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Old 12-08-2007, 10:46 AM   #1
Gerry
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Question Which one should a Mac user choose?

Hi There,

I could really use some help on choosing an e-book reader. I never thought about getting one until recently when the Kindle came out and I started researching them, and then I found that the more I learn, the more I get pulled in different directions. Below are some of my thoughts based on what I’ve learned, but never having seen most of these I’m finding it to be a very difficult decision.

First of all, I am a Mac user without easy access to a PC, and I will mostly just be using this to read novels.

1) The Kindle. I love the idea of not needing a computer to download books, and the prices of books seems fair. Plus, being able to read magazines on it seems like a real bonus, but I hate the idea of being locked into Amazon, and it does look really ugly. No support for pdf is also a slight bummer, but not a deal breaker. The $400 for this would be at the top of my budget.

2) The Sony 505. I saw this in person at Borders and it is very pretty, and feels perfect in the hand. I hate that there is no Mac support, but am I correct that I can buy books from Mobipocket instead? Do I have to go through a conversion process, or can I just see the Sony as a USB drive and drag and drop? If I move on to another device later (like the Cybook) would I be able to still read the books I buy? And is there any way for me to take advantage of their 100 free classics offer?

3) The Cybook Gen 3. This is the device I am leaning toward. I like the idea of it being easy to use on a Mac and able to read more formats. Plus it is small and slick. Worrying about purchase and support is what is holding me up. A) I really like the NAEB deal at $375 for a modified deluxe package and I want to order from them, but from the posts I’ve read they don’t seem to quite have their act together. They don’t have the ability for anyone to purchase yet, and the date for this to happen keeps moving back. How do we know that they will have any customer support if something goes wrong with the unit? B) Even though it will be more expensive I’m considering ordering direct from Bookeen, but again, from the posts I’ve read it seems like this can be a bit problematic, and they aren’t delivering (on time anyway)

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:53 AM   #2
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2) The Sony 505. I saw this in person at Borders and it is very pretty, and feels perfect in the hand. I hate that there is no Mac support, but am I correct that I can buy books from Mobipocket instead? Do I have to go through a conversion process, or can I just see the Sony as a USB drive and drag and drop? If I move on to another device later (like the Cybook) would I be able to still read the books I buy? And is there any way for me to take advantage of their 100 free classics offer?
No, you can't buy Mobi books for the Sony. Sony have their own format (BBeB). You can, however, buy Microsoft Reader (LIT) books and convert those for the Sony, but you need a Windows machine to actually buy LIT books. You also need a Windows system to be able to buy books from Sony's Connect store, including the free ones ("Bootcamp" works fine for this on a Mac).

Quote:
3) The Cybook Gen 3. This is the device I am leaning toward. I like the idea of it being easy to use on a Mac and able to read more formats. Plus it is small and slick. Worrying about purchase and support is what is holding me up. A) I really like the NAEB deal at $375 for a modified deluxe package and I want to order from them, but from the posts I’ve read they don’t seem to quite have their act together. They don’t have the ability for anyone to purchase yet, and the date for this to happen keeps moving back. How do we know that they will have any customer support if something goes wrong with the unit? B) Even though it will be more expensive I’m considering ordering direct from Bookeen, but again, from the posts I’ve read it seems like this can be a bit problematic, and they aren’t delivering (on time anyway)
I have a Gen3 and am VERY happy with it indeed. A truly excellent machine. I wouldn't worry about the ordering - it's a new device and production is still "ramping up". Shipments are due to restart this coming Monday.

I wouldn't bother with the "Deluxe" package. Buy the basic Gen3 and the leather cover. The other stuff you get in the Deluxe package really isn't worth the money.
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:10 AM   #3
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Well, that certainly kills the possibility of buying the Sony. What do you think of the Cybook vs the Kindle?

-Gerry
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:19 AM   #4
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I'm really not the best person to ask about that, since the Kindle isn't available to buy outside the US. Its wireless download system certainly seems very innovative, and the ability to buy books so painlessly is obviously a "plus" too. I think the Gen3 is a much more physically attractive reader, but I haven't seen a Kindle "in the flesh" and often pictures don't really give you the true impression of what a device is like.

Yes, the Kindle looks like a very nice machine indeed. Were I able to buy one, I'd probably do so. Would I buy a Kindle instead of a Gen3? No, I personally wouldn't; I'd buy both, but I'm a gadget freak .
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:48 AM   #5
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You need an ebook reader that supports the mobipocket format.
As long as it does that it doesn't matter that your computer is a Mac or runs Linux, etc. .
Here are the recent posts from the mobipocket forum for both the Kindle and the Cybook :http://www.mobipocket.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=23
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Old 12-08-2007, 01:27 PM   #6
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I have a mac and actually have the 505.

It works great, really. libprs500 software, for managing books and such from the internet and converting documents to sony's format isn't that bad. Not as polished as a mac user might like/be used to, but it is a free product.

As for Sony Connect...you do need windows for this, sadly. I use VMWare fusion or Boot Camp in this case. If you have a PowerPC Mac tho..may want to get a kindle. its not pretty and the screen isn't quite as nice as the Sony devices, but you'll not have problems buying books.

I don't know anything about the Gen3.

-K
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Old 12-08-2007, 01:37 PM   #7
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I have a mac and actually have the 505.

It works great, really. libprs500 software, for managing books and such from the internet and converting documents to sony's format isn't that bad. Not as polished as a mac user might like/be used to, but it is a free product.
What legal sources of commercial e-Books are there which can be used with the Sony on a Mac WITHOUT any Windows-based conversion tools? I'm aware, of course, of the multi-format books from Fictionwise, but what else is there?
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Which one should a Mac user choose?
Gerry, I am a Mac user and I was facing that same question.

It seems to me there are too many hoops to jump through to use a Sony. I saw a Sony reader at Best Buy and I like the screen and the price but, software aside, I don't like being bound to Sony to buy books. Sony is not a bookseller.

I have some reservations about the physical layout of the Kindle, even though it has some really neat abilities.

I have placed an order for a Cybook. I wanted simple operation and I did not want to be tied down to only one bookseller. I read a lot of public domain ebooks and I wanted to be able to import txt and html files natively and not have to rely on proprietary and/or third party software to convert formats. That is why the Cybook won me over.

I am hoping that electronic newspapers and magazines will become popular enough on Kindle that the publishers will branch out and offer editions in other formats through the independent ebooksellers.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:31 AM   #9
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I am hoping that electronic newspapers and magazines will become popular enough on Kindle that the publishers will branch out and offer editions in other formats through the independent ebooksellers.
There's already a reasonable selection of magazines (especially SF and mystery magazines) available in multiple formats, DRM-free, from http://www.fictionwise.com . These can be read on any of the popular bookreaders - Sony, Gen3, or Kindle.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:02 AM   #10
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There's already a reasonable selection of magazines (especially SF and mystery magazines) available in multiple formats, DRM-free, from http://www.fictionwise.com . These can be read on any of the popular bookreaders - Sony, Gen3, or Kindle.
Fictionwise does a great job with what they have available. My hope is that the 'Kindle-effect' will spread newspapers and news-type magazines to Fictionwise after the publishers see some success with Kindle editions. There are several regional (US) newspapers I would like to subscribe too electronically.

Back to the Mac compatibility thing: it seems like Amazon and Bookeen (Cybook) went out of their way to make their readers cross platform compatible. Sony seems to have lost the hunt on that score but they seem more interested in locking users in to their device and store. iRex surprises me because at the price they are asking you would think they would insure cross platform compatibility.

There is a rumor that Apple will come out with a tablet computer and I had been holding off because of that, but that rumor has been knocking around for a couple of years now and I'm just not going to wait for vaporware. Hence my decision to try the Cybook with my Mac.

As a side note - because the Cybook does not need special software on my computer for ebook conversion it means that I can use any of my 3 computers to add ebooks to it as I find them. I'm not just tied to a computer that has their software pre-installed. I like that flexibility.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:02 AM   #11
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As for Gen3 on the Mac, you connect it to USB, it mounts as a new disk, read/write, and you can copy all you want between it and the Mac.

But if you want to buy and download Mobipocket books from their store, I'm not sure if that's possible on the Mac. It's not a Gen3 issue really, you should get PID from Gen3, add it to your user account on Mobipocket, download all books after this PID is added, and then you can just copy them from Mac to Gen3, and they will work. I'm not sure if the process of buying and downloading is doable on a Mac.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:52 AM   #12
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Need Windows

Yes, you can't buy books on the Mac. The mobipocket client is Windows only. I am running windows on my mac using parallels and I have installed the mobipocket client on windows.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:06 AM   #13
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Yes, you can't buy books on the Mac. The mobipocket client is Windows only. I am running windows on my mac using parallels and I have installed the mobipocket client on windows.
I'm sorry, but this is nonsense!

You do NOT need to use the Windows Mobipocket Reader to buy books. You can buy books directly from the website of ANY eBook store selling Mobi-format books. All you need is a web browser.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:13 AM   #14
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iRex surprises me because at the price they are asking you would think they would insure cross platform compatibility.
In what way is the iLiad not cross platform? There is the Companion Software which is Windows only, but (just about) no-one uses it. The WiFi file transfer uses a windows style network share, but Samba on Linux or OSX will work just as well.

Most of the iLiad interaction is via the USB cable, where it looks like a USB disk to any OS that supports it.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:43 AM   #15
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I'm a Mac user, but I always keep a PC around for these exact situations. I purchased the Sony 505 (has not arrived yet) and I plan on using the libprs500 software when I'm away from home with just my Mac. Plus I purchase a lot of books from Fictionwise as well. If I find that it's too painful on the Mac, I'll just install Windows on my Macbook. I'm hoping that if I need to buy a book when I only have my Mac, I can just buy the .lit version from Fictionwise and convert.
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