Adobe Digital Editions: Does It Deserve a 1.0 Status?

Tonight I tried out a new product called Adobe Digital Editions. I had some thoughts on what I liked and disliked, so here is my review.

I think the project concept is neat, but I think that Adobe could do some things different to make the product better. First off the installation is easy. You can download a version from:

http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/#download.

I think that Adobe could do a better job with this application. First off, the application should give the user an option to search for all .pdf files in common areas on your computer (for example: My Documents) and add them to the library automatically. They could also provide a Tools > Options… for adding folders for the application to scan for updated .pdf files. This could be done in the background. A desktop icon was added and it was easy to drag and drop my .pdf files onto the program.

Adobe Digital Editions Icon

I like the UI a lot. Looks like they programmed this in Visual Studio .Net 3.0 utilizing WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), but then again I do not have .Net 3.0 on my home computer, so I guess they did not take that route. This application makes me feel like my XP machine is running a Vista program. The dark theme is nice, but I think some of the colors chosen for the font on the left (the maroon red) makes the selected bookshelf text a little hard to read. I personally don’t like to read books on my computer, and it seems as though this application is intended for this. I also don’t purchase .pdf’s or borrow any .pdf files. Borrow and Purchase are Categories that are already created for you, and they cant be deleted. I also don’t know how to store documents into those bookshelves. It would also be nice if there were a feature to “view all uncategorized” documents. This would make it easier to find the documents that still need to be organized.

On a side note I also like the idea of labels from GMAIL. I wish that others like Adobe would incorporate this concept. Allowing users the ability to tag or label documents (not limiting them to one folder or one category or on bookshelf) makes organizing documents and books much nicer. You could then have a label that could be Microsoft Books or WROX Books, and a programming language like C# or C++ and then label a document with two labels or tags like WROX Books and C++.

I search for just about everything. I use search to find email, documents of certain types, research, etc. But there isn’t any global search feature to search all documents within your library. This feature does not exist in this release. I think it should be added.

I also encountered a software bug when trying to move a lot of files from the “All Items” List View to the new Bookshelf. When trying to view the new Bookshelf, the List View then gets screwed up and you can not view your documents. Here is an example screenshot of the “List View” error. Notice that item one’s text is screwed up. It looks like it is trying to put all the documents on one line. I have over 10 documents listed here and only two items show up. Take a look!

Adobe Digital Editions

Conclusion:

Does It Deserve a 1.0 Status? No. I think Adobe should have put some more development time into this product before releasing it to the public as a 1.0 release. I feel this release should have been a RC1 status. I don’t feel the 1.0 build has been QA’d well enough. Gosh, it reminds me of Safari on Windows. Try Again! Sorry Adobe, but I expected more from you. We will have to see what the next version looks like. I hope it is more robust.