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Old 05-03-2008, 04:41 PM   #3
boradicus
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Device: Sony
RTF vs LRF

Harry,

I'm not sure what converter you have used for your RTF ebook files, but I have not found a case yet in which my RTF files are not smaller in size than LRF. I suppose it could be the fault of the LRF converter I had been using, but I suspect the difference in file size had more to do with DRM than anything else.

I suppose it is also possible that you have a poor RTF converter, which has yielded overly large file sizes through excessive tagging. In any case, it certainly was not my intention to upset you about your preferred ebook format. If you have a strong emotional attachment to the LRF format, then please continue using it. I however, have found it quite rational to use RTF for my own purposes - which are namely accessiblity of conversion, and ebook format availability. In fact, it is MUCH easier to convert an RTF formatted ebook into and LRF formatted ebook than to find the LRF formatted book in question for free on the web.

As far as tables of contents are concerned, while being able to jump around through a book's chapters as you would an HTML document - which may be useful to some readers, I find that if I desire such functionality, that my laptop serves beautifully. But as most readers of paper-based books will probably concur, a table of contents is used rarely if at all in most cases, except perhaps where techincal documents and reference material is concerned. However for the casual reader, a linked table of contents isn't very useful, and in fact can be rather annoying, detracting from the reader's experience.

As for pictures, I don't find them to be of great use on the Sony Reader. Again, for the casual reader, except perhaps for where periodicals and coloring books are concerned, pictures, other than perhaps the familiar cover art of a book, are not of great consequence. Neither is the Sony Ebook designed (at least the 500 model) to be a picture intensive device: the dispaly is in black and white LCD, which in my opinion is designed more for the purpose of providing PDF functionality than anything else. Sony probably made a good choice in choosing to support the PDF format for its universal accessibility as an ebook format. However, reading PDF formatted texts on the Sony Reader is rather impractical in most cases because PDF documents have only two resize options, and the text is often in raster format as opposed to vector image format, making resizing less clear and visible to the eye. Even if the text is stored in vector image format, there are much more efficient, smaller file sized formats that can do the same, resulting in a greater number of books one can load on the Sony Reader.

Part of an ebook reader's appeal is its similarity to an actual book. The fact that the LCD screen is not particularly bright or invasive to the eye for protracted periods of reading, the small size and portability, and even the cover flaps of the Sony Reader all contribute to this experience and help bridge the experiential gap between an electronically rendered text and a paper and ink one. The elegance of the Sony Reader is that it can hold a large number of texts, run for days on its battery, and be easily carried to work, to a coffee shop, to a doctor's office, or used on an airplane or bus, living room couch, or even be used at home in bed. It is a comfortable design, paired with the accessibility of easily obtainable public domain or free texts as well as newly published purchasable texts. It bridges the gap between the natural comfort zone of the casual reader and the accessiblity of the information age. I really think that the emergence of readers like Sony's is pivotal in transforming the world of modern readership, and whether one desires to use their proprietary LRF format, or to use RTF or any other format is just another example of the great amount of flexibility the Sony Reader offers.

Respectfully,

Mark

Last edited by boradicus; 05-03-2008 at 04:45 PM.
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