The open eBook community, the Internet Archive, and Feedbooks are delighted to announce the latest revision of the Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS) to version 1.1. OPDS is a lightweight open standard used to create catalogs that enable the aggregation, distribution, and discovery of books, journals, and other material by any user, from any source, in any digital format, and on any device.
OPDS Catalogs is a component of the Internet Archive’s BookServer Project, a framework supporting open standards for discovering, lending, and selling books and other digital content on the web.
The new OPDS 1.1 release significantly enhances the usability of OPDS catalogs by supporting faceted search and browsing for easier navigation, and indirect acquisition for better handling of payments, content bundling, and content protection schemes. A list of the enhancements from v1.0 is available at the OPDS changelog.
For aggregators, publishers, and distributors, OPDS v1.1 offers unparalleled opportunities to market digital content directly to consumers, without ceding control to intermediaries.
Hadrien Gardeur, CEO of Feedbooks, and one of the primary project leads for OPDS, says, “Feedbooks distribute over 3 million books every month, providing access to the catalogs of the major US, French and German publishers, through more than a dozen reading clients. This is only possible through OPDS. The new version of OPDS will greatly improve the discovery and purchase of ebooks thanks to features like faceted search and browsing and indirect acquisition.”
Aaron Miller of Firebrand Technologies says, “OPDS will allow us to create standardized feeds so that all of our titles can be embedded in other systems. This includes our mobile partners, such as Bluefire Reader, as well as various web communities. With the new detail that the spec provides about indirect acquisition, it is much more applicable to our NetGalley service, which relies on various forms of DRM for distributed files.”
OPDS is seeing rapid international adoption as well, for content distributors and digital libraries.
“Digital publishing is booming in Asia and we see rapidly growing adoption of OPDS, particularly in Japan and Taiwan. We look forward helping OPDS gain even further traction with influential publishers, content aggregators, digital distributors as well as the industry associations throughout Asia,” say Daihei Shiohama and Chris Rowan of Inbeatween, a Japanese digital content distributor.
FOR READING SYSTEMS –
For reading systems, OPDS offers a unique opportunity to present content from multiple partners, as well as direct user selection, providing a way of escaping the restraints that siloed or locked content platforms impose.
Patrick Thompson of Inkstone Software says, “Faceted browsing allows you to fly through book catalogs to find just the right book you want to read. It is as if catalog browsing has gone from 2D to 3D. We look forward to providing OPDS 1.1 faceted browsing in our QuickReader and MegaReader applications, making it easier to discover great books, new and old.”
Tim Jones, Lead Web Engineer for Bluefire Reader states, "For me, the biggest advance in OPDS 1.1 is the support for search facets which allow bookstores to direct their customers towards books they might be interested in with new levels of clarity and exploration. It allows users to explore all sorts of relevant results that they may not have known about before."
Tiffany Wong of Aldiko, a leading Android ereader app, writes: “We're very excited about the OPDS 1.1. New features like facets and the new link relations will greatly enhance content discovery experience.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION –
References for the OPDS Catalogs specification and opportunities to participate in the development of the Catalog project and upcoming work are located at http://www.opds-spec.org.