Sony e-book reader to debut in UK tomorrow
To begin at the beginning...
Sony's PRS-505 Reader goes on sale in the UK tomorrow and will "revolutionise reading", the company ebulliently claimed today.
"What the Walkman did for music on the move, the Reader is about to do for books," the firm's spokesfolks enthused.
Maybe. Sony reckons the 260g gadget based on E Ink screen technology will prove a hit with travellers keen to avoid lugging stacks of paperbacks with them when they head off on holiday.
Sony's PRS-505 Reader: a boon for holidaymakers?
The unit has the capacity to hold 160 e-books, but it packs a memory card slot - 2GB SDs or 8GB Memory Stick Duos - to boost that storage space further. The screen is 6in in the diagonal and has a viewing angle of "almost 180°".
E Ink's display tech retains the on-screen image even when the power's cut, allowing Sony to claim the Reader's rechargeable battery life extends to 6800 page turns - the screen only consumes power when the picture changes.
Available from tomorrow, the Reader will cost £199. It comes bundled with a CD containing 100 "classic" - ie. out-of-copyright - titles.
What Sony do not tell you
What Sony do not tell you until you have bought the new E Book Reader is the limitations on the type of PC you will be able to use it on. It is not supported under Vista 64 bit versions but there is more! I quote from the installation manual The software is not supported if:- Yours is a personanlly built computer, Upgraded manufacturer-installed operating system, multi boot environment or a multi monitor environment. I can perhaps understand the multi boot and monitor but why do Sony discriminate against a home built or manufacturer modified computer?
You do not find out there is a problem until you try to install the Readers operating system software and then after a long wait you get a message saying installation failed - terminated by Sony Calls to the support helpline give no luck it is left to the user to try to plough through the web, manuals etc to try to find the solution. At present I have now installed to a laptop running XP SP 2 but my highly modified desktop running Vista Premium 64 bit is a non runner. Coments Sony??
no-drm UK website
Some here might be interested to know that Pan Macmillan are experimenting with selling their ebooks without any DRM whatsoever through their website at www.panmacmillan.com. Even though I'll have to make a disclaimer - I'm one of their authors - I'll have to say I nonetheless think this is a bold and positive move in favour of the consumer. According to someone I spoke to at Pan, 'All the titles currently on the Pan Macmillan site are DRM free'. Straight from the horse's mouth.
Great hardware - oh my god who designed the DRM???
Only works with Windows - bad. But the people at Waterstones should be shot for their DRM policy.
You are allowed to download a title ONCE. After that the DRM kicks in to say the title has already been downloaded and you can't have it again. No matter if the download is corrupt or if your newly DRMed book refuses to open on the Reader. You can't have another copy.
And when you have your book, it's folded into the horrific Adobe Digital Edition plugin for Flash so you can't back it up in the event of a hard disk crash or a move to a new machine.
This is simply not acceptable. I've never used a download service with so many restrictions.
But I have to repeat, the Reader itself is a stunning piece of technology.