iBooks and all that

I seem from the posting of several others (including Akma) that Apple have something new on offer.

It is a new piece of software iBooks Author which allows people to construct what they are inevitably calling iBooks  very easily, that can be read on portable devices.

I ought to be excited – it sounds like a great tool. Immediately it makes me think about how to publish things for the Episcopal Church – the monthly mag inspires, teaching texts and all kinds of other things. However, I’m feeling particularly underwhelmed.

Seems that you’ll need to be using Apple hardware to author the iBook, Apple software to produce it and Apple hardware to read it. It is about as closed source as it is possible to be. Seems to be exactly the kind of thing which makes people divide over Apple. Oh look, some will say, look at the shiny, easy interface. Loveliness of design, ease of use. Hurrah.

Yet others, myself included, see all of that alongside a rather cynical pitch for taking control of a whole genre.

Closed source. Proprietary. Biased towards the rich west.

I never hear people taking about DRM issues (Digital Rights Management) as justice issues within the church. However, I suspect that they inevitably will become part of our justice discourse. Sooner, I hope, than later.

Along the way, I did think that there were some interesting ideas in Nick Knisely’s post about this – particularly from an American perspective, thinking about Cathedrals as local seminary branches.

I hope to be going across the Atlantic some time this year to look at Cathedral (and other beacon church) initiatives and that notion has certainly sparked my interest.