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Old 05-27-2008, 07:29 PM   #1
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decisions, decisions - sony or ?

i had thought that since ereader was a sony format, that the sony 505 would be able to read it, and since the sony seemed to cover everything else i wanted, i was planning to get one.

but i just read at books on board that the sony won't read it. in fact, as far as i can tell, the sony 505 can't read anything at books on board, and that mobipocket is the format of choice there.

so... that leads me back to the question i thought i had answered for myself. what is the best reader that

1. reads text files (preferably without annoying conversion)
2. has a large selection of current books available widely
3. can read html or other formats found on the older stuff at baen, gutenberg, etc?
4. can read simple pdfs (no images or weird formatting)
5. has no backlight, no shiny screen
6. not too large - i read everywhere

i appreciate your help on this. i'm a complete newbie about electronic readers, but if i don't get one, we're going to drown under a huge and ever-growing pile of books - and besides, when you want a new book suddenly in the middle of the night, downloading is definitely the way to go
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:32 PM   #2
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Amazon's Kindle
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:41 PM   #3
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i believe you have to convert every text file in order to read them on kindle - is that correct? also do many other stores sell books formatted for kindle? i found amazon kindle books to be pricy and i found more titles of books i like elsewhere. also if your wireless in your kindle goes down, or you're where there is no connection, can you still read the books you have already paid for?

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Old 05-27-2008, 07:47 PM   #4
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Not every file. You can read more detail here.

Quote:
Documents Kindle Recognizes

Your Kindle can automatically read the file types listed in the chart below without requiring conversion to a Kindle-compatible format. Simply copy the files from your computer to the appropriate folder on your Kindle using the USB connection. Files you transfer will appear on Kindle's Home screen. For more informaton on transferring files via USB, see Using Kindle with Your Computer.

Kindle (.azw), text (.txt), Mobi (.mobi*, .prc*)

MP3 music format (.mp3)

Audible.com (.aa)

* Files containing digital rights management software will not be readable.

Converting Your Personal Documents

Personal documents in file formats not automatically recognized by Kindle may be converted to a Kindle recognized format using e-mail. E-mail an attachment to a Kindle e-mail address and Amazon converts the file and delivers it to your Kindle or back to your computer.

The following file formats can be converted via e-mail for viewing on Kindle:

* Microsoft Word (.DOC)
* Structured HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
* JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
* GIF (.GIF)
* PNG (.PNG)
* BMP (.BMP)

The above file types can also be combined into a compressed ZIP (.ZIP) file. ZIP files are automatically opened up by the conversion service, converted to Kindle format, and sent to your Kindle or computer as specified.

Converting PDF Files
PDF conversion is experimental. The experimental category represents the features we are working on to enhance the Kindle experience even further. You can email your PDFs wirelessly to your Kindle. Due to PDF's fixed layout format, some complex PDF files might not format correctly on your Kindle.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:52 PM   #5
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Text can be read without conversion. HTML and PDF needs to be converted. PDF conversion is frankly iffy but then so is reading unconverted PDF on a 6" screen. Simple text PDFs do pretty well. Tables often go wonky, in my experience. You can convert files with the Mobipocket software or have Amazon do it for you for free. If you want them to send the converted file to your Kindle wirelessly, that's an extra 10 cent charge.

If Sprint EVDO service is not available where you are, you can most definitely read. You can also load new files through the USB like other reading devices. The only things you couldn't do would be to download files or over wireless, shop the store from the Kindle itself (rather than your computer), do a web or Wikipedia search, or use the web browser for any other sort of internet stuff. You could purchase books from Amazon, download them to the computer, and transfer to the Kindle but I don't think you can do that with samples. I may be wrong but I think the free sample chapters only go wirelessly.

The DRM-ed Mobipockets you may wish to buy from other stores can sometimes be read on the Kindle by using igorsk's hack.

You may also want to look into the Cybook Gen3. It may cover more of the bases for you.

Last edited by Alisa; 05-27-2008 at 07:53 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:17 PM   #6
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The three mainstream 6" ebook readers in the US, are the PRS-505, Kindle and Cybook. Only the Cybook will read DRMed ebooks from multiple sources (MOBI), although some DRMed MOBIs are usable on the Kindle. None will read eReader ebooks, although the Astak Mentor series of devices will be available this summer from FictionWise supporting this format (see Astak's recent post).

My experience is that Kindle ebooks are often cheaper than other ebook sellers, although FictionWise (for example) has ways to make ebooks less expensive if you buy from them routinely.

For Baen ebooks, I think you can now download any that you bought from them or from the free library formated for the PRS-505. This isn't the case for free Baen CD's though. So far as I know, all Baen ebooks are available in .prc format or in the new .mobi format (better cover page and TOC) - both of which will work on the Kindle and the Cybook.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basschick View Post
i had thought that since ereader was a sony format, that the sony 505 would be able to read it, and since the sony seemed to cover everything else i wanted, i was planning to get one.

but i just read at books on board that the sony won't read it. in fact, as far as i can tell, the sony 505 can't read anything at books on board, and that mobipocket is the format of choice there.

so... that leads me back to the question i thought i had answered for myself. what is the best reader that

1. reads text files (preferably without annoying conversion)
2. has a large selection of current books available widely
3. can read html or other formats found on the older stuff at baen, gutenberg, etc?
4. can read simple pdfs (no images or weird formatting)
5. has no backlight, no shiny screen
6. not too large - i read everywhere

i appreciate your help on this. i'm a complete newbie about electronic readers, but if i don't get one, we're going to drown under a huge and ever-growing pile of books - and besides, when you want a new book suddenly in the middle of the night, downloading is definitely the way to go
Welcome! Having just recently bought my first ebook device - the Sony 505 - I completely feel your pain of indecision. Speaking entirely from the point of view of a 505 owner, let me see if I can address your 6 requirements.

1. txt files are read natively
2. Decent selection of books through the Sony store, though Amazon has a larger collection. *see note
3. HTML is not read natively, but is easily converted with free software.
4. Yes it can read simple PDFs about as well as any other 6" device, meaning "ok" at best.
5. It's the Vizplex e-ink screen, just like Amazon's Kindle. No backlight, truly pleasant to read on for hours.
6. In my very biased opinion the Sony 505 has the best hardware design of the bunch.

Ok the note I wanted to make in regards to book selection centers entirely on the ability to convert from various formats to Sony's native format. The free program "calibre" can convert from many other formats and does a splendid job. Here's a link: http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/

Taken from the FAQ on the calibre website :
Quote:
What formats does calibre support conversion to/from?

calibre supports the conversion of the following formats to LRF: HTML, LIT, MOBI, PRC, EPUB, RTF, TXT, PDF and LRS. It also supports the conversion of LRF to LRS and HTML. Note that calibre does not support the conversion of DRMed ebooks.
So with that in mind if you don't mind clicking a couple buttons to convert (it really is that simple) then you have access to many ebook formats. There may be similar options for Kindle, but I'm not familiar with what software is available for that device.

Let me also direct you to a recent post I made right before I made my decision & purchase: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...2&postcount=19
This gives my take on the 3 main contenders, Amazon's Kindle, Sony's 505 and the Cybook Gen3, after doing a lot of research on them.

Hope this helps some!
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:28 PM   #8
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MobileRead has created this handy little eBook matrix in their wiki, which might be helpful to you. I used it when I was narrowing down my decision.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basschick View Post
i had thought that since ereader was a sony format, that the sony 505 would be able to read it, and since the sony seemed to cover everything else i wanted, i was planning to get one.
Ereader is not a Sony format. The Sony Reader (not eReader) reads BBEB as a DRM format. Ereader is an entirely separate ebook format with its own DRM.

If you decide to get a dedicated reader, then I would recommend the Cybook. It reads Mobipocket, and that's as close to a universal format as exists.

But I think you should also consider a used PDA or handheld PC. There is a vast number available on Ebay, and most will display Ereader and Mobipocket. I use an HP Jornada 720. I'm very happy with it. In fact, I've stopped using my Kindle.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:57 PM   #10
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i have a pda. it's not as comfortable to hold or read from as the sony i tried at a couple stores. i like the idea of something the size of a paperback with a paperlike format. i work on my computer, and i have enough eyestrain that getting something that won't contribute further to sore eyes would be wonderful.

can a pda using mobi read drm-protected files? if not, what can?

a lot to think about here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Ereader is not a Sony format. The Sony Reader (not eReader) reads BBEB as a DRM format. Ereader is an entirely separate ebook format with its own DRM.

If you decide to get a dedicated reader, then I would recommend the Cybook. It reads Mobipocket, and that's as close to a universal format as exists.

But I think you should also consider a used PDA or handheld PC. There is a vast number available on Ebay, and most will display Ereader and Mobipocket. I use an HP Jornada 720. I'm very happy with it. In fact, I've stopped using my Kindle.

Last edited by basschick; 05-27-2008 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basschick View Post
i have a pda. it's not as comfortable to hold or read from as the sony i tried at a couple stores. i like the idea of something the size of a paperback with a paperlike format. i work on my computer, and i have enough eyestrain that getting something that won't contribute further to sore eyes would be wonderful.

can a pda using mobi read drm-protected files?

a lot to think about here...
All of my DRMed ebooks on my Jornada 720 are in Mobipocket. I talk about it here:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23267

I understand how you feel about PDAs. I've had several. The Jornada is different. I can't explain it.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:26 PM   #12
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is the cybook the only e-ink reader that legally reads drm-protected mobipocket files?
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:29 PM   #13
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The Illiad can, but it costs a lot more.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basschick View Post
i had thought that since ereader was a sony format, that the sony 505 would be able to read it, and since the sony seemed to cover everything else i wanted, i was planning to get one.
eReader most certainly is NOT a Sony format - whatever made you think that it was? It's owned by Fictionwise, who aren't associated with Sony in any way whatsoever.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:49 AM   #15
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i read it on a webpage.

i'm entirely new to the ebook thing - everything i know, i've read in the last 2 days, but i've probably spent 12 hours or more reading about it

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eReader most certainly is NOT a Sony format - whatever made you think that it was? It's owned by Fictionwise, who aren't associated with Sony in any way whatsoever.
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