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Old 12-30-2011, 03:25 AM   #1
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A similar message will also be posted in the Kindle forum, should moderators consider it reduntant, then feel free to remove one of the postings.

I've had a Kindle for close to 18 months and in many ways I'm a happy camper. Living in Sweden and visiting Japan on a fairly regular basis being able to partake of Amazon's ecosytem is as divine as it gets for an atheist at heart. Yes, I have to pay $1.50 more per item and no, I can't get every book I want, but compared to BK (Before Kindle) life is soo much easier. Just the other week I started to clean out my bookshelves, a few I put aside for a day when I can scan them and have them in digital form. I have even started my first subscription for the Atlantic Journal, just to see what that will be like. So Jeff Bezos has a special place in this old heart.

The problem is that you alway want more, and more is never enough. For me the Kindle has two severe drawbacks, I can't get books in Japanese or Swedish, Amazon doesn't have a Nordic presence and Amazon Japan has yet to relese a Japanese version of the Kindle, hence no e-books either. I know I can use Calibre to convert into Mobi but the truth is that it doesn't handle vertical writing (Japanese) and besides, at my age I feel entitled to be lazy. So the last time I was in Japan I bought a Sony PRS-350. Unfortunately the screen crashed before returning to Sweden and stupidly I had thrown way the receipt, figuring I'd have no use for it in Sweden.

So, now I'm back in Japan and Sony has released the TRS-1 (a 3G version is also available in Japan) and just like the Kindle you can download books directly from Sony's BookStore. The selection isn't even close to what Amazon offers, but they are making an effort and so far being new to this I feel optimistic that those volumes i would like to read will be available. It didn't take me long to put my grubby fingers on one of those.

Immediately I went to the Sony store, although there were 35 titles on it already, I desperately wanted to buy books online, making sure I would be able to do it again once I'm back in Sweden. Two books and one Manga later I am delighted that I just spent $255 for the Reader and an additional $60 for a lighted cover. The books were $5, $8.75 and the Manga was $3.

Actually I was so happy that I also bought the PRS-350 for $113, granted I had a devious motive. The day after I went back to the store with the broken PRS-350 and had it exchanged for a new one, so right now I'm the happy, but conderable cash strapped owner of no less than three Sony Readers.

This gives me the full scope of available e-Book formats (as far as I am aware) together with any DRM scheme they may throw at me. Add to that the pocketability (don't think it is listed in Oxford's dictionary) of the PRS-350 and an extra backup Reader, I realized that I just felt the giddiness I did 18 months ago when the Kindle arrived.
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:11 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
I know I can use Calibre to convert into Mobi but the truth is that it doesn't handle vertical writing (Japanese)
Permit me to point out that ePub doesn't support vertical writing systems either. The newly ratified ePub 3 standard does, but no reader currently supports it.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:22 AM   #3
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Congrats on the new purchase I was just wondering does the TRS-1 have the exact same physical form as the PRS-T1 ?
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:05 AM   #4
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You might want to look into the (extremely easy) rooting process for the T1. It will let you access your Kindle ebooks on the T1 using the Kindle for Android app.
Have fun with your toys!
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:18 AM   #5
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Permit me to point out that ePub doesn't support vertical writing systems either. The newly ratified ePub 3 standard does, but no reader currently supports it.
All I know is that the books I've downloaded from Sony's store are "printed" in vertical wrting.
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:06 AM   #6
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Could they perhaps have been PDF books, rather than ePub? As I say, ePub does not support vertical writing.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:15 AM   #7
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The included user's manual is a PDF book and that is written with horizontal text. The e-books that are sold in the Sony store are vertical. The file extension isn't epub though, it is zbf and it is called an XMDF document. Could that be an extension of epub? I have yet to find English language books in the Sny store (not that I have been looking).
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
The included user's manual is a PDF book and that is written with horizontal text. The e-books that are sold in the Sony store are vertical. The file extension isn't epub though, it is zbf and it is called an XMDF document. Could that be an extension of epub? I have yet to find English language books in the Sny store (not that I have been looking).
Interesting!

From the MR Wiki:

Quote:
XMDF (Mobile Document Format) is an e-book format, developed by Sharp originally for its "Pocket Zaurus" PDA. It is an encrypted binary file compiled from an XML source. It can be used for eBooks, electronic dictionaries, and electronic comic books (manga).

It is intended for publication using Japanese language.
Sounds like something that Sony have added support for specifically for the Japanese market.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:23 AM   #9
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Congrats on the new purchase I was just wondering does the TRS-1 have the exact same physical form as the PRS-T1 ?

Sorry, I made a typo, the model in Japan is also called PRS-T1, the 3G capable model is PRS-G1. They are available in black, white and pink (perhaps they refered to it as red). So format is the same,onl software is different. I can't access Sony Connect, perhaps with the browser, haven't tried yet.

The Japanese version have text and handwriting notes, does the "Western" version have that as well?
it comes with three dictionaries, Daijirin (Japanese - japanese), Juniors Eiwa (English - Japanese) and New Oxford American Dictionary. You can't install external dictionaries according to the manual (rooting it I would imagine you can do it).
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:11 AM   #10
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The western version comes with something like ten dictionaries.
Rooting enables adding dicts and fonts but is *not* trivial. Unix/Linux fluency is required.
Installing apps, though, *is* close to trivial.
Since few XMDF-capable readers have made their way west (and Sharp is cancelling their Galapagos line of readers) your approach is very likely the best way to get where you want to be.
On the Sony connect issue: one thing you could do is try installing the Sony reader android app on a rooted T1. At 5MB in size, it should install easily. Not sure if it'll give you library Access or GoogleBooks access, but those you can get through Overdrive's Media Console. Unless you find ways to clear up space, it looks like you might be able to fit just the Sony and Kindle reading apps alongside Coolreader.
Still, that would still be one powerful reader, no?
Sony Japan, Sony-west, and Kindle all in one compact reader.

Have fun!
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:48 AM   #11
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There exists a Sony eReader app for Android?
Not available when accessing Market from Japan.
Geo-restrictions on e-Books, coming to an Android device near you!

Yes, I am trying to create the ultimate e-Reader. Just bought a 32GB micro-SD to make sure I don't run out of space anytime soon.

Also discovered that downloded books come wit the files extension mnh, this gets more and more intriguing.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:52 PM   #12
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There is waaayyy more to android apps than Google's market offers up.
Plenty of other sources. If you do web searches for specific apk files you'll find some of them. I get my apps from Amazon's appstore, Freewarelovers, SlideME, or just floating around.

As for Sony Reader for android:
http://thetechjournal.com/electronic...-devices.xhtml

http://goodereader.com/blog/uploads/...e.reader-1.apk

I understand some folks are not too fond of this particular blog but it has its uses.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electron...our-tablet-pc/
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:33 PM   #13
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Thanx for the tip, I probably wasn't specific enough, I thought we were talking about a transfer application. I would be able to buy books through a browser in the Sony US Store and then move them to the e-Reader. But it is nice to have the reading application as well. I have to admitt that I am apprehensive about downloading apps from other sources than Market, mainly because of malware.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:12 PM   #14
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There's plenty of malware on the Market, too.
(shrug)
Not much malware can do to a pure reading device, though.
"You place your bets, you take your chances."
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Permit me to point out that ePub doesn't support vertical writing systems either. The newly ratified ePub 3 standard does, but no reader currently supports it.
Adobe Digital Editions 1.8 Preview 2, while it does not fully support EPUB 3, does support vertical writing modes (by virtue of using Adobe RMSDK 9.3). Bookeen has stated that they will also support vertical writing soon on the Odyssey (also by using RMSDK 9.3).

Eric.
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