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Thread: iBooks/iBook Author?

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      torstan is offline
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    Default iBooks/iBook Author?

    The release of iBooks Author looks interesting. There's been a lot of talk about the EULA and that it is very restrictive and rights grabbing (though read this for an alternative take from someone who initially reacted against it: http://hollylisle.com/how-to-say-i-was-wrong/) Legal questions aside, has anyone played around with it yet? It seems like the perfect format for mutlimedia tutorials.
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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Interesting. Although it really doesn't do much that is outside of the reach of an interactive pdf, and the resulting books are restricted to the iEcosystem. Meaning, of course, that I can't use them on my Android tablet. On the other hand, I have yet to see a full-featured pdf publisher that is easy to use, not to mention free.
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      torstan is offline
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    Interesting point. My thoughts would be to use it to create a more interactive version of a more classic pdf (distributed on other sites).

    The iBooks format allows for the inclusion of a couple of nice things. The interactive graphic widget allows you to tag an image. Clicking the tags zooms to a predefined view. It also allows for the inclusion of video. Are videos allowed in pdfs these days?

    I know that apple's gone well beyond the epub format by allowing javascript in there. I'm curious as to how much added power that could throw into ebooks - though obviously it opens the door for some truly egregious abuses of the ebook format at the same time!
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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    PDF allows video and Flash to be embedded. Between those two features, it covers pretty well everything I saw in the iBook presentation. One of my former college instructors published a textbook with video tutorials in it a couple of years ago.
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      geamon is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    PDF allows video and Flash to be embedded. Between those two features, it covers pretty well everything I saw in the iBook presentation. One of my former college instructors published a textbook with video tutorials in it a couple of years ago.
    Aren't these all features that require the use of Indesign? I'm woefully uneducated because I have yet to use the software or look much into it due to investment costs.
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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if you necessarily need inDesign, but you almost certainly need Acrobat, which is still pricey. I haven't heard of another pdf publisher that allows more interactivity than simple forms and authentication, but I haven't really looked, either. And I am not sure if there is anything in the pdf licensing that would preclude someone from making one. In any case, a simplified WYSIWYG editor and some prefab Flash modules aimed at the prosumer-level market would probably be well received. Acrobat Pro (necessary to do the embedding) is US$450, and it doesn't even include the tools necessary to prepare media for embed. The Acrobat Suite is US$1200. Far out of reach for most users.

    It's really a shame that there isn't an affordable solution that's cheaper than Adobe but more open than Apple. Maybe if iBook Author does really well someone will smell the money available in the < $100 software market.
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      torstan is offline
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    I'd guess that the competition will come from Google. Apple's suddenly made it very easy, and free, to create rich media for the iPad. Publishers will be looking to Google to produce a similar quality publishing tool to make it easy to create similar experiences on non-iOS tablets.
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      RobA is offline
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    Take a look at http://bakerframework.com/ another option for ipad ebook publishing. Open source, supports video, audio and animation.

    Since I'm not an iGuy I can't try it out.

    -RobA>

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      JoeyD473 is offline
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    Just remember if you publish somethingibooks/ibooks author Apples owns it partially

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      torstan is offline
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    Thanks Roba - that looks very promising.

    JoeyD473 - is that true? I know they restrict the sale of iBooks to the iBookstore, but not the pdfs. The EULA only covers the iBook export as far as I can tell. That's a little different.
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