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View Poll Results: How do you feel about Topaz formatted books?
Who cares? If that is what Amazon has I buy it. 12 17.91%
Look around for non-topaz versions (fictionwise, BOB) but if not available, so be it. Topaz it is. 16 23.88%
Avoid altogether. Hello library or paperback version or just wait. 39 58.21%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-20-2008, 06:08 PM   #1
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Do you avoid Topaz formatted books or buy them anyway?

I got a sample of a book that is Topaz...OCR/scanned...readable but not clean...I would like to read the whole book but don't like that it is Topaz format. Apparently St. Martin's Press does this a lot. I checked fictionwise and BOB and even mobipocket.com and it looks like so far it is only available on the Kindle. I'm contemplating whether to buy it even though it is in Topaz format but don't like the thought that so far Topaz drm is not broken. Other options are to: a - wait; b - buy paperback; c - library. I'm thinking c - library is going to be the winner.

Just curious if others avoid Topaz or not.
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasnightowl View Post
I got a sample of a book that is Topaz...OCR/scanned...readable but not clean...I would like to read the whole book but don't like that it is Topaz format. Apparently St. Martin's Press does this a lot. I checked fictionwise and BOB and even mobipocket.com and it looks like so far it is only available on the Kindle. I'm contemplating whether to buy it even though it is in Topaz format but don't like the thought that so far Topaz drm is not broken. Other options are to: a - wait; b - buy paperback; c - library. I'm thinking c - library is going to be the winner.

Just curious if others avoid Topaz or not.
Avoid. My one adventure with Topaz from St. Martins Press caused my Kindle to freeze, so I'll use other options (including audiobook versions) for any books I really want.
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:15 PM   #3
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I just came up with a way right now to tell if a book is topaz or not... get a sample first. Of about 20 books only 1 is topaz, and I hate it. I avoid it like the plague.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:50 PM   #4
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Hmmm. I don't think I've run into one. What was the St Martin's book? I've been following the Dark Hunter saga, and don't recall anything that looked odd. [But I read most of them on Palm Pilot, and only the latest few on Kindle.] I'll wait to vote, till I see one.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
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Hate the things, wouldn't ever buy one. Aside from getting a sample chapter in order to determine the formatting, look (it's shown on-line, not via whispernet) at the size of the download. If it's in the 400-700KB range, it's not in Topaz formatting. If they don't give you the size of the download, but only tell you how many pages there are, be very suspicious. And if you do get one by mistake, send it back so Amazon will get the feedback.

Jim
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgoodDeb View Post
Hmmm. I don't think I've run into one. What was the St Martin's book? I've been following the Dark Hunter saga, and don't recall anything that looked odd. [But I read most of them on Palm Pilot, and only the latest few on Kindle.] I'll wait to vote, till I see one.
It came from the Julia Spencer-Flemming freebies this past summer. Here is the thread about it. Starting at post number 8 you can see the complaints begin.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgoodDeb View Post
Hmmm. I don't think I've run into one. What was the St Martin's book? I've been following the Dark Hunter saga, and don't recall anything that looked odd. [But I read most of them on Palm Pilot, and only the latest few on Kindle.] I'll wait to vote, till I see one.
The St. Martin's one I just ran into was: To the Edge by Cindy Gerard. Another one I've run into was 'Scuse Me while I kill this guy by Leslie Langtry.

In both cases, on the web site, they give a page count but not a file size. This is when viewing the book info from a normal browser on a PC, not via the Kindle.
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:37 PM   #8
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Unless there's some problem, and like daffy4u they cause my Kindle to freeze or something, then I really don't care at all.
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:53 AM   #9
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There are advantages to the single font and consistent style of AZW ebooks on the Kindle. TOPAZ allows embedded fonts, but the font technology seems to be very crude and the problem with embedded fonts is that some publishers choose truly terrible fonts. See the enclosed screenshot for one example, note the general raggedness of the font and the very narrow descender on the y's.
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:34 PM   #10
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I've had a couple and they haven't been slow but I prefer having .azw/.mobi for the longevity. It won't completely keep me from buying a book but if Amazon starts moving more towards .tpz, I'll find myself shopping at Fictionwise a bit more often.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:29 PM   #11
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If I know the book is in the .TPZ format I won't buy it, and I will return anything that is in the .TPZ format. The reason is because I can strip the DRM from .AMZ formatted books and I want the ability to take my books with me if I ever go to another reader like the upcoming Plastic Logic device.

I absolutely will not buy a .TPZ formatted book.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:10 PM   #12
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I won't buy a .tpz either. I halfway considered them for any books that I'd consider throw-away (no chance I'd want to read them a second time or on another device.) I downloaded some sample chapters and found that the pages tend to look awful - even if it's clean OCR, the fonts are often ugly and distracting and the spacing and margins are odd.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:22 PM   #13
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Now I see what people meant about the slowness. My previous topaz books have been fairly short. My current one is about 950 pages in print and turning pages is painful. It frequently takes several seconds. Sadly I couldn't find this book anywhere but Amazon.
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:19 PM   #14
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I've had one Topaz book and one sample...that I am aware of. They didn't freeze but the font/spacing was a dead giveaway.

For me, the big advantage of the Kindle was the ease of reading and not having to adjust to different font sizes and style types (some which are harder to read than others). The Topaz format brings negates this benefit.
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:17 PM   #15
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Yep, Topaz is just horrible, and I hate it. I just bought two books that I desperately wanted and that are only available on Kindle -- Phil Plait's "Bad Astronomy" and Neil deGrasse Tyson's "Death by Black Hole." Both turn out to be in Topaz format, and "Death by Black Hole" is in a particularly horrible font. I will now be returning both of them. Come on, Amazon! Knock it off with this Topaz crap! Or at the very least I hope the format is cracked soon so we can fix their stupidity and convert it to regular Mobipocket.
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