Posts in Category "General"

Digital Editions 1.7.2 now available

Today, we’re excited to announce the release of Digital Editions 1.7.2, which is now available for download on This update adds compatibility for additional operating systems, including Microsoft Windows 7 (32- and 64 bit) and Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard, 32- and 64-bit). Compatibility with these additional operating systems allows readers to continue to acquire eBooks in the interoperable PDF and EPUB formats from thousands of online booksellers and libraries, and read these books wherever and whenever they like — especially across different screen and device types. The Digital Editions 1.7.2 release also contains updates that address other previous known issues with the application.

You can access the Digital Editions 1.7.2 application update on Enterprise IT administrators can find standalone installers on the Adobe Digital Publishing Technology Center site.

EPUB, iPad and Content Interoperability

We’re anticipating that the eBook functionality on the newly announced Apple iPad will spur further consumer interest in eBooks and we welcome the decision Apple has made to standardize on the EPUB format. With export support from professional publishing tools like Adobe InDesign, EPUB allows publishers to streamline the authoring workflow by reducing the number of formats to which they output.

However, in a recent study commissioned by the Book Industry Study Group, the number one complaint consumers noted about the e-reader experience is that “certain e-books [are] specific to certain e-readers.” (Book Industry Study Group. “Consumer Attitudes Toward E-book Reading” Jan. 2010, p. 28). Clearly, consumers value content interoperability as a key feature of the digital reading experience, preferring to not have their content specific to one device. Although Apple has standardized on the EPUB format, because it employs its own DRM to protect eBooks consumers will lose out on much of the benefit of an interoperable format simply because they won’t be able to transfer content across devices.

For example, EPUB content protected with Apple DRM won’t work on numerous eReaders like the Barnes & Noble nook and the Sony Reader, not to mention future, forthcoming models. Similarly, protected EPUB eBooks obtained from thousands of online booksellers (including Barnes & Noble) and most public libraries (including The New York Public Library)—are unreadable on the iPad.

In the coming months, we’ll see a plethora of tablets besides the iPad hit the market. Before investing in a library of eBook content, readers should consider how they’ll be able to access their content across the range of devices—eReaders, tablets, desktop PCs, and smartphones—that they use on a daily basis. The Adobe eBook Platform—including the thousands of online booksellers and libraries using Content Server 4 to protect PDF and EPUB eBooks and the 30+ device manufacturers building compatible eReaders—allows consumers to download, transfer and read EPUB eBooks across PCs, smartphones, and dozens of dedicated eReader devices. The result is a reading experience not limited to a specific platform, but tailored to the consumer—whenever and wherever they wish to read.

Adobe Expanding Investment in Digital Publishing

As part of a restructuring announced yesterday, Adobe has made the decision to expand its investment in digital publishing, creating a new organization focused on delivering products to increase digital revenue opportunities for book, newspaper and magazine publishers. This organization will combine the efforts of Adobe’s eBook business responsible for the Adobe Reader Mobile SDK, Adobe Content Server, Adobe Digital Editions, and PDF and EPUB authoring support in Adobe InDesign with Adobe’s digital newspaper and magazine efforts responsible for, among other products, the collaboration with the New York Times to create the AIR-based Times Reader 2.0.

The decision to increase investment in this area underscores the importance that Adobe has always given to digital publishing as well as the bright future it sees in helping publishers to deliver compelling digital publications that support a variety of business models: subscription, advertising, retail and other emerging models. We are particularly excited about what we have in store for 2010. We plan to further our reach to emerging mobile reading platforms to allow readers to read anywhere, on any device. With Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture, we will help publishers measure and understand how their readership interacts with and uses their content. But, most of all, we will continue to deliver products that make digital books, newspapers and magazines a terrific experience for readers.

We look forward to working with our existing customers and business partners and welcome any new inquiries as we continue our progress in digital publishing.

Digital Editions 1.7 Released!

We’ve released Digital Editions 1.7:

Adobe has updated its popular Digital Editions software, a lightweight, rich Internet application for reading, acquiring, and organizing digital books and other publications. Digital Editions 1.7 greatly expands language support.

Continue reading…

A tool to compliement epubcheck, “stylecheck”.

Recently I mentioned that I’m working on improving epubcheck, but then I was asked, “what about the items that don’t relate to validation, but really should be checked anyway?”

The issues at hand are things like the 300k file size limit on content files, 10MB limit on images, and complexity issues with CSS.

The solution is a tool tentatively called “stylecheck” that would run much like the epubcheck tool, but would look for issues that are important to the reading systems, but are not necessarily issues of conformance.

An initial release of the tool alert the user to problems if it found:
* 300k or bigger chapter files.
* 10MB or larger images.
* CSS stylesheet with more than some number of styles (150?)

I could see other uses for the tool, checks to make sure that the package for a NIMAS submission has DTBook content rather than XHTML, or checks to make sure the publisher information in metadata is in the approved format. However the first step will be to create the tool and get the basic checks working.

Which is a work underway, and you should see something relatively soon on the epubcheck project pages.

Taking epubcheck (epub validtation tool) forward.

The epubcheck is a validation tool for ePub documents. It should determine whether the ePub under inspection conforms to the rules laid out in the IDPF specifications. In many circumstances it does just that, but it’s not always clear what’s happening, and sometimes the tool out and out fails. Of course the community is working to bring the tool forward and make it better.

Here I will give an outline of current and ongoing changes that I’m planning to make. Of course I would also like to put out a call for additional contribution/involvement in the process. There’s plenty of room for more people to contribute, whether it be in the form of development, testing, review, or documentation. Anyone looking to get involved should head on over to the discussion group.

So here’s the current changes I’ve added, and things I’ll be working on:

Continue reading…

Digital Editions 1.6 Released!

Adobe is pleased to announce that we today pushed live the newest version of Digital Editions, 1.6. You can get it here:

Or you will be automatically upgraded the next time you launch Digital Editions.

This version of DE does not appear much different on the surface. The real difference in this version is under the covers. Digital Editions 1.6 supports fulfillment from the new Adobe Content Server 4. You can read about Content Server here:

But what does fulfillment from Content Server mean to the end user, you might ask? The answer is that it provides ebook vendors with a modern, reliable system for protecting publishers books. This translates into more content from more publishers. Both in PDF and now in EPUB. Up to now, although publishers have been strongly voicing their support for EPUB, there hasn’t been a solution that would allow them to protect their books. The release of DE 1.6 and Content Server provides that solution. We are currently hard at work helping the publishers and ebook sellers to get their content ready for stores and libraries.

In addition, the new servers are much more reliable and bug-free than the old systems. This will mean more hassle-free downloads and less support issues. This won’t happen immediately as not all the ebook distributors will switch over right away. But it will steadily improve.

Now that the solution is ready it means there will be more content in more formats and more device support as well, such as the Sony Reader. The Digital Publishing team is working hard on supporting additional devices and will release them as soon as possible.

Digital Editions 1.5 Released!

Digital Editions 1.5 now released
(May 14, 2008)
Adobe has updated its popular Digital Editions software, a lightweight, rich Internet application for reading, acquiring and organizing digital books and other publications. Version 1.5 features enhanced DRM flexibility through named activation so that users can move content across platforms and mobile devices using an Adobe ID. In addition, ADE 1.5 is localized in French and German and has support for Mac® OSX 10.5 (Leopard). Adobe Digital Editions supports both PDF and IDPF EPUB, a standard format designed to reflow for the screens of mobile reading devices, which has gained broad acceptance among book publishers.

Adobe Digital Editions has over 1 million installations since the June 2007 launch. The new software will be automatically provided to users who have installed Digital Editions 1.0, and is available at the product site .

Adobe has also released an updated Digital Editions installer and launcher for distributors of eBooks. The installer is used to detect and install the latest version of ADE for retail or library customers of Adobe eBooks. The software is free to use and available with implementation instructions .

Digital Editions and Content Portability

Earlier this week we released Digital Editions 1.5 as a Beta on Adobe Labs (get it here). One of the key features is an enhanced DRM that provides content portability. Of course, the first question that users want to know is “What does this really mean?” This blog is an answer to that question.

The process that happens when you buy an ebook with Digital Editions 1.0 is that your book is downloaded and also a “voucher” (license) is downloaded from a secure server. The voucher contains the key to open your book. That voucher is then stored in secure database (the “voucher store”). That voucher store is locked to your machine and thus so is your book. This has caused some real problems when people upgrade to a new computer or their hard disk dies.

For Digital Editions 1.5 we have enhanced the DRM capability and changed how it works so that when your book and voucher are downloaded, the voucher does still get stored in the voucher store, but then your ebook is copied and the contents of the voucher are written INTO the copy of the document itself. (The original is backed up into a subfolder of your My Digital Editions folder). This means that the book and its key and license are self-contained. Can you then just copy your book to another machine and open it? Yes, with a very important “BUT”.

When you install Digital Editions, the very first action it takes is to contact a secure server at Adobe to get info that it uses to secure your books on your machine. This is very similar to what Digital Editions did. But, with DE 1.5 you have the option to authorize your machine by entering an Adobe ID. All Digital Editions does with the ID is store it on the same server along with the info that came down. This allows us to know that you are you. (Actually we only know that you are whatever Adobe ID you have, Digital Editions doesn’t know or care who you are. Your privacy is very important to us See Adobe’s privacy policy). Then, if you want to copy your content to another machine, all you have to do is go to another machine and install DE 1.5 and authorize that machine with the very same Adobe ID. Then the server downloads the same info so DE knows that your book belongs to you. And you will be able to copy your books back and forth between the two machines as often as you like.

But … you have to authorize your PCs to get this content portability. If you do not authorize your computer, your content will, as in Digital Editions 1.0, be locked to the computer to which it was downloaded. This first Beta release does not actually offer the option to use the old-style “anonymous” mode of use, but the next Beta and the final release version will. But Adobe feels very strongly that all users will be best served by authorizing their computers. Digital Editions does not use the ID for any purpose other than providing the portability by identifying you and your books. The ID is not used for any other purpose, public or private.

It is also important to note that in the final release you will be able to decline to authorize your computer and then change your mind and authorize it later. And, when you do, all your books will become portable to any other computer you have authorized. BUT, really important point: If you have two (or more) computers that are not authorized and you buy books with each of them, then later authorize the PCs, only the first-authorized computer will have fully migrated books. The other computer(s) can then be authorized and books shared with the first-authorized computer, but the books that were downloaded anonymously on the other computers are forever locked to those computers. So, again, Adobe really really recommends that you authorize your computers as a matter of course. There is really no good reason not to do so – it is in your own best interest!

Note that this first beta does not have the final UI for the authorization process. The next beta will include the “setup assistant” which is a complete wizard-driven workflow that guides the user through the process of how and why they should authorize their computer. But it will also provide a way for users to decline to authorize their computer (even though we think that is not a good idea). If the user declines to authorize their computer at the beginning they can always do so later – but with the caveats outlined in the previous paragraph.

You can authorize up to 6 different machines. And up to 6 different devices. At present, there aren’t any publicly available devices that support Digital Editions, but they are coming soon! Also note that some publishers explicitly specify that their books cannot be transferred to any other machine than the one to which it was downloaded. Adobe of course abides by this restriction. You can find out if your book has this restriction by looking the book’s info, available in the library pane by selecting the book and pressing Ctrl+I (or using the book’s drop-down menu).

What about your existing books, that you downloaded with Adobe Reader, Acrobat or Digital Editions 1.0? When you first install Digital Editions 1.5, the application will migrate all your DRM-protected books, from whatever source, into the new enhanced DRM format. If you have authorized your computer, then those books are now portable to any similarly authorized computer with DE 1.5.

What about library books? Well, library books are somewhat special. Your existing library books (ones that you have checked out from the library when you upgrade to DE 1.5) will NOT be migrated. You’ll have to finish reading them in the old application, or early-return them and check them out again. Also, library books cannot currently be transferred from PC to PC. They can be transferred to a device, but not to another PC.

Digital Editions 1.5 Beta is Released!

Adobe is pleased to announce the release of the first Beta version of Digital Editions 1.5.

You can find it here:

The Beta is an opportunity for customers to test and provide feedback to Adobe on new features and compatibility with their digital publications.

The key feature of Digital Editions 1.5 is the addition of new DRM support that provides “content portability” across computers and devices that you authorize with your Adobe ID.
Note: You should be aware that this beta release includes an enhanced version of DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection. If you plan on using Digital Editions for mission critical work, please consider using Digital Editions 1.0.

Key features of the enhanced DRM include:
– Conversion of user’s content to a “Named Authorization” license, enabling them to be backed up, copied and read on other computers or devices
– Authorization of end users’ DRM protected content with an Adobe ID
– Writing the secure license into the document
– Existing content is migrated to the new system and newly downloaded content is automatically converted when it is downloaded
– Content portability applies to both PDF and EPUB documents
– Resulting documents can be copied just like any other file
– Documents can be opened on any computer or device which has been authorized by the owner
– The number of machines that can be authorized is controlled by the amount set by the Authorization server (up to 6 computers and 6 devices)
– We have added functionality within Digital Editions 1.5 to support mobile devices. At this time we are working hard on rolling out support for the actual devices which work with Digital Editions, which should become available later this year.
– The number of machines on which a document can be viewed is limited by the number of authorized machines, unless the document has been limited to a single machine by the publisher

Note that authorization with an Adobe ID will not be required in the final release of 1.5, but is strongly recommended. If you do not authorize your computer, your content will, as in Digital Editions 1.0, be locked to the computer to which is was downloaded. This first Beta release does not actually offer the option to use the old-style “anonymous” mode of use, but the next Beta and the final release version will. But Adobe feels very strongly that all users will be best served by authorizing their computers. Adobe does not use the ID for any purpose other than providing the portability by identifying you and your books. The ID is not used for any other purpose, public or private.

Publishers and vendors should note that this release does not alter the fulfillment of ebooks so existing ecommerce workflows are not affected.

In addition to the DRM enhancement, this release of Digital Editions also
– Adds support for Mac OSX 10.5 (Leopard)
– Fixes a bug in which double-byte (e.g. Asian, some European) users could not use Digital Editions
– Improved PDF support, including more complete support for the Adobe transparency model and support for named pages
– Page map support in EPUB so that there is a mapping between the reflowed screens and the paper copy of a book
– Adds support for multiple books per ETD fulfillment
– Miscellaneous user interface improvements and bug fixes