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Old 10-05-2007, 11:19 PM   #1
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So who still has a Betamax Player?

An interesting piece in The Booksellers Association blog about the Sony Reader.

Here:

http://bookseller-association.blogsp...ax-player.html
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:23 PM   #2
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According to that very harsh article, it sounds like no reader is going to fly not just the Sony. I think that review is harsh and unthinking. It doesn't do ebooks justice at all.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:25 PM   #3
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Do people understand the concept of finding one thing and doing it well?

These people are kind of annoying honestly. Books dont really do much else other than be books, burn, and make for nice recycling. Why should their digital counterparts be any different?
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:28 PM   #4
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I bought a new cell phone earlier this year that has a camera built0in. I don't need the camera or want it. All I want it my phone to be a good phone. It is a good phone and works well at that. It's not a Palm or PDA or some other do it all device. It's doing what I want very well. My Sony is the same. It does what I want and does it well.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:59 PM   #5
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Btw they say : "Sorry this is not a cool device and doesn’t play music, videos or games"

Really? The Reader can't play music ? .....
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:14 AM   #6
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Most likely Martyn Daniels is still trying to put old Atari games in an Xbox 360 and wondering why Lotus 1-2-3 version 2a for DOS will not run on a Palm. Perhaps they also took the ice maker option on their microwave.

By the way, I still have a Betamax. I haven't used it recently but then again I haven't used the VHS or DVD player recently either. Am I the only one that still has a turntable, slide projector, and 16 mm projector?
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guguy View Post
Btw they say : "Sorry this is not a cool device and doesn’t play music, videos or games"

Really? The Reader can't play music ? .....
The Sony Reader 500 and 505 both play music in mp3 or aac formats.
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:26 AM   #8
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The Sony Reader 500 and 505 both play music in mp3 or aac formats.
As will the Bookeen Cybook play mp3s. Don't know about aac yet. And I have such a big problem getting a really *steady* picture from my cell. So am I supposed to throw away the MiniDV camcorder and the digital SLR just because the cell can take crappy pictures and video clips? That would be like suggesting construction companies should get rid of their dump trucks because they can always haul *ONE BUCKET* of gravel in the back of a Mini Cooper. Unh-unh! Dedicated to a specific purpose can be a very *good* thing!

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Old 10-06-2007, 05:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphidb96 View Post
As will the Bookeen Cybook play mp3s. Don't know about aac yet. And I have such a big problem getting a really *steady* picture from my cell. So am I supposed to throw away the MiniDV camcorder and the digital SLR just because the cell can take crappy pictures and video clips? That would be like suggesting construction companies should get rid of their dump trucks because they can always haul *ONE BUCKET* of gravel in the back of a Mini Cooper. Unh-unh! Dedicated to a specific purpose can be a very *good* thing!

Derek
I agree. A single purpose device is not always a bad thing. You do it and you do it well. I did not purchase my reader because it also made a good PDA. I purchased it because it made a good reader. THis reviewer has no idea about the real world.
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:50 PM   #10
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I agree. A single purpose device is not always a bad thing. You do it and you do it well. I did not purchase my reader because it also made a good PDA. I purchased it because it made a good reader. THis reviewer has no idea about the real world.
I sent him an email and told him so. Let's see if he has the brains to understand and the cojones to listen.



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Old 10-07-2007, 10:10 PM   #11
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Dedicated to a specific purpose can be a very *good* thing!
So says my toothbrush, my razor, my hammer, my ....
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:39 AM   #12
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OK, I'll admit it, I have a working Betamax. It really does it's job well, and until I went to all digital DVRs it was my main TV time management device.

The article does make a couple of good points. "There isn’t the content in their proprietary BBeB DRM format and frankly why should there be. You would have thought they of all people would have learned this lesson by now." is a comment found often in this forum.

This isn't at all like Beta versus VHS, as he points out "... where is the market demand?". Video tape had been a TV station technology for years, even in cassettes called U-matic (also by Sony). Manipulation of TV schedules via "tape delay" was an every day occurrence. The idea of a home VCR that would let people set their own TV schedule was widely accepted as something everyone would want if it wasn't for the $5000 price of a machine. Beta was the first down-price machine, and VHS only took off because Sony didn't properly license its designs. Outnumbered by competitors, Sony lost a ton of potential earnings.

The Blog is for a dead-tree book sellers association. Surely you didn't expect those folks to see a problem with selling their current book product. Until there is a more widespread market niche, a one-trick-pony is a risky item to market. Sony needs to do more on the content side or these dark predictions are likely to come true.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:19 PM   #13
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I have to agree with RSaunders, I think his point that you guys may be missing the author's point (although he misses several points himself).

A book reader has, at best, a very limited appeal. Books themselves, in fact (and sadly), have a fairly limited appeal. In 2003, the Jenkins Group did a study and found that 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

So at best you're talking about 30% of the population as a possible target. And I think he's dead on about Sony's lack of focus on expanding the reader market. Without search capabilities, they've lost the technical & professional reader market as well as the student market (just think of the potential for a searchable e-ink device for students). The portion of the technofile market that jumps all over every other device that comes out that would be interested in a dedicated reading device is not likely to jump on this even if it does play music- they are no more likely to be hardcore readers than any other segment of the market. And I don't think it is possible to stuff enough diamonds on a cover to make Paris Hilton carry one around.

As the author says, the reader is transient technology- a promise of a very nice future, but it is expensive for a one trick pony. I'm sure that in the future we will see e-ink devices that make the 500 and 505 look like a pocket calculator from the 60s next to an iPhone. And these devices will find an audience. In the meantime, a market of 10,000 devices sold shows that this device hasn't really found a mass market.

The only reason Sony is supporting the market is probably the fact that their eBook store is bringing them money. And (IMHO) the reason that this is happening is because publishers like the idea of non-broken DRM. Sooner or later, that is likely to go away- hopefully enough momentum will exist to carry Sony through this to market maturity.

Now, as to the points the guy missed.
1) e-ink screens are at this point, not much use in a multi-function device. And they are critical to a dedicated reading device.
2) single function devices do have their place. The iPod started as a single use device, as (to a lesser extent) did the Palm OS. Both of them started with the critical problem and moved where the market pushed them. We can hope for the same from Sony.
3) There is a market for the Sony reader, even if it is a small one. It is people who read and travel. Sony has targeted this market in advertising. And I don't think many sad executives are likely to buy it to impress.
4) There is actually a reasonable amount of content for the reader. And as much as I would like the device to support HTML, the fact that the average non-technical purchaser will never be able to put anything on the device but Sony Connect content is to Sony's advantage, and until they have a significant competitor in the market offering that, they will not support it.

And with that, I think I have rambled on quite enough.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
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And these devices will find an audience. In the meantime, a market of 10,000 devices sold shows that this device hasn't really found a mass market.
Not sure where you got that number from but here's another stat to add:
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We have a year to sell Ukraine lBookV8/Hanlin V8. In 2007 we sold 12,500 pieces of old V8 model and began selling a new model V3. We are now intensively updating software lBOOK V3.
Now, this is a different market from USA but:
1) the device was more expensive than Sony, even more so outside Ukraine (try comparing average salaries in US and Ukraine)
2) it had almost no PR
3) there were no established online book shops; however, it's pretty easy to find Russian books online for free.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:34 PM   #15
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We've seen serial numbers on Sony Readers in the upper 56k range, this strongly suggests they've sold more than 10k units.

In fact, I believe that 10k units represents what was sold in the first 3 or 4 months.
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