Q: I tried to check out an ePub (or PDF) from Axis 360. What is the .acsm file that it downloaded instead?
Publishers want to ensure that Library eBooks are DRM (digital rights management) protected to prevent copyrighted material from being unlawfully copied and to allow eBooks to be "checked out" for a specific time period. Axis 360 handles these permissions with their own file format managed directly in the Axis 360 app or a web browser.
However, Adobe ePub files are a great option if you want to use Adobe-based eReading software on Mac or for certain eInk devices. That’s where the acsm (Adobe Content Server Manager) files come in. It’s kind of like a ticket booth (acsm file) that gives you a ticket and a map to get to a theme park ride (ePub file). The little acsm file has information that tells the Adobe Content Server that your personal Adobe ID has permission to download a particular eBook on any Adobe-authorized device for a set amount of time. Then your device will download the actual ePub from the server. The system just makes sure you have your ticket before you can get on the ride.
Follow these steps:
- Make sure your device has a program or app that will support DRM-protected ePubs, like Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire Reader app, and that you're signed in with your Adobe ID.
- After you check out an eBook from our Axis 360 collection, select the Download option (which will download the acsm file) for that title, then open the file.
- This should automatically launch your Adobe-based program (from step 1) and begin the process of assigning your Adobe ID and downloading the eBook in the ePub or PDF format.
See our Step by Step guides for more detailed walk-throughs for various devices.