My notes on a webinar I was at by Cathy Burgon on 07/04/2011.

Background
A project was undertaken to review several e-book readers and decide which one to purchase and loan to students. The material on the e-book reader would be determined by the capabilities of the device and the student need at the time.
The e-book reader would need to be able to access:

  • Course reading lists online
  • E-books from the catalogue in various formats
  • The UNSW catalogue through Primo
  • Databases via Sirius (UNSW database gateway and authentication system)

The project is still underway and, although they have purchased the devices, they are not currently borrowable to students.

Devices
3 devices were analysed, plus a later analysis of the iPad.
The devices were analysed based on:

  • Could they access the following file types?
    • PDF with no Digital Rights Management (DRM) and no text (such as digitised chapters from Course Reserve material)
    • PDF with DRM (such as material from EBL)
    • Online e-books with no software reader required (such as websites, or e-books from Hein Online)
    • Online e-books requiring a software reader or applet (such as material from Ebrary)
    • EPUB format without DRM (such as those from Project Gutenberg)
    • EPUB format with DRM (such as those from ebooks.com)
  • Usability?
  • Could they connect to ADFA’s wifi to allow access to online materials?

Results

DreamBook 8 or 10
Dreambook A10
BeBook Neo
iPad
PDF no DRM Y Y Y N
PDF DRM Y Y Y Y
View online Y Y N Y
View online, with applet N Y N N
EPUB no DRM Y Y Y Y
EPUB DRM Y Y Y Y

DreamBook 8 or 10
Operating System: Android
PDF with no DRM: Transferred to device with a USB. Can be read with Adobe Reader (Android version) or other PDF apps.
PDF with DRM: EBL Platform

  • Need Adobe Digital Editions on a PC to download the DRM PDF
  • Need TXTR installed on the PC to upload the PDF to the DreamBook
  • Need TXTR Android Reader installed on the DreamBook
  • DreamBook TXTR needs Adobe credentials in its settings
  • TXTR Reader can read uploaded DRM PDFs.
  • Once set up, this is a very easy process.

View online: Can read on website through the Android browser
View online with software/applet: Ebrary.

  • User can only access the quick view on the webpage

DreamBook ePad A10
Operating System: Windows. This device runs exactly the same as a PC.
PDF with no DRM: Transferred to device with a USB or downloaded. Read with Adobe Reader.
PDF with DRM: EBL Platform. Need Adobe Digital Editions on reader to download the DRM PDF.
View online: Can read on website through a browser
View online with software/applet: Ebrary. Latest java update needed to view.

BeBook Neo
Operating System: BeBook system.
PDF with no DRM: Transfer to device with a USB
PDF with DRM: EBL Platform

  • Need Adobe Digital Editions on a PC to download the DRM PDF
  • Need to authorise the BeBook Neo with ADE
  • Transfer to device with a USB

View online: Cannot be done (cannot connect to ADFA Wi-Fi)
View online with software/applet: Cannot be done (cannot connect to ADFA Wi-Fi)

iPad
Operating System: iOS
PDF with no DRM: Cannot be read. Unable to just copy files to iPad, connect to a computer and it does not appear as a USB disk. Some time researching did not yield a solution. An IT worker suggested Google Docs but was placed in the too hard basket.
PDF with DRM: EBL Platform

  • Need the Bluefire reader
  • Purchased from iTunes
  • Adobe ID required in settings to read DRM PDFs
  • View online: Can read on website through a browser
  • View online with software/applet: Ebrary. Items downloaded for Macintosh come in .DMG which will not run on an iPad. User can only access the quick view on the webpage

End Result
The DreamBook A10 was chosen for purchasing. As it was the same as a Windows computer, it was a familiar interface for people and they could begin using it straight away.
ADFA were still working out issues with preventing users from editing the system. As the computer is a Windows-based system, it is easy to make changes. Unfortunately it doesn’t sync with ActiveDirectory, which would help prevent changes.

e-Book Reader trial at ADFA

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