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Old 10-28-2009, 09:01 PM   #1
geneaber
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Are You Concerned About Being Locked into Format?

Kindle Users:

I am struggling between whether to buy a Kindle 2 or a nook. My main hang up with the Kindle is being locked into one format for the following reasons:

1. If Amazon gets tired of subsidizing the price of ebooks and no longer remains competitive on pricing I would be stuck with paying higher prices because they have their own little monopoly on selling content to Kindles.

2. If I ever switch readers, the Kindle format would not port over to another reader. Epub has a lot of appeal to me.

If you are a Kindle user, I would appreciate your thoughts on these issues.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:47 PM   #2
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If you are willing to remove the DRM and convert the book, you are not locked into any format. I remove the DRM from books I purchase, and if the books aren't from Amazon, I convert the books to a format the kindle can read. However, it is a bit of work. I love my kindle1, but I also really love library books, and the kindle cannot read ebooks from the library, although I believe the nook will be able to. But you can't beat the Amazon kindle store.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geneaber View Post
1. If Amazon gets tired of subsidizing the price of ebooks and no longer remains competitive on pricing I would be stuck with paying higher prices because they have their own little monopoly on selling content to Kindles.
Most of the books on my Kindle are from ebook stores other than Amazon. Calibre does a superb job of converting ePub to mobi so as long as you don't mind stripping the DRM (which is really quite simple) you can currently buy from any store that sells ePub and read it on your Kindle. (Note that it is possible Adobe will update its ePub DRM in the future but I expect any future DRM will be cracked in no time - especially as ebooks become more popular.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by geneaber View Post
2. If I ever switch readers, the Kindle format would not port over to another reader. Epub has a lot of appeal to me.
Most ebooks from the Kindle store are just mobipocket files for which the DRM can easily be stripped. From my experience, these convert nicely to ePub (again via the incredible calibre). There are some books in the Amazon store that are Topaz format and have a DRM that hasn't been cracked. These are mostly academic books from my experience so you may never run into them (and you can return the ebook if you accidentally encounter one). Regardless, I expect Topaz DRM will be cracked sooner or later.

As for Amazon jacking up its prices: I really doubt this will happen. There is already much pressure on them to keep it down and the ebook market is only getting more competitive.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:52 PM   #4
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I'm not concerned, but I don't buy anything that can't be unDRM'd and therefore converted (Amazon azw, ePub, lit, mobi). If I wasn't able to, or chose not to, do that then I probably wouldn't have purchased a Kindle in the first place.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney's Mom View Post
I love my kindle1, but I also really love library books, and the kindle cannot read ebooks from the library, although I believe the nook will be able to. But you can't beat the Amazon kindle store.
Yes, the Kindle can read library e-books (mobipocket format) from the library....by running kindlefix.

They still close after the loan period, automatically.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieClarken View Post
There are some books in the Amazon store that are Topaz format and have a DRM that hasn't been cracked. These are mostly academic books from my experience so you may never run into them (and you can return the ebook if you accidentally encounter one). Regardless, I expect Topaz DRM will be cracked sooner or later.
If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch you can send the Topaz ebook to your device and then extract it with one of the multiple tools available to access the ipod/iphone internals (for example Iphone Backup Extractor, that extracts stuff from the iTunes backup of your device).

That ebook will be in AZW because iPod/iPhone cannot read Topaz ebooks. Next step is to deDRM it.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:37 AM   #7
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Yes, I'm concerned for the reasons you mention - and because I have several devices already, which require different formats. That's why I only buy books I can de-DRM so I can convert them to what I need.

I don't plan to buy many books from Amazon. It woud depend on availability and price, i.e. if they are not available elsewhere or are cheaper at Amazon. I don't like the premium they charge international customers (it's more than tax), and that makes me even less likely to want to buy from them.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfog View Post
If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch you can send the Topaz ebook to your device and then extract it with one of the multiple tools available to access the ipod/iphone internals (for example Iphone Backup Extractor, that extracts stuff from the iTunes backup of your device).

That ebook will be in AZW because iPod/iPhone cannot read Topaz ebooks. Next step is to deDRM it.
I don't think this is right - I bought some ebooks in the past on my iPhone and when I copied them to my PC they were Topaz. The extension may have been azw but the format was definately Topaz.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgrandma View Post
Yes, the Kindle can read library e-books (mobipocket format) from the library....by running kindlefix.

They still close after the loan period, automatically.
Yes, but at least Chicago Public Library has very, very few mobi ebooks. And they are getting fewer and fewer. PDF and EPub seem to have the floor.,
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:10 PM   #10
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I love my Kindle & I believe that market force will eventually force Amazon to cave on format.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:08 PM   #11
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When I buy an eBook I am more concerned that I can read the book now on the device that I currently have. I do not usually tend to reread books so I do not ask myself will I be able to read it 5 years from now. I have although de-drm'd all my Kindle Books and converted them to LRF because I prefer to read on my Sony 505 or 300.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I love my Kindle & I believe that market force will eventually force Amazon to cave on format.
I love my kindle as well. Thanks to Mobileread I do not feel stuck to a single format.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:58 PM   #13
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I appreciate everyone's comments. Now I just need to make up my mind.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:05 PM   #14
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Good luck with your choice. My feeling was that Amazon is in the market to sell books, so if the format changes, Amazon will change with it. That is why Amazon allows their books to be read on iPhones and now computers. For this reason, I was not worried about my Amazon books being unreadable in the future. This may also be true for Barnes & Noble, although they do have to justify spending the money on stores. In contrast, Sony sells devices, not books, so I would be more worried about books specific for their readers.

At least, that is my rationale.

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Old 10-30-2009, 01:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfog View Post
If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch you can send the Topaz ebook to your device and then extract it with one of the multiple tools available to access the ipod/iphone internals (for example Iphone Backup Extractor, that extracts stuff from the iTunes backup of your device).

That ebook will be in AZW because iPod/iPhone cannot read Topaz ebooks. Next step is to deDRM it.
I have one that looks the same on the iPod Touch as it does on the Kindle, the same crappy font and scanned look. So it looks as though the Topaz format *is* being shown on my iPod Touch.
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