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Old 10-31-2009, 08:53 PM   #16
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Plastic Logic announced last month that their Que e-reader will be available some time about Jan/Feb 2010.
Well, actually... they announced that on Jan 7th they will announce the planned release date. Perhaps they will surprise us all and release it that day, but I tend to doubt it.

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Old 11-27-2009, 05:58 PM   #17
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Suggested Design Tweaks

I just got my EZReader Pro 5". I have no brand loyalty, my Iliad was too big and heavy for everyday use. I needed something smaller, cheaper, lighter and simpler (with good epub support). The Pro came out tops in all categories.

In fact as features for purpose go the Pro is near perfect. I have now two 16 gig SD cards (one with music and another with epubs). Two minor problems exist which might be easily fixed.

1. Ideally I would insert the epub-SD and copy works over to the internal space without using a computer. It just needs a Copy & Delete function. That way it is simple for me to keep internally what I am reading, and remove what I have finished or lost interest in without cluttering things up.

2. I have been using TTS for years in education and when driving. The voice in the Pro is not bad, but it is not great either. The voice quality is the most important factor in TTS -- I need to be able to load my own voices.

3. TTS again, speed control is very important with listening. Adjusting the TTS speed right up to speed reading level (about 600 or more words per minute) would be ideal.

I am very impressed with the features of the Pro, I think its simplicity is a huge virtue -- it has everything needed and no clutter. A few tweaks would be great.

I was very impressed with the battery replacement -- I can finally plan for being away from power, I have started thinking of a solar panel recharging of a spare battery (I am that impressed).

TTS is a very important asset (I was worried epubs would not allow for this -- bu it has worked out well) Improve this just a little and I think it will really catch on.

The Pro might be really useful for the blind, if a index epub was somehow included for them which could read out page numbers and index numbers for navigation for whatever was on disk (maybe a small PC package to catalog things).

Greg, Perth Australia

Last edited by GregS; 11-27-2009 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:22 PM   #18
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Greg... thank you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregS View Post
I just got my EZReader Pro 5". I have no brand loyalty, my Iliad was too big and heavy for everyday use. I needed something smaller, cheaper, lighter and simpler (with good epub support). The Pro came out tops in all categories.

In fact as features for purpose go the Pro is near perfect. I have now two 16 gig SD cards (one with music and another with epubs). Two minor problems exist which might be easily fixed.

1. Ideally I would insert the epub-SD and copy works over to the internal space without using a computer. It just needs a Copy & Delete function. That way it is simple for me to keep internally what I am reading, and remove what I have finished or lost interest in without cluttering things up.

2. I have been using TTS for years in education and when driving. The voice in the Pro is not bad, but it is not great either. The voice quality is the most important factor in TTS -- I need to be able to load my own voices.

3. TTS again, speed control is very important with listening. Adjusting the TTS speed right up to speed reading level (about 600 or more words per minute) would be ideal.

I am very impressed with the features of the Pro, I think its simplicity is a huge virtue -- it has everything needed and no clutter. A few tweaks would be great.

I was very impressed with the battery replacement -- I can finally plan for being away from power, I have started thinking of a solar panel recharging of a spare battery (I am that impressed).

TTS is a very important asset (I was worried epubs would not allow for this -- bu it has worked out well) Improve this just a little and I think it will really catch on.

The Pro might be really useful for the blind, if a index epub was somehow included for them which could read out page numbers and index numbers for navigation for whatever was on disk (maybe a small PC package to catalog things).

Greg, Perth Australia
I work for Astak. I try to let people know right off.

I have noticed a tremendous interest in the Pocket PRO in Australia and we have sold quite a few there. I wish I could find a distributor or retail store chain.

I agree with you that TTS is important and a blessing of the Pocket PRO. Also agree that the voice is good but not great!! I am trying to get the factory to improve it. I like that it turns the pages automatically and is great on a long flight... but I also would welcome a better voice with some inflection and even emotion. Machine-speak on a GPS can be fairly nice... so it must be possible!!

Anyway... thank you for becoming a member of the Pocket PRO fraternity!!
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:17 AM   #19
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Robert, thanks for the reply, I am very pleased with your product it has grown on me with use (I bought a small belt bag so it is with me all the time -- worth thinking about for your store).

I will seek out some potential Australian distributors for you (I have two possiblities in mind, but I need to speak to them first). One of these may be in a position to deal with chain stores (he has done so before for the IREX -- a one-off).

The GPS speak is quite good -- but if it could use downloadable voices it might be better, with future aural aware software -- multi-voiced EPUBs could be a possiblity. I also taught English for a while and used TTS to have whole classes accelerate their reading speeds -- it could become a selling point for yo0ur device if it was possible.

If you read at the same speed as a fast voice -- it no longer sounds fast (that was the achievement test for their reading -- if the voice sounde3d like Donald Duck they were reading too slow). -- If interested I have much more information on the technique.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:50 PM   #20
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Robert I have found someone (they are in London at the moment) -- email me at greg.schofield at iinet.net.au and I will do the introductions. He is well known world wide and has already done similar things.

Best of luck Greg
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregS View Post
Robert I have found someone (they are in London at the moment) -- email me at greg.schofield at iinet.net.au and I will do the introductions. He is well known world wide and has already done similar things.

Best of luck Greg
Jinke devices are sold in Australia already under the brand "ECO Reader". cbell, a member of this forum, works for DA Direct, the company distributing them, and can give you any information you would like.

From what I know, Jinke grants territorial distribution rights to various resellers, usually under a distinct brand for each region (Astak : US, Bebook : Europe, ECO Reader : Australia). I doubt that Jinke would allow their US distributor to try to sell on the territory of their local, official Australian distributor.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:36 PM   #22
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Will email you

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregS View Post
Robert I have found someone (they are in London at the moment) -- email me at greg.schofield at iinet.net.au and I will do the introductions. He is well known world wide and has already done similar things.

Best of luck Greg
Dear Greg:

I will use that email address and thank you!!
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:07 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
Jinke devices are sold in Australia already under the brand "ECO Reader". cbell, a member of this forum, works for DA Direct, the company distributing them, and can give you any information you would like.

From what I know, Jinke grants territorial distribution rights to various resellers, usually under a distinct brand for each region (Astak : US, Bebook : Europe, ECO Reader : Australia). I doubt that Jinke would allow their US distributor to try to sell on the territory of their local, official Australian distributor.
This is correct, zelda, and thank you.

DA Direct/Central Book Services has the exclusive rights to sell Jinke devices in Australia and New Zealand.

I'm affiliated with DA Direct/Central Book Services.

Last edited by cbell; 12-01-2009 at 09:55 PM. Reason: Added affiliation
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:52 PM   #24
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cbell I'll let Robert and my contact work things out, but thanks for the information.

I'll be frank, it was for me a price and size decision. The 5" plus US$199 was perfect for my needs, and I will soon be getting a second one for my son ie $215 as against $450 (ecoReader 6").

With the US dollar due to slide sigficiantly post-Christmas, it will be cheaper again even if Astak increase their price.

I have to take my hat off to Chinese design in this, it is a really good mix of simplicity and features -- not too much of either. A couple of tweaks and things wouold be perfect -- it leaves Sony's pocket edition dead in the water.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:22 PM   #25
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This is correct, zelda, and thank you.

DA Direct/Central Book Services has the exclusive rights to sell Jinke devices in Australia and New Zealand.
Bebook is selling Jinke devices here in Australia too.

http://www.bebook.net.au/

Also a new ebook shop in Sydney

http://www.ebookbop.com.au/category/e-book-readers.do

I'm not affiliated with any of them, just in case you're wondering.
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:18 AM   #26
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I have found this -- it is so far the best voiced TTS I have ever come across:

http://www.loquendo.com/en/demos/demo_tts.htm

I am however a EPUB devotee and for this to work well the book would have to be written in SSML and then included as an extra within the publication container.

Anyone with influence over the manufacturers please pressure them to up the quality of the TTS, it opens-up a whole new world.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:00 PM   #27
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I have found this -- it is so far the best voiced TTS I have ever come across:

http://www.loquendo.com/en/demos/demo_tts.htm

I am however a EPUB devotee and for this to work well the book would have to be written in SSML and then included as an extra within the publication container.

Anyone with influence over the manufacturers please pressure them to up the quality of the TTS, it opens-up a whole new world.
One of the problems with getting too high a quality in the TTS is that the publishers and writers guild will demand that it be disabled, as they claim it cuts into sales of the audio versions of the book. It is a fine line but Amazon already crossed it. It do think Jinke should offer the user the choice of downloading voices but not provide too good a one with the device.

Dale
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:08 PM   #28
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One of the problems with getting too high a quality in the TTS is that the publishers and writers guild will demand that it be disabled, as they claim it cuts into sales of the audio versions of the book. It is a fine line but Amazon already crossed it. It do think Jinke should offer the user the choice of downloading voices but not provide too good a one with the device.

Dale
Which is insane, since a good Audio book (performance) uses different Voices, inflections for the different characters.

TTS is a simple Narrator and can not convey the nuances of the "scene" being read.
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:14 PM   #29
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Which is insane, since a good Audio book (performance) uses different Voices, inflections for the different characters.

TTS is a simple Narrator and can not convey the nuances of the "scene" being read.
It may be insane but look at the list in post #73
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...t=46878&page=5
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:51 PM   #30
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One of the problems with getting too high a quality in the TTS is that the publishers and writers guild will demand that it be disabled, as they claim it cuts into sales of the audio versions of the book. It is a fine line but Amazon already crossed it. It do think Jinke should offer the user the choice of downloading voices but not provide too good a one with the device.

Dale
Dale I would suggest the following:

1) Jinke is not selling books.

2) Without SSML the voices while much improved on the present; they are not performances just much much better mechanical voices.

3) With SSML the work involved is not simple nor can it ever be fully automated. A well written SSML with the quality of voice and voice engine referred to, can create performed text.

4) Authors should be paid for this rendition of their work, but that has to be negotiated between them and their publisher.

Audiobooks will always have a role and human performance is no small thing no matter how good technology gets - however - there is simply no way that all the books that could be performed would be performed -- obviously not every EPUB publisher will add this -- but what I intend to put together are EPUBS which include a TEI markup, SSML with IPA transliteration regardless of what the present generation of readers can use (plus if things go right MP3 as well).

Jinke have a slight edge at the moment, by being so well designed for purpose and not being linked to bookselling -- a good TTS approach would give it prominence and set the standard in real features rather than bells and whistles.

Last edited by GregS; 12-04-2009 at 07:12 PM.
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