New York Public Library to offer audio books with Microsoft’s DRM

The New York Public Library system is offering 700 electronic audio books through digital downloading beginning this week.  This is the first time the NYPL has offered audio books using MIcrosoft’s copy protection scheme.  The books can be downloaded to computers and portable music players that support the MS DRM, which excludes the iPod which can’t play these books.  The copy protection scheme allows reading the books for 21 days on computers before timing out and becoming unusable.  The same files will work indefinitely on portable music players.

UPDATE: changed from ebooks to audio books as it should be.  Thanks Marc!

(via Yahoo News)

Diesel eBooks press release

Diesel eBooks announced today the deployment of a free online tool designed to dramatically reduce the uncertainty of downloading an encrypted ebook.

Visitors are now able to certify their computer upfront by downloading a sample encrypted ebook at no charge. The test ebooks are available in three different versions according to reader format including Adobe Reader, Microsoft Reader and Palm/eReader.

L. Scott Redford, President of Diesel eBooks (, states, "Downloading an encrypted ebook for the first time can be intimidating. While this fear has been a barrier to some in expanding their reading collection to ebooks, our hope is this free tool will take the fear out of the equation and create confidence in a smooth transaction."

Alexander Turcic, editor of the popular online community Mobileread, welcomes the new feature by Diesel eBooks:

"In a perfect world, publishers would choose to distribute their best-sellers without DRM protection, and all customers would behave themselves and never pirate copyright-protected material. As long as we haven’t reached this state yet, Diesel eBooks DRM simulator is a fast and effective alternative helping newbies to learn more about the advantageous use of digital books."

Digital Rights Management, the technology used by ebook publishers to protect author’s works from being illegally duplicated, has long been a double edged sword. While it has provided publishers and author’s confidence in distributing their product in digital form, it has complicated the process of purchasing an ebook and even deterred some consumers from ebooks altogether. It is these consumers Diesel is hoping to serve with the test download by essentially giving them a "try before you buy" experience.

"We’ve offered free unencrypted ebooks since our start, but that’s not the same." claims Redford. "To truly simulate a download, there has to be Digital Rights Management (DRM), involved. Our test downloads are the real thing so once you get one under your belt you can be confident there won’t be a problem when it’s time to use the credit card."

Diesel eBooks offers over 35,000 popular, professional and academic ebooks in multiple, secure formats including Microsoft, Adobe and Palm Readers. Visitors can make their selection faster using 50 categories and 2,300 sub-categories in addition to a robust search tool.

FictionWise introduces ebook reader device

Big_ewreaderFictionwise is a good source of ebooks that are available in several different device formats and they have just informed me of a surprising offering they are making to customers.  They have released a dedicated electronic ebook reader that is available for purchase on the Fictionwise web site.  The eBookwise-1150 is a 5" by 7" device that retails for $129.95 and for a limited time the purchase will get you a $30 store credit to fill it up with ebooks.  This is a very reasonable price and is good news for those interested in dedicated ebook readers.  Kevin Tofel and I discuss ebook readers on the techADDICTION Show that is due to be released soon and it’s too bad the eBookwise wasn’t announced at that time.  Full specs after the jump.

About the size of a paperback book, weighing about a pound, and with its backlit screen, the eBookwise-1150 gives new meaning to the term "light reading." The device also includes powerful electronic features that offer you a reading experience beyond that of a traditional book. You can turn pages and change the text orientation just by pushing a button. By simply touching the screen, you can enlarge the text size, bookmark pages, highlight passages, make notes, search for key words and hyperlink to other parts of the book.

Read More about FictionWise introduces ebook reader device

No MS Reader for the Smartphone

David Rothman at TeleRead has an article asking why Microsoft won’t port the ebook Reader application to the Smartphone.  I am not a fan of the DRM that Microsoft employs with protected ebooks but as David points out the Reader application itself is pretty nice.  It does make you wonder why MS hasn’t ported this program to the Smartphone platform, even though it has been ported to the Pocket PC.  Good article to read if you are a fan of Reader.

Library lending iPod Shuffles filled with books

The South Huntington Public Library in New York has come up with a novel way to both get young adults into the library and to get them to check out audio books.  They have a number of iPod Shuffles that have been filled with books and making them available to check out of the library.  This is a very innovative program this will hopefully be repeated in other locations across the nation.

(via engadget)

Interesting article on TeleRead

David Rothman runs a great site called TeleRead that covers all things ebooks.  There are always interesting articles and posts on his site and I just found an article TeleRead is running by Jon Noring that addresses why we won’t see a cheap dedicated ebook reader any time soon.  Worth a read if you are into ebooks.

Reading ebooks in the john- eBookwise review

EwreaderDedicated ebook readers have been around for years but never seem to catch on.  Maybe it’s the price, maybe it’s the proprietary formats they use, or maybe because they don’t work well in the john?  TeleRead addresses the latter in their review of the eBookwise ebook reader.  The review is written by novelist Stephen Gambuti (Center Moon) who uses the john test as his litmus for ebook nirvana.  Read the review to see if the eBookwise passes his, umm, requirements.  The device is now only $99.

eReader now has a RSS feed

I am a huge fan of eReader and have been using their reader for years.  I use it on both my Sony U-70 and my Toshiba e800 Pocket PC and I haven’t found a reader that I like better.  I also feel that eReader’s DRM scheme is a very good one and I have bought hundreds of ebooks from them for that reason.  This week brings good news from eReader who is now offering a RSS feed for customers who want to be notified of new releases.  So now eReader will come to you.

(via Pocket PC Addict)

Diesel ebooks has multi-format ebooks

Diesel_ebooks I love reading books on both my Pocket PC and the Sony U-70, but I usually do my reading on the Pocket PC.  It is just more convenient due to its small size and light weight.  I have been reading ebooks almost exclusively for several years and can’t remember the last book made from dead trees I have read with the exception of a very few technical books not available in electronic versions.  My reader of choice on both platforms is eReader, formerly the Palm Reader.  I love the simple interface and I especially love the unobtrusive DRM the uses.

Another good site for purchasing ebooks is Fictionwise where I shop from time to time but recently I discovered another source for ebooks that I really like.  Diesel ebooks has a selection of over 35,000 ebooks and the web site is very clean and simple to navigate.  All books are categorized in an intelligent method and their web site is just a joy to use.  Diesel offers ebooks in three different formats:  MS Reader, Adobe Reader, and Palm eReader format.  Diesel also has a HUGE selection of free ebooks from public domain works so if you are interested in the classics you won’t be disappointed.

Connectivity and reading

Open_bookI love to read and have probably bought several hundred ebooks over the last two or three years. I switched totally over to ebooks back on the Palm Xv and have never gone back to paper books. The convenience of carrying over 50 books around in my PDA is mind-boggling and I’ve never wanted for a good book to read. I use the eReader almost exclusively which provides a nice reading experience on both my Pocket PC and my Sony U-70 UPC. It’s nice that the two platforms share the same ebook format so I can use any ebook I buy on both devices.I’ve noticed a pattern in my reading that bothers me. I don’t read as much as I used to and I miss it. It’s not that I don’t have as much free time for reading as that hasn’t really changed. What’s changed that is affecting how I use that free time is connectivity. That’s right, connectivity. With the prevalence of WiFi in most places I spend a lot of time on the internet that I previously would have spent with a good book. High speed internet connectivity is such a draw that now instead of popping out my PDA and reading I jump on the internet and check email and a few web sites. Don’t get me wrong I love being able to keep up with the topics that interest me but I’m not reading as much. Which might be bad since in the past reading represented well-deserved down time. Working on the web is not letting me turn the old brain off and enjoying a good story that some author has worked hard to tell me. I’ve tried to make a concerted effort to read more but I still don’t spend as much time doing it as I used to. I miss it.