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What is EPUB 3? by Matt Garrish

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The Goodies

So far I’ve been alluding to the fact that EPUB 3 has much more to offer than its predecessor and the competing formats on the market, without offering specifics. Well, the time has come to really get into how EPUB is set to change the traditional print-based publishing landscape.

Multimedia

That EPUB 3 is based on HTML5 means that you have the audio and video elements available to you for embedding multimedia content directly into the flow of your document. Always wanted to create a science textbook with audio directions and video demos so that students don’t have to muddle their way through graphics and lists of instructions? Well, there’s nothing stopping you now. Want to add an audio clip of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to your textbook on the Civil Rights movement? Now you can with no special player needed. EPUB 3 requires support for the MP3 format, so insert your audio element and reference your clip and you’re done. You can safely sit back and relax as your book goes to market, knowing that all your readers will be able to listen to it.

Want to go a little fancier and add the actual video clip of the speech so that your students get a more compelling presentation? No problem, same story…almost. Embedding your clip is still as easy as adding the HTML5 video element, but, as we touched on briefly earlier, in a rare exception to the specification, there isn’t a single video format that all players are guaranteed to support, so you have to be a little ...

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