Google Books and Google Play

I just discovered something new (for me at least) about Google Books. I looked at an older posting of mine on my blog and found this link to the Royal Commission report on the management of the British Museum (where Panizzi’s catalog is discussed), and the link was: http://books.google.com/ebooks?id=ajFDAAAAcAAJ which used to go into the normal Google Books interface but now it throws me into the books section of Google Play. It turns out that when I am on Google Play, I cannot find a way to download the pdf except (apparently) by downloading an app (free), although I haven’t done this yet because I do not want the app. Reading on Google Play is also inferior, in my opinion.

The original interface still exists however, where I can just download the pdf: http://books.google.com/books?id=ajFDAAAAcAAJ. The difference is in the URL, from the
http://books.google.com/books (regular interface)
http://books.google.com/ebooks (Google Play interface)

It doesn’t seem to work for all books. Full view or preview mode seems always to have a Google Play interface, while snippet view or no view may or may not have a Google play interface, e.g. a book with a snippet view:
http://books.google.com/books?id=I5cb5M4OgQgC, and the
http://books.google.com/ebooks?id=I5cb5M4OgQgC gets a zero result.

But here is one by Ann Rice (no ebook available)
http://books.google.com/books?id=uxd4r90RMsgC which, when you change the URL
http://books.google.com/ebooks?id=uxd4r90RMsgC
actually redirects the URL to a page, although you cannot get the book through Google Play.

I can’t find anyone else who has mentioned this change to Google Books, but I would suspect that Google will change its Google Books interface over to the Google Play completely, thereby making the pdf download available only through their app, which will give them tons and tons more information to play with.

I thought I should share this discovery.

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