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Old 05-24-2006, 07:55 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Amazon launches Amazon Online Reader

Amazon hopes to take a big bite out of e-book market with its latest feature, the Amazon Online Reader. When you buy a physical book from Amazon that's part of their new Amazon Upgrade program, for an additional charge you can get an online version of the book. Amazon Online Reader allows you to print pages, to search content, and to create highlights, bookmarks, notes and tags. You can not, however, download the book and read it in any other reader.

Example: CliffNotes Chemistry.

The very Ajaxy-feeling reader currently supports IE 6.0+, Firefox 1.5+ and Safari 2.0. Only US customers can take advantage of the Upgrade program right now.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
You can not, however, download the book and read it in any other reader.
What where they smokin'?
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Old 05-24-2006, 05:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
You can not, however, download the book and read it in any other reader.
So it's worthless... I expected something better from Amazon.com.

A similar offering from O'Reilly lets you, for the extra price, get a PDF of the book. So it looks like Amazon isn't keeping up with the market.
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Old 05-25-2006, 03:37 AM   #4
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I don't see how this competes with e-books. Essentially, all it does is display scanned pages, similar to their "Look inside" thing. Amazon is a seller, not a publisher. It might be useful if you need to look something up and don't have the book at hand.
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:01 AM   #5
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Hi,

Being a big book buyer of books from Amazon, I checked and found that from the hundreds of books I have bought from them only 5 were available for the upgrade and the prices seem to be proportional to the value of the book. I had a 100$ book (now listing for 137$ true, but I checked and I paid 99.98$ on it) that had upgrade for ~27$, a 60$ book upgrade ~14, 2 30-40's $ books upgrade for ~8-9$, and a standard child care book with many editions (current edition price ~10$ with the discount) that has upgrade for 1.48$
Since you can print pages you should be able to print to a ps file so get the actual images anyway on your computer (always there is snagging for anything displayed on your pc screen, but that is time consuming so better to scan), but I have not checked since the upgrade prices for the 2 books that I would like to have digital are a bit too high.
Depending on price/availabilty, it is a very useful feature, but right now the availability seems to be limited.

Liviu
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Old 05-25-2006, 10:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
What where they smokin'?
Smokin the ole Bezo Bong, I suspect. The market for this has gotta be somewhere between few and no one.

If you wanna sell ebooks, find out what makes regular books sell and then do it better. Until then, stop wasting everyone's time.....
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