New iTunes 9.1 with EPUB Library Support

Apple have just released an updated iTunes 9.1 to make ready for iPad syncing and EPUB support for when the users receive their iPad and can access the iBooks store.

We here in Europe can’t even pre-order an iPad yet so I won’t be able to do a full test for some time yet but I thought I’d see what happens when a DRM-Free EPUB file is added to iTunes….which turns out to be not a lot.

As you can see from the screenshot below, the EPUB book does get recognised as a Book with the title and author details being taken from the file’s meta data. One thing that concerns me is with the book Info dialogue and how the book’s meta details are presented as though it is a song; Artist, Composer, Track Number, etc. Let’s hope this gets fixed soon to show an appropriate information page.

I’m using the Swiss Family Robinson here as an example, which doesn’t include a book cover in the file, so this is the default icon you will have for any titles that don’t include covers–this will be most free public domain works you will find from around the internet.

Right-click on the book and a pop-up menu shows a “Play” item, though at present this does nothing; one has to presume that once iBooks is released we will be presented with an option to download from the App Store. Whether the iBooks app will be made available to iPhone and iPod Touch users is still speculation but my own guess is that it won’t happen until the iPad has seen its worldwide release–even then I’m sure it won’t be until sometime later.

Update: I’ve now posted a review of the Apple iPad in the eReaders section of the site.

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Comments

  1. Brad says

    When Apple announced ePub could be imported into iPad, the next question was “How do I make an ePub?” I landed on the eCub creation tool and made myself a proof of concept, “Hello World” ePub. With eCub, you can design the book cover too. I imported my experimental ePub into iTunes 9.1 this morning and it worked like a charm, cover image and all!

    I have one step left to do, sync my computer with iPad, and my test will be complete. I think this is a big deal for organizations, replacing binders full of documentation with ePubs. The publishing tools will come, maybe a “Save as ePub” within existing word processors and web browsers. For example, it would be nice to harvest existing web-based documentation into an ePub. The future is bright!

  2. Onassis says

    I live in California, and I got my iPad yesterday and tried an epub book from this site. I successfully imported the book “The Galaxy Primes” which included images into iTunes 9.1. And everything loaded properly. It looks great in the iBook reader.

    It’s very exciting. I’ll be visiting this site and several other epub libraries in the future to find interesting content.

    Thanks!

  3. says

    This is all good and great but does the iPad allow users to push ePub books directly into iBooks from Safari mobile??? I dont want to have to sync via iTunes! That is a complete hassle if I am on the road and want to download a free ePub book!!!

  4. What haveyou says

    “This is all good and great but does the iPad allow users to push ePub books directly into iBooks from Safari mobile???”

    FAT CHANCE. Apple operates in a fantasyland where nobody needs to save anything they find on the Web. That’s why they’ve created “mobile” devices that are paradoxically cut off from the outside world.

    A lot of what people want to do requires a file system. Apple wants to continue with its head up its ass, pretending that a file system isn’t necessary or that it’s “too geeky” or people don’t want it. Because Apple takes ages (decades in some cases) to admit that it’s wrong (if it ever does), you can bet that they’re going to stick with this asinine view for a good long time.

    The sad part is that people will forget that there was ever anything better, which is largely what companies bank on now.