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Old 09-05-2012, 05:06 PM   #1
Fisherman74
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To much information, yet not enough.

I have been doing a fair amount of reading on here and looking at other sites regarding ereaders. Anyhow, I have run into the problem that I find some information a little difficult to decipher, as it nearly always gets over into rooting a reader or converting a format, etc…..

I have some real simple questions as someone that wants to at least initially keep things simple, buy it and read it. We are not invested in any of them yet and can find good and bad with them all.

(I do understand that different readers have different formats. I also understand Amazon is about to announce new readers, so we will wait at least a few days.)

Questions

I want to be sure that when I buy a book, I can access it now and several years from now. For example, if I buy X Reader, and it breaks two years from now, will I still have the book?

How would this work, when I buy a book can I save it to an SD Card or Flash Drive, and just set it aside and expect to be able to open it on another device, a couple years or so down the road?

If I buy a book, can my wife or kids access it, if they have a tablet or reader or do I have to buy copies for everyone? For Example, could my wife read the same book on a Samsung Tablet?

With Kindle it appears you are stuck with Amazon for all purchases, if you are talking just straight purchases, without some kind of additional software or changes?

With a Nook, it appears you can purchase from B&N, along with google, just purchase and read?

If you did have a problem with a Nook, will the folks in the store actually take care of things?

With a Sony, it appears you can purchase from the Sony Reader Store and possibly Google Books, though not B&N, since the Epub B&N uses is a different Epub? (You understand why I am confused, Epub, yet different or am I misunderstanding this.)

I have found things I like and dislike about them all, we mainly just want to make sure when we buy a book, it is ours and it will not just be gone when the device wears out or a company goes out of business or is sold, etc….

I like the Sony for the written note taking ability, yet we do a lot of business with Amazon and many claim they have the best customer service. I like the fact that B&N at least in theory should take care of you, if you go into their store.

Thanks for the help.

(I was bit unsure if this should be in General Discussion or Which One to Buy, so feel free to move it, if needed.)
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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Your question is largely device-independent. The only way to gain ownership over your purchases (which in the digital age are just user licences, not actual goods that belong to you) is to strip them of their DRM and keep a copy of the file on your hard drive. Then you are free to read and use them however you like, and no one can ever take them away.

It's fairly easy to do this with books purchased from all major retailers that use Adobe copy protection, as well as Amazon Kindle books. It is much harder to crack Apple iBooks purchases, so I recommend you stay away from those.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by holymadness View Post
It is much harder to crack Apple iBooks purchases, so I recommend you stay away from those.
Not too hard with Requiem.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:24 PM   #4
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I'd back them up anyway, just in case.

If you have a Kindle (just for example) you will still be able to read your books if your device breaks. You just get a new Kindle and register it to your account.

Your family will be able to read the books you purchase, their readers just have to be tied to the same account.

If the books have DRM, you will only be able to read them on that company's reader. If you have a Kindle, you won't be able to read books that have B&N's DRM, and vice versa.

On the other hand, books that don't have DRM can be read on any device. PD books from Project Gutenberg and other sources do not have DRM, and there are sellers that don't use DRM.

I haven't had to use Amazon's customer service, but I've heard it is good. I really haven't looked into customer service. A friend of mine had a bad experience with B&N's customer service, but that was a couple years ago, I don't know what it is like now.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:35 PM   #5
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I had similar concerns back when I bought my first reader in 2007 (before that I'd only read a handfull of ebooks on PDA's and PC's). Back then there was no Kindle, no ePub, but there were a lot of formats. What I decided and what still holds true for me is as long as the format is one where it's possible to remove DRM I'll buy it. Back then MS LIT was the only format where DRM could easily be removed (LIT is now dead as a commercial DRM'd format) so that's what I bought. As long as your backups are DRM free you can read your files on pretty much everything with the help of conversion tools like Calibre and others. Calibre is free and takes literally seconds to convert a book, it can also be handy for managing your library.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:42 PM   #6
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I have to agree with holymadness, removing the DRM is the only way to make sure your books will be available to you til you die. Of course, then you will need to make back ups of all your ebooks in the event of a catastrophe (which you should be doing for all of your data anyhow). SD cards and such are nice, but an additional offsite backup is important. Have a look at dropbox for your essential files.

I've never had an issue with any of my Kindles, but a majority of the stories I've heard are that Amazon will replace within warranty no questions asked, and will often replace units out of warranty.

I did have an original Nook where the bezel cracked, and I had no trouble getting a replacement from B&N, but I've heard a lot of unfortunate stories about B&N's service.

Sony makes really nice units, but I'm really surprised by the pricing of the T2. It's a premium price without additional features.

Out of all of my ereaders, my Kindles get the majority of use. It really just is a matter of personal preference, there is nothing wrong with my Sony or Boox.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:17 PM   #7
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I have two Nook Colors and customer support has been great. Also the in store employees are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:45 PM   #8
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I have had two Sony readers. I use the Sony software with it. But I also use Calibre with special tools that will strip the standard Adobe epub drm from my books. I then save them in an ebook file on my pc as well as on a backup hard drive.

Stripping the drm is the only way to truly ensure that I can keep my books. I am not a tech type person, but after reading of too many people losing their books either from not stripping them or not downloading the books in time before they disappeared from where ever they were originally bought from convinced me that this was a necessary step for me to take.

I had it all set up in Calibre in just a few minutes following the very clear instructions from Apprentice Alf and was then busy stripping my books that I can now load on ANY machine that I choose now and in the future.

There is no need to root the reader, Calibre & the tools take care of it quite painlessly.

I chose Sony because I didn't want to be tied to B&N, Amazon, Apple etc.

So pick whichever reader has the most features that you want, download Calibre & the tools then enjoy your reading.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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I have Nooks, a Sony and Adobe Digital Editions. ADE means I can buy books [or borrow from my library] from a variety of vendors - of the many that sell Adobe epubs - for all my readers. I'm not tied to B&N or Sony's store, nice as they may be. And ADE is, IMO, really straightforward and easy to learn to use. The additional step of sideloading is required, but I personally prefer it to having my device handcuffed to a single vendor.

B&N uses your CC# to generate the DRM for your ebooks, so theoretically, as long as you have the number & the file, you should be able to unlock your books. I've put a few of my B&N books on my Mother's Nook and have been able to unlock them that way.

I had to return my NookSTR for a faulty battery, and the experience was painless. 15 minutes on the phone, 2 failed resets and the rep mailed me an RMA and shipped a replacement unit that afternoon. Big City Mom - in her 70's - took her unit to an actual store, and they were patient and fixed her problem promptly.

But the advice to strip and back-up is good - it is the only way to assure your books remain available in the future. A book I purchased through FeedBooks 2 years ago still shows in my account, but I will have to re-buy it to download another copy. The MS Reader LIT books purchased through Amazon? Don't even show in my purchase history.

* Sony hasn't authorized the B&N DRM, so presently B&N books are Nook-only, I believe.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:59 PM   #10
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With Kindle, you can buy from some other sites, such as Baen ebooks, Smashwords, and Fictionwise (multiformat only), and some others that sell DRM-free books.

Although the Kindle store has just about every mainstream book there is.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:02 AM   #11
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I would just add that it will depend somewhat on your country of residence what access you have to some stores. B and N won't sell in Europe, for instance. I have found Amazon UK helpful with a kindle out of warranty, and Baen will sell to anyone in any format you like. If several family members want to read the same books, then it will probably be easier if you all have the same brand of ereader.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by piperclassique View Post
I would just add that it will depend somewhat on your country of residence what access you have to some stores. B and N won't sell in Europe, for instance. I have found Amazon UK helpful with a kindle out of warranty, and Baen will sell to anyone in any format you like. If several family members want to read the same books, then it will probably be easier if you all have the same brand of ereader.
Just on a sidenote piperclassigue. with the fact the John Lewis in the UK will be selling the nook, wont that mean that they will have to start selling the ebooks as well from B & N
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:08 AM   #13
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Clarify

I appreciate the help of everyone, at least maybe I am headed in the right direction. Let me run over some things to make sure I have this clear. Please correct me, if I have something wrong.

I can download Calibre, then buy ebooks from any source, be it Amazon, B&N, Google, Sony, etc….? Use the Calibre to remove the DRM, then I would be able to download the book to any device I choose, be it a Kindle, Nook, Sony Ereader, Samsung Tablet, etc….?

Now, along with that, would I have to have them delivered initially to my computer, then transfer them to the ereader or could I have them delivered to the ereader, then transfer them to the computer to use Calibre, then transfer them to any device, I choose?

Having removed the DRM, I would also be able to save them to an SD Card, Hard Drive, etc…. and keep them from now on, loading them onto any device I might have in the future?

As far as the Adobe Digital Edition, how exactly does this come into play? Is that what then allows you to transfer it to different devices, after removing the DRM?

Again, I do appreciate the help.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisherman74 View Post
I can download Calibre, then buy ebooks from any source, be it Amazon, B&N, Google, Sony, etc….? Use the Calibre to remove the DRM, then I would be able to download the book to any device I choose, be it a Kindle, Nook, Sony Ereader, Samsung Tablet, etc….?
Close, except Calibre itself doesn't remove DRM and DRM removal can be done outside Calibre or using a third party plugin that works from within Calibre.


Quote:
Now, along with that, would I have to have them delivered initially to my computer, then transfer them to the ereader or could I have them delivered to the ereader, then transfer them to the computer to use Calibre, then transfer them to any device, I choose?
I find it easiest to download them to the computer and then transfer them after they've been uninfected.


Quote:
Having removed the DRM, I would also be able to save them to an SD Card, Hard Drive, etc…. and keep them from now on, loading them onto any device I might have in the future?
Correct


Quote:
As far as the Adobe Digital Edition, how exactly does this come into play? Is that what then allows you to transfer it to different devices, after removing the DRM?
ADE is used to download books that use Adobe Adept DRM. These are usually ePubs from places like Kobo, Sony, Google, Diesel, Books on Board, etc, but can also be PDFs (they use the same DRM).
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:18 AM   #15
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I'm all for stripping the DRM, I just did it for my kindle ebooks and am now reading them on my iriver Story. The author may rest assured that I paid him and will not copy and distribute his work over the net. It's all right.

That said, with kindle ebooks at least you can read them through Kindle reader apps available for a huge variety of devices and PCs, even keeping them all in sync. That's nice to have, but don't count on it as being the same as a personal backup.
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