Read Adobe DRMed ePub On iPhone Via Germany?

October 24, 2009


The answer to that question is a big maybe.

I’ve spent all day tracking down an enthusiastic Comment at another site about a German company imminently releasing an iPhone app that will permit Adobe DRMed ePub reading.

The best I could come up with is that it’s a planned feature for the future.

The company is called Libreka.


It’s a consortium set up between many German publishers and select bookstores as a defense against Google Book Search and Amazon. It’s really a screwy system in that — if the translations I’ve read are correct — in order to buy an eBook, a buyer has to input some data about a local brick-and-mortar bookstore so they get a cut of the sale.

This is, after all, Germany, where it is illegal to discount the cover price of a book.

Here are the reports:

libreka! Design with new features in new design [Original German]

Also new is the libreka! Application for the iPhone from Apple. It can be used in the contents of libreka! reading and researching. Moreover, it is possible to buy e-books on the application for reading on the iPhone. From the beginning of November, the application via the App Store can be downloaded.

Boersenblatt: libreka! with changes [Original German]

The libreka! Application for the iPhone allows users of smartphones with the content of libreka! reading and researching. “Our goal is to enable the widest possible range of devices to access libreka!” Says Ronald Schild. In future, it is also possible to buy e-books on the application for reading on the iPhone. The application can be downloaded from Apple in early November on the App Store.

Boldface emphasis added by me.

That sounds like there isn’t going to be any Adobe DRMed ePub reading capability in version 1.0. Plus, not only haven’t they posted a press release of this software on their own site, there is no press release regarding any licensing agreement with Adobe for such an iPhone application.

Libreka has also had some recent scandal, with a disaffected insider distributing a four-page PDF to the press blowing the whistle on the venture.

[Update] Libreka: Only 32 eBook sales in 09/09?
[Original German]

How bad it is actually ordered to Libreka, now an employee shall be open from the inner circle of the project. In a four-page letter to themenaffine media (songs: “Libreka unvarnished” does not hold back) the insider with delicate details. According to the platform in its current form is Libreka 1 million per year to swallow – a sum, which is currently virtually no revenues are facing.

Sun had been less test purchases throughout the month of September, just only 32 eBooks sold at retail, says the letter. Even with the recent download-Days, the response was rather mau who had been free eBooks per heruntergelanden just 1000x.

Since that Google translation is just about hallucinogenic, this is the link to the PDF itself (do Save As…).

So while some other sites have reported Adobe DRMed ePub capability for iPhone is coming real soon now, I tend to believe we’ll still be waiting for it.

Who Needs Newsstands?

October 24, 2009


Via Google English of the original German:

Sci-Fi to the Book Fair: Smart posters send wirelessly to your mobile phone

In the context of the book fair interactive posters will be tested: the illustrated advertising space on the bestsellers list in the mirror can download an extract of the passers-by Bluetooth mobile phone – for two thirds of all mobile phones that will work to date. Behind the pilot project are the Journal of Book Report and outdoor advertising specialist Ströer. The so-called City Light posters are mainly well-attended mass transit stations.

Back in the 1990s, Palm did something like this in New York City. I could point my PDA at an advertisement and have something — demo software or a brochure — beamed over via infrared.

I’ve also seen ads that used Bluetooth for phones too.

This experiment is brilliant.

Think about this: Would you rather point your device (phone, minitablet, reader) at a poster and have instant gratification or deal with a crowded newsstand and having to wade through shelves?

Bookstores aren’t the only endangered species.

Oh, I can see the objections out there: But we can just browse the Internet! This is about getting your attention. That’s what advertising is for. There will always be advertising.