Digital Book Readers File Formats Information You Won’t Find in eBook Reader Reviews

I was recently writing an article about the new Nook and Sony Daily digital book readers ability to handle the ePub standard, a file format that is fast becoming the preferred file format of the eBook publishers. It struck me that it may be helpful if I explained the differences between proprietary formats and the ePub standard, something you will not find in eBook reader reviews, but something you should remember when researching the many digital book readers on the market, prior to your final purchase decision.

It was, in the early days of digital book readers, somewhat accepted by the buying public that both Sony and Amazon released their content coded in their own file format. What this effectively did was tied the eBook to one device, but it did not take long before customers caught on, something that hit the likes of Sony hard.

But fast forward to today, the industry had been looking for a standard file format, firstly to remove uncertainty in the customers mind and secondly to do as the title suggests, standardize e-publishing.

It does look more and more like they have settled on the emerging Epub format. Why, you may ask, with so many other options about, have some of the biggest names in the industry thrown their weight behind this new format when there was, some would point out, a perfectly good one in the form of Mobipockets universally available file format. That’s really a question only the likes of Google, Sony and now Barnes and Noble can answer.

Looking on from the sidelines, it seems like the three of them have ganged up to deliver a good slapping for Amazon, as their latest offerings – the Kindle US and Kindle International digital book readers – don’t have natural support for the ePub standard.

On the other hand the latest Sony Edition Range of digital book readers, which incidentally are receiving some rave eBook reader reviews, and the brand new Barnes and Noble Nook reading device all support the ePub format. Titles at both the Sony-Store and the Barnes and Noble online bookstore will publish in this format, something that both companies are happy to sing the praises of.

Now, throw into the mix the quite considerable influence Google have on everything online and look at their recent backing of the ePub format. They intend to publish the whole of their massive library of over one million books in the ePub format, many of these titles are free to down load.

These developments have opened up the market totally. No longer do users of digital book readers have to purchase content from one source, this move can only lead to greater competition and ultimately lower eBook prices. And the encouraging thing is three massive companies have totally embraced, even instigated, it.

This leaves the Kindle digital book readers in a very difficult position, news travels at the same speed as prices change in this industry. Customers of the Kindle will feel short changed when this news hits the eBook reader review sites, and they every right they have to feel that way too don’t you think.