Home Apple Says it Isn’t Interested in eBooks, But It’s Now Selling an iTunes LP Comic Book

Apple Says it Isn’t Interested in eBooks, But It’s Now Selling an iTunes LP Comic Book

While Steve Jobs just told the New York Times’ David Pogue that Apple isn’t interested in creating a single-purpose eBook reader and that he doesn’t think that eBooks are a big enough market right now, one eBook-like format has already made it into the iTunes store: a comic book. Tyrese Gibson’s Mayhem! is now available, together with one song, as an iTunes LP album for $1.99 (iTunes link). Mayhem! was first released as a three-issue mini-series earlier last month.

The comic book actually takes up a whopping 400MB, so there can be little doubt that the star attraction here isn’t the song but the book. The book comes with a number of extras, including a 23-minute making-off video, alternate covers, concept art, wallpapers, and optional voice-over narration and sound effects.

As Fortune’s Jon Fortt, who also first wrote about this book in the iTunes store, points out, Gibson (who was last featured in Transformer’s 2) wasn’t alone in creating this iTunes LP – Apple actually helped Gibson out by allowing Sam Herz, a user interface engineer for the iTunes store, and Barry Munstersetiger to work on this project. According to Fortt, the two also created a number of tools that could now make creating similar projects a lot easier.

Are There Multimedia eBooks in Apple’s Future?

Maybe the future that Apple sees for eBooks isn’t just the static books we are used to today on eReaders like the Kindle or Sony’s Readers, but multimedia eBooks that combine text, audio, and video just like Gibson’s comic book. With the iTunes LP format, Apple has already developed the right format and delivery method for this – the company would just have to change the name a bit. One restriction of the current breed of iTunes LP albums is that the extras don’t work on the iPhone, so it definitely takes a device with a larger display (the Apple tablet?) to really make the most out of these multimedia eBooks.

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