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Old 11-03-2010, 05:56 AM   #1
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Should I return my new Sony 650?

I picked up a new Sony 650 along with a lighted cover yesterday. I'm very pleased with the feel of the machine and the quality of the screen. There are also some nice features I stumbled over such as a 'search' function, the screen savers and the ease of creating new 'collections' that make the unit a real pleasure to use and navigate.

I used Calibre to load about 100 ebooks into internal memory in a mix of formats - ePub, PDF and txt (leaving over 1GB free in internal memory). Transferring files via Calibre was very fast and easy.

Some PDF files displayed really well, some required a bit of zooming and playing around to read the text, some displayed blank pages only (that's kind of weird), while some refused to even open (can they be deleted somehow without connecting with the computer via USB?). The ePubs and text files all worked very well.

What bothers me is the frequency of freezes - I think I had to reset the 650 at least 50 times yesterday. I would tap and hold the title of an ebook, the icon would then reverse tones to indicate the ebook had been selected, and then the 650 would just hang. I would then briefly push the reset button and hold the on/off switch for about 5 or 10 seconds until the unit reset. I had to do this for almost every book I wanted to open. The first time I tried to open a 'new' book the unit would freeze, I would do a reset, and the second time the ebook would generally open. Really a pain. I'm guessing this is not common behavior? Is there a special way to open books - just a brief tap, or a tap and hold or something like that? The problem was mainly with PDFs, but I think a few ePubs caused the unit to freeze as well.

Tonight I will try to see that the unit gets a full charge, and keep my fingers crossed that it won't freeze up so frequently.

Any recommendations? Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:22 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emai7s2 View Post
I picked up a new Sony 650 along with a lighted cover yesterday. I'm very pleased with the feel of the machine and the quality of the screen. There are also some nice features I stumbled over such as a 'search' function, the screen savers and the ease of creating new 'collections' that make the unit a real pleasure to use and navigate.

I used Calibre to load about 100 ebooks into internal memory in a mix of formats - ePub, PDF and txt (leaving over 1GB free in internal memory). Transferring files via Calibre was very fast and easy.

Some PDF files displayed really well, some required a bit of zooming and playing around to read the text, some displayed blank pages only (that's kind of weird), while some refused to even open (can they be deleted somehow without connecting with the computer via USB?). The ePubs and text files all worked very well.

What bothers me is the frequency of freezes - I think I had to reset the 650 at least 50 times yesterday. I would tap and hold the title of an ebook, the icon would then reverse tones to indicate the ebook had been selected, and then the 650 would just hang. I would then briefly push the reset button and hold the on/off switch for about 5 or 10 seconds until the unit reset. I had to do this for almost every book I wanted to open. The first time I tried to open a 'new' book the unit would freeze, I would do a reset, and the second time the ebook would generally open. Really a pain. I'm guessing this is not common behavior? Is there a special way to open books - just a brief tap, or a tap and hold or something like that? The problem was mainly with PDFs, but I think a few ePubs caused the unit to freeze as well.

Tonight I will try to see that the unit gets a full charge, and keep my fingers crossed that it won't freeze up so frequently.

Any recommendations? Thanks!
Operator error...

There is no need to tap and hold the title of a book you want to open.

Just tap it once and wait for the book to open once the reader shows the book is selected and being opened.


My PRS 650 experience so far:
I have had my 650 since mid September (21st), spend anything up to 5 hours reading it a day, and it hasn't 'froze/locked up' once. (haven't had to reset it at all, and have only charged it twice, Including the first charge via USB from my computer.

The second charge was via a plug pack and the battery was still 75% full, but was being drained because I was seeing what the difference was between leaving it in sleep mode compared to powering it off between sessions.

After 4 days leaving it in sleep mode instaed of powering it off the battery had dropped to 75% full. Since then powering it off between sessions it hasn't moved off full at all, so I power it off completely between reading sessions, and dont bother with sleep mode at all.

All my books are loaded on a 4GB SD card via Calibre, I dont see the point using the main memory for storage.

The only downside I have found so far is being interupted when reading, by people wanting to know what it is, how it works, and how many books I have on it.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:23 AM   #3
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That's very odd. Most people report very few freezes with the 650.

What's the source for the books that aren't displaying? I used to have a lot of spontaneous reboots on my old 505 when I was using DRM'd books.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:39 AM   #4
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What's the source for the books that aren't displaying?
The PDFs that appeared as blank text in the 650 were all scanned PDFs of old books.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:06 AM   #5
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I found that large PDF files will slow the device down badly. These are mostly PDF's that aren't OCR'd but plain images. Maybe some more patience before pushing buttons because it won't respond?
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:35 AM   #6
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I found that large PDF files will slow the device down badly. These are mostly PDF's that aren't OCR'd but plain images. Maybe some more patience before pushing buttons because it won't respond?
What would be a reasonable time to wait? A minute? 10 minutes? At one point I went and made myself a coffee and came back before I actually reset the machine.

I had one PDF file that was huge - 120MB, and the 650 opened it effortlessly.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:26 PM   #7
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I have a feeling it's one or multiple files that are loaded onto it that is causing the problem. A corrupted file perhaps or a file in a format that is making it difficult for the unit to work with. I would exchange it if it isn't a file that is causing the problem. Could be a bad unit.

I would start with epub files or txt files first and load up maybe 10 and see if the problem still occurs. Then gradually load more until maybe you can locate the source of the problem.

Or could try formatting the unit. Think there is a format option.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:15 PM   #8
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You could upload one of the scanned PDFs here (assuming they aren't copyrighted material) and see if anyone else has trouble with them.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:18 PM   #9
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I agree that it's most likely a file problem. I would delete what's currently on it and then transfer some of the very well formatted and DRM free ePubs available here.

I've seen this happen with other types of readers where something in the book file or format confused the reader. Astak claims that the pEZ reads multitudes of formats, but I found that it really worked best with ePubs and FB2s. Other formats that it was supposed to handle, like LIT, never opened well.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:10 PM   #10
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Yes, I'm guessing its the files as well. I had Calibre download a Salon.com news feed, it was a huge file and I unplugged the usb, probably before it finished syncing.

The next time I booted up, I tried to open the news file and had the same horrible hang problem. I removed the bad file and problem solved. I would first try removing and re-adding the files and making sure they're fully synced. Second I would try just removing the files completely.

Sony's os can't handle bad files with the same finesse as Windows.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:42 AM   #11
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I have a LIT file I converted to EPUB that crashed my 505 and 600 every time it was on the device. So I'd suspect one of the files is the problem.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:28 AM   #12
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I suspect that the freezing was caused by a combination of operator error (tapping and holding the icons instead of using a single tap), a low battery and some poorly formated ebooks.

I haven't had any problems since I deleted some of the troublemakers, gave the 650 a complete charge and modified my impatient tapping behavior. (knock on wood).

I still have two scanned PDF's (both books on Judo by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais) that open but show only blank pages. I might try to convert them to a different format to see if that helps.

Thanks for all your comments.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:24 PM   #13
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I can only speak for the 600, but large and / or scanned (non-text) books can cause all types of slow-downs and even crashes. I recommend you get some decent OCR software and convert the images to text. Personally I use finereader. It's extremely good.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:37 PM   #14
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When I first got my 650, I had a lot of problems with freezing, too. I converted all my PDFs to ePubs and switched from an SD card to a Memory Stick. If a PDF doesn't convert well into ePub, I try it as an RTF. I haven't had any freezes since, not even on some of my larger files.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:14 PM   #15
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To return it? Dont be crazy! Imagine if Sony with its best possible support for Pdfs is freezing when large scanned and old Pdfs are loaded,how would other machines like Kindle or Nook behave?

I had mine freezed once when loaded big scanned Pdf that had errors,but since then i decided to OCR my Pdfs and that proved to be right decisions.
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