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Old 01-04-2008, 05:56 PM   #1
ScottAGross
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Can Sony read Kindle eBooks and Vice versa?

I got a Sony 505 for Christmas and love it but was dismayed to find out that I cannot purchase Amazon eBooks for it. They only work on the Amazon Kindle.
So I wrote to Jeff Bezos and asked if he had ever heard of the concept that you make more money selling razor blades that you do making the razors that use the blades. In that industry, they practically give away the razors in order to rake in the big money selling dem blades. There is also the computer printer/ink cartridge comparison. I also asked if he was in the business of 'selling books' or 'selling hardware'?
I got a gracious reply from one of his admins saying that there is no compatibility and there may not be in the near future, but that they will consider my suggestion.
Since Sony only has about 20,000 titles and Amazon has over 100,000, I would really like to mine that Amazon Mother Lode with my Sony. If someone hears about a hack that can do cross conversions betwen the two formats, I'd sure like to hear about it. I'm not trying to get books for free. I'll gladly buy them from Amazon, I just don't want to have to own two eBook readers.
If you hear of one, please let me know.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:23 PM   #2
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The nearest thing to what you are looking for (if you have a Windows desktop) is to buy MS LIT e-books and use Convert LIT and then (say) lit2lrf and lit2mobi to read the same e-book on both devices. The other advantage of this approach is that LIT is about the best widely used e-book format for archiving, so your library is close to future proof.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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Thanks, wallcraft. I see that it is a solution if I can buy MS LIT formatted books and I have downloaded Convert LIT for future use. Unfortunately that doesn't address the Kindle format issue. Looking at the Amazon web site, the only way to get a Kindle book is to have them wirelessly send it to you so there doesn't appear to be any way to buy a Kindle book unless you own a Kindle. Arrghhh!!
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:49 AM   #4
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when I decided to order the Sony I did so
because I already had a huge library of converted
.lit files from being a Axim 51v owner.

Even with amazon's shere numbers there still are so
many sources for .lit.
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottAGross View Post
Since Sony only has about 20,000 titles and Amazon has over 100,000, I would really like to mine that Amazon Mother Lode with my Sony.
Everyone's always going on and on about Amazon's 80,000 books, or whatever number they're touting this week and bemoaning that Sony only has 29,000 or whatever. It's no doubt true Amazon has more stuff overall, but they also carry books from small e-only publishers & pod type publishers that can also be had for the Sony by buying right from the publisher or from Fictionwise in their Multiformat offerings. So I'm not sure really how much more Amazon really has. I do know that for regular fiction they don't really appear to have any more than Sony & some titles Sony (& other formats) has they don't offer at all. So don't just go by the numbers as they can be marketed to say things that really aren't so.
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:01 PM   #6
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Thank you for the input people. I'm feeling better already.
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:29 PM   #7
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Thank you for the input people. I'm feeling better already.
He is right. My favorite author is Dean Koontz; I chose the Sony because they had 25 of his books, including the 2 recent that I've not had a chance to read. Amazon had only 3. That and the fact that I love historic period romance novels, which I can easily get most of them in Lit format, made the Sony reader a great choice. Plus, I'm vain and felt the Kindle was to ugly to carry!
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:26 AM   #8
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Scott,

Forgive me for asking, but if you wanted to read Amazon books, why didn't you buy a Kindle rather than a Sony?
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:00 PM   #9
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Scott, another thing to note. A large part of Amazon's numbers are public domain books that are available for free for the Sony both here (MobileRead) and from other sites. Amazon charges for those freebies.

(PS: I, too, received a Sony for Christmas and when my wife said she thought she would buy the Kindle for me rather than the Sony I had been hinting for, I told I was pleased she opted for the Sony -- it meant I didn't have to go through the hassle of returning the gift )
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:12 PM   #10
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I spent a lot of time looking at ebook readers and got a shock when I got round to looking at the ebook market. Here's what I want in a reader: the ability to read ebook sold at a fair/cheap price, by current authors, not just bestsellers. With the majority of ereaders out there you need to jump through hoops because of hardware incompatibilities, text format incompatibilites (so many formats!), and any other number of issues including DRM at the front. Books are the easiest things in the world to read unless you want to read them electronically, in which case any company that sells you one becomes a de facto police state monitoring what you're reading and effectively allowing you to rent a book, not own it, until such time as they either stop providing support for most of those formats, particularly their own.

Until a couple of days ago, I was thinking very seriously about putting down the cash and getting a reader. But if I was going to buy one, and if I was able to use it in the way it was intended, I would get a Kindle. Here's why.

No worries about hardware compatibility. And based on my browsing, a far wider range of books at better prices than anyone else around. I browsed on various names I choose to read - generally cutting-edge science fiction by name and not-so-name authors - and found a hugely greater percentage of them available as Kindle. Not all, but far, far more than elsewhere. I can't speak for any public domain fiction and so forth, but I found most of the stuff in Amazon's kindle library that I want to read just now. Not anywhere else.

Put it this way: who is more likely to win in the ebook reader game - a company with no stake in publishing (Sony) or a company who are probably the biggest bookseller on the planet (Amazon) with a vested interest in getting the printed/electronic word to their customers? And what's going to happen when Sony chuck the towel in?

I still have a box of betamax tapes mouldering somewhere under some boxes in a cupboard somewhere. That, I suspect, is the likely future of the Sony Reader and most of the other formats. Yes, the Kindle is uglier, but the combination of availability of books and ease of use (within the USA, anway) ensure it's very likely to win by a long shot. UNLESS the Sony suddenly starts reading (and being able to download) kindle books.

The Kindle is proprietary, ugly, DRM-riddled, and almost guaranteed to succeed. As long as you're in the USA, but I hope that changes and they don't take too long to spread it around the world.

My advice to anyone in the States - speaking as a disappointed would-be reader owner - is, buy a Kindle. Outside of the USA, wait, unless you've got a lot more cash than I have.

Last edited by garygibsonsf; 01-08-2008 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:36 PM   #11
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This kind of goes to the crux of the matter in the thread I began about Sony's history. The majority of posters on this forum seem to be highly knowledgeable, motivated, intelligent and fully conversant with formatting material using existing ereader software.

The average Jane Doe or Joe Blow is going to be interested primarily in a device which will deliver the title or authors they most want at the lowest price and with the least hassle. And Jane or Joe probably don't know DRM from HBO or care to learn. We can't expect the great unwashed out there to approach the level of sophistication about such issues as this board discusses.

That said, the ereader 'war', if there is such a thing is not like VHS vs Beta or Blu-Ray vs HD. One format need not wipe out the other to gain mass acceptance. Digital books are always going to be very much a niche product, no matter how popular the Kindle becomes.

I was an early adopter of Tivo and other DVR devices. I just couldn't understand why the general public was slow to catch on to the concept of a DVR. I went from hardly ever watching TV to watching a ton of TV because there was 'always something good on' with a DVR, plus it is kinda like email in the old days....you have to delete data (programs) to make room for more programs...which means you have to watch the stuff.

VCRs and DVDs were quickly adopted by the masses because they had an appeal which was something that the average guy or gal could appreciate. This will never happen with an ereader, given the current state of technology.

The main reason DVRs have entered most households is that satellite and cable providers have pushed for their acceptance.

I wonder what it will take to get the general public attuned to the wonders of an ereader. I gave a Kindle to my sister and she carries it everywhere and shows it off to everyone. But she would never have bought it herself.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned in this board about the Kindle is the sharing of books on the same account. I have bought 2 extra Kindles to give to family members and whenever one of us buys a book, the others get a copy at no additional charge.

I don't think that can be done with any other ereader.

Anyway, as has been said in the Sony History thread, the Sony and Bookeen and Iliad and others will still be functional many years from now regardless of whether or not the Kindle gains mass acceptance.
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Old 01-09-2008, 03:48 AM   #12
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One thing that I haven't seen mentioned in this board about the Kindle is the sharing of books on the same account. I have bought 2 extra Kindles to give to family members and whenever one of us buys a book, the others get a copy at no additional charge.

I don't think that can be done with any other ereader.
No, that's incorrect. All the popular book readers on the market allow you to do that.
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:30 AM   #13
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garygibsonsf;136612:

You migh want to be careful not too generalise too much to support your position - Certainly Amazon has a load of books available for the Kindle (if in the US) but, for instance, converting other formats to the Sony is not rocket-science, (Using libprs500, it's point&click,) so all the MS Reader .lit books are also available.

Again, for your requirements, Amazon might well be better, but for my SF requirements, Baen is better. I'd also not just ignore all the free classics, either...

> And what's going to happen when Sony chuck the towel in?

My Reader will keep on going - it's not as if it needs to "phone home" or anything... I expect I'll have enough to read for longer than the device (or me, for that matter) lasts...

By the way, are you aware that the Kindle isn't Amazon's first venture into the eBook market? Maybe you might want to investigate what happened then?

Kingston:
> I don't think that can be done with any other ereader.

No, that's common to all. E.g. From memory, Sony lets you authorize 6 devices to an account, although 1 needs to be a PC.
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:35 AM   #14
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yeah, I agree with gwynevans above, I expect all the current slew of ereaders like cybook and sony will still carry on working even if the vendors stop making them. Theres enough user base for them that even if a new ebook format overtook all the others, you would most likely still be able to convert back to your readers format. So I wouldnt worry too much about the vendors "chucking in the towel". Take my palm for example. I bought my T3 a very long time back when palms where king of pda's. Now the palm company has changed hands so many times and the pda market has dropped to almost non existent (in uk), but I still heavily use it, and software is still widely available for it on the net.

I also beleive that DRM could make or break eReaders for the general market. The average Joe Blogs still isnt that computer savvy and isnt going to be interested in breaking drms or converting them to get them to work for their eReaders, hence why I can see the kindle doing well, epsecially if they made them available to outside of usa.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingston View Post
I just couldn't understand why the general public was slow to catch on to the concept of a DVR. I went from hardly ever watching TV to watching a ton of TV because there was 'always something good on' with a DVR, plus it is kinda like email in the old days....you have to delete data (programs) to make room for more programs...which means you have to watch the stuff.
While saying something along the lines of "I went from hardly ever reading to reading books all the time because of an ebook reader" would be inspiring, the accomplishment of going from hardly ever watching TV to watching "a ton" of it is probably more of a dubious achievement. It is like saying "I went from saying no to drugs to being an addict thanks to a pusher".

Sony and Amazon certainly deserve praise for coming up with innovative methods to turn people to books, but I am not so certain the invention of DVR deserves equivalent touting.
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