Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ZenTiger Reading a Kindle

When the Kindle came out a year or two ago, I was very interested. Version two hit the streets recently and I was more interested.

Amazon got some free advertising for it in the traditional American way - they were threatened with lawsuits and even bloggers have been complaining.

"Kindle?", you say?

The Kindle is basically a book sized electronic book reader. Amazon offers electronic books for sale which can be purchased and downloaded directly to the Kindle. As far as I know, its distribution has been confined to North America, but that will no doubt change.

The Kindle is not the first such book. Sony has released their own Kindle product - not surprising as they designed the display technology and there are others. Expect to see this make its way to your iPod, although I'm not sure it will look as realistic if it's just software driven.

Building an electronic library on devices that are geared to make reading as pleasurable as from a real paperback is a cool idea. Less printing costs and download costs replace freight and packaging.

The Kindle isn't just good for the environment, it's good for the wallet.

Portable reading devices such as the Kindle are part of the ongoing technology revolution, and maybe one day the local library will simply be a place where you loan a Kindle loaded with a few books. Maybe they could have an oversized Kindle for the large format books?

The latest Kindle has a text to speech function, which is one of the lawsuit targets. Current vendors of audio tapes and DVD's are worried this is stepping in on their copyright area. Hopefully, the courts will see this as rubbish. The potential of pandering to that line of thinking could make reading a book aloud to your children a copyright violation.

And some bloggers aren't too happy either. Apparently the Kindle reader is capable of taking blog output via RSS feeds and turning them into book pages. At that point, just another style of browser and no cause for complaint. However, some of these "blog feed providers" are charging for the service, which indirectly could be interpreted to mean they are charging for the content.

There's the problem. Some monkeys are getting bananas for blog content, and it aint the ones with the typewriters.

Kindle is out, and it's fanning the flames of copyright issues. Ignore all that and consider your world with an electronic book reader that has a screen display akin to a book. That is the key feature, and really, if the Kindle is to replace a paperback, the essential feature. Tres Cool.

Related Link: Kindle starts flame war
Related Link: What they look like - short video

3 comment(s):

Sb said...

I have looked at a Kindel but the big problem with it is that it is tied to the Sprint CDMA network and hence only works well in the US.

These sort of readers have a very long way to go, they are either very expensive, lacking in some must have features or just not good to read with!.

Agree that it is changing things and some day somebody will get the right mix of features etc (Apple?)

Copyright just has to change!


I.M Fletcher said...

There is indeed a free book reader for your iPhone and it's called the Stanza. You can buy and download books directly to it, or download free books that are in the public domain directly to it.

Google has also just opened up it's entire archive to 1.5 Million books (half a million outside the US for copyright reasons), and you can browse to their site and check them out).

ZenTiger said...

That's great for the poor man (a hilarious statement when discussing the iPod), but the key feature of the Kindle (IMHO) is the e-ink.

Reads like a book, not a PC screen.

Maybe the iPod next-next-gen will offer the same e-book experience?

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