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Old 05-14-2009, 11:15 AM   #1
MacReader
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General Questions From A Noob

Hi there. This is my first post so a bit of background:

I have not actually purchased a reader as of yet, but am looking to buy a Sony PRS-505.
I am not looking for a lot from my reader other than being able to read books. I do not have a problem going to my computer to transfer my books since I am there most of my waking moments anyway. So, the advantages of the Kindle for me really don't give me much incentive to spend the extra cash on those features (wireless, etc).

My main concern is that I am on a Mac which has lead me to my investigating Calibre. Most of the features look great to me, but my main concern is getting the Mac support for the Sony 505.

My main question here revolves around the purchasing of ebooks.
If I buy a book from the Sony ebook store (which has no Mac support) will I be able to get the book from my Mac to the reader? I know that the books they sell have DRM and that Calibre doesn't remove the DRM, but can it simply perform the transfer?

Also, what other alternatives might be better places for purchasing the books. I've done a bit of searching here but no one really seems to have a large inventory. The inventory issue would be the only thing that makes the Kindle attractive to me, but maybe there are alternatives. I would prefer to have a one-stop-shop for purchasing books but if it's easy to purchase from multiple places I'm not terribly averse to it. Especially when I view how Calibre can help me in the organizing of them once purchased.

At any rate, I appreciate any advice all of you can give.

Thanks
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:18 AM   #2
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I know some Mac/Sony users also set up a virtual machine through VMWare. Unfortunately I don't know the details, but from my understanding it's like having PC capabilities on your Mac, which I think would eliminate this problem.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacReader
If I buy a book from the Sony ebook store (which has no Mac support) will I be able to get the book from my Mac to the reader? I know that the books they sell have DRM and that Calibre doesn't remove the DRM, but can it simply perform the transfer?
Yes, Calibre can manage ebooks from the Sony store and can move them onto your reader. But note that purchasing books from the Sony store absolutely requires running the Sony software on Windows! A Sony exec did mention in an interview that Mac support is being worked on now, but there's no timeline for when we should expect to see it.

Quote:
Also, what other alternatives might be better places for purchasing the books. I've done a bit of searching here but no one really seems to have a large inventory. The inventory issue would be the only thing that makes the Kindle attractive to me, but maybe there are alternatives. I would prefer to have a one-stop-shop for purchasing books but if it's easy to purchase from multiple places I'm not terribly averse to it. Especially when I view how Calibre can help me in the organizing of them once purchased.

At any rate, I appreciate any advice all of you can give.
If you like SF/Fantasy (and some horror) go visit Baen Books and WebScriptions (www.webscription.net). For a broader selection of book, see Fictionwise (www.fictionwise.com). Also, see the MobileRead wiki for more sources.

Hope this helps!

Xenophon
(a Mac-using Sony reader owner)
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:07 PM   #4
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Thanks, Xenophon! I do mostly read Sci-Fi.
But are you able to download the Secure Mobipocket books on your Mac? The fictionwise site seems to have those for the popular releases and it also does not state any support for the Mac...
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
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I actually would consider that, but my Mac does not use the Intel processors so the dual boot situation would not work for me.
Maybe one day I will upgrade and that will be a viable option.
Thanks for the response though.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:36 PM   #6
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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I have a Mac and the Sony 505. I have no problems with getting books onto my Sony. I don't use the Sony Store though. All my purchases are from fictionwise or book-on-board or diesel or Powell's. Free or cheap stuff can be found at Baen or in mobile read section on the sony reader books forum.

The only problem you are going to have with purchases is downloading format choices. This is often overwhelming the first few books you purchase. Ideally, you want to get DRM free epub books (they don't require any conversion and calibre simply transfers them to your reader). If that's not available, then DRM free txt or html is probably the next best format. You then import the txt or html into calibre, convert to epub and load the epub onto the reader. After this, the format issues get a bit more complex as you move into DRM territory. I personally strip all DRM from any purchases I make so that I can move the books from any device I am reading to another at any time to read how I want to read, not how the book companies tell me how to read. This requires a bit more knowledge on stripping DRM. I find it the easiest to remove microsoft reader's lit or mobipocket's DRM, but methods are available to remove pretty much most of the DRM types around these days. Just need to do a search (even on mobile read will give you links to other sites with the necessary info). After removing the DRM, then you import into calibre, convert it, and transfer to the reader. Once you are used to doing this "workflow" it usually takes less than a minute or so to get the books into epub and ready for your reader.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacReader View Post
Thanks, Xenophon! I do mostly read Sci-Fi.
But are you able to download the Secure Mobipocket books on your Mac? The fictionwise site seems to have those for the popular releases and it also does not state any support for the Mac...
It's just a web-site; it's completely "operating system neutral". One can download Mobi books with any o/s. There's no client software involved - other than one's web browser.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:34 PM   #9
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It's just a web-site; it's completely "operating system neutral". One can download Mobi books with any o/s. There's no client software involved - other than one's web browser.
But be aware that there's no reader for Mac OS that will handle DRM-protected Mobi/Secure Mobi files. It doesn't do much good to download the files on your Mac if you can't read them on your Mac.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:00 PM   #10
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But be aware that there's no reader for Mac OS that will handle DRM-protected Mobi/Secure Mobi files. It doesn't do much good to download the files on your Mac if you can't read them on your Mac.
I suspect he's recommending that you download the Mobipocket books to the Mac and either push to a device that reads Mobipocket (like a Cybook) or convert to a format that can be read on the Mac or your current device.
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