reader, you'll have to walk away from that library of e-books. Not such a problem if you're planning on going to a tablet like an iPad, because there'll almost certainly be a Kindle app available.


 

 

It might be worth mentioning that a committee from the International Digital Publishing Forum is in the process of modifying EPUB standards. The first problem the committee is "tasked to address in EPUB 2.1: ... the need for rich media and interactivity support. EPUB 2.0.1 has an extension mechanism, with provision for fallbacks, but does not intrinsically standardize support for rich media (such as video) and interactivity (programmatic content, such as would be needed to implement a quiz or crossword puzzle). These capabilities are necessary for interactive digital textbooks and digital magazines, and more generally to enable eBooks to evolve into a new medium, rather than simply be digital equivalents of paper books." Where that would make the new EPUB well suited for viewing by an iPad type reader, e-ink readers won't fare as well. http://bit.ly/9GopqR 

"Epub can now do png, gif, jpeg, svg, embedded objects or XML files, audio, video, Flash, HTML5, but reading systems might not be able to render them...I asked whether IDPF would “certify” readers as epub compliant so the consumer would know what they are getting. All three panelists dodged the question." http://bit.ly/96MtMj There may be some comfort in knowing a committee somewhere isn't going to radically change the standard, possibly making your favored ereader obsolete.

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NoOne
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
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Re: B&N eBook Format

Doug,

I noticed that you mentioned that Nook is the only major ereader that will read B&N drm, but you didn't mention that B&N is apparently blocking other readers from reading it. I'll trying to decide on an ereader for library books and the FAQ on the Libre states that B&N ebooks can only be read by the Nook.  The Nook also is limited by formats; it doesn't read txt, rtf or word. So the only way to read your own personal documents on the Nook is to transfer them to either pdf of epub.

 

Still, I'm not writing the Nook off yet. Since I don't want to got OT on this thread, I'll start a new one with my major question. :-)

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ArCar
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎08-01-2010
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Re: B&N eBook Format

WOW!! Thanks for the info. I won't say I understand it all...but I am a heck of lot closer now than before. Very informative - thank you!
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MLBerry
Posts: 165
Registered: ‎02-17-2010
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Re: B&N eBook Format

"The Nook also is limited by formats; it doesn't read txt, rtf or word. So the only way to read your own personal documents on the Nook is to transfer them to either pdf of epub."

 

True, but you can get Calibre and easily convert those formats to e-pub.  For example, I took my masters thesis in openoffice format and converted it to e-pub and then sideloaded to to my nook.  Worked like a charm.

Distinguished Correspondent
very-simple
Posts: 1,262
Registered: ‎11-11-2009
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Re: B&N eBook Format

 


NoOne wrote:

Doug,

I noticed that you mentioned that Nook is the only major ereader that will read B&N drm, but you didn't mention that B&N is apparently blocking other readers from reading it.


 

This is not true.  B&N and Adobe developed a new version of DRM, which is currently only available on B&N's nook.  However, B&N agreed to make it available to Adobe's other clients (i.e., Sony, Borders, etc.).  The problem is that none of these other e-book sellers have bothered to adopt the new standard yet.  

 

The problem isn't B&N - it's that the others are being slow to adopt.  

 

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nlstein
Posts: 309
Registered: ‎12-23-2009
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Re: B&N eBook Format

It is important to mention strongly that the nook will allow you to "side load" and read all epub books from the many sites that make them available free and for sale. The Kindle DOES NOT! Only books purchased from Amazon can be read on the Kindle and the Kindle apps on the iPhone and iPad.

 

Downloading and reading books from my local library is cake on my nook. Don't even think about doing that on a Kindle.

 

For me, the choice of buying a nook instead of a Kindle was easy. I don't want to be held to only one source. I can read all of my epub books on my iPad, my iPhone, my laptop, desktop and nook with ease (I have over 2100 epub books in calibre) and any other reader that supports epub. 

MacBoy
Doug_Pardee
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Re: B&N eBook Format


NoOne wrote:

 

you mentioned that Nook is the only major ereader that will read B&N drm, but you didn't mention that B&N is apparently blocking other readers from reading it.


That's because they aren't blocking it. B&N's DRM is now in Adobe's hands, and it has already been incorporated into Adobe Reader Mobile version 9.1. Any company that uses version 9.1 of ARM can handle B&N's DRM. A number of devices have been announced with B&N e-book capabilities:

 

  • iRex DR900S/SG (also sold as the Jeppesen eChart Reader)
  • Pandigital Novel (currently available)
  • Plastic Logic Que (withdrawn from market, presumed canceled)
  • Audiovox RCA Lexi (withdrawn from market, canceled)
  • Acer Lumiread (status unknown)
  • Samsung E60 (status unknown)

There certainly may be a few more; I can't keep up with all of the e-reader announcements. At the moment, the Pandigital Novel is the most significant alternative e-reader for B&N e-books.

 

Adobe has said that Adobe Digital Editions will be upgraded this year to support B&N's DRM.

 

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Jayded
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Registered: ‎10-13-2010
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Re: B&N eBook Format

" Only books purchased from Amazon can be read on the Kindle and the Kindle apps on the iPhone and iPad"

 

Not true.  the Kindle does support mobi, mobipocket and pdf.  I purchase books from other sources quite often.

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grrrimamonster
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Registered: ‎10-01-2013
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Re: B&N eBook Format

I wanted to note that the comment about Kindle books not being available from the library is usually not true. Some libraries may have a strictly epub collection, but in my experience, all but one of the libraries I've belonged to in the past few years (which are quite a few) have used Overdrive for their primary ebook collection. In Overdrive, you should have the option to download almost any of the books you borrow in epub or mobi format. The mobi format is compatible with all Kindles, as far as I'm aware. Even the one library that did not use overdrive gave me the option to download the books in mobi format.
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MacMcK1957
Posts: 2,092
Registered: ‎07-25-2011

Re: B&N eBook Format

Given the age of the discussion you resurrected (a zombie thread) those comments may well have been true at the time. When libraries started offering e-books, not very long ago, for the most part only EPUB was supported, or Kindle content could only be supported at extra cost.
Wordsmith
Tim40744
Posts: 519
Registered: ‎07-07-2010

Re: B&N eBook Format


MacMcK1957 wrote:
Given the age of the discussion you resurrected (a zombie thread) those comments may well have been true at the time. When libraries started offering e-books, not very long ago, for the most part only EPUB was supported, or Kindle content could only be supported at extra cost.

It was about a year after the last post in this thread that Amazon added library books. It's about time for "The Night of the Living Dead." Halloween is only four weeks away. :smileytongue:

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MacMcK1957
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Re: B&N eBook Format

Amazing, isn't it, that 2010 was a totally different environment in the e-book world?

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keriflur
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Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: B&N eBook Format


MacMcK1957 wrote:

Amazing, isn't it, that 2010 was a totally different environment in the e-book world?


LOL, try 2009, when Amazon had over 90% of all ebook sales, just about all fiction was $9.99 or less (often sold well below cost), and the nook was a brand new, hard to get, cutting edge product.  Kobo was making a name for themselves by deep diving prices with coupons, and Steve Jobs was tapping his chin on how to make a killing from it all.  It was the wild west of ebooks.

Distinguished Bibliophile
MacMcK1957
Posts: 2,092
Registered: ‎07-25-2011
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Re: B&N eBook Format

Don't forget, also in 2009, about half the smart phones in use were Blackberries. How's that working out for them?
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keriflur
Posts: 6,169
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: B&N eBook Format


MacMcK1957 wrote:
Don't forget, also in 2009, about half the smart phones in use were Blackberries. How's that working out for them?

I had a Blackberry in 2009. I still miss the phenomenal text prediction - it makes Apple's autocorrect look like something out of the dark ages of software development (and I'm comparing what BB did 5 years ago to what Apple's doing now).

 

BB might be doing better if Americans cared about spelling and punctuation...

 

*shrugs*

Inspired Scribe
kamas716
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Registered: ‎09-28-2011
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Re: B&N eBook Format

OT: and I realize I haven't followed BB very closely, but I thought most of BB problems had to do with patent infringement. Maybe I'm misremembering the headlines.
http://www.goodreads.com/kamas716
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