Engadget reviewer has had enough of the Kindle:
Amazon states that “a copy of every book you purchased from the Kindle Store is backed up at Amazon.com in case you ever need to download it again. You can wirelessly re-download books for free any time. This allows you to make room for new titles on your Kindle, knowing that Amazon is storing your personal library of Kindle books. We even back up your last page read and annotations, so you’ll never lose those, either. Think of it as a bookshelf in your attic–even though you don’t see it, you know your books are there.”
Sounds good. Not too different from eReader’s policy where I can download books I bought more than decade ago to my iPhone, a device that didn’t even exist when I bought them. My problems occurred after downloading my copy of Freakonomics to my Kindle 1, my iPhone and iPod touch. I discovered I couldn’t download the book to my Kindle 2. I kept getting error after error that simply said this book can’t be loaded on this device. A little time with Google revealed I was not alone. It seems there’s a finite number of times each book can be downloaded, even if it’s downloaded to the same device. This number is set by the publisher and varies from book to book, but Amazon never mentions this, and there’s no indication of it anywhere during the purchase process. In short, it obviates the reason why one would buy an e-book in the first place. If I want to read Freakonomics at this point, I either have to find a device that I’m no longer using that has that content on it or buy a new copy. Sorry. That’s just not acceptable and I’ve been debating what books I’d buy in the future. That was until last week.
I think this is the point where people come to terms with how bad some of the DRM systems are for the Kindle, as well as the sheer thoughtlessness of design.
I can see how it would be handy if you have a teeny tiny studio flat, or moved a lot. I have a few ebooks on my laptop but I don’t think I would buy something specifically for reading them and I certainly wouldn’t stop buying my gorgeous hardcopies.
I posted in the Wonderlands Forum about this, after reading the linked article below. I agree with many others who think the implications are going to be profound for the life of jobbing writers. And not in a good way.
I meant to add that the day is not far off in which you will get several versions. The full text; the abbreviated text the bits you only need to read; the abbreviated text with summaries of bits you don’t need to read. The abbreviated text in audio with summaries of bits you don’t need to read. Literary art as at core and source a singular visionary pursuit will cease to exist as such and Barthes will have his ideal world. The death of the author indeed.
Some idiot will blather about our fast paced sophisticated lives in which there is not time for a full read and the fluidity and advancement of our communicative power as a species is simply developing. Oblivious to the fact that we are in fact going backwards in evolutionary terms, experience reduced to that of flies skimming across the surface of a pond so superficial as to have no effect whatsoever on the surface tension. No depth. We’re all doomed Capt. Mainwaring!
Ah well, technological advances move forward apace and we all get more sophisticated and interactive and stuff and life goes on and – is gone!