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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Read with Google

Google have released the next step of their mission to make all information accessible at all times. This is to allow people to read books which have fallen out of copyright.
Amusingly, the hysteria unleashed by the media (including a quite silly woman on the Today programme this morning) missed Project Gutenberg, which has already been doing this for quite a while. Admittedly, they hadn't gone the extra mile to put it into PDF format, but that shouldn't really require many PhD people to sort out.

It's quite good timing for Sony, whose eagerly awaited eInk system, the Sony Reader is scheduled for release soon. Google have previously stated that they are not aiming to become direct retailers, and are therefore only providing links to retailers offering the books (although I'm surprised it doesn't already compare prices). I'm not totally convinced they will feel the same way about book downloads rather than book sales.

This would have the potential to actually make Google some money for one of their many half-realised services. We'll see what happens, but if there's one industry due for a shake-up it's the publishing industry.

2 Comments:

  • I guess technology like the Sony Reader will be going head to head with G24 - the Guardian's news/sport/entertainment PDFs, which they want people to print off at the end of the workday and read on the train home.

    Personally I think I'd opt for news rather than a book to read. I think the number of people reading Metro vastly outnumbers the numbers reading books, although this may be do with the accessibility of it.

    The Sony Reader will probably also have downloadable news (a bit like Podcasts I suppose) but it all seems a bit faddy. Its never taken off before and I wonder whether it'll be any competition for News International's new free evening paper.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 10:49 am  

  • I think G24 is made for the Sony Reader - the SOny reader will have the ability to read PDFs and RSS feeds. This means you will no longer need to buy a newspaper...

    If it has a good wifi connection, it'll be awesome.

    By Blogger Media Monkey, at 3:18 pm  

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