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Old 09-22-2010, 02:57 AM   #51
PocketBook 302 FTW!
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Posts: 139
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle
Device: Pocketbook 302, upgraded from PRS-600
Again -- for the mainstream user, DRM does not get in the way. If it truly did, e-books would not be growing in popularity as they have in the past 18 months. There's your survey data.
Every person I know with an ereader, which includes technical savviness from kernel hackers to "what's a power button", has run into a situation where they want to pay for a product that is incompatible with their device.

Format issues aside (thanks to calibre), the sticking point is DRM. If a consumer is happy to live in a "walled garden" (and look at cellular providers in .us for examples for how well that works) they won't have any problems. But not even Amazon carries every book available in digital format. And they certainly don't sell every ereader out there - all kinds of devices are available that outperform the kindle in everything but "seamless purchasing".

Kudos to Amazon for convincing a huge swath of the reading population that kindle = ebooks (a marketing snowjob that rivals Microsoft's convincing of the public that computers = windows), but the entire reading public ultimately suffers when book consumer's markets are limited. IIRC, even Adam Smith way back in the day made a point that a market only functions when consumers have choices.

There's a difference between "I don't have any issues", "I can live unhappily inside the walled garden" and "DRM is the bane of my existence and I'm willing to do what it takes to make sure products I've fairly purchased are mine to fairly use as I will". As you've rightly noted, ebook technology is still in it's infancy and like other media technologies in their infancies, it hasn't hit the critical point where interoperability is crucial.

But it will happen, just like it's happened for every other form of digital media.*

What would the world of music look like today if Sony, Pioneer, Samsung and Onkyo all had their own implementations of redbook that only worked on their own players?

*not filesystems, but media types like "books, music, movies, etc"
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