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Old 01-16-2009, 08:57 AM   #1
mrs_pooky
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Introduction and Questions

Hi all,

I'm brand new to the excellent forum, so I wanted to introduce myself and ask a few questions...

My incredibly generous friend lent me her 505 while I was recently in the hospital after giving birth to my daughter, I was hooked. I purchased the PRS-700 this week (I was wooed by the backlight feature) and am in love. I'm so happy to be reading again!

After having perused this forum and downloading Calibre, I thought I had everything I needed to dowload, convert, and upload files to my PRS-700. Therefore, I spent $18 on a .prc book from Mobipocket. It's the next book in a series I'm reading, and I could only find it in this format. When I tried to convert it, I discovered it was DRM'd. I had tried a sample first, and when that worked, I assumed the purchased file would as well.

I came back here for more research, downloaded the mobidedrm .05 script along with Python and had no luck with that. I'm admittedly not a programmer, but I don't think I'm a complete moron either. I just can't get it to work.

So, am I just out of luck and $18 poorer? In the future, how can I decipher if a file is DRM'd before I end up in the same situation? What are your favorite sites for downloading ebooks?

Thanks in advance!
Daniell
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:55 PM   #2
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Hello Daniell & welcome to the forum.

Depends where you buy the book. Some like Fictionwise state up front what formats are available and also state "secure" when there is DRM. Other places like Baen never have DRM (but remember to never say never). Some places are a little more cryptic. I would assume DRM if you aren't sure.

On "mobidedrm" I would make sure that I had it working in general before I gave up, although you might find a book that that doesn't work with it. That's why it's up to version 5 now. I'm not a Python expert myself but have managed to make it work. Someone else may give better advice. I do know that it is a command line script. This means two things to me, 1) it has to be run in a "command" window, & 2) the syntax has to be exact (i.e. it is very unforgiving of spelling errors).

A few possibilities are:
1) make sure that Python is in your path - the simplest way for me is to install it in some particular directory (or folder) and always work in that directory.
2) command lines don't like blanks in the file names (e.g. "This is my book file.prc" is not a good name) so rename the file to something simple (e.g. "book.prc") before you try to deDRM it.
3) when you input your name, it probably has at least one blank (e.g. first last). Be sure to enclose the name in quotes (e.g. "first last") to make sure Python sees it all as the name.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs_pooky View Post
My incredibly generous friend lent me her 505 while I was recently in the hospital after giving birth to my daughter, I was hooked. I purchased the PRS-700 this week (I was wooed by the backlight feature) and am in love. I'm so happy to be reading again!
Yes, giving birth teaches you to fall in love again, but a different kind of lo... er wait, you mean you LOVE the 700. Oh.?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs_pooky View Post
So, am I just out of luck and $18 poorer? In the future, how can I decipher if a file is DRM'd before I end up in the same situation? What are your favorite sites for downloading ebooks?
Nope, you're not out of luck... you just need to work on it. It's not really hard. Check out the thread http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20341 .

Post a question and I'm sure we can help you out.

BOb
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs_pooky View Post
"....I spent $18 on a .prc book from Mobipocket. It's the next book in a series I'm reading, and I could only find it in this format. When I tried to convert it, I discovered it was DRM'd. I had tried a sample first, and when that worked, I assumed the purchased file would as well....

....So, am I just out of luck and $18 poorer?
Name and Title of Book??

I may be able to source you a working copy via DD...
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:37 AM   #5
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Yes, giving birth teaches you to fall in love again, but a different kind of lo... er wait, you mean you LOVE the 700. Oh.?
Ha! I didn't think of how that read when I wrote it! Oh, yes, it goes without saying I'm completely in love with our little girl. And the 700.

I finally got everything figured out and was able to read that book on my new toy. What a delight! It only took two days and a lot of frustration, but determination won. Thanks for the help!

Daniell
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:47 AM   #6
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Name and Title of Book??

I may be able to source you a working copy via DD...
What's DD? I'm not familiar.

I was able to get the file to work thanks to the wonderful advice I've read here and have since finished the book. It's Janet Evanovich's Four to Score. I'm hooked on the series. Unfortunately, the books are quite expensive in ebook format (~$18 each) wherever I've found them available. I doubt if I'll be buying more, which is very disappointing.

If only Amazon would make their vast library available to non-Kindle owners. I don't regret purchasing my Sony, but I'm starting to wonder if it would've been cheaper in the long run to buy a Kindle. I simply prefer the appearance of the Sony reader and the Kindle currently has a rather long wait time. Oh well, hopefully more and more books will become available for the Sony. having the tools to convert files from other formats will certainly help.

Thanks again, everyone!

Daniell
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:00 AM   #7
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It isn't a question of Amazon releasing the library they have for the Kindle -- it's a matter of the publishers, who control the copyrighted content, allowing it to be released in different formats. My guess is that Amazon's amazing market size gives it special clout and it has "convinced" many publishers to release many books only in the Kindle ebook format, strong-arming them away from competing formats.

If the market were larger, we could get some legal investigation into the whole process, and perhaps force an agreement on a single ebook format for selling ebooks, which would work on any device.

Imagine what an outcry there would be if each manufacturer forced you to buy only a special gasoline which was necessary to work on their cars only, so you were forced to buy content from the hardware provider?

Imagine if CDs or downloadable music were only playable on specific devices? Oh, wait a minute, that's what DRM crap is all about. And, guess what, there's a huge outcry! And gradually, the online music stores are selling more and more music without DRM crap which forces the content to only be played on specific devices.

But the ebook marketplace is such a tiny, tiny, tiny, miniscule marketplace that there isn't any huge wave of content purchasing which could force some sort of industry agreement on format which would be DRM-free and usable on any/all ebook devices.

This has the benefit to the publishers of keeping the prices abnormally high -- why should we have to pay hardcover prices for an ebook file, especially when the same book is for sale in paperback version in bookstores for 1/2 to 1/3 of the hardback and ebook price? That's called monopoly and it's illegal in the U.S. but in order for anything to be done about it, it has to affect a large enough percentage of the population for the government via the attorney general's office to even notice.

So the best thing you can do is to notify the authors you love and would buy if their ebook prices were more equitable that you are NOT buying their books in ebook format nor in paper format, and notify the publishers of the same thing. Gradually, if enough of us make our feelings known, the publishers will realize that there is a larger marketplace out here than they think and might actually do something about it.

How much effort is there in creating an ebook, once the paper version is set up to send to the printer? About 10 minutes worth, and with the incredibly cheap means of distribution, the prices should reflect that.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:59 AM   #8
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(...)
Imagine if CDs or downloadable music were only playable on specific devices? Oh, wait a minute, that's what DRM crap is all about. And, guess what, there's a huge outcry! And gradually, the online music stores are selling more and more music without DRM crap which forces the content to only be played on specific devices.

(...)

So the best thing you can do is to notify the authors you love and would buy if their ebook prices were more equitable that you are NOT buying their books in ebook format nor in paper format, and notify the publishers of the same thing. Gradually, if enough of us make our feelings known, the publishers will realize that there is a larger marketplace out here than they think and might actually do something about it.
sing it, brotha.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
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Hello Mrs. Pooky & welcome to MobileRead. As you've already discovered, it is frequented by some knowledgeable and {generally} nice people.

I'm one of those folks who own both a Kindle and a Sony reader. I try to buy multiformat books -- without DRM -- when I can get them. All of Baen's books are offered in multiple formats (and your purchase of the book entitles you to all formats, not just one). Selected titles at Fictionwise are available in multiformat. As others have pointed out the publishers choose whether or not to use DRM on the electronic versions of their books. I'd bet that in many cases, they really haven't thought all that much about it -- they just went along with someone's suggestions ages ago and haven't reviewed the policy since. After all, books are selling, right? And the eBook market is just too small to get their attention.

One slight correction -- your PRS-700 has a frontlight, not a backlight.

So welcome to MobileRead. I'm glad you were able to work out your format conversion so you could read the book you bought.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:15 AM   #10
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Welcome, Mrs. Pooky.

I love Janet Evanovich also. She is hilarious.

You may have to actually resort to paper books from the library to continue the series, but they are worth it. I haven't seen any of her books in the emedia sections there, unfortunately.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:43 AM   #11
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Thanks very much, everyone, for all the great information and the correction about the frontlight. I learn more and more from all the wonderful and wise people here. I'll be sending e-mails to publishers who don't offer ebooks that I want or who only use the Kindle format. It's best to make as many voices heard as possible, and I'll add mine to the choir. I have resorted to paperback for the series I'm currently reading, but hopefully future selections will be available in a format I can easily use.

Thanks again!
Daniell
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs_pooky View Post
Thanks very much, everyone, for all the great information and the correction about the frontlight. I learn more and more from all the wonderful and wise people here. I'll be sending e-mails to publishers who don't offer ebooks that I want or who only use the Kindle format. It's best to make as many voices heard as possible, and I'll add mine to the choir. I have resorted to paperback for the series I'm currently reading, but hopefully future selections will be available in a format I can easily use.

Thanks again!
Daniell
brilliant ! i can only encourage you here because you are absolutely right, it's important to make ourselves heard so the publishers know what we want. hopefully they will soon catch on and we will be able to buy and read the ebooks that interest us, without worrying about drm and incompatible formats.

i'm very glad to hear that you are enjoying your new 700, i've got one too and i love it.
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