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Sony eBook Store Moving to EPUB Format


Sony eBook Store Moving to EPUB Format

We might once have called this rather uncharacteristic. Sony's eBook store is eschewing its own proprietary format in favour of adopting the open EPUB format.

The transition should be completed by the end of the year and the change will mean eBooks purchased from Sony will be useable on other readers. That's a smart move as it extends Sony's market notably beyond the user base of its own Reader devices. Plus it should make users a bit more confident that they'll remain able to use purchased eBooks, even if Sony stops making readers.

Purchases will still be DRM-protected, which is hardly surprising. Specifically, protection is provided by Adobe content Server 4, for those particularly interested in the nuances of Sony's copyright defence mechanisms. Sure, we might prefer DRM-free content, but Sony is making steps in the right directions.

The implication here is that Sony is at last learning from the mistakes it has made in the past. Minidisc, ATRAC, UMD - none of these proprietary formats did Sony any good and while the Reader line-up has been doing okay so far, it's unlikely a Sony-only eBook format will do it any favours now the competition is starting to catch up.

Smart move, Sony.


August 14, 2009, 4:52 pm

That's great if your in the USA but as we don't have the Sony Store in the UK it doesn't really effect us. We can still be ripped off by Waterstones (who have used epub from the start btw) crazy prices for E-Books which cost more than actual books. Example, the last book I read was Lee Child - Gone Tomorrow which costs £17.47 on E-Book and the hard back can be picked up for £11.39.


August 14, 2009, 5:37 pm

It does seem strange that e-books are more expensive, considering that there's no stocking, printing and distribution costs involved?

Also, I think I'm going to wait for e-books to go DRM-free (and drop a little in price) before I commit to one.


August 14, 2009, 7:01 pm

I am not going near ebooks until their price becomes 20-30% at least below the price of physical books. There's the initial cost of the reader to consider, but also, it's a matter of principle!


August 14, 2009, 7:05 pm

>"Minidisc, ATRAC, UMD"

SonicStage, Memory Stick, Sony Ericsson headphone jacks..

Do they ever learn... ;)


August 14, 2009, 7:48 pm

I don't know about the sony store but there are US-based ebook sites that will accept orders from the UK, personally I've had success with diesel-ebooks. I couldn't say how legal that is...

I too don't like the prices - I can get any paperback delivered (from any site or shop you care to mention) for less than the UK based e-book vendors can manage. How much of this is down to the cost of the DRM solution or prices charged by the publishers I couldn't say.


August 14, 2009, 8:25 pm

I'll wait for a jailbroken version then...


August 15, 2009, 1:15 am

>"Minidisc, ATRAC, UMD"

>"SonicStage, Memory Stick, Sony Ericsson headphone jacks.."

iTunes, iPod connector, SD (actually proprietary), SDHC, SDXC, miniSD, miniSDHC, miniSDXC, microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC, Zune software, Zune connector, etc.

Anything else?


August 15, 2009, 5:47 am

Well, it's nice to have a industry stanard. I suppose Sony has learned from the betamax format experience. :)

One of the reasons I have not purchased a Kindle is that it is a closed system and I can't easily transfer it from one device to the next depending on the situation.

While I understand the reason Amazon has kept Kindle a close eco-system, it has also made me hestate to adopt it as a result.

It also seems a bit odd as Amazon has among the best MP3 store available, and as everyone knows, you can transfer MP3 files and play on just about anything with no restriction, which is why I am a big fan of it.

On a related note about Amazon, I recently came across, through PC World magazine, an interesting table that details the discounts on Amazon at http://www.uberi.com

I imagine that's pretty useful for others too.

Also, I have taken a close look at the Sony eReader. The e-ink display is pretty cool. It reads almost like real paper. Definitely worth checking out (Kindle is similar in that regard too).

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