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Old 09-15-2008, 12:09 AM   #1
pwalker8
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Kindle vs Sony Reader

Almost two years ago, at Christmas, I bought my first Sony reader. Last year, around this time, I bought the Sony 505. After watching the book counts in the the Amazon vs Sony content thread, I finally broke down and bought a Kindle for a couple of reasons. First, it's all about the content and right now, Amazon is much more aggressive about getting content for the Kindle than Sony is about getting content for the Reader. Second, I can purchase the content from Amazon and deDRM most of the books, thus being able to format shift the content that I purchase.

A couple of observations from my experiences. First, Amazon makes it so easy to buy books. I can buy via wireless on the kindle itself, I can buy via website and have it automatically sent wirelessly to my kindle or I can buy via website, download it to my mac and load it on the kindle via USB. With Sony, on the other hand, you have to really, really want to buy the book. I typically browse the Connect site via the web, write down any books that I want, then kick off Windows XP via Parallel, then bring up the Connect software and search for the books that I want. Then I download the books plug my Sony reader in and load them that way. You don't make money by making it hard for the customer to buy your product.

Second, I find that for simply sitting in the easy chair to do serious reading, I prefer the Sony. It's smaller, lighter and I find it much more comfortable to read. There are features on the kindle that I wish the Sony had (more font sizes for one), but none of these feature make up for how comfortable the Reader is in my hand when I read and how much easier it is to carry the sony than it is the kindle.

So far, what I've been doing is buying the books for the kindle, transferring it to my pc and then converting the book for the sony. So far, only one book has failed to convert and that was Glory Road, which came in azw1 format. Interestingly, that book doesn't appear to be encrypted, at least Stanza will pull it up, unfortunately the text is garbled.

I think that if I were going on a business trip, I would prefer to take the kindle, so I could easily buy new content, but for normal reading, I would carry the sony. All in all, right now, I think that I have the best of both worlds.
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:14 AM   #2
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Does this make you bi-readeral or e-ink squared? Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:44 AM   #3
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Thanks for the perspective. Like you, I've been eyeing the kindle for the more expansive selection of content at Amazon. However, I really like reading on my Sony and don't want to mess with that. It's interesting that you are converting Amazon docs for Sony and are on a Mac, that gives me some ideas.
I shop for books for my Sony the same way you do - browse on the web periodically, make a list, open Connect in a virtual machine (I use VMWare), then download and transfer. While this system is tedious I do find that it helps limit impulse buying. I've learned from past experience that when given free rein to shop I will go overboard. Having several roadblocks in place keeps my spending under control.
I'm relieved to see that the Sony still wins on readability, since that's ultimately what's most important.
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:18 PM   #4
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I have both also. I prefer the Kindle (for one, the screen attracts MUCH less dust than the Sony for some reason) and the Internet to get books (i.e. Feedbooks) is cool.

However the Sony has one big pro: Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). I can download books from my library and read them for 21 days each. They also have PRC for the Kindle but there are TONS more ADE books (and more ADE books get added than PRC and that trend will continue... out of the most recent 200 books added to my library, only ONE was in dual-format (there are no books that are only in PRC format, they are either in both formats or ADE only).

The Kindle gets that, the Sony gets stowed away in the closet. I love my Kindle
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:22 PM   #5
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GatorDeb--

Just a clarification--the prc (Mobipocket) books that libraries have are DRM'ed and I don't believe they will work on the Kindle--unless the DRM has been removed. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

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Old 09-15-2008, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dordale View Post
GatorDeb--

Just a clarification--the prc (Mobipocket) books that libraries have are DRM'ed and I don't believe they will work on the Kindle--unless the DRM has been removed. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

dordale
You are correct. The Kindle cannot handle DRM laden Mobipocket eBooks. AZW is a variant of Mobipocket that works only on the Kindle. But once the DRM is removed, they become ordinary Mobipocket eBooks without DRM).

AZW1 is Topaz format and that cannot be broken yet.
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dordale View Post
GatorDeb--

Just a clarification--the prc (Mobipocket) books that libraries have are DRM'ed and I don't believe they will work on the Kindle--unless the DRM has been removed. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

dordale
There is another way to view them that doesn't include breaking encryption. There's an igorsk script that adds the Kindle PID to the file so that it will open there. Restrictions still apply. After day 21 the Kindle wouldn't open it anymore.
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dordale View Post
Just a clarification--the prc (Mobipocket) books that libraries have are DRM'ed and I don't believe they will work on the Kindle--unless the DRM has been removed.
Igor's kindlefix script works on these files. This is not removing the DRM, but it does require an additional step before putting the files on your Kindle. See Amazon Kindle Hack: Read DRM-protected Mobipocket content! Post #223.
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:27 PM   #9
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I too have a Kindle and a Sony 500. I couldn't agree more with pwalker8! It's so easy to tote the 500, whereas the Kindle is just bulkier. You wouldn't think it makes that much of a difference, but it does. However, Amazon just can't be beat for their book selection and they get most of my money!
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:13 PM   #10
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GatorDeb and Wallcraft--Thanks for that. I do remember reading about Igorsk's kindlefix now. Since I don't own a Kindle, I'd forgotten this.

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Old 09-15-2008, 04:55 PM   #11
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I think Sony is taking steps to get more books on the Reader. I disagree with the statement that Amazon is doing more than Sony to get more content. We don't know what efforts the two companies are making, but we do know that Amazon already has tight relationships with the publishers. Sony's only recourse is to ensure that customers can get their books from as many sources as possible. They expanded the field with their ADE support and hopefully things will continue to improve. I am really looking forward to seeing what's up their sleeve at the Oct. 2nd event.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:25 PM   #12
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I just thought I'd point out that for anyone not in the USA the Kindle doesn't have the attraction of wireless download or the easy access to the library from amazon.com.

I do still like the idea of it's dictionary lookup, notation, and bookmarking features that seem superior to my PRS-505.

To be honest, I planned to buy the first properly supported reader that became available (and was supported by a major bookstore/chain) in the UK and that happened to be the Sony. If Amazon had got the Kindle out on amazon.co.uk sooner then I'm sure I'd be just as happy with my Kindle as I am now with my Sony.

Cheers,
Terry.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:50 PM   #13
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Amazon seems to be in bed with some publishers which is not a good thing for eBooks in general. It then means you are forced to get a Kindle if you want one of Amazon's exclusive eBooks. This to me strikes of bad business for eBooks. Amazon needs to learn that not everyone has or wants a Kindle and if they cannot get content because it's locked away by Amazon, then eBook sales won't increase. We have enough issues with the tower of eBable that it is not fair for any company to may exclusive deals for any content.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:37 PM   #14
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To a great extent I agree with that, and quite honestly I think that Amazon is ill served by it. On the other hand, I would not be surprised to see Amazon start to provide content on other platforms at some point over the next couple of years. Amazon is in the content business, not the hardware business. They should sale on as many platforms as possible so they can sale as many books as possible. They have the capability of being the iTunes of the eBook industry simply by doing what they do best, making it easy to buy books and pushing the customer in the direction of books they might like but not know about. In the end, I suspect this is what will happen as publishers start to drop DRM. We shall see.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerTez View Post
I do still like the idea of it's dictionary lookup, notation, and bookmarking features that seem superior to my PRS-505.

To be honest, I planned to buy the first properly supported reader that became available (and was supported by a major bookstore/chain) in the UK and that happened to be the Sony.
Well I do have to point out that some of the feature, such as Dictionary lookup are available in the Cybook Gen3.

And W.H. Smith has been promoting it quiet well, at least on their site. and their price is the best i've ever seen.

Also it's much more easy to get content for it being a mobipocket device. one place wher the high price of the pound gives us an advantage when buying ebooks.
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