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Old 07-14-2008, 01:20 PM   #46
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Let's give the iPhone software market to mature. I think we'll eventually see readers on the iPhone that can get access to and download free content from PG or even MR. Given that the SDK can be downloaded and accessed by anyone,maybe an industrious MR reader can do this?

I myself am planning on getting an iPhone (when my T-Mobile contract expires) and can't wait until I can read my classics while waiting in line or anywhere where I don't have access to my Reader. I have the Mobipocket reader for my Windows Smartphone and it's absolutely terrible.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:25 PM   #47
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Let's give the iPhone software market to mature. I think we'll eventually see readers on the iPhone that can get access to and download free content from PG or even MR. Given that the SDK can be downloaded and accessed by anyone,maybe an industrious MR reader can do this?
In case you missed it, there is another thread about this. Stanza for iPhone already does this. It interfaces with Feedbooks to allow you to browse their library and download books directly to the iPhone/iPod. There is a video of it in action on their web site. http://www.lexcycle.com/iphone

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Old 07-14-2008, 03:36 PM   #48
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AFAIK, something else, displayed by an iPhone app the folks doing the conversion wrote. From what I can tell, they are creating self-displaying books, with the display code bundled with the content. Each one you download is essentially a separate program.

There used to be hacks like that for the PC years ago, that would let you create a self-displaying text file. the user didn't have to have anything installed to read it -- all they had to do was run the program.
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there are still programs like that available on PC's but the fear of trojan viruses has pretty much done them in I think. Most of the companies doing this now allow a separate format for the book itself. These items are in the wiki.

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Old 07-14-2008, 03:39 PM   #49
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Which makes me curious about Mobipocket's reasoning.

They provide the reader free for a variety of platforms, includingg PCs, PocketPC/Windows Mobile devices, Palm OS devices, Symbian based smartphones, and Blackberries, most of which can run applications that use other foirms of DRM as well, but won't license thier DRM to hardware vendors who want to embed their app if they intend to support any other form of DRM?

Sounds like an attempt to lock in market share for their DRM protected commercial ebook offerings.

Of course, things might get interesting if the market decides DRM is counter productive and stops applying it...

(I don't expect to see that happen any time soon, mind you.)
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What they are doing is supplying source code to vendors to use in their eBook readers. This is what the exclusive license is about. If they did the port for their own benefit is selling eBooks then it is a different matter. All the markets with multiple formats are examples of Mobipocket doing the port themselves.

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Old 07-17-2008, 03:16 AM   #50
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3. Since books in the public domain are generally available for free elsewhere, how is selling them for 99 cents supposed to be a good deal?
Anyone who buys a free book for 99 cents is stupid, lazy, and deserves to waste their money. Go to project Gutenberg where you can get free ebooks for ...FREE!
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:29 AM   #51
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Anyone who buys a free book for 99 cents is stupid, lazy, and deserves to waste their money. Go to project Gutenberg where you can get free ebooks for ...FREE!
It can take many hours of work to convert a PG book into a nice readable eBook - I speak from thousands of hours of experience in book conversion. It is not "stupid and lazy" to consider those hours of work to be worth paying 99c for. Indeed, one might consider it "stupid" to spend several hours RATHER than paying 99c. Is your time really worth so little to you?
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:38 AM   #52
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Anyone who buys a free book for 99 cents is stupid, lazy, and deserves to waste their money. Go to project Gutenberg where you can get free ebooks for ...FREE!
You have not thought this through.

Yes, you can get them free at Project Gutenberg. But can you read them on your dedicated reader or other mobile device?

Project Gutenberg supplies books in plain text and (often) HTML. Getting those converted into the appropraite format for your device takes time, skill, and specialized software the vast majority of folks aren't aware of and don't have.

And even if you have the software and the skill, doing a good conversion is a non-trivial task.

What value do you place on your time? I have the tools and skill to convert PG texts, and do regularly for my device. But I might pay 99 cents for a decent quality conversion for the iPhone (if I had one), because it would be quicker and easier than doing it myself, and I could spend the time doing other things.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:53 AM   #53
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It can take many hours of work to convert a PG book into a nice readable eBook
Of course. The question is, do they sell "nice readable eBooks"? or do they sell "crappy automatic conversions"?
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:55 AM   #54
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I don't know, and I'm not willing to spend 99c to find out .
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:49 PM   #55
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I'm game to buy one and take a look - unless somebody beats me to it. I just got the phone last night, and am in the setup/sync process now.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:18 PM   #56
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Comparing Flatland by Edwin Abbot, I see a few superficial differences, but probably not enough to cause me to spend money again, for the $0.99 cent version.

The standalone $0.99 version has a nice red "leather" cover-page, and also has a blank line between paragraphs instead of paragraph indents. I happen to find the "blank line" version easier to read, and I format my books that way (if I have other reason to bother formatting them).

Stanza allows only left / right side of page touches to turn the page. The standalone ones allow only top / bottom touches. Personally, I like top/bottom better ...

But even with both of those preferences leaning toward the standalone version, I'm not sure there is enough difference to spend money.

Any specific questions?

Oh, and the standalone book takes you straight back into where you left off reading. Stanza opens into its "index" page, you press "Latest reads" and then select which title, and THEN you reach the spot you left off. 2 extra clicks.

Last edited by badgoodDeb; 07-17-2008 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:55 AM   #57
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But even with both of those preferences leaning toward the standalone version, I'm not sure there is enough difference to spend money.

Any specific questions?
The real issue is the book. Did they improve the book itself by fixing Gutenberg items, curley quotes?, emdash?, italics?, typos?

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Old 07-19-2008, 03:59 PM   #58
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It can take many hours of work to convert a PG book into a nice readable eBook - I speak from thousands of hours of experience in book conversion. It is not "stupid and lazy" to consider those hours of work to be worth paying 99c for. Indeed, one might consider it "stupid" to spend several hours RATHER than paying 99c. Is your time really worth so little to you?
I did not mean that the person who created the book was stupid and lazy, such as yourself. And I do not see anything wrong with someone who has spent the time to create and format an ebook to try to sell it. That was not my argument. My argument is that from a consumers point of view it just doesn't make sense because there are already resources out there (such as Project Gutenberg and this website) that offer these same books for free without a subscription or any conditions atached. So when that is the case, why would someone be stupid enough to buy a free ebook for 99 cents, and considering the vastness of the information super highway, that same person is also lazy because they didn't take the time to look and find these free resources which would have allowed them to save themselves 99 cents. Thus they are stupid and lazy.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:06 PM   #59
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You have not thought this through.

Yes, you can get them free at Project Gutenberg. But can you read them on your dedicated reader or other mobile device?
Dennis
Yes I have thought this through, and yes my device does read plain text, and to my knowledge, there are not many ebooks that don't read plain text. And I would even go further by saying that if someone bought an ebook that did not support plain text then that person wasted their money considering that plain text is such a universal and widely used format.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:09 PM   #60
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My argument is that from a consumers point of view it just doesn't make sense because there are already resources out there (such as Project Gutenberg and this website) that offer these same books for free without a subscription or any conditions atached. So when that is the case, why would someone be stupid enough to buy a free ebook for 99 cents, and considering the vastness of the information super highway, that same person is also lazy because they didn't take the time to look and find these free resources which would have allowed them to save themselves 99 cents. Thus they are stupid and lazy.
The same objection applies. What value do you place on your time?

You have an iPhone. You are aware of public domain texts you would like to read, that you can get in an iPod version for 99 cents.

You may be aware of Project Gutenberg. You might even have the notion that resources exist like MR where you can get the stuff free. But what will be involved, and how long will it take you to track down the information?

If you just want to read a particular book, it's a lot faster and simpler to just pay 99 cents and download the book from the iTunes store. And depending upon what else you may have to do with your time, it will be neither lazy nor stupid to exercise that option.

We pay people all the time to do things we technically could do ourselves but would prefer to spend the time required doing other things. This is simply one more instance.
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