The Cybook also handles MP3 files. As well as eBooks Gutenberg has an increasingly large range of audio books for download, both human spoken and computer generated, and the Cybook is great for these. It will play MP3 music too, and you can listen to music while reading a book, which is pretty good chill-out stuff. However, there is no support for DRMed tracks.
Sound quality through the provided in-ear headset is reasonably good, and yes, it is stereo. I do think that the headset connector should have been a 3.5mm one instead of the 2.5mm one used. It is a simple oversight but as things stand I had to use an adaptor to take advantage of better quality headphones. There is no speaker on the device, so it is headphones or nothing, which I think is fair enough.
That fourth side button I mentioned earlier takes you directly to the music menu, so you can stop and start music or a spoken word eBook or switch background music very easily and quickly.
You get eBooks onto the Cybook by using the provided USB charge and sync cable. It’ll show up as a mass storage device and you can simply drag texts across to it as you would drag files to a USB stick, mobile phone or other attached device.
There is 64MB of storage memory for books, and if you fill this up you can use an SD card for more storage. The slot is on the top edge of the device. If you have a card inserted it will appear as another USB mass storage device on your PC when you dock.
The Cybook’s software isn’t clever enough to find files unless they are within its prescribed file structure. eBooks need to go in the eBooks folder, sounds in the music folder and so on.
Of all the dedicated eBook readers I’ve seen this is definitely the best. Slim and portable it is very ergonomic to use and doesn’t try to do too much. Sure, I have some niggles, but none of them are deal breakers. This is the first eBook reader I’ve tried that I could really live with long term.
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