The ebook market keeps trying to get off the ground. In the early days of ebooks, Microsoft and Adobe were the heavy hitters, both pushing their respective software and ebook formats. Both gained momentum, sputtered and died. The second wave of ebooks has been with hardware readers from Sony and Amazon. The Kindle and the Kindle II have become one of the more sought after gadgets on the market.
The end result of this instability is that the little fish in the ebook pond have been able to garner something of a cult following. One such little fish is TomeRaider. While it doesn’t have the backing of a heavyweight like Microsoft or Adobe (or even Amazon), TomeRaider makes up for this in a number of other ways.
To see what TomeRaider has to offer, follow the link.
TomeRaider reads files that are encoded using the .tr3 file format. As is fairly standard with ebooks, individual books can be broken up into chapters for easy navigation. Bookmarks can also be used to hold your place. ClearType, which is a Microsoft Technology that uses anti-aliasing to enhance readability, is supported as well. TomeRaider files are also fully searchable, allowing you to find what you are looking for with ease.
One thing worth mentioning is that TomeRaider seems to have a focus on reference material. For example, some of the content that is prominently displayed on the TomeRaider home page are things like WikiPedia and IMDB; both of which are huge internet based databases. There is some additional functionality built into TomeRaider that lends itself to browsing this kind of massive repository of information. Filters in particular allow you to access data based on category information embedded within the file.
Like the host of ebook readers before, TomeRaider uses its own file format to store content. Unlike the aforementioned ebook heavyweights, TomeRaider doesn’t have the massive content marketplace with which to serve up content. Most of the content available on TomeRaider’s website is freely available elsewhere on the internet. The upside that TomeRaider gives you is that this content is available offline. Additionally, all of the content on the TomeRaider site is free; the desktop version also allows you to create your own .tr3 files, giving you access to a number of additional resources on the internet (such as Project Gutenberg).
This one really depends on what you’re wanting. I found the software side of things to be functional, but mostly no-frills. There wasn’t much in the way of knock-your-socks-off features or anything like that. Content wise, I found some classic books that are among my favorites. And the ability to create .tr3 files from text is very appealing given the sheer size of something like Project Gutenberg. I personally don’t find the idea of carrying something like Wikipedia or IMDB in my pocket to be among my priorities, but the referenceware bent of TomeRaider isn’t a bad application for a software solution of this nature.
The bottom line is that if you’re looking for a way to carry some books around, give TomeRaider a try. I just wouldn’t expect to find any recent best sellers in the list of available content, and the $38 price point is pretty high.