13 January 2010

Bring on the Blio

So Baker & Taylor has the next big thing in ebooks according to some industry experts. Blio was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas and what's special about this e-reading platform is its "true-to-print display". The software is free and will be out in February to most internet-enabled devices. At this stage we don't know about rights restrictions or territorial issues. When Sony updated their portal recently you had to state your country and there were only a couple of choices... as we know, Australia did not rate a mention as technically it's not on offer here. But I digress...

Blio is a software platform designed for computers, laptops, tablets, and mobiles. It displays books as PDFs in exactly the same layout and design as they appear in print. Because color is preserved, the software may be an especially good choice for illustrated books. This will be nice! Other features include:

* Open your book in 3D “book view” for realistic page turning
* “Text-only” mode for optimal display on small screens
* Display dual pages, or tile multiple pages
* Enlarge text without distortion
* Enjoy a full color, high-resolution display

Blio is a partnership with Baker & Taylor (yes, for those of you who know where I work, that's our new owners folks!). I'll start working my way through the B&T ebook world and see what I can find out. I'm particularly interested to see about library licensing but from the looks of the blio website it's not a library model...at this stage. I still have the words of the CEO of one of the world's largest trade houses ringing in my ear that he is anti-libraries having ebook access to any of his titles but last time I checked, he had them listed with Overdrive which has been already integrated into major libraries here including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sutherland, Yarra Plenty etc. But yes, I digress yet again.

The Blio platform will have some 50,000 titles available when the product is launched. B&T has suggested they will contribute some 180,000 titles in due course.

Will be interesting to see where the Blio takes us....!!!

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