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Old 03-03-2010, 08:57 AM   #1
DrSp0ckk
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Greetings all.

My father has lent me his Sony PRS-505 to read a few books so I can determine if I want an "eReader" or not. After reading "Poison Study" by Maria Synder on the PRS-505, I found my self becoming quite fond of the reader. After finishing the said book, I decided to buy the next one in the sequel, namely "Magic Study".

I decided to buy the "Magic Study" sequel from ebooks.com, in PDF format, for Adobe Digital Editions. Once I got the Sony software for my Mac (OS X 10.6) and was able to import the DRM protected PDF to my reader, I found the format of the book uncomfortable to read. The text is too small, zooming in produces crude results and although all the formatting is well preserved, I simply can't read it at night in bed with my little lamp shining down.

I'm quite annoyed at this. I've paid $7 (which I consider a very fair price) for the PDF eBook and I am unable to get it to "format" its self in a manner that would resemble the easily readable "Poison Study" that came with the reader. If I could get it converted to LRF, I think this would resolve the issue, but I fear the DRM will prevent this.

Here are my questions regarding this matter:
  1. Do I have to simply convert the file using some software, ADE or the Sony software via an option I'm not seeing?
  2. Have I bought the wrong format? Have I wasted my cash?
  3. Where should I get my books from in future? I think booksonboard.com is mighty expensive, but is it a better option?
  4. What am I missing here? I really like these readers and I'm considering getting one.

I don't want this to be the undoing of my eBook reader experience. I hope I can find a solution to this and start getting cosy with some good books.

All feedback is welcome and appreciated, and thank you for taking the time to read my thread.

Regards,

Mike.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:15 AM   #2
zelda_pinwheel
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Hi Mike,
sadly you've fallen into the same trap as many others discovering ebooks. pdf is not a good format for reading on a dedicated device, unless it has been formatted specifically for that screen size, because (as you have discovered...) while it does an admirable job of displaying a set layout, it does not adapt to different layouts gracefully at all (mainly because the format was specifically conceived to do precisely the opposite of that).

the best format to get is epub ; it will "reflow" (adapt to the size of the screen while preserving layout and document styles) which means you can zoom or read your book on any device you have available.

i don't have any experience personally with ebooks.com but you might try contacting their customer support. explain your problem, and if the book is available in another format, ask to exchange it. if it's not available you can try requesting a refund. i don't promise this will work, but it's worth a try.

if the book is not available in epub format, other formats can much more easily be converted to epub, including .lit (MS Reader) and .mobi / .prc (Mobipocket). you must remove the drm first to convert them ; we can't give you explicit instructions for that in the public forum but google is your friend.

if you can't get a refund or an exchange, it's worth trying to convert the pdf. you can do this with calibre, for example. conversion of pdfs tends to give variable results (to say the least...) and require more work than converting other formats, but it usually can be done.

good luck ! if you want to try reading a few books in a format which is better suited, why not try a free book ? we've got thousands available here, just click on the "E-Books" link at the top of any page, and select epub (or lrf). or you can try a site like feedbooks.

to answer your questions,
1. try calibre (free download, see the "calibre" forum here) ; you'll have to remove the drm first (google)
2. pdf wrong format ? short answer : yes. best to get epub, or another reflowable format in future. wasted your cash ? not necessarily.
3. different people will give you different answers here. we've got a list of ebook stores in our wiki (link at the top of any page), and for a quick price comparison across multiple stores, try a site like http://inkmesh.com/ or http://ebooks.addall.com/
4. just the information that pdfs are rarely formatted for a small screen, and reading a large (page size) pdf on a small screen is an unpleasant experience.

feel free to take a look around and ask any more questions. we've got some very knowledeable people here who can help you with anything. welcome to the forum !
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:32 AM   #3
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A quick and dirty remedy is to use the Reader in lansdcape.
Press and hold the size button and the book will display in landscape so the characters on that unfortunate pdf are a little bit bigger. Not an ideal solution, but ...
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:23 AM   #4
DrSp0ckk
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Thank you...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
sadly you've fallen into the same trap as many others discovering ebooks. pdf is not a good format for reading on a dedicated device, unless it has been formatted specifically for that screen size
You'd think they would take the time to format it to the screen size of your reader? All it takes is to ask you what reader you have, and then convert the eBook (on the fly or pre-convert) to suit that device's screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
the best format to get is epub ; it will "reflow" (adapt to the size of the screen while preserving layout and document styles) which means you can zoom or read your book on any device you have available.
Right, I shall keep this in mind. I have had a look around the sites I know of and the sites your have suggested and it seems no one offers books in ePub format. I assume this is because of the lack of DRM ePub offers publishers/authors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
i don't have any experience personally with ebooks.com but you might try contacting their customer support. explain your problem, and if the book is available in another format, ask to exchange it. if it's not available you can try requesting a refund. i don't promise this will work, but it's worth a try.
Yes, I suppose I could try that. I'll see if they can, perhaps, offer me an ePub version; it's not likely though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
if the book is not available in epub format, other formats can much more easily be converted to epub, including .lit (MS Reader) and .mobi / .prc (Mobipocket).
They are the three options I've seen: PDF, MS Reader and Mobi Pocket. I'll see if they will give me one of those versions instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
1. try calibre (free download, see the "calibre" forum here) ; you'll have to remove the drm first (google)
Calibre is incredibly annoying. It does a good job though, when it moves its backside

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
feel free to take a look around and ask any more questions. we've got some very knowledeable people here who can help you with anything. welcome to the forum !
Thanks for your help! You've supplied me with enough knowledge to now do some research and come to a resolution to this issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
A quick and dirty remedy is to use the Reader in lansdcape.
Press and hold the size button and the book will display in landscape so the characters on that unfortunate pdf are a little bit bigger. Not an ideal solution, but ...
This worked very well, actually. I didn't think to try this. Landscape mode makes the reader about annoying to hold in bed, but it means I can read the book now, so not a complete waste.

Thank you both for your suggestions and tips. I shall go away and do some research and return with my findings and share the results (good or bad).

Regards,

Mike.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSp0ckk View Post
You'd think they would take the time to format it to the screen size of your reader? All it takes is to ask you what reader you have, and then convert the eBook (on the fly or pre-convert) to suit that device's screen.
pdfs are almost always supplied as a single, pre-formatted file, not generated on-the-fly to a custom size. ebook stores are just resellers, distributing files supplied by others (the publishers). some sites like feedbooks will allow you to generate a custom pdf for whatever size you like, but it's the exception, not the rule.

Quote:
Right, I shall keep this in mind. I have had a look around the sites I know of and the sites your have suggested and it seems no one offers books in ePub format. I assume this is because of the lack of DRM ePub offers publishers/authors?
no, epub can be used with drm : the first drm scheme for epub is from adobe, the inept scheme. barnes&noble have developped a new variation of that scheme (with adobe) which for the moment will only work on their devices until the firmware for other epub devices gets updated to the new version of adobe content server, but the drm can be removed from both versions easily (google). it's mainly because drm is a more recent format than either of the other two (lit, mobi), so fewer books are available in that format yet. but the offer is improving (slowly).

Quote:
Yes, I suppose I could try that. I'll see if they can, perhaps, offer me an ePub version; it's not likely though.
you never know. it all depends on how helpful they're in the mood to be...

Quote:
They are the three options I've seen: PDF, MS Reader and Mobi Pocket. I'll see if they will give me one of those versions instead.
good luck.

Quote:
Calibre is incredibly annoying. It does a good job though, when it moves its backside
to be honest i don't like converting files much, i find it generally results in messy code (results are very variable though). but it can be a useful starting place if you want to do your own formatting (i use sigil). on the other hand, i use calibre for all my library management and i like it a lot for that.

Quote:
Thanks for your help! You've supplied me with enough knowledge to now do some research and come to a resolution to this issue.
glad to help ! let us know how you manage.

Quote:
This worked very well, actually. I didn't think to try this. Landscape mode makes the reader about annoying to hold in bed, but it means I can read the book now, so not a complete waste.
that is an excellent suggestion indeed. i never read in landscape so i would never have thought of it, but it is certainly the easiest way to fix your problem.

Quote:
Thank you both for your suggestions and tips. I shall go away and do some research and return with my findings and share the results (good or bad).

Regards,

Mike.
i'll be interested to hear how things go. good luck !
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