|05-01-2005, 06:11 AM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2002
Device: Too many to count here.
Broken dreams of the perfect e-book reader
It's not a secret that Sony's Librie e-book reader has probably the most gorgeous display available nowadays thanks to the unique E Ink electronic paper technology. The catch (why must there always be one?): Sony once again managed to spoil its own success by crippling the Librie with a proprietary e-book format that virtually noone beside Sony business partners support.
Few months ago, Matt McClintock of Manybooks, an e-book site offering over 10,000 e-books from Project Gutenberg and other free sources, decided to support the Librie by using MakeLFR, a small tool some Librie fans developed by reverse-engineering the Librie LFR e-book format. I think until today, Matt's site is still the only place where you can download free e-books for the Librie.
Despite some initial furore Matt's interim report doesn't look good. David from Teleread talked to Matt, and concluded that for the Librie to become a success, Sony must deliver an English-language version of the machine, especially without all the proprietary complications and fiendish DRM. According to the download stats at Manybooks, the Librie is far behind any other e-book format (PDF is still dominating with a huge winning margin, how sad is that?). Matt's explanation:
|05-01-2005, 10:03 AM||#2|
Recovering Gadget Addict
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
I think there's a simple reason for the popularity of .pdf format. It's common and widespread, so everyone has a free reader on their computer, and people have the expectation that no matter how technology changes, they will continue to have access to the book on multiple platforms.
I've kind of treated text and PalmDoc as my generic formats, but once you introduce DRM you loose that security of always being able to read the book you bought in whatever platform you choose. And I think PalmDoc itself is pretty much limited to PDA readers also.
BTW, doesn't it look like that lady has her cheek almost right up against the device for that picture? I don't think she could really read like that!
|05-01-2005, 10:13 AM||#3|
Join Date: Jan 2005
Device: Opus/System76 Starling
If you accept the idea that DRM is a way, not to limit piracy, but to limit competition, Sony's decisions make sence (albeit warped).
Use DRM to lock out competition (like hobbiests who would convert Project Gutenberg books). Make people come to Sony to get their content (for a price, of course). Then to top it off, use it as yet another attempt to push the failed Memory Stick.
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