Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Digital Book Standard

With no real industry publishing standard, electronic book publishers have suffered in universalizing their confusing and sometimes inaccessible formats and thus have relegated e-publishing to little more than a curiosity rather than an industry. All that stands to change with the introduction of the Open eBook Container Structure Format (OCF), a technical standard of preferred XML and Meta-Data structures used in publishing the eBooks. A universally accepted set of standards such as OCF can only help in the proliferation of electronic book-sized media, compare it with what the iPod standard did for portable music or what the PDF format did for documents.

Companies like Adobe and eBook Technologies are already onboard and are ready to take advantage of the new standard. In conjunction with the new Sony Reader technology, I foresee a future very bright for the book publisher who can adapt to these changing formats. Small publishers, much like the podcasters on iTunes competing with major record labels on a relatively even platform, will soon be able to compete with the large multi-national houses in distribution and current-relevant content.

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