after i read that my new sony reader might soon be upgraded to also support adobe digital editions, i had to look at this and downloaded and installed adobe digital editions on my pc. it seems to be a rather weird mix of flash stuff and a standalone application, probably something we will see more in the near future. anyway, apart from the weird way in which this application has been built (i just hope it does not use the totally broken update mechanism adobe inflicts on acrobat users), i was more interested in its functionality and less its construction.
not surprisingly, it is not really a quantum leap in the world of e-books, but surprisingly, you are wondering why they even bothered to make this pathetic thing a product. it seems to be a very basic PDF reader combined with a very basic web browser, put together with a black background, and that's about it. maybe i am missing something, but it doesn't even seem to have a search feature.
so basically adobe digital editions gives you the exact same super-limited reading experience you get with the sony reader, only now it uses a format which can contain PDF or XHTML what a progress that is. no searching, let alone annotation features. so on any electronic ink device, the adobe thing will let you do exactly one thing: read through pages sequentially and make bookmarks if you take a break.
i guess that the only innovative part in the adobe product line is the Digital Rights Management (DRM), which probably is the only thing that sony is really interested in. sony and adobe probably are an ideal fit here, both companies have the exact same mindset and couldn't care less about any idea beyond the selling of DRM-crippled e-books; which is good, in a way, because other and much more creative players now still have the opportunity to see the market beyond that tiny segment that is currently targeted.
quoting from the adobe press release,
well, i am wondering what exactly rob tarkoff was referring to when telling me that he just revolutionized my digital content consumer experience. probably (and hopefully!) he was talking about some hidden features that will only be enabled when i read content that i have actually paid for, and not when just browsing the free sample e-books...
Adobe Digital Editions will revolutionize how publishers deliver
eBooks and other digital content and how consumers experience it, said
Rob Tarkoff, senior vice president, Corporate Development at Adobe.