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Old 03-07-2008, 03:29 PM   #1
crewpsu
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.AZW formats?

Hello everyone,
First let me say I know that .azw (amazon's format) is what the kindle uses. My question is do you think that this format will ever be supported by other devices such as the cybook? I like the idea of the cybook (support for non-drm, etc) and I would love to support an organization such as NAEB, but I can't help but like the cost and content of amazon's growing ebook collection. Would it even be possible for the current cybook to gain support for .azw via a firmware update? Thanks for your answers ahead of time.

Kurt
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:37 PM   #2
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It's technically very possible since .azw is actually the same as the regular mobipocket .prc format with different DRM protection, but it'll never happen. Amazon is evil, and letting the Cybook read their files would destroy the monopoly they're trying to create.

Crewpsu just posted an interesting article in the Content forum related to this whole topic. Here's a link: E-book pricing article

If you are still interested in the Cybook I would recommend looking at places other than mobipocket.com to get an idea of pricing. Places like Books on Board are a lot more reasonable.

OOPS, you ARE Crewpsu. Well that's a hilarious mistake. Anyways, what is possible is that someone will hack up some sort of software that converts azw to prc, but that would technically be illegal to use.

I myself just had to choose between the Kindle and the Cybook, and I just ordered the Cybook, but it's certainly not an easy choice to make.

Last edited by binzer; 03-07-2008 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:54 PM   #3
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The AZW format is essentially the same as MobiPocket's MOBI format.

There are no technical issues with support, only marketing ones. Amazon has decided to only directly (i.e. via amazon.com) sell e-books to owners of their Kindle device, and only in AZW format tied to specific Kindle devices.

If you have a Kindle, it is possible (though probably not legal) to buy AZW e-books, break the DRM, and read the resulting DRM-free MOBI file on whatever device you want. However, you can't even buy a AZW e-book without owning a Kindle.

The last set of statistics I saw suggested that there are relatively few fiction e-books available for the Kindle that are not also available in MOBI or LIT format (there are more non-fiction titles for the Kindle than other devices though). Amazon's price for e-books is sometimes lower than other sources, but you are buying a product tied (in principle) to a single kind of device.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
The AZW format is essentially the same as MobiPocket's MOBI format.

There are no technical issues with support, only marketing ones. Amazon has decided to only directly (i.e. via amazon.com) sell e-books to owners of their Kindle device, and only in AZW format tied to specific Kindle devices.

If you have a Kindle, it is possible (though probably not legal) to buy AZW e-books, break the DRM, and read the resulting DRM-free MOBI file on whatever device you want. However, you can't even buy a AZW e-book without owning a Kindle.

The last set of statistics I saw suggested that there are relatively few fiction e-books available for the Kindle that are not also available in MOBI or LIT format (there are more non-fiction titles for the Kindle than other devices though). Amazon's price for e-books is sometimes lower than other sources, but you are buying a product tied (in principle) to a single kind of device.
'Essentially'... Oh how I LOVE such vagueness. By that viewpoint a cow is 'essentially' a wolf. I mean, they both have brains, lungs, mouths, walk on four legs... The DRM in an AZW file is, I believe, different. The Amazon Kindle can read a Mobi-DRM'd ebook, and a non-DRM'd Kindle file can be, by renaming the extension to .mobi or .prc, be read in any Mobi app, but the DRM'd version of Kindle files are unaccessible without breaking the encryption.

Derek
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:09 PM   #5
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I suppose something to consider is how likely you are to buy another device in the near future. If you're the kind of person who will buy a new reader in a year because it's totally kickass and has a million features, you may be better off going with the Cybook just so you can reuse your e-books.

If you think you'll keep your device for a really long time and are purely concerned with money savings then the Kindle is probably a better bet. Of course, maybe it'll be Amazon to come out with the next super awesome device, but I prefer not to support them if I can justify avoiding it.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphidb96 View Post
The Amazon Kindle can read a Mobi-DRM'd ebook, and a non-DRM'd Kindle file can be, by renaming the extension to .mobi or .prc, be read in any Mobi app, but the DRM'd version of Kindle files are unaccessible without breaking the encryption.

Derek
I thought the Kindle only could read non-DRM'd .prcs?

Anyways, as readers gain popularity I'm sure people will start breaking encryptions (if you look at popular devices like the psp and DS, these types of things are being hacked within days of release) and maybe that'll force the device-makers to be more lenient with file-reading to avoid piracy, but I wouldn't bet money on it.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphidb96 View Post
The DRM in an AZW file is, I believe, different. The Amazon Kindle can read a Mobi-DRM'd ebook, and a non-DRM'd Kindle file can be, by renaming the extension to .mobi or .prc, be read in any Mobi app, but the DRM'd version of Kindle files are unaccessible without breaking the encryption.
The DRM scheme is identical to MOBI, all that is different is the PID. So what you say is correct, but only in the same sense that it is impossible to read an existing DRM-laden MOBI file on a new device. To read the MOBI file on a new device (without breaking the DRM) you need a new file with the PID of the device embedded in it. In the case of most MOBI e-book vendors, they will add the new PID for you and send you an updated file. Amazon won't add the PID of a non-Kindle to AZW files - but if they did then the files would work. The "essentially" part is one bit that is different in AZW files than in MOBI files, but I don't think MOBI reader software checks this bit.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:32 PM   #8
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Igorsk made a tool that allows you to use the Kindle's PID at many stores to license your DRM-ed mobi books and read them on the Kindle. There are also scripts that break the DRM altogether though that is illegal in many places. As for Amazon's books, you need to own a Kindle to buy them so while I could technically buy one, strip off the DRM and give it to a friend, that would be quite illegal. I think there are some countries where it's not but Amazon's only selling in the US.

Hopefully some day the publishers will learn what the music industry is beginning to understand and we'll see more DRM-free content out there. I don't think it will be for awhile, though.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binzer View Post
I thought the Kindle only could read non-DRM'd .prcs?
Look at this, and then follow the links to get more info:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...kindle+content
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:00 AM   #10
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I think the more important issue is, you can only get AZW books via the whispernet service that is only available through the Kindle. If you want to buy a new device and keep reading your books, you'll have to buy the latest Kindle. Amazon wants you stuck in Kindle-land and will more than likely not allow competing devices to play along.

That's how iPods and the iTunes Music Store works and that's probably how the Kindle and whispernet will work.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:42 AM   #11
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I think the more important issue is, you can only get AZW books via the whispernet service that is only available through the Kindle. If you want to buy a new device and keep reading your books, you'll have to buy the latest Kindle. Amazon wants you stuck in Kindle-land and will more than likely not allow competing devices to play along.

That's how iPods and the iTunes Music Store works and that's probably how the Kindle and whispernet will work.
while AZW are kindle specific you do not have to use whispernet. you can download the files on your PC or Mac or anything else and transfer them via USB.

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Old 03-10-2008, 12:15 PM   #12
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while AZW are kindle specific you do not have to use whispernet. you can download the files on your PC or Mac or anything else and transfer them via USB.

Dale
I see that now. It looks like you can't buy a Kindle book without a Kindle though. (I tried just now and it yells at me to buy a Kindle). At least you can back up your files off of Amazon's servers.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:21 PM   #13
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You are supposed to be a US resident to be able to purchase AZW from Amazon. That is you have to have a US credit card linked to a US address.
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:40 PM   #14
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You are supposed to be a US resident to be able to purchase AZW from Amazon. That is you have to have a US credit card linked to a US address.

*AND* you have to already have a Kindle registered to your name. No Kindle registered to you, no right to purchase Kindle .AZW ebooks.

Have I mentioned recently how much I *LOATHE* individual-device-specific DRM?!?

Derek
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