E-Book Review Volume 1
THE e-BOOK REVIEW
STK - STAReBOOK's proprietary format.
TCR - eBook for EPOC.
TeBR - Tiny Ebook Reader format also used by Fictionwise.
TXT - Text is the base type, with no formatting applied other than space, paragraph, end of line,
new line, and tab. It is usable in many e-book devices.
TR - Tome Raider file. Tome Raider is an eBook format that features support for very large books
such as reference books, encyclopedias, and dictionaries. Their latest format is called TR3.
VBK - eBook format from VitalSource that features graphics support.
XDXF - Dictionary exchange format based on XML.
XEB - format used by Apbi eBooks in Chinese primarily.
XHTML - specialized version of HTML designed to conform to XML rules of construction. It is the
standard format for epub data.
XML - general purpose markup language for exchange of data. In the context of eBooks it is
generally confined to XHTML and RSS feeds although some other formats have been defined.
WOLF - Proprietary format used by HanLin eBook in their V2B, V3, and V8 eBook readers.
Usually a .wol extension is used. Also used by JCNIP on their Dr. Yi ebook reader.
zTXT - format used by the WeaselReader on Palm devices. Has a .pdb extension.
ZNO - proprietary format for Zinio electronic subscription magazines. These magazines include
multimedia material like photos and videos.
So, just why do so many different e-book formats exist? Advances in technology basically. Just
like the transition from VHS to DVD and now to Blu-Ray, older formats which were created to fulfil
needs are replaced with newer formats that better meet the needs of today's e-book reader
devices. A great example of this is the old books people read back in the ’90s on their PDAs.
Those devices were very limited in what they could display. E-book readers today are much more
advanced. They can display large images and handle advanced formatting. These newer devices
needed updated formats providing these features.
Another major reason is exclusivity. Many vendors like to control their own proprietary formats so
they are not dependent on outside companies. They also have the benefit of being able to license
their format for use by others. This allows them to lock users into their platform. E-books, being
relatively new, are undergoing the same growing pains that Betamax and VHS or HD-DVD and
Blu-Ray went though. The EPUB format, from the International Digital Publishing Forum, is an