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Old 11-14-2008, 12:45 PM   #1
NatCh
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New Sony eBook Store Launched

Sony Launches New eBook Store



It's a few hours ahead of their 9AM PST launch schedule, but I noticed that the new eBook Store is already live, both on the web and via Sony's eBook Library software.

It's too quick for anything much more than shallow first impressions, of course, but here are the ones I've got so far.

On the web site the new layout seems much snappier and easier to deal with -- most notably, the sliders within sliders appear to have met the quiet end they so thoroughly deserved (think "not with a bang" here). I can't say for certain that they're totally gone, but they didn't rear their ugly heads in a few minutes of clicking around. There's still no way to buy via a browser, but that's not something we were expecting, really, just hoped.

Now turning to the look via Sony's eBook Library software. The look there is ... pretty much identical to the browser look. The drawback to that is that the Library navigator pane shows up on the left, which shoves the Book Store part off my standard ratio screen, requiring a scroll bar to see the whole thing. I imagine that it'd be fine on one of the newer, wide-format screens however -- I'll have to wait 'till I'm on the other computer to check that.

Display of lists of books is pretty similar (minus the scroll within scroll approach) and I noticed that when clicking on an author's name to see all of their books, it displays it in the same way as a regular list of books, rather than on the former "about the author" page arrangement. I count that as an improvement, because it shows more books per page and more information about them the new way, however, I would still like to have access to the "About the Author" info, it was a nice plus over what you find in a "regular" bookstore.

I haven't bought a book in the new system yet, but I did look at my list of things I've bought before. Lo and behold! I saw beside each of my previously purchased books a lovely checkbox, and down at the bottom, a "Download All Checked Items" button. This is a massive improvement! Not earth-shattering of course, but it's nice to see the idea catch on.

Navigation is still a bit underwhelming in some respects, for example, getting to your purchased books requires going through the "My Account" page, but overall ease of movement around the actual pages has massively improved, so I'm going to put that down in the plus column.


Well, that's what I see on a first pass, but I know there are many other differences and improvements. What changes do you see, and what do you think of them?
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:05 PM   #2
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I am speechless due to being massively underwhelmed.
Having to scroll in the eBook Library software is just pure nuts :-(
The whole world has not gone panoramic yet :-(
It is not a massive improvement, more tweaks than radical change :-0
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:22 PM   #3
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Yeah, it is mostly in the realm of tweaks, so far at least. But the previous incarnation was so ... burdensome in several ways, that it feels like a major improvement.
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:30 PM   #4
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It looks like the new store is designed for a screen size of at least 1024x768 whoch give most of the computers out there is not unreasonable.
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:35 PM   #5
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I've just had a quick look.

Looked at the Star Wars category under science fiction & fantasy and it lists just 7 books now (and one of them isn't a Star Wars book). There used to be a lot more than that - the books still seem to be there as I found another couple by searching for the author, but they are not listed as Star Wars books.

So I'm guessing their improved searching isn't going to be much use if the books are indexed under incorrect categories if at all.
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:39 PM   #6
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It seems that advanced searching no longer works. You can't search on description any longer.

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Old 11-14-2008, 01:40 PM   #7
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I just get the spinny icon.

Edit: finally came up just took quite awhile. Really hate the side scrolling. Right now I'm on my netbook which is 1024x600 resolution. If they would allow you to totally collapse the left side panel, I'd be able to browse w/o side scrolling.

Oh well, guess I'll use the 24" monitors just to browse the store lol.

Last edited by tekchic; 11-14-2008 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:19 PM   #8
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I still can't log in; this exercise seems to be going nowhere.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekchic View Post
I just get the spinny icon.

Edit: finally came up just took quite awhile. Really hate the side scrolling. Right now I'm on my netbook which is 1024x600 resolution. If they would allow you to totally collapse the left side panel, I'd be able to browse w/o side scrolling.

Oh well, guess I'll use the 24" monitors just to browse the store lol.
But you can make the left pane narrower. There is a button between the two panes and that will let you size the left pane smaller or larger.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekchic View Post
Edit: finally came up just took quite awhile. Really hate the side scrolling. Right now I'm on my netbook which is 1024x600 resolution. If they would allow you to totally collapse the left side panel, I'd be able to browse w/o side scrolling.
Just slide the app so it goes off the left side of your monitor (must not be maximized)... effectively collapses the left panel.

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Old 11-14-2008, 04:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Just slide the app so it goes off the left side of your monitor (must not be maximized)... effectively collapses the left panel.
That's a good idea, pilotbob ... of course I'll have to turn off my utility that shoves things back onto the screen for me if I want to do it, but it would take care of the problem all right.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:10 PM   #12
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Does anyone know if they have a convenient way to request a book that is not yet available as an ebook?

It looks like their old page for requesting an ebook is still available, but I don't see how to get to that page from the new site (I know the URI).
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:00 PM   #13
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Thanks, pilotbob!

/facepalm Why didn't I think of that? Been getting used to the little Acer Aspire One netbook with everything maximized...
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:21 PM   #14
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Was it ever possible to review books in the sony bookstore? I don't see any customer reviews, or really anything on the site to encourage a community of users....
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:55 PM   #15
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I still keep getting the blue spinning circle of death, like before. Oh well. In the new format, I don't like it that the information column for a book is now hidden--I now have to click on the "Add'l Info" tab to get to that information. The previous information format was much more convenient and better formatted.
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