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Old 06-19-2010, 09:28 PM   #1
Shecky
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Reading e-books bought at other sites.

How? I downloaded a free e-book from Barnes & Noble, and no matter what I do, I can't read it on my PRS-300. What have I missed? Why is there no clear instruction for doing this? I mean, I can understand that companies want you to buy primarily from THEIR sites, but this is ridiculous.
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:45 PM   #2
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B&N DRM isn't compatible with Sony Readers at this time. For DRM'd books you want books that use Adobe (adept) DRM in either ePub (preferable) or PDF formats.

Some sellers that sell compatible books besides Sony would be...
Books On Board
Kobo
Webscription.net (no DRM on these at all)

...pretty much anywhere that sells ePub except Apple and B&N will be compatible (either DRM free or Adobe DRM).



HTH
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:00 PM   #3
Shecky
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Understood.

I've seen a lot of mentions-in-passing of Calibre. Would that help the situation? If so, where's a good guide to Calibre that would help me decide and use it?
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Shecky View Post
Understood.

I've seen a lot of mentions-in-passing of Calibre. Would that help the situation? If so, where's a good guide to Calibre that would help me decide and use it?
Calibre won't remove the DRM, which is what would be required for a B&N book to work on a Sony.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:04 PM   #5
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*grumble* I just don't get this. I mean, I could understand it if you had to authorize an e-book on a specific device or devices, but "you can only read our books on our proprietary devices" is... well, stupid.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:16 PM   #6
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Shecky,

What you have missed is DRM. Its proponents call it "digital rights management"; its opponents call it "digital restrictions management". You'll find me in the latter camp, as you might guess from my .sig.

The purpose of DRM is to restrict a book you buy (or get free) from being read except under the extremely limited circumstances defined by the publisher or bookseller. This generally means that it is strictly locked to a single reading device, or sometimes a small number of them, and cannot be reformatted, printed, read out loud, loaned, sold like a used book, or, well, pretty much anything else. For example, if I were to buy a book at the Sony store for my PRS-505, it could only be read on that specific 505. If I stepped on my 505 tomorrow and bought a Kindle to replace it, I'd have to buy a new ebook.

Except, of course, that I don't buy DRM-locked ebooks. The only vote I have is my wallet, and though it is a tiny vote indeed, I will not use it to vote against my own best interest, and that of my fellow readers. I buy books from DRM-free stores (Baen, BookView Cafe, O'Reilly, etc.). I buy books directly from clueful authors. I read a lot of public domain books -- not just the great classics, but all sorts of nifty books that have been overlooked by many, not to mention the pulps that are now out of copyright. I'm never short of reading material. Just what I have loaded right now will get me through the next 10 years at my current reading speed (though admittedly some, such as the Sherlock Holmes canon, are re-reads).

The proponents of DRM will tell you that they know you're a thief, and therefore DRM is necessary to prevent you from "stealing" their books -- that is, making illicit copies of them. That is utter baloney. People who want to make illicit copies of books will do so if they have to buy a physical copy and scan it -- and they do, on a regular basis. What it's really about is device lock-in. If you have a Sony Reader, for example, you have to buy from the Sony store; you can't buy books from Amazon or B&N and read them on it. So you can't buy some other brand of ebook reader and still be able to read your books. The publishers like it because that means you'll have to buy the same books all over again (and generally at outrageous prices); the device sellers like it because you have to buy your next reader, and the one after that, from them and only them. The only one who loses is ... you. Well, and the authors whose books you couldn't buy because they weren't available for your device, or because you had to spend your book budget on replacing ebooks that, due to device changes, format changes, or whatever, you still have but can no longer read.

As for Calibre: It's an ebook library management program, format converter, and several other very wonderful things. It won't solve your problem -- your problem is DRM. But it will make the Sony Library software look fairly pathetic by comparison. Like many people whose primary books sources are free (public domain books) or from DRM-free sellers (which tend to be cheaper), I have thousands of ebooks. Just keeping them organized would be a nightmare without Calibre.

As for stripping DRM, it's against forum policy to discuss it -- it could get the kind people who run MR sued -- but Google is your friend.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:26 PM   #7
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Most kind, Worldwalker. I will take your ultimate advice to heart.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:06 AM   #8
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As a side note. The Sony ereaders happily read ADE DRM. So purchasing a DRM EPUB book from Sony, Diesel, Fictionwise etc will be fine. You will need ADE installed on your PC for downloading these ebooks.

I fully agree with Worldwalker and would highly recommend Calibre along for organising your ebooks, both DRM infested and cleansed.

Another option you do have and one well worth exploring are sites such as Smashwords, Baen and Double Dragon for DRM free EPUB and LRF ebooks which will most merrily work with your Sony ereader. You can use Calibre to "dress" them up with metadata extras, book covers etc and then transfer them to your Sony without issues.

As for using a decent "toolbox" to allow full liberation of your purchased ebooks? Google is definitely worth saying hello to.
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:57 AM   #9
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Amazon's Kindle store is probably the easiest to liberate from DRM and then convert to a Sony-friendly format using Calibre.

It's funny, stripping the DRM and converting is arguably easier than installing ADE and the Sony library software and going through the process to load the books with DRM intact.
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Old 06-20-2010, 04:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddman View Post
Amazon's Kindle store is probably the easiest to liberate from DRM and then convert to a Sony-friendly format using Calibre.

It's funny, stripping the DRM and converting is arguably easier than installing ADE and the Sony library software and going through the process to load the books with DRM intact.
Easy for you to say. I am still trying to figure out how to get the books in my Sony reader library to go into Calibre. And for that matter to organise my Calibre properly.

more fiddling is required.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:19 AM   #11
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As a side note. The Sony ereaders happily read ADE DRM. So purchasing a DRM EPUB book from Sony, Diesel, Fictionwise etc will be fine. You will need ADE installed on your PC for downloading these ebooks.
The Sony Software can also download DRM ePubs from other sites w/o having ADE installed (it works just fine here, I buy eBooks from Kobo, etc all the time)
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:08 AM   #12
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For those in other countries: B&N in Australia seem to be going with multiformat and ADE, so an epub from B&N will work with an authorised Sony reader.

Pity they're charging Australian paper back prices.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:44 PM   #13
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For those in other countries: B&N in Australia seem to be going with multiformat and ADE, so an epub from B&N will work with an authorised Sony reader.

Pity they're charging Australian paper back prices.
How DO you authorize a reader?
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:09 PM   #14
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Personally I think this Idea of books only working on proprietary readers is stupid and needs to go for this industry to truly take off. Ultimately I bought the sony E reader over a kindle because it has access to more ebook sellers than anything else. And the nook is just a freaking waste because it lacks compatibility..
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:13 PM   #15
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And the nook is just a freaking waste because it lacks compatibility..
???

The Nook is compatible with the B&N store, eReader, PLUS everything the Sony is compatible with (well, except for LRF/LRX).
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