Sony Reader Touch Edition Slaughters Barnes & Noble Nook

December 21, 2009

Blame my stupidity for not thinking of this earlier!

We’ve had two posts now where the Barnes & Noble Nook failed with a significant ePub: The People of the Abyss by Jack London.

Barnes & Noble Nook Gets Trashed By Archos 5 Internet Tablet
Barnes & Noble Nook 1.1.0: Liza Reports

As of today, the situation was still this:

Opening The People of the Abyss still takes a long time (about 30 seconds, enough that I initially thought it wasn’t going to work at all). Jumping into a chapter takes long enough that I get an OS-level error saying that the application is stalled (answering “wait” will eventually work).

* Going backwards into a previous chapter still shows no loading message, when loading can take time.
* Moving between chapters in this edition still takes 20-30 seconds.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

So I asked librarian Robin Bradford to try it on her Sony Reader Touch Edition, which she just bought a few weeks ago. She reports:

So I tried the book.

There was not a noticeable difference between this book and others when turning pages or changing chapters.

The only slight difference was when a picture would come up. It would take an extra second for it to settle into focus. Focus may not be the right word, but I’m not sure what to call it. The words would all be there, and then the pic would settle in. By the time you noticed, everything was fine.

Moving between pages, or between chapters, was done with the speed of any other book.

Go Team Sony!

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Really, this is what I thought would happen with the Sony Reader Touch Edition. But I wanted it confirmed with a real test.

As I wrote earlier, if you must buy an eInk device:

Sony Reader Touch Edition is the best.

Previously here:

Barnes & Noble Nook 1.1.0: Liza Reports
Multi eInk eBook Device Fondle Report
Barnes & Noble Nook Gets Trashed By Archos 5 Internet Tablet

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Amazon Japan Selling Camangi WebStation

December 21, 2009

It’s not in stock yet, but here is the listing:


Click = big

Previously here:

Get The Camangi WebStation Mini-Tablet Quick Start Guide For Free!
First Pictures Of Aldiko Running On A 10-Inch Screen!
Camangi WebStation Pre-Orders Are Go
Android OS/Archos 5 Internet Tablet Notes For Saturday November 28, 2009
Camangi Android Mini-Tablet: ePub Built-In
The Coming Android Mini-Tablet Flood


Barnes & Noble’s Incompatible Non-Universal ePub

December 21, 2009

I don’t know why this should shock anybody.

Still, it makes the PDF press release [PDF link] title all the more ironic:

Adobe and Barnes & Noble Join Forces to Standardize eBook Technology

By standardizing on EPUB and collaborating with Adobe on a content protection standard based on Adobe technology, Barnes & Noble is delivering the richest range of content available, across a broader array of devices than anybody else,” said William J. Lynch, president of Barnes & Noble.com. “Consumers can feel confident that when they buy their digital content from BN.com, they can read it on more devices than any other bookstore.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Let me parse this.

By standardizing on EPUB — ah, good! Everyone except Kindle is on the same page now. ePub for everybody! You can buy ePub here, there, and even everywhere — at Barnes & Noble and all other ePub-pusher storefronts — and it will run on anything that uses ePub.

Um, no.

Because of this:

they can read it on more devices than any other bookstore — the key words are devices and bookstore. Meaning, those devices must run the software of the bookstore, meaning Barnes & Noble.

Which then makes the next sentence in that press release an outright lie:

This collaboration with Adobe further delivers on our commitment to provide the digital content our customers want, anytime, anywhere and on whatever device they choose.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

What if I choose a Sony Reader? Or a Cooler? Or Astak?

Out of luck.

Because of this:

Adobe is integrating Barnes & Noble’s eReader social content protection technology into Adobe Content Server, Adobe Reader Mobile SDK and, eventually, into Adobe Digital Editions.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Barnes & Noble’s eReader social content protection technology — this is the eReader DRM feature, which places the eBook buyer’s name and credit card number in the eBook file. So, if you pass that file on, there’s your name and credit card number for everyone to see.

No other device aside from the Nook and those running the Barnes & Noble eReader software can deal with this form of DRM.

ePubs purchased at Barnes & Noble will “stay in Barnes & Noble.”

The only hope is that as other manufacturers — Sony, et al — update their device firmware, they will add this method of DRM to it.

It’s not just device firmware, either: Adobe Digital Editions and Sony Library will both require updating too to handle this.

In summary: The Nook can read ePub with the special (for now) Barnes & Noble “social DRM” as well as all other Adobe DRM ePub files (from public libraries or bought even from Sony’s Reader Store). The reverse is not true: No device other than the Nook right now can process the new “social DRM” scheme the Nook uses.

When will ePub again be “universal?” Adobe says by the end of 2010.

How’s that for a hell of a wait?

Additional:

Customer FAQ: Adobe and Barnes & Noble


FREE Digital Book: One Strange Way #1

December 21, 2009


Click = big

One Strange Way is a motion comic digital book that runs on Adobe AIR.

It’s seventy-six panels of motion with an ominous score and read-along voice acting.

Read the rest of this entry »


Barnes & Noble Nook 1.1.0: Liza Reports

December 21, 2009

Nook 1.1.0 firmware update report

Opening The People of the Abyss still takes a long time (about 30 seconds, enough that I initially thought it wasn’t going to work at all). Jumping into a chapter takes long enough that I get an OS-level error saying that the application is stalled (answering “wait” will eventually work).

* Going backwards into a previous chapter still shows no loading message, when loading can take time.
* Moving between chapters in this edition still takes 20-30 seconds.

It’s still sub-optimal.

I hope to have another post related to this sometime today.

Previously here:

Barnes & Noble Nook Vs. Archos 5 Internet Tablet: Round Two
Barnes & Noble Nook Gets Trashed By Archos 5 Internet Tablet


Barnes & Noble Nook: Version 1.1.0 Arrives!

December 21, 2009

Minutes ago on Twitter…

Expect more posts about this as the day progresses.


Barnes & Noble Nook: LCD Trueview

December 21, 2009

A major selling point of the Barnes & Noble Nook is that color LCD screen.

Look at how sharp those cover thumbnails look!

In person, it’s less than fantastic.

This is a reduction of a large JPEG provided by Barnes & Noble, to make it just about the same size as the Nook’s true-life LCD display:

Even that would be pretty good.

However, this is what that Nook LCD really displays:

So, even if you can get color cover thumbnails, don’t expect them to be all sharp and pretty as the simulated pictures have been leading everyone to believe!