Kindle vs. Nook

I just got a Kindle for my birthday about a week ago and have really loved reading on it. I think digital books could change how i read and the amount i read in a great way.

I was bummed however, to read of the new Barnes & Noble Nook not because it’s bad but because of what it represents.173939-bn_nook_reader_180

The hardware of the Nook is better: It has expandable storage slot, it has wifi and it has a touch screen instead of a keyboard which means it’s more flexible for future functionality.

I now have library concerns. The Nook can take not only B&N’s eBooks but also Google’s and PDF’s.  While i’m not one to compare book counts, i am worried about my eBook library.  When i buy a book i want to own it forever.  I don’t want it attached to the device i have at that time.  Think of how bad it would be if the music you had was tied to your iPod.  Every time you got a new iPod, you could only put new music on it.   Granted, it’s not a great analogy because you listen to music over and over and you typically read a book only once.  But i think you see my point.

Vinyl vs. Books.  What i think could happen with me is that my book purchasing starts to look like how many music lovers purchase vinyl.  These people consume music digitally, through mp3’s, but for bands they really love they like to have the physical product – thus they purchase the vinyl record.  I could see myself doing this with books.  I read them all digitally and for authors/books that i really like, i’ll actually pay a premium and buy the physical copy.  Ideally i would like to have a format (like mp3) where i could save every book in and keep them all on a harddrive.

The Nook has sharing capabilities.  With the Nook you can send a book to a friend for 14 days.  This is nice but not a big deal for me.  What i want is the ability to share sections of the book to the web.  I want to post passages to my blog and i want to send to Facebook and twitter sentences that i enjoy.  I don’t see anyone allowing this and it’s troubling.  I want to be able to do much more with digital books then i could with the actual book. That’s why the mp3 is so much more powerful than the CD and that’s why the eBook could be much better than the book

Anyone else had similar concerns with their kindle?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Kindle and eBook Formats

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 09: founder an...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I must admid it, i want a Kindle 2.  I like the thought of having all my books in one nice little electronic device.  I like the thought of downloading and saving and storing all the things i want to read.  I’m intrigued.

This is why i was interested in this article in Forbes from Tim O’Reilly about formats.  He talks about the importance of supporting an open format in the success of a product.  For instance, the iTunes/iPod ecosystem is a popular platform and even though it has it’s own proprietary AAC format, it also supports the mp3 – an format that anyone can encode into.  Supporting both allows the iPod to take advantage of both customers and the web at large.

O’Reilly argues that Amazon should do the same with the Kindle.  The fact that it supports only it’s own eBook format will lead to its demise in the same way that Microsoft and AOL’s support for their own formats led to theirs.  The O’Reilly camp is only supporting the open e-book platform and they have seen it have success:

But we can already see the momentum on the open e-book platform. Stanza, the epub-based e-book reader for the iPhone and other Web-capable phones. Lexcycle, the creator of Stanza, announced recently that its software has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times, and that more than 5 million e-books have been downloaded.

While The Kindle is the slickest of eReaders and the most popular with 500,000 – 700,000 sold, the game is far from over.  The Sony Reader which also uses e-Ink has sold around 300,000.  Should Amazon remain closed, it could very well miss out on a huge opportunity, or as O’Reilly says: “Open allows experimentation. Open encourages competition. Open wins. Amazon needs to get with the program”

Of course, another way to look at this is:  AOL was about to build a $150 billion company by making it easy for people to get web information and only after the web matured did they fall.  Perhaps The Kindle will be the first out of the gate and will take the early lead because of the streamlined format and operation of it’s service.  Personlly, while i understand the need to be open, i’m still willing to check out The Kindle.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]