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Thursday, 26 May 2011

Kindle and the ePub factor

Recently we reported on the big news, as broken by the Good Ereader Blog, that Amazon is to finally allow the ePub format onto its bestselling Kindle device, and although Amazon have yet to confirm this we have heard from several major publishers that they have been told by Amazon that this is the case. Now it is still unclear what sort of DRM Amazon will use on their ePub books but if it turns out to be, as expected, geared around Adobe Digital Editions then this will open up the Kindle to library book lending as well as other book stores.

ePub compatibility will come via a firmware update but it is unclear if this will work on the earliest Kindle models. The latest generation models have some different coding to first generation Kindles, which could make for some tricky problems with any updates.

The Archive has long criticised the Kindle for not supporting ePub, and although I consider the Kindle to offer the best reading experience of any eReader on the market, the lack of ePub means that other comparable eReaders, ie, those that use eInk displays, have had an advantage on Amazon's device in terms of near universal compatability. However this new update, when available, will truly make the Kindle the market leader and benefit the eBook industry as a whole. It will also bring the Kindle into line with the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF).

The Archive has written to Amazon asking for confirmation of this story but thus far we have had no reply - however it seems that this is now a certain thing...and it's about time too.

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