The Electronic Book format was introduced by Sony to provide a standard
method for publishers to record text, graphics and sound information
on 8cm CD ROM discs. The EB format provides six search methods: Word,
Endword, Keyword, Multi-Search, Menu Search and Graphic Search. A given
Book or Volume can support any or all of these methods.
Up to eight volumes can be included on one "Book" (disc) and users can
jump via hypertext links to text, graphics or audio. Graphical menus are
available on many Books. Eight centimeter CD-ROM discs can hold up to
six hours of ADPCM audio and roughly 200 MB of digital information. EB
discs are taken out of the 8cm caddy and played directly on the Mac or
PC. Tray type CD-ROM drives typically support the 8cm discs on the tray
itself. For caddy based 12cm drives, the widely available 8cm adapter
can be attached to the disc and then inserted into the 12cm caddy. The
adapter is included with the software.
There are over 100 publishers supporting the EB format in Japan. Portable
EB players are now being manufactured by Sony and Kyushu Matsushita.
Several IBM PC compatible manufacturers are now supporting the format
such as IBM Japan, NEC, and Matsushita Denki. EB discs can also be played
on Sega CD-ROM game machines.