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Old 12-29-2008, 01:56 PM   #1
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Mobi books on Kindle and _______

Hi everyone.

I'm not sure where to start and I don't want to cause frustration if I missed an easy answer...

I use Mobi as my primary reader, mainly because they have supported every phone I've used and I like having my books with me no matter where I am (since I always have my cell phone with me).

For Christmas, DH bought me a Sony ereader. I don't know if I'm a good candidate for any ereader at this point in my life...I tend to prefer going to the library and checking them out for free. In other words, I've never been big on buying them. Having said that, though, I DO like having a few to choose from on my cell phone for down times.

So then I got to thinking that maybe a Kindle is a better fit for me. I'm not saying I'm not meant to be an ereader...I'm just not sure. But I love gadgets and every one I've ever "learned" I've wondered how I survived without it.

I promise, I'm getting to a point.

So Kindle is based off Mobi format. But am I understanding that I can't read them on both the Kindle and my Blackberry (with Mobi software installed)? That Kindle is indeed Mobi but locked down to just Kindle? In my world I could see myself getting more into ereading and buying books if I could have them loaded in both places. My blackberry for unexpected down time, but my Kindle for those times I know I'm going somewhere that I'll have time to do some serious reading (and the foresight to take my Kindle with me).

And why are Kindle's mobi books so much cheaper than Mobi's site, or any site for that matter? Fictionwise looks to be closer in price to Amazon. But as an example, the Christmas Sweater is $9.99 on Amazon, $11.47 on Fictionwise (with membership) and $17.99 on Mobi's site. Of course if I could pay the lesser price and share on devices this would be ideal.

I'm reading it's possible to convert some books but honestly it sounds like a bit much to go through for books that already cost top dollar.

Why have the creators of these ebooks and devices made it so darn difficult. I agree with other posts where it has been suggested there be one file type but that anyone could create a reader for said type. I would far prefer to know any book I buy now I'll always be able to read. Especially since I AM paying pretty much full paper back (and in some cases hard back)price.

So my main question about sharing Mobi books between devices, and any comments or thoughts you care to share on my frustration over my initial findings and understandings of the ebook world. Maybe I'm even totally off base.

Thank you in advance. I look forward to learning about this technology overall.
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:06 PM   #2
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MobiPocket are always the most expensive, because they are the "wholesalers" for all the other Mobi sites, and never undercut them.

FictionWise and BooksOnBoard will generally be within pennies of the Amazon price, but Amazon often discount bestsellers and sell them at a loss - the small retailers can't afford to do that.

If you want to read Mobi books on several devices, your best bet is to get a "genuine" Mobi device such as the CyBook or BeBook. Yes, you can convert Mobi books so that you can read them on the Kindle, but why have the hassle when you can read them directly?
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:45 PM   #3
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If you want to stick to MOBI, then a Cybook or Hanlin are obvious options (in the US, buy Cybook from Books on Board and the Hanlin is called the EZ Reader). The Cybook has better MOBI support, but the Hanlin is catching up.

If you don't mind stripping DRM (widely done but generally thought to be illegal in the US and several other countries, even for personal use), then there are more options:

a) Buy a Kindle and strip DRM both ways (Amazon AZW to MOBI for your MOBI devices, DRMed MOBI to DRM-free MOBI for the Kindle). Amazon obviously wants to lock in Kindle users, but in my view there is a premium built into the Kindle's price that goes towards offsetting the price of Kindle ebooks. This premium is more palatable if the Kindle ebooks are readable on other devices. Note that a few Kindle ebooks are in the TOPAZ format, which really is Kindle specific.

b) Stick with the PRS-505, strip the DRM from MOBI and convert to LRF or ePub using Calibre. MOBI can still be your primary ebook format, but there are some ebooks that are only available with Adobe DRM (PDF or ePub) and you can buy these (or check them out from a lending library) as PRS-505 only ebooks.

Note that the PRS-700 is the first in a wave of new 6" ebook readers that will hit this winter/spring. We already know that there is a Kindle 2 in the wings, and also the EZ Reader plus/Pro. There will presumably be a new reader (or readers) from Bookeen as well. These devices will have better screen controllers and faster processors. This may or may not lead to better ebook readers, but it will likely freeze all software development on older models. So don't buy a device expecting much in the way of software upgrades. This argues against the Hanlin, although I think its MOBI support is already "good enough" for many readers and improvements to its Java MOBI Reader may be equally applicable to its new and old devices.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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Thank you for the very helpful replies.

So I have a few more readers to take a closer look at, and being that I'm not 100% convinced this technology will be for me, it sounds like I could benefit by also sitting and waiting to see what happens in the next few months. Don't get me wrong...I would figure a way to use it. And I think I would like it. But I haven't converted yet and can afford to wait. Having realized how robust the library is right here, this whole issue about buying books might not be such a huge issue. I've already found plenty to keep me busy for a long time.

I had wondered if anyone offered a service similar to Netflix...charge a monthly rate to have X number of books out at a given time. Believe it or not, I think THIS would be the ideal way to read for me. Maybe it's not profitable...I dunno. But I don't hang onto my books (except cookbooks) and I think a membership service would work well for me.

But it sounds like there might be some library download options. In PDF format. So I'll have to check that out, too.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:17 PM   #5
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But it sounds like there might be some library download options. In PDF format.
See Wiki: EBook Lending Libraries. There are MOBI library ebooks as well as Adobe PDF library ebooks, but PDFs are more common.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:53 PM   #6
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For Christmas, DH bought me a Sony ereader.
Since you have a Sony PRS Reader, you may be better off sticking with it until the next cycle of readers are introduced. I own both a Kindle and a Sony Reader (and a Blackberry with Mobipocket Reader installed). They are both very good devices. As far as DRMed books, I've only bought those from Amazon.com for the Kindle, and that's primarily because it's just so darned convenient to do so. And, at this time, I'm not worried about being able to read these books on a future non-Kindle device. And right now, while I'm not terribly concerned about having the same books on both devices, the only books I've bought in Sony format have been from Baen or Fictionwise -- both vendors offering "multi-format" licenses that allow me to download the same book in both file formats.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:49 PM   #7
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Thank you again for all these helpful replies. I'm in the midst of searching but struggling to find one last thing...

what does the icon file need to be named so that Mobi recognizes it? So I have a little .png file that has a picture of the icon usually associated with a book I have in my mobi library. How do I get that to associate?

Totally off my own topic but my topic led me to this question.

I think I'm going to be content to stick with my Blackberry for right now. I'm excited to see where these readers go, and I may end up not waiting all that long after all I've learned here. But right now, at the very least, I want to hold out until the next generation is released. I may change my mind but that's o.k. too. At least now I know of a great resource for helping me get it all figured out. I had NO idea this site existed and was pretty upset about losing a bunch of ereader books when I converted to Blackberry. Not any more.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:39 AM   #8
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Thank you again for all these helpful replies. I'm in the midst of searching but struggling to find one last thing...

what does the icon file need to be named so that Mobi recognizes it? So I have a little .png file that has a picture of the icon usually associated with a book I have in my mobi library. How do I get that to associate?

Totally off my own topic but my topic led me to this question.

I think I'm going to be content to stick with my Blackberry for right now. I'm excited to see where these readers go, and I may end up not waiting all that long after all I've learned here. But right now, at the very least, I want to hold out until the next generation is released. I may change my mind but that's o.k. too. At least now I know of a great resource for helping me get it all figured out. I had NO idea this site existed and was pretty upset about losing a bunch of ereader books when I converted to Blackberry. Not any more.
You mentioned liking your library. Many of the larger libraries offer ebooks online for checkout and download. You might want explore that option as well. Generally the books are offered in both PDF (for Sony) and Mobipocket which can easily be converted to work on your Kindle.

cheers
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:25 AM   #9
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Thank you for the very helpful replies.
(snip)

I had wondered if anyone offered a service similar to Netflix...charge a monthly rate to have X number of books out at a given time. Believe it or not, I think THIS would be the ideal way to read for me. Maybe it's not profitable...I dunno. But I don't hang onto my books (except cookbooks) and I think a membership service would work well for me.

But it sounds like there might be some library download options. In PDF format. So I'll have to check that out, too.
Funny you should ask, and I'm shocked that I'm the first to recommend Baen - although I guess you haven't stated you like SF. Baen Books does a "Webscription" that for 15 bucks each month you get that month's releases, guaranteed to be at least a certain number of new books (because sometimes the month has a lot of paperbacks that were previously released as hardbacks.) They are un-encrypted, and released in a multi-format, and you can download them many times in any different format. This means you could download it once in the format for you Sony, and again in whichever format works best for your Blackberry or other device. (you buy these each month, or you can buy them several months ahead)

And even Better, Baen has a FREE LIBRARY! for the cost of a free registration, you may download a large number of books whose authors have agreed to let you read them electronically for free - and most of those are still for sale in paper, too.

The one limitation - Baen Books is a Science Fiction publisher, and if that's not your cup of tea, then it may be frustrating to find your otherwise favorite publisher doesn't do things as well. ( And they have not yet gotten all of their backlist converted to electrons - some if it they don't have electronic rights to, and some of it was never in electronic form.)

Check out www.baen.com for their homepage, look for Webscriptions ebooks for the subscription plan, and look for the Free Library link, both at the top of the page.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:38 AM   #10
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Thank you for the information on Baen. I had stumbled on that site a while back when I first discovered ereading. I'm not sure SF is my cup of tea but I've added it to my bookmarks for perusal at a later time (when/if I ever run out of other material).

I seem to fuzzily recall having checked something out at a library along the way as well, so I'm going to look further into that.
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:23 AM   #11
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I had wondered if anyone offered a service similar to Netflix...charge a monthly rate to have X number of books out at a given time. Believe it or not, I think THIS would be the ideal way to read for me.
The only place I know of that does that is O'Rielly with their Safari bookshelf. But, you can only read the books online in a browser and they only have Technical books. It is very useful too. Books247.com is similar... once again, all non-fiction type books and only onllne.

You best best is a library as others have stated. Fictionwise.com has one sort of like what you are asking for club members... but I think it has a pretty limited selection at this time.

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Old 12-30-2008, 02:12 PM   #12
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Well I've done my research for my local libraries and the only format they offer is PDF w DRM. So now I need to read some more on the Sony I guess.

Ridiculous. The only way you can read an ebook from the library is if you don't mind sitting with your computer in your lap (try getting comfortable with a laptop AND cat firmly in place) or in your home office (gee...how comfy those desk chairs are...NOT).

I've learned an enormous amount in just about 24 hours...but I can see there is much more to learn....
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:07 PM   #13
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Well I've done my research for my local libraries and the only format they offer is PDF w DRM. So now I need to read some more on the Sony I guess.

Ridiculous. The only way you can read an ebook from the library is if you don't mind sitting with your computer in your lap (try getting comfortable with a laptop AND cat firmly in place) or in your home office (gee...how comfy those desk chairs are...NOT).

I've learned an enormous amount in just about 24 hours...but I can see there is much more to learn....
Your Sony eBook Reader can read DRM library books in PDF format just fine.

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Old 12-31-2008, 05:28 PM   #14
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Well I've done my research for my local libraries and the only format they offer is PDF w DRM. So now I need to read some more on the Sony I guess.

Ridiculous. The only way you can read an ebook from the library is if you don't mind sitting with your computer in your lap (try getting comfortable with a laptop AND cat firmly in place) or in your home office (gee...how comfy those desk chairs are...NOT).

I've learned an enormous amount in just about 24 hours...but I can see there is much more to learn....
Yes, you're in luck, since your library only offer PDF w DRM because the Sony can read that. In fact, half of the books I read are from Brooklyn library on my Sony. Brooklyn library is the best of the 8 libraries that I carry a card for per the help of my relatives that enable me to get 8 libraries card in 5 states. They carry the genre that I read and I'm usually able to find new books in that genre added within 30 days of release. I'm really grateful because I live in GA and I don't have a library card in that state because my county has yet to discover the joy of ebooks!
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:08 PM   #15
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After what I learned in this thread and then reading other threads, etc., I was leaning towards a mobi reader (cybook). Mainly because the books I've purchased to date are ereader or mobi and I figured out how to read my ereader books in mobi AND I can read mobi on my blackberry AND I can create a recipe book and other things in mobi (that I can read on my blackberry and ereader if I go with Cybook).

Sigh...it is very frustrating that there isn't one technology that all ereader makers can build around...let them compete based on the functionality of the reader itself... doh...I guess that might make too much sense (not to mention too many consumers happy).
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