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Old 03-09-2008, 12:29 PM   #61
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Nice job tracking the count at the Sony eBook store!
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:55 PM   #62
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As of a few days ago (couple of weeks?) HD-DVD appears to be losing. However, Sony is well established in the video appliance market, and has a lot of experience (Betamax anyone?) in format wars. They DO know how to win.
Betamax is a bad example. As is their proprietary digital audio format, Atrac3/Atrac3+. It is much better than mp3 IMO (and I'm a fan of Sony's music players, which I chose based on the Atrac format and incredible battery life--my NW-S706 gets 50 hrs per charge and songs ripped at 64 kbps sound better than mp3 at 128 kbps).

Nevertheless, Sony DOESN'T seem to know how to win the format wars. I think the very recent BluRay win was their first major one after several failures.
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:16 PM   #63
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Finally the technically superior format won the war. Go Blu-Ray!

But seriously, Why is it that 9 times out of 10 the format that' inferior seems to be the one most people prefer? For example. OGG Vorbis is way better then MP3 for lossy and yet MP3 is the one most use. I think we need to stop this nonsense about picking a standard based on anything other then how well it preforms. We lost out on a number of better formats in format wars because of stupid reasons.
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:35 PM   #64
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:10 AM   #65
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Part of the reason that MP3 "won" is network effect. Which basically means that they were there first, with a good enough solution, used by enough people who traded files. So if you want to give a track to your friend, MP3 is a safe bet. Just about everyone has something that can play MP3.

I'd love to see a better quality audio format take over... but none of them have traction, or else they're tied up in legal/licensing issues/fees.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:44 AM   #66
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OGG Vorbis is 100% open source. No problem with legal/licensing issues.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:52 AM   #67
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OGG Vorbis is 100% open source. No problem with legal/licensing issues.
And for most people, there is no cost involved with using MP3. Most people don't give a rat's ass about open source.

That's the problem with being a Johnny-come-lately. When a format has an advantage of penetration that MP3 has, you really need an OVERWHELMINGLY good reason to change. OGG Vorbis doesn't offer that. Actually, AAC does from the standpoint that it is the default format from iTunes and it interfaces well with iPods and their ilk. Course, the main thing that AAC and WMA has that MP3 and OGG doesn't have is DRM support, which while we the customer don't want it, the content providers do.

Jason
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:14 AM   #68
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The main point about MP3 is that it is "good enough" for the purposes it's used for, and MP3 players are uniquitous. The fact that a licence fee has to be paid to Fraunhofer to create an MP3 file is irrelevent, because that's the concern of the software creator, not the end user.

I have an extremely good quality HiFi system at home myself, and wouldn't dream of using MP3s to play my opera CDs (my main musical interest) on that. When I'm in my car, though, I'm happy to play MP3s via my car's iPod interface to the car radio because it is perfectly acceptable in that environment.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:45 PM   #69
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I have an extremely good quality HiFi system at home myself, and wouldn't dream of using MP3s to play my opera CDs (my main musical interest) on that. When I'm in my car, though, I'm happy to play MP3s via my car's iPod interface to the car radio because it is perfectly acceptable in that environment.
My main musical interest, too, is opera and one of the things I dislike about opera and MP3 is that MP3 seems to cut off the ends of tracks, even the MP3s sold by Deutsche Grammophone. OTOH, it is a lot easier to carry the SanDisk Express player and a few microSDs to listen to opera and other classical music on the go, than it is to carry the CDs.

One reason I think MP3 has prevailed, however, is that everyone has heard of it. I've never heard of the open source format Jon is talking about and I know that if I want to buy digital opera from DG, it has to be MP3.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:51 AM   #70
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My main musical interest, too, is opera and one of the things I dislike about opera and MP3 is that MP3 seems to cut off the ends of tracks, even the MP3s sold by Deutsche Grammophone. OTOH, it is a lot easier to carry the SanDisk Express player and a few microSDs to listen to opera and other classical music on the go, than it is to carry the CDs.
I find I get the best results when I buy the CDs and then rip the files to MP3 on my own -- that way I get everything that is in the track, without losing the endings of the selections.

And I feel that using an MP3 player to listen to music, rather than trying to listen on the Sony Reader, is the better way to go.

As a musical instrument repairman, I know that it's important to use the proper tool for the task at hand. I use the Reader to read with and I use an MP3 player to listen with.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:56 AM   #71
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I find I get the best results when I buy the CDs and then rip the files to MP3 on my own -- that way I get everything that is in the track, without losing the endings of the selections.
That's exactly what I do. The other benefit of doing so is that I can play the CDs at home on my HiFi system, and listen to the MP3's on my iPod while I'm "out and about". I generally rip MP3 at 320kBits, so get excellent quality that way. Disk space is cheap!
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:49 AM   #72
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I find I get the best results when I buy the CDs and then rip the files to MP3 on my own -- that way I get everything that is in the track, without losing the endings of the selections.
I have ripped my opera CDs at 320 for the best quality but still find that tracks are abruptly cut. Perhaps it is an illusion. I supposed what I should do is listen to one of my CDs with a headset so I can compare apples to apples.

I don't buy many operas directly as MP3s but I do buy some, particularly if I am unfamiliar with the opera or the composer. The MP3 versions generally cost less and don't take up physical space in my library, giving me an opportunity to decide whether I like the opera or not. If I do like it, I often buy the CD version as well.

I tried to listen to music via the Sony Reader while reading but found it depleted the battery too quickly. Now I either use my stereo system or MP3 player and only use the Reader for reading.
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Old 03-15-2008, 02:51 PM   #73
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In the past two weeks, Sony has added another 1500 new titles (a 3% increase) and they now have about 38,500 ebooks for sale at their eBook Library site. The highest percentage increases in titles are in the categories of Travel and Technology.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:18 AM   #74
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In the past two weeks, Sony has added at most about 750 new titles (less than 2% increase) and they now have about 39,000 ebooks for sale at their eBook Library site. The highest percentage increases in titles are in the categories of Travel (up almost 25%) and Entertainment. The rate at which they've added new titles has definitely slowed some in the past four to six weeks.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:11 AM   #75
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In the past two weeks, Sony has added barely 500 new titles (a 1.3% increase) and they still have just under 40,000 ebooks for sale at their eBook Store. The rate at which they've added new titles has definitely slowed since a rather brisk February. On average, though, Sony continues to add an average of 110 new titles per day since last September. For comparison, Amazon currently lists a total of 116,750 ebooks for the Kindle and that number has increased an average of 183 per day since late November.
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