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Old 11-19-2007, 08:07 PM   #1
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why so emotional about the kindle?

There was a mild displeasure aimed at the Sony because of DRM (and a little about the mac platform absense), but this is way off the meter.

A moderator writes an article stating it may be the worst thing to happen to the ebook nation, Europeans are upset gen 1 cannot be used there (that would upset me too), people are screaming DRM, etc.

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Old 11-19-2007, 08:11 PM   #2
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High expectations, underwhelming delivery.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:31 PM   #3
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There was a mild displeasure aimed at the Sony because of DRM (and a little about the mac platform absense), but this is way off the meter.

A moderator writes an article stating it may be the worst thing to happen to the ebook nation, Europeans are upset gen 1 cannot be used there (that would upset me too), people are screaming DRM, etc.

-d
What's amazing me is the hate on the Amazon reviews. Almost 200 reviews now and hardly any of them have actually used the product. There are tons of one star reviews that don't even seem to grasp the point. So many of them are the typical Engadget "what do you mean it doesn't even have color?" variety.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:34 PM   #4
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High expectations, underwhelming delivery.
To me this thing was simultaneously impressive and disappointing. The features look great. Good enough to make me look past the aesthetics. It's actually starting to grow on me. It looked bigger and clunkier in the initial pictures because you didn't see it in context. However I am still rather peeved about the .azw thing. If they had stuck with .mobi, even DRM-ed .mobi, and let non-Kindle-owners buy them, I'd be way more positive about the whole project.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:39 PM   #5
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:40 PM   #6
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Nate is due to receive his tomorrow so let's wait and read his review. He has used the Sony PRS-500 for a while and created quite a number of books for it. I for one am looking forward to his views.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
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To me this thing was simultaneously impressive and disappointing. The features look great. Good enough to make me look past the aesthetics. It's actually starting to grow on me. It looked bigger and clunkier in the initial pictures because you didn't see it in context. However I am still rather peeved about the .azw thing. If they had stuck with .mobi, even DRM-ed .mobi, and let non-Kindle-owners buy them, I'd be way more positive about the whole project.
.mobi works fine on the unit. I think the DRM issue was because of the launch of $10 books. They lose money on at least some of these I am sure and they want a cushion of the price of the Kindle to soften the blow. Otherwise everybody would buy them for devices that Amazon didn't profit from. I suspect the design is such that they can easily switch to mobi DRM in the future if they decide to without losing anything they have now or any already purchased books. I think they are trying to drive the price of eBooks down and if they succeed we will all benefit.

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Old 11-19-2007, 08:44 PM   #8
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.mobi works fine on the unit. I think the DRM issue was because of the launch of $10 books. They lose money on at least some of these I am sure and they want a cushion of the price of the Kindle to soften the blow. Otherwise everybody would buy them for devices that Amazon didn't profit from. I suspect the design is such that they can easily switch to mobi DRM in the future if they decide to without losing anything they have now or any already purchased books. I think they are trying to drive the price of eBooks down and if they succeed we will all benefit.

Dale
I'm aware the .mobi works on the unit. I was referring to book sales on Amazon. I'm thinking about all those folks with mobile devices and Cybooks now that want to buy .mobi content and really thought they would be getting a bunch of new titles when Kindle launched. I really doubt Amazon's making much on the hardware if anything at all. It's all about the content. That's why I'm surprised they're not trying to get as many people into the content stream as possible.
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Old 11-19-2007, 09:10 PM   #9
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I'm aware the .mobi works on the unit. I was referring to book sales on Amazon. I'm thinking about all those folks with mobile devices and Cybooks now that want to buy .mobi content and really thought they would be getting a bunch of new titles when Kindle launched. I really doubt Amazon's making much on the hardware if anything at all. It's all about the content. That's why I'm surprised they're not trying to get as many people into the content stream as possible.
Actually almost none of the book vendors have exclusive agreements with Amazon so I would expect that once the ice is broken and the source files for Kindle and Mobi are exactly the same we will see a sudden increase in the availability of mobi books but not at the lose leader price. Be patient, there is bound to be fallout and much of it is good for the industry.

Kindle on the other hand will be able to demonstrate increased sales of eBooks and hopefully drive the prices down from the publishers.

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Old 11-19-2007, 09:31 PM   #10
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Here's my reasons that I am passionate about the Kindle.

1. Amazon, a business that started out and continues today, provides book lover fulfillment. Therefore if anyone could get the Kindle right would be Amazon and Jeff Bezos, a purported book lover himself.

2. Amazon had 3 years and the benefit of everyone else's mistakes to open up the ebook platform to invite people in, rather than further confusing the issue with a superproprietary format that is tied to one device.

3. Jeff Bezos is on record for saying that DRM free music is the wave of the future. If Bezos and Amazon truly is following the iPod/iTunes model, why shift toward more DRM rather than away from DRM. Amazon assumes that either you don't have any pre-existing purchases or that you are willing to repurchase them.

4. Bezos and Amazon appear to be arrogantly ignoring the consumer. Since the very inception of the pictures and details of the Kindle on the internet, we have been crying out for a design change. Design is incredibly important and Amazon's refusal to acknowledge the consumer opinion is simply a negative sign.

5. If the Kindle fails, then the media and those with voices louder than ours will declare ebooks are dead. Given the investments that major publishers like S&S, HarperCollins, etc. have made in digitizing their backlists, I don't think ebooks are going away, but I wanted to see the Kindle actually fire us up rather than drag us down.

I would have been the first in line to buy the Kindle if it had been a) a better design and b) allowed for me to read DRM'ed mobipockets.

I think the passionate voices are those who really longed for Amazon to get it right and now we are really disappointed.
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Old 11-19-2007, 10:07 PM   #11
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Here's my reasons that I am passionate about the Kindle.
Original comments are in italic.

1. Amazon, a business that started out and continues today, provides book lover fulfillment. Therefore if anyone could get the Kindle right would be Amazon and Jeff Bezos, a purported book lover himself.

Until we use the unit we are not sure of how well it works in the hand. When I use my Sony I see the screen and the rest of the world fades away. Perhaps after we hold one and use it for a while (walk a mile in its shoes) we will have a better impression of the unit.

2. Amazon had 3 years and the benefit of everyone else's mistakes to open up the ebook platform to invite people in, rather than further confusing the issue with a superproprietary format that is tied to one device.

And in that 3 year period they overcame most of the problems that plagued the other readers. The 88,000 ebooks are a massive increase over what we have seen elsewhere. Consider that Sony launched with ~10,000 books. As for the DRM issue, it is most likely the only way that they could get the publishers to sign on at this time. Amazon is in the business of selling books, this way they don't have to split the profits with other parties. You can still buy material at Fictionwise (for example) in unprotected PRC files and load them. They have over 6,000 books in unprotected "multiformat" that works on almost every reader ever made.

3. Jeff Bezos is on record for saying that DRM free music is the wave of the future. If Bezos and Amazon truly is following the iPod/iTunes model, why shift toward more DRM rather than away from DRM. Amazon assumes that either you don't have any pre-existing purchases or that you are willing to repurchase them.

Unlike music, most people do not reread a book. I very, very seldom reread a book. Reference books are used over and over but that is not what I intended to read on the Sony and I have held to that. Publishers are worried that someone will snatch their content and sling it over the dark net. DRM is a way to launch the product and get it in the hands of many people. I doubt that most of the people buying the unit will care one way or another about DRM.

4. Bezos and Amazon appear to be arrogantly ignoring the consumer. Since the very inception of the pictures and details of the Kindle on the internet, we have been crying out for a design change. Design is incredibly important and Amazon's refusal to acknowledge the consumer opinion is simply a negative sign.

So it doesn't look like an iPod or an iPhone. So some think the Sony or the Gen3 is sexier. Heck, the Apple ][ looked a lot sexier than the original IBM PC but it got clobbered in the sales department. They did listen to the consumer -- the computer interface and download issues are gone. It is a single piece with a clean interface and a direct link to Amazon for new books. My 85 year old Mother-in-law could use it. I fear if she tried to buy a book through Sony.

5. If the Kindle fails, then the media and those with voices louder than ours will declare ebooks are dead. Given the investments that major publishers like S&S, HarperCollins, etc. have made in digitizing their backlists, I don't think ebooks are going away, but I wanted to see the Kindle actually fire us up rather than drag us down.

I agree. It is as close as anyone has come to creating a toaster for reading books.

I would have been the first in line to buy the Kindle if it had been a) a better design and b) allowed for me to read DRM'ed mobipockets.

I think the passionate voices are those who really longed for Amazon to get it right and now we are really disappointed.


The jury is still out and will be out for a while. It seems that Amazon sold out the first batch and is still taking orders for more.
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:01 PM   #12
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I for one don't think the device is ugly, but I realize lots of people do. Which sorta puzzles me, I mean, if they have a keyboard on this thing, what else could they do with the design? Blackberrys are ugly too, but I don't hear those complaints about them.

Besides, I have a Sony Reader and if you had a keyboard attached to the bottom if it, it would basically look like the Amazon Kindle. PLUS a lot of people complained about the "page" buttons on the Sony Reader, and the Kindle's placement of them seems to be more logical.

Also on the Amazon comments section, it appeared the that many of the negative people were the "but you can't curl up with it by the fire unless it's a paper book" and the "but I miss the smell and history of the books" people.

I also think that for what it does right out of the box, the Kindle is pretty good so far. They have plenty of time to tweak things such as DRM and whatnot for the future. If you read the newsweek article, Jeff Bezos seemed really passionate about it, so I am assuming they will stick with it.

Besides, Sony has a DRM format too. So I don't view this as all that different except that non-DRM'd .mobi files are more numerous than non-DRM'd .lrf files which

I am surprised and somewhat disappointed that DRM'd .mobi files don't work on it but that is something they can change in the future. Of course, I say all of this but I won't have one in my hand until tomorrow--I may end up hating it or something after playing with it for a bit...

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Old 11-19-2007, 11:03 PM   #13
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In regards to the looks, I was just listening to Bezos on All Things Considered and he was saying that it was beautiful and I did get the feeling he meant it. He blamed the initial bashes on blogs on the bad FCC photo. I will give it to him that it does look better than the initial photo but I think maybe he just has questionable taste. Or maybe he got too wrapped up in the idea of making it "disappear" which made him cling to that sterile white color. I do think a different color and case material would actually make this thing much more attractive. I think bibliophiles would've actually appreciated a warmer look and feel. I wouldn't want to curl up with an iPhone either.
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:11 PM   #14
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I do think a different color and case material would actually make this thing much more attractive. I think bibliophiles would've actually appreciated a warmer look and feel. I wouldn't want to curl up with an iPhone either.
I agree. I guessed the color pretty well in my earlier mock-ups though didn't I?!?

I'm not real fond of the white. I think a deep reddish brown color--um not ugly, but a sorta deep leatherish starbucks kinda feel would look better. Also I think the contrast of the screen would look a lot better if the case material were darker.

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Old 11-19-2007, 11:15 PM   #15
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RWood - I live in the romance genre world and they keep books. Lots of them. And re-read them. The cover article for the PW for December is about romances and the first quote is from a bookseller of romances that says her readers keep their books.

I have hundreds of ebooks and I don't want to be tied to one device. Bezos knows that is what consumers want for music and I argue that it is no different from booklovers.

Plus, I bought Adobe books from Amazon years ago and that content was deleted when it decided to no longer support the digital movement. If the Kindle fails, will users suffer the same loss?
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