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Old 10-05-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
zmix
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Exclamation SONY PRS350 Reader Firmware Issues

I bought the SONY PRS350 reader yesterday and here is a list of issues I have encountered so far...

Any idea how I can get these to someone at Sony?

SONY PRS350 Reader Firmware Issues
Firmware Version 1.0.00.08100

by Chuck Zwicky


Page Mode settings not retained:

Set the "PAGE MODE" to "Margin Cut" while viewing a PDF document or an Adobe ePub book.
Press the "home" button to return to the home screen.
Select the document again by pressing the image in the upper right corner of the home screen. Note that the page mode is NOT retained.

"View" options not held.

When viewing a PDF and selecting the "Saturated" view option and then closing the "View Options" selection menu, the PDF will revert to "Original"

"Zoom" options not held.

If I select the "Fit the page height to the screen Height" icon at the top of the zoom screen, and further select the "Lock" option, the "Locked" graphic will be displayed at the top of the screen, covering the text on the display (thus defeating the zoom function's utility). This graphic is unnecessary and intrusive. The Zoom options should be saved per document.

Organizational issues:

The generic heading of "Books" is used for all readable content. If you have a collection of PDF papers, manuals, eBooks, etc.. the list becomes too long to navigate. The "Collections" menu has far too many overlapping categories, for example I may have transferred a document to my reader and then added the paper to a collection, it will appear in several collections (Unread Books, for example) as well as in the generic and lengthy "Books" list.

"New Collection" should be a MENU item, rather than taking up an entire line of valuable screen space.

When creating a new collection and then selecting it, the screen text should read "Press the OPTIONS key", as all the required information is there, asking the user to "RTFM" is going to frustrate them needlessly.

The home page should have view options, such as "view by collections"..
If there are to be "automatic" categories, then there should be one that appears on the top of the list titled "Currently Reading". It should contain a user selectable number of items (3, 5, 10, or 20)

PDFs are viewed by the embedded file name, and in the case of many free eBooks, this is the website name. (i.e. "Talebooks.com") There should be an option to view PDFs by their file name.

It is possible to have multiple copies of a document in the PRS 350 reader. This is very confusing. I am not certain if this is the fault of the PRS350 or of the "Reader Library" software (version 3.3.00.07130) installed on my computer. I found 4 copies of this very text on my reader after I made additions and resent it to the PRS350 via the "Reader Library" software.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:57 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

If I'm understanding your complaints, I have 2 comments in response:

Re: the Cut/Zoom feature not being "persistent," that's carrying forward how the Zoom feature works on previous models. So it's not so much a fault as an intentional design choice. As they say: "It's not a bug, it's a feature!"

About the "multiple copies of each document" I'm not sure I'm following. If I put a book on the Reader and copy it into multiple collections, the book file itself is only on the reader once. I could be confused about what your complaint is, though.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
Page Mode settings not retained:
The PRS-350 user guide does not say anything about retaining, so as a spec it does not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
"View" options not held.

When viewing a PDF and selecting the "Saturated" view option and then closing the "View Options" selection menu, the PDF will revert to "Original"
Please try again. It keeps the latest setting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
"Zoom" options not held.
After locking the zoom level, press Home button to quit. Next time when you select the same book, the zoom-locked screen will be shown. This is maintained per book. (P.51 of User Guide)

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
Organizational issues:
PDFs are viewed by the embedded file name, and in the case of many free eBooks, this is the website name. (i.e. "Talebooks.com") There should be an option to view PDFs by their file name.
Press OPTIONS button, select 'Sort' and then 'by File Name'. You will see the file name right below the book title.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
It is possible to have multiple copies of a document in the PRS 350 reader. This is very confusing. I am not certain if this is the fault of the PRS350 or of the "Reader Library" software (version 3.3.00.07130) installed on my computer. I found 4 copies of this very text on my reader after I made additions and resent it to the PRS350 via the "Reader Library" software.
I think Sony did this on purpose. Otherwise, the same book copied later can overwrite all the bookmarks and annotations you have stored within a book.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:52 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.. I have extensive experience in product development and beta testing, so I tried to make sure that each of these issues was verified and is repeatable.
One issue was solved by a hard reset (see below). The others are frustrating due to inconsistencies in the operating system and questionable choices made by Sony.

1: All view and font related settings are retained per book, the "Page Mode" should be retained. Spec or not, it's inconsistent programming.

2: PDF contrast, I had tested multiple times, and was verified by third parties. Fine after hard reset. See item 3, below.

3: The Zoom setting was not being retained as claimed in the manual, yesterday I had the Reader crash while loading a PDF manual, and I needed to press the reset button.
Now the setting is indeed retained, but the persistent "UNLOCK" graphic is obnoxious. Bad programming.

4: Pressing "sort" then "by File Name" does NOT display the name of the file, but only the embedded name of the PDF. For example, an article saved as a PDF from my browser, named with the title of the article when saved, will appear "Untitled" in Reader. The same files display properly when loaded on the Kindle 3.
All books downloaded from "Talebooks.com" will display this way no matter what you have named the file.

Bad programming.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
1: All view and font related settings are retained per book, the "Page Mode" should be retained. Spec or not, it's inconsistent programming.
It would have been nicer if there was an optional setting to retain or not. Personally, it does not bother me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
3: The Zoom setting was not being retained as claimed in the manual, yesterday I had the Reader crash while loading a PDF manual, and I needed to press the reset button.
Now the setting is indeed retained, but the persistent "UNLOCK" graphic is obnoxious. Bad programming.
Yup, they could have made it smaller. But, Sony may have wanted to keep it more visible and obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
4: Pressing "sort" then "by File Name" does NOT display the name of the file, but only the embedded name of the PDF. For example, an article saved as a PDF from my browser, named with the title of the article when saved, will appear "Untitled" in Reader. The same files display properly when loaded on the Kindle 3.
All books downloaded from "Talebooks.com" will display this way no matter what you have named the file.
Bad programming.
Please check again. The second line under the thumbnail is actually a file name. Using your example, the first line will show 'Untitled' while the second line will show the title of the article as you saved.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yts06mgr View Post
Please check again. The second line under the thumbnail is actually a file name. Using your example, the first line will show 'Untitled' while the second line will show the title of the article as you saved.
Trust me, I have.

This is either a bug or a very questionable programming decision.

Allow me to demonstrate with the following example:

There are three "VIEW" options: "List", "Title Only" and "Thumb Nail".

There are five "SORT" options: "Date", "Title", "Author", "File Name", and "Latest Read"

On my Reader I have the book "The Grapes of Wrath" downloaded from Talebooks.com

I saved the file using the name "GRAPES OF WRATH, THE by John Steinbeck.pdf"

On the Sony Reader, it shows up as "Talebooks.com"

If I set the view option to "List" it will appear as "Talebooks.com" with the subscript "Talebooks.com".

If I set the SORT option to "File Name" it will appear as "Talebooks.com" with the subscript "GRAPES OF WRATH, J..". but only if I set the VIEW option to "List" or "Thumbnail"

If I want to SORT my list by any other method, (such as "Latest Read") it will appear as "Talebooks.com" with the subscript "Talebooks.com". Bad.

As I mentioned earlier, any PDF I create will have this issue, and the PDFs I save from my browser will show up in the Reader as "Untitled" by author "zmix"
unless I edit the author, publisher and title info in the PDF document itself before sending it to the Reader.

In conclusion: "File Name" is only considered a SORT option by Sony, and it is only visible when selected as a SORT option. Very very weird.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
Trust me, I have.

This is either a bug or a very questionable programming decision.

Allow me to demonstrate with the following example:

There are three "VIEW" options: "List", "Title Only" and "Thumb Nail".

There are five "SORT" options: "Date", "Title", "Author", "File Name", and "Latest Read"

On my Reader I have the book "The Grapes of Wrath" downloaded from Talebooks.com

I saved the file using the name "GRAPES OF WRATH, THE by John Steinbeck.pdf"

On the Sony Reader, it shows up as "Talebooks.com"

If I set the view option to "List" it will appear as "Talebooks.com" with the subscript "Talebooks.com".

If I set the SORT option to "File Name" it will appear as "Talebooks.com" with the subscript "GRAPES OF WRATH, J..". but only if I set the VIEW option to "List" or "Thumbnail"

If I want to SORT my list by any other method, (such as "Latest Read") it will appear as "Talebooks.com" with the subscript "Talebooks.com". Bad.

As I mentioned earlier, any PDF I create will have this issue, and the PDFs I save from my browser will show up in the Reader as "Untitled" by author "zmix"
unless I edit the author, publisher and title info in the PDF document itself before sending it to the Reader.

In conclusion: "File Name" is only considered a SORT option by Sony, and it is only visible when selected as a SORT option. Very very weird.
Sounds like Talebooks.com is using its own name for the metadata of the PDF file. You can verify this by opening the PDF file using Acrobat Reader and clicking down File=>Properties. If the PDF is secured, the fact that you typed an external name of "GRAPES OF WRATH, THE by John Steinbeck.pdf" will not override the File metadata in the PDF. Not a problem with the Sony, but with the file provided by Talebooks.com.

BTW, isn't Grapes of Wrath still under copyright here in the US? It was written and copyrighted in 1939 and Steinbeck didn't die until 1968. It is doubtful that Talebooks.com is the copyright holder.

Last edited by frquixote; 10-06-2010 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:05 PM   #8
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The Sony is designed to use the embedded metadata in file for extracting author, title etc... the metadata is a universal standard for such things like exif in photographs... if the data is incorrect then that is hardly Sony's fault and you can edit it yourself in various ways (calibre by choice) as long as the file isn't DRM protected (if it is then complain to the supplier/publisher)...


Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
As I mentioned earlier, any PDF I create will have this issue, and the PDFs I save from my browser will show up in the Reader as "Untitled" by author "zmix"
unless I edit the author, publisher and title info in the PDF document itself before sending it to the Reader.

In conclusion: "File Name" is only considered a SORT option by Sony, and it is only visible when selected as a SORT option. Very very weird.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:04 PM   #9
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A much better solution to some of your problems is to use a format other than pdf. pdf sucks on ereaders. You can convert your pdf's easily to ePub or even find other sources - ie instead of talebooks, you can get the grapes of wrath at many different sites in a non-pdf format. Of course, it is annoying for all previously purchased ebooks in pdf, but in the future, you might enjoy buying a different format.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:50 PM   #10
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I think I have a clear understanding of the issues here, but I was hoping that someone could help out with some contact info for Sony.

As far as not using PDFs, well, that's hardly a useful workaround.. most of the eBooks available from the public library which can be read by the Sony Reader are in the Adobe PDF format, besides which, every OS on the planet can display the file name of a PDF, even the Kindle.. I'm not sure Sony has their software quite ready for primetime just yet...

Last edited by zmix; 10-07-2010 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:04 PM   #11
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ORIENTATION:

Adjusting the screen orientation is a fairly common practice, yet this menu option sits at the bottom of the ten choices given in the "OPTIONS" list, even below much less important options like "Word Logs:Books", "Delete Book" and "Info".

When the orientation is horizontal and you want to make the it vertical, you will need to scroll down the list because only the top seven of the ten choices are visible.

Bad interface design, Sony.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
ORIENTATION:

Adjusting the screen orientation is a fairly common practice, yet this menu option sits at the bottom of the ten choices given in the "OPTIONS" list, even below much less important options like "Word Logs:Books", "Delete Book" and "Info".

When the orientation is horizontal and you want to make the it vertical, you will need to scroll down the list because only the top seven of the ten choices are visible.

Bad interface design, Sony.


I believe if you press and hold the + button (the font size button), the orientation will change.

Last edited by doreenjoy; 10-07-2010 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:03 AM   #13
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I believe if you press and hold the + button (the font size button), the orientation will change.
I wish it were so.. but sadly, no.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:56 AM   #14
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^^ I never noticed that they changed that feature. Must have been between the 505 and the 600, and I never noticed because I actually DON'T switch from portrait to landscape and back all that often.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:26 AM   #15
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I believe if you press and hold the + button (the font size button), the orientation will change.
This is a feature in the Russified firmware. Although it is called Russified, it is actually suitable for English speakers (it replaces the Dutch language support with Russian).
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