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Old 04-04-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
Big McLargeHuge
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Looking to buy a New eReader and Need Advice

I've had the opportunity to test out the Kindle 3 Keyboard for a month, and now i have the new Kindle 4 non touch. I just bought it a few days ago. But now i'm thinking, are there better devices? I'm still new to eReading, but i've heard ePub is a better format then Mobi in terms of it's capabilities. My question is, having tried Mobi (AZW) , would switching to ePub be a better investment in the long run? If so which devices are good for ePub? Are there any devices that can play ePub and Mobi without DRM? Should i return the Kindle now and get something else?

Thank you for any help !

Edit: Also, best stores to buy ePubs?

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Old 04-04-2012, 11:22 PM   #2
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I wouldn't say that ePub is better than Mobi. Both formats are great for reading.

A couple of questions that might help us help you...

1. Where are you located? Some readers are not sold worldwide, ie. Nook.

2. How did you like the Kindle Keyboard and the Kindle 4 NT? You mentioned that you tried the Kindle Keyboard but don't mention how you liked it, if you had problems, etc.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:39 AM   #3
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I do not recommend multiple readers, I have had multiple readers in the past and I have found it dificult to coordinate the readers and which book is on which reader. So my recommendation is stick to the one reader you have.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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I do not recommend multiple readers, I have had multiple readers in the past and I have found it dificult to coordinate the readers and which book is on which reader. So my recommendation is stick to the one reader you have.
I don't coordinate. I just don't put the same books and different readers. The books that are on my 650 are not on the iPad and hat's on the iPad is not on the 650. Works to keep things sorted.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #5
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Well, i'm asking for your opinions to see if i should maybe return the Kindle 4 NT for another reader. As for how i liked them, i thought they were great, but i haven't tried anything else to be honest. I really like the way books look on the Kindle, the formatting seems nice, as far as i can tell without having seen anything else.

I have another question. Let's say i wanted to replace one of the crap quality maps in one of the Song of Ice and Fire books with a really high quality one, like this one for example, is there any format that would let me put in a picture that big without losing any of the formatting. Is that possible at all? I noticed in the Kindle books the picture would be small and i would click zoom in and it would get bigger. Could i do that with this? Make it fit in one page like the original except when you press zoom in it shows the full resolution of the map? Sorry i'm new to all of this.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:11 PM   #6
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I was just wondering, because i'm going to have the Reader i'm going to stay with for a long time and i don't want to buy a whole bunch of kindle AZW/Mobi books and then in a few years have it become superseded by a new format a few years later. I've seen that between the different formats that the formatting can look a lot different. It will be really annoying reading the first book in a series in a certain formatting and seeing a totally different formatting if i decided to go with epub over mobi or something.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Big McLargeHuge View Post
I have another question. Let's say i wanted to replace one of the crap quality maps in one of the Song of Ice and Fire books with a really high quality one, like this one for example, is there any format that would let me put in a picture that big without losing any of the formatting. Is that possible at all? I noticed in the Kindle books the picture would be small and i would click zoom in and it would get bigger. Could i do that with this? Make it fit in one page like the original except when you press zoom in it shows the full resolution of the map? Sorry i'm new to all of this.
You could make it fit on one page. You could zoom in if you had the say a Sony PRS-T1 that does allow zooming. Using ePub, if you strip the DRM, you can then go in and make the change to the map. One thing I've seen done though is to split the map in 1/2 and have it on two separate pages.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:04 PM   #8
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The Kindles are among the best EInk readers for images in ebooks. It is true that AZW images tend to be smaller than the same image in an ePub, but with most ePub-based EInk readers whatever configuration the publisher has decided on for the image is what you get. There is typically no zoom option (although flipping to landscape may change the zoom).

The Kindle Touch and probably the non-touch (but not the Kindle Keyboard) is likely to get the new KF8 format "soon". This is essentially equivalent to ePub. I don't know if Amazon's KF8 support for the Kindle EInk devices will continue to include the image zoom support though. Newly published AZW ebooks from Amazon are delivered today as KF8 to the Kindle Fire, K4PC and K4Mac and delivered as MOBI to other apps and devices. Once it is available on your Kindle you will be able to redownload such ebooks as KF8's.

If you strip the DRM (if any) from an ebook, you can replace images and make other customizations. This is easiest to do in ePub, but if you start with a MOBI (or KF8) then Calibre can convert them to ePub, make any changes with an ePub editor, or Calibre's "tweak ePub" option, and then convert back to MOBI.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
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The Kindles are among the best EInk readers for images in ebooks. It is true that AZW images tend to be smaller than the same image in an ePub, but with most ePub-based EInk readers whatever configuration the publisher has decided on for the image is what you get. There is typically no zoom option (although flipping to landscape may change the zoom).

The Kindle Touch and probably the non-touch (but not the Kindle Keyboard) is likely to get the new KF8 format "soon". This is essentially equivalent to ePub. I don't know if Amazon's KF8 support for the Kindle EInk devices will continue to include the image zoom support though. Newly published AZW ebooks from Amazon are delivered today as KF8 to the Kindle Fire, K4PC and K4Mac and delivered as MOBI to other apps and devices. Once it is available on your Kindle you will be able to redownload such ebooks as KF8's.

If you strip the DRM (if any) from an ebook, you can replace images and make other customizations. This is easiest to do in ePub, but if you start with a MOBI (or KF8) then Calibre can convert them to ePub, make any changes with an ePub editor, or Calibre's "tweak ePub" option, and then convert back to MOBI.
Ya but, isn't there a chance when i convert to epub it will lose some of the formatting? And after replacing the image and converting back to mobi doubling the chances of something going wrong?

Also, i've once changed the cover of a Mobi book without converting it, and when i went back to read the rest of the book, i noticed some paragraphs were closer together now, and some chapter numbers a little lower down the page then they were originally. Does changing to epub first before making any changes solve this? If not is it possible to correct these things? Maybe i was just seeing things. In epub i notice each page is a separate HTML files. Is Mobi similar? If so how did changing the cover move everything a little more down? Maybe i was just seeing things, but i'm pretty sure after changing the cover on the mobi book of Game of Thrones everything was moved down a bit.

Was it that the picture i put for the cover was bigger then the original, so it took up more spacing, pushing the rest of the book down? It wasn't just that, like i sad, some of the spaces between paragraphs were closer. I only messed with this stuff once, lightly. The epub stuff i had no idea really how to edit. All i knew was i could delete HTML page. I don't know how to make chapters/link things/put covers/pictures etc.

Thanks for all the help so far! .

Sorry for all the questions .
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:37 AM   #10
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As regards image quality, Mobi (and apparently KF8, if I have read the documentation and the release notes correctly) have a decided limitation of a maximum filesize for a source image of 256kb. Anything above that it will downconvert.

This may be subject to change in the future, as it until recently it was just 128kb, and a mere 64kb about a year before that, so Amazon may potentially make more changes to allow for larger image sizes in the future, but it's something to keep in mind if image quality is important. Sometimes the downconversion leads to some nasty pixellated blurring on maps included with sf/fantasy books, I have found.

ePub does not limit your image size and you can put in a very large original, though any given reader may not be able to take advantage of such high resolution and may choke on a large ebook filesize as well. But it's there if you want to use the option.

Also, Mobi is a compiled file format and you can convert to and from Mobi, but you can't open it up and edit it directly like you can with ePub, which is basically just regular HTML and some other files in a slightly fancy standard zip archive. Mind you, Mobi is based somewhat on the older HTML version, so once it's unpacked you can edit it readily enough before recompiling, but it will generally only understand a limited amount of HTML formatting features and any CSS must be "translated" into the kind of HTML that Mobi recognizes, which can result in very plain (or sometimes messed up) formatting which admittedly most people would never notice (unless it was really messed up).

You may well end up losing stuff going back and forth, but there are some newer Mobi handling tools which can be found in our Mobi format forum will hopefully keep such losses to a minimum if you choose to go that route (easier to just maintain an ePub source and convert to Mobi as needed, IMHO).

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:30 PM   #11
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So its sounds like you are satsifed with your Kindle but want to know if there is something better out there?

Format really doesn't matter. Amazon's format looks great on the Kindle. Epub looks great on the EPub readers. There are suppose to be things that you can do with an EPUB that you cannot do with Mobi. Amazon is switching to a new format that is pretty similar to EPub so that will change in the near future. Even if it wasn't, I have been using a Kindle since they came out and have not had any problems with how things are formatted.

What is more important is that you are happy with the features and the bookstore. The Kindle, Nook, and Sony are pretty similar in the major features (book marks, annotation, some type of collection availability, and the the like) The Kindle has speakers and can be used to listen to audio books, the Nook cannot. I don't know about the Sony. The Kindle has text to speech, the other major devices do not.

Honestly, if you are happy with how your Kindle works, stick with your Kindle. Download your Amazon books to your computer as a back up. If you want, remove the DRM just in case one day you do change e-readers and you will be fine.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:47 PM   #12
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The real strengths of the Kindle are the Amazon bookstore (the best by far, without a shadow of a doubt) and Amazon's superb customer service. Before you buy a Sony or a Kobo, have a look in their respective forums here at MR and see what people have to say about the standard of service they receive, and then compare that with what people say about Amazon.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:35 PM   #13
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The real strengths of the Kindle are the Amazon bookstore (the best by far, without a shadow of a doubt) and Amazon's superb customer service. Before you buy a Sony or a Kobo, have a look in their respective forums here at MR and see what people have to say about the standard of service they receive, and then compare that with what people say about Amazon.

That's all fine & dandy to say in general but in practice how often do you need to deal with customer service? I've had 3 Sony's now in the last few years & have not had to deal with them once. I had some weird battery blip with my 350 but it was fine on the next charging. Other than that, never had any hardware issues.

I could be wrong, but I think most people go happily along with no need for customer service because they have no issues with their devices.

There's no denying that when you do need them it's a huge relief to have the backup but I don't think most people have need of them. *shrug*
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:44 PM   #14
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I have never had occasion to use Amazon support either but it is reassuring to me to know that if I did, I would not be further stressed by having to deal with an unfriendly, unhelpful service. I firmly believe that Amazon deserves my support and loyalty because they put in an extraordinary effort into customer satisfaction. I get warm fuzzies just reading how helpful they have been to other people.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:50 PM   #15
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The Kindles are among the best EInk readers for images in ebooks. It is true that AZW images tend to be smaller than the same image in an ePub, but with most ePub-based EInk readers whatever configuration the publisher has decided on for the image is what you get. There is typically no zoom option (although flipping to landscape may change the zoom).
Sony's T1 has zooming. So with a T1, you can zoom in on an image if you want. I have to say that Sony's routines for dithering are some of the best. Plus, the screens used in the T1 are (overall) more consistent then the new Kindles.

Quote:
If you strip the DRM (if any) from an ebook, you can replace images and make other customizations. This is easiest to do in ePub, but if you start with a MOBI (or KF8) then Calibre can convert them to ePub, make any changes with an ePub editor, or Calibre's "tweak ePub" option, and then convert back to MOBI.
I have seen a number or rebuilt Mobi that don't look as good as the original Mobi. Spaces get lost, images get recompressed and overall, it's not as easy to edit as ePub is. If you want to make changes to an eBook, ePub is THE format for that. All of the others are binary and have to be deconstructed, edited and then reconstructed. So for someone wanting to change image sin an eBook, ePub is what's wanted.
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