Thursday, July 30, 2009

We Are Waiting For Real News

First we had Barnes and Noble bragging about the size of their digital repository, 700,000 titles. Now we have Sony bragging that they are to offer 1 million titles. When you look closer, you soon discover that the vast majority are public domain works that are from the likes of Google's Book store. Public domain is what it says on the can, ‘in the public domain’, free to use and are 90 years or older, so although good many are in archaic language.

So is it news or mere public posturing like children in a playground arguing who is best or biggest?

Google and Sony have decided to be best buddies on more than just public domain titles and partnered on a promotional game, where users must use search Google Books to answer five book-related questions per day and write a brief note about books. The winner will receive a Sony Reader.

More interesting is the strong rumours circulating that Sony has a new ebook reader. We were asked to speculate on this but in today’s climate of a new eink ‘lookie likie’ every few weeks and the wider adoption of Adobe’s ACS4 DRM service by other device manufacturers, we wondered what they could do to excite the market. 1 million public domain books is hardly exciting. Maybe they could go wireless but again what’s so special when others have done it anyway? Now colour eink would be interesting but we know that isn’t going to happen soon. A media tablet to out manoeuvre Apple would be a smart move, but we doubt that this is for release today.

So its back to the playground and the wait for the Kindle in the UK and more importantly the Apple Touch tablet.

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