Friday, August 14, 2009

Sony to sell Epub only

On August 12 it was announced that Sony would be leaving behind their own eBook format and moving to ePub exclusively. This is a HUGE step towards reducing the format confusion which surrounds eBooks today. The MobileRead community has been quite vocal about this announcement, read their reactions here: Breaking news!!!!! Sony to sell Epub only

More details at Teleread courtersy of NYTimes
On Thursday, Sony Electronics, which sells e-book devices under the Reader brand, plans to announce that by the end of the year it will sell digital books only in the ePub format, an open standard created by a group including publishers like Random House and HarperCollins.

Sony will also scrap its proprietary anticopying software in favor of technology from the software maker Adobe that restricts how often e-books can be shared or copied.

After the change, books bought from Sony’s online store will be readable not just on its own device but on the growing constellation of other readers that support ePub. Those include the Plastic Logic eReader, a thin device that has been in development for nearly a decade and is expected to go on sale early next year.

“There is going to be a proliferation of different reading devices, with different features and capabilities and prices for a different set of consumer requirements,” said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading unit. “If people are going to this e-book shopping mall, they are going to want to shop at all the stores, and not just be required to shop at one store.”

Here is a list of Readers which support ePub courtesy of the MobileRead Wiki:
  • Adobe Digital Editions - This reads Adobe DRM ePUB ebooks as well as non-DRM.
  • AZARDI - read ePUB and verify conformance.
  • Bookworm
  • Calibre - Windows, MacOS X and Linux
  • FBReader, Windows and more
  • OpenBerg Lector - Browser plugin
  • Stanza, Windows, MacOS X, and iPhone

  • Hardware
  • Sony Reader PRS-700 - Sony Readers also support Adobe ADEPT (DRM) technology (EPUB/PDF)
  • Sony Reader PRS-505 - Among other things, the V1.1 (Jul'08) firmware update added ePub support to the 505.
  • Hanlin V3 and all its clones Bebook, EZ Reader, etc. See the full list - No DRM, A new firmware release (August 2009) uses ADE software that can support DRM
  • JetBook - No DRM
  • Bookeen Cybook Opus - Full support using ADE.
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