Thursday News: B&N disses desktop downloads, new Kindles to ponder, breakthrough digital textbook for visually impaired students, and interview with Alison Bechdel
B&N Ends Desktop Downloading – In a stealth move and without notifying its existing customer base, BN has removed the ability for readers to download Nook purchases to their desktops. Readers who complained were told that they could download the book to via a Nook App or a Nook Device (check out the featured image to see that download buttons have been removed). This is true for any reader regardless of the purchase, whether it is made today or two years ago. Obviously, this is awful conduct on the part of BN. We will be updating this as more information becomes available. (note: there is no story link because Jane provided the information here)
In the meantime, Mac users can install this older app, and PC users can install this older app.
With Its New Kindles, Amazon Tries to Replicate the Magic of Paper – So the new Kindles are getting a lot of publicity, and at least Amazon continues to allow desktop reading. In addition to the new Kindle Voyager, the new Fire has an “adaptive backlight display” that mimics the way paper pages look under different lighting conditions. The Voyager starts at about $200 US, while the Fire goes for almost twice that ($380 US).
It’s not as thin as a sheet of paper, but it’s the slimmest Kindle so far at less than 3/10 of a inch thick (7.6mm) and 6.3 ounces. There are software enhancements under the hood as well, including a “Word Wise” feature that shows word definitions and explanations over text, deeper integration with the Amazon-owned Goodreads service, and chapter-by-chapter book synopses in X-Ray that may eliminate the need for Cliffs Notes entirely. –Wired
New iBooks(R) Textbook Helps Visually Impaired Visit the Stars Through Touch, Sound – Visually impaired students can now download to an iPad a book called Reach for the Stars: Touch, Look, Listen, Learn, allowing them to “experience deep-space images” from the Hubble Telescope. This breakthrough creates a huge opportunity for visually impaired students to pursue math and science education on a more level playing field when it comes to textbook study. The textbook is free from iTunes and developers stress that all students can benefit from the textbook, including those with learning disabilities.
Traditionally, the abundance of charts, graphs and data visualizations has made it challenging to bring math and science to visually impaired students. And their teachers struggle to transition from printed textbooks to digital instructional materials. With accessibility directly embedded into Reach for the Stars, every student in the classroom can use the same book. Educators don’t have to convert the content to special formats for students with disabilities. –Yahoo Finance
Book News: A Q&A With Alison Bechdel, Cartoonist And MacArthur Winner – A great interview with Alison Bechdel, writer and cartoonist, and recently named recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant. Bechdel has written a graphic memoir, Fun House, that is now being adapted into a Broadway musical, and she drew her comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, for 25 years. In addition to a great discussion about the whole ‘personal as political’ aspects of her work, I loved her insights into the Harriet the Spy novels:
What are your inspirations? You’ve talked a lot about Harriet the Spy — what does she mean to you?
Oh, god, Harriet the Spy! I read that book easily twenty times as a kid. At the time I just thought she was cool, bravely peeping through peoples’ windows and creeping into their dumbwaiters and spying on what they were up to. But as an adult, I realized that she wasn’t so much a spy as a writer, this archetypal writer taking notes on everything around her. When her friends find her, they’re devastated and so is she. As a memoirist, I identify intensely with her peculiar dedication. –NPR
All of those software ‘enhancements’ to the kindle make me want to run away screaming, but especially ‘deeper integration with Goodreads’. DO NOT WANT.
Bummed about B&N removing the download links. I have all of my books already downloaded in Calibre and multiple backups, but it’s the principle of the matter. I don’t want to read in their stupid Nook app. Grumble, grumble. They’ve lost me as a customer if I can’t purchase books (they sometimes have great sales), and then download the book to sideload to my Sony. Yes, I could use the Nook app on my Nexus, but I don’t want to. I like using the reading app that I choose.
Luckily I had backup copies of all the books that I bought through Nook. When I read this news, I uninstalled the Nook app from my tablet and computer. I have a Nook Color, which I don’t use much anymore, but I rooted and flashed CWM on that a long time ago. That’s one move I will not take.
Why, B&N, why? I didn’t buy e-books from them often, and this may have been the final kick in the pants I needed in order to make myself figure out how to get Amazon stuff converted so it can work on my Nook. I’m now even sadder that one of my favorite authors opted to pull her stuff from Smashwords recently. I had thought B&N was still an option for her stuff, but not if they won’t let customers download to their desktops in order to back up files.
Finally a Kindle with both touch screen and buttons (well, sort of anyway). I might actually consider this one, even though it doesn’t appear to have the text-to-speech function I still use on occasion for my Kindle Keyboard.
@LG: Download and install Calibre. You can load the Amazon books on to it and convert them to epub, if they are unlocked. DRM can be a bit trickier. If you unlock and root your Nook, you can install other readers, which will expand your possibilities. You can then read your Amazon books on your Nook, using the Android Amazon app!
The link to the BN story isn’t there.
I’ve always used the Nook app to download files to my computer – this news made me double check that I can still do that using the Mac Nook app on my laptop, and I can (I have back ups of all my ebooks in the cloud, on my laptop, and on my Nook device, because I’m paranoid that way). I can see why people are annoyed by this change – one more example of B&N’s clueless customer service.
@Lynne Connolly: I always add stuff to Calibre (it’s pretty much the only way I remember what e-books I bought, since I buy from 7 different places), and I’ve converted mobi files maybe twice. One time went perfectly, and one time went horribly (the conversion added strikethroughs to parts of text, and made some chunks of text invisible). The one horrible time makes me nervous, but I do have a tablet I could use instead. It’s just not my preferred reading device.
@LG: With Calibre you can change the parameters of the conversion, and get it how you want it. You could also convert to another format, like rtf or html, and then to epub. That might work.
@CG: Yeah, the text is highlighted but I can’t get it to take me anywhere.
Can you sideload from the nook to the computer – files only – then use another program to save/read/convert to another format? I do this with all my kindle files I that are on my kindle via direct purchase bc it’s quicker than individually downloading from amazon to my computer.
The Kindle Voyager doesn’t interest me but looking on there site I am intrigued by the $99 dollar tablet.
I’m so angry at BNN right now and let them know it, too. They don’t get to control my reading habits. I use Calibre which means I need the ability to download books from my nook library (which they’ve removed). I guess the good news is that I only have one book currently pre-ordered through them but I’m pissed they want to force me to read it on their app/device. I’d rather re-buy the book via Amazon and download it to Calibre and read it however I want. I hope lots of customers (even ones that don’t buy much from them) speak out and force them to rescind this horrible decision.
@Holly: @Holly: I don’t think so – or at least I don’t know how to do that. When I connect my Nook color to my computer, and look at the files, I don’t see the ebooks I downloaded directly from B&N, just the sideloaded ones. Which is why I download my files (using the Nook app) to back them up. I think that’s why everyone’s up in arms.
At least B&N’s customer friendly decision came in time for me to request a check from the pending Apple settlement. Kiss that revenue good bye B&N, I’ll be spending it at one of your competitors. I hope others do the same.
OK, I am obviously too obsessed with all things Outlander right now, because when I saw the word Voyager, all I could think of was Jamie and Claire!
Man, that B&N news makes me mad. How am I to read stealth read books at work now? I feel like pulling out my Nook is kind of a dead giveaway.
Just a question for anyone with some time: if I wanted to give up my Nook, but don’t want a Kindle, what e-reader do I get? I loved the ability to be able to read on my Nook, phone and Macbook simultaneously. But the only other place I could get that functionality is the Kindle, right? Or am I wrong?
@Lada: You can use their app to download files. Once the files are on your computer (and the folder’s pretty easy to find) you can do whatever you want with the files. I use the Nook app on my Mac – I don’t actually use it to read files or anything like that, I just use it to download my files so I can back them up. It’s an annoying extra step and I’m not saying this is a good policy (it’s not), but it’s still possible to download your files.
@cleo: Just want to add to my comment – “it’s still possible to download your files” FOR NOW. The fact that it’s much harder to find the links to the Nook apps than I remember it being makes me a little nervous.
Just one more voice to add that it’s super easy to use Calibre and convert all types of books. I have over a thousand books bought from Amazon that I have converted and hundreds from ARE, Kobo and other small book sellers. I store everything on the Amazon Cloud as well as my computer and read everything on my Kindle PaperWhite. The only problem I’ve had so far is epub3 and I’ve only run across that twice and Kobo refunded me the money once I realized the format.
I have considered switching to the new Kobo because I want waterproof so bad since I read in the hot tub but I really like WhisperSync. Maybe I’ll buy myself a Kobo H2O for Christmas to try it out.
Wait, what? I’ve got some books I bought from B&N that I haven’t got around to downloading yet. Are these lost to me now?
/pulls on rantpants/
I absolutely refuse to turn on the wireless on my Nook or download their stupid app. I don’t use a Kindle because I don’t want Amazon reading over my shoulder; but at least they’ve shown they have a clue, unlike B &N.
Welp, that’s it for me and e-books. I probably have enough TBR to last a couple of years, but I’ll never buy another. I don’t want to have to deal with ten thousand piddly little online retailers, and I’ve no interest in allowing a bunch of rapacious corporations to rummage about in the last private space in the USA — that one between me and my book.
@Diana: I gave up ereaders and went to a tablet. I love my Nexus 7, and I’m on my second. I pretty much use it as a second phone, except that I don’t make phone calls and send texts on it. I can tether it to my phone’s wifi, so I can connect to the internet whereever I am. But the screen is superb, you can turn the brightness right down and you can download the reading apps, and read in the format you prefer. I use Moon+ Reader and Mantano for the most part, but Cool Reader and FBReader are worth a look. I do have a Nook ereader, which I rooted, more out of curiosity than anything else, because I don’t use it much any more.
@cleo: Thanks. I know I can do this but it just makes me angry that they’re trying to control customer choices and force them to jump through hoops to access what they buy. Thank God for Calibre and thank you, Jane for easy to follow instructions on how to set it up. If you haven’t used Calibre yet to save your ebook library, take the time. It’s totally worth it.
Good job, BN. Now I won’t just stop buying ebooks from you, I’ll stop buying paper books from you, too. In fact, I won’t buy toys, chocolate, games, coffee, scones, or Moleskine notebooks from you, either. Do you know where I will buy those things? Local independent stores.
Oh, and Amazon.
@cleo: Just a heads-up: Nook for Mac does not work on 10.8 or 10.9. There is no straightforward way that I know of to access the BN books if your Mac is running Mountain Lion or Mavericks. And the BN books are hidden and do not show up in the Nook directory structure when you connect it via USB.
I only have three books that I failed to download before they took away that option. Those are the last three books I’ll buy from B&N. And I have a Nook. I like the ereader, but I’m not giving them a dime more. What idiots. No wonder they’re in danger of going under.
I have never had a good customer service experience with B&N, so this move doesn’t surprise me at ALL. They simply don’t understand what their customers want, or they don’t care.
No desktop downloading sucks. I had that happen recently with a book on Kobo – they agreed to refund the purchase and claimed that it was because of epub3. At least I got an explanation and a refund, for B&N to do this universally and without warning is just absurd. Do they not want people to buy from them? But then, ARE doesn’t want my money, either. They geoblock everything.
Why are publishers and certain booksellers so shortsighted?
ARe is the distributor, not the decision maker. If it’s geoblocked, it’s at the publisher’s request.
Just had a lovely livechat session with B&N Digital Support. The person I interacted with (or the script session which he was supplied with) didn’t know nothin’ ’bout no disappearing download buttons, and told me I had to call their 800 number.
Like I have three hours of my life to waste that way.
@Moriah Jovan: The same books are not blocked elsewhere – Amazon, Kobo and Books on Board (when it still existed). I was never been able to buy anything from ARE and eventually I stopped trying. But I just checked with the most recent book that I bought and yes, still geoblocked. Clearly, they’re doing something wrong. Not my problem; I’ll get my books elsewhere.
Oh man I hope this works! Being able to share books with my BFF would be fantastic!!!
Well, I guess I won’t be buying anymore ebooks from B&N. I don’t have as much as some of you here but I did have quite a few that I’d been meaning to download and save to my local drive. The task just hadn’t bubbled up to the top of my list. I tried to download them off the Nook itself but I didn’t see anything to download.
I thought the problem with not being able to download at BN was just the one book I grabbed this morning, but now I see it’s store-wide. I use Calibre, shop from several vendors and stopped using store-specific apps because I could never remember who I bought from. Now all my computers are Linux, which vendor apps don’t support, so that’s it for BN. See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.
We’re looking at new definitions for stupid and planned obsolescence.
I’ve bought 3 or 4 books from B&N since last I downloaded, and if I can’t get them onto my computer when I get home tonight, I’ll be demanding a refund, and telling them I’m heading straight to Amazon to re-purchase those titles.
I think everyone in the same boat should do that, a flood of refunds might get their attention…
@hapax, my understanding is that you can still use the nook desktop app for Mac or PC to download. There is also a greasemonkey BN Download script for Firefox that, according to the good folks at Mobileread, is still working.
@Joy: Thanks, I know I could use their app. But I don’t WANT their app; it’s clunky and cumbersome and if I wanted to have to install more crap and jump through extra hoops to get THE BOOKS I ALREADY PAID FOR, I’d just download the Kindle app and be done with it.
If going through the app had been a condition up front, or if they had given any notice of the change, that’d be one thing; but B&N has just destroyed my last nerve with this boneheaded move. (Or heckopete, if they had even notified their own online help staff, that’d be nice!) I’m done with them.
I might look at the greasemonkey script though; thanks for the heads up.
Anyone looking to buy books then strip DRM and convert them so you can sideload them onto your reader of choice needs to download and install Calibre then google “Apprentice Alf” and follow the step-by-step instructions.
@Joy: As I said in an earlier comment, if you are using Mac OSX 10.8 or 10.9, the Nook app is not compatible. It says so directly on the B&N website. If you’re still on Lion or earlier you might be OK.
I tried the Greasemonkey script but I’m not proficient with Greasemonkey and I couldn’t get it to work, so I just spent 40 minutes on live chat with B&N and got a refund for the 6 books I had purchased recently that I hadn’t downloaded. Let’s hope I downloaded all the ones before that; I usually do them in blocks but I occasionally miss one.
I’m done with B&N until they restore the download button. I love my Nook Glowlight, I vastly prefer it to the Paperwhite. But I’ve shut off the wifi and I’m not turning it on. It’s buying from elsewhere and sideloading content for me from here on in.
These B&N shenanigans make me glad I’ve never owned a Nook. At one point I considered purchasing one; I’m glad now that my husband talked me out of it.
Is anyone else excited about the Kindle Voyage? I think I’m going to buy it.
*raises hand* I was thinking of asking for a Paperwhite for Christmas, but I’m sure now that a Voyage will be top of my list.
@Isobel Carr: Me too, actually. I’m not interested in any of the software ‘enhancements’ but I have to say that the hardware looks really, really nice. And my ancient Kindle Keyboard is slowly dying its last death, I think.
Another source for Nook compatible books is Books A Million (BAM). And! their prices for ebooks are often lower than B&N.
I shall be using them from here on out, along with Kobo, etc. for my ebook purchases. I use BAM already for my dead tree books.
I guess I’ll use my BN gift cards to buy holiday presents and calendars. or I may cash them in.
So long, BN…
@Isobel Carr & @Ros: Gizmodo has a great article on the Kindle Voyage.
A chat with BN on-line reveals that no customers were told of this policy, it just showed up, as a step by the publishers to secure DRM. Good thing I kept my old XP netbook so I can download through the desktop app. And thank the commonsense gods for Calibre and Apprentice Alf.
$199 for the wifi version and $259 for the 3G version.
That’s a substantial increase in price over the current Paperwhites, basically in high-quality tablet territory. I understand the preference for ereaders over tablets (and I share that preference), but that’s basically telling super-readers who want an ereader, “here, pay a hefty premium for the pleasure of reading and buying our stuff and have a harder time escaping GR and our other social media/promo efforts.”
@Sunita: They still have lower cost options (Paper white, new basic Kindle). You don’t have to buy the premium tier top of the line device to read and folks have been bitching about them not innovating at all with eInk Kindles lately. The super high rez screen has got to be fairly expensive and the flush bezel (which Kobo had first) and sensors are all new design aspects for them so its bound to cost a bit more. Can’t say I’m surprised they added a premium tier device. It worked well for Kobo back when they added the Aura HD to their lineup.
@Sunita: Yeah, it’s pricey but it has a lot of cool features. I’ve been saving up my Amazon gift cards from the past two years for the time a new kindle would be issued and I plan to get the WiFi version with the “special offers” / ads, so it shouldn’t be too expensive for me.
I don’t see the need for 3G since I have other devices for web-browsing and use the kindle primarily for reading. The special offers can be annoying but sometimes they apprise me of sales I want to know about. I’m hoping that as with the Paperwhite you can switch to the “without special offers” version later anytime you want to get rid of the ads. I also wonder if the ads can be completely removed from the “without special offers” version or if, as with the Paperwhite I own, the Voyage without special offers isn’t completely ad-free.
To say that I am disappointed in B & N is the understatement of the year. Good thing that I downloaded my latest purchases before they implemented this change. I like to backup my ebooks (yes, I do strip DRM too). I don’t want to be held hostage by a “cloud”. I have my own, TYVM… I also backup in an external HD. I just hope Amazon doesn’t follow suit. :(
I wonder if that means other e-bookstores will follow suit?
Not surprised about B&N. These are the same genius’ who bought Fictionwise, shut it down and “moved” customers libraries across to nook. Except some of us were never able to access our books again. Customer Services was poor to say the least. Will never buy anything from that company ever again.
@Sunita: For me it really just comes down to weight. My hands are so bad that I need the lightest possible option and I’m willing to pay for it.
As someone mentioned above – some of the ebooks at Kobo are also like those now at BN — there is no download button and the ebooks must be downloaded within Kobo’s app/ereader environment. I had a long discussion about this with a couple of Kobo customer service reps, where I explained I didn’t want to use the Kobo app or the wifi on my Kobo ereader. Explanations for this new policy varied from claims that this was being done by the publishers, to that this was a feature of Adobe’s epub3 format, to that it was a Kobo enhancement to make my reading experience better (that one really made me grumpy). Unimpressed by any of those explanations I asked for my money back and then promptly bought the books on Amazon (which I told the Kobo reps was what I was going to do).
What was really annoying was that there was no easy way to figure out whether a ebook could downloaded or not when you were looking at its information page on the Kobo website.
I think this is attempt by the ebook distributors to keep readers in their company’s particular sandbox (think Apple — which also makes it impossible for people download ebook files outside of the IBook environment) and I think it’s also driven by the fact that distributors want to be able to track what people are reading for their market research (and to resell that research to other companies). All it does, however, is make me less interested in purchasing books from distributors who do this and may in the end drive me out of the ebook market all together. I’m becoming really tired of how the internet is turning us all into market research rats.
@Isobel Carr: That’s a consideration for me as well. I ended up buying an iPhone 5S (the lightest and narrowest of the smartphones I was considering) last week for that reason, though I still have Galaxy Note 4 envy.
@Janine: I don’t know. But the days of waiting to download something I purchased are long gone. I have no faith in publishers or retailers. It’s completely insane. What does it matter if I download a BN book from My Library or through the Nook desktop app? The end result is the same, it’s mine in the only sure way I can hang on to it.
@Brian: @Janine: @Isobel Carr: I understand it’s sleeker, fancier, and has a superior screen (and has restored the Kindle’s earlier ability to change pages from the bezel). It may or may not be worth it; that’s up to each individual. I was not in any way addressing any individual reader’s decision-making calculus.
Right now we don’t have reviews, we have the all too common tech-site repurposing of company PR releases. Gizmodo at least recognizes the obvious (unlike most of the regurgitations):
I agree that lighter readers are more comfortable. For what it’s worth, both Kobo and Nook have readers that are the same as or lighter in weight than the new Voyage, and they’ve been available for purchase for at least a year.
Kobo’s kepubs (with no download) arent the same as ePub 3. ePub 3 is an issue as once you open in that format it not backwards compatible.
I haven’t run across any kepubs only at Kobo so far (knock on wood). You can still get back to the regular epub with those using the Calibre plugin.
For those who are curious, MobileRead had an interesting thread about epub3. Unless/until retailers all upgrade to content server 5 which can force the new DRM scheme, so long as you open the book the first time in ADE 1.7 or 2.0 it is still on the old DRM scheme. If you have upgraded to ADE 3.0 then whatever books you’ve opened with it for the first time have the new DRM scheme and will never be readable under the old DRM. Basically just don’t upgrade to new ADE 3.0 until such time as everyone ceases to use ADE 2.0 and 1.7 all together. I am still comfoprtably using ADE 1.7 with no issues as I am still on Vista on my main PC.
I have to say that this move by B&N seems kind of strange to me. I was tempted to order the new Kindle high resolution black and white eReader, but I still like holding a book in my hands better.
Agree with what @library addict: said above. ePub3 is fine but don’t update your Adobe DE because strange things may happen.
I test bought a book from Kobo late last night to check my facts (the things I do for this community! :D). Unless they’ve changed something in the last 12 hours, it correct.
Kobo customer service told me recently a problem I had with downloading was because of the ePub3 format but it wasn’t ePub3 at all. It was *KePub* which is Kobo’s own format. (h/t to Nate @ the Digital Reader for this info). Kobo CS don’t really know so will provide a bum steer and tell people it’s ePub3 but they’re blaming the wrong thing.
The way to check whether you can download a book from Kobo (which still includes the vast majority of their titles as only a few are KePub) is to “save a preview” before buying. Yes this adds an extra step but it’s a safer option. Then go to your library. If under the title and author there is a line which says:
you can safely buy the book and know that you will be able to download it and strip the DRM (if it has DRM and if that’s what you do) as per usual.
If it’s blank and has NO download options, then it is either a PDF (which I steer clear of anyway) or a KePub – if it’s a KePub then it is stored in Kobo’s cloud/on their servers and it will not show up on your PC even if you have the book on your reader and connect the reader to the PC. Believe me, I’ve tried. There is something hinky in the way KePub works and there’ s no way to save the book elsewhere. You can only read it on the PC via Adobe DE (but you still can’t save a copy onto the PC) or via the Kobo reader (and I presume the Kobo App but I haven’t checked this).
Since I learned this tip, I’ve save previews every time and so far none of the books I’ve been interested in have had a blank format. But if any does come up that way, then I will buy elsewhere rather than being unable to download the book to my PC and import it into my Calibre library.
If Kobo go the way of B&N, I will never buy from them again. If I can’t actually download my book I’m not interested. Kobo gave me a full refund for the book I had trouble with (which turned out to be in KePub format).
You can download kePubs via the Kobo for PC app and use obok or the Calibre plugin to convert it to an ePub. It’s just a PITA to do so.
One other thing to point out for folks looking to go Kobo from B&N. Almost all Harlequin titles from July 2010 and before have messed up formatting. This is something both Kobo & Harlequin have known about for at least a few years, but haven’t fixed.
Well, after complaining about their lousy customer service for years, that’s it for me and B&N. Just had another delightful chat session, in which it became clear that either B&N hasn’t told their customer service reps about this, or has instructed them to pretend as if this was the case.
Also checked their FAQs about downloading and sideloading, and none of them have been updated either.
I was told I could only get refunds on my last three purchases; I probably could have pushed on this but decided to cut my losses. I’ve also closed all my B&N accounts. (I haven’t gone to their brick & mortar stores for years; I don’t buy toys or games, and I can make better coffee and scones myself).
I can’t reconcile it with myself to succumb to Amazon, though; the whole reason I went with a Nook in the first place (and a Sony before that) is because the thought of having some corporation peer over my shoulder taking notes while I read gives me the heebie-jeebies.
It’s not like I’m about to run out things to read, after all. I’ve got hundreds of books (print and e) still in my TBR piles, and there’s always the library. :-)
(PSA — practically every state in the US has passed strict privacy laws make it illegal for public libraries to tell anyone — or even keep track themselves — of what you are reading or have checked out in the past. HOWEVER — if you check out ebooks from the librare *in Kindle format* [which requires you to go through the Amazon website] — not ePub, just Kindle — those privacy laws may no longer protect you.)
@library addict oh that’s interesting. I asked questions on Twitter and around the internets and no-one told me that. When I connected my Kobo reader (which had the book on it) to my PC, Calibre couldn’t accept it because it was a “virtual file”. The only thing I could do was, via Calibre, read it in Adobe DE. Which was next to useless for me.
@Kaetrin: I think it has to be the file from Kobo for PC. I know some of the members at Mobile Read have talked about it. The process with opok is fairly involved. But someone wrote a Calibre plugin which makes things easier.
The idea of checking before you buy is still a good idea though. I tend to forget to do it, but I try to remember. I also can access the old system via Firefox on my Vista PC which still lists which formats the books is in.
@hapax: I feel the same way about Big Brother reading over my shoulder. That’s why, when I finally succumbed to the lure of the Paperwhite, I’ve left WiFi off. It’s permanently in airplane mode, and thus unregistered. So my reading habits should continue to be as private as with my Sony, and the Pocketbook before that.
And count me among the many now done with B&N. If I can’t download it, I won’t buy it. And thank god again for Calibre and Apprentice Alf, I haven’t lost any books because I always download and add to Calibre immediately.
I bought my non-wifi Sony reader in 2009. I couldn’t buy books from Sony via my Mac, so I never bought from them. Kindle wasn’t available in Canada. Kobo wasn’t out. The iPad wasn’t out. Basically, side-loading my Sony was my only choice.
I’m pretty glad of that right at the moment.
I miss out on a lot of books because they’re too much work to buy, download, reformat, etc. (not to mention geo-restrictions, which, as mentioned above, are bullshit) but there are a lot more books out there that I can, and do, buy.
I remember reading a business management book decades ago, and the main message was to remove as many barriers between you and your customer’s money as possible. Is it just me, or do a lot of companies seem to be doing the opposite of that?
The B&N change is definitely a step towards making DRM harder to strip. From what I gather from apprentice alf blogs, there is a modification to the B&N DRM scheme, used only with the apps and not implementable with downloaded files, which makes the DRM stripping tools not work. It is possible to get around it, but it certainly makes the whole process more inconvenient. So yeah, the publishers are still thinking that if they make rules even tighter and our lives more inconvenient, they will somehow get more profit.
This seems to me a boneheaded move but not out of the realm for Microsoft.
Remember when you only could get an update to IE 9 if you went out and bought Windows 7. Microsoft went from 50% of worldwide share to now at 20%. I would have thought that they had learned that forcing users to buy only from them would have sunk in. Guess not.
@Sunita: I’m actually running Mavericks (10.9.4) on my Mac and the Nook app works. I decided to try installing it even though the BN page said it didn’t support my OS and as I say it works. I don’t know if it does everything, but I can download my files and that’s all I care about.
@Diana: Take a look at Livemargin Reader. It lets you upload your DRM free and syncs your progress through the cloud. You can also read offline. My only issue is that the font size is super small on my phone.
@cleo: Thanks for that info! I did get my refunds, but I’ll try downloading and seeing if I can move it to Calibre and what happens there. I’ll let you know once I get a chance to try it.
@Sunita – good luck. I hope it works.
@cleo: It worked! Thanks so much! By the way, I’m using a 2012 MacBook Pro 15″.
Although I’m still extremely reluctant to buy from them. What if an update to OSX borks it? Their own page doesn’t mention 10.9 at all.
Seriously, I just bought a FireHDX 8.9 less than 2 months ago. Now they have a new version? I thought the one I bought was fairly new. Jaysus.
@Sunita: Yay. (I have a MacBook Pro 15 too, although mine’s older). I’m also worried about updating the OS.
This whole situation has made me think it’s time to stop buying from BN. I’ve cut down on my purchases from them, but I still buy from them sometimes, because it’s convenient, especially when traveling. But I guess I prefer the inconvenience of side-loading to the inconvenience of losing my ebooks.
They seem to have disabled the download of the older nook for pc ap as well.