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Old 06-29-2006, 05:04 PM   #1
TaKir
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New specs of Sony Reader published

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...me=specs&var2=

Media Formats Supported
Unsecured Text - BBeB Book, Adobe® PDF, TXT, RFT, & Microsoft® Word (Conversion to the Reader-requires Word installed on your PC)
Secured Text - BBeB Book
Unsecured Audio - MP3192 and ACC
Image - JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP

Here is nothing new...
http://products.sel.sony.com/pa/prs/reader_specs.html
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaKir
Unsecured Text - BBeB Book, Adobe® PDF, TXT, RFT, & Microsoft® Word (Conversion to the Reader-requires Word installed on your PC)
But it's still not clear (to me, at least) whether PDF, TXT of RTF will require conversion.

If MS Word is required to convert everything, then this product is useless to me.
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon
But it's still not clear (to me, at least) whether PDF [...] will require conversion.
Depends on what you mean. Bill McCoy -- who should know -- says in his blog: "just stick a PDF on a MemoryStick or SD card, insert, and read". If that is right, no external conversion is required. But ...

The Reader PDF is also described as close to PDF/A, which is based on PDF 1.4. That means that some later features probably won't be supported ... for example jpeg2000 compression and object streams (for improved compression). OpenType font embedding was, I believe, also to some extent an 1.6 feature. If the document you want to read uses those features, some kind of conversion appears to be necessary. And there is also the statement that there will be no support for reflowing: you will have to pan to read documents intended for page sizes large enough to make the text illegible at 'fit width' zoom. And of course there is always the implementation limits for any particular PDF reader version. But that would be nothing special to the Sony Reader: you'd have similar problems if you use Acrobat Reader 1.4.
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaKir
http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...me=specs&var2=

Media Formats Supported
Unsecured Text - BBeB Book, Adobe® PDF, TXT, RFT, & Microsoft® Word (Conversion to the Reader-requires Word installed on your PC)
Secured Text - BBeB Book
Unsecured Audio - MP3192 and ACC
Image - JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP

Here is nothing new...
http://products.sel.sony.com/pa/prs/reader_specs.html
Thanks for the update. I am glad Sony still offers support for TXT + MS Word. I think this could be my reader. Too bad there is no information available yet whether Sony will support Apple Mac as well.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
But it's still not clear (to me, at least) whether PDF, TXT of RTF will require conversion.

If MS Word is required to convert everything, then this product is useless to me.
My understanding is that BBeB, PDF, TXT and RFT are handled natively; MS Word requires Word installed on the PC to convert DOC files to BBeB, just as IE was required to convert HTML to BBeB for the Librie via the Toolbar for Librie add-on for IE.
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Too bad there is no information available yet whether Sony will support Apple Mac as well.
Has Sony ever supported Mac? I don't see any reason why the Reader will be different.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gameboy70
My understanding is that BBeB, PDF, TXT and RFT are handled natively; MS Word requires Word installed on the PC to convert DOC files to BBeB, just as IE was required to convert HTML to BBeB for the Librie via the Toolbar for Librie add-on for IE.
Which is what bothers me. MS Word supports RTF. Why do they need a special converter when all you need to do in Word is "Save As" and choose RTF?
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Old 07-01-2006, 04:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon
Which is what bothers me. MS Word supports RTF. Why do they need a special converter when all you need to do in Word is "Save As" and choose RTF?
There are some CAT tools (computer aided translation) called SDLx and Trados. These tools support, among many others, both RTF and DOC. However, what they really do is convert DOC into RTF without any user intervention. They will open a Word macro and save the file automatically before extracting the text for translation.
If you want to translate Excel or Powerpoint files, you will need MS Office, and I think the CAT software converts them into XML before extracting the text.

I guess this is what Sony eReader software will do: do the conversion for you (maybe into RTF, maybe into XML).

BTW, Gameboy70, that's what I thought when I saw the new specs. I miss HTML heavily, tho.
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:54 PM   #8
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Which is what bothers me. MS Word supports RTF. Why do they need a special converter when all you need to do in Word is "Save As" and choose RTF?
So they can say they support DOC? Supporting an instantly recognizable proprietary file format like DOC sounds more commercial than announcing support for a less recognized, open formt.

Whenever I used Final Draft screenwriting software, I'd always save it my work to RTF rather than the program's native format so that I could edit scripts on other machines without a copy of FD. I never saw the point of using their proprietary format. But whenever other writers would send me scripts as attachments, they would always use FD's native format.

Quote:
BTW, Gameboy70, that's what I thought when I saw the new specs. I miss HTML heavily, tho.
They'll probably include an updated version of Toolbar for Librie, which converts web pages to LRF (a BBeB format). It sucks that HTML seems to require conversion yet again, and is tied to IE yet again, but the conversion itself (at least for the Librie) is a fairly painless, one-click process.
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:20 AM   #9
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word is only needed to convert doc files to sony reader format which is completely reasonable. Im not sure why everyone is reading into this that you have to have word to convert anything.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:54 PM   #10
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It occurs to me that if you don't have Word, then you're unlikely to have Word files to convert in the first place, so it seems the better question might be: what's necessary to read the files types you use.

Just a thought....

Or should I be reading this that Word is required to convert PDF's, TXT's and RTF's as well? That seems unlikely.

Last edited by NatCh; 07-06-2006 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:32 AM   #11
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Clarification on support of non-BBeB formats

I've come across some more details on support for non-BBeB file types:

It appears that you can just load your RTF, TXT and or PDF files onto an SD card (or Memory Stick), stick it in the reader slot, and go to town. PDFs really need to be sized to the screen, of course, and it's not yet clear what sort of zooming will apply to them (TXT & RTF can use the three available font sizes), but there you go.

Apparently you do not have to convert to BBeB at all. In fact, the only files in BBeB format are supposed to be the ones from the Connect store. And anything you go out of your own way to convert, of course, if you enjoy that sort of pain.

Theoretically, there may be some speed (and I'm guessing maybe battery life) benifit from running it through Sony's import routine, as it seems that it is supposed to kind of "pre-render" the file in some sort of cache (in either onboard or card memory) for display, but it doesn't convert it to BBeB format, the file remains in its previous format on the device (plus the cache).

I find this encouraging, as I've long thought Sony has really got its hardware act together, so I'd actually feel a bit more of a comfort margin with their hardware. I'm still wondering about the DRM situation, but given the ability to completely avoid using the Connect store and BBeB format if I so choose is encouraging indeed. Especially when I'm still choking on the iLiad's price tag. (hem-hem)
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
I've come across some more details on support for non-BBeB file types:

It appears that you can just load your RTF, TXT and or PDF files onto an SD card (or Memory Stick), stick it in the reader slot, and go to town. PDFs really need to be sized to the screen, of course, and it's not yet clear what sort of zooming will apply to them (TXT & RTF can use the three available font sizes), but there you go.

Apparently you do not have to convert to BBeB at all. In fact, the only files in BBeB format are supposed to be the ones from the Connect store. And anything you go out of your own way to convert, of course, if you enjoy that sort of pain.

Theoretically, there may be some speed (and I'm guessing maybe battery life) benifit from running it through Sony's import routine, as it seems that it is supposed to kind of "pre-render" the file in some sort of cache (in either onboard or card memory) for display, but it doesn't convert it to BBeB format, the file remains in its previous format on the device (plus the cache).

I find this encouraging, as I've long thought Sony has really got its hardware act together, so I'd actually feel a bit more of a comfort margin with their hardware. I'm still wondering about the DRM situation, but given the ability to completely avoid using the Connect store and BBeB format if I so choose is encouraging indeed. Especially when I'm still choking on the iLiad's price tag. (hem-hem)
Thanks for the info! Do you remember where you read it?
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:41 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info! Do you remember where you read it?
Yes ... but it's not something I can point you to....
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:54 AM   #14
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Ok so for me it's clear, I will go for the Sony Reader. Only hope I can find a store that will ship to The Netherlands.
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:00 PM   #15
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I wouldn't be surprised if Sony would ship it to you there -- the shipping might be a bear, but, there you go.
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