Category Archives: Media

Read Library eBooks on your Apple iOS Device

You can now download and read free ebooks from the JCLC OverDrive system, on the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. I’ve been doing this for two weeks now, and other than a lack of sleep from all of the reading, I have had no issues. This week I finished up two paper books and three ebooks, all thanks to the BlueFire Reader app and the JCLC eBooks system.

It’s a pretty straight forward process. I get pretty detailed in my steps, so please don’t let the number of steps deter you from trying this. Here is how you check out and read the library eBooks on your iOS device:

  1. Download the free BlueFire Reader app (iTunes link) to your device and create an account.
  2. Download the free Adobe Digital Editions desktop reader and create an account. This puts the Adobe Digital Editions program on your computer, which will act as “home base” and authenticate your ebooks.
  3. Launch the BlueFire Reader app, on your device, tap on “info” and authorize your app with your Adobe Digital Editions password.

Now, that you are all legit you are ready to check out a book!

  1. Go to the JCLC site (or your library’s downloadable site) and sign in.
  2. Check out a book. An .acm “key” file will download to your computer. Use your Adobe Digital Editions program to open this file, this will download the .epub (the actual book) file to your computer. You can now read that book on your computer.
  3. From your computer, send yourself an email, with that .epub file as an attachment.
  4. Now check your email on your iOS device. The attachment will appear with the BlueFire Reader logo.
  5. Tap and hold on that icon until the fly-out menu appears saying “Open with BlueFire Reader”, which you will select.
  6. BlueFire Reader app will now launch and you can start reading! Once your “checkout period” has expired the file will deactivate from your iOS device and your computer desktop.

I’ve also heard of people using free services like DropBox to get the book file on their device, but I haven’t tried it. The BlueFire folks are on Twitter and have been really responsive to all of my support questions. The OverDrive team is on Twitter too. I know that OverDrive and Sony have both promised Adobe DE-friendly apps soon, so BlueFire won’t be the only option. But as of right now, it’s certainly the best.

Let me know what you think and if you read anything good!

Remains of the Day – the Musical

I found Kazuo Ishiguro‘s Remains of the Day by way of the Anthony Hopkins movie and then read the book. Both are fantastic and this book has long been a favorite of mine.

While, admittedly, I lack the vision that it takes to see this Booker Prize winner translate into a musical, I am very excited about more people discovering Ishiguro’s work. Who knows, maybe I’ll even get to see it one day.

Where were the publishers?

I wasn’t able to go to BEA this year, so my online stalking of every attendee and panel confernce has been relentless. So far lots of slides and podcasts and enough video to keep me from running down the street mad. But one trend I started noticing a few weeks ago were the lack of publishers sitting in on all the great panel discussions. With panels titled: The Concierge and the Bouncer: The End of the Supply Chain and the Beginning of the True Book Culture and even Jumping Off a Cliff: How Publishers Can Succeed Online, one would think a publisher would be on stage… but no. Lots of authors and technology commentary, but not a lot about workflows and editorial processes that actually get a finished product in front of customers.

So I was glad to see Yen’s post about this today and even more excited to see some of the groups online that she highlighted. I’m familiar with all she mentioned and would only add a few of the discussions over at the Book Blogs ning site and the discussions at O’Reilly’s TOC community (also a ning site). And if you’re on Twitter the #followreader back-and-forth every Thursday are fantastic!

Someone on Twitter also said that they left BEA more pumped than ever, which is great news. Publishers need to adapt quickly if want to be able to continue adding value to an author’s work. And industry events like BEA and TOC are just the places to hear how… if the right people get to speak.

The Future of Libraries

Open Library LogoI am a HUGE fan of our library system here in Birmingham. They are great and very rarely do I feel let down. I’m betting the folks in Boston feel the same way about their library system too. Especially with the launch of their Open Library Scan-on-Demand program.

Here are the directions from their site:

…if it’s at the Boston Public Library and hasn’t been scanned yet, there will be a “Scan This Book” button… …we’ll have a librarian go and get the book from the stacks, bring it to our scanning center, and have our team of scanners digitize it page-by-page. Within 3-5 days, you should receive an email follow-up with a link to the newly-digitized copy, complete with PDF, online flip book, full text (using OCR technology) and more, all thanks to your request!


Open Library Screenshot

How cool is that? You can tell these people have put a ton of thought into their library system. if you go the site, you can even see which titles are in the process of being scanned. Kudos Boston!