When people go from storing their music on CDs to using harddisks and MP3-players, they can fairly easily convert their CDs.
I’m sure one of the reason the iPod got so popular was because iTunes makes this process really easy.
However, the same doesn’t really apply to books and films.
People don’t tend to rip all their DVDs and then consign them to the loft, and this is not just because typical harddisks aren’t large enough to store a family’s DVD collection, but also because the software doesn’t make it easy and intuitive.
And when it comes to books, scanning a book requires you to turn the pages, which means that it’ll take hours to scan a book, and if you also want to run OCR on the scan, it’ll take even longer.
So if the publishing houses are serious about getting people onto e-readers, and if the film studios want us to ditch the DVDs (and Blu-ray disks), they need to make it easy to migrate.
For movies, it might just be a software issue, but for books, something else is needed.
We either need to get cheap book scanners that can turn the pages themselves, or we need to be allowed to download electronic versions of our old books for free if we can somehow prove that we do indeed own the paper version.
I know that I would be very happy to throw out the vast majority of my books if I could quickly get them onto my harddisk, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.