Palm Reader eBooks Head for the Library

Palm Digital Media, a subsidiary of PalmSource, today announced a new version of the Palm Retail Encryption Server Software. The software provides libraries with an easy way to let patrons check out Palm Reader eBooks. The announcement came at the Open eBook Forum's Tablet PC Digital Publishing Conference held today at McGraw-Hill Auditorium.

The software's Digital Rights Management (DRM) process uses a hardware identification number assigned by the Palm Reader eBook application to a handheld or desktop computer. The server uses this ID to lock an eBook to a specific device and assign an expiration date to the eBook, beyond which the user will not be able to open it. This DRM protects the eBooks against unauthorized distribution.

OverDrive, Inc., a leading provider of eBook, eCommerce and Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions, is adding the newserver software to its Digital Library Reserve service for public, academic, and corporate libraries for the secure lending of Palm Reader eBooks.

"Palm Reader eBooks are in great demand worldwide," said OverDrive Senior Vice President Ray Leach. "We are excited to offer thousands of premium titles from best-selling authors in Palm Reader format ready for libraries to build their digital collections. Since Palm Digital Media provides free eBook software for PC and Mac desktops and notebooks, handheld computers, and the new Tablet PC, libraries and institutions can use Palm Reader eBooks to serve the needs of a wide range of patrons."

"Libraries can now let users of handheld computers check out eBooks, and provide all computer users with access to one of the largest collection of titles available from major publishers," said Jeff Strobel, director of Palm Digital Media. "This technology brings them one step closer to full implementation of an electronic book system that will offer equal access to anyone."

A user simply opens a library-enabled version of the Palm Reader eBook application, and taps or clicks on About Palm Reader. There the user will find a device ID number that he or she must provide to the library system. The library patron is then able to download a book, which can only be read by that device for the number of days specified by the library. The software and service will be available early next year.

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I've been waiting for this!

LanMan @ 12/5/2002 12:22:09 PM #
I frequently checkout library books. I hate to buy a book that I intend to read only once, or if I'm not sure if I will appreciate the content of the book. So the library allows me to avoid unnecessary purchases. However, library books can be inconvenient to carry, and return by the due date. This will solve those problems. I think itís great and I hope that all libraries adopt the loan method.

Full-time computer network engineer
Part-time computer science teacher
Christian till the end-of-time <><
RE: I've been waiting for this!
mrborgs @ 12/5/2002 12:34:04 PM #
I agree. I have always thought an e-book loan system would be wonderful. But will this help the problem of poor sales for e-book compared to paper books? I know that has kept many publishers from going to e-book. Do libraries have to pay for the books like they would paper ones? Just a thought. Again I love this idea and will ask my local library to consider providing this service.

RE: I've been waiting for this!
Davy Fields @ 12/5/2002 12:51:59 PM #
I wonder, do you even have to go to the Library? This could open up a whole new system of renting books if you never even have to go to the Library.

-Davy Fields
RE: I've been waiting for this!
Ben S @ 12/5/2002 1:34:13 PM #
I don't see why you'd have to go to the library physically. The files could be downloaded over the 'net with a built-in expiration date. All you'd need to supply is your unit serial #, or whatever it is they're using to protect the books.

As it is, when you purchase a Palm Digital Media format book, it's protected with your credit card number. There's nothing to prevent you from giving the book to all your friends as long as you don't mind giving them your CC number too :-) Personally, this is the least "painful" DRM solution I've ever encountered.

RE: I've been waiting for this!
illidor @ 12/5/2002 1:55:23 PM #
fictionwise is already running something like this for about $10 a year.

You don't have to go anywhere to use it. :)

RE: I've been waiting for this!
nurseman @ 12/5/2002 2:45:50 PM #
I think this is a great move. I just got into reading ebooks on my m515, and was quite suprised at some of the prices for these books. I do not mind paying a paperback price for an ebook, but some of these titles are going for $30 and $40! A tangible hardcover, I understand, but an ebook? No way! I really hope this library option works out. Can anyone suggest a good ebook site with reasonable prices?

"Safe journey spacefans, wherever you are." --Stephen Hill - Hearts of Space--

RE: I've been waiting for this!
sford @ 12/5/2002 3:50:41 PM #
Yippee! I sent Peanut Press an email about a year ago asking them if they planned to do something like this, as I don't buy stuff I only plan to read/watch once. (I love the library!) They gave the pat "Thanks for the suggestion, we'll see" response; but, I'm glad to see that it's becoming a reality!

RE: Fictionwise
sford @ 12/5/2002 3:55:44 PM #
"fictionwise is already running something like this for about $10 a year.

You don't have to go anywhere to use it. :)"

Looks like this costs a membership on top of the fee. Plus, it seems only to work with Mobipocket. So far, I prefer PalmReader.

I sure hope PalmSource intends to follow the library model and not charge for this. Free eLibrary is a dream come true!

RE: I've been waiting for this!
Gurn @ 12/5/2002 10:15:19 PM #
How will I check a ebook out? Do I need Bluetooth? Will the library have the correct cradle for my device? Or will they just beam it to me accross the counter?
RE: I've been waiting for this!
Kesh @ 12/6/2002 1:48:21 AM #
>How will I check a ebook out? Do I need Bluetooth? Will the library have the correct cradle for my device? Or will they just beam it to me accross the counter?

None of the above. This is meant for web sites to provide ebooks to download. As in an Internet Library, rather than a physical Library.

RE: I've been waiting for this!
SPCagigas @ 12/6/2002 1:15:58 PM #
I love fictionwise!

They actually have a good number of free ebooks available on-line in many different formats. Also, they have a members' club (which has an associated membership fee) that entitles you to discounts on ebooks, etc.

They also announced a new platform called a few months ago, to which a local library can subscribe for a minimal fee (ISTR $30 per month).


RE: I've been waiting for this!
LanMan @ 12/6/2002 1:58:58 PM #
My branch says that they are using a service called NetLibrary and are not interested in Palm Digital Medias service. I checked NetLibrary out, and the selection is lousy! I find more/better ebooks at Memoware than are available with NetLibrary.

Plus, contrary to what my library says, I can't find a way to download an ebook to my PDA via NetLibrary. I hope that this isn't the kind of attitude that libraries are going to take regarding a superior service such as PDM.

Full-time computer network engineer
Part-time computer science teacher
Christian till the end-of-time <><

RE: I've been waiting for this!
kezza @ 12/6/2002 3:43:43 PM #
Gurn said:
How will I check a ebook out? Do I need Bluetooth? Will the library have the correct cradle for my device? Or will they just beam it to me accross the counter?

my guess is that if a bricks and mortar library decided to do this, it would probably be a beaming situation. i don't think it's outlandish to consider the possibility of particularly well-ndowed libraries to install kiosks to distribute ebooks. simply have the user type their device ID, and then have the kiosk beam the book over.

"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"

I agree

nrosser @ 12/5/2002 4:28:19 PM #
Add me to the list - I buy tons of e-books now (mainly cause I want the book WITH me at all times, and don't want to lug around yet another thing), and I buy them with somewhat of a scowl on my face, since I know I could go get the same book from the library for no cost (it's one of those internal battles - convenience vs cost - dang it). Having the ability to 'check out' e-books would be the best of both worlds. Love it!

Is offline?

Beacon @ 12/5/2002 11:54:30 PM #
I've been trying to get on the site but it's been down this week.

Anyone know if it's off line?

RE: Is offline?
kidA @ 12/6/2002 12:14:55 AM #
works just fine for me!

RE: Is offline?
fyock @ 12/6/2002 1:19:32 PM #
Apparently Norton upgraded their firewall software last week, and it now blocks access to our site. What a PITA. :-)

We're working on it and should have a fix soon. In the meantime, disable Norton's firewall to get to us.

Happy Holidays!

What I am waiting for...

swedge @ 12/16/2002 5:16:29 PM #
What I am waiting for is electronic textbooks for both college and middle/high school students. Having to carry a bookbag that weighs about 35-40#'s is definately a "pain". I hate walking across campus with that kind of load.

Along with that think of the way middle and high school students could study. Now they cannot mark in their textbooks, but electronically they can highlight and make all the notes they want.



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