How Amazon’s Kindle Will Bite Your Ass

All of you people with are so enthralled with the selfish instant gratification feature (read: wireless downloading of eBooks) of the Kindle will have no tears shed by me.

1) You cannot read eBooks on your desktop. Your Kindle breaks? Do without until replacement.

2) You’re locked into one eBook store: Amazon. Don’t expect every publisher to jump on board. Amazon offers a criminal 65-35% split.

3) You’re locked into the bastardized MobiPocket format. Amazon owns MobiPocket. They tweaked the file format for Kindle. All Kindle can read is that and free (not DRMed!) MobiPocket.

4) You can’t share books with other Kindle owners, even in your own family.

5) You’re locked out of the ePub future — which is what book publishers have standardized on for eBooks.

6) You can’t borrow eBooks from public libraries.

Contrast that with the Sony Reader:

1) eBooks are downloaded to your PC and can also be read there with Sony’s eLibrary software.

2) You can buy from Sony’s eBook Store or any eBook store that offers ePub files.

3) You are not locked into Sony’s BBeB file format. There’s ePub and PDF text reflow too (albeit this last is touchy).

4) Sony allows sharing on up to five devices: So, PC plus four Readers. And the Readers don’t have to be under the same roof or in the same family!

5) Sony is in the midst of the ePub revolution and several publishers attended the PRS-700 debut to show public support.

6) You can borrow eBooks from public libraries.

So when wireless comes to the Sony Reader in 2009 (Sony won’t commit to a date, so I will for them!), what are you left with on your Kindle?

Just your undisciplined desire for NowNowNow and nothing else.

Now you’ve been warned.

Explore posts in the same categories: Books - Other, eBooks, Reference - Tech, Tech - Other, Tech - Sony

9 Comments on “How Amazon’s Kindle Will Bite Your Ass”

  1. MoJo Says:

    3) You are not locked into Sony’s BBeB file format. There’s ePub and PDF text reflow too (albeit this last is touchy).

    Also, it reads the LRF format. A lot of other file formats are easily converted to LRF via Calibre and it does a remarkably beautiful job (it will also convert to formats other than LRF).

  2. igorsk Says:

    I love my Sony, but your item 4 is actually the same for both devices: Kindle allows sharing a book between 6 devices as long as they’re registered to the same account, and exactly the same condition applies to the Reader.
    Also @MoJo, LRF=BBeB.

  3. Emma Larkins Says:

    Succinct and informative. Where were you when I was trying to decide on a laptop? Oh well, I hope Sony will do for that too. And I hope I wasn’t simply swayed by Sony’s shiny red color…

  4. mikecane Says:

    @igorsk:

    1) I’ve been all over the Amazon site for Kindle and can find nothing about sharing eBooks. If you can provide an URL for that, I’ll note that in the post.

    2) No, LRF is *not* BBeB. BBeB is Sony’s proprietary DRM format. LRF is a file format that lacks DRM. I suspect, however, that you already know that and was using a shortcut there.

  5. mikecane Says:

    @Emma: I’d be lousy recommending a notebook. I crave the MSI Wind, Samsung NC10, and one of the aluminumed MacBooks. When it comes to Windows-based real notebooks, I throw up my hands — and also usually throw up. They are usually heavy and fugly.

  6. MoJo Says:

    No, LRF is *not* BBeB. BBeB is Sony’s proprietary DRM format. LRF is a file format that lacks DRM. I suspect, however, that you already know that and was using a shortcut there.

    Thank you.

  7. Joe Says:

    the Kindle reminds me of something i saw in an old school Star Trek episode; and it’s so thin!

  8. Bob Says:

    i have a kindle, and so do my 2 brothers and dad. Amazon allows up to 6 on the same amazon account.

    Plus they will convert html, doc, pdf and txt files to be readable on the kindle.

    there is also various free software that will convert epub lit and lrf for the kindle.

    Personally I don’t think it matters which ereader you buy, you’ll end up reading the same books whether you buy them from sony, BnN or amazon’s book stores.

  9. violent Says:

    I have a Kindle and it is no hindrance at all. I just use Calibre to convert any epub, lrf, rtf, and what have you to mobi. Easy a peasy. As for the library thing. It would be nice, but it is no reason to not get the Kindle.


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