Thursday, October 21, 2010

No need to kindle the Sony...?

It's not that long, dear reader (and I know there's one of you) since I was expressing my frustration with the Sony e-reader - nothing wrong with the reader, but compared with Amazon's Kindle there were few books available, and what is available is more expensive.

But - there have been developments!

Did you know that it is possible to borrow e-books? A quick trip to Ferndown Library got me signed up to the Dorset e-library, and a whole host of books to download, free.  (It's a wonderful system - after the 7or 14-day loan period they can't be read on the reader: they've been 'returned'.) And guess what?  That's right: you can't borrow them for the Kindle!  Yay - score 1 for the Sony!

More developments
And that's not all.  It turns out that free software is available that will allow me to buy 'Kindle' books and convert them to e-pub format for the Sony (or vice-versa, but who cares?)  Haven't tried it yet - but I will.  And I'll let you know.

Sorry, Tim.

Ah, no, it didn't work.  The software (Calibre) is fine - great, in fact.  And it does convert Kindle format to epub, easily.  BUT: I downloaded two 'Kindle' books.  One of them I had to pay for, the other was on their 'free' list.  The free one converted fine.  But the other was effectively locked: DRM,it's called - Digital Rights Management.  Under the pretext of protecting copyright, Amazon lock the books they sell (at least some of them and as far as I can tell, their site doesn't indicate which ones.  I'd guess 'all the ones you pay for') to prevent them being converted.  And I say 'sell' - do you know that they don't 'sell' ebooks to you, they lease them?  There've been cases recently where they've deleted copies of books from everyone's Kindle, and they defend their right to do so.  (You agree to it I guess when you sign up - you know, in that bit you tick to say you've read when in fact you haven't?)
Why do I say 'pretext'?  Because when you've paid for the books, the authors get their royalties - it doesn't matter to them what gadget you read it on.  The only folks Amazon are protecting are Amazon: they sell (sorry, lease) you the book and they're insisting you purchase a Kindle.  Like I said - pretext.


Jonathan Hunt said...


Paula said...

Hmmm - I have been wary of ereaders. Big brother and all that ;-P Once everyone is conned into getting rid of books and having e readers, they can delete all files and no need for authorties to have book burnings as in ye olden days eh?!
lol. Very interesting Gary.

Gary Benfold said...

Wow - that's the granddaddy of all conspiracy theories, Paula. It would only work with Kindle - they're the only ones that deliver 'through the air' as it were, and can therefore delete that way too. I think. Now I'm worried.

Tim said...

That conspiracy sound like something from the Daily Mail! ... I have just experienced a benefit with eBooks ... you can't lend them and so you don't have to worry about not getting them back. P.S. Gary have you still got my copy of ...!

Paula said...

LoL - yeah - I know :-) maybe I did read it in the daily mail ....;-)

Can't beat an overstuffed bookcase IMO! - but who needs to lend books out? I usually end up recommending people buy them used about 50p+pp from amazon!