View Full Version : Reasons I'm not getting a Kindle but the Sony 505 instead.


Astropin
11-29-2007, 03:42 PM
1) Price......a hundred bucks (actually a little over) is a big difference. This coming from a guy who paid $700 for a PS3 :).....and NO I am not a Sony fan boy. Yes I realize the Kindle has wireless tech built in....but I don't need that.

2) The Kindle is frigging ugly......the Sony looks nice.

3) I see no major issues with Sony Connect.....sure it's not as refined as Amazon.....but they have dropped their prices and I'm finding "most" of the books I would like. Not to mention the other sources for books online. I should be able to get virtually everything I want onto the Sony.

If you don't really want the wireless features why would anyone buy the Kindle over the Sony? I'm trying to imagine a scenario where I suddenly NEED to download a book onto my reader? These things hold hundreds of books. Load up a bunch I have not read yet and I'm good to go for a long, long time.

Penforhire
11-29-2007, 03:54 PM
I'm wrestling with this question myself.

But you are forgetting another functionality - the keyboard. The ability to add bookmarked notes is useful, as is the dictionary/look-up function.

I'm probably still in agreement with you but it is a tough decision, having already bought a Sony 505 for my wife for Xmas. What will I get?

crionox
11-29-2007, 03:56 PM
Hi Astropin,

All good reasons, and some of these were issues I went back on forth on decided on a device myself (I eventually went with the Kindle, although for some different reasons). I hope you enjoy the Reader, it looks like a really nice device. Have you already been using it, or is this something you'll be getting soon and just decided on a camp?

David

Rocketime
11-29-2007, 03:58 PM
Keeping my 505 because:

1. The kindle doesn't have anything that I want. I read news on line, magazines are old news and I'll never pay to read a blog. I have access to a computer and internet 24/7 and thus no interest in EVDO downloading. I have a Franklin Dictionary I've had for years.

2. I much prefer the sony form factor.

3. I like metal over plastic.

4. I want the longest lasting battery.

5. Something all together new will be available sometime in late 08' or early 09'

Highjacked from another thread

Alexander Turcic
11-29-2007, 04:00 PM
Here is my #1 item for staying with Sony:

1. Whispernet won't work for non-US folks. This makes all the addon functionality of the Kindle redundant for my person.

Astropin
11-29-2007, 05:05 PM
Hi Astropin,

All good reasons, and some of these were issues I went back on forth on decided on a device myself (I eventually went with the Kindle, although for some different reasons). I hope you enjoy the Reader, it looks like a really nice device. Have you already been using it, or is this something you'll be getting soon and just decided on a camp?

David

Just decided on a camp.....after a lot of reading on this site and checking out "all" of the ebook sites. I do like some of the features Amazon offers. Their site is easier to use being a big one.....but not big enough (for me) to make up the cost and appearance differences. The superior battery life on the Sony is nice. It's rare that I need to look up a word while reading although that would be handy when I do need one. I like that I can purchase any LIT ebook and easily convert it for the Sony.

kpfeifle
11-29-2007, 05:23 PM
I too am going back and forth, but the replaceable battery and built in dictionary seem to have me leaning towards a Kindle!

NatCh
11-29-2007, 05:35 PM
I always find it interesting how different folks see different aspects of a devise to be more compelling. :nice: For me, the battery life and handier form-factor are what's keeping me with Sony ... or you might say on the Dark-Blue Side. :grin:

bingle
11-29-2007, 05:44 PM
I'm still going to keep my Sony Reader. And I'd buy another one, if I had to make the choice again.

However, I'm looking at the Kindle for my mother. I think the ease of buying books from Amazon, plus the availability of titles, makes it a very compelling platform for a person who doesn't want to spend time and effort to convert books to a specific format from free sources.

So... I see the Reader as being a better choice for geeks and people who don't mind fiddling a bit more with their gadgets. The Kindle is perhaps a better choice for people who want it to "just work".

Anyone else feel that divide?

tsgreer
11-29-2007, 06:13 PM
I'm still going to keep my Sony Reader. And I'd buy another one, if I had to make the choice again.

However, I'm looking at the Kindle for my mother. I think the ease of buying books from Amazon, plus the availability of titles, makes it a very compelling platform for a person who doesn't want to spend time and effort to convert books to a specific format from free sources.

So... I see the Reader as being a better choice for geeks and people who don't mind fiddling a bit more with their gadgets. The Kindle is perhaps a better choice for people who want it to "just work".

Anyone else feel that divide?

Yes! The Kindle is the America Online (AOL) of the readers! Remember how the techie people HATED America Online so much because of how all the people who didn't know anything could suddenly get online and say "me too!"

Actually that left a bad taste in my mouth because I love my Kindle. But I think it's the same comparison. The people who hate the Kindle seem to be the same ones that say "Come on, writing a little script code isn't hard ya moron!!" :grin2:

Don't get me wrong tho, I love the techie people that have made life so much easier for us non-techie people....

Alexander Turcic
11-29-2007, 06:15 PM
Wait 'till someone gets into the Kindle's firmware and starts writing custom hacks. THEN nobody is going to make the AOL analogy anymore ;)

slayda
11-29-2007, 06:17 PM
I too am going back and forth, but the replaceable battery and built in dictionary seem to have me leaning towards a Kindle!

I agree that these are good features. They were just not worth the extra cost to me & the other features were of no value to me.:disappoin

slayda
11-29-2007, 06:20 PM
Yes! The Kindle is the America Online (AOL) of the readers! Remember how the techie people HATED America Online so much because of how all the people who didn't know anything could suddenly get online and say "me too!"

Right!

Actually that left a bad taste in my mouth because I love my Kindle. But I think it's the same comparison. The people who hate the Kindle seem to be the same ones that say "Come on, writing a little script code isn't hard ya moron!!" :grin2:

Right, again!

Astropin
11-29-2007, 06:32 PM
I too am going back and forth, but the replaceable battery and built in dictionary seem to have me leaning towards a Kindle!

I can count at least three electronic devices that did NOT have a user replaceable battery that I HAVE replaced the battery on. It voids the warranty but if the battery is dead who gives a $h!#.

zartemis
11-29-2007, 06:35 PM
So... I see the Reader as being a better choice for geeks and people who don't mind fiddling a bit more with their gadgets. The Kindle is perhaps a better choice for people who want it to "just work".

Anyone else feel that divide?

Hmm. I'm a unix/linux admin and these days, I mostly want my non-work stuff to "just work".

I would say that the Kindle is closer to the Sonos (music system) of mp3 playback than AOL. Sonos is expensive, and "just works". Before Sonos, I used a hacked xbox, a Roku Soundbridge, and a Slim Devices Squeezebox. But Sonos blows them all away with ease of use and drop dead gorgeous design (of the handheld). And combined with Rhapsody (and their newer partnerships) the instant gratification of browsing, searching and then playing almost any song on a whim anywhere in the house wirelessly is a dream.

If only Kindle was drop dead gorgeous. :)

Alisa
11-29-2007, 06:43 PM
I'm still going to keep my Sony Reader. And I'd buy another one, if I had to make the choice again.

However, I'm looking at the Kindle for my mother. I think the ease of buying books from Amazon, plus the availability of titles, makes it a very compelling platform for a person who doesn't want to spend time and effort to convert books to a specific format from free sources.

So... I see the Reader as being a better choice for geeks and people who don't mind fiddling a bit more with their gadgets. The Kindle is perhaps a better choice for people who want it to "just work".

Anyone else feel that divide?

I would definitely recommend the Kindle for a non-technical person. It really is very easy to use. I don't think most technophobes would want to deal with converting books and all that. However, I'm a geek that loves to tinker and I still love the Kindle. I wouldn't mind doing the little bit of extra work with the Sony. If I had a Sony, I wouldn't have jumped on the Kindle at 1.0 stage. To me the decision wasn't particularly about the ease-of-use features like wireless delivery and conversion service. That's nice but not a big deal for me. It really came down to library/dictionary search functionality and titles available. It could've been less user-friendly and I would've chosen it over the Sony.

tsgreer
11-29-2007, 06:59 PM
Hmm. I'm a unix/linux admin and these days, I mostly want my non-work stuff to "just work".

I would say that the Kindle is closer to the Sonos (music system) of mp3 playback than AOL. Sonos is expensive, and "just works". Before Sonos, I used a hacked xbox, a Roku Soundbridge, and a Slim Devices Squeezebox. But Sonos blows them all away with ease of use and drop dead gorgeous design (of the handheld). And combined with Rhapsody (and their newer partnerships) the instant gratification of browsing, searching and then playing almost any song on a whim anywhere in the house wirelessly is a dream.

If only Kindle was drop dead gorgeous. :)

That's also an interesting thought I had. What if it was BEAUTIFUL?! I mean, how many people are hating it because of the "corporate monolith that is Amazon" rather than just the features and/or looks of it. Did we really think that Amazon was going to make an open-format reader? Sony didn't.

I have both and love both, so just making an observation. :) Where are all the people that didn't like the Sony because it didn't have a dictionary and they couldn't make notes in the text? Seems like they would be jumping for joy at the Sony.

Also what if it was worldwide (with the wireless thingy that would work everywhere)? Would that really change opinions? I don't know, I just feel that a lot of the bad feelings are people don't like the "corporate" aspect of it. I'm the opposite. I think that it's what will finally make ereaders take off, not kill them.

Alexander Turcic
11-29-2007, 07:11 PM
Also what if it was worldwide (with the wireless thingy that would work everywhere)? Would that really change opinions?

It would definitely make a difference to me! :knuddel:

Let's see, if I compare the Sony Reader with the Kindle today, I get the following:

* The Reader uses the newer screen technology (it has a newer E Ink controller, giving it 8 levels of grey rather than just 4). It looks better. It may feel better. It definitely runs longer. It's cheaper.

* The Kindle is supported by Amazon -- the biggest bookseller in the world. It has Whispernet, which comes at no extra cost allowing you to buy e-books from anywhere you are (given that you can use Sprint's EVDO connectivity). You'll never be out of books so to speak. You can access online sources like Wikipedia. You can even subscribe to daily newspapers. And you got the dictionary lookup feature.

Now, except for the fact that I could purchase my books from Amazon (offline only) and that I could use a dictionary (which, I admit, could come in quite handy given that I am not a native English speaker), I don't see a compelling reason for getting the Kindle rather than the Sony Reader, that is, as long I cannot use the online connectivity along with it.

Penforhire
11-29-2007, 07:35 PM
Well I, for one, am a big Amazon fan. I buy more stuff through them than you might imagine. But I'm not feeling warm and fuzzy about the Kindle. Nothing against Amazon.

I thought the Kindle used exactly the same e-ink screen but an older driver chip (which means... I dunno)?

Alexander Turcic
11-29-2007, 07:40 PM
I thought the Kindle used exactly the same e-ink screen but an older driver chip (which means... I dunno)?

Yes, the controller differs, which is why the Kindle supports 4 grey levels (2-bit) while the newer Sony Reader has 8 levels (3-bit).

The article in this thread has some more details regarding the controller technology: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16690

runciter
11-29-2007, 11:27 PM
I don't see a compelling reason for getting the Kindle rather than the Sony Reader, that is, as long I cannot use the online connectivity along with it.
Never mind the fact that Amazon won't sell you one :) It is odd they didn't go with GSM instead of CDMA, but I assume Sprint gave more favourable data rates and AT&T isn't exactly cheap with their HSDPA/UMTS rates and T-Mobile in the US only offers EDGE which as you know, isn't blazing.

But I think the big thing that you would use, if given the option, would be the search feature. That is a killer app for me. The wireless download of content is nice and being able to download another city's newspaper daily is a bonus, but search is the big reason why I went with Kindle. I do think the PRS-505 is sexy though. It needs bigger page forward/back buttons (but not Kindle big).

wallcraft
11-29-2007, 11:45 PM
I thought the Kindle used exactly the same e-ink screen but an older driver chip (which means... I dunno)? I have not seen a PRS-505, but I am very impressed by the Kindle screen. Page turns are fast (seem to depend on the screen, not the controller). Turning to a page with an image on it is slow, but the images are very good. There isn't a huge difference between Kindle images and the 16 grey scale images on a iLiad, although the latter are better if you look close up. The iLiad screen is not Vizplex, so a comparison of images on the PRS-505 (8 grey scale) vs the Kindle (4 grey scale) would be worth doing.

HarryT
11-30-2007, 04:23 AM
T-Mobile in the US only offers EDGE which as you know, isn't blazing.


But you don't need "blazing" for books. Book files are small. EDGE is fine for things like web browsing and e-mail, and does it really matter if a book download (which, as I understand it, happens as a "background" operation anyway) takes 2 minutes or 10 minutes?

HarryT
11-30-2007, 04:27 AM
Now, except for the fact that I could purchase my books from Amazon (offline only) and that I could use a dictionary (which, I admit, could come in quite handy given that I am not a native English speaker), I don't see a compelling reason for getting the Kindle rather than the Sony Reader, that is, as long I cannot use the online connectivity along with it.

If you want a dictionary you could get a CyBook Gen3. Midway in price between the Sony Reader and the Kindle. Whereas the Kindle has its built-in dictionary which I believe (please someone correct me if I'm wrong) you're stuck with, the Gen3 will use any MobiPocket dictionary, which gives you a choice of HUNDREDS of dictionaries to choose from - English, other languages, and specialist ones (medical dictionaries, art dictionaries, etc).

azog
11-30-2007, 07:13 AM
If you want a dictionary you could get a CyBook Gen3. Midway in price between the Sony Reader and the Kindle. Whereas the Kindle has its built-in dictionary which I believe (please someone correct me if I'm wrong)

Harumph, I thought I replied to this, but it's not appearing. Forgive me if I double-post on this.

In any event, I'm at work and I don't have my Kindle with me, but I am pretty sure you can change the dictionaries. I did find a menu option buried somewhere which was fairly clear, but I cannot remember it.

I'm happy with the built-in dictionary. It's found some obscure words, which surprised me. I clipped them out, because it was so surprising. If anyone's interested, I can post them later when I get home...

astra
11-30-2007, 08:02 AM
I am Amazon fan as well. I buy pbooks on Amazon only for many years.
I also buy other things on amazon.co.uk/com.

However, if tomorrow Amazon.co.uk would make Kindle available in the UK, I will buy Sony Reader PRS-505 in the USA.

The only thing that I would like to have and Kindle has it while Sony doesn't have is built-in dictionary. Before I bought Sony Reader almost 1 year ago, when I was reading pbooks and I didn't know a word I used Israeli made dictionary pen scanner. You just pass it over a word and it translates it immediately. After I bought Sony Reader I had to buy a small electronic dictionary because I hate browsing manually through a huge oxford English-Russian dictionary while reading in my bed.

Otherwise, Kindle has nothing that atracts me. Nothing at all. Moreover, it has too many features that I find distracting/unwanted to me.

1. I don't need an Internet access on my eBook reader. eBook reader is for reading books, not browsing the Internet. I have more than enough access to the Internet at home and at work and browsing the Internet on powerful PCs with big screens is much more atractive idea to me. All the news I can read online or listen on the radio (that is what I do, I was never a newspaper fan).

2. As someone on the-ebook.org forum said: you are spedning 10 minutes on purchasing a book than 10hs/10days on reading it. So, the preferences when designing eBook reader should be applied accordingly. When I see Kindle, I see a gadget that is nice to use if you want to read eBook but not a real eBook reader such as Sony Reader, CyBook Gen3 or iRex iLiad are.
For example: a) I need keyboard only for 10 minutes to purchase a book, I don't need it in my hands, in front of my eyes for the rest of 10hs/10 days.
b) Battery life of Sony Reader is far superior to Kindle even with wireless switched off. It is important to me.

3. Sony reader has much more attractive hardware design than Kindle. It is a dedicated eBook reader in a way I see it. Nothing unnecessary, only the most needed buttons.

4. Kindle is bulkie than Sony.

5. Reading with Verilux lamp clipped to Sony's stock cover is more convenient than doing the same with Kindle. It is impossible to do without Kindle's cover at all and kindle's cover make it double size of Sony and AFAIK is not well designed accordingly to opinion of many of Kindle's owners.

6. I like boomarks in Sony Reader. I like how TOC is created and working in LRF.

7. I like navigation between text of a book/toc/bookmarks/menu in Sony.

8. I do like how Sony Reader looks like. IMHO it is a perfect design for a dedicated book reader. The gadget itself is not much bigger than the screen, there are no unnecessary buttons etc.

rflashman
11-30-2007, 08:50 AM
Ok, the Sony Reader physical design is way superior to a Kindle. The Kindle has so many oversized next/previous page buttons that it jumps pages if I even sneeze in its general direction.

So what? The Kindle is revolutionary for one simple reason. It actually has made me an avid book/newspaper reader again. Something the Sony never achieved.

1. Sony never delivered on their promise to offer periodicals on the Sony reader.

2. With the Sony Reader, if I was sitting at work, bathroom, in-bed, or anywhere and think of a book I wanted, I had to remember it, and then wait until the next time I was at my home PC (the one PC of the 4 I use all day that has the Sony Connect software) to buy it and download it, then plug in my Reader and sync it. In practice this rarelly happened because by the time I got to my PC I forgot what book I wanted and I lost my 'drive/impulse' to buy it. So the end result if I found myself barelly reading books on my Sony Reader.

3. Then comes the Kindle... and browsing/buying/opening/viewing/trying books is SO easy, I find myself reading a book a night, something I had not done in YEARS. Then add to that the pre-delivered periodical content, and I am in content heaven.

The Kindle is my winner for the simple fact it has made me a reader again.

astra
11-30-2007, 09:12 AM
2. With the Sony Reader, if I was sitting at work, bathroom, in-bed, or anywhere and think of a book I wanted, I had to remember it, and then wait until the next time I was at my home PC (the one PC of the 4 I use all day that has the Sony Connect software) to buy it and download it, then plug in my Reader and sync it. In practice this rarelly happened because by the time I got to my PC I forgot what book I wanted and I lost my 'drive/impulse' to buy it. So the end result if I found myself barelly reading books on my Sony Reader.

Well....we have very different reading practices then.
1. I would never ever buy a book on impulse.
2. I always do a lot of research about a book I would like to buy. It includes reading Amazon.com/.co.uk reviews, but more importantly I read book forums where people read this book and leave their opinion about it. So, I have quite a long list of the books I would like to read based on different reviews and my own taste.
3. Taking into account things I have put in bold...for me personally, means only one thing - you didn't really want to read the book you wanted to buy. It is probably a bit personally, I am sorry about it, but in my opinion you are not an avid reader. You are not much into reading books. Just because you lost an impulse to buy a certain book it is not enough of a reason not to read at all if you really like to read books. You barelly used sony reader not because it was difficult to obtain the content, but because you didn't really want to read. Otherwise you would miss the experience of the process itself. Just because you forgot what you wanted to buy, would not stop you to buy something else to read because without reading - life is boring...for me :)


Cannot argue newspaper topic. It is valid one but I believe it belongs (along with your post) to another topic - Kindle over Sony Reader (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=140)

:2thumbsup

Alexander Turcic
11-30-2007, 10:06 AM
I'm happy with the built-in dictionary. It's found some obscure words, which surprised me. I clipped them out, because it was so surprising. If anyone's interested, I can post them later when I get home...

Just for those who are interested, it uses the Oxford New American Dictionary.

yvanleterrible
11-30-2007, 11:54 AM
A good point for Kindle... well for Amazon actually, is they got prices to go down on ebooks all around other sites.:)

Astropin
11-30-2007, 12:06 PM
A good point for Kindle... well for Amazon actually, is they got prices to go down on ebooks all around other sites.:)

True......made my choice even easier now that the prices are virtually the same for both. I found a few books I'm looking at cheaper from Connect then from Amazon.

runciter
11-30-2007, 12:17 PM
But you don't need "blazing" for books. Book files are small. EDGE is fine for things like web browsing and e-mail, and does it really matter if a book download (which, as I understand it, happens as a "background" operation anyway) takes 2 minutes or 10 minutes?
True it is a background op, but it makes it more of an inpulse/instant gratification feedback loop which makes it more and more attractive to buy books (obviously the main purpose for Amazon). Obviously books sizes vary, but a 4 MB book takes ~6.5 mins to download on EDGE (assuming 80 kbps) vs <60 seconds on EVDO (assuming 700 kbps). I'd wager that if 5-10 min downloads were the norm for OTA downloads, the blogosphere would say it would be faster/cheaper to just hook up a USB cable and it would negate a bullet point for the Kindle. Besides, look at all the uproar over the iPhone and them going with EDGE and all the slagging they've received. :)

runciter
11-30-2007, 12:20 PM
True......made my choice even easier now that the prices are virtually the same for both. I found a few books I'm looking at cheaper from Connect then from Amazon.
Awesome! Hopefully Sony continues to improve the Connect store, adds more titles the Amazon store doesn't have, which hopefully will cause Amazon to do the same. Competition is great :D

tsgreer
11-30-2007, 12:41 PM
If you want a dictionary you could get a CyBook Gen3. Midway in price between the Sony Reader and the Kindle. Whereas the Kindle has its built-in dictionary which I believe (please someone correct me if I'm wrong) you're stuck with, the Gen3 will use any MobiPocket dictionary, which gives you a choice of HUNDREDS of dictionaries to choose from - English, other languages, and specialist ones (medical dictionaries, art dictionaries, etc).

Actually that is an awesome feature. I don't know if Kindle can do that, someone mentioned that it might be able to. Being able to pic different dictionaries would be pretty handy...

kpfeifle
11-30-2007, 01:06 PM
The Kindle owners manual in PDF on the Amazon page clearly states that if you buy another dictionary you can change the internal lookup to use the new one instead of the built in one. So you are good to go!

tsgreer
11-30-2007, 01:10 PM
The Kindle owners manual in PDF on the Amazon page clearly states that if you buy another dictionary you can change the internal lookup to use the new one instead of the built in one. So you are good to go!

Yep it works. I just tried it with the GNU Collaborative International Dictionary of English that's available here in the Mobileread downloads section. It's actually easy to change the dictionary settings under the Kindle's Settings section. So very cool!

wallcraft
11-30-2007, 01:46 PM
So you don't even need to buy another dictionary - providing you use a DRM-free PRC dictionary. Thats good news, and I don't remember the User's Guide saying anything about PRC dictionaries. This is one area, though, where is may be worth buying a DRMed AZW version - just to get your favorite up to date dictionary.

Alisa
11-30-2007, 02:37 PM
@rflashman

Another thing about the Kindle store I like is the sample chapter. I love being able read the first chapter before buying and it's easy enough to just download it when I hear about a book I might like. It's free and I can decide later if I really want to buy it. The only thing I wish is that they moved the bookmark in the full copy to the end of the sample chapter so I could pick up reading it seamlessly.

rflashman
11-30-2007, 02:39 PM
@rflashman

Another thing about the Kindle store I like is the sample chapter. I love being able read the first chapter before buying and it's easy enough to just download it when I hear about a book I might like. It's free and I can decide later if I really want to buy it. The only thing I wish is that they moved the bookmark in the full copy to the end of the sample chapter so I could pick up reading it seamlessly.

I agree that really duplicates the "in store feel" of being able to pick a book up and look 'inside of it' in order to decide if you want to buy it.

Rocketime
11-30-2007, 02:43 PM
I agree that really duplicates the "in store feel" of being able to pick a book up and look 'inside of it' in order to decide if you want to buy it.


Agree, this is a nice benefit to the Kindle.

tsgreer
11-30-2007, 02:49 PM
So you don't even need to buy another dictionary - providing you use a DRM-free PRC dictionary. Thats good news, and I don't remember the User's Guide saying anything about PRC dictionaries. This is one area, though, where is may be worth buying a DRMed AZW version - just to get your favorite up to date dictionary.

Yeah, the dictionary change out thing is something I overlooked until HarryT mentioned it. I wouldn't even have thought of it, so it's good to know that Kindle can do that.

Turtle Woman
12-01-2007, 03:58 PM
If I didn't have a 505 already I might buy a Kindle because of the convenience and my love of Amazon and because the connection to Wikipedia is the beginning of what I think a true ebook reader should be. But I love my 505 because it is beautiful, especially in its pink leather cover (makes me feel like I'm reading a collector's edition book) and because I can always find plenty to read at the Connect store. The Kindle is just ugly and I like pretty things. We'll see how both devices progress over the next couple of years, but for now my 505 is a keeper.

Ikasu
12-01-2007, 10:02 PM
I'm going to stay with the Sony Reader, at least for now.
Sony's need to be competitive in digital markets has led it into more than a few setbacks and red quarters, but their products are always quality; and faced with the wireless Kindle, there's little doubt that Sony will release an internet-enabled Reader in the next year or two unless they are completely destroyed (and for once this year they have a price advantage over their competitors!)

With publishing companies like Random House on its side and a partnership with Borders, the Reader will have more appeal to the real bookstore crowd! :P

Arek_W
12-02-2007, 04:49 AM
I guess all non-US owners who have Sony will stay with Sony. Fact of life. Besides I keep my Sony also for esthetics, Kindle is ugly and Sony looks sharp. Afraid that while reading Kindle ppl may ask me why do I carry with me a Commodor/Amstrad keyboard:D

HarryT
12-02-2007, 09:17 AM
Yeah, the dictionary change out thing is something I overlooked until HarryT mentioned it. I wouldn't even have thought of it, so it's good to know that Kindle can do that.

Are many dictionaries available for the Kindle? At the current time, Mobi sell 202 different dictionaries which can be used on any MobiPocket device.

Nate the great
12-02-2007, 09:46 AM
Are many dictionaries available for the Kindle? At the current time, Mobi sell 202 different dictionaries which can be used on any MobiPocket device.

I did a search on "english dictionary", and got a result of 177 kindle editions. I do not know which will work as a dictionary for the Kindle. The two I bought that I would like to use are not recognized by the Kindle as dictionaries.

I am currently waiting on a reply to an email about this.

wallcraft
12-02-2007, 01:29 PM
A search for "dictionary" > reference get 296 entries in the Kindle store.

The Kindle comes with the New Oxford American Dictionary, which is $60 from mobipocket.com. I don't suppose Amazon pays $60, but this is a large full-featured dictionary.

Nate the great
12-02-2007, 06:52 PM
Are many dictionaries available for the Kindle? At the current time, Mobi sell 202 different dictionaries which can be used on any MobiPocket device.

According to Amazon, there are no dictionaries available for the Kindle.

Hello from Amazon.com.

Thank you for writing to us about the default dictionary on your
Kindle. Kindle comes with "The New Oxford American Dictionary"
already in the library, which is your default dictionary.

You may purchase other dictionaries from the Kindle Store for
general use and reference; however, they will not be compatible for
use as the default dictionary for the Look Up and Search functions
on your Kindle. We will be adding alternative dictionaries
compatible with these features to the Kindle Store in the near
future.

I hope you found this information useful. Our goal is to help you
get the most out of your Kindle experience. If you need further
assistance, please contact customer support at 1-866-321-8851.

Thank you for choosing Kindle.

I'm going to look at the ones in LIT, and maybe move one over.

DaleDe
12-02-2007, 07:47 PM
According to Amazon, there are no dictionaries available for the Kindle.



I'm going to look at the ones in LIT, and maybe move one over.

There is a public one already available in MobiFormat posted on the site. It is a 1913 edition I believe but if they have done something in the Kindle to disable the standard dictionary function of the dictionaries they sell then it is unlikely to work. It looks like you may have to wait until they enable it. Perhaps it is because of the way they search for content in the dictionary or some other subtle difference in the way a dictionary gets used. they clearly intend to support this. Maybe it is just a bug.

Dale

Nate the great
12-02-2007, 08:05 PM
There is a public one already available in MobiFormat posted on the site. It is a 1913 edition I believe but if they have done something in the Kindle to disable the standard dictionary function of the dictionaries they sell then it is unlikely to work. It looks like you may have to wait until they enable it. Perhaps it is because of the way they search for content in the dictionary or some other subtle difference in the way a dictionary gets used. they clearly intend to support this. Maybe it is just a bug.

Dale

No, I made a dictionary with Mobipocket Creator as a test. It worked fine on the Kindle.

DaleDe
12-02-2007, 08:56 PM
No, I made a dictionary with Mobipocket Creator as a test. It worked fine on the Kindle.

So customer support lied. If one will work then they are all likely to work.

Dale

Nate the great
12-02-2007, 09:04 PM
So customer support lied. If one will work then they are all likely to work.

Dale

Not exactly. The dictionaries they currently sell lack the metadata that identify them as dictionaries. I know this because I bought a couple.

It's a really stupid mistake on their part.

HarryT
12-03-2007, 03:37 AM
It's good news to hear that additional dictionaries will be available in the future. The New Oxford American Dictionary is indeed a very good one, but it's nice to have the choice of others.

dugbug
12-03-2007, 08:28 AM
I like the aesthetics of the sony over the kindle as well, but amazon's store is vast. I can get more Robert Silverberg books than I would ever see in print form. That and sticky-notes, wikipedia, and dictionary features assist the reading experience.

Lets face it, books are hard to improve upon. These ebook readers will have to do something they are good at (like a built-in dictionary). In this respect, the kindle is a clear level above the existing play field with the Iliad (pen interaction) in second (IMHO).

-d

DaleDe
12-03-2007, 09:20 AM
Not exactly. The dictionaries they currently sell lack the metadata that identify them as dictionaries. I know this because I bought a couple.

It's a really stupid mistake on their part.

I would hope that they will replace them for free. Keep us posted.

Dale

TallMomof2
12-03-2007, 10:52 AM
I went back to the big box bookstore to look at the Sony 505. It is sleek and minimalist and easy on the eyes but I strongly dislike how it feels in my hands. Metal is cold and slippery. The Kindle feels good in my hands.

I own many Sony products and *if* I'd already owned a 505 I probably would not have bought a Kindle. I just wish I could have justified buying the Irex but I couldn't justify *another* $300.

tsgreer
12-03-2007, 11:04 AM
There is a public one already available in MobiFormat posted on the site. It is a 1913 edition I believe but if they have done something in the Kindle to disable the standard dictionary function of the dictionaries they sell then it is unlikely to work. It looks like you may have to wait until they enable it. Perhaps it is because of the way they search for content in the dictionary or some other subtle difference in the way a dictionary gets used. they clearly intend to support this. Maybe it is just a bug.

Dale

I tried that 1913 edition on my Kindle and it worked fine, so we can switch out dictionaries. Yay!

HarryT
12-03-2007, 01:59 PM
That's the Gutenberg version of Webster's I believe, isn't it? It's certainly comprehensive, but an awful lot of words have appeared in the language since 1913 :).

tsgreer
12-03-2007, 02:58 PM
That's the Gutenberg version of Webster's I believe, isn't it? It's certainly comprehensive, but an awful lot of words have appeared in the language since 1913 :).

You are correct. I used for a day or so, but found out that the default Kindle dictionary was catching way more words so I went back to it.

sfernald
12-03-2007, 04:55 PM
I strongly suggest for anyone considering an ereader to buy the Kindle. I own both the Sony PRS-505 and the Kindle and really there is no comparison. The Amazon "service" makes the Kindle superior to the Sony Reader in many ways, hands down.

I'm afraid the Sony product will now die a slow death like their MP3 players. Now that the profit margins are gone with the Connect store, I expect it will be shuttered in less than a year and Sony will move onto the next great "high-margin" gadget (that is the Sony way).

Get the Kindle or regret it! It's a no-brainer really.

jasonkchapman
12-03-2007, 05:32 PM
I'm afraid the Sony product will now die a slow death like their MP3 players. Now that the profit margins are gone with the Connect store, I expect it will be shuttered in less than a year and Sony will move onto the next great "high-margin" gadget (that is the Sony way).

Based on what, exactly? You say that the profit margins are gone on the Connect store, and yet Amazon has already admitted to losing money on many titles at the $9.95 price, so their profit margins must be gone, too. That must mean that the Kindle store, too, will be shuttered in less than a year, right? Doesn't Amazon also have a history of abandoning digital customers?

Personally, I hope they both do well. That way someone will eventually be able to put out a really good e-book device. Meanwhile, the Kindle really doesn't offer me anything I want over the Sony to make it worth an extra $100, so I seriously doubt I'll regret anything.

NatCh
12-03-2007, 05:33 PM
I strongly suggest for anyone considering an ereader to buy the Kindle. I own both the Sony PRS-505 and the Kindle and really there is no comparison. The Amazon "service" makes the Kindle superior to the Sony Reader in many ways, hands down.

I'm afraid the Sony product will now die a slow death like their MP3 players. Now that the profit margins are gone with the Connect store, I expect it will be shuttered in less than a year and Sony will move onto the next great "high-margin" gadget (that is the Sony way).

Get the Kindle or regret it! It's a no-brainer really.By that logic, the iLiad and Cybook should have cratered long since, and the e-Bookwise 1150 would certainly not be a hot topic of discussion around here. :shrug:

If what you're looking for is a service then by all means, go for the Kindle.

If, on the other hand, what you're looking for is a reading device ... then I'd encourage you to weigh all the available devices on their individual advantages and drawbacks and decide which, if any, suits what you need/want to do.

sfernald
12-03-2007, 05:54 PM
Based on what, exactly? You say that the profit margins are gone on the Connect store, and yet Amazon has already admitted to losing money on many titles at the $9.95 price, so their profit margins must be gone, too. That must mean that the Kindle store, too, will be shuttered in less than a year, right? Doesn't Amazon also have a history of abandoning digital customers?

Personally, I hope they both do well. That way someone will eventually be able to put out a really good e-book device. Meanwhile, the Kindle really doesn't offer me anything I want over the Sony to make it worth an extra $100, so I seriously doubt I'll regret anything.

What was Sony charging for e-books before the Kindle? And what are they charging now that they have some real competition? What I am seeing are huge price drops, in some cases 50% or more. Now they are probably making a buck or two, verses $10 for each ebook. Sony as an elite consumer electronics company like Apple lives off high margins. Do you know what the margin is on a $59.99 PS3 game? A little more than the 10% profit Amazon is comfortable with.

I guess what I'm saying is that as an elite consumer electronics company, Sony will focus on unique high-margin products, not commoditized, low-margin ones. I would expect Sony to slowly leave this market over the next year or two if the profit continues to get sucked out of the market. Amazon is showing that the ebook biz is mostly going to be a battle of services and software and high-volume, low-margin sales. Sony will lose that battle any day and knows it. They can't compete on software or services. Look at how weak the ebook connect store is to this day - or the PS3 store - or whatever they try to do. They just aren't any good at it. What they are good at is building high-quality electronic gadgetry with state of the art functionality.

Amazon is good with services and software. Amazon.com, like it or not, is probably the most successful ecommerce storefront in existence. Just like the Amazon.com web site, I think Amazon sees the Kindle as a platform for selling content and that is what they are really good at. They even subsidize the delivery costs on e-purchases, the same way they do with real products sold on amazon.com. Do you really think Sony would EVER consider something like that? Yes, they are a little weak on product design, but I think the software features and services offset that easily.

Honestly Amazon should have contracted Sony to design and build their ereader. Amazon + Sony might be able to do what only Apple can do today.

And I as well wish that they both do well, but unless Sony starts focusing on their store and the software of their reader, they are going to lose and lose badly. And this I believe based on hours and hours of using each company's products.

Penforhire
12-03-2007, 06:00 PM
Oh the irony! Someone with a Kindle saying you'll regret your purchase.

Do you really think you won't be forced to buy your books again in the near future, like the poor suckers who bought DRM'd books from Amazon before the Kindle? Justify your extra expense over the Sony however you like but don't expect us to agree. No comparison? Thanks, you gave me a belly-laugh today.

sfernald
12-03-2007, 06:04 PM
By that logic, the iLiad and Cybook should have cratered long since, and the e-Bookwise 1150 would certainly not be a hot topic of discussion around here. :shrug:

If what you're looking for is a service then by all means, go for the Kindle.

If, on the other hand, what you're looking for is a reading device ... then I'd encourage you to weigh all the available devices on their individual advantages and drawbacks and decide which, if any, suits what you need/want to do.

Yeah, I agree. But I think you should try the Kindle before you consider anything else, for the same reason that I didn't know I couldn't live without a TiVo until I had one. The service makes the device. If you like TiVo over normal cable DVRs, or if you like the iPhone over the typical phone, trust me you will appreciate the value and ease-of-use offered in the Kindle's product/service bundle.

dugbug
12-03-2007, 06:08 PM
Oh the irony! Someone with a Kindle saying you'll regret your purchase.

Do you really think you won't be forced to buy your books again in the near future, like the poor suckers who bought DRM'd books from Amazon before the Kindle? Justify your extra expense over the Sony however you like but don't expect us to agree. No comparison? Thanks, you gave me a belly-laugh today.

Ill buy the book with a smile,DRM or not.

sfernald
12-03-2007, 06:11 PM
Oh the irony! Someone with a Kindle saying you'll regret your purchase.

Do you really think you won't be forced to buy your books again in the near future, like the poor suckers who bought DRM'd books from Amazon before the Kindle? Justify your extra expense over the Sony however you like but don't expect us to agree. No comparison? Thanks, you gave me a belly-laugh today.

That's not really true. I can still read the books I bought from the Sony store on my sony reader, and I will continue to do so. It sucks that Sony has DRM so that I can't bring those books over to the Kindle. And it sucks that the Kindle has to have DRM too. Maybe if the world was perfect and no one pirated E-books, then we wouldn't need these things. And maybe the market will change as it seems to be with music and DRM will go away. But two factors make me not really worry all that much about DRM.

1) I really really want authors to get paid for their work, so I don't mind paying for their labor. They deserve it and I want to encourage great writers to continue to write and not change professions (to more profitable occupations) The hours of enjoyment I get from books easily makes it worth it to me, even if god-forbid I have to occasionally repurchase a novel or two because of dreaded DRM.

2) I spent so much time on #1 I just forgot #2. Oh well.

Liviu_5
12-03-2007, 06:12 PM
Get the Kindle or regret it! It's a no-brainer really.

When they will discount it at 50$ to clear the unsold inventory for the next generation I may get it like I did with the Sony. Until then I just do not see any reason. If I want eink I have the Sony, but I really love my 770 for text and the iTouch for pdf's. And I have wi-fi on both :)

sfernald
12-03-2007, 06:15 PM
When they will discount it at 50$ to clear the unsold inventory for the next generation I may get it like I did with the Sony. Until then I just do not see any reason. If I want eink I have the Sony, but I really love my 770 for text and the iTouch for pdf's. And I have wi-fi on both :)

Well, I'm not saying the 505 isn't great. It is! Enjoy. I just don't think people will necessarily "get" the kindle experience until they adopt one for a couple days and try it for themselves.

slayda
12-03-2007, 06:19 PM
Yeah, I agree. But I think you should try the Kindle before you consider anything else, for the same reason that I didn't know I couldn't live without a TiVo until I had one. The service makes the device. If you like TiVo over normal cable DVRs, or if you like the iPhone over the typical phone, trust me you will appreciate the value and ease-of-use offered in the Kindle's product/service bundle.

I have TIVO & love it but I won't buy a Kindle any time soon. What you seem to love is the service (which is DRMed books). If I had it I would still have to upload my unDRMed Mobipocket books (or convert my unDRMed .RTF to Mobipocket) to read. The dictionary is the only real plus for me.

edsohsmith
12-03-2007, 06:22 PM
I am not sure that Sony was relying on Connect "profit margins". I think the price may have gone down partly because Amazon leveraged many of the publishers to drop the price on their eBooks, to all eBook sellers. I hope they keep up the good work.

dugbug
12-03-2007, 06:58 PM
I am not sure that Sony was relying on Connect "profit margins". I think the price may have gone down partly because Amazon leveraged many of the publishers to drop the price on their eBooks, to all eBook sellers. I hope they keep up the good work.

actually there was an interview question to that effect. Apparently they (amazon) have the same model for ebooks as they do their store at large. They take a loss on popular ebooks and make it back on specialty ones. So you can find best sellers that are 9.99, significantly lower than what the publisher charges amazon. This is to "draw" you into their store. It works pretty well but you have to have a big selection to get the money back on books the publisher agrees to big discounts on.

Sony did not (does not) have the negotiation leverage nor the size (or gumption?) to make that happen. Amazon is vastly bigger than Sony's book entry. The scales are unimaginably in amazon's favor.

So the prices you see are amazon making it happen, not really a lowering of prices by the publisher.

-d

chuck94022
12-03-2007, 07:14 PM
[EDIT: the inline image tag doesn't seem to be working, so I attached the images...]

I've been reading this thread with interest. I have owned a PRS-500 nearly since its release, and just upgraded to the 505 (after the Kindle announcement, so I knew what I was doing).

For me, book reading is an immersive experience. I don't want any device to distract me from the altered state I achieve in a book. Paper books themselves can distract, if they are not printed well, or are improperly sized for the content, etc.

While I loved the technical properties and the aesthetic of the PRS-500, I found a couple of things that made it a constant distraction. First was the contrast issue. It was just too hard to read unless I got the light just so. Of course, daylight was wonderful, but I don't usually read outdoors. (Nature being one of those unwanted distractions I mentioned.)

The second issue was the PRS-500's tendency to leave ghost images when the page was turned. To me this was incredibly distracting and annoying.

When I first got my hands on the PRS-505 I knew it was the solution for me. Contrast is now high enough that I can read in most places I could read a paper book. The 20% improvement figure does not give a fair representation of the magnitude of the difference between the two products. There is a threshold that was crossed, and that makes the 505 just work.

Ghosting is gone too. I have attached comparisons between the 500 and the 505, showing both the contrast and ghosting problem.

I do not have a Kindle, so I cannot do a side-by-side comparison. But, if the Kindle does not have the contrast and lack of ghosting of the 505, it is not for me.

I've also puzzled over the complaint on this thread about a replaceable battery. The battery lasts so long on the Sony (either one) that it is just not a factor in its use. I eventually get back to a power supply, and can charge it. Of course, with the Kindle, power is much more of an issue. But for the Sony, the battery is one of those things that just doesn't distract. (I don't worry about termites with my paper books either. :) )

To the poster who said they needed the ability to make an impulse buy (citing impulses received in the bathroom, of all places) I just have to state that this doesn't seem like a practical limit in general use. As I said before, when I read, I want to be immersed. Impulses have no place there. The Kindle, with its plethora of options (browse the bookstore, Wikipedia, etc.), itself becomes a distraction.

I don't even have to mention how distracting an undesirable page turn is to me. The Kindle loses on this front, if other reviews are true (I don't have one, I can't say for myself.)

To each his own, but for me, I'll stick with the Sony.

solitarywolf
12-03-2007, 07:49 PM
1. I have the Sony 500 and would prefer to upgrade to the 505, when I can because I have enjoyed my experience with my 500.

2. The look is more appealing to me.

3. I am a SONY lover

4. I want to read books. Keyboards and making notes has no bearing for me.

5. I like the ability to convert any text into the Reader format and read it.

6. Of the 90,000 titles that Amazon has, how many do they have of the books I read? Not many I can tell you. I also seek out books that are no longer in print or hard to find. Believe it or not, you can find these titles on the internet in a text form. For example, Martin Pipin in the Apple Orchard.

7. I dont want to download a book on the spot when I have almost 200 loaded and ready to read.

8. When I decided to buy the Reader, I wanted to touch and see it first. $399 for the Kindle is a lot to pay and wait to see later to find you're not happy with it.

-Seth Williams
San Francisco, CA

sfernald
12-03-2007, 07:51 PM
I don't even have to mention how distracting an undesirable page turn is to me. The Kindle loses on this front, if other reviews are true (I don't have one, I can't say for myself.)



The page turn speed on the kindle is a little faster than the PRS-505 from my experience. I don't notice any ghosting on it - it flashes, but it flashes really fast. I use the Kindle on font #3. From my usage, it has the least annoying page turn. In fact it is completely tolerable and I don't have a problem with it. I thought the PRS-505 seemed fast compared to the PRS-500, but the Kindle is noticable faster still (it is practically instant) and in general the Kindle seems faster than the Sony Readers (when first going into a book, viewing menus, changing font size, etc).

I have compared the two side by side, and I would say the contrast is about the same. It is still debatable in my mind. Usually when I start to think that one is better than the other, it is usually a result of the angle of the light on the display.

rflashman
12-03-2007, 08:51 PM
Honestly, I much prefer Sony hardware. But it doesn't matter how bad the Kindle is, it is its unique wireless experience that drives me to it. So I now carry it everywhere along with my Franklin Planner. It is revolutionary not in any feature, but in the sum of its parts.

What I'd love to see? Sony sell its connect store to Amazon, license their approach, support older readers through the new combo store, and create a new PRS-600 wireless model to work off their store. But that's just my fantasy.

jasonkchapman
12-03-2007, 10:10 PM
What I'd love to see? Sony sell its connect store to Amazon, license their approach, support older readers through the new combo store, and create a new PRS-600 wireless model to work off their store. But that's just my fantasy.

I'm sorry, but that just makes way too much sense to ever happen. This industry is all about making people go "WTF?"

I still think you're more likely to see Sony invest in Borders and try to fold the whole thing into the media side of their business in much the same way Time Warner became a multi-channeled media business. All they'd need is a print publisher to complete the set.

tklaus
12-03-2007, 10:14 PM
5. I like the ability to convert any text into the Reader format and read it.

6. Of the 90,000 titles that Amazon has, how many do they have of the books I read? Not many I can tell you. I also seek out books that are no longer in print or hard to find. Believe it or not, you can find these titles on the internet in a text form. For example, Martin Pipin in the Apple Orchard.

You know you can do this with the Kindle too, right?

edsohsmith
12-04-2007, 05:30 AM
actually there was an interview question to that effect. Apparently they (amazon) have the same model for ebooks as they do their store at large. They take a loss on popular ebooks and make it back on specialty ones. So you can find best sellers that are 9.99, significantly lower than what the publisher charges amazon. This is to "draw" you into their store. It works pretty well but you have to have a big selection to get the money back on books the publisher agrees to big discounts on.

Sony did not (does not) have the negotiation leverage nor the size (or gumption?) to make that happen. Amazon is vastly bigger than Sony's book entry. The scales are unimaginably in amazon's favor.


But the prices on Sony's Connect store have come down quite dramtically on many popular titles since the release of the Kindle.

What I am saying is, I think the Connect store is benefitting from Kindle's leverage. Amazon leverages the publishers to drop their prices (effectively to all re-sellers). This allows Sony to sell the ebooks for less.

Since Sony is not willing to sell at a loss, often titles are $2-3 more on Connect than on Amazon.

Alisa
12-04-2007, 12:35 PM
But the prices on Sony's Connect store have come down quite dramtically on many popular titles since the release of the Kindle.

What I am saying is, I think the Connect store is benefitting from Kindle's leverage. Amazon leverages the publishers to drop their prices (effectively to all re-sellers). This allows Sony to sell the ebooks for less.

Since Sony is not willing to sell at a loss, often titles are $2-3 more on Connect than on Amazon.

Do we know if this leverage has, in fact, dropped prices to all sellers and not just Amazon?

NatCh
12-04-2007, 01:20 PM
Do we know if this leverage has, in fact, dropped prices to all sellers and not just Amazon?I don't know if it's exactly this leverage, nor do I know it's all stores, but Connect, fictionwise, and Mobipocket all showed price drops a couple of days after Kindle launched, and the prices were all to bring their prices closer in line to what Amazon was showing.

Come to think of it, the speed of the price drops probably says something in itself. :chinscratch:

Anyway, there's some more info on the matter here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16810

Wait, nevermind, that's not what you were asking at all. :smack:

No we don't know if this had any effect on what suppliers are selling e-books for across the board. I don't know that we even know that Amazon is getting them more cheaply than other stores were in the first place (which suggests a number of interesting possibilities, dunnit?). :shrug:

Alisa
12-04-2007, 01:28 PM
That's what I was wondering. It seems we're all assuming that there's been a price drop where it just may be that Amazon's taking a big loss and the other stores have no choice but to do the same if they want to keep any sort of foothold. Certainly if Amazon has leveraged any price cut, I would think they'd try to keep that exclusive.

Astropin
12-04-2007, 02:06 PM
Anyone want to buy a Brand New PRS-505? I have 2 of them, I bought 2 of them, one for me one for my wife, we just do not have the time to use them. I see on Ebay they are going for over $300, must be because of christmas, I will sell for $275 each..$7 shipping anywhere in US and I have a business so I can take a credit card or google checkout. I do not sell ebooks however.

I just purchased mine (the blue one) brand new and in stock for $279.....shipped.

vdospec
12-04-2007, 06:24 PM
I just purchased mine (the blue one) brand new and in stock for $279.....shipped.

Thats if yours comes, they would not be on ebay for over $350...And the blue one looks really bad to me, Silver is the way to go, I had the Black 500 even and it still does not look as sophisticated as the Silver and Tan, thats a cool look.

Anyway I sold one, so I have one left and to top that $250 shipped Priority Mail Free...Contact mikenbrenda@gmail.com or here..

JSWolf
12-04-2007, 06:35 PM
I strongly suggest for anyone considering an ereader to buy the Kindle. I own both the Sony PRS-505 and the Kindle and really there is no comparison. The Amazon "service" makes the Kindle superior to the Sony Reader in many ways, hands down.

I'm afraid the Sony product will now die a slow death like their MP3 players. Now that the profit margins are gone with the Connect store, I expect it will be shuttered in less than a year and Sony will move onto the next great "high-margin" gadget (that is the Sony way).

Get the Kindle or regret it! It's a no-brainer really.
I disagree. I have a 505 and I would get a 505 over the Kindle. I am not too find of the Kindle overall. I do think Sony can compete especially if they come out with the 505 in other countries.

JSWolf
12-04-2007, 08:04 PM
I guess what I'm saying is that as an elite consumer electronics company, Sony will focus on unique high-margin products, not commoditized, low-margin ones. I would expect Sony to slowly leave this market over the next year or two if the profit continues to get sucked out of the market. Amazon is showing that the ebook biz is mostly going to be a battle of services and software and high-volume, low-margin sales. Sony will lose that battle any day and knows it. They can't compete on software or services. Look at how weak the ebook connect store is to this day - or the PS3 store - or whatever they try to do. They just aren't any good at it. What they are good at is building high-quality electronic gadgetry with state of the art functionality.
I disagree that the Connect Store is weak. Sony has done a pretty good job at improving the store. Granted, it wasn't all that much when it first started, but now it is pretty good. On a par with a lot of other dedicated ebook shops. The PS3 was a problem because of how late it was when it was released with nothing really special vs the XboX 360 and the price was ridiculous. One thing I have been seeing with Sony is that since the Kindle launched, two major fiction books were available on the day the hardcovers were released but go to Amazon and the were not available. Have you taken a recent look at the Connect Store?

JSWolf
12-04-2007, 08:35 PM
Yeah, I agree. But I think you should try the Kindle before you consider anything else, for the same reason that I didn't know I couldn't live without a TiVo until I had one. The service makes the device. If you like TiVo over normal cable DVRs, or if you like the iPhone over the typical phone, trust me you will appreciate the value and ease-of-use offered in the Kindle's product/service bundle.
What does a TiVo do that my cable DVR cannot do? I managed to get a cable DVR free when I had my cable box upgraded due to that one being the only working upgraded box the cable guy had. I've used the DVR to time-shift things. It's really easy to use. Has two tuners so I can record one thing and watch another. And it records in HD as well.

rflashman
12-04-2007, 09:42 PM
I disagree that the Connect Store is weak. Sony has done a pretty good job at improving the store. Granted, it wasn't all that much when it first started, but now it is pretty good. On a par with a lot of other dedicated ebook shops. The PS3 was a problem because of how late it was when it was released with nothing really special vs the XboX 360 and the price was ridiculous. One thing I have been seeing with Sony is that since the Kindle launched, two major fiction books were available on the day the hardcovers were released but go to Amazon and the were not available. Have you taken a recent look at the Connect Store?

Connect Store still doesn't work on my Windows Vista 64. Sony as far as I know has no plans to support me.

rflashman
12-04-2007, 09:46 PM
What does a TiVo do that my cable DVR cannot do? I managed to get a cable DVR free when I had my cable box upgraded due to that one being the only working upgraded box the cable guy had. I've used the DVR to time-shift things. It's really easy to use. Has two tuners so I can record one thing and watch another. And it records in HD as well.

It's my ReplayTV that I miss. A product that four years ago could record all shows, let you network/download the recorded show to your PC, let you connect/share recorded shows with any ReplayTV anywhere in the planet, etc. Today no DVR product comes close in features and capability (with the exceptions of adding HD and multiple tuners).

tklaus
12-04-2007, 10:14 PM
What does a TiVo do that my cable DVR cannot do?

Automatically record shows that it thinks you might like, based on your viewing habits (and does a remarkably good job at it)

Automatically record based on search terms, like "Woody Allen movies" or "Giants baseball" on any channel where they appear (wishlists)

Mine also records in HD on dual tuners (DirecTV)

gregr209
12-04-2007, 10:52 PM
Connect Store still doesn't work on my Windows Vista 64. Sony as far as I know has no plans to support me.

Doesn't work with a Mac (unless you use bootcamp or some other VM software).

I took my Sony Reader 505 back...hated to do it cause it looks so much better then the Kindle but the Kindle has to many "other" features that I felt I couldn't live without.

My 2 cents.

Greg

Alisa
12-05-2007, 01:48 AM
ReplayTV rocked. As for the cable company DVRs, I've never seen one that was nearly as fast and easy to use as either my Replay or my Snapstream or my MythTV DVRs. I've certainly never seen one that had automatic commercial skipping or could act as server to other clients. Maybe Jon's does. I certainly haven't seen all of them.

HarryT
12-05-2007, 03:02 AM
Get the Kindle or regret it! It's a no-brainer really.

Can you tell me how I can get one, please? Strangely, Amazon don't seem to want to sell me one!

Or are you suggesting that only the 5% of the planetary population who live in the US should make this decision which does not require a brain? :)

JSWolf
12-05-2007, 06:53 AM
Connect Store still doesn't work on my Windows Vista 64. Sony as far as I know has no plans to support me.
It is not just Sony. It is a lot of companies won't support 64-bit Windows. Blame Microsoft on that. The hoops you have to jump through to get to be able to run your driver(s) on 64-bit Windows is a real issue. That said, it is your fault for choosing it. It's not ready for prime-time and you should have known that and stuck with 32-bit Windows where everything works (or should work).

JSWolf
12-05-2007, 06:56 AM
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying the Kindle is bad, but as a first reading device, people are getting dumbed down.

It's akin to Windows dumbing people down. Have you read the messages here of people getting lost trying to use libprs500 via the command line? The Kindle is going to be the same way. it'll dumb people down so if they ever need to use the Kindle via the USB port, they'll be lost.

talaivan
12-05-2007, 09:57 AM
It hasn't been much remarked on, but the Kindle gives you lots of choices for formatting -- one. On the Sony 505, using Book Designer you can manipulate the font, the margins, the size, etc. etc. This means you can customize a book for however you want to read it (and read Greek, Russian, etc.). Nor will Kindle allow you to change the spaces between lines -- you're stuck with a huge space whether you want it or not. On the Sony, you can make it whatever you want. As a result, the Kindle has about 2/3 per page as is comfortable on the Sony, and you have to advance the page much more often.

Penforhire
12-05-2007, 11:04 AM
Dumbing down is good for the market. Way back when my ISP was Compuserve, the geek's choice. Remember how AOL came along, dumbed the whole experience down, and grew the market?

NatCh
12-05-2007, 11:42 AM
And the blue one looks really bad to me, Silver is the way to go, I had the Black 500 ....Just noting a detail, the PRS500 didn't come in black. It only came in the same dark blue that is one of the two options (silver and blue) for the PRS505. :shrug:

Or are you suggesting that only the 5% of the planetary population who live in the US should make this decision which does not require a brain? :)Hey, now! Somehow I think maybe I'm being insulted in there somewhere. :laugh4:

sfernald
12-05-2007, 12:03 PM
PRS500 is black, not dark blue, isn't it?

I noticed a big difference in color. So much so that I was worried my wifey would detect that it was not the same when I did a "silent" upgrade.

NatCh
12-05-2007, 12:08 PM
PRS500 is black, not dark blue, isn't it?Nope, the 500 is a dark blue, I've got it right here, and my brand of mild color-blindness affects reds not blues. :grin:

Perhaps I'm mistaken that the 505's blue is the same as the 500's, however -- the review unit they lent me was a silver one, and I still haven't seen a blue one "in the flesh," so to speak. :shrug:

Astropin
12-05-2007, 01:08 PM
I strongly suggest for anyone considering an ereader to buy the Kindle. I own both the Sony PRS-505 and the Kindle and really there is no comparison. The Amazon "service" makes the Kindle superior to the Sony Reader in many ways, hands down.

I'm afraid the Sony product will now die a slow death like their MP3 players. Now that the profit margins are gone with the Connect store, I expect it will be shuttered in less than a year and Sony will move onto the next great "high-margin" gadget (that is the Sony way).

Get the Kindle or regret it! It's a no-brainer really.

Guess I'll regret it then......not. We have no clue what Sony's profit margins are. Not to mention the deal in the works with Borders and possibly with Adobe. I don't need all the functions of the Kindle. I have a Windows computer and Connect works just great for me....not to mention all of the other sources of ebooks out there that I can tap into with the Sony. I only need an ebook reader and in that I think the 505 is superior in many ways to the Kindle with the only major downfall being no searchable dictionary....I can live with that.

gregr209
12-05-2007, 01:29 PM
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying the Kindle is bad, but as a first reading device, people are getting dumbed down.

It's akin to Windows dumbing people down. Have you read the messages here of people getting lost trying to use libprs500 via the command line? The Kindle is going to be the same way. it'll dumb people down so if they ever need to use the Kindle via the USB port, they'll be lost.

It needs to be dumbed down for the computer challenged older folks :-)

Greg

Alisa
12-05-2007, 01:37 PM
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying the Kindle is bad, but as a first reading device, people are getting dumbed down.

It's akin to Windows dumbing people down. Have you read the messages here of people getting lost trying to use libprs500 via the command line? The Kindle is going to be the same way. it'll dumb people down so if they ever need to use the Kindle via the USB port, they'll be lost.

And ever since we got these new fangled furnaces, people have been getting weaker. We need to go back to chopping our own wood.

csmith75
12-05-2007, 01:43 PM
What does a TiVo do that my cable DVR cannot do? I managed to get a cable DVR free when I had my cable box upgraded due to that one being the only working upgraded box the cable guy had. I've used the DVR to time-shift things. It's really easy to use. Has two tuners so I can record one thing and watch another. And it records in HD as well.

I have both and my TiVo runs circles around my HD DVR from my cable company. The UI, the reliability, the recommendations, the ability to easily get content off the TiVo and onto my computer and iPod, etc..

They may do similar things, but one does it a WHOLE lot better. That's why I'm putting a TiVo HD on my Xmas list.

kovidgoyal
12-05-2007, 01:44 PM
It's all about attitude. Amazon's attitude is very Big Brother-ish. They feel that they know how books should be read, and that you'd be better off doing it their way.

SONY's attitude isn't much better, but because SONY released an e-ink device (The librie) way before anyone else, tools have matured around the SONY that empower you to do what you want with it. So the 505 is a tool for power users, the kindle isn't (at least, not yet).

dugbug
12-05-2007, 01:55 PM
It's all about attitude. Amazon's attitude is very Big Brother-ish. They feel that they know how books should be read, and that you'd be better off doing it their way.

SONY's attitude isn't much better, but because SONY released an e-ink device (The librie) way before anyone else, tools have matured around the SONY that empower you to do what you want with it. So the 505 is a tool for power users, the kindle isn't (at least, not yet).

wtf are you talking about :blink:



-d

talaivan
12-05-2007, 01:59 PM
Kovid -- have you played with the Kindle? What you say in the previous message is quite correct -- you can do things with the Sony that you can't with the Kindle. There seems to be a fundamentally different system used for interpreting text. The Sony allows font and formatting info to be included in the lrf file, while on the Kindle, the only control you have on font and formatting is through the reader -- it's not in the mobireader file. This means, I think, that no one can write a program to change the format on the Kindle. Only Amazon can do that by allowing one to change the format through a preference on the reader. This also means that formatting options will be far more limited on the Kindle (no Russian, Greek, etc.) -- you will have to be content with whatever formatting options Amazon deems fitting to provide. Right now, you're stuck with double-spacing. You can't turn it off (I even asked them -- they said no). Also, I have both devices and am coming to the conclusion that the Sony is easier to hold and more comfortable to read.

kovidgoyal
12-05-2007, 02:02 PM
The fact that Amazon for no apparent reason decided to make it impossible to buy DRM'ed books for the Kindle from anywhere but their own store, despite the fact that they are using the mobipocket DRM scheme. The fact that by not releasing cross-platform desktop software they don't seem to care about facilitating the use of your own content on the Kindle. The fact that they charge for letting you view free content when it's really not that hard to write software that would enable you to get the content yourself.

kovidgoyal
12-05-2007, 02:04 PM
Kovid -- have you played with the Kindle? What you say in the previous message is quite correct -- you can do things with the Sony that you can't with the Kindle. There seems to be a fundamentally different system used for interpreting text. The Sony allows font and formatting info to be included in the lrf file, while on the Kindle, the only control you have on font and formatting is through the reader -- it's not in the mobireader file. This means, I think, that no one can write a program to change the format on the Kindle. Only Amazon can do that by allowing one to change the format through a preference on the reader. This also means that formatting options will be far more limited on the Kindle (no Russian, Greek, etc.) -- you will have to be content with whatever formatting options Amazon deems fitting to provide. Right now, you're stuck with double-spacing. You can't turn it off (I even asked them -- they said no). Also, I have both devices and am coming to the conclusion that the Sony is easier to hold and more comfortable to read.

No I haven't yet played with it, but this seems to be in line with their general policy of restricting functionality, either because they're too lazy to implement it, or because they feel their customers don't deserve it.

rflashman
12-05-2007, 02:09 PM
The Sony allows font and formatting info to be included in the lrf file, while on the Kindle, the only control you have on font and formatting is through the reader -- it's not in the mobireader file. This means, I think, that no one can write a program to change the format on the Kindle. Only Amazon can do that by allowing one to change the format through a preference on the reader.

I just took a look at a sample for "Sign Language for Everyone: A Basic Course in Communication with the Deaf" and it has a different (beautiful) font. Quite readable. So there is *some* way for books to send a different font.

wallcraft
12-05-2007, 02:15 PM
It hasn't been much remarked on, but the Kindle gives you lots of choices for formatting -- one. ..... Nor will Kindle allow you to change the spaces between lines -- you're stuck with a huge space whether you want it or not. On the Sony, you can make it whatever you want. As a result, the Kindle has about 2/3 per page as is comfortable on the Sony, and you have to advance the page much more often. Yes, but this is primarily the fault of MobiPocket's Java Reader (same problems from the same Reader on the iLiad, for example). Other versions of MobiPocket Reader have user-settable fonts, line spacing, and margins.

MobiPocket realy needs to add line spacing and margin options to its Java Reader, it would make it much more user friendly.

MobiPocket's Java Reader can support multiple fonts (it does on the Pepper Pad 3 for example), so this is Amazon's (and iRex's) "fault". Restricting the device to a small number of preloaded fonts is understandable (Cybook's user fonts have caused problems), but one font seems excessively stingy and I wish there was a bolder font like Ariel Black available.

DaleDe
12-05-2007, 02:25 PM
I just took a look at a sample for "Sign Language for Everyone: A Basic Course in Communication with the Deaf" and it has a different (beautiful) font. Quite readable. So there is *some* way for books to send a different font.

It is likely that they used images. It is possible to specify a font in MobiPocket format but the font must be already available on the target device.

Dale

NatCh
12-05-2007, 02:34 PM
wtf are you talking about :blink:I believe that Kovid is confusing you by returning to the original topic of the thread -- he's quite sneaky that way. :wink2:

tsgreer
12-05-2007, 02:43 PM
It is likely that they used images. It is possible to specify a font in MobiPocket format but the font must be already available on the target device.

Dale

I have found that some of Amazon's books do use a different font and it's NOT because it's a .pdf. So there must be some way to change it, but I don't know how.

Also, I do have a book that the obviously used a .pdf because it was very faded and pretty horrible to read. Also, I found out that I couldn't look up words on it--which makes sense since it was a pdf--but it still used the .azw extension. I returned it and there were cool about it.

kovidgoyal
12-05-2007, 02:48 PM
I believe that Kovid is confusing you by returning to the original topic of the thread -- he's quite sneaky that way. :wink2:

It's a regular insurgency campaign ;)

wallcraft
12-05-2007, 03:02 PM
I have found that some of Amazon's books do use a different font and it's NOT because it's a .pdf. So there must be some way to change it, but I don't know how. I have only seen mention of two fonts on the Kindle, Caecilia and Neue Helvetica, see the copyright page from the manual (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=116762&postcount=7). The e-books typically use Caecilia, which is somewhat similar to Bitstream Vera Serif (e.g. it has a similar capital J). Caecilia is nicer, though.

tklaus
12-05-2007, 03:03 PM
The fact that Amazon for no apparent reason decided to make it impossible to buy DRM'ed books for the Kindle from anywhere but their own store, despite the fact that they are using the mobipocket DRM scheme.

Yes, I hope they change their mind on that.

The fact that by not releasing cross-platform desktop software they don't seem to care about facilitating the use of your own content on the Kindle.

Why do they need to do that? There are already several ways to do that:

1- Copy your files directly to the Kindle via USB (.txt or .prc)
2- Convert them yourself using MobiPocket Creator and transfer them via USB.
3- Email them to Amazon for free conversion, then transfer them via USB (can't get more cross-platform than that!)

The fact that they charge for letting you view free content when it's really not that hard to write software that would enable you to get the content yourself.

They only charge you for the convenience of wireless delivery. The conversion service is free if you are willing to transfer via USB (just like any other reader).

kovidgoyal
12-05-2007, 03:22 PM
Yes, I hope they change their mind on that.



Why do they need to do that? There are already several ways to do that:

1- Copy your files directly to the Kindle via USB (.txt or .prc)
2- Convert them yourself using MobiPocket Creator and transfer them via USB.
3- Email them to Amazon for free conversion, then transfer them via USB (can't get more cross-platform than that!)



1. What if my source material is not txt or prc
2. What if I don't use windows
3. What if I want to customize/extend, build on top of the conversion process. What if I don't want to send my perhaps private documents to Amazon. What if I don't want to have to connect to the internet just to convert my content. There is no reason Amazon could not have released their conversion tools.


They only charge you for the convenience of wireless delivery. The conversion service is free if you are willing to transfer via USB (just like any other reader).

Even for blogs and newspapers?

azog
12-05-2007, 07:12 PM
2. What if I don't use windows

I'm seeing this argument a lot, and I'm confused. I have no idea what OS you use, but I know most modern Linux variants support USB mass-storage devices (which is what the kindle appears as). I couldn't say anything about Mac, having never used one, but don't they have USB ports?

kovidgoyal
12-05-2007, 07:16 PM
Windows is needed to run mobipocket creator, the conversion software.

azog
12-05-2007, 07:24 PM
Windows is needed to run mobipocket creator, the conversion software.

So what OS do you run? WINE for Linux has been fairly mature for some time (people have run World of Warcraft under WINE). For people looking to jump off the MS bandwagon, it's one of the biggest helps. I think they've even ported it to Mac OS-X, but I know other Mac software exists as well.

kovidgoyal
12-05-2007, 07:39 PM
Yeah I can work around it, but it's annoying that I have to, and a work around simply isn't as convenient to use. Hell, I could write a cross-platform replacement for mobipocket creator in a couple of weeks, the point is that Amazon doesn't seem to care about making the Kindle an open platform for books. They seem to care only about making as much money off it, in the short term, as they can. Now I get that most corporations think alike, indeed SONY is as bad, but going back to my original point, thanks to the fact that the SONY readers have been around for a while, it's now possible to make full use of the potential of the SONY reader.

azog
12-05-2007, 07:51 PM
Well, I can't argue about the Sony, not having one. I do mildly agree with the AZW issue, but I might be looking at things with rose-colored glasses, but I'm willing to bet a dozen donuts that Amazon will change their position. As has been pointed out, this is just a test market, and Kindle version 2 will probably address the big things like this, and many of the other smaller niggling issues (like the buttons).

I suspect Amazon has a pretty big investment in Mobipocket, and at the moment, it's a direct competitor to Amazon's own product. Unless their ROI on the Kindle is significant enough to warrant spinning off Mobi (or even just cutting them off at the knees), my feeling is that they're going to address that at a later date. I'm no tech. predictor, and I'm just looking at historical cases where companies have had internal competition. I'd hope that Amazon has the foresight to analyze things (which I also suspect they do, they survived the big dot-com debacle). Course I could just be blowing rainbows, cause I bet on Atari making a comeback based on the Jag :-/

JohnClif
12-05-2007, 09:09 PM
...and that is you can't read any DRM .MOBI files you already own.

If you're a new ereader owner, pretty much everything that's out there on the Mobipocket website is available through the Amazon Kindle store... and then some. So, there is no disadvantage to new readers.

If you're an existing ereader owner with a big collection of .MOBI DRM ebooks, the Kindle is probably not the device for you. The Sony would be a better choice... or even the iRex iLiad (my pref).

I have had no problems copying over unprotected .PRC files to my Kindle and reading them, including files off of mobileread.com. I have had no problems converting text, MS Word, and HTML files using the Mobipocket Creator, and then viewing them on my Kindle. Adobe PDFs are iffy... if they're full of images, different fonts, etc., then they don't convert as well. If they're plain-jane text files, they do convert pretty well. This is a limitation caused by taking a scalable vector graphic format and trying to convert it into text; there's obviously OCR going on and it's not perfect.

I'm pretty happy with my Kindle. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't mind having another ereader... like the iLiad.

Alisa
12-05-2007, 10:25 PM
...and that is you can't read any DRM .MOBI files you already own.

If you're a new ereader owner, pretty much everything that's out there on the Mobipocket website is available through the Amazon Kindle store... and then some. So, there is no disadvantage to new readers.

If you're an existing ereader owner with a big collection of .MOBI DRM ebooks, the Kindle is probably not the device for you. The Sony would be a better choice... or even the iRex iLiad (my pref).

If I had an existing library of .mobi DRMed files, I'd be way more attracted to the Cybook than the Sony. I'd be in the same pickle with the Sony that I would be with the Kindle.

wallcraft
12-06-2007, 12:28 AM
I just took a look at a sample for "Sign Language for Everyone: A Basic Course in Communication with the Deaf" and it has a different (beautiful) font. Quite readable. So there is *some* way for books to send a different font. I can't tell which font is being used for this book. It does not seem to be Caecilia or Neue Helvetica. It is a nice font, with a distinctive "e". In this case, removing justification also seems to help readability.

The general approach to using a different font is to use "font face" in every <p> or <div>, for example from the User's Guide: <p width="0em"><font face="serif">
You navigate Kindle using the select wheel,
the cursor bar, the page turn buttons,
the back button, and the keyboard:
</font></p> There might be a way to use style sheets for this, but mobigen.exe will produce code like the above because the Reader does not have a global view of the file when rendering a page.

kovidgoyal
12-06-2007, 12:39 AM
The general approach to using a different font is to use "font face" in every <p> or <div>, for example from the User's Guide: <p width="0em"><font face="serif">
You navigate Kindle using the select wheel,
the cursor bar, the page turn buttons,
the back button, and the keyboard:
</font></p> There might be a way to use style sheets for this, but mobigen.exe will produce code like the above because the Reader does not have a global view of the file when rendering a page.

From a technical perspective, there's no reason to have a global view. Once the CSS code in a stylesheet is loaded into memory, all the software has to do is apply the rules to each element as it encounters it.

HarryT
12-06-2007, 03:29 AM
If you're an existing ereader owner with a big collection of .MOBI DRM ebooks, the Kindle is probably not the device for you. The Sony would be a better choice... or even the iRex iLiad (my pref).


You've slightly lost me there. If you had a big collection of Mobi DRM books, surely you'd want a reader which could read them, like the CyBook Gen3, wouldn't you? Why on Earth would you buy a Sony?

talaivan
12-06-2007, 09:45 AM
I have the PRS 505 and the Kindle (arrived 2 days ago). I've tried very hard to get used to the Kindle, but am just not happy with the way it formats text and the way you have to hold it. It's possible to import books into the Sony so they look however you want them -- you can't do that on the Kindle. I tried the same book on both, and found the Sony was 1. easier to read, 2. seemed brighter, 3. the font seemed clearer (it seems to use higher res in imaging text), 4. the Sony gets about 60% more text on the page with better readability. The ability of the Kindle to download things wirelessly is amazing, but in other respects it seems far inferior to the Sony.

Other quibbles: The Sony is esthetically satisfying, the Kindle isn't. When I lose a page on the Sony, I can recover where I was using the history selection. I can't on the Kindle -- and I lose my place a lot more often because of its "wings" which keep getting pressed when I don't want to. The covers for the Sony are much better.

On the other hand, the experience buying books or newspapers on the Kindle is infinitely smoother than on the Sony. But for me this doesn't compensate for the negative points of the reader. Mossberg's review in the WSJ was right on, I think.

Alisa
12-06-2007, 01:04 PM
I'm guessing the Sony seems brighter because of the white color of the Kindle enclosure. It reflects too much light back. Such a bad choice on their part.

ginolee
12-06-2007, 01:32 PM
I'm also a techie (programmer), but I also want things to work without fuss.

For comparison, I used to use the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD as my DVR. Now I use the HD version of Tivo.

If you look at a function matrix of the two, they look to be about the same in terms of basic functionality, but in actuality the Tivo is so much easier to use, it's a no-brainer.

With the Tivo, the translation from will (my) to action is extremely transparent. With the SA 8300HD, I just found myself getting annoyed and frustrated trying to get it work in an intelligent and reasonable manner.

I think when a product is easy to use on a daily basis, that's a strong indication that the developers behind it have transformed the underlying complexities successfully into a simplicity that belies the underlying sophistication needed to support it.

With the SA8300HD it was obvious that a bunch of technogeeks had developed a functional, yet barely usable product, because although they had solved many of the major issues with providing 2 tuner DVR functionality, they had not solved many of the critical usability issues, passing on this complexity on to the end user.

To me the Kindle seems closer to the Tivo than to the SA8300HD in terms of the thought and care behind it.

Gino.

NatCh
12-06-2007, 02:34 PM
I've only ever dealt with a Tivo DVR, and I have a general question about non-Tivo DVRs: Do they generally have a "Season Pass" type function that records all the new episodes of a series, and follows them around if they change times or days?

That's possibly the most useful feature to my me, personally. Though I do love the optional 30 second skip ahead feature. I actually do watch commercials if they're new and something I'm reasonably interested in (or just a company that makes good commercials, I love the Capitol One "pillager" and the Geico "Caveman" commercials, for example).

What I don't usually do is watch commercials if I don't care about the product, or keep watching them once they get stale, or watch the same commercial 2 or 3 times in a single commercial break, but that's a pet peeve of mine. :veryangry

Alisa
12-06-2007, 02:43 PM
I've had a ReplayTV, Snapstream and MythTV and they've all had "season pass" functionality.

NatCh
12-06-2007, 03:13 PM
Cool, thanks for the info, Alisa. :nice:

TallMomof2
12-06-2007, 04:25 PM
My Verizon FIOS DVR has a season pass function, too. You also have the option of recording only new epis or all. I don't think that it follows the program if it changes days and/or times. It might but I'm not positive.

rosie_james
12-09-2007, 11:37 AM
I am getting the Sony Reader PRS-505 for Christmas and, since I am a newbie, I have some questions that I hope someone can help me with (sorry if this is a bit long).

I have gone to the Sony Style Store website but am more confused than ever. First: Is it true that you can only load Sony books onto the reader? Can you download e-books from another source onto a memory card or stick?

2nd: About the memory card or stick: when I go to the manual it tells you that you can use a memory card or memory stick or memory stick in duo. But then it has footnotes that say something about "copyright" not supported or protected or something like that. Can you use any kind of external memory or just a certain type?

Thanks for any help you can give this "newbie."

astra
12-09-2007, 02:20 PM
I am getting the Sony Reader PRS-505 for Christmas and, since I am a newbie, I have some questions that I hope someone can help me with (sorry if this is a bit long).

I have gone to the Sony Style Store website but am more confused than ever. First: Is it true that you can only load Sony books onto the reader? Can you download e-books from another source onto a memory card or stick?

2nd: About the memory card or stick: when I go to the manual it tells you that you can use a memory card or memory stick or memory stick in duo. But then it has footnotes that say something about "copyright" not supported or protected or something like that. Can you use any kind of external memory or just a certain type?

Thanks for any help you can give this "newbie."

Welcome to MobileRead Forum!

You can upload to your reader RTF/TXT files from any source.
You can also upload books in LRF - sony propreitary format (I believe it is the best format for Sony Reader).
LRF files might be obtained from different sources. Such as Sony Connect bookshop, MobilRead Forum :) - a huge selection of books made by members of this forum (these books are from free domain) and any other ebook online store that sells LRF formated books.
I believe there is another site, don't remember the name off the top of my head that sells ebooks in PDF format. The books are formated to suit reader's 6" screen.

I cannot comment a lot about external memory. I never used one before.
Generally, you can use Secure Digital cards up to 2G and memory stick up to 8G. It is better to purchase a well known brand, such as SanDisk or Lextar. You can upload on this memory the same reading material that you upload to internal. There are is no difference besides that reading from cards drain battery a bit faster,

Astropin
12-10-2007, 01:32 AM
I am getting the Sony Reader PRS-505 for Christmas and, since I am a newbie, I have some questions that I hope someone can help me with (sorry if this is a bit long).

I have gone to the Sony Style Store website but am more confused than ever. First: Is it true that you can only load Sony books onto the reader? Can you download e-books from another source onto a memory card or stick?

2nd: About the memory card or stick: when I go to the manual it tells you that you can use a memory card or memory stick or memory stick in duo. But then it has footnotes that say something about "copyright" not supported or protected or something like that. Can you use any kind of external memory or just a certain type?

Thanks for any help you can give this "newbie."

Check around this site and you will figure out where you can get books from. Not totally sure about the memory either but I do know that the built in memory will hold approximately 160 books.

spooky69
12-10-2007, 08:23 PM
I'm going to be getting a Sony Reader PRS-505 for Christmas, and I feel pretty confident with that choice. Here's a list of reasons why:
-The side buttons on the Kindle. I said this in another thread, but they seem like a monumentally bad idea. I don't want to be restricted to only holding the reader by the bottom 1/3, even if doing so isn't that awkward. They clearly had the idea of trying to make the most important buttons on the machine really big and "user-friendly," without giving any thought to the actual usability of their final design. This is the one factor that will *have* to change before I'd even consider buying a Kindle.
-The price of the PRS-505 is more reasonable, although I feel that the extra features on the Kindle do justify the price difference. They're both pretty expensive no matter what, though.
-I simply won't be buying many books for my device if they're available for free somehow, so the online book selection isn't much of an issue at the point. For those who do plan on buying a lot of books, I could definitely see where Amazon would have the upper hand.
-I don't want/need most of the the extra features on the Kindle, though it's nice that they're there for those who have it. I'm getting the PRS-505 as device to read books and other texts, and it seems like the Reader is going to meet that requirement quite well, perhaps even better than the Kindle does currently.
-No matter what, the PRS-505 will continue to perform its primary function right out of the box, with no foreseeable degradation of this functionality for the life of the device itself. The wireless connectivity of the Kindle, however, will always be in a state flux, whether it gets better, worse, or unusable altogether. If the Kindle's internet capability or its web-based services disappear, a major part of its functionality will be lost. Even if the Reader is discontinued by Sony, I feel like the usability of it will probably still continue to be refined by users creating their own hacks for it, and, at worst, will simply stay the same.

Now, there are some points of concern with the PRS-505 compared to the Kindle:
-Sony. It doesn't seem like their support for the Reader so far has been that great, although they hit most of the big targets with the hardware upgrade from the 500 model. Despite that, everything I've read points to some serious complacency in regards to the firmware. Why are there still no separate folders for different MP3 books/albums? It seems like that would be an extremely easy feature to implement, but it's the type of thing that will continually be overlooked in the "it works well enough as it is" type of development environment that can plague software projects. The limited available font sizes and lack of alternate fonts also seems like a pretty straightforward issue that hasn't been addressed despite plenty of complaints. I'm really hoping that the Kindle's release and subsequent popularity will be a big kick in the ass for Sony. The thoroughness of their firmware updates for the 505 and how well they address the demands of the users will be the biggest factor in determining whether I buy a newer model if/when I purchase a new e-book reader after this one. Despite my worries about Sony's abilities to hone their product, it also remains to be seen how well Amazon can accomplish the same task. People (both members of the press and casual observers) reacted extremely negatively to the design of Kindle's original "prototype." What changes did they make to the design in the year it took them to release the device? They added some tacky-looking and pointless embossing to the rubber pad on the back. This doesn't speak well to Amazon's ability to listen to what the consumer wants.
-On the other hand, the dictionary is really an extremely desirable feature. I'd hope that Sony (or the users) could find a way to get a Dictionary on the Reader (pretty doable, although I imagine the interface for this feature would be a little cumbersome without the scroll wheel) then I'd have virtually no reason to want a Kindle.
-Amazon simply has a better ability to offer content for their device. I mentioned that the usefulness of the Kindle's internet connectivity will change throughout the life of the product, but no matter what, it will probably continue to function for longer than the Sony's Connect book store. I saw on here that they'll probably be starting a partnership with Barnes & Noble, so we'll see how that changes things.
-Faster page turns on the Kindle. Hopefully this is something that could be optimized on the 505 with future firmware updates.

Anyway, a lot of that was pretty long-winded, but I'm really looking forward to getting my Reader. I'm still open to getting a Kindle at some point, but they'll have to do a lot with the next version to show that they've learned from people's input. If they don't, somebody else is sure to come out with a much sleeker, more well-rounded internet-capable reader. :xmas:

HarryT
12-11-2007, 08:11 AM
-On the other hand, the dictionary is really an extremely desirable feature. I'd hope that Sony (or the users) could find a way to get a Dictionary on the Reader (pretty doable, although I imagine the interface for this feature would be a little cumbersome without the scroll wheel)

The dictionary interface that the Gen3, iLiad, etc, have is perfectly adequate and could be used with no problem at all on the Sony. I do agree that lack of dictionary support is now a major failing of the Sony - it's the only "big-name" bookreader which doesn't have it.

edsohsmith
12-11-2007, 10:25 AM
The dictionary interface that the Gen3, iLiad, etc, have is perfectly adequate and could be used with no problem at all on the Sony. I do agree that lack of dictionary support is now a major failing of the Sony - it's the only "big-name" bookreader which doesn't have it.

It does seem like a strange decision not to include this functionality on the Sony. I would hope that a firmware upgrade would remedy this, but I am certainly not holding my breath.

rflashman
12-11-2007, 10:29 AM
-No matter what, the PRS-505 will continue to perform its primary function right out of the box, with no foreseeable degradation of this functionality for the life of the device itself. The wireless connectivity of the Kindle, however, will always be in a state flux, whether it gets better, worse, or unusable altogether. If the Kindle's internet capability or its web-based services disappear, a major part of its functionality will be lost. Even if the Reader is discontinued by Sony, I feel like the usability of it will probably still continue to be refined by users creating their own hacks for it, and, at worst, will simply stay the same.

My Sony Reader's connect software stopped working when I upgraded to Vista 64, with no plans from Sony to support me. So I don't entirely agree with this assesment. Also, if the Kindle's wireless stops working, isn't it the same as the Sony Reader?

spooky69
12-11-2007, 01:12 PM
My Sony Reader's connect software stopped working when I upgraded to Vista 64, with no plans from Sony to support me. So I don't entirely agree with this assesment. Also, if the Kindle's wireless stops working, isn't it the same as the Sony Reader?

That does fall under the "Oh, Sony." category there. I guess you'd have to hope that the user base would come up with a solution for this one, or that the release of the Kindle will prompt Sony to clean up all these loose edges. Since I haven't had a chance to use the software yet, is it similar to iTunes where you can't even browse the books without installing the software on your computer? It's becoming a major pet peeve of mine when people copy the style and functionality of that miserable piece of shit. When I hear about the "syncing" that the Sony transfer software does, it makes me roll my eyes, and I might not be getting the device if there weren't a user-created alternative. I have an iPod Shuffle 2nd gen and it turns out that there's a 12kb program that replaces the entire transfer functionality of iTunes, allowing me to simply drag and drop files onto it an explorer (much better then having them "synced" onto the device and into a cryptic file tree with names like MX4CL.mp3, give me a break) and then create a new playlist for the device with the click of a button, more than halving the time involved in getting an album on the Shuffle and allowing me to removing three separate start-up processes added by iTunes. If iTunes is the standard for what a portable media device's transfer/media store software is supposed to be like, I suggest we move back to the days when everything had a plug.
Anyway, I actually read about another thing on here that made me a little concerned about the viability of the Reader, which is that a lot of users are getting very short battery life (around 500 page refreshes over only a few days) from the PRS-505. I can definitely live with that if it doesn't get better, but it's just another thing that you have to hope that Sony can (will?) fix with a firmware update. :xmas:

Alisa
12-11-2007, 01:17 PM
The dictionary interface that the Gen3, iLiad, etc, have is perfectly adequate and could be used with no problem at all on the Sony. I do agree that lack of dictionary support is now a major failing of the Sony - it's the only "big-name" bookreader which doesn't have it.

I absolutely agree. It was one of the big draws for the Gen3 and the Kindle for me over the Sony. I really hope they add this and fix that Vista problem that was mentioned. I'd like to see robust competition continue and for that Sony needs to keep up. I love my Kindle but I think we're all served better by having more than one strong player in the market. Plus I know there are folks that probably have a good deal of Sony content and I'd like to see them still have good readers down the line.

ctitanic
12-11-2007, 04:31 PM
The "No computer Needed" is a big feature for me. And that's why I'm thinking about getting the Kindle. The access to the web at all time is a big plus more when you don't have to pay for it!

Ervserver
12-14-2007, 10:55 AM
I hear there are wireless SD cards now, wonder if these would work with the Sony units

Astropin
12-14-2007, 12:55 PM
The "No computer Needed" is a big feature for me. And that's why I'm thinking about getting the Kindle. The access to the web at all time is a big plus more when you don't have to pay for it!

You don't have to pay for 24hr web access? I find that hard to believe.

Alisa
12-14-2007, 01:59 PM
You don't have to pay for 24hr web access? I find that hard to believe.

I think the model they are working on now, since the Kindle is not particularly suited for websurfing, is that people will mostly be using the access to get content. It isn't free. Nothing's free. It's factored into the price. Amazon has been quite frank that getting content and Wikipedia search will stay this way. Websurfing itself is "experimental" and they have been clear that they may start charging for that. If most Kindle users are like me, they probably won't have to. Websurfing on this thing is dreadful. It's primarily a reader, not a tablet pc. Whispernet is great for what it was made for: getting your content immediately even when you're away from home and doing searches. These two features are a great added value, IMO. I've used it in a pinch to browse the web, but my smartphone does a better job.

tsgreer
12-14-2007, 02:27 PM
I think the model they are working on now, since the Kindle is not particularly suited for websurfing, is that people will mostly be using the access to get content. It isn't free. Nothing's free. It's factored into the price. Amazon has been quite frank that getting content and Wikipedia search will stay this way. Websurfing itself is "experimental" and they have been clear that they may start charging for that. If most Kindle users are like me, they probably won't have to. Websurfing on this thing is dreadful. It's primarily a reader, not a tablet pc. Whispernet is great for what it was made for: getting your content immediately even when you're away from home and doing searches. These two features are a great added value, IMO. I've used it in a pinch to browse the web, but my smartphone does a better job.

I agree, I have used it to browse some reviews for books I was considering buying and have read several Wikipedia articles, but the actually websurfing stuff I leave to my computer. I do love being able to read the reviews and wikipedia stuff, so that's awesome...

HarryT
12-14-2007, 02:29 PM
You don't have to pay for 24hr web access? I find that hard to believe.

Believe me - web surfing on an eInk device is not something you'd want to do :).

TallMomof2
12-14-2007, 06:54 PM
Believe me - web surfing on an eInk device is not something you'd want to do :).

But when you're sitting in a doctor's waiting room or the imaging waiting room it's nice to be able to go out on the web and find info. Haven't been in any medical offices with free WiFi except my kids' orthodontist but he's the exception. Fortunately, I live in an area with excellent Whispernet coverage.

Ervserver
12-15-2007, 03:56 PM
I'd like to think I could go a couple hours a day without internet access....if not someone please shoot me now

Alisa
12-15-2007, 07:21 PM
Yes but sometimes you need specific information while you're out. I found it very frustrating in the vet's office a few weeks ago when I wanted to get the nutritional info for some food to show him. My phone's battery was dead and the page with the information I wanted wouldn't display correctly on the Kindle. Took me forever to move through the site to the right page and then I couldn't even get the information I wanted. It would've worked on my phone just fine. Even trying to download a book off of Feedbooks is a three hour tour. I wouldn't use it for websurfing unless I really needed to. Of course if I've got a couple of hours to kill, I'd far rather be reading one of the books I've got on it!

Ervserver
12-15-2007, 07:45 PM
If web browsing gets too good on the Kindle people will be driving their cars and Kindling at the same time.

astra
12-18-2007, 04:36 AM
But when you're sitting in a doctor's waiting room or the imaging waiting room it's nice to be able to go out on the web and find info. Haven't been in any medical offices with free WiFi except my kids' orthodontist but he's the exception. Fortunately, I live in an area with excellent Whispernet coverage.

Disagree with you.

For me it is like ....voluntary subject yuorself to a hardship of using 33.3 modem with 486 computer instead of quadcore pc with 20M broadband.

I would prefer to read a book or a magazin instead of using a device similar to Kindle for browsing the Internet.

JSWolf
12-18-2007, 07:53 AM
My Sony Reader's connect software stopped working when I upgraded to Vista 64, with no plans from Sony to support me. So I don't entirely agree with this assessment. Also, if the Kindle's wireless stops working, isn't it the same as the Sony Reader?
You'll need to blame Microsoft for your issue with Sony. MS makes it hard to get a 64-bit drive written and all you have to go through to do is is not worth it for the small amount of users of the 64-bit Vista.

That said, you'll need a 32-bit Windows to properly run Ebook Library. That's just the way it is.

One thing I am not sure of though is because the 505 is seens as a mass storage device by the OS, no extra driver is needed. The 505 & Ebook Library might very well function on a 64-bit version of Windows. It's only the 500 that needs a specific USB driver and that driver is 32-bit only.

rflashman
12-18-2007, 09:31 AM
You'll need to blame Microsoft for your issue with Sony. MS makes it hard to get a 64-bit drive written and all you have to go through to do is is not worth it for the small amount of users of the 64-bit Vista.

That's a Sony decision, not Microsoft. Logitech, Canon, and pretty much everyone else don't seem to have a problem supporting Vista 64 (it had been a year now). Actually, most 32-bit drivers work fine in Vista.

The Sony Reader is the *only* device I have for Windows that does not support Vista 64. My (all pre-Vista) Canon printer, web cam, USB DVD burner, USB hard drive, etc. all work fine. They either have 64-bit drivers, or the 32-bit drivers work fine.

So I don't blame Microsoft. Sony had the beta Vista 64 for a year before release, and now it is a year after release. Sony stopped supporting me. I can't do much about that decision, except to buy a Kindle.

Ervserver
12-18-2007, 09:39 AM
64 bit versions of Windows is not targeted at the casual home user, even the popular iPhone is not supported for 64 bit versions. A majority of users will be very disappointed by installing Vista x64. The lack of 64-bit drivers for most current hardware will be very disappointing and frustrating to most users.

kovidgoyal
12-18-2007, 11:15 AM
That's a Sony decision, not Microsoft. Logitech, Canon, and pretty much everyone else don't seem to have a problem supporting Vista 64 (it had been a year now). Actually, most 32-bit drivers work fine in Vista.

The Sony Reader is the *only* device I have for Windows that does not support Vista 64. My (all pre-Vista) Canon printer, web cam, USB DVD burner, USB hard drive, etc. all work fine. They either have 64-bit drivers, or the 32-bit drivers work fine.

So I don't blame Microsoft. Sony had the beta Vista 64 for a year before release, and now it is a year after release. Sony stopped supporting me. I can't do much about that decision, except to buy a Kindle.

Just use the 505, it works on 64bit Vista as well. Or even better switch to 64bit Linux.

cmumford
12-18-2007, 08:07 PM
64 bit versions of Windows is not targeted at the casual home user, even the popular iPhone is not supported for 64 bit versions. A majority of users will be very disappointed by installing Vista x64. The lack of 64-bit drivers for most current hardware will be very disappointing and frustrating to most users.

I think that generally you're right in what you say, but the difference may not be as drastic as you describe. I run 64-bit Vista Ultimate and was quite impressed how well it runs 32-bit applications. I believe that Microsoft won't WHQL certify a driver unless the manufacturer submits both 32 and 64 bit versions of the driver. For instance I recently purchased a new laptop and you can download 64-bit drivers for everything.

I was even able to download 64-bit drivers from HP for a 13 hear old laser printer! That being said I do believe that this is not the norm and owners of older hardware will have problems.

Also, I had to keep my old 32-bit machine running because it won't sync with my iPhone - that sucks!

DrMoze
12-20-2007, 04:47 PM
But when you're sitting in a doctor's waiting room or the imaging waiting room it's nice to be able to go out on the web and find info. Haven't been in any medical offices with free WiFi except my kids' orthodontist but he's the exception. Fortunately, I live in an area with excellent Whispernet coverage.

That's what my Blackberry is for. (With Opera Mini browser.) ANd I keep it charged--a necessity. My Reader is for... reading. I even used it today while waiting in a doctor's office! (Really.)

Actually, the battery life can be an issue. Someone mentioned earlier in the thread that the e-book readers should improve on paper books, citing the Kindle's dictionary and wireless functions. I think it's more important that the e-book readers don't introduce significant disadvantages with respect to paper books. A key factor for my choice of a second Sony Reader (after the Kindle came out) was that I knew the Reader works essentially "like a book." I have a few month's worth of spare-time reading on it and the internal memory is far from full, even without a memory card. Connecting to my pc once every couple of weeks is enough to add a few books I may have come across in the interim, which I keep in a folder on my desktop.

OTOH, long battery life is *critical* IMO. It's bad enough having to keep other devices charged regularly. I want my Reader to be like a book. Pick it up, take it with me, flip a switch and it's ready for me. I'm never worried about running out of juice--a 2-3 week battery life is a huge advantage. Just like I never have th 'recharge' my paper books or worry about them running out of power. Plus, the Sony Reader is thin, and fits easily in a coat or jacket pocket. I never use a dictionary when I read, and the Kindle's "extra" features don't appeal to me, while it's negatives are significant for my reading habits and wants.

Alisa
12-20-2007, 08:47 PM
Luckily you can easily turn off the wireless and have nice long battery life. I've been reading every day and haven't recharged for the last week and the battery's hardly down any.

KDawg
12-20-2007, 10:13 PM
I like my PRS-500. I like it a lot. I like the form factor and the metal case. I love the eInk and the battery life. But I have followed the Kindle intensely from rumor to review because I don't like Sony very much and I love Amazon. Unfortunately, I have been very disappointed in the reviews of the Kindle device (not the service). The thick, awkward plastic body and the vast array of buttons that are hard to avoid when picking the Kindle up (or so I've read) have really turned me off. I determined to wait for a Kindle redesign.

I dropped by Borders tonight and they had the PRS-505 out on display. It was love at first sight. The slightly awkward controls of the PRS-500 have been cleaned up, the case is cleaner and easier to handle, and the next-generation eInk (same as on the Kindle I believe) display is a vast improvement over the PRS-500 display, which I was happy with. So I caved in and bought it. I think this beautiful new hardware has won me over to Sony for the long run. Now if only Sony would clean up their software and snuggle up to the publishers.

I do wish Amazon would dump the Kindle and team up with Sony for their hardware. That would be the best of both worlds.

TallMomof2
12-20-2007, 10:21 PM
That's what my Blackberry is for. (With Opera Mini browser.) ANd I keep it charged--a necessity. My Reader is for... reading. I even used it today while waiting in a doctor's office! (Really.)

I have a basic phone, so for me the Kindle was a nice way to look up some info online while in various waiting rooms. It was nice to be able to calm my fears and have intelligent questions for the medical professionals.

No, it's not especially pleasant going online but that was my only choice. I have a Palm T|X with built in wireless but unless I upgrade my phone account so that I can tether my Palm to the phone to go online I'll have to stay with the Kindle.

Alisa
12-21-2007, 02:27 AM
I do wish Amazon would dump the Kindle and team up with Sony for their hardware. That would be the best of both worlds.

From your mouth to Bezos' ears! The Sony Reader is so sexy. Now if they could add in the lovely search features and the Kindle store, I'd be in e-ink Nirvana.

Alisa
12-21-2007, 02:29 AM
I have a basic phone, so for me the Kindle was a nice way to look up some info online while in various waiting rooms. It was nice to be able to calm my fears and have intelligent questions for the medical professionals.

No, it's not especially pleasant going online but that was my only choice. I have a Palm T|X with built in wireless but unless I upgrade my phone account so that I can tether my Palm to the phone to go online I'll have to stay with the Kindle.

I would say the Kindle is better than a any regular phone I've had for web browsing but the more recent web-enable smartphones are way better for websurfing than Kindle. I have an HTC-6800 at the moment. Way better for websurfing, sucktacular for reading books.

ctitanic
12-21-2007, 07:31 AM
You don't have to pay for 24hr web access? I find that hard to believe.

You better believe it. The web browsing is limited but free.

ctitanic
12-21-2007, 07:34 AM
I would prefer to read a book or a magazin instead of using a device similar to Kindle for browsing the Internet.

I agree, the kindle is not a MID but the fact that you can search the web for info in case it's needed is a plus. And who knows... once the kindle becomes a really popular device new hacks come out to allows you to share that EDVO connection with other devices. ;)

Alisa
12-21-2007, 01:31 PM
I agree, the kindle is not a MID but the fact that you can search the web for info in case it's needed is a plus. And who knows... once the kindle becomes a really popular device new hacks come out to allows you to share that EDVO connection with other devices. ;)

And if people start doing that, you can bet Amazon will start charging for it.

silvania
12-21-2007, 01:56 PM
That's what I was wondering. It seems we're all assuming that there's been a price drop where it just may be that Amazon's taking a big loss and the other stores have no choice but to do the same if they want to keep any sort of foothold. Certainly if Amazon has leveraged any price cut, I would think they'd try to keep that exclusive.

Amazon is simply losing money on those books, they got no special price cut from the big publishers. They have the same terms as all the other ebook retailers. (I know this for a fact, I am not speculating.)

Astropin
12-21-2007, 02:31 PM
I dropped by Borders tonight and they had the PRS-505 out on display. It was love at first sight. The slightly awkward controls of the PRS-500 have been cleaned up, the case is cleaner and easier to handle, and the next-generation eInk (same as on the Kindle I believe) display is a vast improvement over the PRS-500 display, which I was happy with. So I caved in and bought it. I think this beautiful new hardware has won me over to Sony for the long run. Now if only Sony would clean up their software and snuggle up to the publishers.

I do wish Amazon would dump the Kindle and team up with Sony for their hardware. That would be the best of both worlds.

Actually the screen on the 505 (eight shades of grey and higher contrast) is more advanced then the screen on the Kindle (four shades of grey). I believe the Kindles is the same as the 500's.

AnemicOak
12-21-2007, 02:34 PM
Actually the screen on the 505 (eight shades of grey and higher contrast) is more advanced then the screen on the Kindle (four shades of grey). I believe the Kindles is the same as the 500's.

While you're correct on the numbers of gray, the Kindle & 505 (& Cybook) use the same screen (Viziplex), just a different controller.

astra
01-04-2008, 07:28 PM
Got mine today!

The first impression:

Bad:

1. The coveris a bit too rigid. Hopefully it will be better after some use.
2. The new joystick is not as responsive as in prs-500.
3. Unsual page refresh.

Good.
1. Stanning screen in comparison to prs-500.
2. Very convenient page turn buttons on the right side. I can now read the reader one handed doesn't matter what hand I am using. Although, mostly right hand.
3. Overall, I am happy so far because the only feature why I upgraded was a new screen (besides my wife wanted my old reader to read Russian books).

Kingston
01-05-2008, 04:21 AM
Sony is a huge electronics company and produces hundreds if not thousands of electronic devices. They have a history of entering a new market and then pulling out or downsizing a division so that there is minimal support once the niche market matures and Sonys place in a niche market becomes clear.

I have a couple of old Sony TiVos gathering dust. Yes, I bought ReplayTV after the Sony TiVo and it still works great after all these years. Neither company has made a DVR in several years.

Sony originated the minidisc format, and I got into it about 6-7 years ago. At that time there were around 12 or so Sony minidisc recorder/players to choose from. Now, at least in the American market, a buyer is limited to one model only.

Anyone remember WebTV? I am looking at a Sony WebTV gathering dust on top of my old Sony 32 inch console.

The point of all this blather is that you poor folk supporting Sony ereader products are doomed. Amazon has the muscle and the wherewithall to make their product a success. Not to mention the much greater variety of books to choose from. Sony just can't provide the content that Amazon can, and they will eventually bow out due to market pressures. Sony is like RCA or any other huge company. They just want to see profits in the bottom line.With Amazon gobbling their market share the Sony reader will be gathering dust in 10 years or less along with my Sony TiVo and Sony WebTV.

Yes they will continue to support the old readers, but you can bet your booties that Sony will be a fond memory in the ereader sweepstakes within 5-7 years.

I am a Kindle owner and was only vaguely familiar with the Sony reader before entering the ebook world. It seems to be a great product from what I have read and has a few features the version 1 Kindle lacks such as enhanced grayscale and formatting capabilities not to mention the ever-commented-upon PDF capability. I might even have bought one if the software were Mac compatible (why it's not is beyond me).

Bottom line: Sony's ereader division is a tiny portion of this great companies revenue. Bezos and Amazon have a much greater stake in making the Kindle a long term winner. Sony can bow out gracefully in a few years, just as they did with their TiVo and WebTV. They will probably offer a Reader for years to come, but don't expect them to fight a losing battle against Amazon when it is not in Sony's best financial interest to do so.

I have been on the wrong side of format wars before. Remember Sony Betamax? Yup, I used it for years and have hundreds of tapes stored away. Maybe Kindle is not the "best" reader out there ( I am a Kindle owner and think so!) but the format which makes the most noise in publicity and ease of use will just naturally survive. Darwin's Natural Selection.

astra
01-05-2008, 07:57 AM
The point of all this blather is that you poor folk supporting Sony ereader products are doomed. Amazon has the muscle and the wherewithall to make their product a success. Not to mention the much greater variety of books to choose from. Sony just can't provide the content that Amazon can, and they will eventually bow out due to market pressures. Sony is like RCA or any other huge company. They just want to see profits in the bottom line.With Amazon gobbling their market share the Sony reader will be gathering dust in 10 years or less along with my Sony TiVo and Sony WebTV.

Yes they will continue to support the old readers, but you can bet your booties that Sony will be a fond memory in the ereader sweepstakes within 5-7 years.

Unfortunatelly I agree with you, however, I disagree with a line in bold. At least it is not applicable to me. I do not support Sony reader. In 3-4 years whatever we bought today, be it Sony or CyBook or Kindle, will become obsolete. There are will be newer and better readers. Which one will be better and available to me? No idea. Almost sure it will not be Sony because it will be dwarfed by Amazon. All that said, I bought Sony reader today because IMHO it is the best ebook reader that we have today. I am not buying DRMed LRFs but I would not buy DRMed Kindle or Mobipocket books as well. I would have to buy LIT books for any reader I bought today. In that case I choose Sony because its hardware implementation is far superior to any other readers. I do not support Sony, I buy what is convenient for me.

ewayde
01-05-2008, 10:51 AM
The one feature of an ebook reader that I've been waiting for is a search function that searches all holdings at once. The Kindle boasts this feature. A device that can hold most of my technical resources, as well as pleasure reading and news gathering, and allows me to search for a term suits me best.

None of them are perfect but the Kindle seems to fit.

Ervserver
01-05-2008, 10:55 AM
I don't think Amazon will run Sony out of the reader business, there are actually people that do not like the Kindle. If interest in ebooks continues to grow I think there will be a niche market for the Sony version. I expect Sony will continue to improve it and one day Amazon's ebook library may even become open to the Sony reader.

astra
01-05-2008, 10:55 AM
my technical resources


You do not talk about pdf files, do you?

astra
01-05-2008, 10:59 AM
I don't think Amazon will run Sony out of the reader business, there are actually people that do not like the Kindle. If interest in ebooks continues to grow I think there will be a niche market for the Sony version. I expect Sony will continue to improve it and one day Amazon's ebook library may even become open to the Sony reader.

OK. I would not call myself an optimist :help:

geoelectric
01-14-2008, 05:53 PM
For me, it came down to a couple of things:

1) I am buying into the service, as well as the reader. Amazon's overall user-experience for the Kindle is well-crafted, and their customer service is especially good.

2) In terms of DRM'd books, beyond the pricing, I'm gauging risk on how long the DRM will be alive to let me read them.

Sony is a bad risk in that regard, IMO, for all the reasons mentioned before--this is a marginal thing for them, and they've only had nominal success in the market.

Amazon, however, will be successful if -anyone- is successful. And if they're not successful with the Kindle-specific service and device, I think there's a reasonable chance they'll make Mobipocket and Kindle cross-compatible (i.e. offer a conversion service from AZW->Mobi for reading content on future Mobi devices and make the AZW devices officially Mobi compatible by loosening the PID spec to allow the asterisk). This isn't wholly unreasonable, given that they own Mobipocket.

And for all the reasons others have mentioned, the instant availability and novelty of the device are getting me back into reading again, so there you go. I didn't sense that I'd have the same experience with Sony. Being able to navigate to Feedbooks.net, Webscriptions.net, or similar and just instantly download free novels is fantastic, never mind the Amazon store.

My other choice--which was about neck in neck, but I wanted the wireless--was actually the Cybook Gen 3. If I had to really bet on a format, it'd be Mobi, given that it's the only one with significant cross-platform support, and the Cybook looks like the best affordable Mobi reader (Iliad beats it for best, but not for affordable). But at the time, the prices on Mobi content were still pretty high, and that AZW/Mobi relationship makes me think things will eventually equalize out with a chance of a soft landing, whichever way it goes.

ylmrog
01-17-2008, 01:52 PM
1) Price......This coming from a guy who paid $700 for a PS3 :)....

700.00 for a PS3 with not many games out (at the time it ws 700.00) and you can't pay an extra 100 for tech you might want later on?

odd.


2) The Kindle is frigging ugly......the Sony looks nice.


You consider "ugly" a valid reason?
You're reading a book, not impressing the ladies.
I think it is hiddeous, but so what?


I'm trying to imagine a scenario where I suddenly NEED to download a book onto my reader?

wow.. I see Sooo many reasons it would take too long to list them.
I haven't received mine yet but I can't wait to be able to surf the web with this at lunch after I am done reading a chapter or two.. and thats just the first reason., on the can....

no need to litter the loo with old magazines!!:book2:

Astropin
01-18-2008, 02:51 PM
700.00 for a PS3 with not many games out (at the time it ws 700.00) and you can't pay an extra 100 for tech you might want later on?

odd.

Still see no need for the wireless access in a book reader. I've read several novels on my 505 now and I LOVE it. The ONLY thing missing from my 505 (IMHO) is a searchable dictionary. Oh, BTW, I love that PS3.....there are some really fantastic games out for it now with many more on the way......plus it absolutely ROCKS as a blu-ray player. It's also nice to know that blu-ray will win the war against HD-DVD ......that did have me a little worried for a bit there.




You consider "ugly" a valid reason?
You're reading a book, not impressing the ladies.
I think it is hiddeous, but so what?

Hey.....to each his own....I love electronic gadgets.....and aesthetics does play a role.....a small one....but a role non the less (for me).


wow.. I see Sooo many reasons it would take too long to list them.
I haven't received mine yet but I can't wait to be able to surf the web with this at lunch after I am done reading a chapter or two.. and thats just the first reason., on the can....

Good luck surfing the net on a Kindle :rofl: Have you read the reviews about actually trying to surf with that thing? I'll keep my Nokia N800 for that (and It looks cool to boot :) ) I've got room for 160 novles on just the built in memory.....why would I possibly need to download a novel on the fly?

Alisa
01-18-2008, 03:14 PM
Still see no need for the wireless access in a book reader. I've read several novels on my 505 now and I LOVE it. The ONLY thing missing from my 505 (IMHO) is a searchable dictionary.

-snip-

Good luck surfing the net on a Kindle :rofl: Have you read the reviews about actually trying to surf with that thing? I'll keep my Nokia N800 for that (and It looks cool to boot :) ) I've got room for 160 novles on just the built in memory.....why would I possibly need to download a novel on the fly?

I definitely agree that you don't NEED wireless access but it sure is nice. I don't think any of this is about what we NEED. We like fun toys. But you're right, trying to surf with it is dreadful. If I need to do that when I'm out, I use my smartphone. Whispernet really is for getting content (and Wikipedia search) but I do find it a great convenience, actually. Some places I've loved having it:

-When I'm on the road. I could plan ahead and buy several books but I really prefer to try the samples first. My moods shift as far as what I want to read so it's hard to anticipate what I'll want at any given moment.
-It's late. I'm in bed and I've finished a book and want another. Bed, kitties and husband are warm and I don't want to disturb them.
-I've just finished a sample and want to keep reading without taking several minutes to go to my computer, buy a book and load it breaking the flow of my reading.
-When I'm just hanging out or listening to the radio and someone mentions a book I think I might like, I can quickly get the sample before I forget.

Would I pay extra for it? No. I paid extra for the searching and dictionary functions. Whispernet was just a bonus. It's a bonus I've realized I like more than I thought I would. If I weren't a really comfortable computer user, though, I may find it a huge benefit.

JSWolf
01-18-2008, 03:21 PM
Why is it nobody seems to remember Amazon screwing people when they sold ebooks before? Am I the only one?

Alisa
01-18-2008, 03:40 PM
What an odd assumption. I've seen quite a few people here talk about it. It seems common knowledge. Personally, I don't trust any DRM to be around later but I don't re-read books usually. That's why I don't buy ahead with Amazon books. I buy what I want right now.

Ervserver
01-18-2008, 03:56 PM
Its easy to think that Amazon, a book seller, would be successful selling ebooks and likely wouldn't abandon Kindle owners.

Alisa
01-18-2008, 04:05 PM
I think they're more likely to be successful than Sony in the content war but I don't have more faith in them not to abandon support for their DRM if they don't stick with this business.

rationalbiker
01-18-2008, 09:57 PM
I definitely agree that you don't NEED wireless access but it sure is nice. I don't think any of this is about what we NEED.

Well, we don't "need" books for that matter. We don't need houses either. We can survive just fine without houses if you don't mind the change in your quality of life, and perhaps bundling up a little more and sleeping under trees, etc.

I have a different perspective on what it means to "need" something (similar to Maslow's heirarchy). We need those things which fulfill our lives, not simply things which allow us to keep breathing until the next moment, not simply those things that keep us avoiding the morgue for one more minute. The level to which you prioritize those needs may change with the context of your life, but life is more than simply avoiding the grave, it's about being happy, productive and fulfilled. We (humans) need those things.

I was not interested in ebooks or readers until Amazon came along with the Kindle. The Kindle introduced something in an ebook reader that I needed to make it useful and purposeful for my life.

Anyway, please don't take this as an attack or anything. I'm merely trying to share a different perspective on what it means to need things in the context of our lives.

As to this thread in general however, what I don't need is to go tell Sony users why I bought a Kindle instead. :) They can use the device that serves their needs without me trying to shoot it down.

rationalbiker
01-18-2008, 09:59 PM
Why is it nobody seems to remember Amazon screwing people when they sold ebooks before? Am I the only one?

For the sake of those of us who are new to ebooks, would you share with us your opinion on how Amazon "screwed" people before? Thanks in advance.

Alisa
01-18-2008, 10:43 PM
Anyway, please don't take this as an attack or anything. I'm merely trying to share a different perspective on what it means to need things in the context of our lives.

Of course not. I just sometimes think about what a high-class problem it is debating which expensive fun toy to buy. I feel lucky to be where I am with what I have.

My point was mostly that I think it comes down to the cost/benefit analysis we all do when making buying decisions. I think that oftentimes people tend to pit the connectivity aspect of the Kindle against the Sony to justify that extra cash where, while I do not deny it's great and more a benefit than I had originally estimated in my purchasing decision, for many of us the big benefit was something else. Maybe it was the selection of the Amazon store. For me it was search and dictionary lookup.

rationalbiker
01-18-2008, 11:39 PM
Of course not. I just sometimes think about what a high-class problem it is debating which expensive fun toy to buy. I feel lucky to be where I am with what I have.

It's a good "problem" to have. :)

As to luck, two quotes;

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” - Seneca

“I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” - Thomas Jefferson

Perhaps instead, you have earned where you are and what you have. :2thumbsup

I do agree that different things may have cinched the decision for different people. While I only mentioned the wireless access, I do the Kindle injustice by not recognizing that it was the total package that sold me. Massive content, search, annotation, wireless, etc. etc. What a strong package. I was aware of ebook readers before (never owned one) but this is the device that persuaded me that perhaps this was something that would be worthwhile to me, and worthwhile to support with my money.

Now, the one reservation I have at this point is getting this great package in a device that won't break on me overnight like my first one has done. This innovative device serves me no purpose if it is unreliable and will not function when I need it to function.

DaleDe
01-19-2008, 12:49 AM
For the sake of those of us who are new to ebooks, would you share with us your opinion on how Amazon "screwed" people before? Thanks in advance.

In the past Amazon had a eBook store similar to all the other eBook stores on the web and sold eBooks in multiple formats. PDF, LIT, and Mobi among others I believe with DRM. Then they dropped the products a year or so ago and people who purchased them cannot re-get copies if theirs gets lost or move them to different devices any longer since Amazon doesn't any longer support what they sold.

Dale

rationalbiker
01-19-2008, 01:04 AM
Then they dropped the products a year or so ago and people who purchased them cannot re-get copies if theirs gets lost or move them to different devices any longer since Amazon doesn't any longer support what they sold.

Thanks for the info. Did they guarentee or claim (or disclaim) how long they would offer support for these books? Do you know if this venture resulted in a profit loss for them? (aside from perhaps the tertiary effect of loss of business due to loss of customer faith) How long should they have supported this venture assuming they were losing money on it?

Do you think they will drop support for the current scheme IF it remains profitable for them?

Alisa
01-19-2008, 01:28 AM
Now, the one reservation I have at this point is getting this great package in a device that won't break on me overnight like my first one has done. This innovative device serves me no purpose if it is unreliable and will not function when I need it to function.

I must say that this is one of the reasons I am so curious as to how many were sold in this first round. I've read several sad accounts online so far of early failures. In the drive to make mobile devices small enough to be easily portable, the failure rate out of the box (or shortly thereafter) is higher than many other electronic products. The connections are prone to damage in shipping. I could more easily gauge if the Kindle was par for the course or particularly poorly manufactured if I knew how many were sold. It's not much consolation for those that got a dud with no replacements available. It's just a matter of idle curiosity on my part.

JSWolf
01-19-2008, 08:11 AM
Its easy to think that Amazon, a book seller, would be successful selling ebooks and likely wouldn't abandon Kindle owners.
It's also easy to think of the past and think... YES AMAZON ABANDONED EBOOKS!

JSWolf
01-19-2008, 08:14 AM
For the sake of those of us who are new to ebooks, would you share with us your opinion on how Amazon "screwed" people before? Thanks in advance.
It's not opinion, it's fact. People who purchased eBooks from Amazon only had a 1 year window to be able to redownload their purchased eBooks. It was mainly people who purchased in PDF format who needed to redownload as they upgraded their computers or OS and the PDF they had no longer worked. They found out that that their eBooks were no longer available for download. So if you needed to get your books again, you were unable to. Amazon also stopped selling eBooks. This was all before they purchased Mobipocket.

astra
01-19-2008, 08:16 AM
I saw an interesting advert today :thumbsup:

HarryT
01-19-2008, 08:20 AM
Don't get excited about it. It's just the standard "amazon.com" front page, with the automatic "redirect" you get offered if you visit amazon.com from the UK. Certainly doesn't mean that the Kindle is about to be sold in the UK, I'm afraid :).

astra
01-19-2008, 08:22 AM
I had a different "interesting" point on my mind when posting this :p

JSWolf
01-19-2008, 08:31 AM
I just had a go at Amazon.co.uk and did a search on Kindle and nothing came up about the Kindle or eBooks.

astra
01-19-2008, 08:35 AM
:(
I will wait for a third try.
If no one notice, then my brains are out of order today.

JSWolf
01-19-2008, 08:35 AM
:(
I will wait for a third try.
If no one notice, then my brains are out of order today.
You'll just have to stop bashing your head on your computer desk.

:rofl:

astra
01-19-2008, 08:39 AM
You'll just have to stop bashing your head on your computer desk.

:rofl:

Ha!
I just received a brand new MS keyboard. How else can I test its functionality? :eek:

rationalbiker
01-19-2008, 09:32 AM
It's not opinion, it's fact.

What I mean is, "getting screwed" is frequently in the mind of the beholder. For me to judge whether or not I thought they "screwed" anyone, I would want to know the facts rather than rely on someone else's judgement. For instance, one thing I would evaluate would be; whether anyone got "screwed" or not depends upon whether or not Amazon had some agreement with them, expressed or implied, that Amazon later did not honor.

It is frequently the case with many software providers that they do not promise support or upward compatibility with new operating systems, new program versions, etc. etc. I see that as a matter of doing "digital business", not anything I would specifically hold against Amazon. How long after purchase do you think they should have provided compatible content with newer software or systems?

What did Amazon promise (what real agreement existed) the ebook purchasers? Did they fail to follow through on that promise? Were there stipulations in their content/end user agreement that stated they could end support at any time?

Was there previous ebook venture unprofitable? Is it possible they learned something from their past venture that may either improve their product and/or their service this time around?

I would speculate that if this current venture IS profitable, there would be no particular reason to believe that they will just up and stop providing content. I would reasonably expect that if the venture was not profitable, support might end at some point unforeseeable to me.

HarryT
01-19-2008, 09:58 AM
I had a different "interesting" point on my mind when posting this :p

Do you mean "why is there a picture of a PRS-500 on it"? That's not immediately obvious, I must admit :).

astra
01-19-2008, 11:06 AM
Do you mean "why is there a picture of a PRS-500 on it"? That's not immediately obvious, I must admit :).

YES! :2thumbsup


On the same page there is andvert for Kindle and just one inch below there is an advert of PRS-505 and brown cover for prs-500 :D

DaleDe
01-19-2008, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the info. Did they guarentee or claim (or disclaim) how long they would offer support for these books? Do you know if this venture resulted in a profit loss for them? (aside from perhaps the tertiary effect of loss of business due to loss of customer faith) How long should they have supported this venture assuming they were losing money on it?

Do you think they will drop support for the current scheme IF it remains profitable for them?

This issue is the support for products sold. I am not sure if they guaranteed support for the eBooks but there is an implied support from a consumer. They did say that they had copies available for re-download but I can't remember if they specifically said how long they would keep them. It is standard industry practice to keep these kinds of things forever (well as long as the company exists anyway).

This issue is not profitability, it is a customer support issue. Customer support should not suffer even if a current product is dropped as long as the company exists. At least that is the reasoning some use to question the practice of Amazon. There are those who feel DRM only means that you rent the books for a while and this is the main reason that they feel that way. It is DRM that prevents you from being able to read a book as long as you want if the company decides to drop support. In a recent case one company that sold Mobi eBooks with DRM went out of business and at this point MobiPocket themselves are trying to pick up the pieces for that companies product. It is unknown whether they will be successful but it would go a long way toward stability of DRM if they can.

DRM is a sore point with many members of this forum and the behavior of those that enforce DRM is certainly being scrutinized for their current and past performance.

I have no idea how long Amazon will support DRM on eBooks they are currently selling. We only have history to go on. I hope Amazon has learned their lesson but only time will tell.

Dale

rationalbiker
01-19-2008, 02:17 PM
This issue is the support for products sold. I am not sure if they guaranteed support for the eBooks but there is an implied support from a consumer.

Im not sure how the consumer can imply support. Only the seller could imply support, though consumers might assume a certain level of support. A customer's assumption of support would not be anything a company would be bound by.

It is standard industry practice to keep these kinds of things forever (well as long as the company exists anyway).

By industry, do you mean ebook sellers? Would the business practices of other businesses bind Amazon to that same practice?

Customer support should not suffer even if a current product is dropped as long as the company exists. At least that is the reasoning some use to question the practice of Amazon.

I'm not sure this is a reasonable expectation. A multitude of companies, both of digital products and non-digital products, do not offer support for the products for the life of the company.

There are those who feel DRM only means that you rent the books for a while and this is the main reason that they feel that way.

Then I would support their decision not to purchase DRM related products. If the disagree with DRM, I would assume they would not purchase DRM content. That is well within their rights.

DRM is a sore point with many members of this forum...

In my case, I don't have a problem with DRM. While there are some folks how handle digital files ethically and responsibly, there are many, many people who do not. From the author to the distributor, I support their right to control the distribution of their product and thus their livelihood. In the same sense that I support a person's right NOT to purchase DRM content, I support the other sides right to protect such content from unscrupulous people.

I have no idea how long Amazon will support DRM on eBooks they are currently selling.

Nor do I. No one can know the future. :) History can help, but it is not always a reliable indicator.

For my own sake and piece of mind, I never lose sight of the fact that businesses exist to make profit. I rarely have any expectation that they will continue a product line or lengthy support period when it will result in a monetary loss to them. Any expectation of support I would have from them would be based on either practice or explicit statement as I know how wrong assumptions can be.

In my particular case, I give them kudos for Kindle support so far. When I purchased a Kindle from someone other than Amazon, I came to find out that they explicitly state they do not support products purchased from other sellers. They did not have to replace my Kindle when if froze and became and expensive paperweight, but it appears that they are going to replace it for me and give me a promo credit for my inconvenience. If they renig on that, I'll be the first to come back and let you know.

But my guess is the Kindle is going to be something that previous ereaders have not been, something that catches on with a much larger user base, perhaps even mainstream. I would also guess that this will be a profitable venture for them and that we will see future iterations of the Kindle.

snookums
01-19-2008, 04:17 PM
It's also easy to think of the past and think... YES AMAZON ABANDONED EBOOKS!

Amazon abandoned other formats that they were selling for other people. It's not naive to assume that they found the hassle of dealing with eBabel to be more annoying than it's worth. I imagine they had to spend an inordinate amount of time explaining how to read the different formats to people who didn't understand eBooks. They probably decided that they wanted to do eBooks their way. The way they have set up the Kindle with conversion going through them seems to confirm this. It's reasonable, now that they have branded their own format and have gone so far as to create a dedicated reader for it along with a complete store, to believe that they aren't going to just drop it just like that. Their previous attempts at integrating eBooks was obviously experimental and software only. Putting out a hardware reader is a much firmer commitment.

I doubt I've swayed you, but I'm going to take my chances. The convenience and selection are worth it to me. If Amazon ditches their store within 5 years, I'll come back here and let you say "I told you so."

astra
01-19-2008, 07:21 PM
I doubt Amazon will abandon ebooks now.
I also believe that Kindle is a very good thing to happen in our(ebook users) life. It attracted a bigger audience and more attention to ebooks.
Although the gadget itself is a failure as a dedicated ebook device, it has its niche, there are people who like it, so it has a number of fans. Which is also a good thing. The more of ebooks fans the better.

JSWolf
01-19-2008, 08:32 PM
I would say getting screwed is when you try to go back to Amazon to download the eBook(s) you have purchased from them only to find they no longer are available for download and the only way to get them back is to go to another shop and purchase them again.

Alisa
01-19-2008, 08:38 PM
I understand you think it's ugly but I think it's a bit of an overstatement to call it a "failure" as a device. It's amazingly easy to use. The feel in the hand and the smooth action of the buttons are way nicer to me than the Sony. I know Sony is a sleeker gadget. It's way prettier. I wouldn't mind if the Kindle were thinner and a different color, but the interface and feature set are WAY better. Holding it and flipping through pages is much more natural feeling than the Sony. Ultimately, though, it came down to features for me. If Sony had what I consider basic features such as search and dictionary lookup, I'd have one. They didn't manage to come up with those things in over a year. Whispernet is cool and all but people act like it's just a frill and the only differentiating factor. It's not. The first time I saw the 500 I wanted it. I thought the interface was a bit cumbersome but I loved the e-ink screen. When I found out you couldn't search text let alone use a dictionary, I really was appalled. I figured they must eventually add such a basic feature. How could they not? You have text. You have some basic computing power. Duh. Make the thing do more than just let you look at the text. Take a book to the next level. Nope. To me, both Sony's were failures as devices because they don't deliver simple, basic features. Pretty isn't enough for me when the insides show a complete lack of imagination. I was close to buying the Cybook because at least it had a dictionary. The Kindle is the first device I've found that has the basic feature set I want. I hope it lights a fire under Sony's butt to improve their device because I want to see some competition in this market. I don't want Amazon to be the only game in town.

srharris19
01-19-2008, 09:09 PM
The Sony is nicer looking and feels better in the hands. But aside from the wireless, I think the annotation and searching are really valuable features on the Kindle.

rationalbiker
01-19-2008, 09:15 PM
I would say getting screwed is when you try to go back to Amazon to download the eBook(s) you have purchased from them only to find they no longer are available for download and the only way to get them back is to go to another shop and purchase them again.

Okay, thanks for sharing that with me.

rationalbiker
01-19-2008, 09:17 PM
I'm a function over form guy myself. That said, I don't share the opinion that the device is ugly. I actually like the appearance of the Kindle.

astra
01-20-2008, 08:30 AM
In my previous post I didn't say: Kindle is ugly.
I said it is a failure as a dedicated ebook reader.

Yes, Kindle has more features than Sony, moreover, 2 of the features I wish I had on my Sony as well (dictionary and search). On the other hand my PC at home have search and dictionary and the Internet access features as well. However, it is far from being an ideal dedicated ebook reader. I am not ready to pay the "price" Kindle users have to pay to have the additional features. Such as a permanent keyboard and shorter battery life.
As I said - IMHO - Kindle is a failure as ebook reader, it is just a nice gadget. There is no point to argue with me, because as I said it is my opinion only. There are people who think that Kindle is a better ebook reader than Sony and there are people like me who think Sony is much better (I also believe that CyBook Gen3 is a better ebook reader than Kindle for the same reasons).

P.S. I just cannot bring myself to think about Kindle as ebook reader when I see the keyboard; one of the reasons I bought a dedicated ebook reader instead of reading from a small laptop.

JohnClif
01-21-2008, 09:06 PM
In my previous post I didn't say: Kindle is ugly.
I said it is a failure as a dedicated ebook reader.

The only reason I can ascertain for your referring to the Kindle as a failure is because it has a dedicated keyboard??!!

I personally think the Kindle is the best of the Gen III ereaders out there (Gen I being PDAs, Gen II being ereaders with LCD screens). Amazon did a great job at OOTB thinking, asking themselves "what would be ideal in a book?" and then making the Kindle have many of those features.

What would make the Kindle better? How about

access to libraries (many libraries with ebook inventory use the DRM MOBI format)?
the ability to 'rent' a book for a week or two, or for one front-to-back read?
a killer PDF conversion service that would actually do a great job reformatting PDFs to display well on the Kindle... so I could do things like read my CACM or IEEE articles easily on the device?
a color screen?
a two-page layout via a device that unfolded?
the ability to read AZW on my PC?
better organization of the books on the device, like by user-defined folders?


What makes the Kindle the greatest of the Gen III devices is the EVDO modem that is built-in. Being able to buy any one of 90,000+ books while at the airport, in a strange hotel room, etc., is killer. Being able to browse the web on a much better screen than on my smartphone is killer. Asking stupid (and not-so-stupid) questions on a device I happen to have in a meeting, and getting an answer back quickly, is killer. Not to count all of the free books, including some of the classics that I've always wanted to read but never wanted to buy, available from other sources.

I'm happier with my Kindle every day that I own it, and I've read over 100 books on it since buying the darn thing in early December. It is the most-used electronic device I have. I get my free news via RSS feeds and Mobipocket Reader every morning. Yes, it has a few rough edges, but I'd buy another if it got broken, lost, or stolen.

astra
01-22-2008, 04:20 AM
The only reason I can ascertain for your referring to the Kindle as a failure is because it has a dedicated keyboard??!!

And considerably shorter battery life. Even with modem switched off, it is only 1 week vs. 3 weeks of Sony.
It doesn't feel like a book in your hands, it feels just like another new gadget, albeit with superior screen for reading.
All other features it has (such as EDVO, buying books on the fly, wiki, internet) do not belong to ebook reader (at least if you have to pay for it by having keyboard and shorter battery life)- imho.

Although, you are right. It is only me who perceive Kindle this way. There are more than enough people who like it.

P.S. I repeat myself :smack:, so I quit this discussion :thanks:

HarryT
01-22-2008, 06:09 AM
What makes the Kindle the greatest of the Gen III devices is the EVDO modem that is built-in. Being able to buy any one of 90,000+ books while at the airport, in a strange hotel room, etc., is killer.

You are perhaps forgetting that this is only available if you travel locally within your own country. For people who travel internationally it's worthless - the Sprint service that the Kindle uses is only available within the United States. It's unavailable to 95% of the people in the world.

At the risk of repeating myself, why on Earth they made the Kindle use the US-specific EVDO service rather than the world-wide EDGE system (ie GSM-based) is a mystery that I just can't fathom. It seems like a very short-sighted design decision.

vdospec
01-22-2008, 09:58 AM
Ok, I want a kindle, who has one for sale? that does not want thier's?

Alisa
01-22-2008, 01:16 PM
One week is plenty for me. If I will be more than a week away from electricity then maybe I'll consider a Cybook for the trip (or a solar charger). Three weeks with no recharging is certainly better than one but the difference doesn't really increase value for me or make it more book-like. Of course I actually view the ways in which it goes beyond the book to be added value. I think that's just a point on which we will probably always differ.

Harry,

Many consumer products are released in stages to different markets, especially things like mobile devices. Just because it's been released first with EVDO in the US doesn't mean it can never, ever have any other sort of connection. The iPhone almost ended up EVDO, too, but talks with Verizon fell apart and AT&T picked it up. If they hadn't, Apple could've just replaced the chipset and radio for a European version. It would've been simpler as far as hardware goes if Amazon had partnered with AT&T or T-Mobile to begin with, but their data coverage isn't as good in many places here. I don't know if it boiled down to that or just to who gave them the best deal for the Whispernet, but either way it doesn't close down future hardware releases. It appears Amazon's model for this device is access over the mobile wireless network rather than using wifi. I'm guessing this is partially for control and partially to appeal to the road warriors and commuters out there. The downside is this entails partnerships with service providers. Just because Amazon doesn't have one with any non-US carriers yet doesn't mean they won't in the future. Having GSM hardware wouldn't automatically extend Whispernet globally. That would still take some business deals.

While it is unavailable to 95% of the planet at the moment, they weren't launching to 95% of the planet and EVDO, being an old, well-established technology, is available most of the time to most folks in the US. Besides, I'm not sure what the electronic rights situation is with Amazon's American ebooks. I would imagine there are restrictions. Notice Sony won't sell content to you, either, if you live outside the US. I hope that Amazon eventually expands to offer electronic content all over the world but I'm glad they didn't wait until they could to release the Kindle here. As often as I leave the country, maybe once or twice a year, I'll be ok downloading via computer and loading via USB. Being out of the country reduces the functionality in that regard to that of every other reader on the market. Would it be great if it also had wifi or was compatible with networks all over the world? Heck yeah! But for what's available to me right now, this provides some great extra convenience while I'm in the country which is the vast majority of the time.

snookums
01-22-2008, 02:12 PM
One week is plenty for me. If I will be more than a week away from electricity then maybe I'll consider a Cybook for the trip (or a solar charger).

Get a Solio (http://www.solio.com/charger/). :)

JohnClif
01-22-2008, 03:46 PM
(IMO) Amazon didn't choose EDGE because the data rate would make downloading a book painful, and Amazon envisioned that downloading data via the modem would be something that happens alot... especially if customers are buying lots of books! They also didn't go with WiFi because it is a local (not area-wide) service. The cellular network is everywhere.

(IMO) Amazon chose EVDO because they got a great deal with the carrier. I think that GSM and 3G are the way of the future, but 3G really isn't in America yet. Again, IMO, the reason Amazon was happy with EVDO is because they wanted to try the Kindle in the US, where the standard of living is high enough to make a $400 ereader affordable to a huge audience.

And, IMO, Amazon will offer future versions of the Kindle with either interchangeable radio modems (3G, EVDO, etc.) or built with different modems... taking 3rd party data comm modules, e.g., WiFi, EVDO, 3G, perhaps using a CF or SDIO slot and with driver support either built-in or downloadable via USB (initial setup would need to be at a 'net-connected computer).

Also, I don't see battery life on the Kindle as a big deal. It will last several days of several hours' reading without a charge, or a day or so of online browsing. Bring the charger with you. Certainly a charger is a lot more portable than a laptop (to download content).

zartemis
01-22-2008, 07:42 PM
One week is plenty for me. If I will be more than a week away from electricity then maybe I'll consider a Cybook for the trip (or a solar charger).

While I do wish the battery life was longer (and I don't get a week with wifi off, maybe 4-5 days), it's longer than many of my other gadgets.

I've already bought an extra battery and keep it on me charged (another wish is that there was an external battery charger for the spare battery). I've run out of juice twice myself and once my friend (who also has a Kindle) has. The charged spare has come in handy each time. After I've had to swap, I make sure to recharge both batteries that night.

I've also picked up an iGo charger so I can charge in the car if need be (the Kindle takes the A00 tip). I haven't had to use that yet.

Alisa
01-22-2008, 08:09 PM
I'm lucky I've never run out of charge. I just plug it in before I go to sleep if I see that it's below 50%. That seems to be less than 1-2x/week for me unless I've spent a lot of time online. Usually I only turn the wireless on when I know I have content waiting, maybe a few quick searches. I don't have any subscriptions.

HarryT
01-23-2008, 07:15 AM
(IMO) Amazon didn't choose EDGE because the data rate would make downloading a book painful, and Amazon envisioned that downloading data via the modem would be something that happens alot... especially if customers are buying lots of books!

I have to respectfully disagree, John. With EDGE you can get a data rate of 200-300kbits, which is plenty enough for downloading books. 200kbit/sec is approximately 20kbytes/sec, which will download a 300kb book (a typical size) in 15 seconds. Nobody is in such a hurry, I'm sure, that they'd worry about whether it takes 5sec or 15sec to download a book.

phuocle
01-25-2008, 12:43 PM
At the risk of repeating myself, why on Earth they made the Kindle use the US-specific EVDO service rather than the world-wide EDGE system (ie GSM-based) is a mystery that I just can't fathom. It seems like a very short-sighted design decision.

Oh come on Harry! Surely if you think hard enough you can fathom a reason why. I would say that the operators of the EDGE system simply did not provide Amazon with a deal that made business sense. Amazon is a business... and they seem to be a pretty successful business. They can only stay that way by doing things that make business sense.

This means that if they only capture the North American market, then so be it. I'm sure that they ran numerous models and projections on what would make the Kindle a success in their eyes and felt that this would work.