Powered by OPDS

par Hadrien

These last few months, the OPDS (Open Publication Distribution System) Working Group has made a tremendous job and we’re getting close to the point where we’ll have a first version of a stable specification.

For those of you who are not familiar with OPDS and the BookServer ecosystem:

The BookServer is a growing open architecture for vending and lending digital books over the Internet. Built on open catalog and open book formats, the BookServer model allows a wide network of publishers, booksellers, libraries, and even authors to make their catalogs of books available directly to readers through their laptops, phones, netbooks, or dedicated reading devices. BookServer facilitates pay transactions, borrowing books from libraries, and downloading free, publicly accessible books.

Feedbooks contributed to this effort and continues to maintain an OPDS catalog following the recent developments on the specification.

While the spec isn’t fully ready yet, we already have a vibrant ecosystem of developers, softwares and services based on our OPDS. The purpose of this post is to give a quick overview of the ecosystem but keep in mind that things are still moving very fast.

Social Networks

  • BookGlutton: BookGlutton is an online bookstore and community for reading groups. You can search and import public domain books from Feedbooks through our OPDS feed.
  • Goodreads: Most popular social network for book lovers. Goodreads use our OPDS catalog to link back to Feedbooks and offer multi-format downloads of some of our free e-books.
  • Librarything: Another very popular social network for book lovers with a clear focus on building a library. Provide links to Feedbooks on public domain books.

Search Engines

  • Inkmesh: Inkmesh is a new search engine that makes it easier to find ebooks from across the web. Inkmesh uses the OPDS feeds from Feedbooks & The Internet Archive to index their ebook catalogs and make them available for searching and browsing on Inkmesh.com.

Reading Systems

  • Aldiko (Android): Aldiko is the most popular e-book reader on Android and provides support for both EPUB and OPDS. Probably the best OPDS client at this point too.
  • Bookshelf (iOS):  A multi-format e-book reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
  • EPUBReader (Firefox): An EPUB reader and OPDS for Firefox. Browse, download and read EPUB books from your browser.
  • FBReader (Multiple Platforms): An open source, multi-format and multi-platform e-book reader.
  • Get Books Activity (OLPC XO): An activity for the XO by the One Laptop Per Children Foundation. Can search and download books on Feedbooks.
  • Ibis Reader (HTML5): Ibis reader is the first HTML5 e-book reader. It provides a seamless reading experience both online and offline on modern smartphones and supports both EPUB and OPDS.
  • Lovely Reader (Web/Flash): In early beta, but Lovely Reader can parse OPDS feeds and display EPUB files in a Flash widget.
  • Lucidor (Multiple Platforms):  An e-book reader that supports both EPUB and OPDS.
  • Ouiivo Reader (iOS): An EPUB reader and OPDS client for iOS devices.
  • QuickReader (iOS): Speed reading application for iOS devices.
  • Stanza (iOS): The most popular iPhone e-book reader. First reading system that supported OPDS.
  • Wordoholic Reader (Android):  An EPUB reader and OPDS client for Android.

I’m most likely missing a few of them but it’s very exciting to see that some of the most popular social networks, search engines and reading systems already support OPDS.

Update: Added BookGlutton and Lovely Reader.

Update 2: Added Ouiivo and QuickReader.