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Old 06-16-2010, 08:06 PM   #31
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People who get ePubs from other sources are not necessarily "techies". They're people who shop from a variety of sources. It doesn't take technical know-how to download an e-book.

I am far from a techie, and I shop around for e-books ... because there's no reason why I should have to restrict myself to one company's pricing and selection. In fairness, Kobo has been pretty good ... so far ... but there's no reason why I should make one company my soul source for books.

One of the selling points of the unit -- and Kobo actively used it as a selling point -- is that it is supposed to support a variety of formats, and other ePub sources. That, aside from the price point, is what is supposed to separate it from Kindle.

If you can only effectively use ePubs from Kobo, that's a black mark on the unit, and a reasonable concern for anyone looking to buy a reader.

Would it be okay for a laptop to only be able to order physical books from Indigo, because of some bug that wouldn't allow you to order books from another source? Because we're essentially talking about the same thing.

The last thing I'd want would be for Kobo to gain the sort of monopoly in e-books that Indigo enjoys in books. Indigo's business practices often border on thuggery. And if I were to recommend the Kobo reader, without significant improvements to the way they handle non-Kobo ePubs, I'd essentially be supporting such a monopoly.

As it is, price is the only thing that Kobo has going for it, and with the low-end Sony reader going for only $50 more, I'm telling people that if they're okay with the smaller screen size, they should get the Sony reader. Sony readers are clearly a superior product -- I don't think anyone would deny that.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:21 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Mememememe View Post
People who get ePubs from other sources are not necessarily "techies". They're people who shop from a variety of sources. It doesn't take technical know-how to download an e-book.

I am far from a techie, and I shop around for e-books ... because there's no reason why I should have to restrict myself to one company's pricing and selection. In fairness, Kobo has been pretty good ... so far ... but there's no reason why I should make one company my soul source for books.

One of the selling points of the unit -- and Kobo actively used it as a selling point -- is that it is supposed to support a variety of formats, and other ePub sources. That, aside from the price point, is what is supposed to separate it from Kindle.

If you can only effectively use ePubs from Kobo, that's a black mark on the unit, and a reasonable concern for anyone looking to buy a reader.

Would it be okay for a laptop to only be able to order physical books from Indigo, because of some bug that wouldn't allow you to order books from another source? Because we're essentially talking about the same thing.

The last thing I'd want would be for Kobo to gain the sort of monopoly in e-books that Indigo enjoys in books. Indigo's business practices often border on thuggery. And if I were to recommend the Kobo reader, without significant improvements to the way they handle non-Kobo ePubs, I'd essentially be supporting such a monopoly.

As it is, price is the only thing that Kobo has going for it, and with the low-end Sony reader going for only $50 more, I'm telling people that if they're okay with the smaller screen size, they should get the Sony reader. Sony readers are clearly a superior product -- I don't think anyone would deny that.
I may be wrong, so I hope someone will correct me if I am, but does the font issue arise with other purchased books? I was of the understanding that it was only books downloaded from free sources (legally or otherwise) that were having this problem.

If this is the case then a non-techie would probably not be sourcing books from less-than-legal sources and I doubt they'd run into this issue.

If, on the other hand, this issue is popping up in books purchased from other ebook stores then that's a valid point.

I just wish we'd stop talking like this is a forever-issue and not something Kobo will be fixing with an update.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:32 PM   #33
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As it is, price is the only thing that Kobo has going for it, and with the low-end Sony reader going for only $50 more, I'm telling people that if they're okay with the smaller screen size, they should get the Sony reader. Sony readers are clearly a superior product -- I don't think anyone would deny that.
I don't think that the sony readers are clearly a superior product. The low end one seems to have a decent screen and functionality, but it only has a 5" screen, and a very small amount of on-board storage. There are only 440Mb of space free on that moddle, and you cannot use SD cards or anything to increase the storage capacity. The larger one has a screen that is significantly worse (has much more glare). I thought about swapping my kobo for the larger sony, but after going to the store I decided that the Kobo's combination of a 6" viewing area, expandable memory, and a good non-reflective screen made it the best of the three, especially given the lower price.

The Kobo definitely needs some work, and seems fairly limited in terms of functionality. But when it comes down to it, it works quite well for the use of simple every-day reading. Which reader is best is always going to be a matter of preference and based heavily on what you intend to do with your reader.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:45 PM   #34
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Megan,
Definitely affects purchased ebooks too; I've read lots of posts regarding ADE encrypted books with the issue.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:16 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Mememememe View Post
People who get ePubs from other sources are not necessarily "techies". They're people who shop from a variety of sources. It doesn't take technical know-how to download an e-book.

I am far from a techie, and I shop around for e-books ... because there's no reason why I should have to restrict myself to one company's pricing and selection. In fairness, Kobo has been pretty good ... so far ... but there's no reason why I should make one company my soul source for books.

One of the selling points of the unit -- and Kobo actively used it as a selling point -- is that it is supposed to support a variety of formats, and other ePub sources. That, aside from the price point, is what is supposed to separate it from Kindle.

If you can only effectively use ePubs from Kobo, that's a black mark on the unit, and a reasonable concern for anyone looking to buy a reader.
The Kobo is not sold as "supporting a variety of formats". In fact, it is a basic reader and supports only pdf and ePub. Pdf is problematic on ALL ereaders under 10"; pretending that "reflow" is a good thing for pdf completely misses the point of what pdf is designed for: creating a fixed typographic presentation that DOESN'T change because of delivery mechanism.

So -- Kobo really supports just ONE format -- ePub. That's not a "concern" -- it's a feature. I can resize the font, change the font family, bookmark my place, switch titles and read something else for a while, and return where I left off with ePubs under Kobo. It easily hits all the highlights for the price.

Nor does Kobo rope you into buying solely from Kobo -- that's the promise of ePub, actually, that it's a "universal" standard. The only thing you cannot do is load non-Kobo books using the Kobo bookstore software. Well, slap me silly and say "duhhhh"! But, hey! any ePub NOT sourced from Kobo can be added and deleted using Adobe Digital Editions. It covers DRM and non-DRM seamlessly.

I have bought a couple of Kobo book store books but most of the books I have loaded onto (and read on) the Kobo came from the public library, from Fictionwise and from other ePub sources. ADE manages the Kobo without any techie knowledge at all.

Yes, I could pay more for a smaller screen from Sony and be given access to a bookstore (which I have anyway with Kobo) where most of the titles say "US only" ... but why would I do that? Kobo, at $149, delivers what it promises.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:05 PM   #36
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Wow, you really get upset over criticisms of Kobo, SensualPoet.

That's right -- they say they support ePub, PDF, and Adobe DRM. They don't do an adequate job of supporting ePubs from sources OTHER than Kobo. They don't do an adequate job of supporting PDFs.


YOU are the one advocating buying only from Kobo. You keep saying "people wouldn't have a problem if they just stuck with Kobo files. And right now, that's the only option that isn't fraught with problems.


Plus, Kobo readers tend to crap out on people. You can deny it all you want, but they're getting a fair amount of returns of frozen units. Hardly a great selling point.


Seriously, do you work for Kobo? Because you get irrationally upset anytime someone doesn't put on the pompoms and cheer for your boys. It's just an ereader -- don't take it so seriously.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:12 AM   #37
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I may be wrong, so I hope someone will correct me if I am, but does the font issue arise with other purchased books? I was of the understanding that it was only books downloaded from free sources (legally or otherwise) that were having this problem.
I have encountered the issue with library books, which would be a primary source of books for my technically challenged mother.

Frankly, we know the people we would have to support with this device better than anyone else on this board. If it was a matter of writing down the instructions for my mother, that would be fine. However even I find that each time I attempt to do anything with the Kobo connected to the computer the method is never quite the same. Sometimes the sync is successful, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the search for a book in the desktop software returns the appropriate match, sometimes it doesn't. Yet I can go to the Kobo website and find the book. Sometimes a sync clears my bookmark in the book I'm reading, sometimes it doesn't. With no go to page feature, it's frustrating. Sometimes the light goes on when charging, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the font in a Kobo epub isn't scalable but if I download the mobile edition, all is well and good. That's just an example of more than a few "either/or" "if x, then follow y" situations. Just the fact that the Kobo software can't be better integrated with ADE (Sony is much better in this regard) or at least Kobo provide some instructions that ADE will need to be used in addition to the Kobo software complicates the situation. Kobo suggests that as long as you use their software all is well and good but that is incorrect since they do tout being able to read library books on the device. It's one of the reasons I purchased it and it was not me imagining the feature to be available.

I have been using ADE, Kindle and B&N desktop software since last fall when I was considering an eReader. Kobo's is the least intuitive and least robust of all of them.

I can get around these situations because of my technical experience and the fact I found this board. My mother is not going to contact customer support for any of those situations, nor should she really have to when all we really want is an option for her to read new books without adding them to her sagging bookshelves.

I do love my Kobo. I don't seem to be having any of the battery issues others have. However, I bought the unit to avoid dealing with any potential Nook issues, which is unsupported in Canada. I often wonder if I made the right choice, since I am dealing with Kobo issues.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:31 AM   #38
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I do love my Kobo. I don't seem to be having any of the battery issues others have. However, I bought the unit to avoid dealing with any potential Nook issues, which is unsupported in Canada. I often wonder if I made the right choice, since I am dealing with Kobo issues.
This is exactly my experience with the Kobo. Okay not really the part about the Nook but the fact that I could have chosen another eReader.

At first I was thinking they would fix the problem quickly and I wouldn't have to change many books at all because I read 1 a week or so. But now its been quite a while and I've been thinking if it would have been better to buy a more expensive eReader that was established.

Hopefully the upcoming firmware will fix the Font-Sizing correctly and I can be happy with my Kobo.
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:51 PM   #39
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...and I've been thinking if it would have been better to buy a more expensive eReader that was established.
But price point matters. Now that I'm hooked on e-reading, I keep looking at other instruments, but basically, if it's a penny over $150, it's too much.
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:56 PM   #40
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But price point matters. Now that I'm hooked on e-reading, I keep looking at other instruments, but basically, if it's a penny over $150, it's too much.
For sure the price point of the Kobo is what helped me finally decide to get a eReader. But now that I'm enjoying the benefits of an eReader I could see myself justifying a larger budget on an eReader.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:47 PM   #41
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The slightly more expensive Sony ebook reader only stores 350 books, you can't a card to expand the memory, and books purchased from the site are charged to Canadians in USD.
Not a superior product IMO.

Same with the Kindle. Not all ebooks available for Kindle in the US are available to Canadians, because of publishing rights and so on.

For me Kobo was the logical choice. I've already purchased 5 ebooks for it, the prices are cheaper than paperbacks, and I've already purchased my second Kobo as a birthday present for my daughter.
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Old 06-18-2010, 02:30 PM   #42
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...I've already purchased 5 ebooks for it, the prices are cheaper than paperbacks, and I've already purchased my second Kobo as a birthday present for my daughter.
I am up to 5 books that I have purchased. There also seems to be a fair number of author's web pages with free ebook down loads too.

And, my daughter is also pushing to have her own Kobo.
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:19 PM   #43
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The slightly more expensive Sony ebook reader only stores 350 books, you can't a card to expand the memory, and books purchased from the site are charged to Canadians in USD.
Not a superior product IMO.
I got a Kobo on release date, and when my wife saw it she wanted an eReader but wanted a pick one so she got the Sony PRS-300 because it comes in pink.

So we have both readers in the house and I would have to say right now I would say the Sony is the better device. You download books and load them to the device. Its a little faster, it feels tougher, it has a few extra buttons to get around in the menu faster. It has the page turn in the center of the reader for much better one-handed use.

It has a slightly smaller screen and yes it does have limited memory, but go ahead and put more then 350 books on your Kobo and see how easy it is to find a book in the menu.

I really went back and forth before buying my Kobo, and on paper the Kobo is a better reader for me (bigger screen and expandable memory) but sometimes I doubt I made the right choice.

Plus like I said above, if I knew how much I would enjoy eReading I might have had a better look at some of the more expensive readers (ie. the $250 range), then you would have the Sony Touch which gives you the missing feature (screen size and expanding memory) along with speed, touch screen, dictionary etc.
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:28 PM   #44
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Plus like I said above, if I knew how much I would enjoy eReading I might have had a better look at some of the more expensive readers (ie. the $250 range)
You make an interesting point. I definitely fall into the category of someone who bought the Kobo Reader based largely on price point, but the attractiveness of the Kobo (and its marketing website) also factored into my decision.

There have been moments when I have doubted my decision to buy a product that clearly wasn't ready for prime time, but on the whole I love the Kobo Reader.

Having experienced eReading I agree I would now be more willing to splurge on a more expensive reading device, but that's the catch 22 isn't it? Until a cheap product like the Kobo entered the market place I hadn't been willing to commit to purchasing an eReader at all, although I had wanted one for several years.

I get the feeling many Kobo Reader owners are in the same camp. I guess time will tell if first time eReader owners will stick with the Kobo or migrate to a more expensive alternative.

Now that the firmware is only a week away, and promises to fix most of the Kobo Reader's 'quirks', I think I'll be quite content with the Kobo, but perhaps I should count myself lucky that I haven't had a Kindle or a Sony to compare it to!
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:49 PM   #45
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Wow, you really get upset over criticisms of Kobo, SensualPoet.
Not at all. I've related my own experience. Not upset in the least. Perhaps you're projecting?

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That's right -- they say they support ePub, PDF, and Adobe DRM. They don't do an adequate job of supporting ePubs from sources OTHER than Kobo. They don't do an adequate job of supporting PDFs.
The font issue on non-Kobo acquired ePubs is acknowledged and being fixed (hopefully). They fully support ePubs from their store - including refunds if a customer encounters a bad one. I made my case about PDFs as a poor ebook format in principle -- nothing to do with Kobo. AFAIK, Adobe DRM is fully supported; no one has reported (that I've seen) that Adobe DRM "breaks" on a Kobo.

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YOU are the one advocating buying only from Kobo. You keep saying "people wouldn't have a problem if they just stuck with Kobo files. And right now, that's the only option that isn't fraught with problems.
Yes, I am advocating buying a Kobo; this is the recommend or not? thread. I am NOT advocating buying ePubs only from Kobo. I am a strong supporter of using the Kobo to access the public library. Many of the library titles I've downloaded work fine. Every single ePub I have purchased from Fictionwise works flawlessly on my Kobo.

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Plus, Kobo readers tend to crap out on people. You can deny it all you want, but they're getting a fair amount of returns of frozen units. Hardly a great selling point.
Well, perhaps you have better info than I do; I am not privy to Kobo return rates based on faulty hardware. I can see from reading this discussion forum that many people experiencing issues have NOT installed the software, or manipulated the Kobo on device memory directly (drag n drop), or used 3rd party tools to add ePubs instead of ADE. Some people have completely deleted all the files on their Kobo before installing the desktop software. I have faulted Kobo on poor user documentation.

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Seriously, do you work for Kobo? Because you get irrationally upset anytime someone doesn't put on the pompoms and cheer for your boys. It's just an ereader -- don't take it so seriously.
Nope, I don't work for Kobo. If you really believe I "get irrationally upset anytime someone doesn't put on the pompoms and cheer for your boys", I'd love to see the evidence. I am certain you will find none.

I do find it curious that few posters who have had problems of whom I have asked "did you contact tech support?", have replied. One chap dismissed the idea saying they couldn't be bothered to wait for an answer -- after using Calibre to fool around with a book he'd bought from Kobo instead of simply transferring it with the Kobo software to his reader and just enjoying it.

As you will see from my profile, I have a Kindle 2 as well; the Kindle 2 is a more robust device and I recommend it highly. That does not detract from the great things the Kobo offers, and generally delivers, if the buyer sticks to expectations of what s/he's buying: an entry level reader for an entry level price.
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