Robert: I think more than the open source crowd will care about openness, at least in the sense of data formats. iPod was successful not because of iTMS, but because it was cheap and easy to rip all your existing music into your new iPod. Once you bought the iPod, the initial load of content (which is what provides the actual value, after all) was ~ free. Here, no such luck- not only would it be difficult and time-consuming to rip your ‘to be read’ shelf, without pdf support, have fun getting it onto the device. That is a critical and huge distinction for virtually all customers, not just openness bigots.

That said, it may well have enough extra value that it will be successful anyway. It will be interesting to see, at any rate- like Robert, I’d really love to have this instead of my typical pile of magazines, books, or textbooks next time I’m in an airport.

[And ditto on the ugly. Does no one at Amazon own an ipod? At least they seem to have an innovative and interesting solution to page flipping. I look forward to Mr. Love’s review of that piece of physical UI.]

[Edit later: The Amazon page for the product does not mention pdf (does mention .doc and graphics formats) but this engadget article does say the magic word- pdf. If it is confirmed to support pdf, I may well have one delivered ASAP.]

[Addenda: Mark Pilgrim points out in comments that there is apparently pdf support, but that the conversion will be poor. He also notes that this is a physical device- with a terms of service. Welcome to the brave new world, where everyone is a contract expert!]

12 thoughts on “kindle”

  1. Luis Villa’s Blog / Ramblings on law school in New York, free software, and the spaces in between.added an interesting post today on kindle Here’s a small reading kindle 19-Nov-07 Robert: I think more than the open source crowd will care about openness, at least in the sense of data formats. iPod was successful not because of iTMS, but because

  2. Read through which is the FAQ section of Amazon’s self-publishing-to-Kindle service. In particular, says that all supported formats (of which PDF is one) are auto-converted to HTML before being sent to client Kindle devices. The FAQ section has lists of supported HTML tags and other formatting tips.

    As usual, the terms of use are worth reading:

  3. Hi Luis,

    Yes, I know that this can sound as spam, but check Iliad from Irex technology [1].

    I’ve bought one some months ago, quite expensive, but without any doubt, the best buy I’ve ever done. Of course, it has some rough edges already but improving every month.

    Opensource friendly and Linux & gtk+ inside.



  4. No need to apologize; not like I haven’t done product sales here on this blog before :) I had not taken a serious look at the iliad before- it really is nice. Definitely hadn’t realize you could write on it! Shame the battery life is so much worse than the Sony’s; otherwise, it looks like a really kick-ass device.

    (And jeez… $700! I’m not sure even I’m ready to take that plunge, and I’m willing to pay a lot of money for high-productivity software.)

  5. No free SDK?
    Closed file formats?
    No support for PDF?
    No support for DJVU?

    In my opinion – bad purchase.
    I prefer lBook from Ukraine or Jinke from China.

    I would prefer to buy from Amazon than go through all the hassles to organize delivery from Ukraine (I am trying to buy such a device just now), but this device has too little to offer.

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