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Old 08-20-2008, 03:02 AM   #1
Toshanda
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Question Longevity???

I have read in one of the thread about "comparing" ebooks to DVD division on HD or BlueRay. I am looking into buying one of the readers, so far I have narrowed it down to Sony or iLiad, (but now I am thinking about Astak 9" as well ). So my question is - Do we forsee anything like the DVD split in ebooks and formats???
It is not really question about an ebook retailer going out of business, it is more about "getting stuck with HD DVD" of Eink.
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:53 AM   #2
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For "longevity" you're probably better off going for a non-device-specific format such as MobiPocket, which is supported on multiple devices, rather than a format specific to one manufacturer, such as Sony's BBeB format. MobiPocket is supported on numerous devices, from Smartphones to eInk devices.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:43 AM   #3
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And obviously for proper longevity, try to avoid DRM too (if possible), or at least pick a DRM method you can get removed at a later point if you want/need to
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:28 AM   #4
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Even without a format war things will change. The biggest issue with computer media has less to do with safe storage and more to do with whether a particular media can be read years later. I don't think we can really tell what the future holds. I do believe it will take longer than you are willing to wait before making a purchase. An excellent question but one I am afraid no one can really answer.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:42 AM   #5
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the best way to insure maximum longevity is to favorise open formats and formats which do not encode the text too deeply. the .lit format is a thin wrapper over an html core which can easily be taken apart into its composing elements, which is good for archiving purposes as well as conversion to other formats. if you want to buy a book only available in drm formats this is probably the best one.

otherwise, it's a good idea to support open formats and notably the epub format which is the new industry standard ; since it is made using xhtml format for the text and css rules for the styles (the same formats used in web pages for instance) it can be read using a variety of programs. and the container can be unzipped using winzip or winrar for instance if you want to get at the core html text. it's highly unlikely that it will become so obsolete as to be illegible anytime soon. also it can easily be converted into any other format, if necessary, and is already supported natively by the sony 505 and soon by the bookeen cybook.
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