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Old 11-19-2008, 03:03 PM   #1
maxpower
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Kindle/Sony Questions

I saw a similar thread, but it seems to have drifted off topic so I thought I’d start a fresh one. I’m thinking of getting an ebook reader.. I’ve done some research, but I have a bunch of unanswered questions. The Kindle and the Sony 505 are the two main ones I’m looking at, but I’m open to other suggestions as well.

Kindle: Content availability and pricing is a huge plus. I also like that you can read sample chapters before buying. Ergonomics concern me a little bit because almost every review I read says that it is tough to hold the Kindle without accidentally hitting the page turning buttons. I’d love to play with one before ordering… too bad they don’t have them in stores. I do have a couple of questions that someone may be able to answer for me.

1) Any idea when the Kindle 2.0 is coming out? I’ve seen a lot of rumors and even some leaked pictures of the next generation Kindle, but Amazon says it won’t be out any time soon. Anyone have more info? I’d hate to drop $360 on one of these things only to see a new (and probably cheaper) model come out in a few months.
2) How does the converting process work exactly? I understand that PDF files can be converted with scripts to Kindle format, but can you still change text size, etc? Do pictures still show up? I assume you can’t convert PDFs that are simply scanned pages from books to be viewed on the Kindle?
3) Are there any deals to get this thing cheaper? I know the $50 off promo is over… any other ideas?

Sony 505: Supports more formats than Kindle and is more visually appealing (at least in my opinion). Another big plus for the Sony is price… I think if you sign up for the Sony credit card you can get $100 off making it $199. That is a big savings over the $360 Kindle. Especially when I’m already struggling to justify the cost of these things to my wife… “you can buy a lot of real books for that much money” blah blah blah.

Anyways, I guess I really only have one question about the Sony. Is there any way at all you can buy Kindle books and put them on the Sony? I think I read somewhere that you aren’t even allowed to purchase Kindle books unless you own a Kindle.


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Old 11-19-2008, 03:19 PM   #2
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I’d hate to drop $360 on one of these things only to see a new (and probably cheaper) model come out in a few months.
Yep... that's life in the tech game though. While no one knows when expect that it will happen. However, I doubt it will be this year.

So, get the current gen... it will still be resealable if withing a year a new one comes out. Then again, the current gen doesn't just stop working when the new one does come out either.

BOb
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:35 PM   #3
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Amazon has said that there won't be a new Kindle this year.

You can send PDFs to Amazon and they send back a MOBI that is viewable on the Kindle. MobiPocket Windows Desktop Reader does a similar conversion, but the Kindle conversion may be better. I have seen reports that Amazon's conversion service handles image-based PDFs by splitting each portrait page into two landscape images sized for the Kindle, but I have not tried this myself.

There must be a Kindle registered to your account before you can buy Kindle ebooks.
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:37 PM   #4
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Kindle document conversion

I've had mixed results with .pdf conversion on the Kindle--I've had documents come out quite well, others with some problems. The general process for converting documents not purchased on the Kindle store (those are just sent directly to the device) is that you would save the document on your computer and then email it to a Kindle mailing address you set up for yourself. After a few minutes, the converted document is sent to the Kindle.

On .pdfs, usually the graphics are rendered. I've also had them occasionally come out as just black space. If the original page formatting is simple, I've had fine results. If there are a lot of text boxes, columns, and fancy layouts, I've had things get mixed up, although the text is always readable and I've been able to catch onto where things went. I've had occasional typos and missing letters creep in, not sure why. Later tonight I could send you a screen shot of an example, if you want.

Yes, the font is resizeable. Even better, the documents are word-searchable. I'm assuming that the particular .pdfs that I converted were created using OCR, and that otherwise they would just be image files, but I haven't tested that theory.

There are other Kindle-compatible formats, including text files, that work fine. These include .txt, Word, html, .prc, and .mobi. I've used Word, html, text, and .mobi with little or no problem.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by KindleDude; 11-20-2008 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 11-19-2008, 04:53 PM   #5
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I had a hard time buying without actually handling it first, too, but they do have a 30-day return policy.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxpower View Post
Ergonomics concern me a little bit because almost every review I read says that it is tough to hold the Kindle without accidentally hitting the page turning buttons.
I had the same concern when buying my first Kindle and when I first picked it up thought it was going to be a problem. Within minutes of using, I quickly adjusted and in fact, the size and placement of the buttons actually made a lot of sense to me. I really like how easily I can read and turn paged holding the Kindle with one hand and either hand. The only thing I had to get used to is putting the Kindle in sleep mode before putting it down because that's when the buttons get pressed accidentally.

Regarding the formats...they both have their own proprietary standard....and I believe the only other real difference is pdfs. For the Kindle you need to convert pdfs and cannot read DRM'd pdfs at all (an issue if you want to borrow from the library and they don't carry mobi, which you can convert for the Kindle).

Last edited by Boston; 11-19-2008 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:42 AM   #7
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I agree, the ergonomics should not be a deal-breaker. One adjusts.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:58 AM   #8
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There are other Kindle-compatible formats, including text files, that convert fine. These include .txt, Word, html, .prc, and .mobi. I've used Word, html, text, and .mobi with little or no problem.
You don't have to "convert" Mobipocket files. The Kindle reads them directly.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:40 AM   #9
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You don't have to "convert" Mobipocket files. The Kindle reads them directly.
Thanks, I edited my post.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:32 AM   #10
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You don't have to "convert" Mobipocket files. The Kindle reads them directly.
But you do either have to screw around with PIDs or remove the DRM. But removing the DRM is trivial if you have MobiDeDRM.py version 0.04.
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