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I love the device and use it all the time. 50 98.04%
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:24 AM   #1
benn600
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Some general questions--ONE DAY AWAY!

It looks like I may only be about 1 day away from getting my Sony Reader! I'm looking forward to it! But, as impatient as I can get--and it has been a week--I want to prepare as much as possible so I am ready to jump right into the goodness.

The best part is that I will be getting it basically the DAY AFTER my last day of school. Couldn't be any better because if it was on the last day, I would actually have it before school (evening classes)--not a good idea. And it's finals now.

1. What do you think of http://www.feedbooks.com ? It seems strange because the pdfs are thousands of pages, have huge text, and there is no margin!
a. Do most books for the Sony Reader average 2-5 times as many pages as the regular paperback version? So if the average 300 page book runs around 1000, then you can read maybe 5 books before recharging? I sincerely doubt I'll go more than a book between charges.

b. In a PDF, text can't really be resized can it? If it did, then it would have to process the entire PDF! Lots of work!

c. Why no margin? Why what appears to be no links to certain page sections?

2. What is the "BEST" way for storing eBooks for the Sony Reader? Does .txt seem to be the most efficient, accessible, and simplest way? It seems like the Sony format is only available from Sony Connect--which I will be buying from I think--but PDFs are common...but text files are very easy to create, too.

3. How do graphics in books work? Are they only available in PDFs or the Sony format? Probably not in a text file...?

4. Any ideas how long the battery lasts with audio playback? Anyone try audiobooks? Is there a good source for free audiobooks? I wish it worked with Audible. I am perfectly willing to pay a reasonable amount for good content but half the time, it has DRM so I can't even use it! I remember a site that had free audiobooks and it's in my bookmarks.

5. Any one or two good things to know? I am a big time techie and the first thing I usually do is explore every menu item.

6. How does the initial battery charge go? I hope it won't take forever!
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benn600
1. What do you think of http://www.feedbooks.com ? It seems strange because the pdfs are thousands of pages, have huge text, and there is no margin!
a. Do most books for the Sony Reader average 2-5 times as many pages as the regular paperback version? So if the average 300 page book runs around 1000, then you can read maybe 5 books before recharging? I sincerely doubt I'll go more than a book between charges.
PDF is a HORRIBLE format for eBooks - avoid like the plague! Stick with LRF/RTF. The number of pages obviously depends on the size of the text. Take a look at the books I've produced (in the "Book Uploads" forum section) for examples of what I'd consider to be sensible text sizes.

Quote:
b. In a PDF, text can't really be resized can it? If it did, then it would have to process the entire PDF! Lots of work!
Correct. I repeat - PDF is a dreadful format for eBooks.

Quote:
c. Why no margin? Why what appears to be no links to certain page sections?
You don't really need a margin, because the Reader itself has a small margin around the edge of the screen. I generally add a SMALL additional margin- 10 pixels or so.


Quote:
2. What is the "BEST" way for storing eBooks for the Sony Reader? Does .txt seem to be the most efficient, accessible, and simplest way? It seems like the Sony format is only available from Sony Connect--which I will be buying from I think--but PDFs are common...but text files are very easy to create, too.
Text files are definitely not the best format - the Reader displays them (IMHO) with too small a font, and very often they have hard line breaks in awkward places. Plus, of course, there's no formatting in text files.

A good format for "read once and throw it away" stuff is RTF. The best format is the native Sony format of LRF, which there are a number of excellent tools for producing - see the tutorial threads in the "Book Uploads" sub-forum.

Quote:
3. How do graphics in books work? Are they only available in PDFs or the Sony format? Probably not in a text file...?
LRF and PDF support pictures. TXT and RTF don't. (Obviously RTF files SUPPORT pictures, but the Reader doesn't show them.)

Quote:
4. Any ideas how long the battery lasts with audio playback? Anyone try audiobooks? Is there a good source for free audiobooks? I wish it worked with Audible. I am perfectly willing to pay a reasonable amount for good content but half the time, it has DRM so I can't even use it! I remember a site that had free audiobooks and it's in my bookmarks.
Don't use the Reader for audio. Its audio features are primitive, and dangerous - it's all to easy to drain the battery flat. Use the Reader for what it's best at - reading - and a decent MP3 player for audio.
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:22 AM   #3
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I'd pick a (very) slight nit with your position, Harry, to the extent that PDF files that are formatted for the Reader work well enough, they're just less flexible than the LRF/RTF approach is all. If you can get the font size where you want it in the first place, not being able to change it later isn't all that huge a burden -- all that's my personal opinion of course, so salt to taste.

Either way, Hadrien's putting forth a yeoman's effort with FeedBooks, and I'm sure it's a perfectly suitable solution for some folks, and if others find they prefer something else, well then I'm glad that both options exist.


I think we had some reports of ~10 hours of battery life with MP3 use, but I'm digging way back in the old memory file for it.
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:47 AM   #4
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I agree, PDF's when well done can look nice. For me, I prefer the flexibility and speed of LRF. However, Feedbook certainly makes PDF look good for those that like the format.

I think that the comment about MP3's had less to do with their real impact on battery life than with the clumsy way in which they are played by the reader. It is easy to leave an mp3 playing without realizing it. This leads to a dead reader. Play MP3's at your own peril.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:26 AM   #5
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Sorry - I was in no way at all denigrating Hadrien's stirling work at "Feedbooks" - apologies if that's the way my message came across. Re-reading it I see that it could indeed be interpreted like that, which I certainly didn't intend.

The reason I dislike even "correctly sized" PDFs personally is that you're stuck with the font size that the creator of the PDF thinks is the right one to use. When I use the Reader with the LRF files I create myself, I read most of the time using the "small" font size, but when it's late at night and I'm tired, or I'm reading somewhere with poor light, I switch to "medium" because it's a lot easier on the eyes. I can't do that with PDF!
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
When I use the Reader with the LRF files I create myself, I read most of the time using the "small" font size, but when it's late at night and I'm tired, or I'm reading somewhere with poor light, I switch to "medium" because it's a lot easier on the eyes. I can't do that with PDF!
... or with a paper book! ;-)

Score one for the e-book.
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:01 PM   #7
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Following on on question 1c, the only links available in a PDF or LRF file are the ones the person that created the PDF or LRF put there at the time of creation. Most of us that create LRF files for the upload section will identify the chapter titles and then these are available in the Table of Contents. On Omnibus collections like Harry creates you can select both the book within the collection and the chapter.
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Old 05-15-2007, 01:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
Sorry - I was in no way at all denigrating Hadrien's stirling work at "Feedbooks" - apologies if that's the way my message came across.
I knew that wasn't how you meant it, HarryT, I just wanted to point out that the FeedBooks approach is about the best PDF implementation I'm aware of for the Reader, that's all.
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:11 PM   #9
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I miss the "I love the device and use it sometimes." :P

Anyway, I love it and money well spend.
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NatCh
I just wanted to point out that the FeedBooks approach is about the best PDF implementation I'm aware of for the Reader, that's all.
Yes, I agree with you 100%. I just feel, I guess, that PDF has "issues" that not even the best of implementations can overcome. That's a reflection of the format, not of Feedbooks, of course.
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:52 PM   #11
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Oh, I agree, PDF just isn't suited to e-books.
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Old 05-15-2007, 03:11 PM   #12
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Abobe designed PDF to be a portable format for printing so you did not need to give out the original file or have the original application installed. Now Adobe has tried to use the PDF format for other things that it was never meant for and it doesn't really work well. Adobe needs to come up with a better format then PDF for things like ebooks. It's just rather poor.
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Old 05-15-2007, 04:04 PM   #13
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I think they have Digital Editions in mind for that.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:28 PM   #14
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Yeah! Digital editions is nice. I still use it. I wonder what device will make it theirs? Because Adobe wrote it for portable devices.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:37 PM   #15
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I should hope that any of them that currently handle PDFs would be crawling all over Adobe to switch over to Digital Editions. It handles regular PDF files anyway, doesn't it? If so, they wouldn't lose anything by going that direction.
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