From VitalSource Technologies, Inc.:
Use VitalSource Bookshelf to download and access VitalSource textbooks on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Read your books online or offline, search across your full library, and create notes and highlights to help you study.Bookshelf Features: Download books to your iOS device for easy online or offline reading. Simple, user-friendly navigation and a clean reading experience. Search inside your current book or across your full library. Select text to create notes or highlights from your mobile device. Tap to open figures, view captions and pinch to zoom. Sync your bookmarks, last page read and all of your notes and highlights between your iOS device and our desktop or web-based Bookshelf apps.Requirements: VitalSource Bookshelf account Access to one or more VitalSource textbooks iOS 7+
The only pro is the ability to sync notes and highlights across a variety of devices. Of course, this is standard today.
Too many to count. In a nutshell, the navigation is extremely frustrating. I am using VitalSource because I am forced to do so by my University. To flip back and forth between an illustration and analysis a few pages later is a major ordeal. There is no bookmarking feature, so you have to use highlights to navigate to specific places. The highlighter itself is a major mess, and takes time to learn. Then today, I opened my text to chapter three where I've been reading on my iPad, and all my highlights are gone - yep, gone! Their support tells me I need to use the online, browser version to ensure that my highlights are stored on their server until they fix a bug - with no estimated time of repair.
I think this platform was originally intended for short-novels. If you are thinking of vitalsource for textbooks, don't do it!!
This is just another useless book reader. Is it because of the book reader itself or the inherent publication format I can't say, however, a reasonable book reader should act like a publisher of sorts, i.e. imposing some standards as of what the layout and overall presentation of the book is. I've purchased a book just because I wanted it in electronic format and its seller forced me to read it via this awkward book reader. The reader does not offer any portability (can't upload your other books into it or download the vitalsource book into other book readers). You can browse the book via the table of contents, i.e. via chapters, however, you will never know what page you are at. If there are page references embedded within any of the chapters you will never be able to figure out what page you are at. You are not allowed to print but a page at a time.
Provide many forms of access, an affordable alternative to expensive textbooks.
Many, Many problems. The files take a long time to download, and then after they have been downloaded they mysteriously disappear and you have to redownload them losing any saved highlights. Personally, this happened to me the week of an exam making it so I had to re-read every single chapter! The books are still expensive and you only have them for a limited amount of time. In addition, the mobile version doesn't allow you to highlight anything but it is good for quick reviews I guess. If you are printing, one page prints as 1 and a half pages, making it quite difficult to simply print and read the chapters. The views are either too big or too small. There isn't a zoom button, so you can only adjust the size of the font by adjusting the screen.
I purchased this because I had to, and have been nothing but let down. I have used electronic books before. Vital source was the only one that had my current textbooks which is why I used it. I would never recommend this product to anyone until they severely modify it. You need a reliable source to study from and vital source was not reliable whatsoever.