iBooks for Mac and Vook. Maybe Not Ready For Prime Time?
October 24, 2013 | 11:20 am
By Juli Monroe
A release from Vook crossed my email yesterday. The email was highlighting the new iBooks for Mac and how it was now possible to view embedded video in a book on the desktop, directly from iBooks.
Honestly, I’m indifferent to the whole “reading eBooks on the computer” idea, and being able to view video doesn’t make me any more interested. I’m more the “curl up on the couch with my tablet” kind of person. Now I realize that I’m only (barely) in the majority. The latest figure I could dig up (from 2012) is that 42% read eBooks on their computer. My hunch is that percentage has dropped, but I can’t find anything to back that up.
So here’s my question. How many people actually want to watch video in a book? My guess is that I’m not alone in saying “Not interested.” I did several Google searches today on enhanced eBooks, video in eBooks and on Vook. You know what I saw? Almost nothing from this year. A couple of articles from 2012. A few more from 2011 and the majority were dated 2009 (when Vook established their company).
The fact that so little is being written about embedded video in eBooks tells me one of two things:
1. Few people are publishing them
2. Few people are reading them
Okay, honestly, I think it’s #2 driving #1.
Hence, why I’m indifferent to the announcement, and my suspicion is the majority of the eBook world is as well. Feel free to chime in and tell me I’m wrong.
So to make the story more interesting, this morning I woke up to an article on The Digital Reader about how iBooks for Mac is unstable. Go read it. The problems are embarrassing. People are having difficulty opening PDFs. The app crashes. It’s not handling images well. Some iBooks-specific features aren’t working well. Not to mention some disturbing concerns about how iBooks is handing accounts.
And though it let me log in, I couldn’t download any of my purchased books because I had already authorized five computers and this wasn’t one of them. So I went and deauthorized them all and then reauthorized this one only to be warned that if I downloaded books from this particular AppleID account, I wouldn’t be able to download items from a different AppleID account (e.g., my daughter’s, who owns the computer) for 90 days.
I should be able to access my purchases on any device to which I log in, whether or not someone else also has an account there. This means iBooks doesn’t really work in the cloud—it only works on your personal devices on the cloud, not at the library, or at the vacation house you rented, or on the computer you borrowed from your daughter.
Yep, some serious growing pains going on here. I didn’t see any mention of how embedded video is working (or isn’t), but nothing here is leaving me with a warm fuzzy feeling.
Anyone else loving/hating iBooks for Mac. Or video in your books?