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Old 01-10-2010, 02:07 PM   #16
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As far as I see it, ebook readers are still not 'good enough' especially with regard to implementation of user interface (software and hardware) and formatting of content. As well as availability of ebooks, etc. etc. We still need to reach a level where there are some common best practises that most ereaders and content can live up to.

Added: Many of the devices we see today are first-generation or 'early' in the sense that few companies have worked with ereaders for a long time and there's a lot of new players in the market who more or less tries out new things as best they can.

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Old 01-10-2010, 02:15 PM   #17
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I only hope the rebranding of the same devices by different companies will bring the prices down. When more and more people have a device, the call for more new and backlogged books in electronic form will be louder as well.

Also I think it's good if "new" devices don't bring something new but rather have better firmware or are lower in price. That way people will be more inclined to buy now, instead of waiting a few months because there will be "better on the way"...
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:28 PM   #18
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Yeah, for me it's not so much about there being too many e-readers (although I do agree that everyone seems to be jumping in) it's about how everyone's developing one when the screen technology seems to be going next-gen pretty soon.

You could argue that for Mirasol and Liquavista may take few years to develop and produce, the Pixel Qi screen is capable of mass production as of today. The responses and previews from CES make it clear that the black/white screen quality rivals e-ink.

It'd be interesting to see how much many of these e-ink devices will go for in 6-8 months. Even Apple dropped price on IPhone pretty quickly. The creative destruction on e-ink market is in full force.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:32 PM   #19
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I think it is healthy for the market-it shows there is true interest in the genre. And the inevitable shake out will be healthy as well.

The only concern I have about the "glut" of devices is that some of them that are going with proprietary DRM solutions or rely on their own servers for content are going to go out of business-leaving people stranded with incompatible, non-upgradable landfill.

At least most orphaned MP3 players still can play legal MP3s ripped from CDs...but for now most ereaders are dependent on commercial book sources (unless you are content with public domain stuff only-which I doubt most people are)
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:55 PM   #20
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Personally, I see the market eventually splitting: one the one side dedicated devices using e-ink or some similar technology to faciliate long periods of reading (I do think there is a market for dedicated devices) and the usual "all-in-one" that we see with smartphones and MIDs.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:59 PM   #21
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I concur that the situation is analogous to the "mp3 player" situation. There's a lot of diversity, but IMO this serves to make the big players stand out in relief.

One thing that may work is the Plastic Logic approach. Rather than aim for a broad audience, they are targeting a specific niche. Hopefully that will work out for them.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:25 PM   #22
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I suspect that the more companies there are that make eBook readers, the more the public will understand that they have an alternative to the Kindle available. This should reduce the likelihood of Amazon cornering the market.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:20 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA Russell View Post
I suspect that the more companies there are that make eBook readers, the more the public will understand that they have an alternative to the Kindle available. This should reduce the likelihood of Amazon cornering the market.
Just like Apple and iPods?
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:43 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Not_A_Crook View Post
Wow, it's like new cellphones arent announced every single freaking day, and MP3 players, and chip technology. Oh, and what about the "glut" of TV's being made? Oh right everyone buys TV's so why complain about there being so much E-readers?

Please leave us to our devices.

Because they all use common independent standards. Ebook readers are not there yet.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:51 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Connallmac View Post
Just like Apple and iPods?
I do hope that situation don't repeat itself.

Well, amazon won't get far until they move seriously on the international plan (That is, provide us with books from our own publishers, and add ePub support)
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:54 PM   #26
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Very good points Nate. We will soon be facing a large cull as consumers choose which readers will survive. It's a little dangerous because if you choose poorly, in two years you could have a reader with no support (drivers/updates).

I guess the safest way around this is buying from one of the megacorps like Apple, Sony, or Amazon. At least those guys will continue to provide drivers/updates to the products long after the end of a product line. A small niche compny might just disappear off the map. I like supporting the little guy but it might be dangerous!
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:01 PM   #27
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At one point, there was beta and vhs video players and recorders. Only one survived.

And major companies have gone away. Just look over the history of computing. DEC and Cray are mostly gone. Some major personal computer companies have vanished.

I do think that the more expensive ereaders that have few formats available to them, or don't have a good system for navigation, might fall by the wayside. ( I don't mention touch screens as I don't like them. I kow some folks enjoy them. Use whatever you prefer. )

From what I have read, a version of linux lite is used for the operating systems of ereaders. Linux has folders builtin, just like most computer operating systems that showed up after the 1980s. But some ereaders don't have folders.

I have no idea why they don't have folders. I'm not on their design teams, but as a long time computer tech, I think they should have waited until after they implemented folders, bookmarks, etc. Maybe their marketing demanded something be shipped for the holiday shipping season ? I don't know.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:02 PM   #28
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Just like Apple and iPods?
The Apple computer still exists. I have several Amiga computers. Can't get parts for them though.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:12 PM   #29
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This seems more a DRM support issue, for most of this thread.

I can't think of any devices that have DRM support, which support more than one
company's DRM format(s). That goes for music, video, or eBook. I can't picture the contractual arrangement that would allow for more than one.

The JetBook and JetBook Lite (JBL) add the translation dictionaries and support for a
wide range of non-DRM formats into the mix, as well as the chosen DRM format.

A device's DRM support is only a liability if it has limited non-DRM support and/or the
DRM is hard to break. While the Kindle and Apple products may be ubiquitous, and
gorilla like, they are somewhat vulnerable in this regard. I like having more options
than just iTunes or Amazon.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:18 PM   #30
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Yeah, this is basically what happened before the iPod and other market dominators appeared in the MP3 market..
There never was an early period when nobody dominated the MP3 market. In the beginning Diamond pretty much owned the field.

Creative and several others were trying to wrest a portion of the market away, with liumited success.

Apple jumped in with a ton of capital, and a new clientelle made up primarily of apple users who hadn't been into digital music before. Apple came to dominate sales of mainstream recording house music, and their iPods have been highly profitable, but they do not and never have owned a majority share of the market. at the end of the 90s the market became highly fragmented. Today much of the market is in convergence units of some sort.

When iPods were launched, they weren't even a factor in several significant sectors of the market. Apple didnt realise the need to make players more rugged than the hard drive technology of their early units allowed, and if you were buying a player to waer while woring out or woring in a trade job you quickly dissabused yourself of Apple's offerings.
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