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Old 10-05-2007, 03:59 AM   #1
Len Hat
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Has Bookeen lost the initiative?

With the advent of the PRS-505 and the Kindle poised for imminent release, I've lost much of my initial enthusiasm for the Cybook Gen3. I was very seriously considering this product, but with the launch delay and the $350 price tag, I'm probably going to go Sony or Kindle -- unless Bookeen drops their price by about $100. I was holding out for the Viziplex screen, but with the PRS-505 and (probably) the Kindle sporting the new eink display, the Cybook seems to have lost its main advantage.

Has anyone else changed their mind since the release of the PRS-505 and/or word that the Kindle is forthcoming? Conversely, any reason favor the Cybook at this time?
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:09 AM   #2
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Conversely, any reason favor the Cybook at this time?
The overriding reason to favour the CyBook is of course the short-sighted marketting decision of Sony not to make it officially available to 95% of the planetary population. It remains to be seen whether the Kindle will be marketted in a similar manner, but my hopes are not high.

The other reason I'm going to buy it myself is that it supports the multi-platform MobiPocket format rather than the Sony-Specific BBeB format.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:40 AM   #3
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Frankly, I'm amazed at all of the people purchasing the 505 right now. I'd wait a couple of weeks and see what the Kindle and Cybook look like.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:56 AM   #4
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But that involves, you know, waiting! That's too much to handle for some
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:59 AM   #5
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I think you're being a little bit optimistic in believing that you'll be able to buy either in two weeks time!
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:08 AM   #6
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I didn't say that you'd be able to purchase them in a couple of weeks. My point was that we are likely to know much more about both models in a couple of weeks - especially the Kindle.
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:18 AM   #7
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Sony has made a smart move by introducing the 505 ahead of the Kindle and Cybook. This gives existing Sony Reader owners much less reason to abandon the brand. E-book readers are so easy to pass down (they are not worth $300 to many people, but as a gift - even used - they are priceless) that this could have been a big problem for Sony.

New buyers are in a different position. Sony has not significantly improved their software but have the promise of Adobe Digital Edition. The 505's 8-way grayscale is an advantage over the Cybook and perhaps the Kindle. Bookeen has a good reputation, and seems to be much more serious about e-reader software than Sony. However, I would expect their initial software to be rough around the edges. Kindle is an almost complete unknown. There are so many ways that Amazon could screw up the Kindle, but on the other hand they could sell a ton of them.

Overall, I still like the Cybook because it will support a range of ebook formats and I think it will (eventually) give the best reading experience available on a 6" screen.
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:29 AM   #8
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The 505's 8-way grayscale is an advantage over the Cybook and perhaps the Kindle.
An extremely "marginal" one. Frankly, I notice no difference at all between my current Reader with 4 grey-scales and my iLiad with 16. The only people I suspect it might make a difference to are those who want to read comics.

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Bookeen has a good reputation, and seems to be much more serious about e-reader software than Sony.
But, on the other hand, Sony are a major multinational corporation, whereas the average "man in the street" will have never heard of Bookeen. Everybody's heard of Sony and (I believe) that they have a reputation for producing high-quality products in most peoples' minds (yes, I know that some people will rave on about "rootkits", etc - let's not go there.)

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Overall, I still like the Cybook because it will support a range of ebook formats and I think it will (eventually) give the best reading experience available on a 6" screen.
I agree with you. I think the decision to go with MobiPocket gives the CyBook the edge, software-wise.
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Old 10-05-2007, 09:53 AM   #9
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The overriding reason to favour the CyBook is of course the short-sighted marketting decision of Sony not to make it officially available to 95% of the planetary population. It remains to be seen whether the Kindle will be marketted in a similar manner, but my hopes are not high.

The other reason I'm going to buy it myself is that it supports the multi-platform MobiPocket format rather than the Sony-Specific BBeB format.
No Linux, No OS X, only Windows. And unless Bookeen gives you the PID you'll have to wait until MobiPocket Desktop supports the gen3 and then you'll need Windows to get your PID.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:00 AM   #10
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But the Gen 3 doesn't require any desktop software at all. It is, therefore, completely platform independent.

Mobi is only dependent on Windows if you want to CREATE Mobi format books, and there's really no particular need to do that, given the excellent support for other file formats, including HTML.

I strongly suspect that the reason the prototype Gen 3 doesn't show you the Mobi ID anywhere is simply that the software version in question doesn't support Mobi DRM. Any Mobi Reader which supports DRM has to provide an ID to permit you to buy (or download) books.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:05 AM   #11
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But the Gen 3 doesn't require any desktop software at all. It is, therefore, completely platform independent.

Mobi is only dependent on Windows if you want to CREATE Mobi format books, and there's really no particular need to do that, given the excellent support for other file formats, including HTML.

I strongly suspect that the reason the prototype Gen 3 doesn't show you the Mobi ID anywhere is simply that the software version in question doesn't support Mobi DRM. Any Mobi Reader which supports DRM has to provide an ID to permit you to buy (or download) books.
If the Gen3 comes with any books on it, maybe Derek would not mind moving them to his desktop to see if they are DRM laden or not. And if so, then he can go ask Bookeen why he doesn't have the PID. Of course, if he's supposed to get new firmware soon, it may be a moot point.
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:09 PM   #12
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If the Gen3 comes with any books on it, maybe Derek would not mind moving them to his desktop to see if they are DRM laden or not. And if so, then he can go ask Bookeen why he doesn't have the PID. Of course, if he's supposed to get new firmware soon, it may be a moot point.
Jon,

Since you asked so nicely, I did *just that*. I moved five of them to my desktop and tried opening them. And each and every one of them asked me for the UserID and Password from the store where I purchased them. Oops!

That means there *IS* a PID on the Bookeen Cybook, but *I* sure the heck can't see it. And it's 10AM Pacific Daylight Time out here in sunny (mostly cloudy, today) Central California - which means it's something like 6PM or 7PM in France and, quite probably, past closing. Nope. Haven't received my firmware update.

Frustrated? Yes, I'm frustrated.

Derek
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:22 PM   #13
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The firmware update has ARRIVED!!!

Yes!!! It's a big sucker and I'm downloading it now. It'll take me a while to get it installed but I should be able to give a quick post about the changes later today!

Derek
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:29 PM   #14
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Yes!!! It's a big sucker and I'm downloading it now. It'll take me a while to get it installed but I should be able to give a quick post about the changes later today!

Derek
Good luck on the update!
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:49 PM   #15
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The overriding reason to favour the CyBook is of course the short-sighted marketting decision of Sony not to make it officially available to 95% of the planetary population. It remains to be seen whether the Kindle will be marketted in a similar manner, but my hopes are not high.

The other reason I'm going to buy it myself is that it supports the multi-platform MobiPocket format rather than the Sony-Specific BBeB format.
Yep. I don't think CyBook is particularly setting their sights on the American market. They don't have the visibility here but they've got a pretty level field overseas. It would be a huge and rather risky investment to try to get a foothold here. They'd have to compete with two household names.

I'm in the US, however, so I have my pick. Frankly, the main advantage I see to the PRS-505 is that I could have it now. I'm a dreadfully impatient person. Plus it looks like a good piece of hardware. However, I think that .mobi is a nose ahead in the format race right now and a lot of this decision comes down to picking the winning horse. I'm going to wait and see what the Kindle looks like. It appears a lot of us are. That gives Bookeen a little bit more time to get their act together.

The way I see it, most consumers in the US will be choosing between Sony and Amazon. They haven't heard of Bookeen. Us ebook geeks here are aware of this third choice but that's not a lot of units. Their primary market is unchanged. Even amongst us geeky few, there does not appear to be a mad rush to jump on the 505. Plus, success for Amazon probably means success for .mobi which helps Bookeen and hurts Sony.
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