Overdrive and 3M got a new competitor today when Baker & Taylor announced their new Axis 360 library service.
Curiously enough, I can't see what this service offers that OverDrive's service does not. On my first read-though, I thought that you could check out the library ebooks directly from the device. But it doesn't actually say that.
Did you know that the one most frustrating part about library ebooks was trying to get them on your device? I thought Axis 360 would fix that problem, but it doesn't appear to be the case. (I'm surprised that anyone would launch a new digital library platform with out it.)
The Axis 360 platform is launching in the fall, and B&N have promised that the Nook, Nook, Color, and Nook Touch are compatible with the new platform. Axis 360 boasts several key benefits, including ease of use, intuitive search and browse and reading recommendations. The ebook listings will also include a link to the B&N ebookstore (that should please publishers).
This platform is separate from and a competitor to both OverDrive and 3M Cloud Library. It's going to be carrying Blio titles at launch, with Windows supported immediately and Android/iOS support coming later. I've asked and B&T did not say of they had any publishers or libraries signed up yet. On the other hand, if this is how they pan to distribute Blio titles, then what ever contract they signed to sell Blio might also include library editions.
Supported formats include, Blio, Epub and audiobook.
That link to the Nookstore was a good and bad idea. It's certainly going to get publishers to sign up. But it's also only going to help Nook owners, because no other ebook reader can decipher the Nook DRM. it's also going to confuse the hell out of users when there's a link to buy 1 title (Epub) but not the other (Blio).
image by All Utah Libraries