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Old 07-21-2006, 12:25 PM   #16
NatCh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaHuguet
For me, the only real reason the iLiad wins is screen size, all the rest are just roadside perks, nice to have but not vital. I want a book reader, and I want it book size, no smaller or larger. I cut out a piece of paper in Reader screen size, and iLiad screen size... the Reader is too small! It means I would have to compromise on font size or text length every time, either straining my eyes or doing constant page flips (I read very fast). If both were 8 inchers, I might well have waited for the Sony.
Yeah, I actually had the opposite reaction at first -- I thought the iLiad would be too big. Then I did what you did (measured it out on paper), but for the overall unit, and decided that it wasn't.

I read fairly fast too, but I do fine on Palm's eReader software (yes, very frequent flipping), and I figure anything bigger than that is going to be a win. Actually, reading fast is what pulls me to the e-reader concept -- carrying several pbooks on a trip is a pain, of course that applies equally to all three readers.

You've got me thinking, though, the frequency of page flips may have an effect I hadn't considered: smaller screen size means more flips in a time period, which means more battery consumption for the same amount of text ('cause it's on more pages). Probably not terribly significant given many thousand page flips per charge, but still something to think about.
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:48 PM   #17
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I've actually read a couple of books (short ones!) on my Nokia 3650, but it's only good for as-I-wait-for-the-doctor sort of desperate reading, not for real leisure (imo, of course, to each his own). I read somewhere that the length/size of a typical book (A5ish) is actually the perfect size for reading comfort and comprehension, both across and down. I tend to agree, larger pages feel long-winded, and shorter ones keep giving me mental "jumps/starts"; I am the type of reader that gets totally lost in books (to an unbelievable extent, lol), but magazines or booklets/Nokia I never get into so deeply. That's something from my reading experience that I'm not willing to give up.

As you say, battery life doesn't seem too significant at the numbers these readers are handling, hehe, but it's a good point all the same.
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Old 07-21-2006, 04:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
I don't think I'm following you -- I see the appliances as more like the PSP -- it only does one thing, play games, while the platforms, like PCs can do lots of things. The Sony Reader is mostly an appliance in that it mostly just reads texts, but it's also partly both because its Linux OS potentially allows it to do other stuff as well -- play mp3 and AAC podcast files, for starters, and maybe other reader software makers will release versions for the Sony Reader, as they seem to be contemplating doing with the iLiad. Then there are the applications that will spring up that we can't predict, but will love and wonder how we lived without ... which is where the hacking community comes in, actually ... and potentially increases demand, but now I'm repeating myself.

Well, when I say "platform", what I mean is that the company develops a piece of hardware not for the sake of the hardware itself, but rather to make money selling content for it. The old "razor/blade" model, where the razor is the platform and the blades are the content. If someone's making money selling razors, then they can make any blade fit in - in fact, the more blades that fit, the more useful their product is, and the more they'll sell. But the more common model these days is selling the razor very cheaply - for little profit or even a loss! Then you make money selling the user razor blades. Since users only buy one razor, but buy many blades, you make more money that way. But it also means that your razor had better only fit your blades, or else you might lose their business to a competitor.

Sony makes money on the PSP not by selling people PSPs (in fact, I think they lost money on them at first) but by selling them games. Or actually, by licensing the ability to write games for the platform to other people, who make games. But only Sony-approved PSP software can be run on the PSP... And Sony tries very hard to keep it that way. If you buy a PSP and no games, Sony loses money. On the other hand, when you buy a PC to play games on, you pay all the money up front, and then you can do whatever you want - buy the games, download free games, or even write your own.

The Librie was undoubtably the same as the PSP - the only content that was available was Sony-approved, and it probably subsidized the hardware to an extent. They weren't making an ebook reader, they were trying to sell you books. The early Sony digital music players were the same way; they didn't play MP3s, they only played ATRAC3 files that you could, conveniently, buy from Sony Connect.

The new Sony philosophy (speaking just as an industry observer, not as an employee... no one tells me anything about business decisions ;-)) is that content is king. That's why they bought the music and movie studios, and are working on expanding that. And all the other divisions work towards supporting the movie and music business.

Now, Sony doesn't have a book publishing business, and allowing txt, pdf, and rtf formats seems to indicate that they're open to other people's content being on there. But I'd feel more comfortable if the Connect store didn't exist. I'd rather my hardware provider and content provider be separate entities; that way I know they're not screwing me over for their own benefit.
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Old 07-21-2006, 04:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosst Amojan
And about the page size, I can't believe that Sony would have some sort of filter to automaticlly resize...as for quality, we'll just have to see.
The Sony PDF reader will probably do just what Iliad reader does: show single page, fit to page. You won't get any user-defined zooming/scaling, though.

As long as that page isn't too far off from physical screen size, it will be readable: the resolution of the ePaper will ensure that. But displaying an A4-page on a smaller-than-A5 screen is not going to work very well.
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Old 07-21-2006, 05:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bingle
Well, when I say "platform", what I mean is that the company develops a piece of hardware not for the sake of the hardware itself, but rather to make money selling content for it.
Ah! Now I follow. You're saying a marketing platform! I was thinking in terms of a hardware platform, but I'm with you now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bingle
Now, Sony doesn't have a book publishing business, and allowing txt, pdf, and rtf formats seems to indicate that they're open to other people's content being on there. But I'd feel more comfortable if the Connect store didn't exist. I'd rather my hardware provider and content provider be separate entities; that way I know they're not screwing me over for their own benefit.
I see where you're going and I see your concerns, even find them somewhat compelling.

On the other hand, I find it slightly encouraging that the Connect store is primarily Sony's answer to iTunes, so it's really geared toward selling music first, with the etexts being something of an afterthought as it were. Combined with how insular Sony's various divisions seem to be, both in general, and from your comments on your own observations, I think the relationship to the Readers (hardware) may be more like (really) close partners than the same company. At $350, they aren't giving the readers away, certainly -- that's the best price HanLin can ask for theirs too, and they (presumably) have the subsidization of the entire Chinese government at some level, anyway.

As a further point, the Reader plays both mp3 and AAC files (hellooo, Podcasts!), which leaves you open to buying content from not the Connect Store. Between that and supporting RTF/TXT/PDF files, I think it may be a tacit acknowlegement that they've realized they can't lock us into only their content. I realize that there are some who won't really trust the Sony device to play those files until they see it for themselves, but I've become satisfied that it is indeed so.

I know, I know, I have been extremely vocal in the (recent, even) past in my skepticism about Sony's attitude on this topic, but the things I've learned recently about the hardware itself, and what it supports out of the box are swaying me.

Even when I was most leaning toward the HanLin reader, I was wishing that the Sony Reader would be more open, and that there would be some evidence of it. Well, the evidence is coming out, and I'm leaning back the other way.

Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but I expect that seeing the hardare and playing with it -- even if I can just get a few minutes in a store (just me and my SD card and the Reader ) -- will give me a good read on just how wishfull my thinking is.

I wish Sony and HanLin would release, already! And I still want to see an iLiad for myself, even though it's dropped to 3rd place in my considerations. (No, I'm not stalking you, iLiad owners ... I'm stalking your iLiads! )

Maybe we need a generic meditation thread for us poor, frustrated, non-iLiad folks....

Last edited by NatCh; 07-21-2006 at 05:07 PM. Reason: typo
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