Baen has rebranded its Webscriptions program, changing the name of the site to BaenEbooks.com, redesigning its look, and renaming the monthly e-book package program to “Monthly Baen Bundles”. All account information and previously purchased bundles will remain the same under the new site, though users who have set up their Kindles to receive e-books by e-mail will have to authorize a new email address.
Sadly, with this change Baen is no longer providing OPDS catalog support for downloading e-books directly to Stanza. This is disappointing given that some people (such as me) don’t have iOS devices recent enough to use the new system, the catalog was helpful for other apps such as IbisReader that also supported OPDS access. Of course, users of up-to-date Apple devices can download e-books directly into iBooks through Mobile Safari, but everyone with older devices will just have to use Calibre, I suppose.
I’m a little surprised Baen is ditching the “Webscriptions” brand, given that it had built up a lot of recognition over the more-than-ten-years it’s been in operation. But on the other hand, there’s something to be said for simplifying the name so new users immediately understand the point of the site—and when you get right down to it, a “Webscription” wasn’t really a true “subscription” anyway.
I share the disappointment over OPDS being dropped. Perhaps the thought was that Stanza was at its EOL and that doing this was justified. However, Safari on iOS will handle OPDS and hand off the result to iBooks just fine.
They will have actual usage figures as well :). The troubles they had on the technical side may have encouraged (or forced) them to focus on what’s getting the most use. Not that that’s any consolation for those with more limited devices.
Unless your iDevice is jailbreaked then a lot of options are open to you.
The Baen OPDS catalog is alive and well on http://www.baenebooks.com/stanza.aspx
Yes, it’s interesting given that Baen said they would be discontinuing it, which is what I was going by in the article. Maybe they just didn’t bother to take it down. (Perhaps the more important question is whether they’re keeping it updated; is it still working with newer books?)
What eReading systems besides Stanza support OPDS? Ibis Reader (http://ibisreader.com/) has some support for OPDS in the form of an “Add your own catalog” feature. These are personal catalogs. Mine is generated by Calibre.
Mantano, Aldiko, Moon+, FBReader, Bluefire, Megareader and other apps (both android & iThing) support OPDS.
Lucidor (Win/Mac/Linux) also does OPDS
http://www.baenebooks.com/stanza.aspx?feed=mybooks appears to be the current URL for the purchased book feed – the My Books link from the main feed does not work.