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)

3 Comments on “Kottke likes the Librie

  1. How many failings Sony are going to suffer that would make them change their DRM policy?

  2. Instead people are using their PSP to read books
    tokyopia com tk archives 000462 php
    (and comics and watch TV and movies)
    replace the spaces in the link above with /s and a period before the com and php part. Apparently it’s now impossble to post links on gen’s weblog 🙁

  3. I also marvel at the technicalities and potential of the Librie, and at the incredible imbecility of Sony’s decision makers. As Ken, I have my reasons, but I won’t let a Sony product in my house again as long as I live: 2 bad experiences with Sony crippleware (stupid expensive digital camera and moronic mp3 CD player) and one bad case of “Sony switch” with an electronic gadget crapping out days after the warranty expired. Good riddance Sony, and while you are at it shove your Green Partnership moronic program up your dirty corporate ass (for those who don’t know, Green Partnership is Sony’s lame attempt to be environmentally sound, an ill-advised, inefficient program that is self-defeating as it is wasteful and non-sustainable, discriminatory, and a waste of money and time for Sony and its suppliers. Get your act straight and focus on quality (admitted by even their own engineers as crappy), and bringing to the market products that let do things that people want to do, as opposed to things that Sony allows people to do. ‘Nuff said.