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Old 08-29-2009, 08:15 PM   #1
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Pocket Pro file formats and Sony Ebookstore

Hi guys,

Ive been reading the posts about the Pocket Pro and really wanna preorder. However, I still have some questions about the file formats and whether or not I can buy books from some websites. Since this little thing supports everything from epub, lit, mobi, and so on. I was wondering if I can buy books from the Sony ebookstore and transfer them to the PP since it can support epub. Also, would Amazon allows me to buy thier books since PP can read the mobi/prc file? Thanks a bunch. I cant wait to preorder one! It is definitely the best deal anyone can get for $199. I did look at the PRS300 but the idea of expansion slot on PP got to me. I wonder though if the text and background contrast on PP looks as good as the 300. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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Oh one more thing, I can check out ebook from the library with the PP right?
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:33 PM   #3
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The Pocket Pro supports many formats, but most of them are for DRM-free (i.e. without encryption) ebooks only. There are exceptions, but most ebooks you buy from on-line stores come with DRM. The Pocket Pro currently supports Adobe DRM, which is Adobe PDF ebooks and Adobe ePub ebooks. It will probably later on (but not yet) also support eReader DRM, which is what the Barnes & Noble ebook store uses.

The Sony ebook store has announced that they are switching all their ebooks to Adobe ePub by the end of the year. So this will be a good source of ebooks for the Pocket Pro eventually, but currently they use the Sony-only LRX format.

With the exception of LRX (and TOPAZ for the Kindle), all the other popular ebook DRM schemes can be circumvented. So you can buy MOBI or LIT or eReader ebooks and read them on the Pocket Pro by stripping their DRM (and perhaps format shifting the DRM-free ebook using Calibre). Note that Adobe DRM has also beeen circumvented, so you are not locking yourself into Adobe-ready devices by buying Adobe ebooks. It will probably never be tested in court, but stripping DRM from ebooks for personal non-commercial use is likely legal in the US.

The Kindle's AZW format is MOBI, but you can't buy a Kindle ebook without either a Kindle or a iPhone/iPod Touch. A small faction of Kindle ebooks are in the TOPAZ format, which can't be read by non-Amazon devices at all.
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:34 PM   #4
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Oh one more thing, I can check out ebook from the library with the PP right?
Yes. You can check out Adobe PDF and ePub ebooks for the library. This has been confirmed for the EZ Reader Basic, which is using the same version of Adobe Digital Editions as the Pocket Pro.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:13 AM   #5
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Thanks Wallcraft. So if Im understanding correctly, as of right now I cant buy books either from Amazon, Sony and B&N but will likely able to soon with the last two. As for books I want to buy from other ebook websites, I will likely have to strip the DRM for all of them to be able to use them in the PP, right? Unless there are Adobe PDF and Adobe ePub. Is there an easy way to do this? I know we can use free calibre program. I will check that out to see how hard it is. Also, I am wondering if I should just go with Sony 300 to eliminate stripping DRM for every ebooks I buy and just buy from Sony website. How often can I find books readily in Adobe PDF and Epub? Sorry if I ask a lot of maybe already answered questions. I am new to this and a lot of terms are still a bit confusing. Bear with me and thanks for all your help!
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:15 AM   #6
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Most bookstores now sell ePub books, so no "DRM-stripping" is required.

However, I would sound a note of caution. The Asktak device is a Jinke clone, and the ePub support on the other Jinke devices is extremely poor, so there's really no reason to expect anything better from Astak. There are other devices on the market (eg those from Sony and Bookeen) which have much better ePub support, so you should perhaps consider one of those instead of the Astak.

Last edited by HarryT; 08-30-2009 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:24 AM   #7
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In the US Books on Board is a good source for Adobe ePub ebooks. In the UK, ePub is the dominant format and I like WHSmith.

If you want to use a single ebook store, then the Amazon Kindle is the best choice and the Sony PRS-300 and the Sony store is probably the 2nd best option today.

Once the EZ Reader's get eReader support, they will have a wider selection of stores to choose from (without striping DRM) than any other EInk devices. At that point the B&N store could become your primary source of ebooks. Choosing a device based on future capabilities is dangerous, but in this case the Pocket Pro already has Adobe PDF/ePub so eReader can be thought of as a bonus.
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:01 AM   #8
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However, I would sound a note of caution. The Asktak device is a Jinke clone, and the ePub support on the other Jinke devices is extremely poor, so there's really no reason to expect anything better from Astak. There are other devices on the market (eg those from Sony and Bookeen) which have much better ePub support, so you should perhaps consider one of those instead of the Astak.
I have an Astak EZ-Reader and have read ADE/Epub books on it and have not sufferred any debilitating conditions due to the Epub support on the device.

My advice to you is to look at the features of each device side by side, for example compare the Astak Pocket Pro to the Sony 300. Look at the formats supported presently, and make your decision on what features are best suited to your individual needs.

Beside Astak, Foxits Eslick also says it will support Ereader format in the near future. The reason I went was Astaks Ereader was the Adobe Digital Editions support, which allows me to read library books on it.
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:16 AM   #9
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I have an Astak EZ-Reader and have read ADE/Epub books on it and have not sufferred any debilitating conditions due to the Epub support on the device.
Does it support hyperlinks? The version of ADE on the BeBook and Hanlin V3 do not.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:06 AM   #10
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Does it support hyperlinks? The version of ADE on the BeBook and Hanlin V3 do not.
I have never had a need to use hyperlinks and not having it has not made it unusable. My point is there are pro's and con's about each device and only by comparison of features and the needs of the end user can one say one is better for them than another. You can read books on any of the devices.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:14 AM   #11
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I have never had a need to use hyperlinks and not having it has not made it unusable. My point is there are pro's and con's about each device and only by comparison of features and the needs of the end user can one say one is better for them than another. You can read books on any of the devices.
Many books have lots of endnotes, and hyperlinks are essential for reading those. Lack of them doesn't make the book "unreadable", certainly, but it's a damned nuisance.

Could you test such a book and find out, when you have a moment? - I'd be interested to know.

If you download the first volume of my H. Rider Haggard Anthology, here:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54886

and look at the "Introduction" of "King Solomon's Mines" (the first book in the anthology), you'll see a hyperlink labelled "[1]" on what will probably be the first page of the introduction. Does the EZReader allow you to select that hyperlink?
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:25 PM   #12
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Does the EZReader allow you to select that hyperlink?
On the EZReader, hyperlinks work in Mobi format, but do not work in epub. This is true of all current Jinke firmware for the device.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:50 PM   #13
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Thanks for confirming that. That, for me, is a major issue. It may not be for others, of course.
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:36 PM   #14
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Thanks for confirming that. That, for me, is a major issue. It may not be for others, of course.
This certainly can be addressed with a firmware fix, and as you say may be annoying, but does not make the book unreadable.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:10 PM   #15
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However, I would sound a note of caution. The Asktak device is a Jinke clone, and the ePub support on the other Jinke devices is extremely poor, so there's really no reason to expect anything better from Astak. There are other devices on the market (eg those from Sony and Bookeen) which have much better ePub support, so you should perhaps consider one of those instead of the Astak.
Harry, I think that yours is an important point. But isn't that a firmware issue? It isn't clear to me why the poor performance of the BeBook where you live should be expected of the Astak where I live.

I will very much look forward to learning of the experience of those who pre-ordered the Pocket Pro.

edit to add: Oops! It looks like Musicman has already brought up the firmware issue.

Last edited by GA Russell; 08-30-2009 at 06:15 PM.
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