Are miBooks eBooks?

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You may have heard by now of something called a miBook, which can be read on a device called a miBook Player. The player looks sort of like a fatter iPhone turned on its side, and it plays video, audio, and music, plus reads various kinds of text files. It’s made by a company called miBook, and plays content you can load onto the device using SD cards or USB transfer. The suggested retail price for the player is $69.95, and the books–all of them produced by miBook–cost $19.95. But you won’t see the next Grisham novel on it.

miBook has been partnering with TV networks like The Food Network and Parent TV to produce things such as recipe books and pregnancy guides–all of them containing rich media enhancements, like videos that guide you through the process of cooking a meal. miBook titles include ‘Healthy Cooking’ and ‘Your Todler.’

eBookNewser asked Anne Steinberg, Managing Director of Kitchen Public Relations, the company doing promotion for miBook, whether or not miBook was designed for eBooks per se, or for something else. She said, “miBook was designed as a new form of media that brings together the greatest strengths of books and the greatest strengths of visual media (including TV and movies), and we saw from the beginning that our partners would include media entities from both worlds.” She also said that the company is beginning to work on titles based on publishers’ books, but she didn’t offer any specific names.

So is a miBook an eBook? Sort of. It’s a bit like what Vook is doing, though not very closely tied to the publishing business. But miBook certainly has something to do with the direction eBooks are moving in, whether or not we’ll see lots of publishers’ books appearing on the miBook player soon.