Ian Kendall wrote:There's something else that I've been discussing with Damian offline. Since the introduction of Acrobat 9 any video that is embedded into a PDF is converted into FLV flash video. Since there is a flash reader built into Reader 9 this takes away the need to have external codecs installed.
Since Apple have very publicly distanced themselves from Flash, that means (effectively) that anyone who wants to embed video into a PDF to be viewed on an iPad is going to have problems. The Mac preview app on desktops doesn't work, either - it needs to be Reader 9.
This leaves a number of possible alternatives, few of which are likely to make inroads. First, Adobe could update Acrobat so that it is possible to embed H.264 video into PDFs. Given their current hissy fit with Apple, I'm not sure they would go to such lengths to appease a group of people who effectively hate them.
Apple could certify Reader 9 to run on the iPad, but from what I've heard it's unlikely to work there, either.
Apple could try to redefine the PDF specs (_highly_ unlikely) or try to push an alternative format (also unlikely, since the majority of content is already going through the PDF route).
Or iPad users could find themselves out in the cold, while Android tablets and the new generation of TabletPCs come into the market place.
Edit: I've just seen that h.264 _can_ be embedded into PDFs, so I'm off to do some testing...
Ian, Adobe is adding an iPad publishing solution directly to its Creative Suite. Files are created in In Design, additional elements -- video, slideshows, audio, etc. -- can be added and then published directly out of the application as an iPad app. This functionality should be available to the general public at the end of the year, although you can see it right now as it's what's been used for the Wired magazine app. Despite the fight with Apple, Adobe is very much fighting to stay in the iPad publishing market. In fact, they rewrote their Wired app in record time when Apple pulled its last minute Flash ban.
The advantage for small press publishers of this solution is that the person who designs the magazine, assuming that the mag is done in InDesign, will be able to make the iPad edition him or herself. Similar (and one can argue, better) things can be done in HTML5, but those will require professional developers to execute.
To the poster who commented about how sad it this whole thing because we are by nature collectors -- I respectfully disagree. I have a bunch of old Genii mags from the 1970s in a storage locker somewhere from when I was a kid. Some day they will be tossed. Now, I've taken to, once a year or so, going through Geniis, rip out and PDF articles I'd like to keep, and toss the magazines themselves. My New York apartment doesn't have room for everything. I'd love to have the entire magazines in a nice, searchable digital form.