Kindle, Nooks and iPads, Oh My!

By Joe Budelli posted 03-09-2011 16:43


I have been inspired by a five-piece feature in PC World that appeared last week. This article, by Jon Jacobi, discusses easy and helpful ways to convert various forms of analog media into high-quality digital files. The article discusses four forms of analog media: music, movies, pictures and documents, all of which take up a lot of space and consume a lot of time to organize and access. Jacobi shared tips on digitizing, preserving, and organizing all of our memories in electronic format. He also gave insight into digital lifespans, file sizes, services, copyrights, and media organizers. The article is truly a techy’s dream.

Being the capture guy that I am, I particularly honed in on the “digitizing documents” portion of the piece. In this section, Jon talks about e-books, making the point that even though there are certain physical and emotional aspects of reading a paper book that can’t be paralleled by the digital counterpart, Kindles, Nooks, iPads and other e-readers are pushing through and showing up everywhere. In fact, according to Yankee Group, global e-book reader sales reached $1.9 billion last year with just fewer than 11 million sold.  Those numbers are expected to increase to $8.2 billion and nearly 72 million units respectively by 2014. That’s a whole lot of e-readers, and a whole lot of growth.

Many unexpected organizations are taking notice of this growth . Libraries, book stores, schools, and various publications have already begun expanding their offerings to e-reader formats. My local library has an extensive e-media and e-book section available for download and electronic check-out. Michigan State University is among the higher learning institutions that have launched a program to digitize their books and publications to make them more accessible for the public and student body. Furthermore, Yankee Group projects consumers will purchase 381 million e-books by 2013 and just by looking at the iTunes store, it is easy to see a majority of the major magazines and newspapers are jumping to digital formats as well. 

All of this adds up to be very exciting for capture technology providers. But, you may ask, why should something that is already digitized be exciting to capture providers?

While all of these outlets to purchase, check-out, and download digital media are available (and growing), you probably still have a plethora of books in your personal collection that aren't available in electronic format. So where do you turn? OCR.  I previously discussed a book scanner that allows users to easily convert books, newspapers, magazines or other printed materials to digital files. Jon also explained the capture process for a personal library in his article, and even suggests a few apps to convert your OCR’ed books into e-reader files.

My family and I are Nook, Kindle and iPad owners and yes, I will order the iPad 2 on day one.  While we enjoy purchasing books or subscribing to magazines and newspapers online, I have also been known to convert a few of our favorites to e-format. I think that other lovers of digital reading are destined to do this as well, which raises my excitement level.

So, are you among the millions picking up e-readers? Which are your favorite ways to get new content or convert classics? Any applications that you would recommend?

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