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Sony Reader supports more e-book formats natively than we thought
#1  Alexander Turcic 04-18-2006, 05:29 AM
Keen readers may have noticed that Sony is slowly working on wrapping up its CONNECT e-book webstore. Although their site is still up and down like a yoyo here, our reader TaKir was able to make the following pleasant discovery through one of Sony's FAQ pages:

The Sony Reader will be in Sony's BBeB format; however, the Reader will support PDF, TXT, RTF, MP3 and JPG as native formats with no conversions needed. The Sony Reader software will also be able to convert Microsoft Word documents into RTF files to be read.

That's great news especially for Mac users who may or may not be able to use Sony's conversion tool to convert other e-book formats into the proprietary BBeB format.

According to the same FAQ, the Sony Reader is slated to be available in summer 2006 (and not in spring 2006 as previously mentioned).

Related: Adobe blogger on Sony's BBeB format, Sony's new e-book reader officially announced
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#2  marc59 04-18-2006, 09:21 AM
This is great news. As I will use the ebook reader mainly for PDFs, I see no reason anymore to buy the iRex. The extra's simply do not justify the iRex' high price.
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#3  Laurens 04-18-2006, 10:39 AM
Do bear in mind that there's no support for reflowing text in PDFs, according to an Adobe blog. PDFs must be formatted for the Sony's dimensions. That said, most PDFs do not have the structural tags necessary for letting a viewer reflow its text in the first place.
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#4  CCDMan 04-18-2006, 10:47 AM
VERY Cool! It does appear that Sony may be getting a clue about formats. Perhaps the new CEO is kicking some butt....

I suppose it should be no suprise that it will be delayed (maybe due to the format support?) - damn near everything new is delayed and compared to stuff like games, this is minor. I guess I will just order a half dozen or so paperbacks to tide me over.....
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#5  NatCh 04-18-2006, 11:21 AM
Quote Alexander
The Sony Reader software will also be able to convert Microsoft Word documents into RTF files to be read.
Why wouldn't I just use MSWord to convert MSWord files to RTF?

The rest of it does sound promising, though.
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#6  Kosst Amojan 04-18-2006, 12:06 PM
Summer! Damnit!
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#7  CCDMan 04-18-2006, 03:23 PM
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Summer! Damnit!
No S**t! I wonder if any comany in tech history ever actually beat a projected release date? <g>
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#8  rmeister0 04-19-2006, 01:06 AM
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Why wouldn't I just use MSWord to convert MSWord files to RTF?
Beats me, considering that Microsoft's convertor is pretty good unless you file has really complicated formatting.

Do I hear Fall? Going, going...
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#9  frostedflake 04-19-2006, 02:11 AM
If you download a Word document, you don't necessarily have Word to view or convert with. Does MS still have a free viewer?
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#10  NatCh 04-19-2006, 12:00 PM
Okay, I'll admit that is a possible scenario, though I think it's pretty unlikely.

If Sony's converter is really easy to use, that might be another reason to use it, I suppose, but I'm still thinking it's going to mostly be one of those submarine screen door features: not much use, but doesn't really cost or otherwise hurt anything.

Beat their release date? These days I'd be impressed if a company just got within ICBM range of its release dates.
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