Feb 262010

With the flood of eReaders on the market and coming to market, it’s interesting to see which format is being supported. To the average eReader owner, the eBook format is a forgone conclusion, but the author/publisher has the challenge of selecting a format for distribution. With so many formats, it seems like there are almost as many formats as eReaders! Here’s a quick look at some popular eReaders and the eBook formats supported.

Amazon Kindle 2 and DX: plain text, PDF, Mobi-Pocket, Kindle
Apple iPad tablet: plain text, PDF, ePub, HTML
Barnes Noble Nook: PDF, ePUB, eReader
Sony Reader: plain text, PDF, ePub, Broadband eBook

Plain text (.txt): ASCII standard text file format which allows interchanging and readability on Unix, Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, DOS, and other systems
Portable Display Format (.PDF): Created by Adobe Systems to represent two-dimensional documents in a manner independent of the application software, hardware, and operating system
ePub (.epub): Format is an open standard for e-books created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)
Mobi-Pocket (.prc, .mobi): E-book format based on the Open eBook standard using XHTML can include JavaScript and frames
Kindle (.azw): Developed by Amazon and based on the Mobipocket standard, with a slightly different serial number scheme (it uses an asterisk instead of a Dollar sign) and its own DRM formatting
HTML (.htm,.html): Hyper Text Markup Language which It provides a means to create structured documents by denoting structural semantics for text such as headings, paragraphs, lists etc as well as for links, quotes, and other items
eReader (.pdb): Created by Palm Digital Media; The reader shows text one page at a time, as paper books do. eReader supports embedded hyperlinks and images
Broadbank Book (.lrf,.lrx): Proprietary format by Sony, with no known reader software for non-Sony devices

Other eBook formats used by other eReaders include the following:  Fiction-Book, DjVu, WOLF, Tome Raider, and Open eBook.

There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to each format, but as a potential eReader owner, does the supported format influence which device you buy?

Check out our ereader comparison table to see how the iPad, Kindle and other ebook readers compare with each other.

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