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Old 11-18-2009, 12:13 AM   #1
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Brother can you spare some truth?

Recently I was looking to upgrade from the Sony PRS-505 to something new and exciting, so of course I wandered around this forum, cnet.com, several of the manufacturer's sites, and several electronic sites looking at reviews and specs for various ereaders. In all of this research I discovered two things. One, my 505 is still as spifftastic as it was when I first bought it, so why upgrade? Two, a lot of reviews and manufacturers are using some questionable marketing tactics and false logic as selling points for various devices.

For example, on no fewer than three sites the PRS-505 was listed as being inferior to the Kindle because it didn't have as many books available to it...this is a half truth at best. Amazon may have more books than the Sony store, but from what I understand the Kindle is unable to use books from other sources where as I have books from dozens of different on-line stores, free sites, and download sources on my Sony. The fact that because the Sony store has fewer books available for sale than Amazon does not equate to the Sony PRS-505 having fewer overall books available than the Kindle...and I am certain that most of the reviewers are well aware of this fact.

There were plenty of other serious omissions and half truths used on various sites to attack or praise various devices, but the above one bothered me the most. I am not advocating any device over another, each one has its pros and cons, but I do expect reputable sites to act in a reputable manner. I am wondering if other folks have noticed questionable marketing and half truths being used in what would otherwise be considered above board review sites or on manufacturer's home pages. Let me know if I am totally off base or if you agree.

Last edited by jabberwock_11; 11-18-2009 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:18 AM   #2
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Like one review I saw that blasted an ebook reader (the Cool-er, IIRC) because the reviewer couldn't find Harry Potter in the ebook store.

If ignorance is bliss, that guy was high!

As to the Sony, what? One million (and counting) Google books isn't enough for some people?
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:21 AM   #3
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I agree the mistruths are pretty bad.

That being said.. afaik Kindle still wins the content game. Those other sources are all selling the same stuff while Amazon has a TON (almost all of those topaz books) that are Kindle exclusives currently. Pretty much if it is available as an eBook it is available on the Kindle (not always, abut about 99%).
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:22 AM   #4
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I'm with you, pal. I bought my PRS-505 right after it was released, pre-kindle, and haven't looked back. I've come to realize that reviews are rarely done by competent people without some kind of axe to grind against someone. All I needed to know before I bought my 505 was:

Can it accept .html, .txt, .rtf, .pdf, files? Yes? good. Even the PDFs, which look like crap usually, don't bother me 'cause I have acrobat and convert them to something else.

Screen look good? I went to a sony style to look at one, saw the screen was more than adequate.

Connect to my Mac? Everyone says a resounding NO (including many reviewers). Bullsh*t. I took a chance on this one and forged ahead, believing that my Mac would see it as any other drive and I could copy my books on to it. Then I find Calibre, and I'm better off than PC folk who have to use that crappy Sony software to transfer books.

Two years later, I wouldn't trade my 505 for any other ebook reader, sony, kindle, or otherwise. I don't care about instant downloading of books, I got thousands on my Mac, carry about 200 around on my 505. I hate touchscreens and find them useless and detrimental to the product; I can hold my 505 in 1 hand and turn pages without getting the screen dirty (and a clearer screen to begin with!). I got a tiny head-lamp for reading at night (like a dorky miner or something) that works perfectly and my 505 needs a charge about every 3 weeks; and that's reading 2 hours a day or so.

My point is after this long rant is that you're better off finding out the facts yourself, what's important to you about the device, and take reviews with a grain of salt.
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:50 AM   #5
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The truth?!

"You can't handle the truth!"

There isn't a great e-reader yet.

Screens are still of marginal contrast, no true large screens (the size of the hardcover copy of "A Maggot" I am staring at is exactly 11.25",) no touch without stylus or diminished contrast.... Oh, and of course, no color.

So, I make do with a K2 and a DX, until the good stuff comes.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jabberwock_11 View Post
For example, on no fewer than three sites the PRS-505 was listed as being inferior to the Kindle because it didn't have as many books available to it...this is a half truth at best. Amazon may have more books than the Sony store, but from what I understand the Kindle is unable to use books from other sources where as I have books from dozens of different on-line stores, free sites, and download sources on my Sony.
This is incorrect. The Kindle can read DRM-free Mobipocket books, and hence has access to just as many book sites as the Sony does. Wherever did you get the idea that the Kindle can only use books from Amazon from?
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:00 AM   #7
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This is incorrect. The Kindle can read DRM-free Mobipocket books, and hence has access to just as many book sites as the Sony does. Wherever did you get the idea that the Kindle can only use books from Amazon from?
That is what Amazon hopes Kindle buyers will do, and -- except for those that are reading up on Mobileread -- my guess is that the vast majority of Kindle users rely on Amazon exclusively.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:05 AM   #8
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That is what Amazon hopes Kindle buyers will do, and -- except for those that are reading up on Mobileread -- my guess is that the vast majority of Kindle users rely on Amazon exclusively.
Or, it may be because in many instances, Amazon has the best prices.

And the majority of titles have stripable DRM.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:11 AM   #9
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I just found the statement that "the Kindle can only read books from Amazon" slightly amusing on a thread about "half-truths" .
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:13 AM   #10
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And the majority of titles have stripable DRM.
I'm not really understanding why people want to remove the DRM from ebooks? I thought that you could have DRMed books on up to 6 devices at a time which is more than what the majority of people should require surely? Or am I (probably) missing something?
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:18 AM   #11
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One reason is if you want to buy a book in a format not supported by your device. Eg, if you have an ePub device, and the book you want is only available as a LIT or a Mobi file, then you have to remove the DRM before you can convert it to ePub.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:22 AM   #12
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505 afficionado

I have got to say that I am more than happy with my PRS 505 18mths on.

Funnily enough, when I use my reader, all I want to do is read the book, not scroll through touch menus, view photos or listen to music. With a bit of preperation, I dont need or want wireless access to be ready to read at any time.
The screen is much better than any comparable models I've seen for numerous reasons. I also love the choice of sources for eBooks. Ok - Amazon have the best catalogue at present, but that will change. I like being able to choose where to buy my eBooks and I do shop around despite being in the trade myself.

Overall, I have resisted any new shiny readers because the prs 505 does everything I need it to do. It stores and displays eBooks. End of.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:25 AM   #13
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One reason is if you want to buy a book in a format not supported by your device. Eg, if you have an ePub device, and the book you want is only available as a LIT or a Mobi file, then you have to remove the DRM before you can convert it to ePub.
Thanks for clearing that up. It wouldn't occur to me to do that but I can see that's a good reason if you're desperate to read a particular book.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:26 AM   #14
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Ok - Amazon have the best catalogue at present, but that will change.
For most people, that is not the case.

If you buy an "international Kindle" and you live anywhere except the USA, the Kindle's range of books is extremely poor - much poorer than any mainstream rival, in terms of "bestsellers". Choose pretty much any popular author and the Kindle store will tell you that you cannot buy it if you live outside the US.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:45 AM   #15
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For most people, that is not the case.

If you buy an "international Kindle" and you live anywhere except the USA, the Kindle's range of books is extremely poor - much poorer than any mainstream rival, in terms of "bestsellers". Choose pretty much any popular author and the Kindle store will tell you that you cannot buy it if you live outside the US.
Actually, for me, buying at Amazon's US store still works.
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