Adobe rolled out its Digital Editions 1.0 reading software today, and it's now available for a free download. In beta for the past six months, the software is able to handle PDF, flash and XML files, and also supports the new IDP Open Publication Standard (OPS) used for eBooks. So that means it's already going to work with the 150,000 eBook files that are currently rotting on shelves and hard drives the world over. It's able to do some new tricks, too. It lets you annotate content with bookmarks, highlight stuff, and make little text notes just like you're scribbling on a real book. Plus, it can wrap and reflow its text to fit the screen. We downloaded it and tested it out, and it feels positively snappy, letting you zoom in and out, wrapping its text and doing everything extremely well. It also has good facilities for managing the eBooks you have in your library. Go ahead, try it. There are some free eBooks you can download from Adobe to get a feel for the software.
Publishers will like its DRM (digital rights management) on board, keeping their valuable titles from being spread all over the InterWebs without benefit of payment. Of course, someone will quickly crack that code, but until then, this looks like a suitable application for managing and reading all sorts of digital newspapers, books and magazines. If the hardware for such things ever gets off the ground, expect them to snap up the software pronto. It actually looks pretty good, a whole lot better than Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
Press Release [Adobe Systems]