Craft & Design
MAKE on the new Sony PRS-500 e-ink/ebook reader

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Today is an interesting day for portable ebook readers, looks like there was a bit of a leak and Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader made a debut – Link. And more exciting, well, for me, I got my hands on the new Sony reader that will be coming out soon and immediately starting making/using/creating content, including the start of another MAKE e-ink version, woo!

I’m going to load it up with a ton of books and take it on a trip this week, along with some audio (it plays MP3 and AAC). I’ll have more about this shortly. One quick thing to mention, the reader loads in plain ole’ text files wonderfully and they look great, I’m loading up a 1GB SD card with a ton of books from Project Gutenberg.

It’s an interesting opportunity for the ebook reader market, Sony, Amazon and the iLiad eReader from iRex all use the same hardware/specs/tech – this is *good* thing.

Here are a couple pics, more soon – Link.

Previous:

  • Sony Librie Hacking- Link.
  • HOW TO make DRM-free ebooks for the Sony Librie e-ink …- Link.
  • Sony responds to our Sony Reader questions— – Link.

32 thoughts on “MAKE on the new Sony PRS-500 e-ink/ebook reader

  1. I guess I draw the line here…I am not against technology…I am using Linux here….But I love my books, and I think this is a product that is silly and unneeded…I mean, what’s the point? None of my books require power to keep the words on the page. I will admit, however, neither this nor my books take well to water…How many books do you need at any one time? Can’t you just read a book? GOSH!

  2. RonGiuntini,

    Think about it from a students perspective. While this product may not end up saving students a significant, if any, money, it sure could help reduce the weight of their bags.

    On any given day, I need about three or four text books with me for my various classes around the school. Not only does a product like this, coupled with PDF versions of my books, make it easier to carry things like the tool kit for my lab classes and my lunch for nourishment, it gives me a quick convenient way to refer to pages the teacher is referring too.

    “Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children?!”

  3. This book doesn’t require power to keep its words on the page either. It does take a little juice to change them though. ;)

    But come on. You can’t see the point of a portable, book sized, low-power reading device that allows you to hold every book in the entire library of congress in your palm? All of them instantly accessible?

  4. Just as a datapoint, I bought a used Sony Clie on ebay to use as a dedicated book reader, loaded it up with plucker and a flash card containing a large (half a gig) collection of project guttenberg books, and I have not regretted it one bit. I keep it in my bag for use when I am waiting in line or on long plane trips, etc. It has been a lifesaver, and smaller than even one copy of “War and Peace” :-) I am excited to see what the real cost of the Libre is going to be.

  5. There is an old philosophical game where you are asked which 3 (or 5, or 10) books (or music albums, or movies) you would absolutely have to have if you were stranded on a deserted island. Now I’m reading about the new Sony personal reader, which is alleged to hold ~80 books, and I got to wondering-if I only had (1) 1gb SD card, what would I have in my “library”? I would like to see what other MAKErs consider to be “must haves”. There is a LOT of E-content out there these days.
    P.S.
    Maybe a contest-winner gets a 1gb SD card with their “library” pre-loaded. Are you listening, Sony?

  6. I got my Sony ebook yesterday and I love it. I’ve been waiting for a product like this for a long time! To read in bed while laying on your side or stomach and not have to be a contortionist is a major plus. And I always seem to finish a book while traveling, and now I won’t have to worry about having a backup book, or worse, resort to airport literature!
    I’ve been holding off on buying an ereader until the eink technology came out and I must say, aside from the response time, I’ve very impressed. I won’t be viewing many pictures on this device, but I’m still impressed at the level of detail the eink technology provides.
    I have a feeling my ebook will become as essential to me as my ipod and Treo.

  7. You’re “loading up a 1 GB SD card?” I just got my ereader and I’m a bit lost. Can I fill additional cards and pop them into the ereader??? If so, where would I get a card?
    Also, do you know if, when I download a book onto computer, is there a way to share them with someone else?
    Thanks

  8. I received an eReader recently, and within 4 days the screen was internally cracked.

    I’m a systems programmer and IT technician. I’ve worked on many small devices with screens (Laptops, iPods, Palm Pilots) and I’ve never seen this happen.

    Nothing beyond normal use, and the screen cracked (internally mind you–no outside damage what-so-ever), causing the very left side of the screen to not work.

    I sent it off to Sony and they said that ANY damage to the screen is not covered.

    There are only two possibilities here: 1) this product is extremely fragile or 2) My device had a physical defect.

    In either case, I would be extremely careful with this product as normal use can lead to a $250 repair. Or better yet, purchase a better device for your digital reading.

    PS. I bought this device over it’s competitors because it supported PDF. It’s PDF support is terrible. Shrinking a PDF to the size of this screen makes it unusable and the two slightly different zoom sizes are useless. Don’t buy this for viewing PDFs.

  9. DO NOT BUY A SONY E-READER!!!!!! Read my experience:

    I received an e-Reader as a gift on 9/29. I charged it, attached it to my computer and downloaded several books. When I went to turn it on again, I only had text on the bottom 1/2 of the screen, the top being blank.

    I called Sony support and they said they had never had this problem before. They told me to try the reset button on the back of the reader. Getting the e-reader reattached to the case was something else. After trying the reset button several times with no success, I called Sony again and was told I needed to send it back to them.

    I received a telephone call from Sony Repair informing me that the crystal was cracked and it would cost $250.00 to replace as it was not covered under warranty and I had not purchased an extended warranty program. As the e-reader cost $299.00, it was not worth it. This was purchased at a Sony store where they sell new and refurbished products. I asked to speak with a supervisor and was told there wasn’t a supervisor in the building. I’m still waiting for a Supervisor to call me back.

    As this was brand new, used only one time, you would think a company like Sony would stand behind their product.

    I DO NOT RECOMMEND this product to anyone! Why spend money on this defective product and pay almost the same price to fix it as it cost to buy it?? I do think this is a design flaw that Sony knows about as they do not cover this in the product warranty. If a company will not stand behind their product why buy it??? I will never buy another Sony product.
    DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!!!!!!!!

  10. This is Sandy1 wanting to update everyone on my experience with Sony Customer Service about my damaged e-Reader. They are telling me that as the crystal was cracked and damaged, that if I don’t authorize them to fix it, they will ship the damaged product back to me. Also, I first spoke to them on 9/30/07 and asked for a Supervisor to call me. On 10/30 I got a call saying 10/31 was the end of the grace period and if the Supervisor doesn’t call me back by the end of the day of 10/31 as I requested, too bad. They are backlooged due to the fires and their attitude is oh well, who cares about the customer. I own a company and if I treated my clients/customers this way, I would not be in business. I guess Sony has gotten so big that they don’t care about the customers any more. DO NOT BUY SONY PRODUCTS!!!!!!

  11. This is Sandy1 wanting to update everyone on my experience with Sony Customer Service about my damaged e-Reader. They are telling me that as the crystal was cracked and damaged, that if I don’t authorize them to fix it, they will ship the damaged product back to me. Also, I first spoke to them on 9/30/07 and asked for a Supervisor to call me. On 10/30 I got a call saying 10/31 was the end of the grace period and if the Supervisor doesn’t call me back by the end of the day of 10/31 as I requested, too bad. They are backlooged due to the fires and their attitude is oh well, who cares about the customer. I own a company and if I treated my clients/customers this way, I would not be in business. I guess Sony has gotten so big that they don’t care about the customers any more. DO NOT BUY SONY PRODUCTS!!!!!!

  12. This is Sandy1 wanting to update everyone on my experience with Sony Customer Service about my damaged e-Reader. They are telling me that as the crystal was cracked and damaged, that if I don’t authorize them to fix it, they will ship the damaged product back to me. Also, I first spoke to them on 9/30/07 and asked for a Supervisor to call me. On 10/30 I got a call saying 10/31 was the end of the grace period and if the Supervisor doesn’t call me back by the end of the day of 10/31 as I requested, too bad. They are backlooged due to the fires and their attitude is oh well, who cares about the customer. I own a company and if I treated my clients/customers this way, I would not be in business. I guess Sony has gotten so big that they don’t care about the customers any more. DO NOT BUY SONY PRODUCTS!!!!!!

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