Libronix Digital Library System

I am again disappointed in my search for a replacement for my old InfoBase Folio Bound Views 3. Libronix talked big, but failed to deliver.

Libronix claimed to use an open format, so that you could access your data even if they go out of business, or whatever. Great! except, once I downloaded a couple demo copies of the content, none of it was in that open format. Further, if you want to create your own files, called PBBs, you have to 1) buy the Personal Book Builder ($250), 2) get a PBB activation code (included with any LOGOS product - starting at $150, going up to $1,380). 3) re-activate your product every year. Okay, now with this, all you have is the BASIC type of book, there is no way to designate a new book as a dictionary or a commentary, it's just a book. You are also legally unable to sell your PBB book. In order to allow it to be sold, you must pay various unknown fees. For $100, you can buy the Private Book Builder. This will let you create books that only your licensed user can access.

There are also claims that it uses the "free" libronix reader. Well, I still haven't been able to get that to work. The free download asks me for my SN (located on the CD I purchased .... wait, I thought it was free?), a customer code and an activation number. I am not against people trying to protect their property, but why all the hassle when it is supposedly free? As of now, I have not found a place on their site to get any of those three required numbers. My copy will expire in 40 days, so at least they give me some time to try and solve the problem.

Okay, so it fails the openness test, what about the product itself? Is it worth the hassle?

It's an okay program, but lacking in a few key areas, like the scroll button on your mouse doesn't work. The books all open on top of each other, only taking up the left hand side of the screen. There is a English concordance for the KJV, but even though I have a Strong's concordance installed, I cannot look words up with it in any useful manner. The hebrew and greek fonts are hard to read, as they didn't expect people to actually look at them. And so on. I only used it for a few minutes, so I haven't found everything I dislike yet.

What about content? There are indeed a few books that they offer that are great resources, BUT they are charging $50 for $10 books. They also have an agenda, conscious or not, involving only mainstream, conservative, protestant, evangelical Christian ideology. I know it is maybe a little too much to ask, but what about books geared toward Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses? Nope, but they do have a whole section on how to convert them back to the true gospel. There are no books about more edgy topics, but plenty of books that dredge out the same old tripe that has been going around for years. For instance, I doubt that I could find any reference to evolution other than bashing it to pieces. Is this because these edgy books are unknown to most people? No, I can find them in my local library (and I live in a small town). Is this because the publishers are awful people and don't see the benefit of electronically distributing their content? No, I have seen them on other digital library websites. Hence my conclusion that LOGOS/Libronix has an agenda.

A List of Woes...

Excessive DRM
Lack of great content
Commercial Content filtered by denominational creed
Lack of a truly free reader
The inability to create your own personal data, with full functionality
The exorbitant prices attached to all functionality
Clunky User Interface

4 comments:

BIBLEfreak said...

I couldn't disagree more with your comments on Libronix. Taking the time to say so is evidence of my disagreement. Libronix, is the best hands down bible study software on the market today! It just keeps getting better.

I have never had a problem contacting or receiving assistance from the company. You might want to try that.

I say to everyone, "get and try Libronix. It's a fantastic product!" Every concern in this post is resolved with a little patience and time, and Libronix technical support is outstanding!

Blessings!

Sophia said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.

I did get my copy of Libronix registered, it just took a while. If I had purchased one of their products, it would have been simple and problem free.

But, that aside, I do not see how a little patience can solve any of the problems I listed aside from the user interface.

With a lot of patience, they might resolve some of my objections over time, and that is why I will try it out in a couple years to see where they are.

If you have any specific ways to solve the problems listed at the end of the post, please share. I would like nothing better than to find a piece of software that I can happily use.

Simon said...

Although I think Libronix is a decent piece of software, I am concerned at the lack of ability in creating your own books unless you want to renew the licence every year and pay an excessive amount of money.

I have been using Bible programmes for over 10 years and have many resources in various formats. It would be great to put them all in one programme, but this is difficult. The closest I have come is with E-Sword which allows module creation. It is techie and involved. E-Sword modules do not require an annual renewal.

I know there are issues with copyright, but I actually have tons of resources, albeit in different formats. I have no issues of conscience converting a legally paid for digital book into another format. These companies make a profit by selling the same book in different formats, which forces people to purchase the same book again.

Although the E-Sword route is involved and requires effort. I believe in the long run I can create a library I can use for years, without fears of yet another format and re-purchasing my library.

It would be great if all books came in one format and could be read by all.

Pastor Rod said...

Sophia,

I share many of your concerns. Their books are generally overpriced. They are selling public domain works as if they were new. I also am concerned about their DRM scheme and its long-term viability. I find it absurd that users cannot create their own content without restriction.

You would think that they would have learned from Adobe's success with Acrobat.