eReader: Dodging the DRM-bomb.
Installing eReader was as simple as going to the eReader site, downloading the eReader CAB file, and tapping it. The app loaded, and opened no problem. It prompted me for my eReader login and password, which I provided, and saw my online library of books. The default manual popped up first, which I tested, and discovered that the app allowed me to advance the pages by tapping on the screen. Tap on the bottom of the screen, you moved forward… tap on the upper half, and you moved back a page. But swiping my finger across the screen resulted in highlighting blocks of text, then opening a menu of text manipulation options. I had access to a control that allowed me adjust other settings… but first, I wanted to see how the books in my saved library looked, so I opened the online library to access my purchased books.
Then came the rub.
Upon opening an older book, I was asked to input my name and credit card number used to purchase the book, to unlock it. Uh-oh. When did I buy it? Five years ago. Was it on my existing credit card? No. What was the old number? It looked like this was going to be one of those cases where DRM was going to nail me. As I was not in a position to do a personal past search for the info at that point, I had to back out of that book, and return to the default screen.
As I had already saved various eReader books on my storage card, I copied the files and moved them to the Peanut Press folder that the app installation had created. The default screen then showed all of my books in menu, and I was able to select and open one without DRM (one of mine, in fact). Then I went back to the eReader website, hoping to find a way out of my unlock dilemma. Opening my account, I was essentially able to re-download my books against my current credit card. Loading them into my TP2 library (and deleting the old files), I could then enter my current login and CC. Doing that once reset all of the other books to open automatically… problem solved. (Whew!)
Once I had a book opened, I was able to return to the menu and reset the display to include small margins and a white background (I’m not into “parchment”). I got used to tap-screen-changing in no time, and found myself reading comfortably. Text rendered beautifully on the screen, as it had with other apps… I could read like this all day. eReader does give you the old options of changing font and backgrounds, though it doesn’t help much in direct sun. You’re still better off finding a shady spot to read.
Barnes & Noble is supposed to be releasing a new version of the eReader for Windows Mobile. I obtained a version and installed it, and the app opens my B&N library, and a list of books I can download, from their website. However, none of the books in my online library would download on the TP2; I got messages that state “Title not currently supported on B&N eReader for this device.” Also, the app gave me no way to access any books I already had stored on my device. And unfortunately, there was no way I could find to register my reading device on their website (unless I owned one of their supported devices, or a Nook… WinMo devices are still not supported.
I did discover that I could go to my library and redownload the PDB files manually, place them in the old reader’s Peanut Press directory, and open the file with the old reader. The app would prompt your login and password (credit card number) for the file, then open right up. So, no cool within-the-app downloads, but you can still get your books in there manually. As long as they are still PDB.
So, I have an old eReader that won’t be updated, and won’t read ePub. I have a new B&N eReader that is not yet supported, won’t open any books in my online library at all, nor read the books I already have loaded. Untill B&N officially releases their app and supports WinMo devices, this leaves me with the ability to read existing books on the old app, but not to buy any more.