You Can’t Always Get What You Want (but this might be what you need)

A former Rolling Stones roadie has become the first to simultaneously release a book and iphone app for said book. With talk of where publishing is going, have to think that this has to be a sign of what we can expect for at least the near future as paper books still hold the center stage but digital media garners more followers.

What I’m st ill not sold on is this idea of applications vs a specific document format.  Granted, this is iphone specific but this is something that I’ve seen crop up in conversations regarding ebooks/eliterature and how it will eventually be created/packaged/distributed/sold/experienced. The iphone has caught a wave with this app business, though people creating free (or not so free) apps for download on the web has been around for as long as I can remember.

Personally, I don’t think having everything sold as a separate application will prove viable in the long term, especially as other computer makers get in on it and the demand for widespread use becomes greater. Instead of having a relatively small group vying for the dollars of a similarly small group, eventually we will see a larger buying public demanding greater competition, lower prices and more ease of use.

I have to believe that we will end up where we have essentially went with music. A dominant file type that can be accessed and played by a variety of different competing apps that can be installed on a variety of computers. The idea of being restricted  to particular authors because you own a Samsung rather than an Apple will not be appealing to users while having to create not just one document file but numerous app files will prove less than popular for publishers.

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