Monday, April 2, 2012
Nook Digital Replica Plus
The new Nook format, by the way, is just another iteration of an ePub morphed to meet the needs of their particular device, both in a way they like and one which is unique enough to separate it from the competition (i.e. Amazon), as well as making it proprietary to their content ecosystem. It has some unique features that set it apart (and one I tend to like, at least so far), but underneath it's just an ePub.
BN are, in fact, still working on the DRP format, which is why it has not been officially released, even though the major publishers are already using a version of it to fill the shelves with children's books and comics. The latest rumors have BN working on an In Design plug-in that will allow content creators to save their ID files in the new Nook format, and if that comes to pass in a way that functions better than Amazon's half-ass attempt it will be a major coup. But BN should have a far easier time of it, as their new format is vastly simpler in its structure, with full page images for the "fixed" part and reflowable overlays for the magnified text view, giving us the best of both worlds.
So while the spec and ID plugin should be forthcoming in the not-too-distant future, I'm not one to stand around and wait if I can help it. Unfortunately, with the release of the Nook Tablet and titles in the new format, the BN partition of both this device and the Nook Color have been hidden from prying eyes so that no one can look at what's underneath the hood in these fixed layout ebooks. Downloads from the website or the iPad app have also been disabled for titles in this format, and they do not show up in the B&N Downloads folder on the device. Of course, the first thing I did was root the Nook to run Android and dug into it with File Explorer, but there's nothing there to see that's of any help. Fortunately, there's a test file up online and a bit of information on the replica map over on the ePub Revision Wiki page, which should be enough to get me started. They are working on some very cool stuff, by the way, so I'm more excited than ever now to see what they come up with.