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Old 03-02-2010, 03:19 PM   #1
ziphnor
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Kindle DX: Format issues / book selection / alternatives

Hi,

Im considering buying the Kindle DX for use in Denmark. Im having a hard time figuring out the alternatives available as well as getting an impression of how problematic the limited format support of the kindle is in practice. (and before anyone asks: Yes i did checkout the reader matrix and perform a few searches before posting

To be precise, here are my questions:

1. Despite the fact that i live in Denmark, im pretty much only interested in US/UK literature. I get the impression that Amazon has the largest selection (even with the regional restrictions of the Kindle DX). Is that correct? Or can the same selection be found by visiting several other ebook stores?

2. I get the impression that most ebook stores beside Amazon use Adobe ADEPT DRM in combination with either EPUB or PDF. Is that correct?

A little google search easily provided me with tools to strip the APEPT DRM (this is legal in Denmark if you cannot use the protected content otherwise). Given that it seems so simple to strip the DRM of these files i am wondering whether it isnt a perfectly viable option to buy epub books, strip the DRM and then use Calibre to convert to a format the kindle understands.

3. Since im considering converting from epub i am wondering about the impact on file size and display quality. I understand that the kindles own format is inferior to epub, but are these limitations significant for typical simple fictional books? Is there any software i could use to make this comparison on my own PC before buying?

How about PDFs intended for ebook readers, do they display in the same quality as on other readers?

5. Finally, what are the alternatives? Can i buy a better reader with the similar screen size/built-in dictionary and still get access to the same book selection? I got the impression that one of the Kindle DRM schemes arent so easy to remove (in case i wanted to buy from Amazon and use a different reader).

Thank you very much for your feedback

Last edited by ziphnor; 03-02-2010 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:16 PM   #2
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Hi there, I am also living in Denmark. I am a dane, born and raised here.

1) I think you can choose between ebooks in english and ebooks in english, so it is probably a good choice to be interested in US/UK books. I can't say where the selection is best. I went for a non amazon device, because I would not like it to be a monopoly for amazon to sell ebooks. If you want to buy books from different sources, and use them on the same reader, you will end up having to strip DRM and convert the format to one your reader can read.

2) There is a big thread on this forum about which format will prevail. I think epub. I don't know the sales figures of amazon compaired to epub,

3) In my opinion, typical fiction displays well for the mobipocket format. I have not tried it, but the procedure for displaying amazon books on other devices seems slightly more cumbersome than the other way round. I read the danish law the same way you do, if you need to liberate a book in order to be able to read it, you are allowed to do so.

4) Calibre displays all the formats, if the book is not drm infected.

5) I think Irex 800 is the nearest competitor, but there is no dictionary support. If you are primarily into fiction, you don't need a big display like the DX. PDF requires a big display though. I don't have any personal experience with PDF, but a little reading in this forum will tell you that you need a big display.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziphnor View Post
Hi,

Im considering buying the Kindle DX for use in Denmark. Im having a hard time figuring out the alternatives available as well as getting an impression of how problematic the limited format support of the kindle is in practice. (and before anyone asks: Yes i did checkout the reader matrix and perform a few searches before posting

To be precise, here are my questions:

1. Despite the fact that i live in Denmark, im pretty much only interested in US/UK literature. I get the impression that Amazon has the largest selection (even with the regional restrictions of the Kindle DX). Is that correct? Or can the same selection be found by visiting several other ebook stores?

2. I get the impression that most ebook stores beside Amazon use Adobe ADEPT DRM in combination with either EPUB or PDF. Is that correct?

A little google search easily provided me with tools to strip the APEPT DRM (this is legal in Denmark if you cannot use the protected content otherwise). Given that it seems so simple to strip the DRM of these files i am wondering whether it isnt a perfectly viable option to buy epub books, strip the DRM and then use Calibre to convert to a format the kindle understands.

3. Since im considering converting from epub i am wondering about the impact on file size and display quality. I understand that the kindles own format is inferior to epub, but are these limitations significant for typical simple fictional books? Is there any software i could use to make this comparison on my own PC before buying?

How about PDFs intended for ebook readers, do they display in the same quality as on other readers?

5. Finally, what are the alternatives? Can i buy a better reader with the similar screen size/built-in dictionary and still get access to the same book selection? I got the impression that one of the Kindle DRM schemes arent so easy to remove (in case i wanted to buy from Amazon and use a different reader).

Thank you very much for your feedback
You don't have to worry about regional restrictions. There are very simple (and legal) workarounds, so you'll have access to the entire US selection.
You can download Adobe Digital Editions and Mobipocket Reader and/or Kindle4PC. This will give you some idea about the various file formats. Personally, I find ePUB and Mobipocket very similar, time for conversion in "calibre" accordingly is very brief.
Concerning Kindle DRM, you probably refer to TOPAZ books. That's about 5% to 10% of the Kindle selection. It can be stripped from DRM, but it really isn't very comfortable yet and the results aren't perfect either.
Amazon really sometimes has the best selection. But especially for fiction, you'll usually get your books in ePUB format as well.
Just an idea: Go for iPod touch/iPhone as an additional mobile reader, purchase Kindle books and convert them to whatever format you need, if you don't want to go for Kindle.
But you easily can check out, whether you'll get your books in other formats. Just do a test with, let's say, the 10 to 20 books, you'll probably buy next. Amazon still may be slightly ahead, but the gap is way smaller than it has been a while ago.
Concerning the "perfect" reader it really depends on your needs: Touchscreen or not? 6" or bigger? Dictionary or not?.........
Personally, for fiction I can recommend:
- nook: Simplistic, but great for "casual" reading and fantastic cost/benefit ratio.
- Sony 900: In my opinion, the most stylish reader out there.
- BeBook Neo: Surprisingly low price and tons of features.
- iRex 800: Relatively expensive in Europe, but in general good response in the market for the display size.

As simplistic as it may seem, I'd consider nook for you. With the B&N shop, you'll have nearly as much books to choose as with Kindle. You can exchange the US SIM and replace it with a Danish one. You have dictionary support and easily can hack it for 3rd party applications. You can sideload ePUB books, so it's very open for other eBook sources.
That's for fiction. I wouldn't recommend nook for "professional" books, given its screen size and features,

Last edited by mgmueller; 03-02-2010 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
You don't have to worry about regional restrictions. There are very simple (and legal) workarounds, so you'll have access to the entire US selection.
Where can i find more information about that?

Quote:
Amazon really sometimes has the best selection. But especially for fiction, you'll usually get your books in ePUB format as well.
Whats the primary shopping place(s) for epub books (just to compare the selection)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller
Concerning the "perfect" reader it really depends on your needs: Touchscreen or not? 6" or bigger? Dictionary or not?.........
[quote = "KunoK"]
5) I think Irex 800 is the nearest competitor, but there is no dictionary support. If you are primarily into fiction, you don't need a big display like the DX.
[/quote]

A dictionary is essential. Even though my english is pretty good i still occasionally encounter words that i dont understand 100%.

My primary use is fiction, but i was hoping to use it a bit for technical books and papers. However this secondary use is not really something i want to determine my choice of reader.

Even for fiction 6" seems very small to me. With none of the readers coming anywhere near 200 pixels per inch it would seem you would be able to fit less text than in a similar size book, and 6" isnt even the size of a small paperback. But perhaps i am missing something about the necessary size?

Quote:
As simplistic as it may seem, I'd consider nook for you. With the B&N shop, you'll have nearly as much books to choose as with Kindle. You can exchange the US SIM and replace it with a Danish one.
Interesting, i was not aware that i could just swap the SIM card!

Thank you for taking the time to answer..
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:21 PM   #5
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My comment about not needing a DX size for fiction is based on my personal experience. Sure, you will have fewer words per page than a paperback, but I don't see it as a problem.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:01 AM   #6
ziphnor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KunoK View Post
My comment about not needing a DX size for fiction is based on my personal experience. Sure, you will have fewer words per page than a paperback, but I don't see it as a problem.
So the extra page turns are not annoying? I tried reading a bit on my iPod touch (which is only 3.5" . Viewing in standard mode (ie not in landscape) resulted in so short lines that it was annoying to read. In landscape mode (7cm and 640 pixels wide vs 9cm and 600pixel on the kindle 2) the line length was acceptable but the text was on the small side and not as clearly defined as in a paperback.

On the other hand the 6" readers does add 2cm to the width so the text would become larger, so maybe a 6" reader is sufficient.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:26 AM   #7
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Maybe you will find 6" to small. I don't. I am using a pretty small font, and it works fine for me. I think the letters are very clearly defined. When I use public transportation I often bring it along and that works fine for me. A lot of people on this forum even prefer 5" for a reader to use on the move. Sounds a bit small to me, but I havn't tried it.
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