iRiver e-book reader spied online?
Looks a lot like Kindle...
Images of what is thought to be an iRiver e-book reader have appeared online.
iRiver's Story e-book reader?
Rumoured to be called Story, pictures of the gadget were posted on an online forum alongside a raft of rumoured technical specifications.
Designed to support a range of file formats, including ePub, XLS and PDF, Story apparently has a 6in display and integrated Qwerty keyboard, the combination of which makes iRiver’s device look strikingly similar to Amazon’s Kindle.
The Story is also alleged to have a comic-strip viewer mode. The gadget’s internal battery supports up to 9000 page turns, the poster added.
A zip-lock style case is included
It isn’t clear if the device has any user-accessible storage, but the forum poster added that Story can support memory cards of up to 32GB in capacity.
The Story is currently being prepped for sale in Korea later this month, according to the forum poster, priced at up to KRW400,000 (£198/$322/€225). Story launches for North America, Europe, Russia and Australia are also being planned by iRiver, the forum poster added. ®
Physical vs Virtual
Ye gods, I really shouldn't wade into the fray here...
Re: the cost of virtual files vs phyical books (or CDs) and how much cheaper should the price be:
Remember that shipping costs on a per-unit basis are probably very very low. I can ship an entire PC across Canada for little more than $100. When you start talking bulk shipping rates for pallets of books, how bad can it be?
When I can buy a spindle of 50 CD-Rs for under $20, you can't tell me that the physical price of a music CD is anything more than pennies.
But we're not removing the physical costs... we're just replacing them. Enterprise storage sure isn't cheap. Bandwidth also isn't cheap. Someone has to pay for both... Oh, to be an end-to-end ISP - you get to charge the company as they send the file, AND the consumer as they download it. Add in the Server monkeys. Web monkeys. Power. Cooling. Licensing DRM as was mentioned previously. Payment gateways and all the cuts that the banks take from each transaction, and so on.
So, my reasoning is - the bulk of what we pay for doesn't go away just because it's "digital". Add a healthy dose of "what the market can bear" since there's a lot to be said for convenience - it's what McDonalds banks on, after all. You can make it cheaper & healthier at home, but you have to actually cook and do dishes. This is the age of instant gratification, or so I've been told between my credit-card fueled shopping trips...
I'm looking forward to more public libraries that have an online portion to them, where I can "sign out" my ebooks, read it over 2-3 weeks, and have it go poof at the end. All for the yearly cost of a library card. It's funny how people (myself included!) reel at the thought of an all-you-can-listen subscription service for music (I MUST OWN IT! THE TRACK IS MINE MINE MINE!), when at the end of the day, it's really just a trip to the library...
My books? Still on paper. Hardcover, mostly. But those days are numbered methinks... currently looking at the new PRS 600 - no goofy keyboard taking up possible reading surface. Would I like to see ebooks and their readers cheaper? Hell yes. Do I expect them to come down? Maybe eventually... but then I look at what an X-Box sells for and think probably not. Consumer electronics seem to have some pretty fixed price points...
Nice to see that you bit. Despite all the education you clearly have old boy. I fully understand the points you were making, as well as the ones you were implying too... Hence the joke at my own expense about marks out of ten. Which clearly you missed.
In terms of the point about the single format, totally agree. Sony seem to have realised the same thing and are ditching their proprietary formats to move to the standard the same as the Amazon store. I think it'll take a long time for the readers themselves to catch on and reckon the take up of ebook media(viewable on PC's), will eventually be fuelled more by educational institutions buying digital formats alongside hard copies. Libraries as well quite possibly. Whether that will trickle down to price reductions for consumer purchases though is another matter. Although the prices are coming down already as I stated in my badly made original points. I've seen that in the last month with my own purchases.
Your point about the global situation is valid too, although I'm certain people will soon start finding the means to again buy things they can't afford. But at £200+ for the latest models and the cheaper old models vanishing from stock fast, I suspect the £150 ish limit once felt to be the impulse purchase threshold, but vastly exceeded the last few years, is going to come sharply back into force.
That's my opinion on it. Slightly better put and considered I hope than previously!
Pricing and author payments
Nigel, yes, yes, yes.
The sooner every one on the planet has one the better - and this will require a standard format to obviate many problems - it will save a lot of living wood. The downside is the tendency of publishers to emulate the stupidity and greed of the music industry. I'll except Naxos here.
Argumentum ad hominem
Tsk monkey boi, I am not a teacher; I am an ex soldier, and a scientist who also has a philosophy degree and cannot stand bravo sierra mixed in with p*ss poor attempts at flaming. You did not even properly address the points that I made, as I enumerated the errata in your argumenta. (That's a non latin speakers' pun for you), you merely resorted again to the argumentum ad hominem. As the military saying goes, 'bloody civvies'.
As for the mark for enthusiasm, it clearly went over your head, and 5 was being damned generous since enthusiasm only has significance in an argument (that's in the classic Greek sense) is that it acts as a motivational force. IOW, more light less heat, more cognition, less testosterone, think before you flame, use your sodding brain.
Pricing and author payments
My neighbour has a book in print at the moment; paperback price £6.99. Ebook price is £1.20 more than that - that's an increase of over 17%.
He does receive an additional royalty for the eBook version - 5% more than the usual royalty he gets on the print version, so he'll get a little more, which is fine - he wrote the book, after all, and deserves to make money from it.
But the bulk of the extra money for the eBook version is going to the publisher - and they no longer have printing, shipping and warehousing costs.
Look at the online catalogue for Penguin and you'll see that the pricing of most of their eBooks is set in line with the pricing of the hardback edition. I can't imagine that doing anything other than harming the business in the long run.
Most people do want the authors to be rewarded, I think. But it seems pretty clear to me that, though authors may benefit a little more from electronic sales, the biggest winner is the publishing company, by a country mile.
It ought to be possible, surely, to sell for the equivalent of the paperback price - or less - and still provide the author and publisher with a better return than for the print edition - unless somehow those involved in creating eBooks and licensing the DRM and fulfilment mechanisms have contrived to make all that more costly than printing and shipping actual physical products.
That perceived greed was at least a factor in the woes of the music industry; it's disheartening to see the major publishers (with some exceptions, like O'reilly) not learning from their mistakes.