Tag Archives: Lev

iBooks Author


Hi, my name is Vitaliy. I graduated from Clark College with an Associate in Arts Degree. This is my first semester as a freshman at WSU Vancouver. The plan is to major in Computer Science.

iBooks Author is an application created by Apple to create gorgeous, multi-touch textbooks for the iPad. According to Manovich, there are five characteristics that identify a new media object. The characteristic of numerical representation applies to iBooks Author because it is an application that stores information electronically using a binary code (Manovich 25). The characteristic of modularity is also satisfied by iBooks Author. Manovich states that elements are combined together, yet still continue to remain separate (Manovich 30). In iBooks Author, the author has the option to make his/her textbook interactive by adding widgets such as galleries, videos, diagrams, 3D objects, and much more various items. These elements are all combined in a digital textbook, yet still remain separate from one another. Automation is the third characteristic that defines a new media object. Automation assists the individual through “agents” such as templates so that “human intentionality can be removed from the creative process” (Manovich 32). iBooks Author has many templates designed by Apple to assist the individual and make the textbook look stunning instantly. The fourth characteristic of variability is also achieved by iBooks Author. A new media object must be able to arise in many different versions in order to have variability (Manovich 36). With iBooks Author, the individual can create textbooks for a variety of subjects, as well as create more volumes for the same subject. The fifth and final characteristic, transcoding, has not been left out by iBooks Author. The media that is generated must be readable by the human, as well as the computer (Manovich 45). There is no doubt that that the textbooks can be read by applications such as iBooks or iTunes U, and these applications can decide if the textbook is the correct file format, file type, or size. iBooks author is a powerful, yet amazing tool for creating digitally-interactive textbooks, and fulfills the characteristics of a new media object.


New Media Objects: Lev Manovich – What is New Media?

There are various different examples of new media within the world today. These examples range from a variety of items found on the internet as well as in everyday life. For example, an item such as an alarm clock can be interpreted to be “new media” following the terms given out by Lev Manovich. This is because the terms used do not all have to be included in this one digital item. If it fulfills any few categories of “new media” then it can be considered to be new media (49). This follow me as problematic; however, irrelevant to the topic in question. Primarily, these terms are just guidelines in an attempt to define new media as he stated (49). What then is something that can be considered to be “new media”? A cell phone, a tablet, a desktop monitor, anything that seems to involve automation and numerical representation is adequate to be considered “new media”. A cell phone for example would fall under the terms, numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and perhaps transcoding. Simple things such as numerical representation and modularity can be seen immediately. Any cell phone is coded with a numerical system that follows algorithms in order to act or function. Modularity means that it includes multiple different objects or created from such objects (51). “Apps” and other parts of the cell phone is more than enough to fulfill this category. Furthermore, automation and variability are also very basic additions to cellular phones (even though Manovich calls them more middle ground (63)). Automation within cellular phones through the use of voice mails, alarms, etc. Variability can be seen through the various amounts of cell phones out there that serve the same purpose. It seems that variability is a must now in society not because of the need for it to be new media but rather for the necessity of being different. As for transcoding which has a broader definition involving culture (63) it can be seen throughout different cultures the need or lack of need for a cellular phone. Many cultures still use verbal communication passed on through other people as well as letters. In more modernized and less egalitarian cultures one can see the use of cellular phones more often not just serving as a method of communication but a way of organizing his/her own thoughts, reading emails, reading the news and also browsing the web. Although cellular phones are not as modern as they seem to be, they can still be considered new media as it’s technology develops. However, it seems that perhaps anything technological can be considered to be new media for as long as it fulfills one of the 5 or infinite requirements.