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Old 12-27-2011, 05:48 PM   #1
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Lack of iriver forum activity post xmas

I'm concerned that the lack activity in this forum does not bode well for the success of the Story HD.

I hope it means that the majority of people who bought one are happy with it, had no problems setting it up and therefore did not seek support.

But then I'm an optimist.

I love mine. I like the design, the Google connection, the ease of use etc. The operating system seems very stable. As I have said before- It just works!

Unfortunately it seems that the Story Hd suffers from Johnny come lately syndrome. Poor market timing followed by clueless reviewers.

Can't wait for reviews of a 4G E reader that say it's better than all other E readers because they don't have 4G. That's kinda of how all the Story HD reviews played out.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:16 AM   #2
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Unfortunately it seems that the Story Hd suffers from Johnny come lately syndrome. Poor market timing followed by clueless reviewers.
There's a distinct lack of marketing, at least hereabouts. Also it doesn't help that the firmware is lacking some features that some people feel are essential (like making notes or using the wifi / browser for other sites than the ebook shop).

Then in Germany there's the Wifi version now available too but instead of Google books it's using a german book vendor and they have DRM in such a way that you can read the books on the reader only, with no legal way to transfer them to PC or other devices. (It's Adobe DRM but not using your own Adobe ID but another given by the vendor).

Then there's small things, such as firmware updates not coming with any instructions on how to install them, and the firmware archives containing patch files that brick your reader if you use them. And no way to remedy that, as it used to be possible with other iriver readers.

So on one hand we have a great hardware design and on the other a lacking software and customer relations...


Still, I'm glad I got this reader. I'm very happy with it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:26 PM   #3
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You made some excellent points.

I suppose Google is learning what Amazon already knows about the world book market. I really like Google products but their execution and follow up is almost always lacking. They could have helped iriver make this product a success and chose no to. iriver, who makes elegantly designed products, is not the company it once was. I don't know how much money or "will" they have to penetrate the North American market.

I guess I'm ignorantly confused as to the firmware problems. You must be talking about the non-WiFi units. My understanding with the WiFi units, at least in the States, is that they updated over WiFi. I know mine has. The only hassle was having to sign into Google again.

Kinda sad. I really like the product. Glad I have it. It was a dinosaur when it was announced and extinct when it was released but I wouldn't trade it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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Yes, I have the Basic version, since that's what was available in Germany first.

But even for the Wifi version, being able to download the firmware is nice to have (what about people who don't have Wifi at home?), but currently the latest version is available over the air only. And even if you figure out the URL for where the reader is pulling the OTA updates from, it's only patches there, no full firmwares.

If I don't like a change in the Basic firmware I can always downgrade to any specific previous version using the full firmware file directly; if they stick to OTA only for Wifi then Wifi users will not have that option (easily).

Those are minor details to be sure and ideally there'd not be a reason to downgrade ever but iriver made some changes in the new firmwares that might not be to everyone's liking and there are no settings to configure things - I don't need an animated progress bar while I read thanks.

Even so I'm looking forward to the next firmware version - I hope there will be one.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CJJ View Post
You made some excellent points.

I really like Google products but their execution and follow up is almost always lacking. They could have helped iriver make this product a success and chose no to.
I like my device, too - it was supposed to temporarily replace a broken e-reader, but I decide not to return it. Got used to little quirks in the design and software implementation. As for the poor zoom - it actually makes sense when you are able to center each pdf. page separately.

As for the Google books:

- the search engine is horrible - strange why? since the Google Web search engine is considered superior.
- Google epubs are full or errors. I stopped downloading them - download either pdf or go directly to Gutenberg.org where the same books, as I found are much more reliable.

Therefore I found Wi-fi on the device largely useless - except the supposed online upgrades and maybe occasional E-mail check in places where you don't have other means (which is unlikely when a smartphone or iPod is ubiquitous)

I wish a future firmware upgrade would make it more useful - e.g. enable borrowing from a library, etc.

Still, the screen is superb, buttons more or less convenient, file opening and page turning very good (although they claim djvu but it fails most of the time, maybe it's only me)
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:53 PM   #6
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Chuckz- Interesting. I haven't looked at any Google ebubs yet. Been too busy reading books borrowed from the library. They(all epub) have been fine. Are these the Google "free" books you are talking about or purchased books as well? I was planning on purchasing some new books from the Google book store. I hope they are OK.

As far as search engine, I never planned on using the browser on the iriver (or any other ereader I might of bought/kept). I did want it for syncing with my Google account. I find Google books as well as their ebook store to be just fine on my computer. Personal taste I suppose.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:25 PM   #7
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Chuckz-After reading your post I had to check it out. As I said I've been busy reading Library books that I used to read on my laptop. I'm usually backlogged with these because I reserve a bunch and inevitably they all seem to be available at the same time. I've no major complaints with any of them so far. On rare occasion there will be too many spaces between words.

So using the WIFI, I downloaded 11 Google books (all EPUB). Some I have previously read on my laptop. It took 7 minutes to download 11 titles. I've heard people complain about this. Seems reasonable to me. Maybe the other readers are much faster. I suppose file size plays a part in this. I had some big books with illustrations that seemed to take longer than others.

Obviously I did not check every page of every book. But I did look at several pages a chapter in each of the 11 books. Most books like “The Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome” looked fantastic. The illustrations were properly placed and of course had great detail.

I did notice in Pride and Prejudice that a sentence would finish mid page and then that paragraph would pick up on the next page. One would expect a new chapter or at the very least a new paragraph. I couldn't find that problem, or any others, on Moby Dick, Alice in Wonderland, Great Expectations or The Time Machine. These are all free books that Google tosses in your account.

So I guess I'm not so spooked. I don't doubt that you found mistakes but in my unscientific check it proved to be the exception not the rule in this small sampling. You may be more detail orientated than I am. Still, a blanket statement that Google books are full of errors seems overstated.

Ok, back to reading, no wonder I'm never caught up. Easily distracted time wasting fool that I am.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:13 PM   #8
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I too have had problems with the Google ebooks on the Story HD. I've posted before about the terrible trouble with searching for them, which has never really been fixed--most of the time I can never get to the second page of search results. I tried downloading one free one, and it took a long long time. I don't really know why anyone would use this device in what seems to be its default/intended configuration, since sideloading and using Folder View just works so much better. I agree that the wifi is just for firmware updates.

On the other hand, I have had mostly success with djvu files. I often convert pdf to djvu when it saves significant space, and I usually choose the djvu option when downloading from archive.org (whose epubs I think are some of the buggiest). The djvu files do load a little slower, and I occasionally run into a corrupt file, but overall I'm happy with the Story HD's djvu support.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:15 PM   #9
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I am having trouble with djvu books in general - many of them would not open.

CJJ - obviously, there are some books scanned better than others.
Good, that you haven't had problems with yours.
In my case, I've tried couple Italian books in epub, that I had to re-download in pdf - too many typos.
An English example: a history series "Historical Tales; the Romance of Reality" by Charles Morris. (There are several volumes). The Germany volume has Eome instead of Rome on the 1st page.
Not a big deal - but the Gutenberg version does not have this typo.
Considering other friends' complaints, I am just sticking with Gutenberg. The Gutenberg volunteers seem reading with more attention after the OCR stage.
I am not affiliated with Google, so why bother experimenting further?
Thanks to Google for pdfs anyway.

I've only tried free books.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:09 PM   #10
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I would get an iriver if I went to the States, coz it's the only eReader that read other languages "that" sell here oversea.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:31 PM   #11
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Just saw this older post - I have had an IRiver Story HD since Christmas and I must say it has been remarkably bug-free. I tend to read mainly free ebooks (from here or Gutenberg), magazines and library books so I haven't really made much use of the Google bookstore. However the wi-fi set up easily and it is certainly no slower than my smart TV!
They just haven't been marketed aggressively here and it sounds like that is the case elsewhere. Don't know why as it is a good product.
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