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oyster

Two problems. First, it is available only for the iPhone with iPad access coming but no plans for an Android app.  I’d pay for this. I sent an email to Oyster asking about the romance coverage. I will report back. Tech News and Analysis

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

15 Comments

  1. Mikaela
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 05:52:31

    I get that Oyster is a small company, but I think it is idiocy to ignore all the Android users, since Android have over half the market. But hopefully they will come out with an Android app during 2014. Also, I am a bit bummed that they have no plans for it to be available outside the US at this moment.

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  2. cecilia
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 07:09:47

    I was pretty happy with my PRS-T1 reader, until I got a Kindle Paperwhite, which makes the Sony look pretty sad. And the Kindle was not going to be my primary reader, just a way to Amazon-only books. However, I love the light and the speed and the efficiency of the Whispernet and so on. I have to force myself to use the Sony now. And I have a cover with a light built in; that just does not compare at all. This is a pretty disappointing next installment from Sony, whatever the price is.

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  3. Laura Florand
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 07:34:27

    I would like to hear librarians’ thoughts about Oyster. On the one hand, I see some great things about the idea. But on the other, aren’t some of the publishers who are signing on the same ones who set their ebook licensing prices at $300 per book for libraries, or who limit library use to 26 loans per ebook bought?

    Because it seems as if public libraries are a *free* (tax-supported, but then what big business isn’t?) ebook-Netflix service for readers, but they are often severely limited by publishers and excessive pricing, and I just wonder if Oyster is getting better terms. Or not. It would be good to know.

    (Also, I wonder if someone who has a publisher who charges $300 to license a copy of their book to a library knows how much they themselves get in royalties from that? I don’t know, but am curious.)

    That to say, I don’t have nearly as much knowledge as I need about this, but I would love to know what librarians struggling with the digital rights issues think.

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  4. Cindy
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 07:39:01

    Oy I am on the invite list at oyster, but I don’t have any iPad or iPhone, just a Windows (or Mac) laptop. I hope it works on them or it’s useless to me.

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  5. JJPP
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 09:10:08

    I started browsing Engadget through the Sony link, and came across this interesting device:

    http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/06/alcatel-onetouch-e-ink-hero/

    A prototype of a phone with a flip cover with e-ink! So you can read in e-ink on your phone. Pretty cool.

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  6. library addict
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 09:22:33

    I know I am in the minority, but I don’t want Wifi or 3G on my reader. The fact this Sony comes with Evernote is a plus, but I would resent that Facebook is there, too (am not on Facebook and have no plans to ever be and I do not like the fact I cannot delete their app from my phone /rant). Guess I am sticking with my 650.

    While I think a built-in light would be nice for reading at night, it is not a must have feature to me.

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  7. sao
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 09:24:54

    Why not overseas? The overseas market is full of people who have limited access to English language books and, often, easy access to pirated English language books. My son’s English teacher was so fed up with access to books in China that he downloaded 4,000 so his students could choose a book they liked, because reading is so important for English class.

    Then, of course, when he moved to a school with a better library, he didn’t erase his disk.

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  8. hapax
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 10:57:18

    @Laura Florand:

    Right now HarperCollins is the only one of the Big Five with a deal with Oyster, so it’s hard to say. And of course, Oyster isn’t revealing its terms. It also isn’t clear how long you get to “keep” the books you download; one month? Until you want to download another book? Forever? I can’t imagine it’s the last option — otherwise, what’s to stop people from downloading the entire library for 9.95 and then cancelling?

    Speaking as a librarian, I would hate for publishers to use this as an excuse to no longer work with libraries, or maintain their onerous DRM. It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if we go back to the model of “subscription libraries”, in which the latest entertainment is only available to the wealthy, while everyone else has to make do without.

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  9. hapax
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 11:04:52

    Oh , and that Acxiom “deal” — no thanks! I’m not interested in confirming the data you already have on me, and helping you refine your algorithm.

    Nobody has any privacy online anymore — the NSA revelations yesterday prove that they can crack anything, and what Big Government can do today, Big Business will be able to do tomorrow — and trying to “hide” is pointless. Best strategy, it seems to me, is to throw up as confusing a cloud of white noise as possible: when someone asks my gender/age/income/etc., LIE. Go to stores I’d never shop in and search for items I’d never buy. Create multiple identities and addresses online and switch between them randomly.

    Or give it all up and accept that anyone, anytime, can rummage through my digital medicine cabinet and underwear drawer.

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  10. Isobel Carr
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 11:08:33

    @sao:

    Why not overseas? The overseas market is full of people who have limited access to English language books and, often, easy access to pirated English language books.

    I would guess this is due to rights issues. Some deals are for North American only, some are for World English, and often with WE rights, they still don’t actually release/sell the book world-wide (which is sooooo frustrating for both authors and readers!).

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  11. Lisa J
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 15:43:25

    I agree with library addict about the whole Facebook thing. I do have a PRS-T1 and I love it. The wifi is always turned off on it since I have no desire to access the internet from it. All my books are sideloaded through Calibre. A light would be nice, but it isn’t the end all be all for me. This newest offering from Sony is nothing exciting and gives me no incentive to upgrade from what I have, which I love.

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  12. AnnaM
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 16:57:20

    I checked out that market data thing. They are pretty bad at what they do. They have my marital status, housing situation, and offspring info wrong. They are way, way off on their estimate of how much online shopping I do. (Though I may tell the joint filer that amount) They also think I like golf. Umm, no. I hate it with a fiery passion that no mighty wang of lovin’ could ever satisfy.

    Frankly, they suck.

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  13. DS
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 18:58:17

    Don’t like the amount of info the market data thing wants before letting you look. I have a couple of financial things that id me by some combination of that information. Not going to put it altogether in the hands of one company that I have no reason to trust.

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  14. Estara Swanberg
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 20:04:00

    I’m a happy Sony PRS-T2 owner (because I got a heck of a deal on it, had a 650 before that and a 500 before that) and it still totally fulfills my bookreading and buying needs (and organizing them). However if they should come out with an affordable reader that has a screensize for comics, I’d probably upgrade, as I really would like to read those digitally – especially my manga, which is mostly grayscale anyway. Other than that there’s no real need for me to upgrade either.

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  15. Laura Florand
    Sep 07, 2013 @ 09:40:25

    @hapax: I hope not. Since I did that PW piece a month or two ago, librarians have been writing me, and this issue is so much bigger than my knowledge of it. But it’s a concern. Jennifer Lohmann sent me a beautiful piece by Cory Doctorow in defense of libraries for Locus the other day, by the way, and I think he articulates it all much better than I did. I don’t know if you saw it: http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2013/09/cory-doctorow-libraries-and-e-books/

    I’m not opposed to Oyster exactly–in fact, depending on terms, I’m sure I would like my books to be on it. But I wonder how the terms between Oyster and publishers compare to those between publishers and libraries.

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