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Old 01-02-2011, 04:12 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
Based on what ACTUAL facts do you assume the 650 is popular and that is why it is not available until hell freezes over.
None. And I didn't say so!

I just meant I'd think twice if I buy something else or wait until I can get what everybody else obviously thinks is good. Otherwise it wouldn't be sold out.

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Old 01-03-2011, 05:05 PM   #32
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I heard through the grapevine that Sony Style stores should have more in stock in about 2 weeks.

Time will tell.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:26 PM   #33
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I went to staples on thursday to get cover for sony reader PRS650. The staples sales rep told me that sony is recalling their eReaders. Because of that they dont have any product or accessories related to sony eReader now which they were suppose to get.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:09 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by sachinwalia View Post
I went to staples on thursday to get cover for sony reader PRS650. The staples sales rep told me that sony is recalling their eReaders. Because of that they dont have any product or accessories related to sony eReader now which they were suppose to get.
I think this one can be filed in the "don't believe everything a sales clerk tells you" file.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:33 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by sachinwalia View Post
I went to staples on thursday to get cover for sony reader PRS650. The staples sales rep told me that sony is recalling their eReaders. Because of that they dont have any product or accessories related to sony eReader now which they were suppose to get.
A manager at the local Staples told me this same story (lie) months ago, when the PRS-650 first came out. I think the real story is that Staples is only going to sell Kindles and wants to badmouth all the others.

Joe
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:10 AM   #36
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A manager at the local Staples told me this same story (lie) months ago, when the PRS-650 first came out. I think the real story is that Staples is only going to sell Kindles and wants to badmouth all the others.

Joe
The clerks at my Staples kept telling me "No, but we have the Kindle" whenever I asked if they'd be getting the new Sony models last year.

Then again, they weren't very helpful when they actually were selling the 300/600 generation of Sony's either.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:37 PM   #37
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Just talked to the Sony Style store near me and they anticipate having the 650 back in stock at the end of January.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:12 AM   #38
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I had reserved my PRS-650 from the Japan sonystyle, and I just got a mail that they will be shipping later this week! So maybe they will be back in the stores later this month.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:45 AM   #39
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It don't think it was just that the readers themselves were understocked, because even some of the 3rd party accessory items eventually started selling out.

In other words -

"Yes, Virginia, the PRS-650 IS that good"

I have family members with both the Sony PRS-650 and Kindle 3, and after evaluating both side by side, for me the choice wasn't even close, the PRS-650 wins hands down.

When you think of the Sony PRS-650 vs Kindle 3, think early Macintosh vs MS-DOS

Like the early Mac, the PRS-650 has a small razor sharp monochrome screen with an extremely simple and user friendly GUI interface (Actually, in fairness, the Sony is a bit MORE sophisticated than early Macs, because it sports a state of the art touch screen interface.)

The Kindle 3 on the other hand, has a user interface that is like one of the sadder examples of the MS-DOS era. Skimpy graphics, badly arranged menus; cursor keys and underlines jumping around all over the place to make selections . . .

And from what I could see, the 'extra goodies' that Kindle offers to spice up the deal, like "text-to-speech" don't work well enough to bother with.

The text-to-speech plods along in a poor quality robo-voice monotone and mispronounces a word on about every third page. To make matters worse, it can be completely disabled by greedy publishers so it won't work at all for some Kindle titles.

The Kindle 3's so called built in MP3 audio player feature is the worst piece of garbage that I have ever seen, bar none.

Believe it or not you can't even select tracks for MP3 music files! There is a much ballyhooed "Hack" that gets around this by placing your MP3 music files in the "Audible" folder so they will show up in your book list, but it's still garbage, because then the Kindle just lets you play them ONE and ONLY ONE track at at time! (forget 'normal', 'shuffle', etc. in this mode, it won't even advance to the next track at all!)

Kindle 3 will also not work well for generic MP3 audio books divided into short chapter-by-chapter MP3 files, because you will have to load every short segment manually from your main 'home' booklist. Obviously, to get around this, you might want to use only audio books formated as a full-cd-per-track or even longer full-book-as-one-file. Unfortunately, the stupid Kindle 3's MP3 audio book player still has a major gotcha waiting, because then it takes FOREVER to try to find your place in a long MP3 track. This is because the skip forward/back track positioning feature on the Kindle 3 only skips forward or back by 30 seconds, and to do this you have to navigate through several key presses EACH TIME you want to skip forward or back (so to get to the middle of a 78 minute cd-length MP3 track will require literally hundreds of keystrokes).

The audio book playback controls also include some arrows that are supposed to skip to the next 'section' of your audio book, but it looks like they only work with official 'Audible' content that contains some kind of special TOC info. So if you are trying to play a generic unprotected MP3 audio book, forget about it, these arrows don't do anything (Logically, in the case of unprotected MP3's formatted without Audibles special TOC or Chapter tags, these arrows should just let you skip to the next track like every other MP3 player on the planet, but apparently Amazon was too stupid to figure this out)

Also if you use the 'hack' to get around the lack of track selection for Music MP3 by also placing them in the 'Audible' folder on the Kindle 3, FORGET ABOUT "LISTEN AS YOU READ" (because you can't read and play files from the "Audible" folder at the same time.)

No wonder Amazon calls almost everything on Kindle except very basic book reading "Experimental".

Sorry Amazon, I want a nice flexible open product with a high quality polished GUI interface, not some Amazon geek's locked down half finished science project.

By way of comparison, the Sony PRS-650's built in MP3 player properly organizes your MP3s using album title and track tags for both Musical Albums and Audio Books (including support for embedded cover art!). And of course on the PRS-650, you can pull up the album/track selection option while reading, play audio, select tracks, and read without loosing your place. You can even load an audio book MP3 and the same titles EPUB and read and listen at the same time if you want.

Of course since MobileRead is an Ebook forum, not a dedicated audio-book forum, some of these MP3 limitations may not be major issues for users here, but the point I am making is that this simi-flaky unpolished work-in-progress flavor pervades nearly EVERYTHING about the Kindle 3, including some of it's book reader features.

For example, Amazon didn't see fit to include numbers on the keyboard (not even as shifted characters), so you have to use the stupid arrow keys to navigate this cumbersome 'virtual' on-screen keyboard for numbers. This makes entering one of those long 128 bit WEP Hex keys about as much fun as getting a root canal without anesthetic.

And since nearly EVERYTHING revolves around that all-important "5 way" control on the right side of the Kindle 3's keyboard, would someone please explain to me why Amazon chose to make it SO FRIGGIN SMALL??? Larger buttons would have fit, and been MUCH easier to use - so as they say "waz up wih dat?"

The one shining exception to the flaky-feature rule is of course the "Kindle Store". Naturally, the "Kindle Store" feature of the Kindle 3 works just fine, because Amazon wanted to make really, really, sure that NOTHING would get in the way of your spending as much money as possible on Amazon.

Frankly, "The Kindle Store" isn't a big plus for me. I used to like Amazon, and still shop there for other products (indeed I bought my PRS-650 from one of their vendors), but I won't buy ebooks from them - EVER. Not unless Amazon stops playing monopolistic restraint-of-trade games and starts selling EPUB (so non-kindle owners can buy Amazon Ebooks) and opens the Kindle to Epub and Adobe ADE (so Kindle owners can use non-Amazon Ebooks).

Would you buy a DVD or BluRay player from Best Buy if it could ONLY play DVDs or BluRay disks that you purchased in THEIR STORE. Of course not!

I do think the Sony reader is just a bit overpriced, but in fairness, knowing a little about the infrared touch screen technology Sony is using, I suspect that it doesn't come cheap (and from my perspective, it was worth EVERY PENNY)

On the plus side, to help offset the cost, at least Sony does fully support Adobe ADE so I can check out DRM protected EPUB titles from my local library using Overdrive and read them for free.

At last count, I have checked out more than 30 titles from my local library using Overdrive/ADE, and that's about 300 bucks I won't be giving Amazon, which makes me feel just a little better about the $199 that I paid for my PRS-650.

Closing Thoughts

In closing let me add that, although I didn't like the Kindle much, I can see that it would meet some peoples needs. If your main goal is to be able to seamlessly buy books on Amazon, open them, and read, then the Kindle will do a fine job.

For me though, having the more user friendly touch screen interface is really important, because I like to also use some of the publicly available book sites like feedbooks, which offers literally thousands of free public domain titles, and in sorting out the wheat from the chaff, it's important to me that my reader makes browsing through a large numbers of titles as pleasant as possible (even after thousands of titles are loaded on the reader.)

I currently have over 1250 titles on my PRS-650, and am happy to report that it's still going strong, and just as I had hoped, the touch screen interface is a joy to use, even with this large number of titles.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:09 PM   #40
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At last count, I have checked out more than 30 titles from my local library using Overdrive/ADE, and that's about 300 bucks I won't be giving Amazon, which makes me feel just a little better about the $199 that I paid for my PRS-650.
I've used that argument a few times when people point out that the Kindle is almost $100 cheaper than the 650. If a Kindle owner buys 10 books from Amazon versus a Sony owner getting 10 books from their public library, the price difference just got thrown out the window.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:20 PM   #41
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I just purchasefd a 650 from sonysyle yesterday and was promised deliver next week. No question about "out of stock" just they had the black and the red. No problem as I wanted the black.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:24 PM   #42
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Just checked it, they are not available in Germany.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:18 PM   #43
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I've used that argument a few times when people point out that the Kindle is almost $100 cheaper than the 650. If a Kindle owner buys 10 books from Amazon versus a Sony owner getting 10 books from their public library, the price difference just got thrown out the window.
For me the difference between the Kindle 3 ($139) and the PRS-650 ($199) was EXACTLY $60 (no tax or shipping on either).

Best 60 bucks I ever spent.

Of course some young geeks figure that because they can break ADE's DRM and then use Calibre to transfer to Kindle, that they can get the cheaper reader, and still benefit from Library Overdrive services.

This is silly, it's only 60 bucks, and for that money the Sony gives you an incredibly touch screen interface, and overall a MUCH better reader.

I guess some folks just can't resist a 'bargain', but as da man said "TANSTAAFL" (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch), because it's a bit of a PITA to have to strip and convert EVERY Overdrive book you want to read.

Plus, it's not always easy to get these Anti-DRM tools without risking the security of your PC, since, by definition you have to deal with some shady sites to get them. (If you are already stuck with a Kindle, the original I-heart-cabbages Python scripts are the safest because it's an open source plain text script, but be wary of "Read any Book on your Kindle!!!" exe, msi, or other installer based hacks.)

I would think that someone geeky enough to crack the Adobe EPUB DRM, and convert to MOBI, would be just the kind of person that would appreciate the Sony's more elegant touch screen interface. Such folks are unlikely to want to avail themselves of the 'Kindle Store' when they can download and convert books for free, and they know that as a web browsing or email tool, the Kindle is not as convenient as the smart-phones they already own, so I am not sure what the appeal of the Kindle is.

I guess it's just the irresistible urge to become just one more mooing member of the massive Kindle herd. All hail the cult of Kindle

Last edited by delphin; 01-14-2011 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:15 AM   #44
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I have both Kindle3 and Sony PRS 650. Kindle DOES have some advantages, mainly their Kindle store and nicer fonts right out of the box. And also WiFi. Having said that, I also use the Sony most, and now have all Kindle books converted to ePub, and reading them on the 650.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:33 PM   #45
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I have both Kindle3 and Sony PRS 650. Kindle DOES have some advantages, mainly their Kindle store and nicer fonts right out of the box. And also WiFi. Having said that, I also use the Sony most, and now have all Kindle books converted to ePub, and reading them on the 650.
I agree, I liked the Kindle font options a little better, but have also gotten quite comfortable with the Sony.

Ultimately, the EPUB format does give you even MORE formating control options though, if you want to use them, so I think the Sony still wins.

With EPUB for example, some publishers are starting to embed custom fonts and really do a professional job of 'type setting' their E-Books.

With heavyweights like B&N, Borders, and the Google Book Store (with 3 MILLION TITLES!) jumping on the EPUB bandwagon, Amazons AZW/Mobi format is posed to go the way of the Dodo bird and Betamax tape.

It's obvious that Sony learned their lesson about bucking a universal widely adopted industry standard with the VHS vs. Betamax tape wars and has decided to be on the winning side of this one.
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