Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here we go...

I was planning on writing about a completely different topic today, but then I browsed through CBC’s (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)website this morning and spotted this: CBC News - Arts - Price war hits e-readers

It’s become pretty obvious that e-book readers, like iPods, are going to change the face of publishing the same way that the music industry was changed by MP3s. Yeah? So?

Here’s where the water becomes muddy for people thinking of buying into the technology: which reader should you buy? Maybe I’m the only one thinking this way, but I’m tired of being a pawn in the way technology manufacturers ply their trade. I’m will not shell out money on one product only to see it discontinued and new books no longer available for it. I know at least 3 people in the past few years who shelled out big bucks for hi-def DVD players only to see it disappear from one day to the next because Blu-Ray beat it out. Toss one more piece of technology in the landfill. We’re so sorry; you gambled and lost.

The same thing is happening with just about every e-reader manufacturer: most have their own proprietary software. Why? Because they want their product to be the last reader standing, and they can also grab the publishers and consumers by the balls. That way, if they establish their supremacy, any other manufacturer has to pay licensing fees, publishers have to march to their tune and consumers have to like it or lump it. Yes, you could argue that it’s only smart business, but look at the other side of the coin: the consumer's and publisher’s side.

We’re all getting the short end of the stick. Publishers, if they want to catch and ride the new wave (and that’s pretty well mandatory), now have to publish their books in a variety of formats, something that’s plain stupid and drives up costs needlessly. Readers have to roll the dice (if they’re so inclined) and pick who’s going to win this war. Otherwise, they might have a number of books on their hands that they will eventually have to buy again if they want to read them, not to mention having to buy another reader.

I, for one, am getting really tired of this market-share BS. I have no problem shelling out the bucks for something worthwhile, but I refuse to be held for ransom because the technology providers want to play their little games.

It’s all so unneccessary. Come up with a universal format for e-books and then battle it out in the same way: who has the better reader. That way, you’re respecting your customers and your content providers. Can you imagine the chaos if we had several different internet formats?

For the moment, my hands and wallet are firmly in my pockets.


qishaya said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rick Blechta said...

Does "Get lost!" meaning anything to idiots like you? Suppose not...

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