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Old 02-03-2017, 04:26 AM   #8
michailbachtin
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michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.michailbachtin is cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
 
Posts: 40
Karma: 103592
Join Date: Jan 2013
Device: Sony PSR-1
I should add that the tech-support I contacted at Pocketbook Inc was surprised by the issue. When I wrote to them in English and Russian, they merely repeated that the Pocketbook Touch HD stored the annotations much like every other Pocketbook device, i.e. as an html in the directory "system/config/active contents". Only when I wrote back to them a third time in Russian did they respond with an acknowledgement that there is currently NO WAY TO COPY ANNOTATIONS from the device to your computer.

Which is why I bought the device in the first place.

I simply do not understand why manufacturers haven't recognized the business model for eReaders specifically for students, academics, and scholars: people who highlight and annotate, but also need to access these highlights and annotations on the devices we use to write about what we've read.

Previously, Pocketbook provided a partial solution. The highlights and notes were accessible, but the format of the notes was (and remains for the other Pocketbook eReaders) incredibly ugly.

Solutions of higher quality have always arisen among ambitious developers who work outside the box. The initial version of the annotation extractor for the Sony eReaders was a beautiful and thoughtful contribution: one that offered a separate html-file for each book featuring parallel columns of highlights next to annotations with approximate page numbers of the corresponding epub file. (You could instantly see the difference between text that was highlighted and text that was your own annotation.) The only drawback on the Sony devices was the ignorance of Sony: they limited the number of exportable highlighted characters to 200 for each annotation. Even on books with no DRM protection.

Toxaris instantly recognized the annotation-extractor created by the legendary "Yoths" in 2012 as the best of its kind in the industry. Of course, genius recognizes genius, and Toxaris also recognized that Sony eReaders were a dying breed: even the last in the Sony series didn't offer a backlit screen. But the Kobo devices did, and they also used a similar file-system for annotations. So Toxaris (a generous spirit of the eBook community) adapted the annotation exporter for Kobos.

So why not just give up on Pocketbook eReaders and buy a Kobo? Well, the Pocketbook eReaders offer far more flexibility in two major fields: The dictionary options for Pocketbook eReaders (if you know what you're doing) are immense, whereas the Kobo dictionary options are rudimentary. Moreover, the TTS modules (Text to Speech) for the Pocketbook eReaders are the best in the industry. (Google Voice does not even come close.) You can choose among any European language (and sometimes several voices for a single language) and practice pronunciation while reading, say, in French, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, even Welsch!

So (damn it) just when Pocketbook offers, with its Touch HD 631 model, its most mature piece of hardward, with 8GB of internal memory (lots of space for TTS modules) and a mSD card slot for 32GB of books, with, I hasten to add, one of the best screens on the market, what does Pocketbook Inc do? They spoil it all by removing ALL options for annotation and highlight extraction.

We need to tell these manufacturers what we customers need. Otherwise, I see a dark future for Pocketbook Inc. and for other competitors to the Amazon-Kindle ecosystem. The Kindles are so popular that hundreds of amateur programmers have come up with their own annotation support -- and that has evolved into one of the best systems for integrating notes with Calibre, but also with Evernote and with browser apps for Chrome. Moreover, highlighting and annotations are easier to do on a Kindle. (Just try to highlight from one page to the next on a Kobo, for instance. Worse, the latest Pocketbook modus for highlighting is a giant step back from what was offered in earlier versions of the Pocketbook OS.) Trouble is: Kindles limit you to one format and they don't have an mSD, which means you are stuck in Kindle's Amazon cloud for content, with all the potential loss of privacy that entails.

And what kills me (and what has decimated the potential business model of Pocketbook eReaders for serious readers such as students and academics) is that the technical support at Pocketbook Inc. is entirely ignorant of the problem.

As I mentioned, I wrote to them both in English and in Russian about the issue with the Touch HD 631, and received two replies with the false claim that nothing had changed. (At that point, of course, I simply returned my device to the store and counselled my students NOT to buy a Pocketbook. After writing to Pocketbook a third time with screenshots demonstrating that the "active contents" folder with HTML-files containing highlights no longer exists in the OS of the Touch HD, I finally got an acknowledgement that the annotations don't work.

And the response: Maybe, someday, they will...

It makes me wonder who Pocketbook thinks it manufactures for. Yes, they have a good share of the Russian market. But they should think of themselves as a high-end manufacturer, not a cheap manufacturer of one-size-fits-all Kindles (with whom they will never be able to compete).

There ought to be a large market for the Pocketbook Touch HD. There won't be, unless they change.
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