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Old 09-29-2011, 10:34 AM   #1
emellaich
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Amazon Xray improves value of DRM?

I find it interesting to see the ways that Amazon is slowly enhancing ebooks that you purchase.

One minor existing feature was the ability to see shared highlights. It wasn't overwhelming, but there were a few times I found it interesting to see what others had highlighted.

Now we have Amazon Xray. When you buy a book it also downloads an associated data file with various Wikipedia entries. This allows you to look up background information in the book.

So, back to DRM. I assume that breaking the DRM would also break the link to both shared highlighting and Xray??? As Amazon adds more ancillary features to it's books there may be an increasing penalty to disassociating your copy of the book from it's common identity. OTOH, some of you might argue that more privacy is an interesting feature of it's wn.

Last edited by emellaich; 09-30-2011 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Fixed a few typos
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:12 PM   #2
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Removing the DRM does NOT remove access to shared highlights. I can vouch for that from personal experience. I think that's triggered from the ASIN number (the Amazon "part number" for the book) and DRM removal doesn't touch that.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:56 PM   #3
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Maybe I'm in the minority - but when I read a book, I just want to read the book. No searching, no social stuff, no sharing - just reading.

Even if I did use these features, they would not offset what DRM does to you.

Rich
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeg2 View Post
Maybe I'm in the minority - but when I read a book, I just want to read the book. No searching, no social stuff, no sharing - just reading.

Even if I did use these features, they would not offset what DRM does to you.

Rich
You're not alone, there. I don't care for the other fluff much, either.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:48 PM   #5
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On the other hand, will pirates include the extra info for X-ray in their pirated copies of books?

So this might be a way of adding more value to the book from Amazon, if they don't.

(But again, if this only works on Kindle Touch and Fire, then the impact is going to be limited until that userbase surpasses the non-Xrayable kindles)
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:11 PM   #6
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Just because you remove the DRM from your backup doesn't mean you can't keep the origional download on your kindle.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:42 PM   #7
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Uh, Xray is supposed to work with books Amazon sells.
Well, Amazon sells DRM-free books.
So, until somebody verifies that it *doesn't* work without DRM there is no reason to try to tie the two together.

As to its value, well:
Quote:
X-Ray, a new feature that lets customers explore the “bones of the book.” With a single tap, readers can see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon’s community- powered encyclopedia for book lovers Amazon built X-Ray using its expertise in language processing and machine learning access to significant storage and computing resources with Amazon S3 and EC2, and a deep library of book and character information. The vision is to have every important phrase in every book.
Sounds like a dynamically-generated index with links to both the book and external sources.
That may or not be useful for recreational fiction but it sure sounds useful for non-fiction...
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeg2 View Post
Maybe I'm in the minority - but when I read a book, I just want to read the book. No searching, no social stuff, no sharing - just reading.

Even if I did use these features, they would not offset what DRM does to you.

Rich
Same!

However, if that X ray stuff can improve the book comprehension without being another social network stuff, is a nice thing, in my opinion.

I prefer to keep the control about what I share when I'm reading, or if I will post what book I'm reading on Facebook, doing it old fashion way, just posting a link. But be able to see what others have underlined have helped me several times while studying or reading a computer book.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
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On the other hand, will pirates include the extra info for X-ray in their pirated copies of books?
Most pirated books these days are commercially-sold eBooks with the DRM removed, so yes, if the "X-Ray" data is in the original book, it will be in the pirated version.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Most pirated books these days are commercially-sold eBooks with the DRM removed, so yes, if the "X-Ray" data is in the original book, it will be in the pirated version.
As I understand things, the extra data isn't in the actual ebook file, but in an additional file that Amazon downloads at the same time. Rather like the page number data file.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:26 AM   #11
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Oh, OK - thanks. I hadn't appreciated that. In that case you're right; they probably wouldn't be there.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:23 AM   #12
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Although, I wouldn't be surprised if they start including it. I mean, we've all heard reports about how pirates have gone in and done things like fixed problems the publisher wouldn't, etc. I wouldn't expect the pirates to roll over and be like "we can't include this!"
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:54 AM   #13
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Actually, I don't think either shared highlighting or Xray are that interesting to me personally. My observation was more along the lines that Amazon could/might continue to enhance official DRM copies to make them more useful than backed up copies.

I say backed up copies because I specifically was not thinking of pirating. Personally, I think pirated ebooks and personal archives are two completely different phenomena.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeg2 View Post
Maybe I'm in the minority - but when I read a book, I just want to read the book. No searching, no social stuff, no sharing - just reading.

Even if I did use these features, they would not offset what DRM does to you.

Rich
Basically I'm with you. I don't care for all the social stuff, etc. But, I have searched back on a character's name when it came up and I forgot who it was.

Carol
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