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Thursday, August 02, 2007

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Seth Familian

I completely agree, dret! Sony's business model is totally flawed--as is it's insistence upon only allowing heavily DRM-ed content onto its Reader device. I have no problem with Sony selling books (at a reasonable price) for the reader, but to not enable readers to easily read other PDFs and other documents on the Reader is pure business folly. It's tantamount to Apple ONLY allowing AAC files to be played on the iPod, and not using mp3 accessibility as a gateway into more sales on the iTunes Music Store.

Jason

Seth,

Your comment "as is it's insistence upon only allowing heavily DRM-ed content onto its Reader device." is inaccurate in the same way it would be inaccurage to say iPod's can't play mp3 files.

If you did any research at all before posting, you'd know it can read txt, and rtf files,
and it is possible to convert files to the native format with out DRM from other formats.

Unprotected PDFs are in fact supported but it's not a good device for that(as there is no good way to display things designed for much larger displays on something that small). However there store does only sell heavily DRM'd material. But to blame Sony completely for this is ridiculous. I'm sure the book industry reacts similar to the RIAA as far as the concept of selling unprotected material.

Or do you also accuse Adobe as being ridiculous for having a DRM'd PDF format as well?

dret

seth & jason: i am sure seth is aware of the fact that the reader supports txt and rtf and pdf. the question is more: how usable is that and how much can you attract customers by offering real usability and flexibility, not just some item on a spec check list.

regarding the possibility to convert to the native format: it is a proprietary and closed format, and i know there is this weird http://prslabs.com/ web site, which has been around for a while now and even though i signed up repeatedly, nothing happens. to me this looks like a very thinly disguised attempt of sony to make their format appear a little less proprietary. http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Sony_Portable_Reader lists a number of 3rd party tools, though, i have to check these out myself.

my major complaint (as with apple's "go itunes or go home") approach is that the only way to manage content on the device is using the sony connect software, which has a very broken interface design. apple and sony are very much in line regarding their strategy, only apple has been smart enough to trade not-so-popular format for a more popular format to avoid the obvious disadvantages of robbing customers of their fair use rights. apple is a bit smarter than sony, but they still follow the good old "herd you customers in a walled garden" approach (in particular with their new iphone, which is a full fledged unix device that as its only interface to the outside world has web/email and itunes. how weird is that?).

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