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Old 12-28-2006, 04:57 AM   #1
markiehill
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Unhappy Why i think the Illiad will fail (or has already).

Having owned this device for nearly six months a few things really concern me.

1) The fragile nature of the screen.
2) Lack of multi format support (pdb,txt,html,rtf) etc.
3) Slow pace of development
4) No support from Mobipocket or similar provider.
5) Lack of search
6) Bugs, (page bar, loss of scribbles on occasion) to name a few.
7) High cost.

I have showed this device to loads of people, they are all impressed with what it can do..... However it's what it can't do that stops people from purchasing it.

I understand that this is a device in development, but quite frankly it has been in development far too long...

I am not trying to bash Irex but i think they need to either open up the OS to the community help in a serious fashion, or embark on a serious recruitment program.

Mark
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
2) Lack of multi format support (pdb,txt,html,rtf) etc.
Last I looked it could render txt and html...
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
1) The fragile nature of the screen.
This is an inherent problem with displays right now. eInk, LCD, etc. Time will correct this.

Note that hardened versions of the screens can be made - for significantly higher cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
2) Lack of multi format support (pdb,txt,html,rtf) etc.
pdb is a Palm Database and not an eBook format.

PalmDOC is easily convertible to text.
Text is easily convertible to HTML.
RTF is easily convertible to PDF and HTML.

The iLiad supports HTML quite well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
3) Slow pace of development
As much as I'd like them to improve my iliad, I believe that their pace of development is appropriate for the market. The demand simply isn't there yet to spend lots of money on development.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
4) No support from Mobipocket or similar provider.
Mobipocket is a closed, proprietary format and should be avoided at all costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
5) Lack of search
I believe this is on their list to add soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
6) Bugs, (page bar, loss of scribbles on occasion) to name a few.
"All non-trivial programs contain at least 1 bug."
Just be glad the iLiad doesn't run Windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
7) High cost.
I have to agree with you on this one. The iLiad is the Cadillac of eBook readers right now and I believe that the market will demand a Chevrolet. But right now the people buying eBook readers are the first adopters who usually pay the high price for the newest tech.

I believe that iRex will come out with a more inexpensive reader with fewer options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
I understand that this is a device in development, but quite frankly it has been in development far too long...
Seeing as how the market isn't developed yet, it makes sense that the device isn't finished yet.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:02 PM   #4
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agree with the mobipocket comment around closed format, but hey they are the only people that i have ever bought a DRM product from, and they are fair about the number of devices you can install on (and support a wide range), sure there are issues around what happens if they go out of business etc etc etc understood.

The point of this post was to stoke a bit of debate on this subject, i have been dying for a device like the illiad to succeed. (putting my money where my mouth is like others here).

mark

Last edited by markiehill; 12-29-2006 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
agree with the mobipocket comment around closed format, but hey they are the only people that i have ever bought a DRM product from
If it has DRM on it, you didn't buy it. You leased it. You should have no expectation that you would be able to read any such content beyond the device you initially put it on - since that's all the DRM-providing company promised when you licensed (not purchased) the content.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
The point of this post was to stoke a bit of debate on this subject, i have been dying for a device like the illiad to succeed. (putting my money where my mouth is like others here).
I understand, but asking for support for closed, proprietary formats is not the way to succeed (look at the first Sony eInk reader as well as the failure of all the other proprietary eBook readers).

If you paid money to license DRM content, your expectation should be that you will need to re-pay for that content for the next device you get. Any higher expectation is unrealistic.
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:03 AM   #6
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The adoption of an open DRM format that is supported and works across many devices has to be the way forward. If it is an open free for all with no DRM, then publishers will never support these devices in the way we need.

In my view Mobipocket have come closest to this across multiple devices and made it a commercial success, i am not saying its ideal, but supporting a major DRM format like mobipocket would make the Illiad a much more desirable device !!!

As for the librie, i had one of the first in the UK hand carried from Tokyo (told you i was keen) and i can tell you two things about it.

1) The sony connect bookstore thing was shocking with very few decent titles (which is why i think it failed). It also only supported that stupid format BBE, or whatever it was called.

2) The screen was more hardy than the Librie, it survived a trip in my checked in luggage unboxed.

I love the librie and i really really want it to succeed but i also want to be able to purchase new books and read them on it, it will never win this argument on hardware alone.

As it is without some kind of popular DRM we will be left to trawl newsgroups for files, scanning our own books or reading 100 year old stuff

Mark
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:24 AM   #7
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Well, I think some kind of DRM is OK. I don't like it, but as lng as it's fast and easy to use I don't really cae.
What I don't like is the direct device-bonding stuff and the internet activation routines that require you to register with half a dozen websites just to be able to use something you just bought.
I think no ebook reader will survive without DRM, but it will have to be supplied with enough titles at low enough prices to make it attractive. Look at iTunes. A subscription For 10€ a month would also be ok...but no more than that.
Until then...well...we all have our sources I guess and although I feel a bit guilty, there is little I can do about it at the moment.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
The adoption of an open DRM format that is supported and works across many devices has to be the way forward.
I've already proven that this cannot exist.

For DRM to accomplish its goal of "protecting" content, it must be closed and proprietary. Therefore it will never work across all devices and all new devices will be hobbled by restrictions placed on it by the DRM owner (case in point: Windows Vista).

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
If it is an open free for all with no DRM, then publishers will never support these devices in the way we need.
Current pBooks have no DRM - yet publishers still publish.
Current CDs have no DRM - yet the RIAA still makes lots of money off them.
Current DVDs have broken DRM on them - yet they still sell just fine.

The idea that without DRM the content industry will withhold content was proven false when they tried to shove the Digital Broadcast Flags down our throats.

Content that sits in a vault has no value. The only way that content has value is to sell copies to people who want it.

The problem with the content cartel today is that they want to move to a pay-per-view business method. So you don't buy an eBook. Instead you pay every time you want to read it. You don't buy a movie. You pay each time you want to view it.

The problem with that business model is that the public doesn't want it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
In my view Mobipocket have come closest to this across multiple devices and made it a commercial success, i am not saying its ideal, but supporting a major DRM format like mobipocket would make the Illiad a much more desirable device !!!
Since I won't pay money to lease content (why should I pay when the library will lease it to me for free?), all DRMed content is worth $0. Therefore, there is no value in porting Mobipocket to another device.

Remember, that while a format is well supported today doesn't mean that it will be supported tomorrow. When content is in a closed, proprietary format, it basically has an expiration date on it. How many pBooks do you have that will fail to open in 10 years?
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Old 12-30-2006, 11:10 AM   #9
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ha ha , i think we are going to have to agree to disagree here.

DVD's are a bad bad example, a DVD is a tangible product that you can purchase from a supermarket etc, if you copy a DVD and give it to a friend you know your breaking the law. Also the technology to copy DVD's like for like without compression and other techy stuff was not there for the layperson until of late. Add to this the fact that dual layer DVD's cost a fortune in comparision to their single layer and it all contributes to the reason why we dont have wholesale copying of DVDs etc.

However a downloadable ebook can be easily copied and passed betwen friends via email and is no bigger usually than a few MB at the most. A receipe for disaster for a publisher. I have heard it said that the physical book is the best DRM of all, and i agree... if you give it away you lose it.

I also disagree that you could not have an open DRM format, PGP is an open and well understood encryption technique but very hard to crack despite the fact you can examine the code in detail.

To me DRM has to be a balance between keeping the customer honest and providing the most flexible model for the consumer. To counter your 10 years from now scenario, with the correct open code, all you would need to remember are your keys and you will be fine.

Ha ha if only it were all this easy, and i see both sides of this argument, but open ebooks aint going to happen on the mass market IMHO.

Mark
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Old 12-30-2006, 11:12 AM   #10
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BTW i am totally against the subscription / licence model. My opinion is that you should always own what you buy.

Mark
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
Also the technology to copy DVD's like for like without compression and other techy stuff was not there for the layperson until of late.
You need to look at link deleted

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
However a downloadable ebook can be easily copied and passed betwen friends via email and is no bigger usually than a few MB at the most. A receipe for disaster for a publisher. I have heard it said that the physical book is the best DRM of all, and i agree... if you give it away you lose it.
Yet places like Fictionwise don't seem to have any issues with wholesale copying.

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Originally Posted by markiehill
I also disagree that you could not have an open DRM format, PGP is an open and well understood encryption technique but very hard to crack despite the fact you can examine the code in detail.
I've already demonstrated that I am correct on this in a previous post. In my example, I used PGP as the protection mechanism and it failed.

The main issue is that DRM is protecting the content from YOU - the reader - not a pirate. In order for you to actually use the content you paid for, you have to have the keys. Well, if you have the keys, then a program can be written that removes the DRM - the DRM has now failed.

The only solution is for the keys to be protected from you and embedded in the reader - making the reader a closed, proprietary product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
To me DRM has to be a balance between keeping the customer honest and providing the most flexible model for the consumer.
There is no balance with DRM. Between DRM and the DMCA, the content cartel holds all the rights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
To counter your 10 years from now scenario, with the correct open code, all you would need to remember are your keys and you will be fine.
But you have no keys to remember. If you knew the keys, then the DRM has failed and the content is no longer protected.

Again, DRM protects the content from YOU - the customer.
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:57 PM   #12
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Old 12-31-2006, 05:06 AM   #13
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I am well aware of torrent and binary newsgroups, but this is hardly stuff thats available to everybody, to most people downloading divx or other formats and getting this to play on their player (not laptop), is far to much hassle.

If you browse fictionwise you will find that a lot of popular and new books are in the secured format. Any authors that i am interested in reading are only provided in secure format. When you are a struggling new author the trick is to get as many people to read your work as possible (this is why sites like this work for the author) as you become primetime then the switching to the secured format ensures your revenue and the payback for your hardwork.

Quote from fictionwise below....

Why does Fictionwise make this distinction?

The MultiFormat eBooks cover a wider variety of reading devices and platforms, but because they are not encrypted, many large trade publishers will not allow their eBooks to be sold in these formats.

While we prefer to offer eBooks in MultiFormat, we need to support secure formats that prevent unauthorized copying to give our members the widest possible selection, including national best-selling authors.


Anyway at the end of the day we can agree to differ, but a book is hardly multiformat either and if you damage the media you are not entitled to a new one, at least with an open and flexible DRM model you could redownload what you might have deleted by accident.

If writing does not bring rewards then authors willl stop writing especially if their work does not have some form of protection. You cannot rely on peoples honesty to feed your kids, pay your mortgage.

Expecting them to give you carte blanche with their work to me just sounds wrong.

Mark
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I am well aware of torrent and binary newsgroups, but this is hardly stuff thats available to everybody, to most people downloading divx or other formats and getting this to play on their player (not laptop), is far to much hassle.
The MPAA disagrees with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
The MultiFormat eBooks cover a wider variety of reading devices and platforms, but because they are not encrypted, many large trade publishers will not allow their eBooks to be sold in these formats.
And if we step into reality, we find that this translates to:
"Many large trade publishers would rather not make money off of eBooks of their works. Because by not releasing their eBooks without DRM, they create a large unfulfilled market that will be satisfied by the pirates."

Because that's what happens. People won't pay paper price for leasing an eBook. Period.

And I'll point out again that this is EXACTLY the same argument used by the content cartel to shove the digital broadcast flags down our throats: "Give us protections not allowed by law or we will pack up our content and go home." An argument that has been proven false. If they don't sell content, they don't make money. It's as simple as that.

I won't buy DRMed content and everyday more people start doing the same - especially when they see the unreasonable restrictions placed on them by DRM and the content providers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
Anyway at the end of the day we can agree to differ, but a book is hardly multiformat either and if you damage the media you are not entitled to a new one, at least with an open and flexible DRM model you could redownload what you might have deleted by accident.
1. You have no right to redownload an eBook you mistakenly deleted. With DRM content holders hold ALL the rights. You have no rights. The content holder may permit you to re-download, but you have no RIGHT to do so.
2. You make the invalid assumption that the company that you purchased the eBook from is still in business, still remembers that you purchased the eBook and still permits you to download it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
If writing does not bring rewards then authors will stop writing especially if their work does not have some form of protection. You cannot rely on peoples honesty to feed your kids, pay your mortgage.
And we all know how well the RIAA is loved by treating fans and customers as criminals.

But you have already been proven wrong. People will pay and be honest - if the content is honestly provided and at a reasonable price.

I've already pointed out Fictionwise. I'll also add Cory Doctorow's works - which he makes available for free download - but also sell well. Podcasts like Escape Pod and Geek Fu Action Grip do well too. Also there's Podiobooks.com - who don't charge, but accept donations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markiehill
Expecting them to give you carte blanche with their work to me just sounds wrong.
And expecting content creators to be able to break the copyright bargain without any justification definitely is wrong.

The world has changed (note past tense). The old business models for distributing content simply don't work in a world where the infrastructure not only permits, but facilitates, the easy copying of digital information in all forms.

Any company that sticks to the old business models is a dinosaur and like all good dinosaurs, they will become extinct.
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:19 AM   #15
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Any company that sticks to the old business models is a dinosaur and like all good dinosaurs, they will become extinct.
Good dinosaurs become birds, and fill the skies today... Bad ones get bigger and bigger until they get killed climate changing / asteroid impacts.
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