Mobileread
Why buy one? What uses?
#1  shousa 05-28-2006, 04:00 AM
Why should someone buy a Sony Ebook reader - what are the reasons for and against?

Mine
Positives - simple, will have a lot of content in terms of buying ebooks and well supported
Negatives - Sony will inflate their ebook prices, little hacking done as Sony keeps important OS stuff a secret, cannot handle many file types

What also are your reasons for having an ebook reader - what do you plan to do with it?
(come up with great ideas so we all can have a great excuse to get one!)

Mine
- save trees
- carry a whole library everywhere I go
- I love gadgets
- get me off my computer, out of home into the sun and save my eyesight
- read updated web blogs offline

Things I would love it to really do
- connect to my PDA as a separate screen (wouldn't that be great? - this would be my number one reason to buy one. I could buy any ebooks I want and read them through my ebook reader as Palm handles DRM well both with ereader and .pdf files)
- connect it to a scanner pen and rip my existing books to it (awesome!)
Reply 

#2  Robert Marquard 05-28-2006, 07:05 AM
None of your positives is in any way connected to the Sony EBook reader.
I see this as a strong indication to not buy it.
Reply 

#3  Bob Russell 05-28-2006, 08:32 AM
Quote shousa
Things I would love it to really do
- connect to my PDA as a separate screen (wouldn't that be great? - this would be my number one reason to buy one. I could buy any ebooks I want and read them through my ebook reader as Palm handles DRM well both with ereader and .pdf files)
You know, that sounds crazy, and yet the more I think about it, the more it sounds pretty neat. In fact, what if a pda became like a portable base station server? We talk about a pda as being linked wirelessly over the internet to a server and able to do all kinds of computing. But what if, in addition to that, it's a smartphone that can stay in your pocket or purse while you use your bluetooth headset to control it (not yet because no stereo profile, caller id or voice command via headset, but I'm sure those things are coming.) Or may let it be a conduit to a server, and a nice input output pad wirelessly connects to a server through the pda.

But even forgetting those grandiose senarious, it would be handy to have the display for reading and controlled by the pda. For one thing it could handle syncing of bookmarks when you are reading the same book on the pda and the e-ink device depending where you are.

But for now, I think the main advantages of the Sony reader are that it will be available in stores, it's a smaller device, it's Sony engineering, it's a smaller up front price than the iRex device, and it still has e-ink technology. But the incompatibility with non-Sony purchased DRM'd materials is a BIG deal. It's a shame that we end up avoiding Sony devices because of their closed attitudes and unwillingness to play fair with outside content. The devices are great. The way the close them is not.
Reply 

#4  CCDMan 05-28-2006, 12:32 PM
Quote
None of your positives is in any way connected to the Sony EBook reader.
Huh? Are you reading the same text that I am?

1) save trees

Sure, not just the reader does this, but it does.

2) carry a whole library everywhere I go

Same point

3) I love gadgets

Same point again

4) get me off my computer, out of home into the sun and save my eyesight

EInk devices are indeed more readable in sunlight than any other electronic reader.

5) read updated web blogs offline

Same point as #1 yet again ( assuming the reader will do this w/o too much hassle - TBD).

So sure, the reader is not the ONLY way to do these things (what is?), but it (and similar EInk devices) should be an improvement over nearly all of the existing portable devices with regard to # 2-4.

The big issue will be just what form of overall implementation Sony will create and whether they have learned anything form their rather severe mistakes of the past. That will determine whether it is a success or just another Sony gadget for the junk drawer.

Just a note on the DRM - there are, I think, enough non-DRM ebooks out there (Baen and others) to justify a device at this (lower than Iliad) price point just for those, never minding what Sony sells.

Of course, it also assumes that this thing will actually show up in my lifetime! <G> Sony's record on this is as miserable as all the other electronics companies....

Time will tell.
Reply 

#5  CommanderROR 05-28-2006, 12:39 PM
Well...not all Sony devices are great...I had some VERY bad useability issues with my Sony MD-Man...
I'm not saying that all Sony Devices are bad, but they aren't all good either...^^

The biggest issue for me when it comes to the Sony Reader is it's lack of SDK and Dev. Informtaion.
Hanlin promises to bring that, and iRex also promised that...wel'll have to wait and see who keeps their promises...

Also, the Sony Reader has almost no "interactivity". This is OK for a really pure book-device for reading fiction, but makes educational material a lot less interesting. You can't underline, can't highlight, annotate.
You also can't fill in forms or anything...so the device is rather limited in that respect, reflecting only half the book world so to say.
It also bars the gate to dictionary implementation the way we kow and love it from our PDA...language learning could greatly profit from a feature like this, but the Sony lack the touchscreen you badly need to do this.

The Hanlin has no real touchscreen either, but at least they have a "compromise", but unfortunately no lookup feature either (and none planned as far as I could find out).
What it does have however is a calender and some basic organizer apps...if these are done well they could be a real asset.

But Nr.1 deciding argument for me is the fact, that the Iliad is the only device so far that offers access to the device without additional software. Sony Connect Software was one terrible curse for me...itunes is not really one of my favourites either. Making a device depenant on a specific software app and/or format is alsways a bad thing in my opinion.
I use an iRiver H340 for music (mainly recording, but sometimes listening as well) and it's just great to be able to copy files to the device and back any way I like.
Converting to and forth with my MD-Man was a lot of hassle and dangerous too due to the "security" the device contains.

I once did a recording of a concert (I played a Beethoven Violin Sonata) with my MD, got hom and transferred the tracks. Unfortunately I used the wrong format, so the music was compressed. I went ahead and copied again, this time using the higher quality version. Want to know what happened? The transfer/conversion was done, but the files on the device were gone and so were the files on my HDD...nada...all gone.

Luckily I had Norton Unerase installed and could "rescurrect" the old "low-quality" files, so I had at least that version. Otherwise the whole recording would just have "gone".
I still don't know what exactly happened, but that was just ablout the last time I ever used a Sony Product.
With the iRiver I simply attach the device, open the new "External Drive" under "My Computer" and have full access. I can copy the files as often as I like and still have them on the iRiver. No Problemo.
I'd prefer that method any time.
Reply 

#6  Laurens 05-28-2006, 01:14 PM
The main reason to buy a Sony is to have the ability to buy and read current books. That is, if Sony can get publishers on board.

The Iliad is supposed to support DRMed PDF's later on, but even then the question remains whether they will be viewable on its A5 screen without zooming and scrolling.
Reply 

#7  CommanderROR 05-28-2006, 01:22 PM
Don't the DRM pdfs have reflow ability?
Reply 

#8  Laurens 05-28-2006, 01:27 PM
Quote CommanderROR
Don't the DRM pdfs have reflow ability?
Would be great if they did. Now does the PDF viewer support reflowing?
Reply 

#9  CommanderROR 05-28-2006, 01:29 PM
I imagine that the PDF viewer for the Iliad would support reflowing. So far I haven't come across a PDF viewer that didn't. There are many files out there that don't have this activated, but they are mainly older files.
Any modern PDF that is not reflowable should be banned...:-)
Reply 

#10  CCDMan 05-28-2006, 01:32 PM
Quote
The main reason to buy a Sony is to have the ability to buy and read current books
Indeed - that is where and why they will succeed, if they do!

Nice to see someone else with a doggy Avatar! Your Dog?
Reply 

  Next »  Last »  (1/3)
Today's Posts | Search this Thread | Login | Register