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Old 11-09-2008, 03:41 PM   #1
jimmydee1984
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I'm stuck

I'm a long-time lurker and first time poster on here, so be gentle!

I've been weighing up which e-ink reader to buy (I'm in the UK). I currently read on my PDA, but want a dedicated reader. I've finally managed to de-drm Mobipocket ebooks, which has freed my choice up a bit.

I've narrowed my decision down to either the Cybook or the Sony PRS-505. I've read everything I can find on both devices and gone through countless other similar threads on the forum, but I'm still unsure. My head says that the Sony does everything I want and I think it will have more mainstream support in the long-run (whether this is a good thing, I don't know!), but I actually much prefer the looks of the Cybook and the fact that the library shows the cover of the books (it's a small thing, but it's something I like) - not to mention the fact that I can get quite a few Mobipocket ebooks with the £30 I'd save on the price.

Now, the problem comes that a lot of the books I want to read are only available as epub files (DRM infested ), which makes my choice a lot harder - do I wait and see if Bookeen release epub support for the Cybook or do I get the Sony and have the problem solved?

I just can't work out which would be best (this will be a long-term investment and I don't intend to buy another pbook again). Any opinions, help, advice, experience, etc would be greatly appreciated as the wall I keep banging my head against is starting to give way!
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:17 PM   #2
wallcraft
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Until recently I would have said there is no doubt that MOBI is winning the availability war. This is certainly true in the US, but in the UK there seem to be many new titles in ePub only.

One interesting comparison is WHSmith eBooks in the UK and Books on Board in the US, because both use OverDrive to provide their ebooks. WHSmith is an OverDrive MIDAS (ready-to-deploy eRetail) store and BoB uses OverDrive as one of several sources for its ebooks. Note that BoB gets MOBI ebooks both from OverDrive and from MobiPocket, so it should stock the title if there is a MOBI version. I assume WHSmith gets its MOBI ebooks exclusively from OverDrive.

The current WHSmith top 10 fiction tiles are almost all Adobe ePub only, and most seem to be UK only as well (i.e. not available on BoB). For titles that are initially released in the UK and then released in the US, I assume there may later on be a US ebook with a MOBI version. However, there are probably UK authors that are never released in the US.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:06 PM   #3
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Bookeen has said that they do plan to support ePub via a firmware update in the near future. however, i'm not sure whether that will mean drm-ed epub or not, since we've heard a lot about mobipocket refusing to licence unless they are the only drm format on the device, and the Cybook already supports drm mobipocket. so it may be drm-free only. hopefully we'll have more details soon from Bookeen.
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:09 AM   #4
HarryT
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I guess it depends what it is you actually want to read. The reason I went for the CyBook is precisely because of its MobiPocket support, and the fact that there's so much more content available in MobiPocket format than others.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:09 AM   #5
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I am in the UK and I went for the Sony. BUT I have learned to use Calibre and Igors routine to dedrm Mobipocket books. There is a small program called Cropper which takes screenshots and there is a blog spot http://weblogs.asp.net/jgalloway/arc...2E002E00_.aspx which explains the use of the OCR facility in Microsoft Word 2007 which I am going to try when I get Word.
Here in the UK you can buy a full edition of Microsoft programs, very cheaply, if you have a student who needs access. My grandson uses Word2007 at school and at home and when he comes to stay uses his grandma's laptop for his student work. The retailer, on being asked, confirmed that we qualify for the reduced price copy. So I have ordered our copy of Office Professional 2007 which should arrive this week. I want to try dedrm-ing an Adobe Reader file, to read in the Sony, which I understand from this forum needs to be scanned and OCR-ed.(Such a lot of ad-hoc verbs we have).
Also on this forum it has been suggested that if you have access to two computers you can have the UK Sony version of ebook library on one and the US version on another thus giving access to Waterstones in the UK and the Sony bookshop in the US. It has also been implied that you can buy Sony Book Vouchers with an English credit card from the Sony site outwith the ebook library program and use the vouchers to purchase books through the ebook store link in the US ebook library version. All a little complicated I know but it increases the access to many more ebooks. Project Gutenberg has, only this week, opened a new Consortia Centre http://pgcc.net/ which has increased the ebook availability to over 75,000 (Calibre works out of the box on these).
The Sony Reader is extremely comfortable to use and I would recommend it to anyone but "you pays your money so you takes your choice".
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:49 AM   #6
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As a general thought, I would never buy a device in the hopes that they will one day support the format you want. This is particularly true in an economy that might well cause some of the smaller vendors to go belly up (Not through lack of sales, so far ebooks have resisted the trends in the market, but because of credit issues).

Lets just break it down.
1. You have lots of Mobi files, but you can deDRM them and then convert them to other formats.
2. Many of the new books you want are being offered only in ePub.
3. ePub books should be fairly easy to convert to other formats provided they do not have DRM attached... but naturally a lot will.
4. The Sony supports ePub and your Mobi books can be converted to LRF or ePub fairly easily using Calibre.
5. The cybook will support you mobi books, but not your ePub...

Personally, given your set of criteria, and the fact that the other factors (That I did not include) you listed were mostly personal preferences, I would go with the Sony...

Of course I did none of the above when I bought.. but then again, I have a thing against DRM to the point where I wanted to buy a reader that didn't even support a DRM'd format.

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