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Old 05-28-2011, 10:52 AM   #31
ProfCrash
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Do you want a touchscreen? If so get the Kobo

Otherwise, I think you will be happy with either e-reader. The more I read about them and see people posting the more I realize that they all do a good job. There are differences but only the individual can know how important collections are or the dictionary or any number of smaller fiddly things.

I love my Kindle. I don't see myself buying a different device because I love what mine does and I am comfortable with it. I can convert books easily enough but all of my books are from Amazon. Until I see a new device that does something that I think is really cool that my Kindle does not do and Amazon does not add, I will be using a Kindle.

I think there are a few Sony, Nook, and Kobo people who feel the same way.

My best advice to you is to make a list of features that you think are important to you and buy the device that has most of those features.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:49 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Have they fixed the problems which plagued the old Kobo? Can you, for example, now follow hyperlinks in a book?
Hi Harry, that's a good question. I haven't been able to give the new ones a go yet. But since I rarely use the hyperlinks, this probably wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me.

I use my ereader to read novels. But this would be something to consider if you were looking to use your ereader for technical books.
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:31 AM   #33
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How? If you don't live at USA, which address are you going to put there? Moreover, on a new device, how are you going to fix any hardware issue if B&N does not provide support out of USA? Just the shipping back to USA will exceed the cost of your initial purchase. Honestly, I think that you should not give that advice to someone who is learning about readers. B&N does not provide support outside of USA, period.
As I've already stated, put in any USA address when registering the device. People move, in and out of a country, and B&N isn't going to verify your address or that you've moved to a new address. I gave two suggestions for an address to use. Hardware issues should be rare for eReaders. But you could contact B&N and tell them you're visiting family outside the country and wish to have the replacement shipped to where you're located. But as you've mentioned, the person will most likely have to cover for the cost of shipping in that case.

As to whether I should give this advice to someone that's learning about eReaders. Why not? This person is looking to buy books from multiple eStores. This will require stripping of DRM and converting between file formats. This might seem like easy stuff to do but is beyond the realm of a novice user. And the fact that the person is using this website and forums they have a link to a wealth of support and information if they have problems.

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Sorry, lot of misinformation on your comment. A book in epub format, let's say from B&N looks exactly the same on azw. Minor differences can be appreciated on those books with images, tables and complex layouts, even file size, but a novel reads exactly the same.
No misinformation, that was exactly my point. ePub to mobi conversion isn't always 100% exact when it comes to formatting. And not all difference will be minor, depends on the type of book. Most people don't restrict their reading to novels only. Recipe, financial, and technology type books are more demanding when it comes to formatting. For older eBooks (when they were made available in a electronic format) are less of an issue since they were converted to use the digital formats available at the time. But going forward this divide will be more evident, more so when Amazon finally adds ePub support. The ePub format is an evolving open standard. They've released ePub 3 specs. which is a big leap forward in a digital publishing format.

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Amazon chose mobi long time before you and I started talking about epub. Nook or Sony were not even in the picture. Amazon was doing R&D with mobi already.

What has locked users is not a format but DRM, which is also implemented by B&N and Apple, among others. Conversion for DRM free books is a breeze via Calibre!
Amazon bought mobipocket but Sony had an eInk eReader way before Amazon, the EBR-1000EP. Sony added ePub format support to it's eReaders starting in 2008. So it's not like mobi was created by Amazon or was tailor made for the Kindle.

Both the DRM and the proprietary azw format is what locks users. Sure you can convert using Calibre after removing the DRM but the average person won't do these things. And depending on where one lives it might not be legal to remove the DRM.

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Old 05-29-2011, 10:24 AM   #34
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I'm confused by the simultaneous caution against stripping DRM, and recommendation to make fraudulent claims in a business agreement and violate import restrictions. If the rules lock you, the rules lock you. If you're willing to bend the rules, you're not locked.
Also, while many people are repeatedly TOLD they will be locked to Amazon, and therefore may worry before buying if they will be locked, I don't recall seeing word from ANY Kindle owner who actually felt they were locked in to Amazon in actual practice. In the poll thread on book selection, it seems of the few people who have said their reader has limited their choices, many are epub-based reader owners who were trying to get content they only found on Amazon, not the other way around.

I'm starting to be convinced that, like 1 or 2 month battery life claims, the idea of being "locked" in any sense is a non-issue.

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Old 05-29-2011, 03:17 PM   #35
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It is a non-issue if you are tech savy or read boards like this one. Had I not come here I would not have had a clue that I could buy books from other stores and convert them.

I wold imagine that a large percentage of the e-reader population does not know about Apprentice Alf's website or Calibre and honestly believes that they are locked into Amazon or BN or Kobo.

I know the Nook can read EPub book from other stores and I am sure that their literature mentions that but I doubt that it is something that BN spends a ton of time walking people through in their manual or at their stores. They want people buying from BN not Kobo.

The people on this board do not compromise a representative sample of the population. Being here and reading these boards means that you have developed enough information to make an informed choice regarding DRM and conversion.

Kindle Boards posts a warning if two or more people mention that DRM can be removed in a topic even if no one types the words Apprentice Alf. I don't think I have ever seen a discussion of DRM stripping at Amazons boards.

This site is an anomaly so I would not trust the poll results here.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:28 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by ProfCrash View Post
It is a non-issue if you are tech savy or read boards like this one. Had I not come here I would not have had a clue that I could buy books from other stores and convert them.
No, it's a non-issue because it seems most normal Kindle users find everything they want Amazon and have no need or desire to go off the device to shop at any of the few other big DRM booksellers, just like it appears that most normal nook owners are happy to stay with B&N. That seems to be why single-store wifi shopping is still included in the least expensive new readers.
Normal users, if not for being TOLD they'd be lock in on sites like this, would probably have no awareness of any 'locking in' at all.

Put another way, it appears that most folks who get a Kindle are like folks who are given the keys to their new apartment. They have everything they need or want in the apartment. They come to a board like this and are told "if you go with Kindle you only get the key to your apartment. You don't get the key to the three storage lockers down the street."
And they find they don't care because there is nothing they care about in those lockers, and no need to have a key to them.

Judging from the posts here, it's more common that people who have keys to the three storage lockers come knocking on the apartment door (Amazon) looking for things none of the lockers have in them.

OK, so maybe it's an inelegant analogy, but I hope it's clear.

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Old 05-29-2011, 05:21 PM   #37
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I'm confused by the simultaneous caution against stripping DRM, and recommendation to make fraudulent claims in a business agreement and violate import restrictions. If the rules lock you, the rules lock you. If you're willing to bend the rules, you're not locked.
Also, while many people are repeatedly TOLD they will be locked to Amazon, and therefore may worry before buying if they will be locked, I don't recall seeing word from ANY Kindle owner who actually felt they were locked in to Amazon in actual practice.
Removing the DRM carries technical, ethical and possibly legal issues. First one needs to learn how to remove the DRM. While not hard to do it might be beyond those that are not that computer literate. In areas where it's legal to remove the DRM it becomes an ethical choice to do so or not. Where it's illegal to remove the DRM you have to decide if you're comfortable breaking the law.

Make no mistake, people aren't bending the rules when they remove the DRM, they're breaking the rules. So if a person is comfortable removing the DRM that's their choice. But those that are not comfortable doing this it's an issue and they're locked into Amazon, so to speak.

My main gripe with Amazon's Kindle is that they've purposely left out ePub file support. I understand why they've done it. But I personally consider it an unethical practice. More so now that they're on the 3rd gen of their product. All other major eReaders support the ePub format, along with public libraries. Sadly, the average consumer isn't aware of all this when they're in the market for a eReader.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:49 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
No, it's a non-issue because it seems most normal Kindle users find everything they want Amazon and have no need or desire to go off the device to shop at any of the few other big DRM booksellers, just like it appears that most normal nook owners are happy to stay with B&N. That seems to be why single-store wifi shopping is still included in the least expensive new readers.
Normal users, if not for being TOLD they'd be lock in on sites like this, would probably have no awareness of any 'locking in' at all.
The problem arises when one decides to buy a different brand eReader at some point in the future. How will they get all those books purchased at Amazon onto their new Kobo/Nook/Sony eReader? In other words, Kindle owners that buy books from Amazon's store are "locked" because of their proprietary eBook format (even though it's mainly mobi with some slight changes) and DRM.

Think of it like HD DVD vs Blu-Ray. Of course you can strip the DRM and convert between file types but as I've mentioned in my last posting there are issues with that approach.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:52 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by RoxyJ View Post
Hi Harry, that's a good question. I haven't been able to give the new ones a go yet. But since I rarely use the hyperlinks, this probably wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me.

I use my ereader to read novels. But this would be something to consider if you were looking to use your ereader for technical books.
Have they fixed the broken embedded fonts? Yet another bug that's been pointed out and Kobo knows of it and yet they did not fix it.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:53 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by LucidDreams View Post
Removing the DRM carries technical, ethical and possibly legal issues.
Lying about your country of residency and support eligibility has no ethical issues to you? It does to me.
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Make no mistake, people aren't bending the rules when they remove the DRM, they're breaking the rules.
Not always so.

Quote:
But those that are not comfortable doing this it's an issue and they're locked into Amazon, so to speak.
Disregarding the fact they are not locked in, even if you just mean they can't buy from the few other DRM general booksellers, my point is I have seen no evidence that any significant number of Kindle users feel hampered by only buying Amazon. Amazon seems to have everything they want along those lines and there is no reason for them to shop elsewhere.

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All other major eReaders support the ePub format, along with public libraries.
And yet,the greater number of complaints of restriction come from those users sorry they can't buy from Amazon.

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Sadly, the average consumer isn't aware of all this when they're in the market for a eReader.
Nothing sad about it for the vast majority, it seems, as it represents no loss or inconvenience of any kind, it seems. Hence the Kindle's continued success and popular satisfaction among it's users after 3 generations. This, again, is my point.

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The problem arises when one decides to buy a different brand eReader at some point in the future. How will they get all those books purchased at Amazon onto their new Kobo/Nook/Sony eReader? In other words, Kindle owners that buy books from Amazon's store are "locked" because of their proprietary eBook format (even though it's mainly mobi with some slight changes) and DRM.
The same problem would exist for users with an Adobe epub library who then buy a Kindle. But in practice it rarely seems to be a problem. Partially because of the reality of DRM stripping, but also because all those books are perfectly readable on computers, iphones, and other devices, so no one is ever really locked out on either side, and also because it rarely seems to ever come up as an actual problem I did see one mention recently of someone considering switching from a Kindle to a Kobo and wondering what to do about their Amazon books. One. So, again, my point is, it seems not to be big issue the vast majority in practice.

Quote:
Think of it like HD DVD vs Blu-Ray. Of course you can strip the DRM and convert between file types but as I've mentioned in my last posting there are issues with that approach.
I did mention I'm hoping Amazon chooses to support ePub, right? I agree universal standards would be nice.
But in the case of HD DVD (and Betamax before it) the two standards DID cause a fracture the market and cause inconvenience for consumers, so they pushed, and one format prevailed.
In the case of Amazon vs ADE ePub ebooks, most folks just aren't significant bothered, or negatively affected in anyway, so, my point again, it's just not proving to be a real issue.

ApK

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Old 05-30-2011, 12:48 AM   #41
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Lying about your country of residency and support eligibility has no ethical issues to you? It does to me.
That's up to the user to decide. Some are okay with it and others are not. Same goes with removing DRM. Just as some are okay with jailbreaking or rooting their ipad/Nook color. As was mentioned before, the community here is not "average" in anyway. You'll find a lot of support for removing DRM, so long as you're not pirating eBooks. My point is that the vast majority of people will not strip the DRM to get their books to work on another eReader. And you won't hear their voices here since the vast majority of people won't be here on this website.

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Nothing sad about it for the vast majority, it seems, as it represents no loss or inconvenience of any kind, it seems. Hence the Kindle's continued success and popular satisfaction among it's users after 3 generations. This, again, is my point.
This is mainly because the average consumer will use a device for several years before upgrading. eReaders have just started to become mainstream so once those people look for the next upgrade and decide to get a different brand eReader they'll feel the pain of the books they previously purchased not being usable on another device.

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The same problem would exist for users with an Adobe epub library who then buy a Kindle. But in practice it rarely seems to be a problem. Partially because of the reality of DRM stripping, but also because all those books are perfectly readable on computers, iphones, and other devices, so no one is ever really locked out on either side, and also because it rarely seems to ever come up as an actual problem I did see one mention recently of someone considering switching from a Kindle to a Kobo and wondering what to do about their Amazon books. One. So, again, my point is, it seems not to be big issue the vast majority in practice.
That's 100% true but that's because Amazon refuses to support an open eBook format like ePub that all other major eReaders support. Only a very small amount of eReader owners are stripping DRM, let alone here using this website. So the reality is that a lot of people will be locked to Amazon or have to repurchase books over again in another eBook format when they switch eReader brands (to or from a Kindle). Computers, phones, etc. are nice if there's an amazon app for it and that's how you want to view your books.

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I did mention I'm hoping Amazon chooses to support ePub, right? I agree universal standards would be nice.
But in the case of HD DVD (and Betamax before it) the two standards DID cause a fracture the market and cause inconvenience for consumers, so they pushed, and one format prevailed.
In the case of Amazon vs ADE ePub ebooks, most folks just aren't significant bothered, or negatively affected in anyway, so, my point again, it's just not proving to be a real issue.
Unlike the HD DVD vs Blu-ray battle, Kobo/B&N/Sony all support a open standards eBook format. Amazon is the one holding out by using it's own proprietary eBook format. Not having ePub support is an issue, you can't get books from public libraries. For some that's a huge deal breaker.

The ePub 3 spec will at some point force Amazon to rethink it's non-ePub support. I for one don't care which eReader I use so long as it has the features I want/need and it uses a open standard eBook format. I'd like to see DRM go away but that will likely never happen or will be many years down the road.

I like Amazon, I think it's a great company. But for me, until they provide ePub support they lose my business for their eReader. But if they ever add ePub support I will seriously considering buying their eReader when I'm ready to upgrade.

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Old 05-30-2011, 01:09 PM   #42
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Unlike the HD DVD vs Blu-ray battle, Kobo/B&N/Sony all support a open standards eBook format. Amazon is the one holding out by using it's own proprietary eBook format. Not having ePub support is an issue, you can't get books from public libraries. For some that's a huge deal breaker.
I think the main concern is the DRM, not the ebook format. Both forms of DRM are proprietary, just one is licensed by more places.
Libraries hopefully won't be a concern much longer if the Amazon/Overdrive press release turns out like we hope.
ePub as format is richer than mobi, I'm told, and I don't question it, and true ePub is an open standard and mobi is owned by Amazon, but in practice, it just doesn't seem make a bit of difference to most people. For the vast majority of content, the formats look the same, are both widely available and are easily inter-convertable. You are seeing the answer to "What if they threw a format war and no one showed up?"

Now as for what the impact will be in the future, as people build libraries, laws are clarified and ereaders are replaced, I can only put my guess against yours.

I think more people who use ereaders are tech savvy than you may think.
Calibre has been downloaded over a million times. Maybe someone who knows can tell us how many times the 'tools' set has been downloaded.
I think the tech savvy base is still probably larger than the tech-illiterate base, though it is clearly growing. I still don't think format or the current 'locked into one store' perception is an real issue now or will be an issue going forward.

I'll offer my standard bet: Meet you back here in a few years. Loser buys the Dr. Pepper.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:22 PM   #43
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The proprietary eBook format + DRM combined is the real issue. If Amazon used their own format without the DRM then all of this discussion would be pointless. That's why ePub + DRM is needed, since it gives users the flexibility to use eBooks on any major eReader. Even if Amazon adds support for ePub to the Kindle the Amazon eBooks will still be in their proprietary format with DRM. So I still won't use their eBook store and those that purchased books on Amazon still have the same issue as before. Instead, I'll be able to use their eReader with other eBook stores. For Amazon to really address the issue they would not only have to add ePub support for their eReader but also for their eBook store.

I don't know if you're aware or not but when you buy an eBook that has DRM you don't really own the book. Instead you've purchased the permission to use it in a manner dictated to you by the seller (from Calibre's website). That's why removing the DRM is a tricky dance, since people don't own the eBook. But I'm not here to judge one if it's right or wrong to remove DRM. I would just like to see everyone use a format where they didn't have to worry about removing the DRM.

Calibre is some great software, I use it regularly to get all my news feeds. But the software is updated very often, probably 2-4x a month, so the number of downloads isn't unique user downloads for all versions. Also, Calibre can be used for devices other than eInk eReaders (iPads, iPhones, etc.) so it's kind of hard to use their download numbers as a benchmark for dedicated eReader users. Things are further compounded since Calibre doesn't remove DRM. It's just an alternative eBook management software to use for eReaders. Most use it just for non-DRM eBook management and news feeds. And one doesn't need to be too tech savvy for those purposes.

It's kind of hard to bet on a moving target. Since if Amazon adds ePub support to it's eReader then the rules change. If they take it further and add ePub support to their eBook store it changes again. But why bet when the goal is so all can enjoy a cold Dr. Pepper while reading an eBook regardless of eBook store or eReader used.

Last edited by LucidDreams; 05-30-2011 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:48 PM   #44
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Do you want a touchscreen? If so get the Kobo

Otherwise, I think you will be happy with either e-reader. The more I read about them and see people posting the more I realize that they all do a good job. There are differences but only the individual can know how important collections are or the dictionary or any number of smaller fiddly things.

My best advice to you is to make a list of features that you think are important to you and buy the device that has most of those features.
Great advice. I also believe that you would be happy with an ebook reader from any of the more popular brands on the market, they all seem to do a good job. If there is any particular size screen or added feature that you want, let that be your guideline.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #45
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I have heard from just about everyone that the Kindle is ultimately better. However, I want to be able to buy books from the sony store, kindle store and the kobo store. I want to make sure that if I do get a Kindle, is there a way to convert epub files after I buy them so that they are readable on my Kindle??

Also, wi-fi is a must for me. So I'm wondering if with the Kobo I can go on Facebook and other sites? Coles and Chapters are telling me I can't but I also heard from another source that you can. ALSO, with the Kindle 3, can I go on Facebook with their wi-fi?

Any help/experience/information would be greatly appreciated!!!
Hi Jennifer, I'm late to this thread but I'd like to answer a couple of your Kindle-related questions that I think haven't been addressed yet. (I live in Canada, too, incidentally.)

It's possible to convert EPUB files to Kindle format (MOBI/PRC), although you may have to break DRM to do so, as has already been mentioned. I haven't felt any personal necessity to do this because I've never found a commercial ebook in EPUB format that wasn't also available for the Kindle from Amazon.com. And, most forums that offer out-of-copyright ebooks for free (including this one) offer both formats, so you don't have to convert at all.

I own a Kindle wifi, but decided to buy a Kindle 3G for a recent trip to the UK. This way I could use the (free) 3G browser capability to keep on top of my e-mail etc. while I was out of Canada, since I knew I'd be in an area with very few places offering wifi. It worked like a charm; I was able to look at my e-mails, confirm my flights, check for train delays, etc. without any problems.

I used the Kindle to stay in touch with friends via Facebook, too; however, it's much easier to do this on the Kindle using Facebook's mobile site (m.facebook.com or touch.facebook.com) than the standard page at www.facebook.com. For whatever reason, the "full" Facebook page often freezes my Kindle so that I have to restart or even reboot it. (And in general, I recommend using the mobile version of websites, where available, when using the Kindle's browser; they're specially designed for mobile devices and, of course, load more quickly too.)
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