Academic Kindle

ALA Midwinter 2012: I don’t know if this is common knowledge, but a source at Ebsco tells me that Amazon will soon start offering Kindle downloadable content through academic e-book aggregators like Ebsco, Ebrary, and EBL. I didn’t hear a timeframe on this other than “soon.” Obviously, the Kindle program through OverDrive was considered a beta project. Amazon seems ready to expand library lending beyond the public library market.

As it was described to me, the Kindle academic lending would operate somewhat differently than the OverDrive program, which actually redirects users to affect the loan through the Amazon store. It sounds like the academic plan is to allow a seamless and direct load to the Kindle Fire. Other Kindle devices would require download to a computer and then transfer to the device. That procedure sounds a lot like Adobe DRM-protected files, where an e-book is downloaded and authorized through Adobe Digital Editions and then transferred to a registered device. One assumes that Amazon won’t using Adobe DRM. So, what is the transfer mechanism? Just a drag and drop file management process also seems unlikely. So, I don’t know how much all this is vapor ware , but my source seemed pretty confident it would hit the shelf fairly soon. Looking forward to seeing how it works out.

6 Comments on “Academic Kindle”

  1. Deborah says:

    hey, Steven,
    very interesting! Thanks for reporting this out.
    I’ve sent an email to our EBL rep asking if he’s heard anything about this.

    I know many of our students and faculty would welcome this.

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  3. Erik says:

    My concern would be that amazon hasn’t even got the program or project right with overdrive, be leary if they go with ebl, or ebsco; unless ebsco is looking at this as a substitute for the death of netlibrary that they killed when they bought it.

    If they are using pdf for the eBooks, then more then likely it will be adobe drm, really not many others out there. it’s the same drm that ebl and others already use, so that would make sense if they go with ebl, ebl wouldn’t want to have to accomodate a different drm model for amazon partnering. eBrary it would seem odd, as they have been building their collection up, that means proquest is going to connect with amazon,which is odd, but then again, many odd things this year. Plus, ebrary’s system is slightly different then the rest, but it is doable.

  4. Sue says:

    Thanks for the heads up about this. I’m certainly interested in knowing this. We circulate Kindles and have looked into purchasing Kindle Fires recently. This could be the tipping point. We have many users that would be interested in this product.

  5. Steven Harris says:

    I don’t have any secondary confirmation of this plan yet. I’m going to talk with EBL and Ebrary reps.

    Erik: Amazon hasn’t really used PDF or Adobe DRM to date. I don’t think they will. They have their own file format and DRM schema. I think they will stick with it.

  6. Ria says:

    Good news, thanks for sharing it, and I agree with Sue that just might be the tipping point we all have been waiting for

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