Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vooks... connected, but not very adaptable.

I recently learned about "Vooks," which, according to the website, a Vook is an enhanced digital book blending video and Internet links. Well, it's not really a book...

From http://vook.com/what-is-a-vook.html
A vook is a new innovation in reading that blends a well-written book, high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story. You can read your book, watch videos that enhance the story and connect with authors and your friends through social media all on one screen, without switching between platforms.
Vooks are available in two formats: As a web-based application you can read on your computer and an application for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad for reading on the go. With the web-based application you don't have to download programs or install software. Just open your favorite browser and start reading and watching in an exciting new way. You can also download and install the mobile applications through the Apple iTunes store and sync them with your Apple mobile device.
It's not an "ebook" as one would expect an ebook to be (based on similar offering from vendors such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble).  And, although users can read a selection on either a personal device or the web, and "connect" with other readers using a variety of social networking tools, unfortunately, readers cannot sync content between the web and their personal device. From the FAQs:
Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to offer multi-platform access. If you want to access a particular title on both your computer and your mobile device, you will have to purchase both versions. This is due to the separate checkout carts used on our site and the mobile provider's site. 
There is a small amount of free "lite" content available (Buddha, 3 Little Pigs), that does not require you to create an account. The lite versions include a few chapters (with videos) and a link to purchase the full version.

Connected? ... Socially, yes. 
Adaptable or Customizable?...  Somewhat.
Fonts (three sizes), and lightness/darkness can be adjusted, however it would appear that bookmarks and highlighting are not an option.