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Old 12-10-2008, 11:18 AM   #1
Auron
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Mobi vs EPUB/ADE

I have been reading a lot on this forum as I have been thinking about getting an ebook reader for a while now.

I think right now my decision will probably be based on the format support.

I see a lot of people calling Mobi the 'predominant format'.
On the other hand, a lot of places are referring to epub as the 'de facto standard' and Adobe Digital Editions as the main DRM for that format.

Which of these formats should I really be looking at i.e. what are the advantages of one format over the other?

I am primarily a sf/fantasy reader - wanting to read current releases, which means I will need to be dealing with DRM (as much as I hate it).

Also correct me if I am mistaken on these thoughts about the readers I'm considering.

a) Sony 505
+ Only reader to support ADE
- No mobi support (not even non-DRM)
+ The ergonomics of this feel very comfortable when I've checked it out in person
0 doesn't support folders, but can at least tag/group books as I want (collections)

b) Cybook
+ "Best" current Mobi support
- no .epub support (or is it just no ADE support?)
- I haven't been able to see this in person, but looks a little 'clumsy' to use
- no managing of library (no folders/tags)
+ user-replaceable battery

c) Astak Mentor (I know it's not out yet, but for the right features I'd wait)
Am I correct that this is a 'rebranded' Cybook, much like the EZ Reader is a 'rebranded' Hanlin?
In which case, can I expect the same level of Mobi support when this is released?
Is there any reason to believe the touchscreen is not going to cause a similar "lack of clarity" that the Sony 700 suffers from?
Will it support folders/tagging?
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auron View Post
Also correct me if I am mistaken on these thoughts about the readers I'm considering.
Everything you wrote looks right. Although I'm sure some (Harry) will object to saying the CyBook is awkward to use.

The only correction I would say is that mobipocket is the "de facto" standard while ePub is the "certified" standard.

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Old 12-10-2008, 12:21 PM   #3
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Everything you wrote looks right. Although I'm sure some (Harry) will object to saying the CyBook is awkward to use.
I don't personally find it awkward to use in the least. Perhaps some people do - I can only speak for myself. To be honest, I'm not sure what about it might be considered awkward - perhaps the original poster could elaborate?
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:01 PM   #4
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One thing you should keep in mind is whether or not you want the ability to strip off the DRM in the future.

I and many others choose to buy formats whose DRM has been broken, so that if needed we can format shift our books to preserve our investment.

I'm not going into legalities here, but having had past bad experience with DRM, having this option is a Priority for me.

If so, the you format of Choice is probably going to be Mobi, eReader or Lit not ADE / ePUB as ADE's DRM has not been broken (Or stayed broken at least).
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auron View Post
I am primarily a sf/fantasy reader - wanting to read current releases, which means I will need to be dealing with DRM (as much as I hate it).
Does that mean that you hate DRM but don't want to circumvent it, or that you hate the complications circumventing DRM creates?
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:52 PM   #6
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re: Cybook being awkward
Again this is only based on appearances.. but personally, I don't like all of the small buttons on the sides of the device, as opposed to the front placement on the Sony.
It just seems like it would be very easy to just hit them from gripping the device or hit the wrong one if trying to operate it 'by feel' as oppose to turning it on its side every time you want to hit a button.
Perhaps I'm wrong about the accidental activation - that's one thing I'm curious about. But that is my primary concern about its ergonomics.

re: DRM
Basically I don't really approve of the concept of DRM, although I do understand why the industry usesit. I'd have less of an issue with a single standard for DRM, but all of the conflicting ones and no universal device bothers me - or to be able to register a single device with multiple 'DRMs' and have it recognized by all of them (similar to how you can register a single Mobi ID with multiple vendors).
As for circumventing DRM - I'm not really sure how I feel on this. Probably falls into the category of "I'd rather not have to do it".
Which is one reason I'm trying to understand a bit more on the formats and why I said this may well be what drives my ultimate decision of reader.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auron View Post
As for circumventing DRM - I'm not really sure how I feel on this. Probably falls into the category of "I'd rather not have to do it".

Which is one reason I'm trying to understand a bit more on the formats and why I said this may well be what drives my ultimate decision of reader.
Ah, well between the Cybook and the Reader I think the deciding factor is whether or not you're willing to circumvent DRM.

EPUB (which the Reader supports with ADE) is not only the most technically advanced commercial e-book format, but also the easiest to convert other formats into (from a technical perspective). All the commercial e-book DRM formats have been broken except the ones used by Sony and Amazon, which means that if you have a Reader you can read any e-book which isn't Amazon-only.

As Harry pointed out, Mobipocket is the most popular commercial e-book format. If you aren't willing to break DRM, then the Cybook will give you the largest selection, albeit with occasionally lower-quality formatting and slightly more difficulty converting for future devices.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auron View Post
I have been reading a lot on this forum as I have been thinking about getting an ebook reader for a while now.


c) Astak Mentor (I know it's not out yet, but for the right features I'd wait)
Am I correct that this is a 'rebranded' Cybook, much like the EZ Reader is a 'rebranded' Hanlin?
In which case, can I expect the same level of Mobi support when this is released?
Is there any reason to believe the touchscreen is not going to cause a similar "lack of clarity" that the Sony 700 suffers from?
Will it support folders/tagging?
The Cybook is not just a rebranded Netronix reader. It has its own OS and its own mobi support. The Astak Mentor will not be a rebranded Cybook. Now that ez reader is out I kind of doubt that the Astak Mentor will support DRM mobi at all. It is like to have eReader support for DRM content. I do expect it will get ePUB at some point as eReader is headed that way as well.

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Old 12-10-2008, 02:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by llasram View Post
EPUB (which the Reader supports with ADE) is not only the most technically advanced commercial e-book format, but also the easiest to convert other formats into (from a technical perspective). All the commercial e-book DRM formats have been broken except the ones used by Sony and Amazon, which means that if you have a Reader you can read any e-book which isn't Amazon-only.
Huh? has then been a crack for ADE DRM? As while non Drm'd EPUB may be easy to convert, its kind of useless unless you can get around the security of the protected ones to do so.

As for Amazon, they currently support two forms of DRM, with .azw being just a renamed Mobi file, whose DRM can be stripped the same way as for Mobi files, and the other Topaz (azw1, Tpz) whose DRM has not yet been cracked.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:18 PM   #10
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I believe his point was that it was easy to convert other non-DRM into .epub - not that converting DRM'd .epub into something else was easy/possible.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:32 PM   #11
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I believe his point was that it was easy to convert other non-DRM into .epub - not that converting DRM'd .epub into something else was easy/possible.
Its not very clear if that's what he meant, as

Quote:
EPUB (which the Reader supports with ADE) is not only the most technically advanced commercial e-book format, but also the easiest to convert other formats into (from a technical perspective).
immediately followed by the following statement
Quote:
All the commercial e-book DRM formats have been broken except the ones used by Sony and Amazon, which means that if you have a Reader you can read any e-book which isn't Amazon-only.
Were one would assume that the Sony format was LRX, Sony's own proprietary format, which is still the only one sold through the Sony store.

If so then it does does the impression that ADE has been cracked.

I know I may be reading a little too much into a simple statement but after rereading the post a couple of times, I still getting the same impression.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:25 PM   #12
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re: Cybook being awkward
Again this is only based on appearances.. but personally, I don't like all of the small buttons on the sides of the device, as opposed to the front placement on the Sony.
It just seems like it would be very easy to just hit them from gripping the device or hit the wrong one if trying to operate it 'by feel' as oppose to turning it on its side every time you want to hit a button.
Perhaps I'm wrong about the accidental activation - that's one thing I'm curious about. But that is my primary concern about its ergonomics.
Now THAT is something you really don't have to worry about. First, the side buttons actually sit a little under the curve of where your hands fit and usually take an intentional effort to click them. Second...well, most don't really do anything most of the time. The ones on the right, volume. The ones on the left are music, menu, back and trash (which doesn't do anything as far as I know).

Page turning is done by the edges of the small pad on the lower right. That's it. If anything there are MORE buttons on the Sony. (Now the main advantage with the PRS buttons is the ability to comfortably turn pages right or left handed.)
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:11 PM   #13
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Were one would assume that the Sony format was LRX, Sony's own proprietary format, which is still the only one sold through the Sony store.
I meant both LRX and Adobe-DRMed EPUB, both being DRMed formats "used by Sony" . So no, Adobe's DRM is as-yet uncracked.
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auron View Post
I have been reading a lot on this forum as I have been thinking about getting an ebook reader for a while now.

I think right now my decision will probably be based on the format support.

I see a lot of people calling Mobi the 'predominant format'.
On the other hand, a lot of places are referring to epub as the 'de facto standard' and Adobe Digital Editions as the main DRM for that format.
Well I would consider PDF or even Mobi to the more of a 'de facto standard' since these two more readily formats one finds today. ePUB has potential but is too early to be the 'de facto' this might change in the future however.


Quote:
Which of these formats should I really be looking at i.e. what are the advantages of one format over the other?

I am primarily a sf/fantasy reader - wanting to read current releases, which means I will need to be dealing with DRM (as much as I hate it).
Since SF/Fantasy are the genre of your choice both Mobi and ePUB/PDF ware well represented here. I think the format is a wash.

However if you wished to read technical, financial or non-fictions books PDF/ePUB would be a better choice as there are far more books in PDF format than in mobi.

If you go with the SONY solution I would not recommend buying PDF books, and there are very few ePUB books offered today. I would recommend you purchase LRX books from the SONY store if you do not want to remove DRM.

If you do not want to deal with SONY proprietary format, and do not want to remove DRM, then I would recommend you go with MOBI.

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Old 12-10-2008, 07:07 PM   #15
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I meant both LRX and Adobe-DRMed EPUB, both being DRMed formats "used by Sony" . So no, Adobe's DRM is as-yet uncracked.
Adobe DRM is also the same as it uses on PDF so it is a lot more than just Sony.

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