View Full Version : Ebook readers - a challenge to average users


shousa
01-04-2008, 04:18 AM
You like your ebook reader?:bookworm:

Then respond to this thread to tell those of us (me included that really loves the IDEA) that cannot commit to purchasing an ebook reader.

Or did you buy it cause you love useless gadgets?!

Here are my arguments why all ebook readers now are SIMPLY NOWHERE NEAR GOOD ENOUGH for the average consumer IMHO.

If you have any financial or other ties to Sony, Hanlin, Cybook, Kindle or Irex then please do not participate at all, I want the view of the AVERAGE consumer not seller.

If we take the views that
1) an Ebook reader tied to one ebook store will die because of restrictive DRM
2) Ebook readers need more than one ebook store

Then the conclusion is:
- All current ebook readers will die.

See my post 1.5 years ago - Ebook readers the next dodo - nothing has changed....sigh
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6673

I challenge even one of the forum members to say they actually can use it for all their paperback needs, including keeping ebooks forever, buying all the books they want (can only get 1 of Colleen McCulloughs critically famous Masters of Rome Series) the list goes on eg multiple web pages of any reasonable size do not work etc etc etc

Are only techno freaks are buying ebook readers now? - I read somewhere Sony had poor sales records, if that is true I bet the CEO wished he had not got up at the annual general meeting with the Sony Ebook Reader touting how great it was gonna be.

Ebook reader = waste of money, can't get the books you want, DRM sucks, can't put webpages on it but can read old public domain stuff plus a very limited range of ebooks only.

Ebook reader lovers respond to this challenge or suffer the loss of face that silence will bring you!!:smack:

HarryT
01-04-2008, 04:40 AM
If we take the views that
1) an Ebook reader tied to one ebook store will die because of restrictive DRM
2) Ebook readers need more than one ebook store

Then the conclusion is:
- All current ebook readers will die.


Your data are incorrect. eBook readers are NOT tied to one store; there are, for example, more than 200 eBook stores selling MobiPocket books, plus many "independents" selling books which can be used on any reader - eg Fictionwise and Baen.

Ebook reader = waste of money, can't get the books you want, DRM sucks, can't put webpages on it but can read old public domain stuff plus a very limited range of ebooks only.

We must agree to differ, I'm afraid. The specific reason I love eBook readers so much is specifically BECAUSE of what you call the "old public domain stuff". My main love is 19th century novels and most of those CANNOT BE BOUGHT in paper books. eBooks are the ONLY way to read these without a fruitless (and expensive!) search through antiquarian book shops.

shousa
01-04-2008, 05:36 AM
Your data are incorrect. eBook readers are NOT tied to one store; there are, for example, more than 200 eBook stores selling MobiPocket books, plus many "independents" selling books which can be used on any reader - eg Fictionwise and Baen.



Sony is tied to their connect store - I said AVERAGE users (to spell it out - will not be using hacking software in legal grey areas to convert their books and I am talking about BRAND NEW BOOKS NOT OLD PUBLIC DOMAIN). You needed to read my message more carefully or possibly I should have spelt this out - mea culpa. I therefore define Sony's reader, for the average user as being tied to their connect store since other store's ebooks will not work eg Amazon et al (as an extra note Mobipocket and their ebook store and format as I understand it are now owned by Amazon - is this important to Cybook Ebook readers?!).

Is the Kindle not tied to Amazon? Can I put Sony ebooks (LRF files) from Connect on the Kindle? and vice-versa? No you cannot (without "hacking" - see above).

So I think saying they are tied is not only fair but a fact for the "average user" if we are talking about buying new non-public domain books which typically have DRM.

Your comments about public domain, given the terms of my post, are not relevant as my post specifically excluded it as a topic. :offtopic:
( I admitted they can be put on so no need to go further - make sense?)

You mention other stores - none of which has the critically acclaimed and famous 6 books of the Masters of Rome series so my point here remains unchanged. If you are saying all your needs are met by Baen then I say good luck to you but it does not make my statement untrue about the range of ebooks available. As a consumer I want the SAME RANGE AS PAPERBACKS not 200 sources each with a small range adding up all together to less than what is currently available for paperbacks - end of story.

Any other challengers?

HarryT
01-04-2008, 06:25 AM
Sony is tied to their connect store - I said AVERAGE users (to spell it out - will not be using hacking software in legal grey areas to convert their books and I am talking about BRAND NEW BOOKS NOT OLD PUBLIC DOMAIN). You needed to read my message more carefully or possibly I should have spelt this out - mea culpa. I therefore define Sony's reader, for the average user as being tied to their connect store since other store's ebooks will not work eg Amazon et al (as an extra note Mobipocket and their ebook store and format as I understand it are now owned by Amazon - is this important to Cybook Ebook readers?!).

Is the Kindle not tied to Amazon? Can I put Sony ebooks (LRF files) from Connect on the Kindle? and vice-versa? No you cannot (without "hacking" - see above).

I did read your message carefully. Your claim that books for the Sony Reader can only be purchased from the Sony Store is wrong. Fictionwise sell Sony (LRF) books and magazines as a part of their "multiformat" product range.

The Kindle is not tied to Amazon; any DRM-free MobiPocket book can be read on the Kindle, and once again these can be purchased from Fictionwise, Baen, etc.

No "hacking software" required; just buy and read.

The fact that the specific books that you want to read are not available as eBooks (and I must confess to never having heard of this "famous and aclaimed masters of Rome" series that you refer to) does not invalidate any of the above. There is NO eBook reader on the market that is tied to one specific eBook store. Your claims are therefore incorrect.

shousa
01-04-2008, 06:45 AM
I did read your message carefully. Your claim that books for the Sony Reader can only be purchased from the Sony Store is wrong. Fictionwise sell Sony (LRF) books and magazines as a part of their "multiformat" product range.

The Kindle is not tied to Amazon; any DRM-free MobiPocket book can be read on the Kindle, and once again these can be purchased from Fictionwise, Baen, etc.

No "hacking software" required; just buy and read.

The fact that the specific books that you want to read are not available as eBooks (and I must confess to never having heard of this "famous and aclaimed masters of Rome" series that you refer to) does not invalidate any of the above. There is NO eBook reader on the market that is tied to one specific eBook store. Your claims are therefore incorrect.

Points taken but again small stores without the same range as paperbacks are irrelevant to the average user who I have defined as needing the same range as paperbacks, Fictionwise and Baen's range may be fine for your needs but do not invalidate this point (I am just repeating this point again).

To put it bluntly (excuse caps) THE BIG STORES WITH A BIG RANGE ARE ALL I AM TALKING ABOUT NOT SMALL STORES WITH A SMALL RANGE NOR PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Kindle ebooks cannot be put on the Sony Reader (without hacking) and neither can Sony ebooks be put on Kindle - THIS IS MY POINT. So having now defined it more accurately I think you can see where I am coming from. Apologies again for my lack of a full definition.

The books in question are bestsellers - the first book (which is not available as an ebook from your sellers) being a new york times bestseller as this link shows. The fact you are ignorant of this book is not an argument.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_First_Man_in_Rome_%28novel%29

I really think obscure small stores are not an issue for my defined "average user" and certainly not for me.

Hadrien
01-04-2008, 06:54 AM
Kindle ebooks cannot be put on the Sony Reader (without hacking) and neither can Sony ebooks be put on Kindle - THIS IS MY POINT. So having now defined it more accurately I think you can see where I am coming from. Apologies again for my lack of a full definition.

The same could be said for the iPod and the Zune for example. Yet these devices are used by average users every day.
Portable audio players became mass market without any major store offering a large collection of songs. Even iTunes had a rough time building a decent collection.

Although DRM-less files, multiple stores and a very large number of e-books available would be heaven, the music industry already proved that you can reach mass-market appeal without all of this.

grimo1re
01-04-2008, 07:40 AM
I bought my ebook reader mostly because I'm a big book fan, not just because I like gadgets. I know there will be better systems out in the future and DRM is a big issue but I've already had so much use out of my PRS 500, and I am still loving it to bits. It's definitely been worthwhile for me. But then I'm happy to convert from one format to another and I can imagine that formats & DRM are a major issue that can prevent one from buying an ebook device.

HarryT
01-04-2008, 07:56 AM
What reader you buy can certainly affect your ease of transferring books to future devices, but it doesn't really have much influence on what books you can buy for your current device. Pretty much all commercial fiction eBooks are available in all the popular eBook formats - you'll find much the same books at the Sony eBook store as at the Mobipocket stores.

If you're a person who re-reads all their books and is therefore buying with the long-term future in mind, it's worth considering buying in something like LIT format, which can easily be converted to many other formats.

hedro
01-04-2008, 10:17 AM
I challenge even one of the forum members to say they actually can use it for all their paperback needs, including keeping ebooks forever, buying all the books they want (can only get 1 of Colleen McCulloughs critically famous Masters of Rome Series) the list goes on eg multiple web pages of any reasonable size do not work etc etc etc



I actually like the Masters of Rome series but the fact that it is not completley available to buy as ebooks is not a valid reason to slate ebooks, Currently in europe you will have a hard time finding "The Grass Crown" and "Ceasars Women" as the UK editions are currently out of print.

If I started ranting that pbooks were useless because the books I wanted to read were not available, people would laugh at me and rightly so.

There are many other bestselling historical fiction titles available as ebooks, many of them dealing with the same time period.

From a cost point of view it should be esier to campaign for a book to be realesed as an ebook than to convince a publisher to reprint a back list title that they may not be able to sell.

Ebooks are not in their infancy any more but could be considered to be in kindergarten. Lots of new titles are available and publishers are bringing their back list over as they see fit.

So yes, blame a publisher if a title from their back list is not yet available in electronic form but dont slate the entire industry.

tompe
01-04-2008, 11:28 AM
What is an average user? All people I know that read a lot also read realtively widely so they will be interested to read old books and the will be interested to read other stuff that is available.

NatCh
01-04-2008, 11:41 AM
... I want the view of the AVERAGE consumer not seller.Average consumer? Could you expand on that a bit? Do you mean the average consumer at large, or the average consumer of e-books? :nice:

If you're talking about Joe Blow on the street, then I'd agree: e-book devices aren't good enough for his use. But then again, statistics say that Joe Blow on the street isn't getting much use out of paper books either. :shrug:

If that's the "average consumer" you have in mind, he's not going to be hanging around this forum. :jester:


However, if you're talking the average consumer of e-books, then this forum is probably an excellent place to find such a critter.

I would submit to you, however, that the average consumer of e-books is at least somewhat computer savvy or he wouldn't be reading e-books in the first place. Such a person could likely handle something like running a black-box (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_box) utility to convert from one format to another (just as many average, "Joe Blow on the street" type of folks seem to manage running a ripper utility to make MP3 files from their CDs, for instance). Running a .LIT file through LIT2LRF to get an LRF file shouldn't be beyond this sort of "average consumer's" capabilities. Certainly loading an RTF file bought from Baen's Webscriptions (http://www.webscriptions.net) service onto a device with no conversion at all ain't no hill for a stepper, as my grandma says.

I don't really think it's accurate to call such format conversions "hacking" -- certainly some formats are extremely involved to convert to and from, but many of them aren't. Given the right utilities, which are just a Google search away (assuming our "average consumer of e-books" speaks Google), conversion can take less time than a reading device needs to open the file. :beam:

JSWolf
01-04-2008, 11:48 AM
Your data are incorrect. eBook readers are NOT tied to one store; there are, for example, more than 200 eBook stores selling MobiPocket books, plus many "independents" selling books which can be used on any reader - eg Fictionwise and Baen.
Do you have a lit of these more then 200 ebook stores selling Mobipocket format ebooks?

JSWolf
01-04-2008, 12:05 PM
We are not the average consumer.

HarryT
01-04-2008, 12:15 PM
Do you have a lit of these more then 200 ebook stores selling Mobipocket format ebooks?

Not personally, no. It's a figure that MobiPocket themselves claim, so I've no reason to doubt it. They presumably know how many retailers they have!

tribble
01-04-2008, 12:55 PM
Even though ia am not supposed to participate, i will drop a few lines here ;)

I unfortunately have to agree with most of what you say.
None of the existing e-readers is the ultimate solution. There are lots of usability issues in hardware and software, that prevent these devices from beeing comfortable to the average joe. But this has been true for most new technologies that have been invented. Take cars for example.

The most important point in your post is, that the content is mostly not interchangable with different devices. But that is a problem the music industry with a standard is beginning to realise only now. And especially since there is alot less books available than any of us would like.

With these first devices though i see more and more future possibilites. When the displaysget bigger, lighter and colorfull, we will have new ways to distribute content, and that is not only fiction or entertainment, but educational boos with animations and more.

So even if most points of your post are true at the moment, i think we will have a very much different situation 10 years from now.

But for now i wish for more ebooks avaiable, and for better and tougher designed ebookdevices. So basically all current ebookreaders will "die", but thats the same what happende to my 2005 PC not long ago. And i personally will have a new reader that gets closer to my dream reader as soon as i can get my hands on it. Though i havent heard of it getting to the market yet. ;)

Ebook reader = waste of money, can't get the books you want, DRM sucks, can't put webpages on it but can read old public domain stuff plus a very limited range of ebooks only.

For me its all of the above but the first. I do not consider it a waste of money. I love my iLiad and the CyBook, although they are not perfect. But thats not the average user speaking here. But i am afraid, that there is not a single average user on this forum. So all the answers might be a bit biased.

Sparrow
01-04-2008, 01:01 PM
Do you have a lit of these more then 200 ebook stores selling Mobipocket format ebooks?


Is it
https://www.mobipocket.com/ebookbase/en/homepage/partners.asp?Type=Retailer
?

slayda
01-04-2008, 01:03 PM
If I started ranting that pbooks were useless because the books I wanted to read were not available, people would laugh at me and rightly so.


Very appropriate answer, hedro.

shousa, as Harry tried to point out, your statement that the Kindle is tied to Amazon is inaccurate. In fact it is the reverse is what is true. Amazon ebooks are tied to the Kindle.

On a further note, you have not defined what you mean by "average user". This could be considered the "average ebook reader" and if that is the definition then I think those of us on this forum represent the average user and therefore your argument fails.

Another definition might be the "average person". With this definition, your argument makes no sense because the average person usually doesn't read very much.

Finally if you mean the "average reader" you must keep in mind that "average" often does not provide adequate information about a distribution because it may be skewed or have a very large variance. That said, think back about the introduction of personal computers, if you are old enough. My first computer, in the early 1980's, was a RadioShack Color Computer. Any user today would laugh at it's capabilities (or what they would see as the lack of capabilities). I won't bore you with details of that computer (you can look up the information in history books) but let's just say its capalibities as a computer make the current ebook readers look fantastic and very easy to use. As someone else stated, the ebook reader technology is in the kindergarten stage.

As to my own preferences - yes I am a gadget freak who really likes to read and hates being somewhere with a single book when I reach the end and yet have hours to spend before I can get something else to read. The ebook reader, holding several books, is an ideal answer for me.

You can see that my reading requirements may be very different to Harry's (I don't particularly enjoy reading the classics) but the ebook reader is the right solution for both of us. In 20 - 30 years, look again at your premise and see the state of reading electronically stored material.:bookworm::thumbsup:

HarryT
01-04-2008, 01:11 PM
Is it
https://www.mobipocket.com/ebookbase/en/homepage/partners.asp?Type=Retailer
?

Brilliant! Thanks, Sparrow.

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-04-2008, 01:38 PM
If I started ranting that pbooks were useless because the books I wanted to read were not available, people would laugh at me and rightly so.

I wouldn't be laughing. I regularly go out looking for major publisher's novels to buy, only to discover that it's already been pulled off of my bookstore's shelves after being there for a few months to a year.

With a shrinking number of used bookstores out there to find slightly older titles, and even Amazon not being able to supply some books after their first paperback run, I see the value in e-books making those books available. Books no longer have to vanish just because they are not "brand new" anymore.

Now, as far as the e-book readers (and I believe we are limiting this discussion to "dedicated" readers, and not multi-use devices like PDAs), if you can settle on a reader that satisfies your need for operability, I think you can find most novels out there in a format that you can convert to the reader's format, with just a little work. It's obviously not an optimum solution, many people would consider it too much trouble.

In the future, possibly every e-book will be released in a universal format that can be ported onto your reader automatically (like having your Sony Reader automatically convert an ePub file to LRF). For those who have trouble finding the book they want in the right format (or not wanting to bother to convert), they might have to wait for that next step.

cmbs
01-04-2008, 03:39 PM
Points taken but again small stores without the same range as paperbacks are irrelevant to the average user who I have defined as needing the same range as paperbacks, Fictionwise and Baen's range may be fine for your needs but do not invalidate this point (I am just repeating this point again).

To put it bluntly (excuse caps) THE BIG STORES WITH A BIG RANGE ARE ALL I AM TALKING ABOUT NOT SMALL STORES WITH A SMALL RANGE NOR PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Kindle ebooks cannot be put on the Sony Reader (without hacking) and neither can Sony ebooks be put on Kindle - THIS IS MY POINT. So having now defined it more accurately I think you can see where I am coming from. Apologies again for my lack of a full definition.

The books in question are bestsellers - the first book (which is not available as an ebook from your sellers) being a new york times bestseller as this link shows. The fact you are ignorant of this book is not an argument.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_First_Man_in_Rome_%28novel%29

I really think obscure small stores are not an issue for my defined "average user" and certainly not for me.

Ok, so you want someone to explain to you why you should buy a reader when you can't get the books you want in electronic form, and the books you can get are largely tied to a specific brand device.

Here is your answer:
You should not buy a reader until the books you want are available in electronic form, and you should do your research about what formats are readable on what device before you buy.

vivaldirules
01-04-2008, 04:11 PM
I think I nearly qualify as an average user. I have no financial interest in ebooks or readers, I love reading, and I hate gadgets (although I will make limited exceptions occasionally when there's one I need or really want). I love my Sony Reader. It's not perfect. I couldn't care less about DRM or not because most of what I want to read is either public domain or stuff that I convert. About 40% of what I read comes from the Sony store and has DRM. I am aware of the pitfalls of DRM but don't care because I don't expect this gadget to have a life of more than two or hree years anyway. If I get that much from it, it will have been well worth it to me. If I get more, I'll be elated. If those ebooks are lost after I have read them all, I can live with that although I'd obviously prefer to keep them. The number of titles that I can buy as ebooks is also increasing and I presume will be very high in a couple of years. Until then, I still have plenty of stuff I want to read that is available and I don't mind reading the occasional pbook when there's something I really want now that isn't available. So I think your conclusion is wrong that ebook readers aren't ready for the average user except for one part of what you said:

My only real complaint is the geeky tech junk that you have to put up with to use it. For example, I use PDFLRF all the time and it has saved me because it works. But it is a slow, painful annoyance that I find typical of dealing with gadgets. Having to use it reminds me of the antivirus updates and scanning and the backups of data and upgrades of software and defragging of hard drives and other such incredibly terrible time-wasting junk that I have to deal with to use a PC. I can't believe the time and effort that the average PC user (and that includes me) is willing to expend just to use one. Having to run PDFLRF is just as necessary for me so I do it. I don't fool with the other utilities and hacks for the Reader because there's nothing there I absolutely need. I want something my grandmother could use (if she were around). I don't want to search the internet for sites that have what I want. I don't want to do format conversions. I don't want to manage my library. I just want to read. Amazon had it right by making all of these steps trivial for non-geeks to use the Kindle, in my opinion, and Sony needs to catch up in that regard.

stxopher
01-04-2008, 05:18 PM
Average consumer? Heh...heh, heh.....sorry, I don't think there really IS such a beast anymore. The farther technology and information progress the wider the spectrum of people using it grows. You just have to look at particular areas of said spectrum.

That said, I fear that I would classify as one of those "techno-fr33ks" so my opinion would carry no weight. Thankfully, most of the people I associate with are closer to the mythical "average consumer" since they consist of non-technical people anywhere between the ages of 12 to 76 with careers ranging from slacker to retired. (Or retired slacker if they come from an artistic or executive background.) Their opinions should carry weight. And their opinions are: about 15% like (and use various) ebook readers. About half of the rest like them but can't see using them themselves due to cost/use factors or general needs. It seems that those who read the most are the ones who ended up getting readers. (Huh, who could have seen that coming? People who read a lot are more inclined to use ebook readers than, say, people who's hobby consists of sculpting cocker spaniels out of butter.)

On the third hand (which I keep in a jar by the door, right next to the face) you are absolutely correct in that there is no ebook reader that does everything you listed. But then again, there is no paper book that does everything you listed. Cripes, so many books I want to read are out of print it makes me cry. Though if you want to keep them forever, digital beats paper in most cases. (Curse you, silverfish! And you, brittle aging paper! Fie on you, floor/weight restrictions and fire hazard codes!)

Hmmmm, actually, there is NO appliance that for its purpose that does what you ask. Let's say I watch movies. I know! I'll get a DVD player! But wait! Can I get every movie ever made for it? Will it be fully compatible with everything that comes out? Will it circumvent the DRM to make "backups" in the case of loss? No? Well then, I guess as an average consumer I will never get a DVD player until it does all these things, right? Especially if I can still get them on VHS and Beta.

Stupid comparison? Err, actually, yea it was. Sorry. Lets try something closer to reality. Look at your list again. Substitute "MP3 player" for "ebook reader" and "music" for "books". Do the biggest sellers measure up to the criteria you've proposed? Does ANY MP3 player match up? No? Guess these "overpriced gadgets" will never sell then.

It all boils down to the same advice everyone gets when they ask "should I get". That advice is "Yes, if it does what you want it to do. If not then don't". Some people are getting HD and Blu-ray discs. Most aren't. Some people love their Tivos. Most don't care. Some people swear by Vi*g*ra (and hopefully at least one other person cares) but most everyone else won't.

Putting my "techno-fr33k flag" up, I will say that I do believe we are approaching a new tipping point with the release of the Kindle. (Don't like the Kindle personally, just feels weird and price/features for me....not feeling it. But I HAVE recommended it for some people who got it and loved it because it fits their needs.) With Amazons release of this "revolutionary" product, ebooks have just been pushed into a major amount of public perception. So many more people will see that "Kindle edition" on books they want to read that it can't help but start to seem like a standard method of reading. And bless us all, as soon as someone starts to make some sort of grossly large amount of money (or is perceived to make said large gross of money) others will jump in for a cut. And the more product that exists, the more people get used to it and the more it has to be revised so that it can be sold to people with more and more defined needs. With luck, ebooks will eventually be DRM free and easily converted between standards so that they can be used on any reader.

Far fetched? Perhaps. (Say, have you read that charming little blurb about the last of the big music DRM supporters getting rid of DRM for digital downloads so that they can sell more music to more people using different players? Hmmm, wonder why that happened?)

redbaron101
01-04-2008, 08:17 PM
You like your ebook reader?:bookworm:

Then respond to this thread to tell those of us (me included that really loves the IDEA) that cannot commit to purchasing an ebook reader.

Or did you buy it cause you love useless gadgets?!

Here are my arguments why all ebook readers now are SIMPLY NOWHERE NEAR GOOD ENOUGH for the average consumer IMHO.

If you have any financial or other ties to Sony, Hanlin, Cybook, Kindle or Irex then please do not participate at all, I want the view of the AVERAGE consumer not seller.

If we take the views that
1) an Ebook reader tied to one ebook store will die because of restrictive DRM
2) Ebook readers need more than one ebook store

Then the conclusion is:
- All current ebook readers will die.



i have to agree with shousa bleak outlook on ebook readers . . . I love reading and about 3/4 years ago settled on a pda (palm T3). I quickly realised that although the palm T3 is a brilliant device it just doesnt cut it for comfortable reading. Having relegated it to pda duties which it performs really well, I use my desktop for reading ebooks. At the time dedicated ebook devices were only stories in the uk.

Following technology over the years like the eInk screens, OLPC projects etc I got very excited assuming these advances would bring around dedicated ebook reader devices in technology as well as dropping their very steep prices.

Four years down the road, and dedicated ebook readers are still only stories in the uk! Yes ok, maybe there are a small amount of uk users that have bought from abroad, but its so hard to find and decide on which one, that Im tempted to wait another four years (probably only to find these devices are still only stories in the uk!) Just out of interest, I dont know about the rest of the world, but here in the uk, the pda market also seems to be slowly dying as well.

Oh and DRM imho will also be the crowning glory to the tombstone on dedicated ebook devices. :(

shousa
01-04-2008, 08:30 PM
i have to agree with shousa bleak outlook on ebook readers . . . I love reading and about 3/4 years ago settled on a pda (palm T3). I quickly realised that although the palm T3 is a brilliant device it just doesnt cut it for comfortable reading. Having relegated it to pda duties which it performs really well, I use my desktop for reading ebooks. At the time dedicated ebook devices were only stories in the uk.

Following technology over the years like the eInk screens, OLPC projects etc I got very excited assuming these advances would bring around dedicated ebook reader devices in technology as well as dropping their very steep prices.

Four years down the road, and dedicated ebook readers are still only stories in the uk! Yes ok, maybe there are a small amount of uk users that have bought from abroad, but its so hard to find and decide on which one, that Im tempted to wait another four years (probably only to find these devices are still only stories in the uk!) Just out of interest, I dont know about the rest of the world, but here in the uk, the pda market also seems to be slowly dying as well.

Oh and DRM imho will also be the crowning glory to the tombstone on dedicated ebook devices. :(

I agree completely.

shousa
01-05-2008, 03:50 AM
So none of you really tried to answer my challenge and instead discussed the definition of the word "average", told me to wait until the ebook world gets "better", stated that public domain stuff with Baen was enough of a range etc etc.

The lack of any real answer exactly on topic (assuming my definitions as I wished) to my challenge has been illuminating. If you guys do not know why you have one, other than for public domain, and do not mind the DRM then I simply cannot understand why someone would rent books for a limited amount of time and/or go thru conversions of ebooks - waste of time for a busy guy like me.

Thank you all for your opinions and comments.

I have decided once again to leave these forums for a few years (as I did before for 1.5 years) seeing no compelling reason at all to purchase an ebook reader at this time.

Sorry to be a party pooper but time is a wastin'.

HarryT
01-05-2008, 04:57 AM
I have decided once again to leave these forums for a few years (as I did before for 1.5 years) seeing no compelling reason at all to purchase an ebook reader at this time.

Sorry to be a party pooper but time is a wastin'.

Your choice of course, but while you're waiting for that "perfect device" many of us are happily reading eBooks. In my own case, I've been doing so for over 20 years.

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-05-2008, 09:53 AM
What Harry said. As you pointed out in your thread title, shousa, lots of new thngs are a challenge to the "average" user. What's at issue is if you're willing to accept the challenge. If you'd rather wait until someone hands things to you on a silver platter, be prepared to keep waiting while the rest of us use the devices at hand.

Personally, if I took the atitude that the things I own and do had to be perfect, I wouldn't read a paper book, drive a car, eat a meal, buy a CD, use a pen, own a cellphone, use money, or any number of other things. None of those things work perfectly, as far as I'm concerned. But I use them anyway, and make do.

But as Harry indicated, it's up to you.

JSWolf
01-05-2008, 10:07 AM
Is it
https://www.mobipocket.com/ebookbase/en/homepage/partners.asp?Type=Retailer
?
I know some of those shops are not in business selling Mobi format ebooks. The list needs to be updated.

slayda
01-05-2008, 10:35 AM
What Harry said. As you pointed out in your thread title, shousa, lots of new thngs are a challenge to the "average" user. What's at issue is if you're willing to accept the challenge. If you'd rather wait until someone hands things to you on a silver platter, be prepared to keep waiting while the rest of us use the devices at hand.

Personally, if I took the atitude that the things I own and do had to be perfect, I wouldn't read a paper book, drive a car, eat a meal, buy a CD, use a pen, own a cellphone, use money, or any number of other things. None of those things work perfectly, as far as I'm concerned. But I use them anyway, and make do.

But as Harry indicated, it's up to you.

Well said Steve. Life is learning. If you are unwilling to learn new things then you have quit living.

tribble
01-05-2008, 10:52 AM
I know some of those shops are not in business selling Mobi format ebooks. The list needs to be updated.

That list seems to be a genericly updated list, with anyone who registers as a retailer. If they open up a shop or not is irrelevant.

Barcey
01-05-2008, 02:12 PM
You like your ebook reader?:bookworm:

Then respond to this thread to tell those of us (me included that really loves the IDEA) that cannot commit to purchasing an ebook reader.


Why in the world would I want to try to convince you? I want to try to sell you my used paper books.

Please don't buy the cheap paper back editions of the "Master of Rome Series". I have all 6 books in the original hardcover edition that I'll gladly sell you at the paper back price (plus shipping). I think most of us would agree that the hard cover editions will last longer and are a better reading experience. I probably paid an average of US$26 for each of the books so you'd be getting a good discount too. I loved the series but I have to warn you it's not for everyone. I recommended the series to three people I thought would enjoy it and none of them did so I decided it must just be a personal defect they I liked them.

IMHO none of the current crop of electronic readers are perfect but any of the e-Ink devices are better then the paper book alternative. If you don't see the advantages though my recommendation is wait. They're going to get better and less expensive.

If you want to buy my hardcover editions send me a private email. If you do I'll use the money to purchase electronic editions of the same books if/when they become available. I don't see myself ever reading the paper books again and the publishers don't offer me an upgrade to the electronic editions so they're just paper weight to me now.

FYI. They take up just less then a foot of book shelf space and weigh about 16lbs. If I load them all on my Cybook it will still weigh 6.13 ounces (sorry couldn't resist).

lmarie
01-05-2008, 04:20 PM
Adios. This doesn't sound like a place that interests you much anyway.

As for lowly little average me, I have a very lowly average EB1150 and I think it's great. I can get more mysteries than I will probably ever be able to read, which is why I got it. I wasn't look for the entire universe in an ebook!

:bigwave:

ProfJulie
01-05-2008, 05:58 PM
Why did I get an eBook Reader?

1: Portability, baby! I love that I can carry a ton of books around with me without having to weigh down my briefcase or purse.

2: I'll save money in the long run: I read a lot of paperback books that don't have much literary value, but are great reads. I know I won't read them again, so usually just give them away to the library, friends, anyone who wants them. Now I'll be checking out most of those kinds of books as eBooks from the library. The ones I can't find at the library, I'll probably buy, and most of them only cost about $7 or $8. I'll save quite a lot of money that way and won't have to worry about overdue library charges.

3: Reduces clutter: My current bookshelves are overflowing. I really don't have room for more books - I have a hard time giving them up even if I know I probably won't read them again. eBooks don't require much space, I can keep them as long as I wish, and I don't have to figure out how to dispose of them once I've decided I don't want them laying around any more.

Now, if I could just get my favorite magazines in eBook format, I might actually start subscribing to magazines again......

The original poster seems to be someone who really wants an eBook reader, but just can't cut the cord on paper books. Truth be told, I'll probably still buy some paper books too, but now I have more options.

mores
01-05-2008, 06:47 PM
Why haven't I gotten an eBook reader yet? Simple: there aren't any available in Austria, Europe. I have also yet to see one in real life.
So while I wait and think of the pros and cons, I read on my Symbian Smartphone.
And I must admit that I am not sure I would actually get one of the current devices, were they available to me. I love reading on my phone, like to travel light (when I'm not lugging around my laptop) and definately like to have my phone with me all the time.

Paper books will not multiply on my bookshelves ... I am certain I'll remain digital.

tribble
01-05-2008, 07:24 PM
Why haven't I gotten an eBook reader yet? Simple: there aren't any available in Austria, Europe. I have also yet to see one in real life.

Hehe, i am willing to sell you an ereader to Austria ;)

But if you have not seen an eink display, i can understand that you are reluctant to just get one, although i am very pleased with my readers.
And if you are patient enough, there will be better ones around in a year from now.

recycledelectron
01-06-2008, 03:29 AM
You like your ebook reader?:bookworm:

Then respond to this thread to tell those of us (me included that really loves the IDEA) that cannot commit to purchasing an ebook reader.

Or did you buy it cause you love useless gadgets?!

I find my PRS-505 indespensible. It gives me one option that nothing else can: Do you remember the old Sierra Online games, where your RPG character would be carrying 500 items, and not look like he had anything is his pockets? My PRS-505 lets me carry 200 books and not carry anything other than a small folder. Unlike a laptop, the battery life is great.

Here are my arguments why all ebook readers now are SIMPLY NOWHERE NEAR GOOD ENOUGH for the average consumer IMHO.

If you have any financial or other ties to Sony, Hanlin, Cybook, Kindle or Irex then please do not participate at all, I want the view of the AVERAGE consumer not seller.

I've got no financial ties, and I hate Sony.

I remember thinking that tape players were definitely not for the average consumer - the battery life was 25 minutes, and the tapes lasted 45 minutes. That was absurd. Add on the shorter commercial tapes that would not let you copy them, and I gave up until MP3 players came along.

MP3 players were adopted slowly, with some users using Napster, some ripping CDs, and a (very) few buying MP3 tracks. The same progression is occurring with eBooks.

If we take the views that
1) an Ebook reader tied to one ebook store will die because of restrictive DRM

The PRS-505 that I use has never been connected to Sony's web site, and works fine as a PDF, JPG, RTF reader, & MP3 player.

Connect it to a PC and it works as a card reader.

The software from Sony will never be installed.

2) Ebook readers need more than one ebook store

I use PDF, RTF, JPG, and MP3 files.

Then the conclusion is:
- All current ebook readers will die.

See my post 1.5 years ago - Ebook readers the next dodo - nothing has changed....sigh
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6673

I challenge even one of the forum members to say they actually can use it for all their paperback needs,

No, I don't. I just read a paper copy of Ken Alibeck(ov)'s "Biohazard."

This is like my continued use of tapes for audio books in my pickup when I had my first MP3 player. I found it easier to borrow a tape from the library and pop it in my pickup's tape deck, than to borrow it, rip it, copy it to my MP3 player, connect my MP3 player to a FM transmitter, and then play it. OTOH, 90% of my audio books were in MP3 formats. MP3 let me do things that tape players never did.

My PRS-505 lets me do things a paperback never will. I can carry every text book for 10 years in a 1 lb package.

including keeping ebooks forever,

I have a 1TB library that I've built over a decade, that is mirrored and backed up off site. .PDFs that I create don't expire.

buying all the books they want (can only get 1 of Colleen McCulloughs critically famous Masters of Rome Series) the list goes on eg multiple web pages of any reasonable size do not work etc etc etc

The Copyright laws in the USA don't force anyone to sell anything in any format. That's in the Constitution - Article I.

Of course, anyone who does not allow consumers the convenience of buying what they want in the format they want will loose in the free market. (Remember the recording industry?)

Currently, it's a PITA to publish eBooks due to formats, DRM, etc.

The EU us doing something interesting with standard DRM (which will not work due to standard cracks.) If we did have standard DRM, then more publishers could get into eBooks, as compared to the current format confusion.

Once more publishers get into it, they will be available. This may take decades. Think of the MP3 availability of music.

Are only techno freaks are buying ebook readers now? - I read somewhere Sony had poor sales records, if that is true I bet the CEO wished he had not got up at the annual general meeting with the Sony Ebook Reader touting how great it was gonna be.

True, the early adopters of eBooks are techno geeks and book geeks. Right now I don't know anyone interested in an eBook who does not have several PCs and massive bookshelves.

Ebook reader = waste of money, can't get the books you want, DRM sucks, can't put webpages on it but can read old public domain stuff plus a very limited range of ebooks only.

Ebook reader lovers respond to this challenge or suffer the loss of face that silence will bring you!!:smack:

The books you want and the books I want are different. I get the books I want. You could have claimed that the music people wanted was not available form online MP3 stores in the early days of MP3s.

Here's a tip to publishers: If you want to sell books, sell them online. Also, include a CD in the back of the book that has the MP3 audio book and the eBook. The profits from audio books being sold separately pale in comparison to the huge sales advantage you would gain from people knowing that they get the book, ebook, and audio book for one purchase.

Our current model comes from the days of tapes that cost $20 for the media and replication. Today, CDs cost $0.10 each when packaged with a book. Even paperbacks could include mini-CDs.

When every Penguin book (for example) is known to come with a CD, they will get much more popular.

If you don't adapt to the market, the market will pass you by. It may not be fair, but it is reality.

Watermarking will allow you to limit piracy, and catch most idiots. Today's POS systems will allow you to track (by RFID) the individual eBook or MP3 back to one credit card. Track what you can, and send a polite letter from the author (have him/her sign it) to anyone who distributes their copies of your files. Ask Baen about their success in this area.

Andy

allen.gotwald
01-06-2008, 10:19 AM
Shousa,
Your premise states that "if I can't get whatever paperback I want, whenever I want then the ebook system is a failed system." In fact, the availablility of texts via the electronic network for use on the PRS-505 is far superior to Amazon's on-line hard text selection or any bookstore I currently visit. Try to find AE Merritt novels, Edgar Rice Burroughs complete Tarzan series or HR Haggard's novels at a bookstore (all online here and at Gutenberg.net). (Don't forget to buy them and pay for shipping at Amazon if you can find the book you're looking for).

The point is that these are profit making institutions who will place for sale only those texts people are currently buying. I'd recommend you peruse Gutenberg.net for available etexts that can easily be put into LRF or RTF format compatible with the SONY PRS 505. I have found other bookstores that cater to the BBeB format. The point is not that I can't find everything at one site. The point is that you have a drastically limited capability without an ereader. I would submit that you have failed in your supposition by failing to demonstrate how those without access to a reader have a superior text selection capability through hard-text purchases. I believe the reverse is true.

Your second premise that ebooks are tied to a single ebook store is also flawed and extremely myopic. I just don't believe you conducted any research and are looking to others to do your homework for you.

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-06-2008, 10:27 AM
You could have claimed that the music people wanted was not available form online MP3 stores in the early days of MP3s.

I certainly could... I listen to primarily classic jazz. There wasn't a lot of stuff on early MP3 sites for me. It's still that way, in fact... the amount of old jazz is pathetic compared to the amount of old rock out there.

E-books are the same: Certain genres are proliic in e-books (like romance), others are not. It takes times, and standardization of formats, DRM, etc, to get everyone on-board. Sony and Amazon should help this along, thanks to their reach into the industries, and bring more genres of e-books to market.

Alisa
01-06-2008, 03:12 PM
You seem to think that we should take your concept of the "average" consumer and what this "average" consumer wants as gospel. The average consumer doesn't actually read much and wouldn't be interested in something that allowed them to carry a bookshelf's worth of books with them.

By the way, my "paperback needs" do not include keeping the book forever. I have trouble finding places that will take donations of all the old books. I'm out of space and they make me sneeze. I rarely re-read a book. I think I can do quite well at calculating my needs without you telling me what they are.

shousa
01-06-2008, 10:20 PM
Shousa,
Your premise states that "if I can't get whatever paperback I want, whenever I want then the ebook system is a failed system." In fact, the availablility of texts via the electronic network for use on the PRS-505 is far superior to Amazon's on-line hard text selection or any bookstore I currently visit. Try to find AE Merritt novels, Edgar Rice Burroughs complete Tarzan series or HR Haggard's novels at a bookstore (all online here and at Gutenberg.net). (Don't forget to buy them and pay for shipping at Amazon if you can find the book you're looking for).

The point is that these are profit making institutions who will place for sale only those texts people are currently buying. I'd recommend you peruse Gutenberg.net for available etexts that can easily be put into LRF or RTF format compatible with the SONY PRS 505. I have found other bookstores that cater to the BBeB format. The point is not that I can't find everything at one site. The point is that you have a drastically limited capability without an ereader. I would submit that you have failed in your supposition by failing to demonstrate how those without access to a reader have a superior text selection capability through hard-text purchases. I believe the reverse is true.

Your second premise that ebooks are tied to a single ebook store is also flawed and extremely myopic. I just don't believe you conducted any research and are looking to others to do your homework for you.

Incorrect on all counts - I have already done the research (I was on this forum 1.5 years ago) - my point is simply to stir the pot so that Sony and Amazon notice. About the "myopic view" - simply put you did not ready all my posts before making that comment. For example I can right now buy the books I mentioned as paperbacks, I did not make the statement any book etc must be available now.

Please read the comments fully before posting - I already understand LRF and other issues you have raised. Click on my name to see all my posts.:offtopic:

BTW from my understanding your beloved Sony has around 20,000 ebooks and Amazon has 90,000 making your statement incorrect from my view. Now check how many books can be ordered from Amazon 20,077,318 - so you are saying this is less?!!? I really think you did no research on this and find your comment about my lack of proof (when I thought none was needed on this issue because for me it "is a given") to be honest, incomprehensible and off topic from what my challenge was.:offtopic:

I buy all my books from Amazon BTW.

Gutenburg etc and other public domain sources were specifically excluded from my challenge. Please read the earlier posts which defined the challenge because all I am doing is constantly stating this - so you did not read the earlier posts.:offtopic:

shousa
01-06-2008, 10:24 PM
You seem to think that we should take your concept of the "average" consumer and what this "average" consumer wants as gospel. The average consumer doesn't actually read much and wouldn't be interested in something that allowed them to carry a bookshelf's worth of books with them.

By the way, my "paperback needs" do not include keeping the book forever. I have trouble finding places that will take donations of all the old books. I'm out of space and they make me sneeze. I rarely re-read a book. I think I can do quite well at calculating my needs without you telling me what they are.

So you have defined the "average consumer" as not wanting to keep books they have bought.....for me this is what the library is for. But I am not interesting in arguing what the average is - I made a definition for my challenge that is all.

Again arguing semantics is off-topic IMHO, either take the challenge or don't.

shousa
01-06-2008, 10:28 PM
BTW recycledelectron - thanks very much for taking the challenge instead of arguing semantics.

I enjoyed your post very much - it was the kind of thoughtful, informed and intelligent kind of post I was looking for - you deserve a karma boost!

Profjulie deserves a boost too!

Alisa
01-06-2008, 10:50 PM
You might get a better reaction to your posts if you were a little more engaging and a little less confrontational and controlling.

And the "average" consumer that I know that actually reads enough to be a target for this device is regularly having to get rid of books. I know a few people that do horde them. Most are desperate for more shelf space.

shousa
01-06-2008, 11:20 PM
You might get a better reaction to your posts if you were a little more engaging and a little less confrontational and controlling.

And the "average" consumer that I know that actually reads enough to be a target for this device is regularly having to get rid of books. I know a few people that do horde them. Most are desperate for more shelf space.

Sorry.....fair comment on the first point - my view was that it was a challenge, perhaps I took it too far - was not meant to hurt anyone's feelings.

Very good second comment.

BTW I wasn't meaning my view should be taken as gospel. It was simply a defined assumption for the challenge (the parameters of it). Another day I could post a different assumption for the same thing to see another result - that is all it was. Perhaps if I could have expressed myself better perhaps people would not have got bogged down on this point but I honestly thought I had made that clear at the time.

Kitty
01-07-2008, 12:17 AM
... Then respond to this thread to tell those of us (me included that really loves the IDEA) that cannot commit to purchasing an ebook reader.

Or did you buy it cause you love useless gadgets?!...
In spite of the nagging voice in the back of my head that says, "Don't bother," here I go ...

I believe I'm fairly average as a consumer. I bought mine because I like the idea of having in one place, a light-weight copy of more than one book. I'm one of those odd-ducks that has at least three (usually more) "reads" going at once. With the reader, I can read whichever book I'm in the mood for without being restricted to "the one stashed at work" or "the one on the nightstand" or "the one in glovebox."

I researched and found a reader that will handle a reasonable number of easily available formats. I researched, found, and bookmarked at least three websites that offer current, popular literature. I found a couple that offer more arcane and out-of-print items. The places from which I buy have selections that do not require additional manipulation to read.

Finally, I like the idea of being able to have a library that doesn't take up my entire home. After reading the ebooks, I can store them on CDs, pen-drives, disk-cards, whatever's handy.

I don't expect this to have convinced you, shousa. Quite frankly, you came to the forum sounding as if you had no real desire to be convinced differently. That's okay. When you're ready (assuming you will be someday) to take the plunge into e-readers, I'm quite sure you will and no nay-sayers' arguments will change your mind.

NatCh
01-07-2008, 12:18 AM
As I see it, shousa, the definition of "average consumer" is very relevant to the discussion of what sort of device is appropriate for him.

You defined an "average reader" as:I said AVERAGE users (to spell it out - will not be using hacking software in legal grey areas to convert their books and I am talking about BRAND NEW BOOKS NOT OLD PUBLIC DOMAIN).A number of us have taken the time and energy to explain, in some detail, that we don't think your definition really fits the average e-book user, because folks who use e-books are necessarily more computer savvy than you describe, and the true "average consumer" doesn't have much use for books period, let alone e-books -- but I'll refrain from going back into those details again. :nice:

In order to have much of a productive discussion on any given topic, the terms of that discussion have to be agreed on by those in the discussion. Given the way you've defined your "average consumer" the only answer to the question you posed would be the one you offered in the first place: there is no e-reading device suitable for the "average consumer" as you define him.

However, that doesn't make for a very lively discussion (and discussion is kinda what we do here :wink2), so we're trying to find a definition that is, perhaps, a bit more representative, so that there can be an actual, somewhat real-world related discussion of the question you raised: are present e-book devices so unapproachable that they're doomed to failure? You can declare that semantics if you choose, I just consider it to be defining the terms of the discussion. :shrug:

I therefore define Sony's reader, for the average user as being tied to their connect store since other store's ebooks will not work eg Amazon et al....You're free to define it that way if you like, but you're ignoring the fact that several other retailers offer books (yes, new stuff) that can be used with the Sony without conversion. Fictionwise sells many titles in LRF format. Baen's webscriptions service offers titles in RTF, a format the Sony reads just fine. And as I said before, if your average consumer can handle ripping MP3 files from a cd (I imagine any realistic definition of "average consumer" would include such folks), then they can handle running .LIT files (which are very widely available from many retailers) through ConvertLIT to get RTF which the Sony can read, and which can be converted via a number of similar drop-and-convert apps into pretty much any format you care to name. If you want to ignore those facts you're welcome to do so, but that sort of thing doesn't tend to make folks take you seriously. :shrug:

You also seem to think that e-books are inevitably doomed because you can't get just any title you want in them. There are also new, current titles that can't be gotten at Barnes & Noble or Borders, that single fact alone doesn't mean that paper books are inherently doomed. That's not semantics, that's analytical consideration of the argument you advanced.

If you want to point out that the selection of e-books still lags the selection of paper books at your typical retailer, well pretty much anyone who's awake will agree that is true. :yes: If you want to make an argument that this is detrimental to e-books in general, most would agree with you there too. :yes: I just don't think it's reasonable to try and make the availability, or lack thereof, of any specific book, or even of a majority of books, into some sort of success/failure litmus test for the entire e-book reader industry. :unafraid:


Your initial post was indeed clearly phrased as a challenge, and there's certainly no reason not to have such challenges, but even a challenge can be handled respectfully. :nice:

shousa
01-07-2008, 12:53 AM
Fair enough Natch.....apologies to all.

One point though:
- I do not know many people who do rip CDs (anecdotal not statistical evidence I know) and there may be large areas of the book market IMHO (however it is defined) who would not go thru a conversion process for their books and with CDs they do not need to this - just put in the CD player and play.

HarryT
01-07-2008, 03:48 AM
For me, the important question to ask is not "can I get any book that I want as an e-Book", but rather "are there enough e-Books that interest me to make it worth my while to buy an e-Book reader", and for me personally, the answer is unequivocably "yes".

I know that public domain books don't interest you, but my special interest is 19th century novels and the particular benefit of an eBook reader for me is that I can get hold of thousands of 19th century books as eBooks which are virtually impossible to find as printed books. For example, I can read the entire works of Rider Haggard as eBooks, whereas it's virtually impossible to find anything except "King Solomon's Mines" and "She" in any current printed book.

We all have to look at our individual interests and make our own decision.

shousa
01-07-2008, 04:07 AM
For me, the important question to ask is not "can I get any book that I want as an e-Book", but rather "are there enough e-Books that interest me to make it worth my while to buy an e-Book reader", and for me personally, the answer is unequivocably "yes".

I know that public domain books don't interest you, but my special interest is 19th century novels and the particular benefit of an eBook reader for me is that I can get hold of thousands of 19th century books as eBooks which are virtually impossible to find as printed books. For example, I can read the entire works of Rider Haggard as eBooks, whereas it's virtually impossible to find anything except "King Solomon's Mines" and "She" in any current printed book.

We all have to look at our individual interests and make our own decision.

Your first point is really key and could be one that would persuade someone who does not have an ebook reader to buy one. I think I will run off now and make a list of books I would like to have and see what I get.:thanks:

BTW I am actually interested in public domain books, it is also impossible to get many ancient roman and greek texts any other way. A good way is also to copy text from a website (assuming legally OK one to do) and put that as an "ebook" as well.

tompe
01-07-2008, 11:00 AM
I bought mine because I like the idea of having in one place, a light-weight copy of more than one book. I'm one of those odd-ducks that has at least three (usually more) "reads" going at once.

Odd? I thought everybody did that...

recycledelectron
01-07-2008, 11:23 AM
Shousa,
Your premise states that "if I can't get whatever paperback I want, whenever I want then the ebook system is a failed system." In fact, the availablility of texts via the electronic network for use on the PRS-505 is far superior to Amazon's on-line hard text selection or any bookstore I currently visit. Try to find AE Merritt novels, Edgar Rice Burroughs complete Tarzan series or HR Haggard's novels at a bookstore (all online here and at Gutenberg.net). (Don't forget to buy them and pay for shipping at Amazon if you can find the book you're looking for).

The point is that these are profit making institutions who will place for sale only those texts people are currently buying. I'd recommend you peruse Gutenberg.net for available etexts that can easily be put into LRF or RTF format compatible with the SONY PRS 505. I have found other bookstores that cater to the BBeB format. The point is not that I can't find everything at one site. The point is that you have a drastically limited capability without an ereader. I would submit that you have failed in your supposition by failing to demonstrate how those without access to a reader have a superior text selection capability through hard-text purchases. I believe the reverse is true.

Our expectations have changed. I recall when I would have to find something to read at the local library.

Back when I was a kid, we didn't have this fancy order-any-book-ever-printed from amazon.com, and get it in 2 days stuff. We had one book store that stocked the books the owner liked, and we had to pick from those books...and we liked it that way.

Today's availability of ebooks far outstrips the local library or the small book store, but there are still some books that are not available that way.

As a teacher, I used to need to carry 40 books, so I only grabbed the 5-7 that I needed the most, and spent half the day not having the books I needed. Now, I can get 30 of my 40 books in digital format, I rip another 7, and have 3 paper books for the semester. My eBook is indispensable.

BTW recycledelectron - thanks very much for taking the challenge instead of arguing semantics.

I enjoyed your post very much - it was the kind of thoughtful, informed and intelligent kind of post I was looking for - you deserve a karma boost!

Profjulie deserves a boost too!

You just haven't read enough of my posts yet. You too will be calling for my head ... soon.

Andy

NatCh
01-07-2008, 11:48 AM
One point though:
- I do not know many people who do rip CDs (anecdotal not statistical evidence I know) and there may be large areas of the book market IMHO (however it is defined) who would not go thru a conversion process for their books and with CDs they do not need to this - just put in the CD player and play.That is an excellent point. Most of the folks I know just get their MP3's from iTunes these days rather than ripping them, but I do know a lot of folks who used to rip CD's, back before there was a simpler option. :beam:

Certainly, the same thing applies to e-books, I'll usually choose the simplest path that fits my requirements. I tend to run my Baen titles through BookDesigner rather than just reading them as RTFs. But I don't do any TOCs or any fancy stuff with them -- the extra responsiveness and the in-line pix are worth the extra step to me, but if I don't have to take that extra step to get what I want/need then I won't do it. Case in point, if a book is one I'm pretty sure I'll only read once, I'm fairly likely to just get it from Sony's store, and accept that there's a fair chance that it'll be lost to me at some point in the future. That trade-off is worth the decrease in hassle to me. :shrug:

I think that tendency to go with the simpler path is fairly universal amongst mankind.

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-07-2008, 12:42 PM
That is an excellent point. Most of the folks I know just get their MP3's from iTunes these days rather than ripping them, but I do know a lot of folks who used to rip CD's, back before there was a simpler option.

That always depends on whether or not the music (or books) you want is available. As a jazz fan, I regularly find that I cannot get certain old or classic jazz pieces on iTunes. When I started listening to MP3s, I spent most of my time ripping from albums to MP3s, or album to CD to MP3s. I still do more of that now (my father left me a boatload of his old jazz albums) than buying new material, either on CD or from iTunes. Obviously, if you are into newer pop music, you won't have to bother with all that... but if you are into even more eclectic music, you may have to go through even more.

The books situation is similar, and will impact readers similarly. Some people will find all the books they want to read available for dedicated readers, some will find hardly any, and some will find a significant portion. The latter two groups will therefore supplement what they can easily find with e-books they have to work harder to find, or have to convert themselves. There will be a wide variety of people who will range from minor effort to major effort in getting what they want, or just decide not to bother at all.

That's why it's good to have choices, not only in dedicated readers, but in non-dedicated hardware that may be better suited for your needs, like a laptop, UMPC, handheld, smartphone, etc. I may never own a dedicated reader, but if my PDA satisfies my need to read e-books, that's okay.

Darqref
01-08-2008, 12:26 AM
That always depends on whether or not the music (or books) you want is available. As a jazz fan, I regularly find that I cannot get certain old or classic jazz pieces on iTunes. When I started listening to MP3s, I spent most of my time ripping from albums to MP3s, or album to CD to MP3s. I still do more of that now (my father left me a boatload of his old jazz albums) than buying new material, either on CD or from iTunes. Obviously, if you are into newer pop music, you won't have to bother with all that... but if you are into even more eclectic music, you may have to go through even more.

And you get one additional benefit - you get the original mixes. A couple of years ago, my brother gave me a couple of re-issue cds of older big-band jazz. Compared to older stuff I hear on the radio, these cds had been remastered, and the bass tracks were boosted so much that the sound was vastly different, and to my ear, terrible. (I think the sound engineers who did the job may not have even realized that they were changing the sound, because all the current pop has such boosted bass).

I'm not likely to spend time digitizing old LPs, but I'm more conscious of the changes that can creep in with remastering.

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-08-2008, 07:45 AM
I'm not likely to spend time digitizing old LPs, but I'm more conscious of the changes that can creep in with remastering.

Good point. I've heard the same thing, heightened bass lines, altered channel levels and backgrounds, etc. It's annoying and frustrating if you know the original music. (For the record, I also don't need most of the "bonus tracks" layered onto CDs, usually rejected tracks of songs that are already there.)

secretsubscribe
01-08-2008, 03:20 PM
Book selection is a big problem when it comes to wider acceptance of ebooks.
I know people who are avid reader and would love an ebook reader, but they read mostly modern pop. lit. or the newest bio or other non-fiction.
Items that are sorely lacking from the ebook world.
Ebooks are great for the lovers of classic lit and genre work or technically inclined readers like myself who search for digital copied of the books on their shelfs.

I purchased my Sony PRS-500 because I took part in a deal. Otherwise, at the price, I would have stayed with my PDA. Though, after having it for months now, my PDA does not compare.
I started buying ebooks for my PDA because of the convinience of carrying a few books in my pocket, especially when traveling and daily commuting. My interest in finding books i wanted to read took me to some of the smaller shops where I found DRMed and non DRM titles.
But I'm not an "average" book consumer because I'm a techie.

I believe the average book consumer will need everything easily handed to them before they'll accept ebooks into their everyday lives. I'm not looking down on anyone but I believe thats how the average consumer works.
Thats why itunes worked so well. It also worked well because it had a wide selection of what was popular and mainstream.
I couldn't buy the death metal i listen to but I could buy the Spanish pop or the lastest from Ms. Spears and those consumers outnumbered me.

I also try to avoid DRM unless i'm desperate, but I'm not sure if the average consumer really cares about DRM. Is it really a concern for anyone who's not "other than average"?
A device like the Kindle, that is, a device that tried to be an ebook ipod, might actually work one day because, it makes things easy. I haven't had any experience with it myself. I'm going by what's I've read so far and looking at it as a non-techie.
The ability to subscribe to the New York Times or The Nation peaked my interest alone. Buying books online without wifi, access to new york times best sellers, and the Amazon name don't hurt.

Will the "average" consumer care that they are tied to one store for all their mainstream reading needs, news, blogs, etc... if the experience is easy and big name brand backs it up?
I don't think so. But they will care about access to as many mainstream books as possible.
DRM or no, are we really that far off?

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-08-2008, 05:24 PM
Book selection is a big problem when it comes to wider acceptance of ebooks.

In fact, it's probably the single biggest problem to widespread adoption. Let's face it, if a person could get literally any book they wanted, they could just pick the reader they liked, and run with it. Especially if they could convert every book they owned to digital files... man, I'd be off and running, and there would be only one bookshelf of rare hardbacks left in my house!

It's the chicken-and-egg problem: You need e-books to make e-book readers viable... you need e-book readers to make e-books viable.

But to convert every book that's not already in electronic form (because now we know, publishers created electronic files for printing, but they generally deleted them once the print run was done)... that would take a gargantuan, multi-national, probably government-overseen effort. We already know that if we wait until the publishers do it themselves, it'll never get done. So, how to accomplish that? Subsidized organizations with public/private/govt oversight? New job for the Library of Congress? Project Gutenberg on uber-steroids?

Until we figure out that nasty conundrum, all we can do is try for a reader that will be easy and fun to use, to get them into people's hands. You can look at this as a chicken-and-egg problem, and get stuck behind the paradox... but on the other hand, if you can provide the chicken, the egg won't be far behind, and the paradox is gone.

NatCh
01-08-2008, 05:31 PM
At least we have decent reading hardware these days, so we have about half the equation licked. Now folks are just grousing about lack of selection, rather than lack of selection and lack of decent hardware! :grin:

One big step in improving e-book generation is to get the publishers to stop deleting the electronic files when they finish with them. :smack:

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-08-2008, 05:51 PM
One big step in improving e-book generation is to get the publishers to stop deleting the electronic files when they finish with them. :smack:

You have to wonder: Now that even the publishers know there's an e-book market, have they stopped deleting them yet? Anecdotal comments have led me to believe that they may still be deleting files...

Actually, though, I suspect that deleting new files isn't much of a problem. It's the old books that need to be made electronic, that's the rub. And until somebody either figures out how to either profit off the scan/conversion/proofing process, or get it subsidized, we're not likely to see it happen anytime soon.

AnemicOak
01-08-2008, 05:55 PM
It's the old books that need to be made electronic, that's the rub. And until somebody either figures out how to either profit off the scan/conversion/proofing process, or get it subsidized, we're not likely to see it happen anytime soon.

They should go out to the darknet to get them (obviously not everything is there, but a lot more than is out from legit sources), then they'll just need to clean them up, but the scanning's all done for them. :D

shousa
01-08-2008, 07:16 PM
Really good discussion going on here.

I guess from the above that average users in the end may not care about DRM.

I think price will be important - I have seen some strange pricing examples with ebooks costing more than paperbacks, most of what I have seen is similar pricing or less though.

I am considering scanning in my books and then using a character recognition program (forget the name but I have one) to convert to text - has anyone tried this?

NatCh
01-08-2008, 08:24 PM
I'd agree that I think most folks are going to view DRM on books about like they do songs on iTunes. And the same applies to pricing, the way I see it.

There are a number of folks who scan & OCR their own books. There are a few threads on that specific topic in the ... I think they're in the "content" subforum, but I don't really pay much attention to which threads are where, I monitor the forum through the "New Posts" searches. :shrug:

tompe
01-08-2008, 08:50 PM
I
There are a number of folks who scan & OCR their own books. There are a few threads on that specific topic in the ... I think they're in the "content" subforum, but I don't really pay much attention to which threads are where, I monitor the forum through the "New Posts" searches. :shrug:

There is a thread about scanning books in one of the Sony sub forum.

Can you read the forum using New Post searches? I have tried but failed. I get the new posts and read a thread but how do I then get back to my search result and having the thread I read marked as read? Doing a new search fromn the menu is to much mouse work. I would like to have a button for it. And I would like to have a choice in the end of a thread page to get back to the forum.

shousa
01-08-2008, 10:22 PM
There is a thread about scanning books in one of the Sony sub forum.


Thanks.

NatCh
01-08-2008, 11:09 PM
... how do I then get back to my search result and having the thread I read marked as read?I just hit the "back" button (or the backspace key in FireFox), and then if I want to see which ones I've read, I just refresh the page. I usually remember which one I was just on, and go to the next one, though. :shrug:

I have the links for my common searches in the bookmarks toolbar on FireFox, so it's just a single click to run the new search. :nice:

tompe
01-08-2008, 11:50 PM
I just hit the "back" button (or the backspace key in FireFox), and then if I want to see which ones I've read, I just refresh the page. I usually remember which one I was just on, and go to the next one, though. :shrug:

I have the links for my common searches in the bookmarks toolbar on FireFox, so it's just a single click to run the new search. :nice:

Thanks for that. I did not know that refresh fixed the read information. I thought it was lost when you hit back. The link in the toolbar was a good idea.

montsnmags
01-09-2008, 08:11 AM
...
But to convert every book that's not already in electronic form (because now we know, publishers created electronic files for printing, but they generally deleted them once the print run was done)... that would take a gargantuan, multi-national, probably government-overseen effort. We already know that if we wait until the publishers do it themselves, it'll never get done. So, how to accomplish that? Subsidized organizations with public/private/govt oversight? New job for the Library of Congress? Project Gutenberg on uber-steroids?....

There already is a "Project Gutengerg on uber-steroids", and it doesn't require everyone paying for the massiveness of a government project via taxes. In fact, there is more than one. Two "uber-steroids" companies, in the form of Microsoft and Google are already doing it in some form independently of each other. Not all publishers like it, but that's probably part of what's tied up in your " if we wait until the publishers do it themselves, it'll never get done", yeah? ;)

Cheers,
Marc

recycledelectron
01-09-2008, 11:02 AM
Actually, though, I suspect that deleting new files isn't much of a problem. It's the old books that need to be made electronic, that's the rub. And until somebody either figures out how to either profit off the scan/conversion/proofing process, or get it subsidized, we're not likely to see it happen anytime soon.

It's NOT expensive to rip a book. I can train any college kid to rip a book a day, including proof reading it after OCR. (It's easy to photo 500 pages an hour with a $60 camera, a $20 tripod, and a $40 home-built cradle.) This excludes really complicated math books, and other books that are just easier (for now) to leave as images instead of retyping the equations.

Andy

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-09-2008, 02:12 PM
It's NOT expensive to rip a book. I can train any college kid to rip a book a day, including proof reading it after OCR. (It's easy to photo 500 pages an hour with a $60 camera, a $20 tripod, and a $40 home-built cradle.) This excludes really complicated math books, and other books that are just easier (for now) to leave as images instead of retyping the equations.

I do realize that. I guess I just wonder whether such an operation is really a good use of a student's time. And are they being compensated for the work? I think they should be. (Otherwise, they're just conscripted labor.) So who would pay for that?

Edit: I guess Google would...

recycledelectron
01-12-2008, 05:12 PM
I guess from the above that average users in the end may not care about DRM.

Average = Ignorant?

I didn't care about the copy protection on programs in th 360K 5.25" floppy days, until it stopped my newest computer game (my birthday present when I was a kid) from working.

The store that sold us the game told uis we should expect 2/3 of computer games not to work. My dad was told I was a liar by tech support. We were accused for being pirates by tech support - the called the local police.

After that, I'd been stung. I was no longer ignorant of the damage such tactics do to honest consumers.

To this day, I will not buy a product from Babbage's (an out of business computer store) or from Accolade (a crooked game company.)

I do not pay for products that emply DRM or copy protection.

Andy

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-12-2008, 05:37 PM
Average = Ignorant?

You don't have to be ignorant to not care about DRM. You just have to use the product the way the makers intended you to use it, and if the DRM properly accommodates that, the average user won't even notice it is there.

I didn't care about the copy protection on programs in th 360K 5.25" floppy days, until it stopped my newest computer game (my birthday present when I was a kid) from working.

That's a good example of either bad DRM, or an indication that you were using it in a way that was not originally intended (I'm guessing the former here, although if you tried to use it on a computer the makers didn't foresee you using, that would qualify as the latter). This made you aware of DRM, and how it blocked you from doing what you wanted... if that happened to any average person, they would also "care" about DRM.

After that, I'd been stung. I was no longer ignorant of the damage such tactics do to honest consumers.

Your experience actually doesn't mean that DRM is bad... just that badly-designed DRM is bad. Ask iTunes users how bad DRM is, and most of them will probably tell you it's not bad at all (well, the ones that won't just ask, "What's DRM?").

Not that I'm really defending DRM. I'm defending those who use software the way the makers intended it to be used, and therefore don't run afoul of their DRM systems... those people are not necessarily "ignorant."

SciFiBill
01-12-2008, 06:11 PM
Just a point as to a segment of society that does benefit by the e-book readers; I’m getting close to retirement age, and when that time comes, I want to travel around in an RV (recreational vehicle). I can either fill my rig up with pbacks and hbacks, and sit in one place forever, or switch over to this “new-fangled” device, bring a couple thousand reads, and visit all those places I was too busy to see while I was in the Army. I can spend all day seeing the sights, and at night curl up with a good read. Choice is simple, and I’m eagerly awaiting my reader.

recycledelectron
01-13-2008, 02:43 AM
I do realize that. I guess I just wonder whether such an operation is really a good use of a student's time. And are they being compensated for the work? I think they should be. (Otherwise, they're just conscripted labor.) So who would pay for that?

Edit: I guess Google would...

I mean that the students can rip books for their own use. As for the time, let's get togeather half-a-dozen able students that are all using the same 5 textbooks, averaging 600 pages each. At a ripping rate of 400 pages per hour, it doesn't take even 90 minutes per student to have digital editions available.

You don't have to be ignorant to not care about DRM. You just have to use the product the way the makers intended you to use it, and if the DRM properly accommodates that, the average user won't even notice it is there.

The issue is not how you use it. The issue is that the manufacturer's server to authorize content will eventually be removed after the manufacturer is not longer selling lots of new copies. The issue is that DRM will prevent me from using my content on a newer eBook. The issue is that the manufacturer may say the PDF will work on every PDf reader, but forget to mention that it does not work on my eBook that reads PDF.

Anyone who does not know that DRM is a technology, and that like any technology, it can break is ignorant. Anyone who does not know that because of the possibility of DRM breaking, that they are possibly going to be locked out of their content is ignorant.

Anyone who makes money off DRM infected works, and claims that DRM can not break, locking people out...Anyone who makes money off DRM infected works, and pretends that problems with DRM are only because of the user misusing the product is either ignorant or a liar. I learned about this attitude from a software company that answered a tech support call, and within 20 seconds blamed the hardware manufacturer...before they knew who the hardware manufacturer was.

That's a good example of either bad DRM, or an indication that you were using it in a way that was not originally intended (I'm guessing the former here, although if you tried to use it on a computer the makers didn't foresee you using, that would qualify as the latter). This made you aware of DRM, and how it blocked you from doing what you wanted... if that happened to any average person, they would also "care" about DRM.

Exactly. Anyone who does not anticipate moving their S/W to new H/W is ignorant. Anyone who does not know that DRM will endlessly complicate this move is ignorant. I learned about this from the copy protection on Sierra Online's old games (e.g., King's Quest.)

Anyone who does not know that authorizing servers will be dropped when companies declare bankruptcy is ignorant. Anyone who does not know that the same companies will have the money (while in bankruptcy) to sue and prosecute anyone cracking their software is ignorant. I learned about both of these from Lotus 123.

Anyone who does not know they will need their old software many years later is ignorant. Anyone who does not know that DRM will prevent them from accessing their software years later is ignorant. For example, most people keep tax records on their PCs. Imagine a future, 20 years from now, when you need a 2005 tax return. You dont' ahve the PDF due to years of occasional data loss,b ut you do have the file that is native to the tax program. You fire up your new MAC with OSXV, and run a VM to emulate ancient XP. You pull your still pristine box off the shelf, and try to install the ancient 5.25" CD in an external drive (nobody uses optical drives anymore; you have to get this one off eBay.) You get a message: "This tax program is not licensed to run in a virtual machine." After fiddling with options for a few hours, you get it to think it's not in a virtual machine. Then you are ready to zap the fixed tax return to the IRS, but wait! the program will not print without contacting the authorizing server, which has not existed since 2010. ARRGGGHHH! You grab the tax return with screen shots and try to OCR it, but the program garbles the screen shots. Finally, you hand-copy the data, missing a zero on a line, and triggering a more in-depth audit that takes months.

Your experience actually doesn't mean that DRM is bad...

I've been cheated time after time by companies that deliberately kept their software from working on my PCs. That is bad in my view, but you find it acceptable. We have different morals.

just that badly-designed DRM is bad. Ask iTunes users how bad DRM is, and most of them will probably tell you it's not bad at all (well, the ones that won't just ask, "What's DRM?").

Itunes users still use DRM. The people who still use DRM are not going to rate it badly. Ask former iTunes customers why they switched, and they will likely mention something related to DRM, such as buying a song to play on their car's stereo, only to find out that they were ripped off.

Users ignorant of DRM have not seen the effects of it, yet. They will. All those iTunes users will be converted one at a time to anti-DRM enlightenment.

Not that I'm really defending DRM. I'm defending those who use software the way the makers intended it to be used, and therefore don't run afoul of their DRM systems... those people are not necessarily "ignorant."

These people who use software the way it was intended don't access 20 year old data. They don't upgrade. They don't mind when a Sony Libre deletes the book they wrote after 90 days.

These people who use software the way it was intended don't mind the possibility that one day all their data will be wiped. A virus could uses 3 or 4 venerabilities to infect 99% of internet connected PCs, then wipes the hard disks. Ignorant users don't know about this danger.

Microsoft's EULA for Service Pack 2 on XP demands that they can read anything on your PC. It demands that they can delete anything on your PC. It demands that they can change anything on your PC.

Ignorant users don't know about this. Even worse, Ignorant users in the medical field don't know that allowing Microsoft to read and change the medical records on their PCs is a violation of HIPPAA (in the states.)

Ignorant users in the education field don't know that allowing Microsoft to read and change thestudent records on their PCs is a violation of FERPA (in the states.)

Ignorant users in the human resources field don't know that allowing Microsoft to read and change the personnel records on their PCs is a violation of federal privacy laws (in the states.)

Ignorant users in the credit reporting field don't know that allowing Microsoft to read and change the medical records on their PCs is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (in the states.)

These people who use software the way it was intended have their software remotely shut down when Islamic nuts take over Thailand. Apparently, it is intended that anyone who publishes anti-government literature in an Islamic country should be executed.

More than anything else, I demand that my authoring system (which has never been connected to the Internet) work, without phoning home.

Andy

HarryT
01-13-2008, 04:19 AM
Itunes users still use DRM. The people who still use DRM are not going to rate it badly. Ask former iTunes customers why they switched, and they will likely mention something related to DRM, such as buying a song to play on their car's stereo, only to find out that they were ripped off.


You are mistaken, Andy. iTunes DRM doesn't prevent this. You can burn an audio CD of any music from iTunes, including DRM-protected music. I think personally that iTunes DRM works extremely well. It really doesn't interfere with any "legitimate" use of the music.

shousa
01-13-2008, 06:03 AM
You are mistaken, Andy. iTunes DRM doesn't prevent this. You can burn an audio CD of any music from iTunes, including DRM-protected music. I think personally that iTunes DRM works extremely well. It really doesn't interfere with any "legitimate" use of the music.

You do lose substantial quality in ripping the CD back to MP3s which is a legitimate use - so in my view I agree with Andy.

Thought I would just mention here that I bought a Sony 505 because of kovidgoyals tools after having built up a library first of public domain books.

Thanks to all on this thread I am a convert.

JSWolf
01-13-2008, 09:54 AM
Odd? I thought everybody did that...
I myself have a bunch of books going at the same time. I'll have to edit my signature to show which ones.

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-13-2008, 09:58 AM
I won't argue with most of your comments, other than to say that you may be a bit harsh. I think you're grouping "ignorant" people in with those who, honestly, just don't care.

But in essence, you're right: People should know that their HW and SW isn't perfect, and will likely only last a few years, and if they want something that will be more lasting, they should be using HW and SW that can be easily converted to universal formats and systems, to be ported to "the next device or app" down the line. They should also be smart enough to back things up and do preventive maintenance on their systems... anyone who doesn't, has no one to blame when their systems go down and everything is lost.

It's harder for people to appreciate how transitory a company or service can be (for some reason), but that lesson is being learned by more and more people every day. Even iTunes could disappear, if someone else develops AlphaOmegaTunes and Apple loses all of their business. Even iTunes users should prepare for that, if they want to keep their music, plain and simple.

I mean that the students can rip books for their own use. As for the time, let's get togeather half-a-dozen able students that are all using the same 5 textbooks, averaging 600 pages each. At a ripping rate of 400 pages per hour, it doesn't take even 90 minutes per student to have digital editions available.

I was thinking of programs that have students ripping non-textbooks for other people's use. I wouldn't want to see professors going to their students and saying, "For class today, we're going to all go over to the campus library, and work for Google scanning and OCRing the books in the Rs of the fiction section..." If students are being paid for the work, fine.

I've been cheated time after time by companies that deliberately kept their software from working on my PCs. That is bad in my view, but you find it acceptable. We have different morals.

No, I don't find that acceptable. However, when you say "deliberately," you're implying that they honestly didn't want the software to work for you. Isn't it more likely that they simply didn't anticipate the way you intended to use it, so their DRM couldn't take that into account? Or that they did design it that way, but in order to prevent the possibility of the SW being pirated, a perfectly legitimate concern on their part, and with no malice towards you in particular?

Granted, maybe they did know it wouldn't work, and simply neglected to give adequate warning of that, in order to see bigger sales. In most cases, however, the SW maker simply can't anticipate every system and contingency. I myself have had problems with SW that was designed to run on the "average" PC, with "average" SW installed, but with my tweaks and additional system-monitoring SW, certain things wouldn't run on mine, and I'd have to return them. Even happens with Macs. Until computers are better-designed, and SW better-programmed, those things are going to happen, and you just have to understand and accept that.

And as you say, anyone who won't accept that is... well... ignorant.

More than anything else, I demand that my authoring system (which has never been connected to the Internet) work, without phoning home.

All I can say is, start thinking about designing and building all of your own HW/SW. That's the only way you are going to guarantee something like that.

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-13-2008, 10:03 AM
You do lose substantial quality in ripping the CD back to MP3s which is a legitimate use - so in my view I agree with Andy.

Loss of quality is true of any CD to MP3 conversion. For myself, I've ripped iTunes material to CD, then burned to MP3, and I have not noticed a "substantial" drop in sound quality. Possibly your MP3 conversion method needs tweaking.

HarryT
01-13-2008, 10:12 AM
I generally create MP3s at 320kbit sampling rate. At that rate, I can no longer hear any difference between the MP3 and the CD original. I am, however, "middle aged" and so have lost the upper frequencies in my hearing.

safjazz
01-13-2008, 12:11 PM
You can't commit to an e-book reader. I get that. I used a PDA for a year before I purchased an e-book to read on it. I was hooked after that. I didn't know what the experience of reading an entire book on a PDA was like until I tried it. I looked at the Sony Reader in the Borders store dozens of times over about six months before I purchased one. I didn't know how much I would enjoy it until I had one.

I'm not aware of an e-book reader being tied to one store. I read multiformat books from Fictionwise all of the time. It's true that the quality varies because the titles tend to be from small presses, but I find that to be true of books that make it to the NY Times Bestseller list, which are published by large houses. Between Sony Connect, Fictionwise, and Project Gutenberg, thousands of titles are available to the average consumer who doesn't want to break DRM.

With the emergence of the .epub format and the way the music industry is going in regards to DRM, I have a feeling that your legitimate concern about DRM will not be as much of an issue in a year or two.

Will I challenge your conclusion that "all current e-book readers will die"? Of course not. They will die. Is anyone truly disputing this? When I was a little girl in the 1970s, we had a 19 in. black and white Zenith TV that was for the kids' use. That TV lasted about 25 years. Can I go out to Best Buy today and buy one? I wouldn't want to even though it was highly reliable. I have a Magnavox HDTV today. It's superior. I want a superior e-book reader in the future. Does this make me a techno-freak or am I reflecting the attitude of the "average consumer?"

Here comes the part where I address your challenge. I can't use it for all of my paperback needs (I'm assuming here you mean novels or other books that are mostly text). How could I? Only a small fraction of books are available digitally. I read such a variety of books that I can't always find what I want electronically. However, I still bought an e-reader. Does that make me a techno-freak fond of "useless gadgets" or am I an average consumer who likes the features an e-reader offers?

In the future, I think my dad will be able to answer your challenge. I showed my 76-year-old dad my Sony Reader. He loved the legibility. I would say he has average technical skills. Will he buy one? No. He wants a Kindle because he saw it in Newsweek, and he likes the idea of buying books wirelessly. Will he care about DRM? No. He wants to read a book once and doesn't care what happens to it later. I think average consumers are like that. Keeping books forever tends to be what bibliophiles do and your challenge seems to exclude them.

My stepmom wants me to let her know when Amazon has Kindles in stock again, so she can buy my Dad one for his birthday.

Is my dad an average consumer? Yes. Is he a techno-freak that loves to buy useless gadgets? No. We kept a black and white TV for a little over 25 years because it still worked. Will he find the books he wants? Since he is a NY Times Bestseller kind of reader, I don't think he'll have a problem. Does that represent the average consumer? I would say yes because that's how the books become bestsellers is that the average reader buys them.

I can't find any report on real sales figures for the Sony Reader. I do know that the SonyStyle store has been out of stock for weeks. In my opinion, that could be because of the media coverage about the Kindle has made people aware of the Reader. Maybe we'll hear a positive report of sales in the future.

However, I don't think you should get an e-reader. Seriously. Wait until it's absolutely perfect for you and has what you want. Then, it won't be a waste of money for you.

It definitely hasn't been a waste of money for me.

shousa
01-13-2008, 07:10 PM
Thanks for that - it was just a challenge not my view.

In the end I bought a Sony 505!

safjazz
01-13-2008, 07:13 PM
Oh, very cool. I hope you are enjoying it. :)

recycledelectron
01-14-2008, 01:18 AM
You are mistaken, Andy. iTunes DRM doesn't prevent this. You can burn an audio CD of any music from iTunes, including DRM-protected music. I think personally that iTunes DRM works extremely well. It really doesn't interfere with any "legitimate" use of the music.

I apologize - I do not use iTunes and was guessing based on reviews & posts. (a bad habit.)

Now for tonight's exciting installment of:
"DRM users are either ignorant (and don't know they will be screwed) or are ticked off because they have been screwed!"

A friend of mine bought a set-top VCR / DVD Burner at Sears' about a year ago, and paid around $200 for the Samsung unit. The problem is that it only plays 2/3 of his commercial DVDs. Tonight, we popped in a the first DVD of my friend's collectors edition, digitally remastered, 8(?)-volume "Planet of the Apes" boxed set. The DVD player refused to play it. It said "Unrecognized Disc."

For the ignorant (i.e., those who have not yet been screwed by DRM) DVDs are digitally encrypted with secret technology. That means that they may or may not play in a given player, depending on the revision of the CSS algorithm on the DVD and in the player.

I didn't bother with my locally purchased anime DVDs, as they are not encoded for region 1.

For the ignorant, DVDs are also encoded to only play in 1 of several regions.

The idea is to keep pirates from taking an American DVD and playing it in Australia. The result is to make it difficult or impossible for film aficionados to watch that one rare British, French, or Japanese movie that they love. Worse yet, you might play an anime DVD, changing your region encoding on your PC. Because you are only allowed 5 changes, this might be the last one. You may accidentally permanently lock your DVD player to Japanese movies only.

Pirates who are making money off this can easily afford a correct-region DVD player, or have software to change the region encoding as many times as they like. (Even linking to this software is illegal in the USA. Using it is a felony under the DMCA's "anti-circumvention" clause.)

Andy

recycledelectron
01-14-2008, 01:59 AM
They should also be smart enough to back things up and do preventive maintenance on their systems... anyone who doesn't, has no one to blame when their systems go down and everything is lost.

DRM prevents backing up data. For example the protection in many versions of Microsoft Software prevents a backup copy of a hard disk from running on a different PC, or in a virtual machine.

It's harder for people to appreciate how transitory a company or service can be (for some reason), but that lesson is being learned by more and more people every day. Even iTunes could disappear, if someone else develops AlphaOmegaTunes and Apple loses all of their business. Even iTunes users should prepare for that, if they want to keep their music, plain and simple.

You always refer to how the manufacturer intends us to use their software. Intending it to only be used while a license server is up, and then claiming that you can use it forever is an act of fraud. Remember when Lotus went kaput? I lost my business due to the DMCA.

I've said we have different morals. Anyone who defends any DRM scheme that involves a license server is immoral. Such as defense concludes that it's OK for a company to lock down S/W so that it can not be used after they go bust. How many of the early silent movie companies survive today? If they had to spend $10,000 per year to keep a license server running from the days of silent movies until today, if the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA had been in effect, if the term of copyrights had been 95 years, would we have ANY silent movies left? OF COURSE NOT!

DRM supporters are immoral because they are willing to throw our society away for a few bucks.

when you say "deliberately," you're implying that they honestly didn't want the software to work for you. Isn't it more likely that they simply didn't anticipate the way you intended to use it, so their DRM couldn't take that into account? Or that they did design it that way, but in order to prevent the possibility of the SW being pirated, a perfectly legitimate concern on their part, and with no malice towards you in particular?

That's a nice straw man in the argument.

When I say "deliberately" I do not mean they had my name on a memo. I mean that they knew their product would not work on a percentage of users equipment - BECAUSE OF THE DRM - and they decided to rip us off with no hope of a refund. A legit company would allow a full refund if you sent in a pic of the TV screen not playing a DVD, with the DVD.

Selling products you know will not work part of the time, due to your deliberately inserted code, and then refusing refunds is immoral.

Granted, maybe they did know it wouldn't work, and simply neglected to give adequate warning of that, in order to see bigger sales. In most cases, however, the SW maker simply can't anticipate every system and contingency. I myself have had problems with SW that was designed to run on the "average" PC, with "average" SW installed, but with my tweaks and additional system-monitoring SW, certain things wouldn't run on mine, and I'd have to return them. Even happens with Macs. Until computers are better-designed, and SW better-programmed, those things are going to happen, and you just have to understand and accept that.

Let me repeat your words..."the SW maker simply can't anticipate every system and contingency"

As time goes on, it will be more difficult to anticipate the changes. Eventually, it is impossible.

I can get an emulator to run an old (not-DRMed) bit of software or media. People have even used optical page scanners to read old LPs.

Therefore, to limit products to only run in their approved circumstances with deliberate software locks that are illegal to bypass under the DMCA is to prevent their products from being useful.

I can read old formats with creative programs, but I can not legally bypass old digital locks.

Imagine if the old LPs were software locked, so it was a felony to play them with your freely downloaded program that reads a .TIFF from a scanner. 95 year copyrights mean that almost all audio from certain eras would be lost.

I would not have the great speeched from Churchill, JFK, and Reagan. I would have never heard the voice of Teddy Roosevelt ripping into his congressional opponents.

Of course, DRM supporters think that's OK if you make an extra $1.50.

All I can say is, start thinking about designing and building all of your own HW/SW. That's the only way you are going to guarantee something like that.

I avoid all software locks. Any product that is software locked after I purchase it, that was not labeled as such is I treat as fraud.

I much prefer Linux and other open source software due to the freedom - and I don't mean free as in beer. I mean the freedom to run it in an emulator in the distant future.

I demand that my important computer resources be rugged and portable. I am currently moving to (only) a set of solar cells, a car charger, a few HDDs, a UMPC, and a reader. I keep TB backups cached all over Texas and neighboring states.

Someone like you or Zahi Hawass will tell a cop (like the one that destroyed my library years ago at a traffic stop) to trash my library - it might contain an unauthorized picture of the great pyramid in a history book from 1893. It might be on recordable media. I might not need all those files. There might be something in there that I don't need to be reading. Maybe my time could be better spent elsewhere.

Andy

Andy

recycledelectron
01-14-2008, 10:02 AM
Now for tonight's exciting installment of:
"DRM users are either ignorant (and don't know they will be screwed) or are ticked off because they have been screwed!"

I teach computer programming classes using Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET (when the University makes me use it.)

The first challenge is when students want to order the S/W and take forever to get it to work.

I took a poll:

Question: Who has gotten VS.NET 2005 to work on their laptop / home computer?
Answer: About half the class, the rest are living in the computer lab.

Question: Who bought a legitimate copy?
Answer: About half the class, but it seemed like there were a lot of students in this group that were not in the previous group, and vice versa.

Question: Who had a pirated copy not work?
Answer: Nobody. Not one hand. (Maybe they don't want to admit trying to pirate the s/w.)

Question: Who got a pirated copy, and has it working?
Answer: About half the class.

Question: Who has a legit copy, and has it working?
Answer: One student, who puts up his hand until his friend pulls his errant hand down and says "no, I lied to you - that's a warez copy I put on your laptop."

Question: Who has a legit copy, and has not gotten it to work?
Answer: About half the class.

The moral of the story is this: Don't buy Microsoft software and expect it to work. Cracked copies are much more likely to work on the versions of Microsoft Windows that are included on new laptops.

I got a free copy of VS.NET 2005 from Microsoft at their "Rock the Launch" event, which worked on 1 out of 7 PCs that I tried to install it on. It never stated it would not work on certain licenses or vrsions of Windows, but it has severe limitations. Looking over my students' shoulders, it seems that cracked copies work everywhere.

Andy

JSWolf
01-14-2008, 10:13 AM
Pirates who are making money off this can easily afford a correct-region DVD player, or have software to change the region encoding as many times as they like. (Even linking to this software is illegal in the USA. Using it is a felony under the DMCA's "anti-circumvention" clause.)

Andy
I purchased my Phillips DVD player because it plays DiVX and XViD as well as DVDs and can be set to play region free. I did not have to load any special software or convert any DVDs. It just works as is.

HarryT
01-14-2008, 11:00 AM
Pretty much every DVD player can be "region unlocked" these days. Region coding is pretty much of a "non-problem".

HarryT
01-14-2008, 11:04 AM
The moral of the story is this: Don't buy Microsoft software and expect it to work. Cracked copies are much more likely to work on the versions of Microsoft Windows that are included on new laptops.


There's something VERY odd there, Andy. The company I work for uses exclusively laptops and we've been installing Visual Studio (VS6, VS2003, VS2005) for many years - we've installed literally hundreds of (legit) copies of it. Never had a single installation problem, that I can remember; it just works. I wonder what it is about your laptops that make is so unreliable? If your university has a support contract with Microsoft it might be worthwhile to raise it as a support issue and try and track it down.

We find VS to be competely stable. I certainly wouldn't just accept the fact that "it's unreliable" - it isn't, in our experience. I've been developing with VS (and its predecessors) for something like 15 years and find it to be a superb development tool.

Sparrow
01-14-2008, 11:18 AM
Pretty much every DVD player can be "region unlocked" these days. Region coding is pretty much of a "non-problem".

It's almost like the manufacturers are going out of their way to make it easy.
As if they're afraid they'd lose customers if they didn't. :thinking:

HarryT
01-14-2008, 11:23 AM
I think it's just that they've accepted the fact that it's a world-wide market these days. It's just as easy for me to buy region 1 (US) DVDs from Amazon as it is to buy region 2 (UK) ones.

JeffASonyReader
01-14-2008, 11:30 AM
This is only the beginning. The PRS-505 Sony Reader is still very new. The new model (505) came out in October, a little over two months ago. I already put the Economist, the Wall Street Journal and the CNN articles, full text, on it with only 1 hour of invested time. It will take 30 to 40 minutes during my breakfast to keep it daily fresh. This was user supported effort, so imagine what 1 year will bring as the Kindle brings new competition, Sony's offerings continue to grow from their very weak state, user contribution continues to grow, and awareness of e-ink and offline reading expands.

I hate negativity.

tompe
01-14-2008, 12:35 PM
Pretty much every DVD player can be "region unlocked" these days. Region coding is pretty much of a "non-problem".

I know it is relatively easy to do in Europe since we have had this tradition of wanting a player region free almost from the beginning. But as I understand it that is or was not the case in the US so it is much harder there.

And I still think it is a problem. For player my parents bought recently you have to have a special remote control to make region free and they have to take the player somewhere to do it so it has not been done. So the few times per year they want to see a region 1 movie it is not possible.

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-14-2008, 04:55 PM
DRM supporters are immoral because they are willing to throw our society away for a few bucks.

By that reckoning, so are 99% of the "legitimate" businesses worldwide. We get that you don't like DRM, any more than we do, but you don't have to over-exaggerate.

Selling products you know will not work part of the time, due to your deliberately inserted code, and then refusing refunds is immoral.

That's why "Buyer Beware" is such a well-known axiom. I'm not saying they were justified, just that business is cutthroat (another well-known axiom), and that a lot of people take risks and end up victims just like you (and me). Immoral? Well, yeah. Watch your back.

Let me repeat your words..."the SW maker simply can't anticipate every system and contingency"

As time goes on, it will be more difficult to anticipate the changes. Eventually, it is impossible.

Yes, if things aren't designed well from the get-go. Eventually, entropy will get us all. (I can feel it's pull from here...)

Therefore, to limit products to only run in their approved circumstances with deliberate software locks that are illegal to bypass under the DMCA is to prevent their products from being useful.

To you... not to those who use it as it was intended.

Someone like you or Zahi Hawass will tell a cop (like the one that destroyed my library years ago at a traffic stop) to trash my library - it might contain an unauthorized picture of the great pyramid in a history book from 1893. It might be on recordable media. I might not need all those files. There might be something in there that I don't need to be reading. Maybe my time could be better spent elsewhere.

You're putting words in my mouth. Now just relax... lie back on the sofa... and, in your own words, tell me about this unfortunate traffic incident... Did this policeman have any resemblance to... your father?... ;)

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-14-2008, 04:56 PM
I hate negativity.

Negativity aside... 30 to 40 minutes? That seems a bit... extended to me...

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-14-2008, 05:00 PM
I know it is relatively easy to do in Europe since we have had this tradition of wanting a player region free almost from the beginning. But as I understand it that is or was not the case in the US so it is much harder there.

I've been told that, in most U.S. stores, you can request a "region-free" version of almost and DVD player you want, and they will give it to you, no extra charge. But I have yet to test this information, and I confess I doubt it's that simple (I have little confidence in the average electronics store salesperson to either know or care about the difference, and wouldn't trust them to give me a region-free box just because I asked for it).

AnemicOak
01-14-2008, 05:10 PM
Region free players are quite easy to get in the US & have been for years. It simply doesn't matter to most people.

JeffASonyReader
01-14-2008, 07:18 PM
Negativity aside... 30 to 40 minutes? That seems a bit... extended to me...

I would think so too. I did it today and the 3 feeds (WSJ, Economist, CNN) took 40 minutes combined. Agony. WSJ was the Mother load, 21 minutes.

But it formatted nicely and reads fine on the reader.

Seems I can increase the speed for the formatting if I format it on the PC, before putting it on the PRS-505, and Sony said SD cards read much faster than the internal memory, and faster than memory sticks.

DMcCunney
01-14-2008, 10:40 PM
Seems I can increase the speed for the formatting if I format it on the PC, before putting it on the PRS-505, and Sony said SD cards read much faster than the internal memory, and faster than memory sticks.I'd expect formatting to happen faster on a PC than on the reader itself, so no surprise. No surprise, either, that is reads SD cards faster than memory sticks. I'm not sure why Sony even included support for the memory stick, unless it's a case of Sony invented it in the first place, and can't admit the format never caught on and has been supplanted by SD even in thier own devices. But reading from SD cards faster than internal memory is a surprise, and makes me wonder just what they did.
______
Dennis

JeffASonyReader
01-15-2008, 11:26 AM
I'd expect formatting to happen faster on a PC than on the reader itself, so no surprise. But reading from SD cards faster than internal memory is a surprise, and makes me wonder just what they did.
______
Dennis

I did a test this morning by formatting the WSJ feed (which took 16 minutes versus 21 minutes the previous day to download) on my PC (by clicking "view" in libprs500) before putting on my PRS-505. No good news. It still took the PRS-505 a long time to "formatting" the articles before I could read from them. 3.50 minutes actually. So, I'm forecasting a 24 minute time to download the feed, 5 minutes to wait for the reader to format them, and another 59 hours to actually read the articles.

Haven't tried the SD card though. I'm surprised the SD is faster than the internal memory, seems reverse to me.

DMcCunney
01-15-2008, 12:29 PM
I did a test this morning by formatting the WSJ feed (which took 16 minutes versus 21 minutes the previous day to download) on my PC (by clicking "view" in libprs500) before putting on my PRS-505. No good news. It still took the PRS-505 a long time to "formatting" the articles before I could read from them. 3.50 minutes actually. So, I'm forecasting a 24 minute time to download the feed, 5 minutes to wait for the reader to format them, and another 59 hours to actually read the articles.:p

Sounds like a good opportunity to do other things. Make coffee, take a shower...

Haven't tried the SD card though. I'm surprised the SD is faster than the internal memory, seems reverse to me.I agree, which is why I'm confused.

I keep all documents I read on my device (a Palm OS PDA) live on an SD card. RAM is finite. I don't notice a huge lag as documents are opened.

But internal memory should be a lot faster than a card, so Sony did something really strange, or gave you the wrong information.
______
Dennis

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-15-2008, 04:42 PM
I did a test this morning by formatting the WSJ feed (which took 16 minutes versus 21 minutes the previous day to download) on my PC (by clicking "view" in libprs500) before putting on my PRS-505. No good news. It still took the PRS-505 a long time to "formatting" the articles before I could read from them. 3.50 minutes actually. So, I'm forecasting a 24 minute time to download the feed, 5 minutes to wait for the reader to format them, and another 59 hours to actually read the articles.

With those kind of times, I'd want to automate the process to be done before I wake up!

DMcCunney
01-15-2008, 04:48 PM
With those kind of times, I'd want to automate the process to be done before I wake up!Automating the 59 hours of reading the articles is the challenge... :p
______
Dennis

Alisa
01-15-2008, 05:51 PM
With those kind of times, I'd want to automate the process to be done before I wake up!

Yep. If Sony really wants to give Amazon a run for the money, they'll do it for you. I wouldn't find 30-40min/day acceptable. Heck, I'm a woman that actually wears makeup and all that stuff and I don't spend that long total getting ready in the morning. If you give most people who are interested in periodical content a choice between spending 30-40 minutes a day (or learn to code, or pray some nice geek does it for you and you can understand how to use their software) or have it automatically waiting for you I don't think it's much of a stretch to assume most will go for the latter. Even if Sony does make a nice automated package for that, it'll still be a bit more effort than the Amazon solution but there are more offerings and it's free. That's competitive.

shousa
01-15-2008, 07:44 PM
My view is as follows on a number of the issues raised on this thread.
- I started being very negative about DRM but this became a non-issue for me because of the ability to convert DRMed .lit files with convertlit and then lit2lrf to Sony Reader files without DRM (once you have done it once it is an easy process that takes very little time)
- I was negative on the range of books initially but I built up a library from public domain sources first, found a surprising range of .lit (Microsoft Reader) format files from a number of book stores. I have over 60 really good books to read (includes some substantial webpage text). The cost was much much cheaper than buying paperbacks and for favourites I had to have $5 was nothing compared to scanning the books (if you love an older book what is $5, if it is too much then do you really love it?)
- can manage my book collection with libprs500 (free - on this forum)
- can convert many formats to .lrf with book designer (free - on this forum)
- having a shower (as mentioned above) while getting the news feeds seems no issue to me.
- I admit to focusing initially on what I thought it could not do rather than what it could and in the end I am finding I can actually get (one way or another) most of what I want on the reader plus a lot more eg public domain, webpages.

So I find my initial arguments invalidated completely - a whole world of ebook reading awaits - awesome!

I would encourage anyone who likes the idea but has not taken the plunge to read this thread from the beginning and I urge you to have an open mind and you may end up like me: I bought a Sony 505!:bookworm:

Thanks to all again.

cmbs
01-15-2008, 07:50 PM
shousa, I'm very glad you found the usefulness of the readers :)

NatCh
01-15-2008, 08:08 PM
I'm glad that you found a solution that does what you need, 'cause that's the important bit. :yahoo:

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-16-2008, 12:30 AM
So I find my initial arguments invalidated completely - a whole world of ebook reading awaits - awesome!

Cue the "Hallelujah Chorus!":dtw:

Seriously, it's great that you managed to find the diamonds in the dirt, so to speak, and discover something you could get out of e-books. To your credit, most "average" people wouldn't have put in the effort that you obviously did to check things out, debate, discuss, and finally take the leap of faith that others avoid.

(Now... if only we could figure out how to duplicate it with a few billion people...)

JeffASonyReader
01-16-2008, 06:40 PM
:p

But internal memory should be a lot faster than a card, so Sony did something really strange, or gave you the wrong information.
______
Dennis

Your PDA probably has a lot more speed than the Sony processor has.

JeffASonyReader
01-16-2008, 06:43 PM
With those kind of times, I'd want to automate the process to be done before I wake up!

Me too. It's probably possible with shareware software, but I haven't had time to play with it.

Today my process is to start it as soon as possible and start my morning routine, breakfast, shower, shave. 2 days in a row and working.

DMcCunney
01-16-2008, 07:05 PM
Your PDA probably has a lot more speed than the Sony processor has.What is the Sony processor speed? The Zodiac is a comparative slowpoke: it uses a Motorola iMX CPU at 200mhz. This has never been a problem for me in practice, but there are faster devices out there.
______
Dennis

igorsk
01-16-2008, 07:43 PM
It has a Freescale (formerly Motorola) iMX.L (http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=i.MXL) (aka MC9328MXL) CPU, which can go... surprise! up to 200MHz.

DMcCunney
01-16-2008, 08:22 PM
It has a Freescale (formerly Motorola) iMX.L (http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=i.MXL) (aka MC9328MXL) CPU, which can go... surprise! up to 200MHz.Ahh. Another i.MX CPU device. There are products that will let me overclock the Zodiac to about 240mhz, but I've never had a reason to do it. (The folks who do are usually running emulators for one or another legacy gaming system, and need to squeeze the last bit of speed out for acceptable performance.)

Does the Sony Reader run at 200mhz by default?
______
Dennis

igorsk
01-16-2008, 09:22 PM
Does the Sony Reader run at 200mhz by default?

I'm not sure... the only reference to speed I could find is this line from dmesg:
Calibrating delay loop... 98.09 BogoMIPS

Eutychus
01-17-2008, 03:33 AM
As one contemplating buying an iLiad or Cybook, I think the original question is a good one. I do like technical things. I do read from my Palm TX. I don't read ebooks on my computer but do read blogs and other web info.

I do not think ebooks have arrived. I think current devices will fade away as happened with the last generation of ebook readers. But I do not think ebooks and readers will go away. Eventually the price of the reader will be low enough that it will be a convenient and cost effective way to distribute text books and reference works.

Whether it is a good idea for you to buy at this time really depends on whether you have the money and interest to buy the gear and deal with the hassles of getting the books you want on the reader and then doing the reading on the device. I don't think the mythical "typical" consumer would find it worth the money or effort. Regardless, there will be an adequate market along the way to continue to develop the eReaders and ebooks.

I am still trying to figure this value-equation for myself. The ebooks offered on this site are probably enough to get me to buy either device if I was convinced I would turn off the TV and computer long enough to read through the books I would download.

rixte
01-17-2008, 05:49 PM
I think current devices will fade away as happened with the last generation of ebook readers. But I do not think ebooks and readers will go away. Eventually the price of the reader will be low enough that it will be a convenient and cost effective way to distribute text books and reference works.

Whether it is a good idea for you to buy at this time really depends on whether you have the money and interest to buy the gear and deal with the hassles of getting the books you want on the reader and then doing the reading on the device. I don't think the mythical "typical" consumer would find it worth the money or effort. Regardless, there will be an adequate market along the way to continue to develop the eReaders and ebooks.



I definitely agree with parts of this. At the current pricing and with the current format restrictions, we're a far cry from universal adoption. And I definitely will not be surprised to find myself replacing my Cybook as completely outdated in two years.

Having said that - I think we're in a real upswing finally. I used to own a rocket ebook and - nobody had even heard of it. And those that saw it were kind of 'meh' about it, with the feeling that they could see why *I* wanted one, but didn't really want one themselves.

Or people who saw me reading on my pda or my smartphone and whose main reaction was 'that's cool, but I could never read on such a small screen'.

On the other hand, with my Cybook, I've had half a dozen people ask me to send them the information on how to get it or ask me question after question about ebooks, formats, how they work. I know of at least 1 person that's planning on buying one and several others that are still trying to justify the price but absolutely wants one - or the Sony or Kindle.

And some of the positive reactions are from people who, when they found out I had ordered one, were very much in the "I could never read on a device, it'd be too annoying/I'd miss the feel of books' camp.

A J Edwards
01-18-2008, 06:16 AM
The problem I have with eBook reading devices is that they are not on sale with warranty in the UK. Try going into computer stores here and enquire about them. The people in the store do not know what one is talking about. I have even been told that there are no such devices!

The other problem is the price reported on various websites. They are very expensive (over £300) for a one-function device. An ASUS UMPC is only £197. Basic laptops can be bougth for a around£220 and I can read eBooks on these in any format.

I just cannot see them taking off in the UK unless they are in the shops at aropund £180 maximum. (inc VAT).

When they are available at a sensible price, with full warranty, then I will buy one - but not until.

A J Edwards

HarryT
01-18-2008, 07:00 AM
The other problem is the price reported on various websites. They are very expensive (over £300) for a one-function device. An ASUS UMPC is only £197. Basic laptops can be bougth for a around£220 and I can read eBooks on these in any format.

Believe me, you don't know what you're missing. eInk devices are a completely different experience from reading on an LCD screen. It's just like reading a book because it's not a light-emitting screen, hence no eye-strain.

Yes, you're right, they are fairly expensive, but if you're a dedicated reader, the £245 of the CyBook is really not THAT much. I certainly spend way over that much on books in a year.

I just cannot see them taking off in the UK unless they are in the shops at aropund £180 maximum. (inc VAT).

I don't think they are ever going to be "mass market" devices, because reading is itself rather a "niche" activity. Very few of my friends read fiction on a regular basis.

When they are available at a sensible price, with full warranty, then I will buy one - but not until.

Well, that's a decision that we each have to make for ourselves, of course. I'm now on my third eInk reader and they just keep getting better and better. The CyBook is the best yet, for me. Personally I think it's worth every penny it cost.

Eutychus
01-18-2008, 11:34 AM
I'm now on my third eInk reader and they just keep getting better and better. The CyBook is the best yet, for me. Personally I think it's worth every penny it cost.

Harry, you had an iLiad also, didn't you? Why do you consider the CyBook the best?

HarryT
01-18-2008, 12:57 PM
Harry, you had an iLiad also, didn't you? Why do you consider the CyBook the best?

Because my main use is for a fiction reader which I could have with me anywhere and, excellent though the iLiad is, I found it a little too large to be convenient to carry around. The 45s boot time can also be an inconvenience if one has only a few minutes spare to read. I find the Gen3 to be an excellent all-round solution in terms of size, boot time, battery life, and format support.

Had I had a need to annotate documents or read PDFs, the iLiad would be clear winner.

A J Edwards
01-19-2008, 10:09 AM
For Harry T.

Yes, I do know what I am missing. Correct that Harry, I think I know what I am missing, I have never physically seen an eInk book reader. BUT as a pensioner on a fixed income it is more important that I pay my council tax and other assorted and increasing costs to live.

I will just have to wait until the price comes down to make it viable for me. This is also why I want to buy in a shop with a proper warranty. If it goes wrong I can take it back and have it replaced.

A J Edwards

HarryT
01-19-2008, 10:22 AM
BUT as a pensioner on a fixed income it is more important that I pay my council tax and other assorted and increasing costs to live.

I understand completely. Obviously the essentials of life have to come before luxuries.

I will just have to wait until the price comes down to make it viable for me. This is also why I want to buy in a shop with a proper warranty. If it goes wrong I can take it back and have it replaced.

A J Edwards

It's perhaps worth noting that, even though you do have buy it on-line, you do get a 2 year warranty with the CyBook Gen3.

MsAnthrope
01-19-2008, 02:05 PM
E-readers have progressed enough to make them useful for mainstream needs. No e-reader is perfect and each person has to weigh the pros and cons and make the choice for themselves. When leaving for work I like not having to worry whether I have enough book left to make it through lunch or dinner. One-stop shopping (that stop being the web) is great. For day-to-day use, or road trips, I have multiple books to choose from, a handy dictionary feature and with Kindle I can access the web for books, weather, news, etc.

In 2006, I lost most of my books (and all of my good books- i.e. anything larger than a non-trade paperback) in a flood. I can't replace most of them and don't have the heart to try. With e-readers, a card-reader and a computer I can back up my books and have them forever. I still buy p-books but nothing like before.

One way to move closer to 'perfection' in e-readers is to buy what's available now. Show the business world that there is a market for such products. Regarding formats, if trends show that e-reader owners are not buying DRM'd formats then that may drive change as well.

As far as average users go, I would buy my folks an e-reader if I could get them to switch from dial-up to dsl/cable. They would have no trouble using one and I think that most anyone that has used GUI-based software could use current conversion programs if the book you want isn't available in a format compatible with your device.

Ok- that's my 2, er, 4 cents on this subject.

safjazz
01-20-2008, 06:06 AM
Or people who saw me reading on my pda or my smartphone and whose main reaction was 'that's cool, but I could never read on such a small screen'.

On the other hand, with my Cybook, I've had half a dozen people ask me to send them the information on how to get it or ask me question after question about ebooks, formats, how they work. I know of at least 1 person that's planning on buying one and several others that are still trying to justify the price but absolutely wants one - or the Sony or Kindle.

I've been reading e-books on my PDA since 2002. I've always gotten reactions such as "that's cool but the screen is too small, the device is too clunky, etc."

People who see me reading my Sony Reader are driving me crazy (in a good way). When I'm reading in public, strangers have asked to look at my Reader. I think part of the fascination is it is approximately the same size as a paperback. People are always impressed that I can enlarge the font. Of course, one of my friends asked me how to turn on the back light!

I was reading at my vet's office the other day. When she came into the examination room, she wanted to know all about the Reader. She had NEVER heard of such a thing, but immediately picked up on the benefit of her daughter not having to lug so many books around.

Same thing happened at my eye doctor's office. He only knew a little about e-books, but he was so impressed about E-ink that we spent much of our time talking about the different readers. I asked him his professional opinion about reading on an E-ink screen. (I always wondered what an eye doctor thought about them.) He said it was quite good, and liked that it didn't have a back light. He picked up on the fact that older eyes (and eyes like mine that need a strong prescription) could benefit from such a device.

According to Pew Internet (http://http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Internet_Impact.pdf), 71% of 50 to 64 year-olds and 32% of those 65 and older use the Internet (in 2006). The report also says these users tend to be well-educated, which may mean they read for pleasure. Therefore, I hope that e-reader manufacturers AND publishers reach out more to the over 50s. Obviously, this means easier to use hardware and a standardized format for books. Also, libraries need better selections of e-books. But, I still think it's a great market. So few books are published in large print format. E-readers are a great idea for seniors.

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-20-2008, 10:09 PM
According to Pew Internet (http://http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Internet_Impact.pdf), 71% of 50 to 64 year-olds and 32% of those 65 and older use the Internet (in 2006). The report also says these users tend to be well-educated, which may mean they read for pleasure. Therefore, I hope that e-reader manufacturers AND publishers reach out more to the over 50s.

I think this is going to become more and more important, with the greying of the Boomers, and really help to promote e-book readers with the general population. Anyone producing, or preparing to produce, an e-book reader, should specifically be examining the needs of older populations and taking them into account in designing their features, accessibility, and ease of display adjustment.

If such an e-book reader was endorsed by, say, the AARP for its members, I think you'd see a serious demand building for readers. (Of course, most of those features would also make it attractive to other groups and all ages, but older users could be particularly targeted by promotions.)