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iBook Store Features Leave Indie Publishers Behind

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the paying-for-the-top-shelf dept.

Books 146

jfruhlinger writes "Apple has introduced some new features to its iBooks store in order to make illustrations and fixed layouts possible — something particularly important for children's books. But at the moment, it seems these features are only available for big publishers, not indies. This is not dissimilar from the controversy that brewed over indie labels' access to iTunes LP."

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146 comments

Chapter 1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618108)

September 16, 1991. Today it finally began! After all these years of talking and nothing but talking we have finally taken our first action. We are at war with the System, and it is no longer a war of words.

I cannot sleep, so I will try writing down some of the thoughts which are flying through my head.

It is not safe to talk here. The walls are quite thin, and the neighbors might wonder at a latenight conference. Besides, George and Katherine are already asleep. Only Henry and I are still awake, and he’s just staring at the ceiling.

I am really uptight. l am so jittery I can barely sit still. And I’m exhausted. I’ve been up since 5:30 this morning, when George phoned to warn that the arrests had begun, and it’s after midnight now. I’ve been keyed up and on the move all day.

But at the same time I’m exhilarated. We have finally acted! How long we will be able to continue defying the System, no one knows. Maybe it will all end tomorrow, but we must not think about that. Now that we have begun, we must continue with the plan we have been developing so carefully ever since the Gun Raids two years ago.

What a blow that was to us! And how it shamed us! All that brave talk by patriots, "The government will never take my guns away," and then nothing but meek submission when it happened.

On the other hand, maybe we should be heartened by the fact that there were still so many of us who had guns then, nearly 18 months after the Cohen Act had outlawed all private ownership of firearms in the United States. It was only because so many of us defied the law and hid our weapons instead of turning them in that the government wasn’t able to act more harshly against us after the Gun Raids.

I’ll never forget that terrible day: November 9, 1989. They knocked on my door at five in the morning. I was completely unsuspecting as I got up to see who it was.

Read more... [avrtech.com]

Re:Chapter 1 (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618490)

According to posts yesterday, this link leads to a virus in PDF. Don't click it.

Re:Chapter 1 (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618550)

What's the virus?

Re:Chapter 1 (1, Funny)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618868)

Political incorrectness.

Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618126)

Apple has screwed over independent artists and publishers for too long.
Mp3.com was doing fine until Itunes came along and sided with the RIAA ruining the thriving independent market. It seems they are at it again, siding with big businesses over artists, writers, and consumers.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (1)

pinkj (521155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618178)

mp3.com? didn't that die as fast as Fred Durst's star power?

Apple hates it's customers! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618298)

Apple hates it's customers and is angry that it depends on them for revenue.

Apple is not run for the benefit of their customers, but for the shareholders, executives and their friends.

They hate you, and their corporate behaviour says so again and again.

But some victims^H^H^H^H^H^H^H customers just keep going back.

Re:Apple hates it's customers! (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618608)

Apple is not run for the benefit of their customers, but for the shareholders, executives and their friends.

So they're like 95% of all the corporations out there then?

Re:Apple hates it's customers! (2)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620190)

100% in fact – it's the duty of the corporation to do their absolute best to make money for their investors.

Re:Apple hates it's customers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34620538)

There is also social responsibility. For instance, being in a position to promote the arts also means allowing for more than just specific artists - this is especially true, as a single entity acquires greater and greater control over a market segment. The closer they are to a monopoly, the more duty they have to serve the broader interests. The corporation doesn't live in a separate bubble apart from society, it is an integral participant.

Re:Apple hates it's customers! (2)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620824)

There is also social responsibility.

Social responsibility is good PR, not a legal obligation.

Re:Apple hates it's customers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34620984)

By that same token, the 100% pursuit of profits is also just a spin on how business behaves - there is no absolute obligation, only common interest between investors and the corporation. Perhaps you only want to invest in corporation whose PR says that they will turn every last dime of profit, no matter what the consequence; that is your prerogative. There are legal limits and social obligations that cannot be breached, even by a corporation. They fought to acquire the same rights as individuals, they are burdened by the same obligations.

Re:Apple hates it's customers! (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621040)

They fought to acquire the same rights as individuals, they are burdened by the same obligations.

What obligations to corporations in the United States have beyond providing their shareholders with a profit? I ask about US corporations because Apple is one.

Re:Apple hates it's customers! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621588)

Again : As market share approaches total dominance, it is the obligation of the monopoly to provide access to all elements of the niche they control.
If it cannot, or will not, then it must be split into competitive entities which are capable of serving the entire market, or allowing competition to muscle in and serve appropriately. So, from a profit-only perspective, the corporation becomes two or more corporations which, individually, are no longer serving their investor as well as they could have, because they didn't conform to the social obligations their influence dictated.
The problem with the profit-only model is that it condones economic circumstances like monopolies - eliminate the competition, control the market, limit who can participate - all acceptable behaviour under that ethic. This (in America) is ultimately a breach of the open market, which is supposed to be the guiding social force, isn't it? It is inherent that a company which climbs to such market dominance, has to either manage the multitude of facets dependent on that market, or break itself into less-profitable, competing pieces. Either way, at this level of market dominance, there is a social obligation defining its behaviour (you might argue that it is an economic obligation that forces this circumstance, but that can only be argued if you do not subscribe to a "profit-only" ethic - hence, it is primarily a social force).
The profit-only is fine for, say, a highly competitive market niche - a niche lacking a dominating player, but the obligations change as the competition decreases.

Re:Apple hates it's customers! (2)

wygit (696674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621866)

People always throw this quote out like it means something, but it doesn't.

Is it the duty for the corporation to do their absolute best to make money for their investors for the next quarter or for the next 10 years?

Do corporations have a duty to do what's best for the investors right now, even if it's going to hurt, or even destroy the market 5 years from now?

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618968)

I heard it died faster than Jobs' liver "donor".

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618986)

mp3.com? didn't that die as fast as Fred Durst's star power?

Fred Durst had star power?

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618302)

It seems they are at it again, siding with big businesses over artists, writers, and consumers.

...and yet these artists and writers will NEVER give up their precious apple computers. Apple seems not to realize that the "little people" they are stepping on are their primary hardware consumers.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (2)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618596)

I think the reason for their confusion is that sales and profitability at Apple are higher than ever.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618328)

wha?

lots of people have never bought apple/itunes products in the first place. Things such as buying mp3s, buying ebooks, buying things at set prices, buying video games at retail prices, these are things that most people who are fairly technically savvy have never dealt with and never will. For them, this is much ado about nothing. Also, this tech savvy crowd grows everyday.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618334)

What exactly did Apple do to mp3.com? Indie artists are welcome to make their music available through any mechanism they like: youtube, myspace, facebook, etc.

Or rather, they're welcome to sit in obscurity in any way they like. The RIAA is NOT a music industry. It's a promotions industry. They exist to make music famous, a process which costs a vast sum of money. And until relatively recently, it was a profitable business model, which never went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.

If they've managed to take hold of the most famous platform for music, that's just what they do. But opening it more for indies isn't going to make them famous, which is what they crave. They can be ignored in iTunes with equal vigor to the way they've been ignored on youtube (and, for that matter, in bars and cafes) for a long time.

The Long Tail is a dream sold to small artists. The technology means that they've been able to raise their income from "nothing" to "next to nothing". Because the thing to remember about the Long Tail is that it's very, very, very long, and you're sitting out there somewhere in the middle of it. You wanna sit on the bigger hump, you spend money to do it. A _lot_ of money.

The independent market never "thrived". The artists were, statistically speaking, all starving. Even some extraordinarily talented ones making great music.

Technological change may be able to kill off the RIAA's fame-producing industry, but it's not like indie artists are in some sort of close second place raring to take over first.

Indies should form the IMAA or United Artists. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618502)

Independent music artists association. Independent writers association.

And get into the game.

Re:Indies should form the IMAA or United Artists. (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618736)

Get into what game? The RIAA's game is dying (and good riddance).

Indie artists don't need an association. What would it do? What indie artists need is fewer indie artists, or rather, a mechanism for people to find them among all the vast numbers of other indie artists.

Such things exist, like last.fm, though they'll always lack to "I wanna listen because everybody else is listening" factor that made the RIAA's promotions hot (and so boring).

Re:Indies should form the IMAA or United Artists. (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619578)

I appreciate this post and I'm not even British.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618806)

Dude, you're aware that exceedingly few artists, however famous, have really made any money from the selling of their recordings, right? Even famous ones are starving by that metric. Now the fame brought by the recording industry makes their performances much more profitable, true. Artists make most of their money from performances. By the metric of performance earnings, artists are making more than ever, while the recording industry is suffering. Also, more indies are making more money than ever. And while most of them do in fact struggle, that's more in the nature of a small business than the fame thing. There's really just no defending the recording industry - there is no valid excuse for the level of exploitation involved. Art and artists historically have done, and are doing now, just a bit better without the industry than they did with the industry. With the exception of the famous, which happens to include many singers who can barely carry a tune along with the very most talented.

A FEW POINTS (4, Informative)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619278)

YOUTUBE: About two years ago YouTube redesigned their trove system to make it almost impossible for small acts to be found. Try it. You are pretty much stuck with the mainstream stuff they sort to the top in each category. You pretty much have to accidentally find indie acts on youtube.

BARS AND CAFES: As a cafe owner can attest that BMI and ASCAP make it almost impossible to play indie acts. The fees are just too high for small businesses. Even i you make bands sign papers stating they are unsigned acts playing only there own music, BMI and ASCAP still go after you. The first six months we were open we had live music 1-2 nights a week. The minute we posted notices on MySpace we had BMI and ASCAP twisting our arms to buy a annual license. License fees that were far too high to make it even remotely sensible from a business perspective. I would happily support local bands but the system is rigged.

Re:A FEW POINTS (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619580)

As a cafe owner can attest that BMI and ASCAP make it almost impossible to play indie acts.

Most venues in my area pay the fees. I've found that the problem there isn't the fees, but the fact that customers prefer to listen to the stuff you have to pay fees for. The bars prefer cover bands: the music is tried and true, if bland.

Cafes can do better, but even if an artist plays mostly their own work, they've got to have at least some standards in the set list. It makes the set list more varied.

Which is why BMI and ASCAP are so anal about it; they know their music is being played. The fact that the lawyers are a*******s about it... well, yeah, that's a different issue. You're right that it does add an extra cost to having live music.

short sighted (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620170)

firstly the long tail means for "small" artist, a better way to make themselves heard, and a chance at celebrity however small. Wthout it you are condemned to obscurity or nearly. Secondly more importantly that can mean in certain case the difference between having to have a job beside music to pay rent, or live off music, have more time to be creative, the same way people live off their job (not rich, but enough to live as us the common mortal). And thirdly, for US the public, it gives us globally much betetr chance to hear other music that the "promoter" RIAA might not give a chance to because their marketing say them they won't recoup their cost.

It is a win for the artist, a win for the public, and even a win for the RIAA in case the artist don't want to promote itself, so that can see whoever is "catching up", even if they can't propose them a "bad contract" and remove the skin from the artist, they will have to propose a better one, but OTOH they know in advance what they buy. It is a win for everybody really.

Re:short sighted (2)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620972)

Wthout it you are condemned to obscurity or nearly.

And WITH it, you're condemned to obscurity or nearly. The number of artists who can support themselves from the income they get that way is tiny. Practically all have Real Jobs.

I didn't say you don't get great music out of it. There's lots and lots and lots of great music. So much that people aren't willing to pay terribly much for it.

I'm also not defending the RIAA's practices. I think they're horrible, and I'm glad they're dying. I'm just saying that independent artists aren't about to move in to take their place, at least not the place of making a living off their art.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621112)

From The day Steve Jobs dissed me in a keynote [sivers.org] quoting Steve Jobs:

This number could have easily been much higher, if we wanted to let in every song.
But we realize record companies do a great service.
They edit!
Did you know that if you and I record a song, for $40 we can pay a few of the services to get it on their site, through some intermediaries?
We can be on Rhapsody and all these other guys for $40?
Well we don't want to let that stuff on our site!
So we've had to edit it.
And these are 400,000 quality songs.

Re: dramatic (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618378)

While inspiring, I just have a tough time really assembling behind your battle cry.

Before Apple, big labels and publishers have been working to screw over independants and/or exploit them in any means possible, so I find it hard to really find "Boycotting Apple" as the solution to the actual problem. Apple is just riding the bandwagon, tagging along, trying to get a piece of the pie.

I would much rather have more people go independant (as the music trend seems to be, more and more bands are leaving the big labels, or starting their own labels, or indie labels supporting other indie bands). It's not so much that people need to boycott certain publishers, its that the artists, authors, musicians, etc etc - they need to stop feeding the publishers with content to sell. Starve them out on content, not sales. Because consumers are idiots, there will always be people willing to buy the shiniest product, or spending for the sake of spending. There is no real way to cause a boycott that way. But once the Indie market thrives because thats where the best content is, with the best delivery system - thats when we'll see real progress.

I will usually hear a song from a band I like on the radio. Whether or not they are on iTunes doesn't make a huge difference to me, I won't like them less because I can't get their tracks through that ONE distribution method. Best Alternative? Have a website, where they handle their own song/download/transactions - as some bands have started doing, or even better, if they offer the CD for free knowing it'll drive Concert sales. There's so many ways to deliver content around iTunes its baffling that it has as much sway as it does.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618506)

>>>BOYCOTT APPLE.

Nah. My blacklist is long enough:google, yahoo, microsoft, sony, comcast, ..... Besides Christmas is almost over, so too late to sell my Apple Mac on ebay (I wouldn't get anything). I think I'll just keep it for now. It has 8 gigabytes; that ought to be enough for anybody* and last me a long, long time. Anyway I will not boycott Apple - not just yet.

*
* Course I said the same thing about my 8MB Mac Quadra. Hmmm.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619346)

How can a holiday which has not even begun be "almost over"?

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619928)

The Christmas *selling season* is almost over.

That's what I meant. Sorry. For online selling and catalog selling the peak time ends about five days before December 25, because people can't be sure they will get the gift shipped in time. Instead they shop at physical stores where they can get the product immediately. So selling on Ebay now would not gather as many or high bids as if I sold the 2-3 weeks immediately after Thanksgiving.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (2)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619824)

I still have my Quadra 650. It had 12 MB of RAM. Still runs and handles Photoshop 2.5/Illustrator 5.5 just fine as well. I can't throw it out as I've never had any problems with it.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (4, Informative)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618580)

How do you get that out of UMG v MP3.com, and what did Apple have to do with deciding it?

The case was regarding whether the website had the right to use copyrighted music to make ad revenue.

I find your claim particularly curious since this case was on or about 2000, and the iTunes store did not launch until 2003.

Re:Apple did the same with Itunes. BOYCOTT APPLE. (4, Informative)

sootman (158191) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619634)

Never let those pesky "facts" get in the way of a good Apple-bashing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3.com [wikipedia.org]

[MP3.com] was shut down on December 2, 2003 by CNET, which, after purchasing the domain name (but not MP3.com's technology or music assets), established the current MP3.com site.

On January 12, 2000, MP3.com launched the "My.MP3.com" service which enabled users to securely register their personal CDs and then stream digital copies online from the My.MP3.com service. Since consumers could only listen online to music they already proved they owned the company saw this as a great opportunity for revenue by allowing fans to access their own music online. The record industry did not see it that way and sued MP3.com claiming that the service constituted unauthorized duplication and promoted copyright infringement.

Judge Jed S. Rakoff, in the case UMG v. MP3.com, ruled in favor of the record labels against MP3.com and the service on the copyright law provision of "making mechanical copies for commercial use without permission from the copyright owner." Before damage was awarded, MP3.com settled with plaintiff, UMG Recordings, for $53.4 million, in exchange for the latter's permission to use its entire music collection. Later, the firm no longer had sufficient funds to weather the technology downturn. MP3.com was subsequently bought and the new owner did not continue the same service.

Weakened financially, MP3.com was eventually acquired by Vivendi Universal in May 2001 at $5 per share ($23 below the IPO share price) or approximately $372 million in cash and stock. Jean-Marie Messier, then-CEO of Vivendi Universal, stated "The acquisition of MP3.com was an extremely important step in our strategy to create both a distribution platform and acquire state-of-the-art technology. MP3.com will be a great asset to Vivendi Universal in meeting our goal of becoming the leading online provider of music and related services.

Vivendi had difficulties growing the service and eventually dismantled the original site, selling off all of its assets including the URL and logo to CNET in 2003.

For comparison, Apple opened the iTunes Music Store in April 2003--23 months after Universal got MP3.com. CNET bought mp3.com in November 2003.
http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2003/apr/28musicstore.html [apple.com]
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1008275/cnet-buys-mp3com [theinquirer.net]

surprise surprise (1, Informative)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618158)

Apple comes and pisses on the little people, yet again !

Re:surprise surprise (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618274)

To be fair, there is no obligation by any enterprise to support every person who wishes to make use of it: there are no laws that state you must extend the same level of support to everyone, and there are no laws saying that your business decisions must place ethical treatment of other businesses and individuals over profits.

Granted, it is more ethically sound to extend the same benefits of access to smaller (and less-profitable) publishers as to the 'big names', but since when has Apple marketed itself as an 'ethical' company?

Had google made the same decision, they (given their oft-repeated ambitions to 'do no evil') would be roundly--and rightly--criticized: they have made an ethical stand, and as such they need to stick to it.

Apple has always been after people's money. Apple has always pandered to the least common denominator. Yes, there is no surprise here--just as there will be no surprise when, after a few dozen facebook protests and a bit of bad press, they "decide" to "extend" the functionality in a few months to certain "partner organizations" or however the press release will put it.

Re:surprise surprise (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619112)

In lots of countries around the world there are laws against big business negotiating to keep an advantaje out of its rivals reach. As far as I remember, the US is one of those countries.

Re:surprise surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618282)

So MAC people are into water sports? It all makes sense now.

Re:surprise surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618734)

So MAC people are into water sports? It all makes sense now.

Yes, we all said "piss on Windows" a long time ago and haven't looked back.

Re:surprise surprise (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620878)

I'm into scat; I said "shit on Windows" after dealing with Windows 98.

Hoses me...I illustrate and write said kids books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618246)

So much for publishing my kids books for i-anything. Looks like Kindle, Nook, etc. will be the ones who get my content...

Re:Hoses me...I illustrate and write said kids boo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618354)

they also have a strict "no pedophilia" rule, so you were out of luck anyway.

Will they accept you at all? (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618478)

Apple accepts book from anyone who can generate ePub. Is the same true of the Kindle? It would be nice for Apple to also release details on the format enhancement but if they are exactly as open as any other company, and then merely add some other capability on top of that Apple restricts - why is Apple evil when they help out indies as much as any other company?

Re:Will they accept you at all? (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618786)

I've been looking into small-scale publishing, so I actually have an answer for this:

Nope.

Kindle accepts .mobi, but the spiffy Amazon features are a little bit locked down for outsiders.

nook and most everybody else will accept epub, though. Smashwords has some interesting agreements with ebook retailers, where they will submit your book to several different outlets for a (rather reasonable) cut of the sales.

Once I finish editing my book, I think I may well go with them.

Full-page illustrations in EPUB (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619044)

Apple accepts book from anyone who can generate ePub.

Which brings us back to the question of the article: For a book composed mostly of full-page illustrations, what's the best way to format that as an EPUB?

Re:Full-page illustrations in EPUB (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619526)

By rolling the text into the illustrations, AFAIK.

Epub is an XML derivative, I think, so if you want a particular layout you'll have to keep that in mind--and the only way to ensure that is to make the book a series of pictures.

You can still do illustrations in ePub (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619794)

ePub would suck indeed if you could not add images - but you can.

It's just a question of letting the reader flow the text in relation to the images, what is in question is being able to have a totally fixed layout, to say that THIS text is HERE on the page in relation to THIS image. It's actually a bad idea for most things because it eliminates a number of ways a reader can improve reading on the device, but some things (like childrens books) it's a must.

Note this does not stop people from publishing fixed layout books as apps, for instance right now on the popular list is an iPad app that's a pop-up book (which would probably stay an app due to the need for animation).

They aren't doing this to snub the little guys... (4, Insightful)

Drakino (10965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618270)

I know it's cool to be anti Apple on slashdot these days, but does the hatred have to include loss of logic?

Apple doesn't publish music or books, so in the case of iTunes LP, or the latest iBooks features, they need to work them out fully first. They do this by working with a few big companies, giving them access to rough beta copies of tools and tech specs. By working togther on a few items, Apple can identify and fix issues in a tool or spec before it's widely released. If they just threw out unfinished tools and specs, people would whine about the problems, and also increase Apple's support burden. With a slow and steady rollout, they can do it right, and ensure the mass publishing market has tools or specs that work without requiring direct hand holding via Apple support.

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (0)

Albanach (527650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618388)

You suggest Apple are jsut trying to get their house in order, finalizing tools and specs. If that were the case, once Apple were confident in their tech specs, surely they'd allow users of other operating systems to create apps for iOS?

Or perhaps they're going to roll that out in a "slow and steady" manner? I for one won't be holding my breath.

They do allow creation from other platforms (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618554)

surely they'd allow users of other operating systems to create apps for iOS?

They do. You can generate iPhone apps from Flash. That tool can be run on Mac or Windows. [adobe.com]

Now what you are suggesting is Apple is beholden to make the development tools THEY write for Windows. Why should that be the case? Microsoft doesn't produce Visual Studio for the Mac!

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (1)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620248)

If that were the case, once Apple were confident in their tech specs, surely they'd allow users of other operating systems to create apps for iOS?

There's no "allow" here, as in Apple acting as the bully keeping you out of its tree fort. Apple would have to significantly increase its development investment in the iOS development tool chain to maintain and QA ports for other desktop platforms. That's money directly diverted from enhancements to the toolchain and to iOS itself. The return on that investment is doubtful at best, and the lost opportunity cost is damning. Personally, I can't foresee any market for this that would justify the ongoing costs.

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618538)

I know it's cool to be anti Apple on slashdot these days, but does the hatred have to include loss of logic?

Have you been reading Slashdot lately? It's nothing but screeching monkeys and poo flinging at the merest mention of Apple.

People seem to hate Apple nowadays the way they used to hate Microsoft. Heck, half of the things people are saying isn't factually correct -- it's just what they believe. I still see people claiming you can't play MP3s on an iPod.

I think in many cases, logic has gone completely out the window when Apple is the topic.

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618730)

I still see people claiming you can't play MP3s on an iPod.

Don't think for a second that Apple wouldn't do that if MP3 wasn't ubiquitous already. And also don't think for a second that Apple wouldn't be tickled pink to see MP3 die entirely to make room for .m4a to take over.

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618792)

"I still see people claiming you can't play MP3s on a Zune."

Don't think for a second that Microsoft wouldn't do that if MP3 wasn't ubiquitous already. And also don't think for a second that Microsoft wouldn't be tickled pink to see MP3 die entirely to make room for .wma to take over.

This just in, companies seek to sell their own products.

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620284)

Haha, this is the absolute perfect example of misinformation about apple. Who cares about the fact that m4a is actually the MPEG standard designed to succeed the MPEG standard ac3, which itself was designed to take over from the MPEG standard mp3.

No, instead we need to have a good bash at apple for trying to get "their" standard through over all others.

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (0)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618846)

"People seem to hate Apple nowadays the way they used to hate Microsoft"

Come on, every anti-Apple story has a legion of screeching fanboys coming on to defend the company (though not directly, it's usually couched in phrases like "ohh, you're just hating out of hatred"). There's faulty thinking on both sides.

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618908)

(though not directly, it's usually couched in phrases like "ohh, you're just hating out of hatred")

Yo, Dawg ... I hear you like to hate, so I installed some hate so you can hate while you're hating. :-P

There's faulty thinking on both sides.

On that, we agree. =)

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621324)

Come on, every anti-Apple story has a legion of screeching fanboys coming on to defend the company (though not directly, it's usually couched in phrases like "ohh, you're just hating out of hatred"). There's faulty thinking on both sides.

Screeching fanboys or just people who are dubious after so much wolf-crying?

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621418)

Hooray! The problem is TWICE as bad... Hooray?

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619818)

Have you been reading Slashdot lately? It's nothing but screeching monkeys and poo flinging at the merest mention of anything.

FTFY ;)

Seriously, though, over the past week I've seen mini-flamewars over Apple, MS, Julian Assange, Opera, planes, cars, and motorcycles, and that's by no means an exhaustive list. All of them contained plenty of the very same type of fact-free posturing you're complaining of here.

I think a large part of of this, err, low discourse is due to the fact that many of TFAs these days are flamebait in and of themselves, designed by editors to drive traffic rather than information, and this one is no exception. IMO, any headline of the form "Is $contraversial_claim_that_would_get_our_asses_sued_off_if_we_didn't_frame_it_as_a_question ?" is tabloid journalism at best and outright misrepresentation at worst.

I visit /. for the same reasons now as when I first discovered it, namely, to see mathematicians discuss math, engineers engineering, rocket scientists rocket science, and so on. Sadly, the S/N ratio does seem to be shrinking, and odds are that if you really care about something, you'll have to put up with the occasional factless, emotionally charged "poo-flinging" (as you so correctly put it).

On behalf of the internet, I apologize. :)

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621056)

I still see people claiming you can't play MP3s on an iPod.

This is untrue, but the fact that I cannot play my .ogg files on my iPod does not endear me to Apple.

Cue rockbox [rockbox.org] .

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (1)

Logic Bomb (122875) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618614)

That works if and only if Apple tells everyone that's what they're doing. While it may be likely based on past experience, you cannot safely assume a company will do anything in particular.

Innovation often doesn't come from the big guys. Experience so far with the App Store has certainly shown that. There's no good reason for Apple to only look at large publishing operations for input.

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618790)

"does the hatred have to include loss of logic?"

Its usually hard hate if you let logic get in the way.

Like most mob trends, the anti-apple movement has some valid points down below all the posturing and silliness, but most of what you see online fails to convey them.

Re:They aren't doing this to snub the little guys. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619414)

Wow logic on Slashdot. My head just exploded. The other thing few have noticed or they failed to read the article is this doesn't shut out the indies they simply don't have access to this feature yet. I thought based on the summary it was a move to shut out indies from self publishing but there has been no real change. The feature is just an enhancement not a required feature.

Is it a surprise? (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619498)

Apple has been going full-on evil lately with a vision for the future that makes even MS's most dominating days pale. They want to control every device you own, and the appliance model is what they like. Devices designed for consumption, not production. You get to pay for everything and can buy it only through the Apple owned store. They will make devices designed to have a short life with features like non-replaceable batteries so that you are always spending money on the newest, trendiest, toy. They get to be the arbiters of what is acceptable and what is not on your devices, in their one and only store.

That is a pretty scary vision of the future, in particular for the generally very openness loving crowd on Slashdot. At least MS just seemed to want to be your operating system, they didn't seem to want total control of your device and what you could buy.

So I am not surprised Apple gets a lot of hatred here. If they don't want that, maybe they shouldn't have such a closed, "The Apple was is the ONLY way," ecosystem. Now if you like that that's fine. I'm not telling you what you should or shouldn't want. It is perfectly ok to say "I like their system, I want my stuff locked down and controlled, because that also implies protected, I am willing to deal with higher prices and less choice in trade for what I feel to be a better overall experience." However understand that many people do not feel that way, in particular many who inhabit Slashdot. So there's gonna be a lot of Apple hate here so long as that is going on.

In fact, the only reason Apple ever got much love on Slashdot was because they were an underdog. Apple has always had a pretty controlling vision of computers, though not near as much as the present. However they were the little guy, fighting against the behemoth that was MS and Slashdot loves underdogs. Now they are massive and their strategy is well known so they've lost any love from /. they might have had.

Re:Is it a surprise? (0)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620274)

So I am not surprised Apple gets a lot of hatred here. If they don't want that, maybe they shouldn't have such a closed, "The Apple was is the ONLY way," ecosystem. Now if you like that that's fine. I'm not telling you what you should or shouldn't want. It is perfectly ok to say "I like their system, I want my stuff locked down and controlled, because that also implies protected, I am willing to deal with higher prices and less choice in trade for what I feel to be a better overall experience." However understand that many people do not feel that way, in particular many who inhabit Slashdot. So there's gonna be a lot of Apple hate here so long as that is going on.

Then why do the majority of people that feel otherwise seem to have the attitude that people are completely wrong and are very much in your face about it? Are they that threatened by the existence of people that think differently that they have to lash out?

Search/replace apple vs microsoft with, oh, any other heated discussion here on slashdot that never seems to remain civil (gpl vs bsd, for instance, or language a vs language b, etc)

Probalby because Apple fans are so aggressive (-1, Flamebait)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620392)

Notice that my post has been moderated now, no reason given, just moderated down. On other words, the fanboys are mad that I made a less than flattering observation about Apple strategy, and wish to silence me. Is it any surprise that behaviour like that generates abrasive responses?

Mirror Mirror (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620450)

Your own post starts:

Apple has been going full-on evil lately with a vision for the future that makes even MS's most dominating days pale

In the face of such epic chicken-little style hype, why would responses not be agressive? Why do you get to be agressive and not expect agressive counter-argument in return?

Re:Mirror Mirror (-1, Flamebait)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621026)

That isn't a counter argument, it is suppression. They wish to prevent my point of view from being heard.

Re:Probalby because Apple fans are so aggressive (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620466)

Not surprised, just wondering why both sides seem to be made up of people incapable of having a civil discussion.

As for the moderation -- friend of a friend status means I see it rated as "+5 Troll" -- you're a highly rated troll. So there's that, at least. :)

Missing the point! (2)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621546)

This might be true if Apple were standard compliant in regard to ePub, which they are not (example here [pigsgourdsandwikis.com] , make sure you read Liz' blog all the way through, she rules!). So, they'd have to fix a few other things before we talk about the new iBooks 1.2 fixed layout specs or them throwing "out unfinished tools and specs" as you say. IOW, there's enough to whine about already (again, check Liz' blog for details!).

OTOH, lots of small publishers are eager to satisfy their clients, but cannot, since Apple chose to keep the new specs under an NDA. Thanks a bunch for that... . And you keep defending that, citing "Apple's support burden" *shakes head* Who are you, an Apple helpdesk guy?

Dammit! (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618272)

Looks like won't be on iBooks any time soon [paullee.com] . Thank God for Kindle :-)

Re:Dammit! (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618618)

Proprietary X says "You suck!" to Proprietary Y

Re:Dammit! (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619266)

The difference is indie publishers can push out various forms of content for the Kindle that include whatever features the Kindle has. Not so with iBooks.

Re:Dammit! (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620412)

You might want a proofreader there. It should be passengers' as there's more than one of them.

And next week... (2)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618330)

[Apple] is only providing information on how to create fixed layout ebooks for it's store to a select group of publishers and ebook producers."

And a week from now when that information finds its way to the internet the headline will be "All Authors Able to Publish Fixed-Width iBooks"

Re:And next week... (2, Insightful)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618622)

I recall back in the dim dark days of the 1970s a book I had on 9 track tape recorded there from IBM cards via a utility IEBGENER. Still have that tape...... I recall back in the 1980s a book I had on a 5.25 floppy recorded in Fredwriter in ProDOS on an Apple II. Still have that Floppy........ I recall a book I had in Newton Book format pruchased to read on my 2100. Still have that book (remind me to change the Newton’s battery)....... I recall a book I bought that was published in 1629 . of all the formats I have listed ONLY THAT ONE is still readable. Now we have various E-Book formats. Oh Joy. Do I need to make space on the closet shelf for these too?

Re:And next week... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620236)

That is because you didn't care to format shift the other books into the newer standards. If you kept an ebook collection at whatever media you find most usefull at each time, and shifted the collection every time you migrated to other storage technology, all of them would still be readable.

What, of course, reminds of all that DRM nonsense...

Re:And next week... (1)

mad_minstrel (943049) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620408)

Actually, if you had bothered to properly migrate your data as you stepped away from media formats throughout the years, all of those would still be perfectly readable. In fact, keeping a closet with old media is a ridiculous waste of space considering all of the data inside would probably fit nicely on a small home NAS. Leaving media formats behind is like moving to a new home. If you don't take your stuff with you, don't expect it to magically show up when you want it. I've already archived all of the data I ever originally had on CDs. Have you?

Re:And next week... (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621230)

the 1629 book (First English edition of Terrence) is worth about twice what I initially paid for it. This cannot be said for any of the others, and Free Bonus! can STILL Be READ!

Steve Jobs hates poor people. (1, Troll)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618336)

Its the only explanation.

who cares about their locked down ecosystem? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618338)

Seriously... who'd ever buy stuff like that from Apple? Haven't we learned this lesson already by now?

Apple and Amazon are all about control over your content and devices. Just say no. There are plenty of alternatives.

Re:who cares about their locked down ecosystem? (1, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618572)

Seriously... who'd ever buy stuff like that from Apple?

You mean, other than the millions of customers they have now and the new ones they get every week?

Why, practically nobody.

Re:who cares about their locked down ecosystem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619780)

yes, a vast majority of which are *not* devoted apple fans like the vocal minority you will find posting online about their strange obsession with a corporate entity. the winds of "trendy" are a changing, my son, and so goes the lion's share of Apple's sales.

Re:who cares about their locked down ecosystem? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619962)

the winds of "trendy" are a changing, my son, and so goes the lion's share of Apple's sales.

Fuck "trendy" ... I'll stick with "works".

Do you really think most people buy Apple stuff because its "trendy", or do you think they might be "trendy" because they do what the users want it to?

Re:who cares about their locked down ecosystem? (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620462)

50/50 I reckon.

Re:who cares about their locked down ecosystem? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619984)

All those new customers are merely hipster posers who hang out at Starbucks, have handle bar mustaches and ride penny farthing bikes.They couldn't program in assembly on a TMS9900 if you set their feet on fire and had a ring of naked women throwing pickles at them. In other words, total losers who make more money then they know what to do with. If they had any sense, they woulda' donated to Firefly fandom so that it wouldn't have been canceled.

Re:who cares about their locked down ecosystem? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620044)

They couldn't program in assembly on a TMS9900 if you set their feet on fire and had a ring of naked women throwing pickles at them.

I'm not sure I could either, to be honest. :-P

However, if anybody has anything to support an invocation of Rule 34 [urbandictionary.com] , then I'd be interested. For, um, academic purposes.

I for one welcome our new naked, pickle-throwing overlords.

Why this isn't too much of a problem... (0)

scourfish (573542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618522)

If your 5 year old is able to use an iPhone proficiently, then he/she probably should be reading something more complicated than a children's book anyway.

Way too old (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620476)

I have two year old family members who are able to use parts of the iPhone just fine.

And "children's book" is a pretty broad category, going up almost to the teens...

The 'i' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618646)

I knew all along that the "i" in Apple products stood not for iNdie but for iDiots.

Steve Jobs just looks at the pictures... (0)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618860)

Well, this speaks volumes about Steve Jobs' reading habits. Obviously, he just looks at the pictures and only "reads" titles from the larger publishing houses (like the Oprah book club).

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618902)

You mean to tell me that people are still stupid enough to buy from "digital stores"? Seriously, how many times do these people have to get ripped off? Didn't the Kindle-1984 incident teach them anything? How about the Wal*mart music server situation? I know, I know... blatant consumerism is in, and everyone has to have "the shineys", or they are uncool. Still, think about ten or twenty years from now. Will those publishers still grace you with the ability to access the content you paid for?

We live in a world where game publishers can't be bothered to even update products that are a few years old to work on multicore CPUs (or allow someone else to do it)... and yet you believe that these companies will stick around, support you and give you access to your books/music/whatever in a few years?

iTunes LP was made available (3, Informative)

drerwk (695572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620226)

http://www.apple.com/itunes/lp-and-extras/ [apple.com]
I would expect the same in a few months for any iBooks thing.

If I may quote... (2)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620726)

... Wikipedia (yes, I know, I know) From the criticism of the EPUB format: "One criticism of EPUB is that, while good for text-centric books, it may be unsuitable for publications which require precise layout or specialized formatting, such as a comic book"[1] [wikipedia.org] Comparing this with what the article says that Apple is doing, it sounds like they are trying to deal with this problem. I'm probably wrong, but that's my first impression. Let's just hope that they decide to submit the proposal for an update back to the standards committee.

Behind is not out in the cold (3, Insightful)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621214)

If Apple is consistent with their previous roll outs, they will release this to everyone later, once they have had a chance to debug the code and make it work the way a publisher would want. And it won't be because of the uproar here. Apple does not promise to roll out later since they are prohibited from making certain types of forward looking statements.
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