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Sony Reader Update Reads Encrypted PDFs

This is really, really good news for ebook readers. The Sony Reader will now accept and read encrypted PDFs and the new ePub format. I believe that you should be able to access prior purchased Adobe PDFs and future purchases of Adobe PDF on the Sony Reader. Opening up the reader to accept other DRM’ed platforms is a big step toward making it easier for a consumer to adapt to ereading.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Anne Douglas
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 14:41:37

    I was reading at PW that they are making DRM free pdfs reflowable also. Was his the case previously?

    Since I have hundreds upon hundreds of nonDRM pdfs on my harddrive, and I was under the impression they would not read well on the Sony, this will have just tipped my hand toward the Sony above all else. Although the price point of the coming Astak devices is still worth looking at.

    Decisions Decisions!!

  2. Angie
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 15:07:47

    I saw that and thought, great move. I’ve always believed that proprietary formatting for e-books was a bad idea; there’s no way I’m going to sink any significant amount of money into a proprietary-format e-book library for a reader which could well go belly-up or just change formats in a year or five years and leave me with hundreds or thousands of books I paid a lot of money for and now can’t read.

    We played that game with different computer systems, each with their own proprietary software formats, back in the eighties; you’d think the e-reader manufacturers would’ve learned from that. Good on Sony — I might actually think about buying a dedicated e-book reader now.


  3. Rebecca
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 17:59:42

    Regarding Anne’s comment, I have been checking the Astak website and haven’t seen any updates. The June sales date has passed.

    I’ll look at Sony again with the pdf capability, but $300 still seems like a lot of money.

  4. Grey Gerou
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 20:38:02

    I just finished uploading the firmware, and I can verify that yes, it is now flowing DRM-free PDFs beautifully, and are resizing into not just Medium but also Large typeface. Makes this e-author very, very happy.

  5. Anne Douglas
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 21:11:01

    Now I only have one remaining problem – I use a Mac.

    Can I do the ‘load up a card via a card reader trick’ with a Sony or does it have to use specific software to install?

    Guess what I’ll be buying the next few weeks :)

  6. Jane
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 21:18:05

    You can load up on an SD card.

    Edited to add: I’m not sure how the PDF encryption works though.

  7. Miki
    Jul 25, 2008 @ 17:25:57

    Edited to add: I'm not sure how the PDF encryption works though.

    Hey, Jane! You have to install the Adobe Digital Editions 1.5 (ADE) on your computer AND set up an ID on the Adobe servers (which gives them more rights than you’d think. Be sure to read the Privacy Policy thoroughly, for example, the part where they can correct information in your activation account by trolling other third-party databases).

    I don’t have the “step-by-step” in front of me, but if I remember correctly, you’d locate the book in the ADE interface (which should recognize your Sony Reader as a drive or device) and send it to the device that way. I’ve seem comments where some have drag-and-dropped the books from the ADE library into the Sony Connect Librarian program, too.

    I spent over an hour last night reading some pretty angry posts in Adobe’s DE forums. Those of you who have older versions of Adobe and read encrypted ebooks in those will want to read carefully before deciding to upgrade. Some – those who chose “easy activation”, if I understand it correctly – have lost access to $$$ worth of purchased PDFs. The activation apparently doesn’t always follow the software upgrade.

    They also limit the number of devices you can activate to only six. So if you’ve had an AdobeID for awhile and have been through a few computer upgrades, you could lock out your activations with the upgrade to ADE.

  8. skoo berm
    Aug 01, 2008 @ 17:15:48

    BooksOnBoard provides a wide selection of Adobe PDF and Adobe EPUB titles for the Sony. Here are some links to both their Sony Help Page and a Press Release about their Sony PRS-505 formats. The Help page includes links to download both the Sony upgrade to the firmware and to download the Adobe Digital Editions. To get the titles onto your Sony Reader you download to ADE 1.5, Then in the Sony Library you Select Import File and browse it from the ADE library. Once in Sony Library you drag and drop the title to your Sony Reader in the left menu bar. It does require downloading ADE 1.5 and installing the firmware update to your Sony PRS-505, you also have to update your Sony Library to make it compatible/able to import from the ADE

    BooksOnBoard Offers Vast New eBook Selection for Sony Reader

  9. skoo berm
    Aug 01, 2008 @ 17:17:45

    I forgot the link to their Help Page

    available from ebooks retailer

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