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Old 08-14-2009, 08:42 AM   #1
igorsk
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Thumbs up PRS-500 to get EPUB support after all?

Well, I was skeptical but it seems Sony is going to provide a firmware update for PRS-500. They don't use the term, but I can't really parse this in any other way:
Quote:
The PRS-500 doesn’t support EPUB; will those consumers be left out when the conversion takes place?

No, an update path will be provided for owners of the PRS-500 upon conversion of the store.

PRS-500 owners who wish to be notified of the availability of the update may send an email by clicking here. You will be automatically notified when the update solution is available.
Another question they answer is about existing purchases; those you will be able to redownload:
Quote:
What will happen to previous purchases from the eBook Store from Sony, or to additional purchases that occur before the conversion?

Books that have been purchased from Sony’s eBook store in Broad Band eBook format (BBeB) will continue to work on existing devices. When the store is converted, customers will be able to re-download their previously purchased books in EPUB format.

Current Reader owners can continue to purchase and read their BBeB eBooks in the meantime.
via ereaders.nl
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:44 AM   #2
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I still think that an "update solution" could refer to a trade-in programme .
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:52 AM   #3
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Harry, agreed about the "update path". And it's nice to know that I'll be able to redownload my books as ePubs. I'm hoping this also applies to the free books I've "bought" from them (since they make you go through the whole checkout process and send you a receipt and everything).
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:54 AM   #4
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Being able to re-download my lrx books as epub books is enough to make make be willing to start buying books again from Sony rather than just from Amazon, especially once the support for the mac comes out. I've bought 131 books from Amazon since I got my kindle last September. I had purchased around 168 books from Sony before switching to Amazon.

I actually like Sony's web site better than Amazon's. Amazon has a lot more books, but I find it easier to browse for books that I might like on Sony's website. The only thing lacking now is the ability to buy books via the Sony website.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:08 AM   #5
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i am so glad to hear that sony will allow its customers to re-download their lrx books in epub !! that is the best possible solution and the one i was hoping for. thanks igorsk for the excellent news !
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:10 AM   #6
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One of the telling things is that the notify subscription subject is "PRS500 Update". Also, I've used the Live Chat thingy, and while it's not 100% reliable, I've got pretty much a positive confirmation:
Quote:
Lisa_ > The Software Update is required to make the Reader compatible with EPUB format book.
igorsk > and there will be one for PRS-500?
Lisa_ > Yes, Igorsk.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:11 AM   #7
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OK then, that does sound pretty definitive!
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igorsk View Post
One of the telling things is that the notify subscription subject is "PRS500 Update". Also, I've used the Live Chat thingy, and while it's not 100% reliable, I've got pretty much a positive confirmation:
that does seem pretty definitive... sounds like excellent news.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Books that have been purchased from Sony’s eBook store in Broad Band eBook format (BBeB) will continue to work on existing devices. When the store is converted, customers will be able to re-download their previously purchased books in EPUB format.
If that's the case then I'm thrilled! This means I no longer have to feel compelled to buy another Sony just so I could use the all the existing books I bought while my PRS-500 was working.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:23 AM   #10
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This is nice, but strange. Didn't they previously say that the 500 could not run ADE for technical reasons? Perhaps the new ADE mobile SDK is trimmed down enough to allow it.

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:50 AM   #11
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My (completely uninformed) guess is that it's possible because they now have the option of using space that was previously taken up with LRF support. That format is no longer needed - existing books can be re-downloaded as ePub.

Specifically, if true, that would mean that PRS-500 owners (like myself) have to choose between:
1) The existing functionality based on lrf files. The only advantage I can see of this option is for someone that is unable, or doesn't want to convert their existing lrf files. Anything purchased at the Sony store should be easily re-downloaded.
2) Updating to add ePub capability, but removing lrf capability. Again, since books are upgradeable from the Sony store, I don't think this is an issue.

While that doesn't cover non-Sony (non-DRM'd) lrf books, I'd guess that most people who have such files are probably capable of either getting another version of the book in a new format from the original source, or using the types of software referenced on MobileRead to do a conversion themselves.

Let me restate - I have NO inside knowledge. This is just a logical perspective on how it might work. And if true, as a PRS-500 owner I will be quite delighted with Sony!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
This is nice, but strange. Didn't they previously say that the 500 could not run ADE for technical reasons? Perhaps the new ADE mobile SDK is trimmed down enough to allow it.

BOb

Last edited by Bob Russell; 08-14-2009 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Left out the word "owner"!
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:53 AM   #12
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Oh.. and let's not forget that it's still not completely clear that it will be a firmware upgrade offered. If, internally, Sony has been using the words "update path" to mean a discount for PRS-500 owners to upgrade, then all kinds of misinterpretation can follow even for cust reps.

But it probably wouldn't even have been considered a legit possibility if not for the great footwork by igorsk. Now it actually even looks likely!
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell View Post
My (completely uninformed) guess is that it's possible because they now have the option of using space that was previously taken up with LRF support. That format is no longer needed - existing books can be re-downloaded as ePub.
LRF viewer is 600KB. EPUB viewer is 6-7MB. Available user space is ~94MB. Do you really think they getting rid of LRF viewer will help anything?
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Lisa_ > The Software Update is required to make the Reader compatible with EPUB format book.
igorsk > and there will be one for PRS-500?
Lisa_ > Yes, Igorsk.
Doesn't mean a whole lot in my book. Who is this Lisa? A first level support person answering the chat at SonyStyle? What does she know?

[Personal opinion: the customer service people and sales people know very little on the subject they support, often less than the person they are supposed to be helping. Their purpose in life is to help the ones who know absolutely nothing, or just make it difficult for people to reach the more expensive 2nd level support.]

I bet the update path means just that - an exchange program where for $100 (or maybe even for free) you will be able to get a silver overstock or refurbished PRS-505 as a replacement for your old PRS-500. If they run out of PRS-505, they may give you a PRS-300 instead.

Last edited by porkupan; 08-14-2009 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igorsk View Post
LRF viewer is 600KB. EPUB viewer is 6-7MB. Available user space is ~94MB. Do you really think they getting rid of LRF viewer will help anything?
Wow. That definitely puts a whole new slant on things, doesn't it?

I don't suppose extra unneeded functionality or fonts take up 6MB of the EPUB viewer? That seems to indicate they are not talking about a firmware update. Could it be a "return it to the shop and get a new ROM" update path for the 500?

Edit: Of course, the cost of that special handling probably exceeds the cost of simply replacing with a refurb 505 as porkupan suggested. Either way, if it's no costly, I'd be thrilled.
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