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Sony's e-book store now has more than 1 million titles

Sony today announced that there are more than 1 million public domain books available through the Google Books project, as Sony continues to battle with and Barnes and Noble.

"We are committed to ensuring our customers have the freedom to discover and read content from the widest possible range of sources,” Sony eBook Store Director Chris Smythe said in a statement.  “We’re proud to offer access to the broadest range of eBooks today – from hot new releases, to New York Times Best Sellers, to classics and hard to find manuscripts such as those available for free from Google.”

Sony's decision seems to be a wise one, as, Barnes & Noble, and other providers attempt to increase book catalogs in the increasingly competitive e-book market.  Last week, Barnes & Noble, which offers more than 700,000 titles, said it offered the largest online bookstore -- about 350,000 of the total number are Google public domain works.

Amazon, with its Kindle eBook reader, offers 300,000 titles to shoppers.  Amazon hasn't publicly disclosed if it will one day include public domain titles.

Another company, Plastic Logic, plan to release an e-reader sometime in early 2010, which will compete against the Kindle, Sony e-book readers, and several other products believed to be in development.

The e-book market is a fickle one, as it's relatively closed off and purchasing books is usually tied to at least one device.  For example, Amazon's content can be read only on the Kindle and an iPhone or iPod Touch, but nothing else.  The Barnes & Noble titles, however, can be read on RIM's BlackBerry smartphones or the iPhone and iPod Touch, but cannot be read using a Sony e-book reader or the Kindle.

It's possible this closed system may drive away some interested consumers who want the freedom of reading their purchased content on any device.

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By Belard on 7/30/2009 11:09:59 AM , Rating: 2
Too bad OGG files aren't taking off as well as it should, all it really needs is for the MP3 players to support them, and why not? Unlike MP3, there are NO royalties. Its not a legal issue to NOT support OGG on any player.


And yes, for FREE books, PDF is the way to go. Its standardized, works very good. All Adobe needs to do in Version 10 is add gesture navigation to modernize it.

By jaericho on 7/30/2009 11:37:06 AM , Rating: 2
PDFs aren't great for ebooks. There isn't enough flexibility. It's great for printing and for instances when the output needs to look like the source, but that isn't what ebooks should be for. Different sized hardware, screens and resolutions mean that the text will need to be resized and reformatted. PDF isn't good for that.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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