Ion Audio’s Book Saver: Digitize Your Library!

So, what’s to be done with all those books cluttering up your apartment/house? 

You ditched your C.D. collection years ago, converting everything to digital and loading up your iPod, but those pesky books,  they’re everywhere!  From the bedroom to the living room, you’re using them as coasters, as an end table, maybe to even out an off kilter table.  Hell, there’s even a couple sitting on the back of the toilet tank!

What can you do? 

Well, lucky for you, there’s no need to go to such extremes.  The good folks at Ion Audio have the answer to your problem.  Scan it!

Debuting at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, the Ion Audio Book Saver promises to do for the world of books what the home P.C. did for your C.D. collection. Simply put, it’s a super fast photo scanner, optimized to scan print and store it on an SD card in digital form.  From there, it’s a virtual hop, skip and a jump, and there you go, the book is now a pdf file on the computer available to be uploaded to your eReader of choice.  Ion Audio claims their scanner can scan 2 pages per second (they claim similar products can only scan one page every seven seconds) using two cameras and a flash while the book sits comfortably in an angled cradle.  The only thing that slows down the process is the operator; pages do have to be flipped by hand after all.

Promoted as a quick way to convert your books, comics or magazines to a digital format, the Book Saver is projected to cost about $150 U.S. (and I would imagine slightly higher in Cdn funds).  It is also projected to cost the textbook publishing industry much more than that.  Vito Pilieci’s  January 13 article in The National Post outlines some of the copyright issues the advent of the Book Saver might have. 

Just like the music industry was ravaged by digital piracy, there are fears that the publishing industry might undergo the same trials.  After all, in the case of textbooks, why would everyone in the class pay full price for a textbook when they can pay their entrepreneurial friend (who has a Book Saver) a discounted price? 

However, this leads to the next question: what if the book is out of print?  Does the publisher really have a legal right to intellectual property that they’re not willing or able to disseminate?  I suspect the lawyers will be busy for years with questions of copyright and who owns what.

My point of view: I bought the book.  I own the book.  I’m going to convert the book and save myself some space around the house.


 (For a neat demonstration video of the Book Saver, check out this video on youtube)


5 thoughts on “Ion Audio’s Book Saver: Digitize Your Library!

  1. I am sick of hearing how every slight bit of tech that comes out is going to destroy another industry. These huge publishers and developers need to face the facts that there wasn’t always a music industry or a publishing industry..these things change over time and the people that succeed long term are the ones who change with it. There is no difference between this and an old scanner other than ease of use. No one guarantees any market type success..Back in the day there use to be cassette tapes and you could record music at your discretion..The music industry didn’t go belly up..people have been loaning books for ever..and there are these things called libraries that loan out hundreds of book all the time for FREE..Imagine the harm. It’s time for industry to stop complaining about digital media and get on board with it. Maybe there won’t be as much money out there for a while. I know I don’t have as much these days. Time to grow up boys and girls and join the new world and new market place.


  2. I don’t know how it is in Canada, but in the States the publishers really gouge students on the price of textbooks; I remember spending over $1000 a quarter on engineering books twenty-five years ago, and it must be much worse now. I won’t waste any sympathy on those…people. I’m looking forward to digitizing all my technical books except those I use for reference – about twenty linear feet of shelf space’s worth.


    • Yeah, Marc, it’s pretty much the same here. I spent over $100 on a single book for a Marketing course last year (Thank God it was the only coursebook). The course itself was only about $250. Every year a “new” edition of coursebooks come out, with relatively few changes, but just enough so that the old coursebooks are considered “obselete.” It’s a scam of the highest order.


  3. Ion Audio cancelled the product. Bad form Ion, you promised consumers the product for months and months and then pull it out from underneath us. I will never buy another Ion Audio product.


    • I agree Daryl. Pretty bad form to promise what looked to be an amazing product and then not commit to seeing it through. I’ll have to check into it further, see what the issue was. Such a shame.


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