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Books

Scribd Launches a Global 'Spotify For eBooks' 53

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-customers-want-more-subscriptions dept.
Nate the greatest writes "Scribd threw its hat in the ebook subscription ring today. The site is expanding on its existing ebookstore with a new $9-a-month all-you-can-read ebook subscription service which offers a selection of ebooks from a number of publishers, including HarperCollins, E-Reads, Kensington, Red Wheel/Weiser, Rosetta Books, Sourcebooks, and Workman. That's a better selection of commercial ebooks than the Kindle owner's lending library, but not quite as broad of a selection as the recently-launched Oyster. However, Scribd is charging less and they're offering better platform support. While Oyster is only available on the iPhone, Scribd has apps for both Android and iOS, and you can read the ebooks in your web browser."
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Scribd Launches a Global 'Spotify For eBooks'

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  • by aliquis (678370)

    Can I or can't I read it on my e-book reader?

    And what formats do they offer? If with DRM what devices support the DRM? All which support the format?

    And if I want to is there a crack for removing the DRM?

    The stuff that matters, things for geeks.

    • "New e-book store / subscription service, pay^wjoin now!"

      Offer me e-books like indie game bundles, pay what I want, DRM free. That will sell more content than "pay more than physical books!" .. also libraries are "for free" (though I wish they was all shut down, especially in the cases where they are robbing society for e-books.)

      • by RMingin (985478)

        It's not exactly what you want, since it's not truly pay-what-you-want, just pay-nearly-what-you-want-with-a-minimum-and-less-granularity, but it does approximate that one point and hit all the others:

        http://storybundle.com/ [storybundle.com]

        Also, Humble Bundle themselves have done ebook bundles twice now. Ask them to do more.

        • by aliquis (678370)

          Thank you. Though I kinda meant in general.

          A cousin of mine had just read a recently popular book and mentioned it on Facebook. I followed the link or googled for it and the pocket book was 49 SEK and the ebook was 59 SEK.

          Now I must say I would personally prefer the e-book (at least at a better price) because it uses up less space, bookmarks itself and so on (just wish the readers was way better, perfect and fast PDF, higher resolution and larger screens, possibly color, more storage, ..) but I consider a r

          • by RMingin (985478)

            I have no counterpoint or argument to most of your post. I just wanted to mention that the Nexus 7 (2013 version) and Nexus 10 both make fantastic ereaders, if you don't mind a backlit device.

            If you prefer non-backlit, my daughter has the Kindle Paperwhite and I put all the books on there for her. It doesn't accept ePub, true, but Calibre is your friend and can convert everything to AZW or mobi and then copy it to your Kindle for you.

            Calibre: http://calibre-ebook.com/about [calibre-ebook.com]

            • by aliquis (678370)

              I imagine the e-ink would be nicer. But anything over sitting in front of the computer with the wrong aspect ratio (could be fixed .. But size and comfort and all.)

              I know about Calibre, but the other problem is the limited storage vs say the Sony readers which have microSD slots.

              • I know about Calibre, but the other problem is the limited storage vs say the Sony readers which have microSD slots.

                In practice, the amount of storage probably doesn't affect the usefulness of the device that much. I currently have ~700 books on my Sony device, which occupies just 690MB of the 1.41GB internal storage, and I haven't needed to touch the SD card yet.

                • by RMingin (985478)

                  I have North of 2000 books on my old second generation Kindle. It's only about three quarters full.

                  On my Nexus 10, I have almost the same number, but it's four GB. Why? Graphics-heavy books and manuals don't work all that well on eink, for me.

          • I don't own a reader atm. Kindle still seem like the best option but the limited storage (unless you actually buy books from Amazon), vendor lock-in (they sell books in their own format and the most popular one you can't use on their readers) and finally the Sony reader had much snappier zoom and scroll

            The device you choose really comes down to what look & feel you prefer. I opted for a Sony PRS-T1 [sony.com.au] (now superseded by the somewhat prettier PRS-T2) for a variety of reasons, at the top of which was the fact that it supports the widest range of formats.

            However, in practice I now convert everything I can to ePub, which IMO is by far the most useful, since I have become fairly good at manipulating them with Sigil [wikipedia.org]. I try to avoid PDF if possible, since you can't reflow text, so you're stuck with the format

            • by aliquis (678370)

              But there's lots of rule books and such as PDFs, also likely scans of stuff not released officially / from the beginning as ebooks.

              Maybe magazines too?

              But the screen size, resolution and lack of color and the speed of the device and how heavy PDF is to handle are additional issues with those.

        • by aliquis (678370)

          Also a book bundle unless it's like thousands of books doesn't really do it for me. Not that I know what I want to read or not or should read or not but I've always read very little and as if if I'm going to read something I'd likely pick something which I find interesting and which I look up. But if the e-book cost more than a physical copy or about the same why get that one instead?

          Also I hate having to buy things multiple times. Why would I ever have to pay again to go from a movie I own on VHS to DVD to

  • by CdBee (742846) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:41PM (#45006253)
    Which can apply to most media subscription services: What's Excluded?

    I suspect that new releases wouldnt be in it, which dilutes the customer value somewhat as in the UK at least, new books start appearing in Charity shops within a few months of the release anyway, and their price for old-releases only has to compete with the negligible cost of pre-owned literature.
    • In my experience, each particular charity shop carries a tiny, poorly organized selection of books. This means e-books compete with online charity shops that charge shipping. Goodwill, for example, has a store on Amazon. So if e-book rental costs less than shipping, it's a win.
  • Fuck Scribd (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:04PM (#45006545) Journal

    Fuck them right in the ass. We don't need another service shitting up search results with paywalled data. Experts-exchange was bad enough.

    • by Anonymous Coward

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    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Agreed. Not to mention the countless number of times I'd search for something, and not realize it was on scribd until my browser screeched to a halt like a fly caught in sap.

      Didn't take me long to blacklist their domain. I don't want anything to do with them.

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      Experts-exchange was bad enough.

      Well. If you want a sex change, I don't see what's wrong with demanding an expert.

  • At least for non-fiction, books are fundamentally different than music. A book contains knowledge that you may want to retain for the rest of your life; a song is an experience that you can have a few times and move on to something else.

    I'm not sure I want my books owned by a third party.

    • by Tom (822)

      Amen.

      I'm sticking with actual books for most things. There are a couple exceptions where I really like the searchability of an e-book, for example.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        ebooks are fine if you retain 'ownership' of them locally on your device ( and local backup media )

        • by Tom (822)

          Even then physical books have advantages. For example, lending an e-book still requires that the recipient uses that same reader.

          • by guanxi (216397)

            Even then physical books have advantages. For example, lending an e-book still requires that the recipient uses that same reader.

            I'm actually looking into this issue right now, trying to find an ebook format not tied to a particular reader, which I own and is free-as-in-speech, and which will be readable in 20 years.

            I just started looking into it; isn't EPUB platform independent and free at least? I also came across TEI, but I'm not sure it's really what I'm looking for.

            I'd also like something I can annotate and retain the notations, but at some point I may decide a word processor is a better application for my needs.

            • by Tom (822)

              epub is pretty good as it's basically HTML. I don't know about the free part (could be, could not).

  • e-book reader? (Score:4, Informative)

    by MisterBuggie (924728) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:57PM (#45007593)

    So, all the books I want, but I have to read them on a backlit LCDscreen. No chance of settling down for a proper read on any e-ink device? What use is an e-book subscription if you can't use it on an e-book reader?

    • Just speculation here, but if they're going to offer an android app, then chances are that you can use it on any of the Android e-ink devices (Kindle and Nook being the most well known) after you root it. I have a rooted Nook Glow that is now basically an e-ink Android tablet. Not really well suited for games and video, but awesome when it comes to reading static text and images.
      • So you only have the Android devices... And even then you have to void the guarantee. I have a Kobo Touch. The Kobo e-readers are most likely the most common here in France as the Fnac stores sell them, they're probably the only e-readers sold in physical stores in the country.

        • If you take a backup of your device before the root you can always revert it to it's unrooted state whenever you need.
          • Assuming your device allows you to back it up.

            • For the Nook at least there's a way to do this using noogie.img [the-ebook-reader.com]
              • The ASUS Transformer TF101, which I have, has an app for backing up apps, but it seems to crash whenever I use it. It looks as if I'll have to root my machine before I can do a backup with a normal Linux tool. And the root methid has to not destroy my file system.

                Alternative: keep nothing I really need to keep on the tablet.

                -- hendrik

      • I also bought the Nook Simple Touch Glow with the explicit intention of rooting it. I consider it one of the best purchases that I've made in my life, I use it daily for studing with Anki or browsing with Opera. However, being stuck on Android 2.1 is exceptionally limiting. I'm looking for any E-ink device that is capable of being rooted and running Android 2.3 or 4.x. Backlight prefered, of course!

  • by Delusion_ (56114) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @04:36PM (#45008151) Homepage

    Why use such a tortured comparison? Just say "library", or if you must "digital public library".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by odie5533 (989896)
      Libraries aren't usually thought of as being per-user subscriptions.
      • by Delusion_ (56114)

        And this "spotify for ebooks" isn't exactly streaming content, either, the thing most identified with the Spotify experience.

  • Some Issues (Score:5, Informative)

    by Fnord666 (889225) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @05:12PM (#45008555) Journal
    Before committing to anything you might want to read this follow up post. [the-digital-reader.com]Apparently there are titles shown in the library that may not actually be available in your geolocation. In addition, you won't find out about that until you actually try to open the book. It's really quite disingenuous of them to show you books and let you add them to your library, when they clearly later know that those titles are not available to you for actual reading.
  • by The Cat (19816) *

    They are not charging less. Amazon Prime is $79 a year and includes the free lending option.

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