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Old 07-18-2014, 10:26 AM   #16
meeera
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Originally Posted by bvz View Post

The second point is that the kobo interface is needlessly complicated. I have no idea what drm format each individual book is in and frankly I shouldn't have to. I'm using the latest version of the software they provide.
Again, don't do that. Not even Kobo's Help section says to use the Kobo Desktop to load your books onto a Sony reader. If the usual method, a Wifi sync with Kobo, isn't working:

here

Quote:
"Transferring books

Transfer Kobo eBooks to non-Kobo eReaders by using Adobe Digital Editions.

Adobe® Digital Editions is a free application that you can use to read Kobo books and transfer them to a non-Kobo eReader."
and here.

All else is guesswork, though, since you still haven't actually told us what you've tried and what errors you're receiving.

Last edited by meeera; 07-18-2014 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:40 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by bvz View Post

The point was to warn people that if you live the United States and run into a problem using a kobo (or a Sony tied to kobo) that you have only one support option and that it is SLOW.
I'm not a big fan of Kobo's customer support, but you are absolutely mistaken in thinking that you can't call them. I live in the US, I have called them before and talked to someone with no wait time.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:39 PM   #18
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Here is the help page for Sony readers:

http://www.kobo.com/help/en-US/artic...r-sony-ereader

I followed these instructions to the letter. Posters here have other solutions that are most likely better, but right off the bat the kobo help is not helping.





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I'm not a big fan of Kobo's customer support, but you are absolutely mistaken in thinking that you can't call them. I live in the US, I have called them before and talked to someone with no wait time.
We have as well which is why I was so surprised that they have recently dropped that option. After the switch from the Sony store half of my wife's books wouldn't open on her reader (still won't) and we were able to call at quite a late hour and get almost immediate help (no resolution, but at least some help).

Now if you go to http://www.kobo.com/help you have one option for contacting them, which is to contact customer care. From there you select your region (for us it is the United States). From there you indicate whether you have a new issue or an existing one. Hitting new brings you to their email support.

Frustrated, I searched the web for a phone number. I found one, but that is just a recording telling you that they have changed their customer support - presumably to this new email only method.

So, yeah. Previously I was impressed with my ability call them. Now they have taken a 180.

I'm about to leave the internet for the next three weeks so no more posts from me for a while. Just want to reiterate my thanks to everyone for chiming in and helping me out this. This seems like a great community!
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:29 AM   #19
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With a Sony device you should be using the latest version of Sony Reader PC software and not the Kobo Desktop software. Which are you using? The instructions that you linked to does say use the latest version of the Sony software.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:32 AM   #20
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Why is it people are creating threads with disparaging titles? Then the problem gets solved and the OP just looks like a bitter person. This really should stop. Just say you have a problem, not that something sucks or is !@#$%ed or such.
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:24 PM   #21
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Yesterday I bought five books at Kobo, and was unable to download them using ADE 2.0.1 by dropping the ascm files into it. The only message was: "Error. Check activation."

Googling revealed that reauthorizing the computer works. Press CTRL+SHIFT+D to remove authorization, then log in using the Adobe ID again, reauthorizing the computer. That fixed the problem.

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Old 08-08-2014, 09:31 PM   #22
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Just got back from my vacation. Wow, that was great. And just in the nick of time too (I thought I was going to lose my mind from the stress of my job).

In the end I was able to read my books (I was able to download them directly to my reader and skip the desktop software - though two of the books still refuse to open).

Again I want to thank everyone here who chimed to try to help me. I am only back about 8 hours so far and still a bit jet-lagged so I haven't tried any of the solutions posted here. I will do that within the next week or so and report back on my successes.

Spoiler:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jersysman View Post
With a Sony device you should be using the latest version of Sony Reader PC software and not the Kobo Desktop software. Which are you using? The instructions that you linked to does say use the latest version of the Sony software.
Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
Again, don't do that. Not even Kobo's Help section says to use the Kobo Desktop to load your books onto a Sony reader.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
You do not use Kobo Desktop with a Sony Reader. That's your first mistake. Your second mistake is that you are not using ADE to download the ACSM files.

<snip>

The problem here is that you are not doing the proper steps needed to get these eBooks onto your T1.
Sorry I was unclear about the exact steps I was using. Between being exhausted and short on time my posts were muddled and unspecific. I was always using the latest version of the Sony (not Kobo) desktop software. I made sure I downloaded the latest version of prior to trying any of the syncing on my original post. I also made sure that the reader itself was updated to the latest firmware. I basically followed their help document (including only using the Sony desktop software) to the letter, but only get an uninformative "failed to download content" error (in the Sony desktop software) on any book that has DRM on it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
... If you have ADE and your T1 registered to the same account, you can download all of the ACSM files via ADE and once ADE downloads the ePub, you can then transfer the ePub to your T1. If your T1 is not registered to the same account as ADE, then you cannot view any of the DRMed ePub on your T1 without first stripping the DRM.
Thanks for the tip. To be honest, I have no idea what an ACSM file is or how to exactly follow these steps, but I'm fairly technical. I'm pretty sure that once I google that a bit I will be able to try it out. I'll post back on my results. Thanks again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by the.Mtn.Man View Post
I contacted customer support through their website a couple of weeks ago and got a call-back within 2-hours. It wasn't the 5-minutes they promised on the support form, but it certainly wasn't "SLOW", either.
I had contacted them as well (during my original issue) and they got back to me (via email) within 30 hours. Unfortunately by then I was gone. 30 hours is way too slow (and the email they sent was 100% useless). I'm not sure where they promised 5 minutes. That would have been fantastic. 2 hours would also have been acceptable. When I tried, in the United States, they promise a 48-60 hour turnaround time, and no calls back.

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Originally Posted by samhy View Post
You can try that Live Assistance
Thanks for the link! I'll keep it in case I need it again. Where did you find that? I looked everywhere for a link for a live chat. Had this been somewhere I could have found it I would have used it and not bothered the fine people here with my crabby crabby demeanor.

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Originally Posted by RZetlin View Post
I am not clear how you bought the books.

Did you purchase the books through your sony reader or through the kobo webiste?

How are you downloading the books? Is it through the Kobo desktop or on the website?

If you live in North America you can try and contact Kobo with these methods:
Phone: 1-855-732-3662
E-Mail: help@kobobooks.com
Sorry again for my unclear posts. I had purchased them through the Kobo website and then tried to download them via the Sony desktop reader app.

Unfortunately the phone number you list only plays a recording telling you to go to their website for help (with all the attendant problems I had originally)

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Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
So because you had one bad experience, kobo is crap? Ah !

use Adobe digital edition rather than kobo desktop.
I will give that a shot (ADE), though I tried briefly the fist night and had no luck. That said I was also running out of time and did not dig too deeply into it. I will give it another shot. Thanks.

And it isn't that I had one bad experience that Kobo is crap. It is that *when* someone has a bad experience (which happens with every product everywhere) then there is nowhere official to turn to to try to make the bad experience into a good one. The experience with Kobo + Sony HAS been kind of crappy because of all the technical issues but that isn't the reason I suggest people avoid them. I suggest people avoid them because *when* (not if) you have a technical issue, you will only have substandard help available to you. That isn't one bad experience. It is a promise of a bad experience every single time you have a technical issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
This forum is about which devices people should buy, not what ebook vendor they should use.
Noted. That said, if a device that someone is considering is tightly coupled with Kobo then the issues I have been having (i.e. substandard support) might be enough of a reason to skip that device and go with another bit of hardware.


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Originally Posted by meeera View Post
If these books have an ADE DRM epub download option, there's no obvious reason the OP wouldn't be able to grab them with ADE, strip them, and load them onto their PRS-T1 with Calibre, if they can't get anything else working in the limited timeframe. Kobo Desktop software is not required, and nor is Sony Reader software, though we still have no idea what the OP has actually tried.

But it appears at this stage that they didn't actually come here to ask for help, so.... *shrug*. I hope they enjoy their rage more than they would have enjoyed their books. Plenty of people here would have helped, given half a chance; that's been my experience of mobileread, anyhow.
I had considered using Calibre but there just wasn't enough time for me to figure it out (as well as any anciliary software I may or may not need to go along with it). That said, I think it will be my preferred method going forward. Just stripping the books of DRM and then reading them wherever and whenever I like is compelling enough a reason to spend the few moments learning Calibre and ADE. In fact, in light of the complete lack of help that Kobo offers, I may have no other choice if I want to actually read the books I paid for.

With regard to my rage, I didn't enjoy it that evening. I did, however, have it with a nice leftover salad the next morning and it was simply delicious.

And I agree, the people in this community have been awesome.

Quote:
Why is it people are creating threads with disparaging titles? Then the problem gets solved and the OP just looks like a bitter person. This really should stop. Just say you have a problem, not that something sucks or is !@#$%ed or such.
The problem isn't the technical issues (though they are the impetus for the problem). The problem is that Kobo has an anemic and substandard help process here in the U.S. That was my original issue. That is why I am suggesting that people avoid Kobo. If you rely on them for your ebooks and you have a problem, you will not be able to get anything remotely resembling decent support, much less timely support. This isn't something that the excellent community here can solve.

The fact that Kobo (and Sony) cannot seem to program their way out of a cardboard box is annoying. The fact that half of my wife's books purchased prior to the transition to Kobo don't open since the transition (even after contacting Kobo support and trying their suggestions) is annoying. The fact that even now, two of my paid for books will not open due to DRM issues is annoying. The fact that I cannot purchase additional books overseas is annoying. The fact that they let you buy two copies of the same book during the same purchase without a warning is annoying.

There are a litany of technical and usability issues (way more than I think any consumer facing product should have) which combine to make the experience with them (Sony and Kobo) annoying.

But that wasn't what I was complaining about. I am used to technical issues with technical products. I wish Sony (and Kobo) were better at their jobs, but I am not the kind of person who gets upset about technical problems. I can dig into them and, with help, usually fix them.

But the fact that an inherently technical company (which any e-reader and ebook store is) does not have either a phone number for technical support or live chat is a serious problem. It is, in fact, THE problem I originally pointed out. I'm not talking about 24 hour support. During business hours is fine. There just needs to be *some* support that is live. Or at the very least support that has a turn-around time (during business hours) of less than an hour.

But offering a technical service and then having a 48-60 hour turnaround for email support is untenable. After I emailed Kobo, they got back to me in about 30 hours (which is 18 hours "faster" than their minimum time so I guess perhaps I should be impressed now). It was too late to help me as I was already away from my computer. But even had it gotten to me in 20 hours (which was the amount of time I had) it would have been completely wasted because all they did was email me a copy of the instructions I already had read online. This is why email support for technical issues is a complete waste of time. Without any sort of interactivity there was no way for me to indicate to them that I had already read the instructions that they so laboriously forwarded to me almost a day and a half after I asked for help.

I am not a bitter person (though I have a wrinkled, frowny kind of face and eat a lot of Kale which may lead to a bitter kind of taste) but I WAS bitter that my purchases didn't work and that Kobo does not offer any reasonable way of contacting them to rectify the problem. My original post was full of vitriol that came from the realization that Kobo was not going to be able to help me in a timely manner after I had just spent over $200 with them. I wished I had been more measured when I wrote it originally, but I still stand 100% behind the gist of my original post and subject (if maybe not the tone). I fully and completely recommend that, until such time Kobo can demonstrate that it is able to provide adequate, timely support for their products, people should avoid them (and any devices that are closely coupled with their service).


Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
Phone and live chat support is generally available as an option, but the support here is usually better for general questions that don't require the company's direct input.

This forum has been awesome. I am exceeding grateful to the community here for taking time out of their busy days to try to help me out (even with my grumpy first post). I will, now that I have time and am a bit rested, dig into the issue a bit more and report back with my findings (in case any other grumpy old men/women come by with the same issue).

But in any event, I recommend that anyone who is considering an e-reader device avoid those that are tied to Kobo.

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 08-09-2014 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:15 PM   #23
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Just a quick update:

I have figured out the problem and it is a weird one. Katsunami actually pointed me in the right direction.

I tried de and then re-authorizing my computer (I didn't know I could do this). This prompted the software to ask for my Kobo login again (even though it had been logged in previously). So I entered the information. Next, it asked for my Adobe login info. So I entered that in as well. But that is where it failed (Just with an error box that said: failed. No more info than that). I tried multiple times but it kept on failing. That was weird because I have had an Adobe login since the dawn of time (I do a lot of work using their products) and I know my login by heart.

So I went over to the Adobe website to log in there. The very first thing that happened after I logged in (using my correct username and password) is that Adobe forced me to change my password.

And that is when I had my AHA! moment. Adobe had that ridiculous security breach a while back where their entire user base had their login credentials stolen. I never log into my adobe account and my password that I use for their forums was a throw-away password anyway, so I never bothered "fixing" my login.

But they had frozen my account (or something similar) until I created a new password. So the Sony reader desktop app was trying to authorize the DRM on an account that existed but whose password had been partially rejected. Once I reset my password I was able to log into my reader app using the new password and am able to download my books (or at least one of them so far... I am cautiously optimistic about the others).

So, problem solved (I think) and thanks to everyone here for their help.

That said, I want to reiterate that I still think Kobo failed miserably here. Had they had some sort of live chat or phone number that I could have used to contact them directly then all of this could have been figured out relatively quickly. But they didn't and, as such, I wound up almost not being able to read my books while traveling. The root cause of the problems were lousy programming practices (cryptic error messages such as "failed" or "could not download content" are stunningly bad programming practices on an consumer facing piece of software), but the actual problem is that Kobo does not have a decent help mechanism when technical issues do arise. Until such time as they can demonstrate that their help system will not leave you stranded for days and days and days, I would still recommend that people avoid Kobo devices or devices that rely on the Kobo back end.

That said, I am writing (a thoughtful, not vitriolic ) letter to Kobo to try to let them know how I think they could improve their help system. Most likely it will fall on deaf ears, but maybe they will be able to make some changes to improve their customer experience.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:26 PM   #24
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Incidentally, here is a tiny example of the quality control issues I am talking about when using the Sony software (which may or may not be Kobo's fault). It is just kind of funny in that it just shows how lax their programming standards are:

When you click the "download all" button you get the following message:


"Please click Yes if you wish to download all yet to be downloaded contents. Otherwise, click NO and make selections before click the Download All icon button."

Beyond the obvious grammatical errors, the best part is yet to come:

The buttons are labeled "Ok" and "Cancel".


Now this is the Sony software (I don't know who is responsible for maintaining it now that Kobo is the back end, but I suspect it is still Sony) and it isn't a real problem per-se. It is a tiny tiny issue. And it really isn't germane to my issues with Kobo. But it is a window into the level of effort that has been put into this particular bit of software and causes me to chuckle (but in a sort of maniacal, I-can't-believe-this-is-serious kind of way). After all the actual problems I have had with this reader app, this one was kind of like the icing on the cake and made me laugh. I thought I would pass it on.
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:19 AM   #25
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:10 AM   #26
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?

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Old 08-09-2014, 01:00 PM   #27
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Now this is the Sony software (I don't know who is responsible for maintaining it now that Kobo is the back end, but I suspect it is still Sony) and it isn't a real problem per-se. It is a tiny tiny issue. And it really isn't germane to my issues with Kobo. But it is a window into the level of effort that has been put into this particular bit of software and causes me to chuckle (but in a sort of maniacal, I-can't-believe-this-is-serious kind of way). After all the actual problems I have had with this reader app, this one was kind of like the icing on the cake and made me laugh. I thought I would pass it on.
Indeed, this has nothing to do with Kobo, but still. I get your point. It shows that they didn't bother to make something that's as clean as polished as it could be.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:07 AM   #28
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The only way I know consistently to tell if a book is not one of the crappy ADE3 books is to download a sample. In your library on the Kobo site the book won't have a download button since it's a sample, but it will state "Adobe DRM" or ePub or PDF so at least you can see what you're getting. I've pretty much stopped buying Kobo books since they (for some asinine reason) changed the website so you don't know what you're getting until they get your money. That's absolutely ridiculous. They advertise being able to read ther books on any device that reads epubs...and this stupid policy sure doesn't support that if I can only read on my Kobo. Personally I think they've shot themselves in the foot with their awful new website design...search doesn't even work properly any more.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:47 PM   #29
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That must be what is happening to me right now with my last two books. I have properly purchased them and made sure that both (!) of my logins for the Sony Desktop software are correct (they work for all my other books). But they simply will not open no matter what I do. Logging into my account on the web shows that they are there, but they don't have any sort of a button next to them (i.e. most of my other books have either EPUB or Adobe DRM EPUB or PDF next to them. These books don't have anything next to them).

The books download alright now (thanks again to the tips I got from this forum) but the actual files just have a long gibberish name. Opening these epub files in Textwrangler on my Mac, I can see a bunch of sub-files in there that seem to generally match the structure of my other epub files. But no matter what I do I cannot open them (they just say something to the effect of "This computer is not authorized to read this book."

Naturally I have not gotten back any response from Kobo even after two attempts to email them (my only option) and way more than the 60 hours they list as their turn-around time.

I wonder if they are slowly going out of business and this is the symptoms of that.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:36 PM   #30
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Posts: 140
Karma: 1057076
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Québec
Device: Kindle PW
Quote:
Originally Posted by selina4books View Post
Personally I think they've shot themselves in the foot with their awful new website design...search doesn't even work properly any more.
Agreed. It's the worst search engine that I have to deal with when looking for books. Sometimes even writing the exact book's title will throw completely irrelevant results, and the actual book will be buried somewhere in the results. I find it incredible that someone at Kobo would analyze this search engine and think "yup, this is it boys".
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