Kottke likes the Librie
Jason Kottke recently attended the Gel Conference (hosted by my good friend Mark Hurst) and got a chance to check out the Sony Librie e-book reader. He was very impressed by it.
The interesting back story of the Sony Librie, at least for Japanese customers, was that the Librie was launched in Japan in 2004 with a very nasty DRM policy and a very restrictive and limited content library. Basically there was once website in Japan that was selling “Librie compatible” content at fairly outrageous prices. Even content that was old enough to be beyond any copyrights was being sold for a fee by this service.
Needless to say the product did not sell because the content restrictions and limited content.
A few months ago, Sony decided to open up the DRM of the Librie to allow users to upload their own content to the device. Too little, too late. I’ve yet to see anyone in Tokyo using a Librie. It’s a failed product not because of the product itself- as Jason says, it is very readable and portable – but because the DRM policy was beyond heinous and the content limitations were absurd.
The Sony Librie (kottke.org)