Hi all. First, would like to say that I am very impressed with the level of attention and knowledge on this board.
I need to create a downloadable product as follows: 60 pages (MS Word) ebook with two 30 minute videos for distribution. We will be charging between $199 and $299 for the package, so security and anti-piracy are of the utmost importance.
I have been researching compilers and have downloaded a few programs, but cannot judge how they ACTUALLY work in the real world.
The most important features are PayPal payments, automatic PIN distribution and security - don't want the videos in a temp folder.
I am currently considering Ebook Gold and Activ Ebook. I like the idea of Active Ebook because of this great forum, but the need for all the extra downloads for security and automation are a bit daunting when I just don't have the time to keep messing with it if it doesn't work right the first time.
Anyone with practical knowledge of these programs in the real world? Would greatly appreciate your input as I start to design the pages on 03/12/07.
Also, given the videos and their potential size, can anyone recommend a method to quickly make the download manageable? Deliver in 2-3 parts?
You might want to consider using Activ with Hyprlock (the version that handles secure PDFs). For creating the PDF you'll need to use Acrobat Pro 8 -- this version handles flash video files within the file itself. Acrobat 8 is a little pricey. An alternative is to use Adobe's online PDF service ($10 a month or $100 a year).
Thanks for your response. The videos will be sold separately so people can buy the ebook only or bundled with the video. Hope to not go the PDF route.
The intriguing thing about ebook gold is the promise of smaller file sizes. Do you have any experience with that software? However, not at all impressed with their documentation created with their product. Pretty lame, actually. The best sample book I've downloaded was created by Activ Ebook. (Found on this forum - Alice in Wonderland.)
The problem with researching this is that all the info out there is marketing hype with little documentation on the realities of its functionality.
I just want a simple, reliable solution so I can get on with the creation, marketing and sales (my true field). Feel like I've wasted a lifetime on this already. *Sigh*
Storyman might correct me, but I believe that Activ E-Book will place your videos in an insecure temporary folder. I'm not sure how you would protect your videos but Storyman's idea about imbedding them in a PDF file is one solution, there may be others.
Regarding file size for your videos, personally I would prefer controlling file size myself. That way I can choose a compression level and quality I can live with.
The problem with the video is the size. They currently take up 2.9 gigs each. I am going to convert them to .mov, but don't want to require someone with a 56k modem to take all day downloading. Not to mention the customer service headaches that will go with that...
Will offer them as a DVD when funds allow, but need to deliver a few before reaching that point.
Ebook Gold makes some strong claims about security and file size that I cannot substantiate. Will HyprLock deliver the security I need?
Active E-Book is the solution I want to use simply because of people like you and Storyman. Your expertise and opinions are a valuable resource above and beyond what I could ever expect from other compilers.
Can I create the PDF without spending the high dollar to buy a PDF maker from Adobe?
Plenty of HTML to PDF converters out there, but as far as I can see only the Adobe Pro offers flash embedding for the time being. Took a look at it last night - not only a gigantic download, but pricey too. Does feature a 30-day trial period though....
I know I might appear to be self-serving, but I'd recommend saving your money and go with HYPrLock instead of Deadbolt. Having some experience with "on line database services" I find their features do not warrant the cost.
HYPrLock was designed specifically for Activ E-Book so that it didn't need an on line database.
Regarding download size:
I've done some work with videos and if I wanted to "shrink" the size down I'd use a dedicated video compression program, and not rely on an eBook compiler to do the best job. How ever you do it, I'll bet the file size is still going to be too large for a 56K modem. You'd better explain on your site how large the files will be and recommend high speed download only.
Because Activ does allow the video content to be unprotected is why my first suggestion was to use Acrobat Pro 8. Your videos should be secure within the PDF.
The next problem is how to make the PDF secure because there are several cheap programs available that crack the PDF's security. That's why I suggested HYPrLock's PDF program. Not only do you get PDF security, but an automatic payment system to boot. I agree with the post about the online security system's cost. HYPrLock is a proven workhorse.
Acrobat Pro 8 is pricey. After you've used up the 30-day trial consider going to the $20 per month online service Adobe offers ($100 per year in advance). If you search for 'PDF' at Adobe's site you'll find more info.
If you use any ebook compiler alone your media files will lack security. With the media files locked in a PDF file and wrapped within Activ offers you the best protection (note: this applies to PDF created by Acrobat 8+). The reason is that there are plenty of PDF crackers available for little money. All you need is the user's password.
When the PDF is wrapped inside Activ/HYPrLock the user is never privy to the user's password. Be aware there are other programs that suggest that they can do the same thing, BUT they do not use password protected PDFs, which means the PDF is opened in a temp file AND IS UNPROTECTED.
A couple of months ago I inquired with an online service that offered a protection scheme for PDFs. In the end I found that the PDFs were vulnerable because to make their system work you have to use unprotected PDFs. What bothered me about the service is the way they attempted to dodge the questions about security. It was only after about six email exchanges that they confessed that their system used unprotected PDFs.
Acrobat offers a two password scheme...owner and user. As mentioned the problem is that there are cracker programs available to unlock PDFs if the user password is available. Adobe does offer a more sophisticated system. However, this system runs around $40K. A couple of companies have licensed the rights and offer online services. These online services are extremely expensive (close to a $1K). The reason I mention all of this is that any service who offers a system like Adobe's high end service has to either have the rights to their high end security system or has violated the terms of agreement with PDF files. Which leaves us with how to secure your PDF.
Without going to the $40K system you only alternative is to secure your PDF with a user password, which takes us right back to the best method to thwart rip-off artist is to hide the user password with the Activ/HYPrLock combo.
Thanks for your explanation about HYPrLock' PDF security. It's difficult trying to explain that HYPrLock is the only PDF security system that uses a "double pass" security system (with invisible passwords). This ensures PDF files always remain protected, even in the temp file.
HYPrLock maintains exclusive control of password entry. Customers never enter the PDF passwords - they never even see the PDF passwords. This prevents PDF password sharing.
If I can ask something similar.Ive written my ebook (200 pages in Word initially) and it has lots of little video and audio clips in it. The base folder is 100s of MB in size. I have ebook gold and want to create the ebook to deliver on DVD so people can copy it to their computer and then register and run it. Am having problems generating the ebook - does anyone know if its possible to do what I want or are the files too big? The Flash swf and flv files total 256MB...
My ebook is about 150 pages with over 400 word documents, 90 minutes of audio and a flash introduction. It is only 30MB.
If I were you, I'd look into different file compression for your clips. Set the audio to the lowest rate you are willing to sell. I am using 32 for my MP3's and have also created copies at 24 and 16 so the customer can decide what they want to download. The 16 and 24 sound about the same and are good quaility over small speakers, but not so much with headphones. Each drop off cut the file size significantly.
A GREAT free audio editor, recorder and converter is Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/). It is almost professional quality software and can convert files to many formats and compressions.
Otherwise, I don't anything about how ebook gold works because I used Activ Ebook to create my book with no problems - compiled correctly the first try. Plus HyrLock is also ready to roll with it, but somewhat more cryptic to use.
The Electronic DeadBolt offers a fully automated security solution for PDF's for both Windows and Mac (from a single file) using the cross-platform Java language. There are no known firewall or rights issues with this file format. The only time an Internet connection is required is during the initial registration, but then the customer needs to be connected anyways in order to download the file. Then at the final authorization check in 30 or 45 days, whatever the author prefers. Alternatively, the author could choose an "Always On" Internet connection requirement and this allows them to remotely deactivate the file from opening at anytime. Once the file is opened, there is no Internet connection required. Author can choose to allow printing or not. There is a one-time programming and setup fee of $149.95 and an annual renewal fee of $50 for unlimited registrations of the file. The file is hosted on the Authors websites. Author can download a full report of all registrations and see registration in real-time. Customers registering the file receive an email with their registration code OR can obtain it online.
(Edited by ebdsupportteam at 1:04 pm on Aug. 3, 2011)
The Electronic DeadBolt works on Windows and Mac using the cross-platform Java technology.
Authors can choose to allow or not allow printing of pages.
The only time an Internet connection is required is when the file is first registered and then at the final check point which is determined by the author.
Alternatively, the author could choose to always require an Internet connection when the file is opened thereby allowing immediate remote deactivation of the file on that persons' computer. (Note: Once the file is opened, an Internet connection is not required.)
There is a one-time programming fee of $149.95 USD and an optional annual renewal fee of $50. The author distributes the file from any websites they choose and can have an unlimited number of registrations.
Clients registering the file on their computer recieve an email containing their unique registration code. This code can also be obtained online by the client.
A working demo of the Electronic DeadBolt can be accessed at this page:
PDF to Word Converter Pro converts all text and images from PDF files, and also preserves the original page layout in the created Word doc files. On the Internet you can find many ebooks in PDF format. Ebooks, or books in digital format, allow readers to build a large library consisting of small electronic files rather than having to store the entire library on bookshelves or in boxes. To build your ebook library, transfer the PDF files to your computer.
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