Stanza for Mac is an e-book reader for Mac OS and iOS devices. Available from the App Store, the basic Stanza for Mac is free for a trial period, then must be updated to unlock all the features. Stanza is a third party application that provides additional functionality to OS X system and enjoys a popularity among Mac users. However, instead of installing it by dragging its icon to the Application folder, uninstalling Stanza may need you to do more than a simple drag-and-drop to the Trash. Stanza, now a universal app for the iPhone and iPad alike, is an e-reader from Lexcycle. Lexcycle, in turn, has been bought by Amazon since our first review of the then iPhone-only Stanza appeared.
Lexcycle, best known for its successful, top-selling iPhone app Stanza, has been acquired by online book seller Amazon. Though the two companies make competing e-book reading software for the iPhone, for now, Lexcycle will operate as an independent subsidiary.
The company, in addition to its iPhone app, makes a desktop version of Stanza for Mac OS X and Windows. Stanza Desktop can sync e-books wirelessly with the iPhone version, and both support a number of formats, including TXT, RTF, PDF, and DOC, as well as DRM-free versions of Kindle, Mobipocket, and PalmDoc. The iPhone version can also read Fictionwise's eReader format, with or without DRM, as well as the open ePub format.
Despite the competition that Fictionwise's content has with the Kindle's e-books, as well as the competing iPhone e-book reader applications, Amazon insists that it won't kill off Stanza nor will it necessarily combine the capabilities of both iPhone apps. 'As a standalone business unit within Amazon, Lexcycle will maintain its business model while continuing to innovate as new opportunities arise,' Amazon spokesperson Cinthia Portugal told Ars via e-mail. 'The goal is for the combination of the two company's strengths to offer great experiences for ebook readers.'
However, Stanza users aren't optimistic that Amazon will let things be. Mobipocket, which offers e-books for a number of mobile devices, was also acquired by Amazon. So far, the company has been unable to release an iPhone version, and at least one person has alleged that Amazon blocked Mobipocket from releasing an iPhone app. Further, the acquisition puts a large chunk of the e-book reader market under Amazon's control.
The best case scenario, however, is that Amazon will combine the best of both worlds. If a single iPhone app could read all the formats of Stanza (along with encrypted Kindle format) and have better control over text formatting, the move could prove popular. Further, Amazon could adopt Stanza desktop as a companion to Kindle as well. For now, e-books seem to be the future of reading, and Amazon is putting itself in a position to be in control of that market.Hi Ricardo,
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Are you sure that you're using the correct download link on the CNet download page? Try going to:
Then make sure you use the link that VoiceOver identifies as 'Download Now CNET Secure Download' to start your download. One of the nuisances about the download.com pages is that there are multiple items labeled as 'download' links on each page, and they point to downloads for other items.
I just checked that this works, and that the resulting download does open up correctly. Lexcycle's home pages have been off line since November 2011, slightly after their final update release of Stanza for iOS 5, so you can't go there for the downloads of Stanza Desktop for either the Mac or Windows any more. Sites that point to the source link, such as MacUpdate, won't work. On the Windows side there are more alternate sources, but the softonic pages seem to be a reasonable choice for Stanza desktop:
I was going to put this information into a comment on the AppleVis site, along with some information on how to navigate, but just never had the time to complete my draft. I assume you're going to use this for file format conversions, which is what the app was primarily designed for, as well as an uploader for the Stanza iOS app. You can use it to read ePub, but there are some focus issues. Like, if you if you try to use the bookmarks function to move to a page, you need to move to the first visible item with VO-Command-Home in order to start reading at the first paragraph on that page.
Most of the web navigation commands can be used (enabling the 1 letter navigation feature in VoiceOver Utility for QuickNav is useful), and navigation by headers works well. You can navigate by paragraph, line, sentence, word, character, etc. Hope you're not planning on using this as an ePub reader, because while it's doable if you take time to work through the focus quirks, I find the experience annoying, so for straight text reading (not interacting to review text) Adobe Digital Editions Preview 1.8 is better, or even the new paid app, Bookle, in the App Store, which is still somewhat primitive. (You don't have to press an arrow key to read the next page, the way you currently do in Adobe Digital Editions Preview, but it's irritating that, for example, you can't move back from the start of a chapter to the last page in the previous chapter with one key press -- you get taken to the start of the previous chapter.)
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