Monday, May 31, 2010

Count Me In for the "No DRM" Camp

I never had problems with DRM (Digital Rights Management) ebooks.

I've been reading ebooks since 2005 when a co-worker showed me her Treo. I had a Sony Clie then, and they both had the same operating system -- Palm OS. 5 years of reading ebooks with no problem.

I started worrying when Palm decided to come out with a new operating system in 2009. Palm said new OS will still run old programs. This did not sound good. Hopefully, Palm or its software developers would come up with something better as I would not be changing my device for another year.

It's a year later. Palm is not doing good. It was being trounced by iPhone and new Android devices. Latest scoop, Palm has been acquired by HP. Who knows what's going to happen? No worries, I've jumped Palm ship. Instead of trusting Palm, I was hoping the owners of eReader and Mobipocket would come through with software on the Android platform. iPhone is not in my future because of carrier and poor NYC service area.

What really pushed me to not become a fan of DRM was the acquisition of an iPad last month. Yes, I wrote that I was not going to get one, but I have one. Since I had over 600 ebooks that were DRMed eReader (.pdb) and Mobipocket (.prc), I wanted the ability to read them on the iPad. I had to de-DRM the books in order to convert them into another format that could be used on the iPad.

After the iPad acquisition, I got a new phone -- an Android one. Mobipocket did not come through on Android. eReader did. Regardless of these two vendors, I was able to find a reader software that enabled me to read my DRM books -- iReader. I'll still be testing other software until I find one that I'm totally happy with.

Another ebook headache -- I've not been able to buy any books from my preferred vendor, Fictionwise. They are waiting for their distributor, Ingram, to iron out the agency-model pricing with the publishing houses. There goes the idea of acquiring books from a single place as I've not been able to buy a book for two months nor download some of my purchased books. In the meantime, I'm buying from other vendors. I still need to read and am no longer purchasing physical books.

Regardless, the books I buy belong to me. I do not want to be locked down on which device or format I'll be reading my books. Nor do I want a vendor to control where I get my books and where I can read them either. I'll be de-DRMing all my books so I can convert them into any format to read on any device I want.

This customer is QUEEN!

My new adventure is working with Calibre, library management software, to load and convert my ebooks that are constantly growing. I also need to figure out what device has what :)

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