Wednesday, May 03, 2006

eBook Reader

I really want an eBook reader. I've wanted one for like 5 years now. I love to read and I think that it would be awesome to buy my books in a digital format and have them all on one reader. After I was done with them, I could store the books on my server for future, maybe lend them to a friend like I do now with my real books.

The problem is that nobody has been able to get this right yet. The readers all so far have been bulky and have had miserable displays. The display is a huge part in my opinion. I hate reading stuff on LCD monitors and computer displays. I want something that looks like printed ink on paper.

The new Sony Reader has me intrigued. The display looks amazing, the batter life looks really good, the unit looks small and holdable, and they partially abandoned the goofy Sony Memory Stick and added an SD reader. I'm seriously thinking of buying one.

But I'm also skeptical. I'm pretty concerned about the proprietary sony BBeB format for the books. I mean, is it going to end up like beta? What if another format comes out and gets more popular? I've heard that a lot of books are being scanned into DRMed PDF files which the Sony apparently can't read. (It can read non DRM PDFs though).

I also want to know how many books are going to be available and how much they are going to cost. The sony bookstore is listed as "coming soon" so I'm worried about that. There is no way I'm buying the thing until I can see the bookstore. I guess with having their own bookstore they set up an iTunes kind of situation (which you all know I think is miserable).

The DRM thing has me really spooked. Will I be able to store the books on my server when I don't want them on the unit? Will they be shareable? Will they time out? Can I translate them to ASCII Text?

If they could get the DRM issues worked out, what would really sell me is if Amazon had a tie-in with it so if I'm looking for a book on Amazon, there could be a graphic on the book page that said "BBeB format available" and perhaps for an extra 15% I can get the real book and the BBeB file.

So there are questions to be answered, but I still may take the gamble and see. Anyone out there have any opinions on this?

2 comments:

blake said...

http://www.engadget.com/2006/05/11/hitachi-introduces-albirey-ebook-in-japan/

trace said...

Cool. Though A4 seems a bit big for a display. I'd be interested to see some more info on this as it comes out of Japan