August 16, 2016 Last Updated 9:00 am

Library systems continue search for cross-platform solution that neither Apple nor Amazon appear very eager to provide

Morning Brief: App updates from B2B publishers Putnam Media and BNP Media, and a new look for Amazon’s app Amazon Music with Prime Music

There was once a time when the Steve Jobs-led Apple saw the iPhone and iPad as a way to break Amazon’s dominance of the eBook market. Unfortunately, Eddy Cue was given the job and the result was a major lawsuit, as well as the decline of the iBooks Store and the Newsstand (now gone).

Today, a lot of eBook creators and others are still trying to find a way to build a really wow inspiring eBook that will work on both an iPad/iPhone and a Kindle.


The New York Public Library ‘s SimplyE app on an iPad.

Libraries have a somewhat similar problem. Patrons come into a library system with one of a number of different devices and would like access to the library system’s collection. For the most part, the expectation is that any eBook will be a simple replica of the print book – at best an ePUB conversion. But at a minimum, the library would like to offer those books already converted into eBooks by publishers.

Last month TNM looked at the new app launched by the New York Public Library called SimplyE. Now the Connecticut State Library will be launching an app, entering into a partnership with the New York Public Library to customize their app for use in Connecticut.

It makes one shake their head to think that Apple blew this so badly. Here we are, over six years after the launch of the iPad, and Apple has gone from undisputed leader of all things digital publishing, to irrelevant player.

“The Ferguson Library has offered eBooks since 2002. But it has never been easy for our users,” said Alice Knapp, president of The Ferguson Library.

Yep, it’s not easy. Unfortunately, these solutions only solve the access problem, not the creation problem. Patrons will have access to whatever eBooks are available in the library system, but there is a growing catalog of eBooks – both interactive and text-based – not to be found inside library systems.

It’s August of 2016, and it feels sometimes like we have made no progress at all in creating a digital publishing infrastructure that allows an author or publisher to efficiently reach the maximum number of readers possible.

A small group of media app updates were released in the past 24 hours:

AmazonPrimeMusic-iPadPutman Media has released version 3 of their app <strong>The Journal from Rockwell Automation adding iPhone support. The B2B publisher has one other app, for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, which remains iPad-only as of today.

Another B2B publisher, BNP Media, has updated their new app for Engineering News-Record. The publisher acquired the title from the private equity company that had bought the construction information division from McGraw-Hill when that famous media company decided to exit the segment, The new app is called ENR Digital Edition – BNP to differentiate it from the old app.

Amazon has updated the iOS app Amazon Music with Prime Music (above), introducing a new design:

What’s New in Version 5.6.0
Amazon Music has a brand new look! We’ve replaced our ≡ menu with a more convenient bottom navigation. Control playback while browsing with our new circular miniplayer. Drag it to the right or left to skip forward or back in your tracklist. You can switch to Offline Music Mode from Settings — look for the gear icon in the upper left corner.

  • Tradezero 2 years ago

    It is true that we have no progress in creating an efficient digital publishing infrastructure.