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Adobe Digital Editions 1.5 Rocks the Scene

Congratulations to our good friends at Adobe for releasing Digital Editions 1.5. (Bluefire provided UX design and Flex development support for both the 1.0 and 1.5 efforts). Digital Editions is a lightweight, rich internet application for reading, acquiring and organizing digital books and other publications. This update adds content portability to protected items in both EPUB and PDF formats. Meaning you can now buy copy protected items online and, well… copy them - to other computers and devices. This portability is enabled by a new feature for authorizing a machine with an Adobe ID.

Speaking of devices, at the Digital Book 2008 conference in NY yesterday, apparently (I was not there sadly) Sony demoed the Sony Reader Digital Book (505) working with Digital Editions 1.5. They showed how the tethered device appeared in the Library view of Digital Editions, how you can drag an item (in this case an EPUB!) from within a DE bookshelf right onto the device.

This is particularly gratifying for me in that Sony and Adobe have long been two of my favorite clients, and so how sweet to be working on a single project that involves both of them.

Anyway, the EPUB demo is big news given the incredible rise of the EPUB format. Along those lines, it is nice to see that the The Association of American Publishers is helping that along with an open letter to the IDPF—supporting ePub.

Other niceties of the 1.5 update are:
- Localized versions in German and French
- 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
- Improved keyboard controls (hold down arrow keys to continually page, scroll) -Yes!

If you aren’t one of the million folks who have already installed Digital Editions, go check it out today! -and tell us what you think - hey, it is still a 1.x, so be kind ;-)

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