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Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Old 07-21-09, 04:24 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Books don't cost that much to print from the perspective of the major publishers. Whatever that price is, you can bet the MSRP is vastly larger. They aren't concerned with recouping the costs of printing, they are concerned with making money. They have to pay the author (who if famous enough makes tons of money), the editor(s), illustrators, the jacket artists, and whoever else is involved in creating the book. Digital or analog most of those costs are still there.

Amazon already has the self publish feature, and obviously those are cheaper and they always will be. But as long as their is a huge corporation that can make tons of money selling new books at $9.99 I wouldn't expect that to change anytime soon.

And let's not forget how many truly awful pointless books are out there that you never see people purchase. If the publisher can convince books stores to stock their books than they probably are already making money off the book. It becomes a question of much more money can they make.
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Old 07-22-09, 06:09 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
when you have to spend money to print paper books then you have to be picky with which books you choose to print.

with Kindle book hosting costs being very low you can sign up more writers and sell for less to increase sales. with electronic distribution you don't need a traditional distributor like Ingram Books. the publisher just uploads the book to Amazon who takes a cut like Apple does in the App Store.
I see two problems with this argument.

First, decreasing the price of books doesn't increase the time people have to read. For your theory to hold, there would have to be lots of people who would read more if only they could afford it. I see no evidence of this.

Second, you're assuming that there are lots of good books that aren't being published. While there are undoubtedly some cases where books aren't published because editors don't think there's enough of a market to justify costs, if you talk to people in the publishing business, they'll tell you that for every 1000 books in their slush piles, 999 are incomprehensible rantings by people of doubtful sanity.
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Old 07-22-09, 08:05 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

You also have middle men in the process now that don't need to be there and aren't there in a digital business model.

Barnes and noble e reader is now out as well and their store is up. Checked it out and looks pretty good
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Old 07-23-09, 10:28 AM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
You also have middle men in the process now that don't need to be there and aren't there in a digital business model.
With self publishing on the Kindle, you're just replacing one middleman (Publisher) with another (Amazon). For self-publishing, Amazon only pays out 35% of the Suggested Retail Price to the author:
http://forums.digitaltextplatform.co...&categoryID=12

Also, the traditional middleman does a lot more than just get a book in a store; most notably promotion. It doesn't matter much if I have a book in Amazon's store if nobody knows about it and/or cares.

This is why most musicians sign to a label, even a small independent label, instead of going it alone, even though digital distribution of music has been around for over a decade.
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Old 07-23-09, 10:37 AM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
Barnes and noble e reader is now out as well and their store is up. Checked it out and looks pretty good
I'm assuming you mean B&N's e-reader iPhone app, since their e-reader device isn't due out for a year.
http://business.newsfactor.com/news/...C0&full_skip=1
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Old 07-30-09, 03:27 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

I CANNOT believe it, The Las Vegas Review Journal is now Kindle-ized !!! Instant subscription. I never expected it. Hopefully it sells well and doesn't get pulled. I love reading the paper but hate handling it and really wanted local news. Now I can read the paper on the elliptical !!!
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Old 08-01-09, 01:46 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Jeff Bezos' freaky laugh

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Old 08-29-09, 11:17 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

I've recently thought about buying a Kindle 2. But I haven't kept up to date on the latest news and rumors.

Is there any reason why I should wait? Rumors on when the next version of Kindle will be released? Possible price drops? Any upcoming competitor products?

Also, does anyone know of any sales or deals on the Kindle?

Thanks for the input.
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Old 08-30-09, 12:31 AM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
I've recently thought about buying a Kindle 2. But I haven't kept up to date on the latest news and rumors.

Is there any reason why I should wait? Rumors on when the next version of Kindle will be released? Possible price drops? Any upcoming competitor products?
Sony is coming out with a bunch of new models, some of which will be cheaper than the Kindle ($199 for the cheapest one, though no wireless connectivity); and Plastic Logic is launching their own line later this year, which is supposed to be competitively priced against the Kindle.

Edited to add: Here you go, a nice little break down of what Sony, Amazon, and Plastic Logic are offering. Bottom line, Sony comes out slightly ahead but PL hasn't released a lot of details about their device.

Last edited by Sean O'Hara; 08-30-09 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 08-30-09, 10:57 AM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
Edited to add: Here you go, a nice little break down of what Sony, Amazon, and Plastic Logic are offering. Bottom line, Sony comes out slightly ahead but PL hasn't released a lot of details about their device.
Great info. Thanks.
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Old 08-30-09, 08:26 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
I've recently thought about buying a Kindle 2. But I haven't kept up to date on the latest news and rumors.

Is there any reason why I should wait? Rumors on when the next version of Kindle will be released? Possible price drops? Any upcoming competitor products?

Also, does anyone know of any sales or deals on the Kindle?

Thanks for the input.
I'm in the same boat. I'm so close to pulling the trigger on buying one, but like most modern tech, I'm afraid there will be a better version of this coming out as soon as I buy it. I thought Apple was coming out w/ their version, which being that I'm an Apple fanatic I'd rather have. But I really like the idea of a Kindle right now.
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Old 09-03-09, 01:09 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Sorry, can't justify spending $200+ just to be able to READ a damn book (plus the cost of the download!!) when I can spend $8 on a paperback.
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Old 09-09-09, 08:58 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Asus just announced an e-reader as well
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Old 09-12-09, 08:33 AM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

The future is now!

Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books.
Cushing Academy embraces a digital future
By David Abel
Globe Staff / September 4, 2009

ASHBURNHAM - There are rolling hills and ivy-covered brick buildings. There are small classrooms, high-tech labs, and well-manicured fields. There’s even a clock tower with a massive bell that rings for special events.

Cushing Academy has all the hallmarks of a New England prep school, with one exception.

This year, after having amassed a collection of more than 20,000 books, officials at the pristine campus about 90 minutes west of Boston have decided the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional library. The academy’s administrators have decided to discard all their books and have given away half of what stocked their sprawling stacks - the classics, novels, poetry, biographies, tomes on every subject from the humanities to the sciences. The future, they believe, is digital.

“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of the bookless campus. “This isn’t ‘Fahrenheit 451’ [the 1953 Ray Bradbury novel in which books are banned]. We’re not discouraging students from reading. We see this as a natural way to shape emerging trends and optimize technology.’’

Instead of a library, the academy is spending nearly $500,000 to create a “learning center,’’ though that is only one of the names in contention for the new space. In place of the stacks, they are spending $42,000 on three large flat-screen TVs that will project data from the Internet and $20,000 on special laptop-friendly study carrels. Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.

And to replace those old pulpy devices that have transmitted information since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1400s, they have spent $10,000 to buy 18 electronic readers made by Amazon.com and Sony. Administrators plan to distribute the readers, which they’re stocking with digital material, to students looking to spend more time with literature.

Those who don’t have access to the electronic readers will be expected to do their research and peruse many assigned texts on their computers.

“Instead of a traditional library with 20,000 books, we’re building a virtual library where students will have access to millions of books,’’ said Tracy, whose office shelves remain lined with books. “We see this as a model for the 21st-century school.’’

Not everyone on campus is sold on Tracy’s vision.

They worry about an environment where students can no longer browse rows of voluptuous books, replete with glossy photographs, intricate maps, and pages dog-eared by generations of students. They worry students will be less likely to focus on long works when their devices are constantly interrupting them with e-mail and instant messages. They also worry about a world where sweat-stained literature is deemed as perishable as all the glib posts on Facebook or Twitter.

Liz Vezina, a librarian at Cushing for 17 years, said she never imagined working as the director of a library without any books.

“It makes me sad,’’ said Vezina, who hosts a book club on campus dubbed the Off-line Readers and has made a career of introducing students to books. “I’m going to miss them. I love books. I’ve grown up with them, and there’s something lost when they’re virtual. There’s a sensual side to them - the smell, the feel, the physicality of a book is something really special.’’

Alexander Coyle, chairman of the history department, is a self-described “gadget freak’’ who enjoys reading on Amazon’s Kindle, but he has always seen libraries and their hallowed content as “secular cathedrals.’’

“I wouldn’t want to ever get rid of any of my books at home,’’ he said. “I like the feel of them too much. A lot us are wondering how this changes the dignity of the library, and why we can’t move to increase digital resources while keeping the books.’’

Tracy and other administrators said the books took up too much space and that there was nowhere else on campus to stock them. So they decided to give their collection - aside from a few hundred children’s books and valuable antiquarian works - to local schools and libraries.

“We see the gain as greater than the loss,’’ said Gisele Zangari, chairwoman of the math department, who like other teachers has plans for all her students to do their class reading on electronic books by next year. “This is the start of a new era.’’

Cushing is one of the first schools in the country to abandon its books.

“I’m not aware of any other library that has done this,’’ said Keith Michael Fiels, executive director of the American Library Association, a Chicago-based organization that represents the nation’s libraries.

He said the move raises at least two concerns: Many of the books on electronic readers and the Internet aren’t free and it may become more difficult for students to happen on books with the serendipity made possible by physical browsing. There’s also the question of the durability of electronic readers.

“Unless every student has a Kindle and an unlimited budget, I don’t see how that need is going to be met,’’ Fiels said. “Books are not a waste of space, and they won’t be until a digital book can tolerate as much sand, survive a coffee spill, and have unlimited power. When that happens, there will be next to no difference between that and a book.’’

William Powers, author of a forthcoming book based on a paper he published at Harvard called “Hamlet’s Blackberry: Why Paper is Eternal,’’ called the changes at Cushing “radical’’ and “a tremendous loss for students.’’

“There are modes of learning and thinking that at the moment are only available from actual books,’’ he said. “There is a kind of deep-dive, meditative reading that’s almost impossible to do on a screen. Without books, students are more likely to do the grazing or quick reading that screens enable, rather than be by themselves with the author’s ideas.’’

Yet students at Cushing say they look forward to the new equipment, and the brave new world they’re ushering in.

Tia Alliy, a 16-year-old junior, said she visits the library nearly every day, but only once looked for a book in the stacks. She’s not alone. School officials said when they checked library records one day last spring only 48 books had been checked out, and 30 of those were children’s books.

“When you hear the word ‘library,’ you think of books,’’ Alliy said. “But very few students actually read them. And the more we use e-books, the fewer books we have to carry around.’’

Jemmel Billingslea, an 18-year-old senior, thought about the prospect of a school without books. It didn’t bother him.

“It’s a little strange,’’ he said. “But this is the future.’’

http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas..._books/?page=2
I may be an old fuddy duddy desperately clinging to outdated technology, but I don't see why this is an all or nothing deal, especially since they're only providing 18 Kindles to the students. Why not have the Kindles augment the presence of physical books?
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Old 10-14-09, 11:31 AM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Originally Posted by Drop View Post
Looks like Barnes and Noble are entering the ebook/reader market. And it seems they are going to have comparable prices and probably a cheaper device. I'm looking forward to what they have and atleast there will be serious competition now, hopefully this will solidify the future of ebooks and the e-ink technology.
I just tried out the BN e-reader for PC and I really like it, not bloated, good interface and options. I think it's far better than the Sony PC e-reader.
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Old 10-14-09, 03:44 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

With the recent Kindle-price drop at Amazon, I am so close to pulling the trigger on one of these.
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Old 10-14-09, 04:00 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

While pulling a trigger on a Kindle is totally appropriate, I would-- myself-- go with a big stack of paper targets. Much cheaper.

Then, for an ebook reader, I'd buy something not bigbrothered, like a Sony, or one of these:

http://www.frys.com/product/5834633?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG
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Old 10-14-09, 05:35 PM
  #343  
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

This one is looking promising...

http://gizmodo.com/5380942/barnes-an...os-and-details
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Old 10-15-09, 10:30 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Google ebook store opens June 2010. Seems like it could be used through a web browser and read offline with an extension for the cache. Interesting about more ebook competition but that means more drm formats.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:23 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
I just tried out the BN e-reader for PC and I really like it, not bloated, good interface and options. I think it's far better than the Sony PC e-reader.
errrr... The Sony PC Library software isn't really supposed to be a great ebook program. It is basically an interface for the Sony Reader devices--because it's all about the e-ink display. Your statement is kinda like saying iTunes sucks for listening to music on a PC.

Originally Posted by Sessa17 View Post
With the recent Kindle-price drop at Amazon, I am so close to pulling the trigger on one of these.
My advice is to check what you want in an ebook device before buying.
I never considered a Kindle for several reasons. Primarily, I want an ebook device simply to read lots of books. Here are some points to consider from a lifelong avid book reader's perspective:

The ebook devices are pricey because the e-ink display is expensive. But e-ink is great. MUCH easier on the eyes than any backlit display. And it uses almost no power. ANd yeah, you need some sort of booklight to read any of these displays in the dark, just like a p-book.

Wireless on the Kindle? Seriously, wtf? I don't get this. Many folks say they need "instant gratification." Huh? If you're reading books, and have a device that carries hundreds of novels in the internal memory (easily more than a years' worth of reading), do you really need to be suckered into paying full price just to 'instantly' download books to your device wirelessly? That wireless eats up batteries faster too. My Reader lasts about 3 weeks betwene charges--I never worry about charging it, so it's more like a book than another charge-all-the-time device like a cellphone.

Keyboard and dictionary on the Kindle? Sure, what you get is a bulkier, klunkier device with a crappy keyboard. Do you really look things up in a dictionary constantly when reading books? I don't. 2 options: Some non-Kindle devices have dictionaries, and (better yet) use another device (cellphone/blackberry/laptop) for looking up and reading things online. The e-ink display is great for longer reading sessions of longer works.

Amazon has cheaper book prices? Hmmmm. Not sure. Lots of other ebook devices handle a variety of file formats (including reflowable pdf and the more standardized ePub). Amazon locks you pretty much into its own format. (Yes, there are all sorts of format conversions and drm removal possibilities, but for the general user and for simplicity, it's nice to have a less-restricted device.) Having more formats to choose from increases the likelihood of finding more and cheaper titles.

Can you read new books free on the Kindle? No. (Not legally anyway!) But the Sony devices (except for the oldest 500 model) allow you to borrow ebooks online from your local lending library's website. I do this a lot. Still think the Kindle is a "cheaper " option? I don't.

There's a trend to wards making electronic devices "all-in-one" units that can do everything, but often does them less well. Remember the lowly cellphone? Now it has texting, web browsers, gps, cameras, etc. OK, it's handy. In fact, I use my phone ( a blackberry) as my portable information source. For looking thins up online, etc., it works just fine. Handy, portable, and I already am conditioned to charging it every day or 2.

OTOH, I DON'T want my ebook device to do everything. Just act like a book--turn pages, set bookmarks, store lots of books to take with me, and be easy on the eyes. Changing font size is a bonus (but a necessary one on these devices, which have varying 'default' sizes.) The 3 week battery life is huge for me. I don't worry about taking a charger or more cables with me. I just hold 200+ books in the palm of my hand, good to go for even a 2-week-plus trip with no power worries. Instant on and off is nice as well.

Once you add wireless, keyboard, etc. to an ebook device, it's becoming more like a netbook/tablet pc/cellphone. I don't want that. I already have that. And the e-ink display is slow-doesn't handle animation, refresh time is about half a second (not millisecond, but second!). It won't ever substitute for an active display that can be used for browsing, etc.

My ebook device is my book for reading, period. And it does it extremely well. Select a book, and start reading. Set a bookmark where you leave off if you're reading more than 1 book at a time. Easy. Simple. (I have probably read about 300+ novels on e-ink devices over the past 3 years. Same comfortable reading experience that I've enjoyed with 'p-books' my entire life.)

If you want a device for carrying around and comfortably reading lots of books, I suggest checking out the Sony Reader line, or some other devices such as the Cybook Opus, the Hanlin rebranded devices, etc. And if you are happy reading novels on your iPhone, then your eyes are much better than mine (at least right now!) and you probably don't need an e-ink display.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:28 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Could you explain a little more about checking out e-books from your library? How does that work and what exactly would I need to ask about at my local library to see if they support that?

I'm a huge library supporter so a unit that would let me get things from there would be awesome.
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Old 10-18-09, 10:17 PM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Originally Posted by drmoze View Post
errrr... The Sony PC Library software isn't really supposed to be a great ebook program. It is basically an interface for the Sony Reader devices--because it's all about the e-ink display. Your statement is kinda like saying iTunes sucks for listening to music on a PC.
The problem I had was that it reminded me too much of Sonicstage which I used for the ancient minidisc player. Sure, SS worked but it was a pain and Sony eventually abandoned it. The new Sony ebook library software is a good improvement though. Hardware companies just suck at making software, but Apple is the exception.

I just prefer to read ebooks and pdfs on the computer. If I wanted a portable ebook reader, I would rather use something like the iPhone (or even a netbook) so it would be the all-in-one gadget.
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Old 10-19-09, 12:21 AM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Originally Posted by xmiyux View Post
Could you explain a little more about checking out e-books from your library? How does that work and what exactly would I need to ask about at my local library to see if they support that?

I'm a huge library supporter so a unit that would let me get things from there would be awesome.
Just go to your local library's website, and see if they have ebooks, and what formatd (since there's a ton of formats). If they have them, and you're going to read on your computer, they'll probably have software for you on the site. In my case, since I read on my Kindle, I use mobi. I had to add my kindle's id to my account, then when I find a book I want I just check it out from the website using my normal card, I get 3 weeks to read it after that it isn't readable by normal means. It's just like a normal book, they have a certain number of copies, so sometimes I have to wait for a copy to come back in (which will also be at the end of the checkout time since there is no way to check them in early).
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Old 10-19-09, 08:30 AM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

Alright, my local library only has e-audio books. Bummer. Something interesting i might have to mention at the next board meeting. Thanks for the info!
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Old 10-19-09, 11:45 AM
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Re: Amazon Kindle - ebooks & readers v "traditional"

NYPL lends e-books in Adobe and Mobi

So you're saying this will work with the kindle and the sony?
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