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Old 11-19-2007, 06:28 PM   #61
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*grml* I didn't want to write here anymore ... NTL:

Yes, they did many things right - which is EXACTLY why it bothers me, that they did so many things completely wrong.
1. WHY THE HELL a new format? Mobipocket is nice, why not keep this? This would allow more people to read their books - people who already own a Reader would either buy the Kindle (no matter of the DRM/Format) or won't, it wouldn't cut down their Kindle-sales but would increase their book sales.
2. See 1
3. WHY ONLY IN THE US? Their is no reason for this
4. WHY Whispernet?
5. Why not add some simple converters (e.g. PDF)?
6. The point "Kindle reader on the PC" would not be a point if Point 1 would have been taken in view.

These are very simple to fix points. In fact it would probably had been easier to create a Kindle WITHOUT those screwed up points.

Why get a few nice things - but don't go the complete path? Why try some things and f**k up the rest so completely???

Oh well .. Whatever.

Without those very simple points it would have been a good device, perhaps even the tipping points. Now - it is just another example of a company being braindead and (hopefully) screwing up.

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Old 11-19-2007, 07:05 PM   #62
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Storing on Amazon servers = high risk

Instinct tells us that a big outfit like Amazon is a good place to store books on their server. That's dead wrong. A year ago, Amazon very quietly and unilaterally deleted the ebook bookshelves of tens of thousands of ebook customers that had been buying from them for years. No explanation was given.

Two months ago, Amazon's Mobipocket server went down in Paris. It stayed down for ten days during which no one could download their Mobipocket ebooks.

Yet, in spite of this very recent history, Amazon wants us to believe in the warm comfort of their servers to offload these books since one audiobook might use up ALL the space available on it.

Bottom-line: Amazon has no loyalty to ebook customers, only to its profit center. If Kindle stumbles, then the buyers of the device and the books that go on it may well have nothing but bad memories.

As to the 9.99 price, the publishers should be driving this for ebooks themselves, but they're not. Instead, Amazon is pricing well below cost in most cases, undermining other honorable ebook retailers that have stuck it out through all the device mis-steps. Under other Justice Departments, this violated a range of anti-trust conditions. It will be interesting to see if the current one has the courage to step in. Amazon is guilty of predatory pricing as the dominant market player in books. They want to reduce the consuemr to only one choice for ebooks: Amazon. Then, if Amazon stays in the ebook business, it will be interesting how quickly that "free" whispernet service starts costing every one $30 per month. Some folks can still remember when basic cable TV was free.

We should support the smaller ebook retailers that have to care about the individual customer (because they don't have the Amazon war chest to replace lost customers by buying more). BooksOnBoard, Fictionwise, eReader.com, to name a few. BooksOnBoard seems to have matched - and in some cases beaten - Amazon Kindle pricing for now. Fictionwise also does this with many of their titles.
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:06 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by tirsales View Post

3. WHY ONLY IN THE US? Their is no reason for this
4. WHY Whispernet?

Well OBVIOUSLY they are a US-based company, wanted to have a cellular-based solution nation-wide, and made a deal with a carrier that required no contract (ie: book sales cover the cost of the delivery mechanism). Why the hell not be only in the US for now? The majority of their sales are in the US, the majority of their customers are in the US.

Im sure we will see one in Germany there is some Europe-wide wireless deal that can be made.
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:15 PM   #64
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Kindle books are not $9.99 the way iTunes tracks are $0.99. There are many many Kindle books that cost less than that (or more than that). They're just saying that they'll try to make everything on the bestseller list cost no more than that when they can get away with it, which isn't too bad a price (once you get past the idea that ebooks ever cost more than like $1).

As far as it being yet another proprietary format, that appears to be wrong. As far as I can tell the format *is* Mobipocket completely, just with the DRM setup so that *currently* you can only decrypt the books on a Kindle. If the format is successful then there's no *technical* reason why they couldn't be enabled for reading with Mobipocket reader, etc.

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Old 11-19-2007, 07:15 PM   #65
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The majority of their customers are in the US? Are you really sure? Well, I would guess that Amazon sells more books outside the US than inside, though I have no figures to prove that.
Oh and: There is a US-wide GPRS/UMTS, which is also supported elsewhere. So there really is NO reason to use other niche techniques ... And don't tell me that there are no GPRS-carriers willing to break a similar deal ...

Yes, they are a US-based company and they make the same mistakes tons of companys do: They ignore the rest of the world. Why?
One content customes is three customers won - one discontent customer is seven customers lost. Make your own calculations...
And yes, it is their right to sell only inside the US. But it is stupid.

@Zoot: There is no *technical* reason - agreed. But there is no *technical* reason to use a different format at all - so it is all down to marketing. And right now we see Amazons marketing strategy.
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:16 PM   #66
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I'm a big Fictionwise customer and will continue to be one. I'll simply keep my purchases to non-DRM .PRC titles from now on. I have many DRM .PRC titles and also eReader .PDB titles that will have to be read on my T|X for now. If I really desire a new DRM title I'll look for it on Amazon.

Yes it's a huge pain in the posterior. I remember going through the same mess going from LP to 8-track to cassette to CD. Also VHS (never did Beta) to DVD. It's aggravating and costly for the consumer but at least I had options where I could record from the original media to the newer media, well except for 8-track

Now there is no option except to read on the old system or (when possible) repurchase the books in the new format. I don't like it but I wanted a eInk device and I like the look of the Kindle and the features. (Yes, I'm in the minority but that retro look appeals to me.)
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:30 PM   #67
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Well OBVIOUSLY they are a US-based company, wanted to have a cellular-based solution nation-wide, and made a deal with a carrier that required no contract (ie: book sales cover the cost of the delivery mechanism). Why the hell not be only in the US for now? The majority of their sales are in the US, the majority of their customers are in the US.

Im sure we will see one in Germany there is some Europe-wide wireless deal that can be made.
I have always looked at Amazon as global company and that that was an important part of their dentity. From the start there was no problem buying books from anywhere in the world. So restricting book selling to one country is not consistent with how I viewed Amazon. Maybe they do not want to sell paper books to the rest of the world either or?
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:30 PM   #68
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Amazon likely to shut down Mobipocket

Amazon's far more likely to shut Mobipocket down than to enable Kindle reading with Mobipocket Reader. I don't think I would buy any more Mobipocket ebooks. The Kindle cannot read or convert DRM Mobipocket ebooks so its loyal Mobipocket customers cannot buy the device and transfer over.

... And Amazon does shut things down as they did with ALL ebooks a year ago. They only have five people working in the Mobipocket Paris office. And when their server went down, they left the French guys hanging and down for ten solid days.

This is a play for control and complete dominance, pure and simple. Amazon wants to end up dictating how much we pay for books, who gets to sell them, which authors get promoted, etc.

You can best judge future behavior by monitoring past behavior. With Amazon, the last year alone tells the story. My bet: They will wind down Mobipocket over the next year and they will start charging for use of WhisperNet by next Christmas.

A $99 device that can read all formats is the way to go. That can happen... except it probably won't read Sony or Kindle because Amazon and Sony won't let it. So that rules out Sony, Kindle and Mobipocket. Leaves Adobe and eReader, and Microsoft, but Microsoft seems already out of play with its format. Let's hope Adobe's up to the task. They allegedly have mobile solutions coming for Digital Editions soon. That will help - a lot.
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:37 PM   #69
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Smile Well ...

Last week I was in doubt, but happily now it's clear which device to buy. Around Christmas I will be a glad owner of a new CyBook.

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Old 11-19-2007, 07:38 PM   #70
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@JerryEF
You raise a good point, however, I think the amazon kindle is going to be a far greater thing for Amazon ebooks than ebooks in general. Indeed, it's likely to adversely impact the cause of e-books simply from the fact that they are refusing to standardize on an ebook format, which means more pain for people producing ebooks and people consuming ebooks.

Sure, it will raise the visibility of ebooks, but I think ebooks were going to succeed even without Amazon and in the long run, they are simply delaying the day when the tower of babel can be collapsed, all to make a fast buck. And then they wax pompous about how they are ushering in the greatest revolution in book reading since gutenberg.
I am not sure I agree. Amazon is using a standard at the publisher level. mobipocket can use epub (or will shortly) and Amazon is using the same source. Anyone who jumps on the epub bandwagon will aid in the eBook effort standardization on the part of publishers. The end format is not of any concern to the publishers, only to the retailers.

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Old 11-19-2007, 07:41 PM   #71
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While I agree with many of the points initially raised, I suspect that this may be the best thing to happen to ebooks. One of the several reasons that ebooks have not been more successful is they require certain amount of computer competence to get everything working correctly. While this may all have been a major non-event for those of us who are computer savvy. For the average guy on the street who has a hard enough time keeping up with his email and web browsing software, it has been too much to expect. Along comes Amazon with a (pub-ugly) device that makes the ebook purchasing process a simple and seamless process. The ipod experience showed us that it is possible to simplify a process that had been way too out there for the average Joe. Amazon, I hope, will do the same for ebooks.
Actually Gemstar had this feature, although it was a bit ahead of its time. You only had to plug in the unit to a telephone line. No computer required.

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Old 11-19-2007, 07:49 PM   #72
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I have always looked at Amazon as global company and that that was an important part of their dentity. From the start there was no problem buying books from anywhere in the world. So restricting book selling to one country is not consistent with how I viewed Amazon. Maybe they do not want to sell paper books to the rest of the world either or?

North American sales for amazon (in all categories: media, electronics, etc) are larger than the rest of the world combined (for amazon, mind you). Not by much, but enough. Its all there in their financial reports.

Im sure they want to bring a kindle to the rest of their customers, but they had a great deal with sprint, a US carrier, and are focusing on the market they know the best. People are just pissed off because they want the experiment to take place on their home turf first.

The playstation 2 launched in japan first, so did the game cube. Just relax, it will make it over.


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Old 11-19-2007, 07:49 PM   #73
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I have no idea about the general market, but I would not buy anything that enslaves me to a particular publisher, nor anything that locks my books to a particular vendor, or is DRMed and cannot be de-DRMed.

I still have the books I read in Primary school - and I am 50 years old, I have some of my father's books, old books I bought some over 100 years old.
Yes, I could subscribe every word. The oldest books I own are from the 17. century, some from 18., many from the 19., 20. and some from the 21., many from my grandfather or grand-grandfather. Even if I'm aware that the life of digital books generally will be much shorter -- what a silly idea to bind oneself to the grace of one particular company?

Ts, ts, ts.

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Old 11-19-2007, 07:52 PM   #74
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I kind of agree. Like the Mac is the PC for the rest of y'all, maybe the Kindle is the ebook reader for the rest of y'all.

However, having some computer competence, I would prefer a more open SW/HW ebook reader. Maybe it won't be too long before it is hacked with an equivalent to "Book Designer" developed for it.
You can use Book Designer already. Save in MobiPocket format and it will work fine.

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Old 11-19-2007, 07:53 PM   #75
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I am not sure I agree. Amazon is using a standard at the publisher level. mobipocket can use epub (or will shortly) and Amazon is using the same source. Anyone who jumps on the epub bandwagon will aid in the eBook effort standardization on the part of publishers. The end format is not of any concern to the publishers, only to the retailers.

Dale
Note I didn't say publishers, I said "people producing ebooks", by which I meant distributors (in particular those that distribute non DRM versions) and power end users, who will presumably have to maintain a catalog of ebooks in multiple formats.

I wish Amazon had taken the very little additional trouble to support an actual open ebook format, especially since they've taken the trouble to support HTML. Actually, the fact that they don't support epub/oebps leads me to suspect their HTML support is very limited.
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