|11-30-2009, 10:46 AM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Choosing a reader based on open content formats
I know this question covers two categories on this forum, but I think this is the better locale.
All other things being equal (even though they are not), what are the best eReaders to consider if your only concern is being able to retain usable content from one eReader to another?
Case in point: I have been leaning towards buying a Kindle, but I'm worried about what I believe is the Amazon Kindle Book Format that is proprietary. I only expect I'll use any eReader for about two years before upgrading, but I don't want to buy a bunch of books that lock me into one type of reader.
So, does anyone have quick advice about choosing an eReader device based on the idea that I want to avoid content that has vendor lock-in?
|12-01-2009, 08:19 PM||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2008
I ended up ordering an Astak Pocket Pro (5"). I went with this device because it has support for ePub, which does seem to be where we are all (eventually) heading. With ePub I can read books from my library and for me that was important...to be able to check out books from the library. It can read ADE, which I'm not certain, but I think this might be the DRM of ePub. Please ask around on that to be sure, though because I don't want to mislead you.
Additionally it can read non DRMd PDB (eReader), FB2, LIT, MP3, EPUB, PRC (MobiPocket).
Also PDF, TXT, DOC, HTML.
There are some mixed reviews on how good a job it does on some file formats, but Robertb is very active in the Astak forums and he really seems to be listening and getting word back to the "powers that be". There have already been updates to the firmware to fix some issues. I think it's just going to continue to get better.
My main concern was the ePub which quite a few readers can handle. Also I understand Sony is converting their library to ePub so unless they slap something proprietary on there (which wouldn't surprise me given their history), I should be able to purchase books from them if I want, along with Books on Board and other places.
I'm sure others will have some advice for you. I'm definitely not as seasoned or versed as many other very helpful people on the forums but my original and primary goal was the same as yours so thought I would share where I ended up.
|12-01-2009, 08:44 PM||#3|
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mississippi, USA
Device: Kindle 3, Kobo Glo HD
The landscape has become simpler in the past few months. It is now essentially everyone against Amazon.
Amazon uses two formats AZW and TOPAZ. AZW is a variant of MOBI, and its DRM (encryption) can be circumvented, so if you are willing to strip DRM AZW ebooks are "future proof". TOPAZ ebooks are Kindle-only, and are usually not available in any other format. The vast majority of Kindle ebooks are AZW, but some categories are more TOPAZ heavy than others.
Everyone else uses Adobe ePub. There are a few migration issues (Sony from LRX to ePub, and B&N from eReader and adding a 2nd DRM scheme to Adobe ePub), but there are already a wide range of EInk devices that read Adobe ePubs and it seems that in the medium term (e.g. by this time next year) they will all inter-operate. In the long term no encrypted ebook format is guaranteed to survive, but the good news is that Adobe ePub DRM has also been circumvented. DRM-free ebooks can last forever, because format shifting software (like Calibre) can keep the ebook working on all new devices.
Kindle is dominant enough that it is still a reasonable choice for the long term, but ePub is the best bet going forward. This does not restrict your choices much today.
|content, ereader, format, proprietary|
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