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Old 02-03-2006, 03:05 PM   #16
jesjimher
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Mmm, I don't understand all this talk about closed formats. Wasn't it said that the Sony Reader would read PDF files? If that's true, every txt, doc, rtf and whichever is readable, since all of them can be converted to PDF. In fact, I remember reading that the DRM protected PDFs would be unreadable, so this implies that it would read open PDFs.
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesjimher
Mmm, I don't understand all this talk about closed formats. Wasn't it said that the Sony Reader would read PDF files?
That depends on what you term "readable".

There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not the Sony Reader will read PDF natively or whether you have to go through a conversion process to turn the PDF into something that the reader can use.

The conversion process is definately more work than just putting the PDF on the device. The process will probably be proprietary - which means those of us who have open OSs will be left out and if Sony decides to drop support, you are out in the cold.

Plus, many PDFs of (legal) eBooks are protected in some way. So the conversion process would also prohibit you from reading many PDFs that you would want to read on the device.
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Old 02-05-2006, 04:32 AM   #18
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according to the adobe blog the sony reader has a mobile version of acrobat reader on it so there should be no issues with reading (self converted) PDFs.
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Old 02-05-2006, 06:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultim8fury
according to the adobe blog the sony reader has a mobile version of acrobat reader on it so there should be no issues with reading (self converted) PDFs.
Problem, however, is that the Sony Reader's PDF software cannot reflow text. In other words: PDFs have to be paginated and formatted to fit within the Sony Reader's dimensions. Really unfortunate.

More info: More on Sony Reader's PDF, DRM, and reflow
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Old 02-05-2006, 06:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurens
Problem, however, is that the Sony Reader's PDF software cannot reflow text. In other words: PDFs have to be paginated and formatted to fit within the Sony Reader's dimensions. Really unfortunate.

More info: More on Sony Reader's PDF, DRM, and reflow
I didn't know that ;(
*BUMMER*
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Old 02-05-2006, 08:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorow
I didn't know that ;(
*BUMMER*
In the interest of fairness, many PDFs are hard-formatted anyway. (The PDF must have structure tags for a viewer to reflow its text correctly.) PDF support isn't completely useless without reflowing capabilities.
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Old 02-05-2006, 08:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurens
In the interest of fairness, many PDFs are hard-formatted anyway. (The PDF must have structure tags for a viewer to reflow its text correctly.) PDF support isn't completely useless without reflowing capabilities.
This looks like a good case for an eBook reader to support more than PDF.

Reformatting to fit the screen is a MUST for any eBook reader. I expect to get the same, if not better, experience from an eBook reader as I do from a paper book. If I have to scroll side-to-side (which will not be pleasant on eInk which refreshes very slow) to read a book, it certainly won't be as good as a paper book.
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Old 02-05-2006, 07:12 PM   #23
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Quote:
Reformatting to fit the screen is a MUST for any eBook reader.
I think it depends. For something that is primarily image based, the whole reformatting concept gets rather weird in the first place.

My own litmus test, however, is the ability to place a straight html text file on the device native and have it render correctly. Any device should be able to do that at a minimum.
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:16 AM   #24
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Hello,
a few time is gone since Sony launched the PSR-500 on his site. OK the price will be about $350. But I didn't find any online store to buy the Sony Reader.

Does anyone know how to buy it?

Thanks,
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:27 AM   #25
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They wont sell it before September. I even heard a release date in December somewhere. So there is no way to buy it right now.
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:28 AM   #26
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The sony reader isn't on sale yet.
Nobody knows exactly when it will be.

Sony said spring, then they said late summer...:-)
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:01 AM   #27
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Hi all,
it seems that the Sony Reader is now available:
http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE..._pdr&hqs=order

Regards,
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:00 PM   #28
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Thumbs down Cost and proprietary

Sony still insists on proprietary, dangling the vision of opening up later. They have thrown out this lure in many technologies along the way, but are slow to move away from proprietary standards.

Sony aspires to replicate Apple's iTunes success with e-books with their Connect Store. That design limits the market and further limits opportunities for (1) new publishers, (2) new authors and (3) new resellers to champion books.

The Treo and Windows Mobile devices can carry as many or more books without the limits of Sony, for less money and in a smaller package. Sony's reader costs less than $40 to manufacture at mature volumes so why is it being so greedy on margin and greedy with proprietary standards. Take out Sony's software and hardware for managing its proprietary store and the cost could go sub $25. Market needs a good, paperback sized sub-$50 device that people can put in Christmas stockings along with an SD card loaded with new books.
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:11 PM   #29
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Welcome to MobileRead, bobl. There's a lot of information on electronic readers of all sorts around here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobl
Sony's reader costs less than $40 to manufacture at mature volumes so why is it being so greedy on margin and greedy with proprietary standards. Take out Sony's software and hardware for managing its proprietary store and the cost could go sub $25.
Best guess on the screen alone is $150~$200, so it's not the software that's keeping it above the $25 range.

The Reader handles native (as in not converted) RTF, TXT, PDF, MP3, ACC, PNG, JPG, GIF and several other file types that escape me at the moment.

Yes it also handles Sony's proprietary BBeB format, but eReader, Mobipocket, MSReader and pretty much all the rest have proprietary formats, and they require that files be converted to use them on their software/hardware. Should they be chastised for doing more than most everybody else has done in this area?

Would you consider the iRex iLiad to be open? It doesn't handle as many formats as the Sony does.

Have a look around, and you might be surprised by what you'll find in the nooks and crannies of MobileRead.

Last edited by NatCh; 10-12-2006 at 08:13 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:03 PM   #30
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Smile More

Natch,

Thanks for the response. The exchange in this forum is great.

I agree that Sony holds no exclusive on pushing proprietary standards in the e-book space. Re: Costs -- they're largely a factor of volume and maturity. If you bake Sony's corporate allocations into the cost, it can certainly go up from my estimated parts costs, but at volume those allocations drop dramatically as a percentage of cost. Not only does that happen for Sony but real overhead per unit drops all the way through the supply chain. When you break down the materials costs of the screen, for example, it is much, much less than burdened cost of a low volume product would indicate.

The One Laptop Per Child Project is attacking the screen for the $100 laptop with that thinking in mind. And they have come up with a very interesting screen technology.

That being said, I'm a sucker for e-reading devices -- bought one of the original rocket e-books when they came out. IF the Sony device could read DRM'd PDF's, I would be very tempted to buy it as an interim measure. Size of PDA screen is tight as someone else suggested. BUT my preference is an OpenReader standard with a paperback sized device for less than $50 - a do-able solution over the next few years.
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