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Old 10-12-2009, 09:36 PM   #1
ondabeach
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Vanuatu
Device: HTC touch Diamond, Ipaq 3115
Talking Choice is good, choosing is hard..... what can you do?

There is always something better just around the corner, not just with ereaders but everything technology based which includes just about everything these days. If you want something now, then buy the best available at the time that fits your budget. It's a financial decision, either you can afford to upgrade when something better is released or you wait for the device that has a solid launch date that you are happy to wait for.

When it comes to screen types for ereaders, that is, LCD v e-ink. It depends on where you do your reading. If you read in the park in full sun then you will definately want an e-ink display. If you do your reading indoors especially at night then I don't see a problem with LCD displays. I read several novels every week on my HTC Touch Diamond which has a very small LCD screen but with 640x480 pixels so it is very sharp and clear, and even though my eyes aren't what they used to be, and I need to wear glasses for reading or computer work, I don't suffer from any eye strain. Changing the color of the background and text makes a huge difference to readability, not to mention changing the font size. As with most things in life, it's a personal preference choice, but one that we won't have to make for much longer.

I have been approached by a Taiwanese device designer to modify ZuluReader to suit, and be pre-installed on a new device they are developing which is a Windows CE device with a 6 inch e-ink display in 16 shades of gray. Being a true smart device it will have the multi-functionality that some of us crave and also the e-ink display that others prefer to the exclusion muti-functionality. It will also be available in an LCD version. There are a plethera of new devices under development that will have color e-ink displays, taking one more step toward the one-for-all device.

Choice is good, choosing is hard..... what can you do?

My one piece of advice is to get a device that can read ePub fromat books, as that is about the only thing that almost all new device developers, and publishers can agree on. At least it's the closest thing we have to a common denominator and the more we get behind it the sooner it will be perfected and become our equivelent of the MP3. Even amazon will fall into line eventually, they'll simply have no choice in the matter. Sony at least appear to have learnt from their lessons taught them by the e-music loving public and have switched to ePub and are going to continue to attack amazon and the kindle very agressively from all angles. Let's face it, they have a bigger market globally than amazon, they have the means to to achieve their ends, and amazon repeatedly do things to piss off their own customers.

If you can just imagine for a moment, a perfect world where authors all over the world upload their books in DRM-free ePUB format to an ebook version of the iTunes store... directly.... no publisher..... no editor to say whether or not it's good enough to publish... and the reading public can download these ebooks for $2.50 where $2 of that goes to the author (which is more than they currently get from a paperback). This gives the author more money, the reading public the ability to read their ebooks on whatever type of device they prefer.... that's called a win-win situation. So what's stopping this from happening? Nothing! It is happening! Why is happening so slowly? It's not! my site www.zuluexpress.com (still under construction) will be, in the next few weeks offering just that, and there are plenty of others out there as well. It's only a matter of time until someone gets the formula right and hits critical mass, that point where a site suddenly explodes in popularity and becomes a household name as did facebook.

The future of ereading is very bright indeed for authors and the reading public alike. As for companies that want to lock you into a proprietry format, and lock you into one carrier for content access, well they're going to have to change their tune.... or get booed off the stage.
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