Oct 112009

sony digital reader

Buying an ebook reader is very exciting! Finally, you’re going to be able to take your books with you everywhere in a convenient, small device.

Before you get started, you do need to pay close attention to what kind of ebook reader you should get. There are different ebook formats out there that are supported by different readers. Unfortunately, there are some readers that are severely restricted in what formats they will read. The companies that develop the readers often have their own format, which they hope will become the most used. If you tend to buy or accumulate ebooks in other formats, you might need to look into a different reader.

The different reader formats include:

Adobe Reader Format (PDF). If you’ve been on the Internet for any length of time at all, you’ve probably come across ‘PDF’ files. These have become the standard way people pass along or sell information and ebooks. The problem with this file format is it often doesn’t translate well to your reader due to size constraints. Luckily, both popular ebook reader companies, Amazon and Sony, offer ways to convert these files (Amazon’s is more of a ‘beta’ version.)

Mobipocket Format (MOBI) Another popular format is MOBI. This is more of a standard, and does not limit its own use on devices (though devices can limit it.) MOBI software is a free download on your computer, and is included in the Amazon Kindle. MOBI is not available on Sony readers.

Amazon Kindle Format (AZW) The Amazon Kindle is an incredible popular device that really set the standard for the others. Amazon is such a leader in this industry that they developed their own reader. This format is not available on other readers, but it works perfectly with the Kindle reader if that’s the one you choose to go with. The AZW downloads are priced at $9.99 and under.

Sony Reader Format (LRF) If you’re going to get a Sony Reader this is the file format you’ll become most familiar with. Sony has closed themselves off to some other formats to funnel the consumer into their store. Take the time to browse through their selection to see if they have the titles you’re interested in as their options are a bit more limited than others.

As you can see, choosing the right ebook reader has lot to do with committing yourself to a favorite file format. As the industry grows it’s likely we’ll see even more standardization in this area. For now, things are a little bit segmented, but you can still find most of the titles you’d want in any of the versions. Take the time to look through reviews and commentary on the different readers. The chances are good that if people are consistently complaining about file formats on that device, you might want to look into something else. Despite the difficulty of making your decision, you can rest assured that you’re going to get tons of use out of your ebook reader because they are ultra-convenient in any format.

Compare the file formats and the pros and cons of the Kindle vs  Sony Reader.

These are the two hottest portable ebook readers available today. Check out our e-Reader Comparison table to see how the latest eBook readers compare, including the iPad and Kindle.

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  2 Responses to “Choosing An Ebook Reader – Why Format Needs To Come First”

  1. I’ve been a Kindle owner since early Feb of 2008, and just received my Kindle 2 yesterday. I’m really enjoying all the helpful new features that have been added such as removing all switches from the back of the Kindle; allowing Whispernet to be turned on and off within the Kindle menu; the new joystick controller; the new way the dictionary works; the more booklike text presentation, and the ability to press alt shift and a number to change the line spacing. Now more than ever I forget I’m not reading a paper book because the electronic interface just disappears.

    I’ve also discovered that Whispernet downloads quicker than on my K1, and the pages turn faster as well.

    And last, but surely not least, the sleek beauty of my Kindle just makes me happy.

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