We have reserved a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express on 6th St. in Phoenix for those traveling more than 50 miles to the E-Reader Summit & Technology Showcase. These rooms will be charged at the state rate of $103 for the night of Sunday, September 19. If you have already reserved a room, you can contact Shayna, Mary, or Adele or the hotel so you can be moved to this block. If you still need to reserve a room at either Holiday Inn or Hampton Inn, tell them that you are associated with the E-Reader Summit and ask for the state rate. Accommodations will only be reimbursed for the night of September 19; the reimbursement forms are attached.
For more information:
Visit the Phoenix Holiday Inn Express website or call 602-452-2020. Our group code is ‘REA.’
Visit the Phoenix Hampton Inn website or call 602-200-0990.
If you plan on using OverDrive Digital Libraries or any other kind of Adobe-DRM e-books, you will need to create an Adobe account and download and install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). Both of these are free. You can put one account on up to six computers. Each e-reading device will need to be tied to your ADE account; your account can have up to six devices associated with it.
One last thing: Before you work with Adobe Digital Editions, make sure your computer’s clock is correct. ADE checks your computer’s clock to verify both ADE and e-books against its own DRM servers. This means that your computer’s clock must be accurate when you install ADE, as well as when you load any e-books onto your computer.
Here is information on installing Adobe Digital Editions
- Visit the Adobe Digital Editions website (http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions)
- Scroll down. Midway through the page, you will see a Flash link which should say ‘Install.’ If you cannot view this, you may need to update your Flash plugins or use a different web browser. Click ‘Install,’ shown below:
- You will need to confirm that you want to download files to your computer. Click ‘Install,’ shown below:
- The download should begin normally.
- Are you having problems? This is where setting your clock fits in. If you get a download error, your clock is probably more than six hours off. Below, you can see the download error next to a clock set to the wrong time:
- If you get this error, fix your clock and click “Retry” in the Flash window.
- After ADE is installed, clock accuracy is still required to read Adobe DRM e-books. This includes OverDrive e-books and e-books using Adobe DRM from e-bookstores. If the time on your computer’s clock is more than six hours off, you will receive the following error while trying to read an Adobe DRM e-book:
Keeping in mind that the purpose of Adobe DRM is to make sure that your e-books are returned to the library on time, it makes sense that both your clock and Adobe need to make sure that your books are checked out and returned on time. Fortunately for you, the fix to this problem is easy; you may fix your clock at any time, and you should no longer have problems with Adobe Digital Editions or e-book checkouts.
If you have questions about ADE, Adobe’s FAQ provides a good background with solutions to many problems or contact me.
Amazon does not require a credit card. In order to download e-books without a credit card, you will need to change your default 1-click payment method at Amazon.com. Follow the steps below:
- Visit “Your account,” then scroll to Account Settings and click on 1-Click Settings.
- Click the “Enter a new address” button.
- Enter your information, then click “Continue.”
You may be prompted to enter debit or credit card information, but this is not required. If you would like to purchase books without a credit card, you may still apply a gift card to your account at Amazon.com (requires being registered and logged in)
iTunes does not require a credit card to download apps. Please follow the instructions below to set up your library’s iTunes account without a credit card.
- If you do not have an iTunes account, please go to http://www.apple.com/itunes
- You will need to download iTunes on to the computer you plan to use by clicking “Download iTunes.” This download and installation may take some time, so have something else to do while you wait.
- Once you the download has finished installing, open iTunes.
- In the iTunes program, click on the navigation tab near the top of the main page to visit the App Store
- Once the App Store has finished loading, scroll down until you see a listing of Free Apps on the right side in a navigation panel
- Click on a free app of your choice. It does not matter which app you select.
- After clicking on the app, a new window will load in the same frame. You should see information about the free app.
- Click the “Free App” button
- A new window will pop up asking you to sign into an account to download the app. Select “Create New Account”
- iTunes will welcome you to the store. Select “Continue.”
- Fill in all of the fields. You may uncheck the boxes about receiving additional e-mails if you choose.
- When finished, select “Continue”
- When prompted to provide a payment method, select the last option (“None”).
- Provide all other information, including gift card codes and your address. Gift cards may also be applied later.
- When finished, select “Continue.”
- You will receive e-mail confirmation a few minutes after submission. Your confirmation e-mail will include a link. Click the e-mailed link to continue the account creation process.
- A window should open in your internet browser.
- ITunes should open and load a new page, confirming your account creation
- You may now log into your iTunes account and load gift cards on it at any time without needing a credit card.
Detailed instructions on setting up your iTunes account with a gift card instead of a credit card can also be found here.
Sony Reader Store
Sony Reader Store does not require a credit card on file to set up your account or to download e-books. Once you set up your account, you may freely download any free e-book. You may also redeem your Sony Reader Store gift card later at any time. E-book downloads from the Sony Reader Store are done from the Sony Reader Library software.
Borders does not require a credit card on file to download e-books. You may download free e-books on their site for many e-books. As you can see in the screenshot below, some e-books allow you to download the file directly from the site (by clicking “download pdf” or “download epub”), while others do not. Purchasing e-books from Borders – you may also apply gift cards to your Borders account when you are “checking out.” You will still need to enter all of your information when ordering. If you plan on purchasing e-books with your gift cards, you may do so as long as the gift card covers the full amount of the e-book. If the gift card only partially pays for the e-book, a credit card is needed to cover the remaining balance.
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble requires a credit card to download any e-books from their e-bookstore, whether or not the book costs money. Even with a gift card tied to your Barnes & Noble account, you will need a credit card on file to purchase any e-book from B&N, regardless of cost. However, you may set up your nook account without a credit card and sideload e-books on your nook that are not from the Barnes & Noble store.
Other E-Book Sources
Here are some places where you can find e-books for your nook without a credit card:
You may have received an e-mail over the weekend about preparing for the E-Reader Summit & Technology Conference. Here is part of the e-mail you received:
You will receive your E-reader bundle on the day of the event, but your library will need to have several accounts set up before you will be able to use your e-readers that day, download e-books, access OverDrive and use your gift cards.
Before you arrive, please do the following for your library location:
1. Set up an Adobe Digital Editions account
2. Set up accounts at the following websites based on the e-readers in your selected bundle. These accounts can be associated with a limited number of devices.
iPad: iTunes account setup
Nook: Barnes & Noble account setup
Sony Reader: Reader Store account
Kindle: Amazon account setup
Kobo/Libre: Borders account setup (link corrected)
Each one of these accounts has a purpose for your device.
Adobe Digital Editions is used to download DRM encrypted e-books from digital libraries or certain bookstores. Basically this means that a publisher or library will put a lock on an e-book, and Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) will check your user account and make sure that the owner of the account and device are authentic. ADE is mandatory if your library plans on using OverDrive Digital Library e-books. Fortunately, an ADE account is free, and you can register one account to six computers and six devices.
iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Amazon and Borders stores are tied to the devices listed next to them. Many devices (the iPad, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo and Libre) can read books from most other stores. The Kindle is a notable exception. If any of these devices will be in your bundle, please create an account. You will need it to order e-books for the device.
Gift Cards are included with the E-Reader Summit & Technology Showcase bundles, with each gift card appropriate for at least one reader in the bundles. In order to use a gift card to buy e-books from e-bookstores, your library will need to set up an account with that e-bookstore. Once the account is set up, you can download books from the e-bookstore and load them onto compatible devices.
Compatibility with other E-Bookstores is where things get slightly confusing. It is possible to order books from several stores for certain devices, but each device and each store have different policies. Some stores have different DRM locks from others. Please review the chart below to check the compatibility of your devices with other stores.
For a good example, this article sums up some of the difficulties of e-readers and e-bookstores.
If a device can access a bookstore but requires an app or Adobe Digital Editions, it is noted below.
And finally, some companies such as Barnes & Noble, own additional e-book stores outside of the normal storefront. For example, B&N owns Fictionwise and eReader. Please check your devices to see which additional stores they can use.
The PocketBook 360 is a popular device within e-reader community circles. It is also an international device, having been developed in Russia.
The PocketBook 360 is one of the smallest readers with a 5” diagonal E Ink screen, The built-in accelerometer detects orientation changes quickly, and the buttons readjust to match the direction of the screen. This device only supports ebooks and not audiobooks, so there are no speakers and no headphone jack. The pocketbook comes with a USB charger, and does not come with an AC adapter, so the PocketBook 360 can only be charged at a PC. Here are some other specs:
- Mini USB port for charging
- Micro SD/SDHC card slot
- 64 MB RAM
- 466 MB User-accessible memory
- Weighs 5.3 ounces
- Mac compatibility – Snow Leopard OS or higher.
It supports many file formats that are used inside and outside of the United States. Supported file types are FB2, FB2.zip, TXT, PDF, RTF, HTML, PRC, CHM, DJVU, DOC, EPUB and TCR. and unlike some DRM-locked US e-readers, the PocketBook is popular outside of the US. It also has a fairly large world-wide community of developers who make open source software for PocketBook devices, including games, dictionaries, and tools such as subway maps. There is also a photo album built into the device. It supports JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF images.
The PocketBook 360 comes with a hard plastic case that can lock onto the front of the reader to protect the screen, or onto the back of the reader while it is in use. If it matters, there is a choice between a black or ivory device. The plastic cover took a few minutes to get used to, but ended up being a very solid and professional looking piece of cover. Although small and light, the hard cover and sturdy construction make the PocketBook 360 seem like one it would survive being stuffed in a purse or a back pocket next to car keys.
Unlike most e-readers, the PocketBook 360 does come with a printed manual, as well as a manual loaded onto the device. The user guide has some translation errors but is still fairly easy to use, with clear visual guides and simple instructions. There is also a link to the user guide on the official website.
The D-Pad is fairly flush with the ‘OK’ button, so the user may want to read a manual. Once the user knows where the buttons are, navigation is intuitive and thankfully remains consistent. For example, tapping the ‘left’ button on the D-Pad in menus will bring the user back to the previous page. Selecting the ‘OK’ button in a book, photo or game will pull up a fairly robust context-sensitive menu. Tapping the power button locks the keys, while holding it a few seconds turns off the device. The accelerometer is surprisingly fast, and more importantly adjusts the buttons to fit with new screen orientation. Once the user understands the general workings, it’s fairly easy to work without a manual.
Other notes – Like most e-readers, the PocketBook 360 cannot change the metadata of a book once it is loaded on the device. Changing the metadata needs to be done on the computer before transferring it.
The user can re-map buttons to customize the interface. If the user wants to change the page turn buttons, he can do so. There is a surprisingly high number of possible button maps, such as different mappings for tapping or holding buttons. You can also change all of the default button mappings.
There is a fairly long load time to begin book, marked with an hourglass on the screen. Once the book is loaded, changing options and turning pages is fairly fast. The device orients the books automatically with the accelerometer.
Reading EPUB format e-books
Reading EPUB files, generally considered the international standard e-book format, is fairly enjoyable. One EPUB we tested was a originally a PDF converted to EPUB format, complete with rich images and links. The converted EPUB read well, with rich images still showing and now a resizable text. Some of the links that were converted in the table of contents did not work. Native EPUB documents had no issues at all. EPUB clearly is an easy-to-use format for reading e-books on the PocketBook 360.
Reading PDF format e-books
Reading PDFs on the PocketBook 360 started out as a nightmare, and ended up improving (but only marginally.) We first tested a page from Boise Weekly. The device tries to squeeze an entire newspaper page onto the 5” screen, which is pretty typical of e-readers. However, the PocketBook 360 does not allow the user to resize any text. Instead, the user must zoom in on areas; this is fairly difficult to navigate, especially with slow refresh and images split across multiple screens. The accelerometer can help the user with scrolling around zoomed areas.
Strangely, some of the rich images are blacked, resembling something like censored mail in a third world country. There is a quick workaround for this issue. Instead of tapping the “OK” button to open a PDF, hold the ‘OK’ button while highlighting a PDF until a context-sensitive menu pops up. Choose the command that says ‘Open With,’ and then select ‘AdobeViewer.’ Using AdobeViewer eliminated all of the blacked out images.
However, there was still the issue of text not displaying properly. There is a workaround for text in the ‘zoom’ setting. While the PDF is open, use the ‘OK’ button to bring up a context-sensitive menu. Then select “zoom.” The user should toggle on PDF reflow by selecting “Reflow: 150%”. PDF reflow did not work with all PDFs, such as newspapers and some scholarly journals. While the PocketBook 360 did end up being able to read a PDF ebook with these changes, it still was extremely difficult to read anything complex or with images. If the user plans on reading many journals, magazines or newspapers, you may want to avoid this device.
Transferring DRMed Books
DRM-encrypted books were tested by using OverDrive’s Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) PDFs and EPUBs with DRM. The OverDrive downloads need to be opened with Adobe Digital Editions, which may not happen automatically. Once the devices are loaded into ADE, they can be dragged and dropped into the device. OverDrive DRM e-books are automatically sorted on the PocketBook 360 into a folder called “Digital Editions,” and not by author. The DRMed PDF downloaded from OverDrive did not work until PDF reflow was turned on. Once PDF reflow was toggled on, the book was readable; font was adjustable and images showed up beautifully. The DRMed EPUB worked fine and had no issues, and could display images and adjust font without any tweaking. If you plan on reading OverDrive ebooks, I would recommend going for EPUB books first, and then opting for PDF as a last resort.
One last thing to note: Metadata cannot be changed in DRMed PDFs or EPUBs, and can only be viewed as shown below.
Transferring DRM-free books – DRM-free books can be transferred by dragging the e-book file into the device folder, which will appear in your PC as a removable disk.
Applications have been created specifically for the PocketBooks as open source software. However, most of these formats are compressed as .zip, .rar, or .bz2 files and will require some tech savviness that may not be allowed in a public library setting. For example, the default dictionary is an English-Russian translator. PocketBook’s website lists dictionaries, but most of these are compressed. Dragging and dropping the files to the device will not work unless the files are decompressed and then converted with the PocketBook reader’s dictionary converter. There is also a PocketBook 360 developer community which creates open source applications. There is little to no instruction in either of these websites, and most of the instructions are based off community developer forums.
Unless the user is tech savvy, changing applications and having an English-only dictionary could be a bit of a problem.
There is a separate downloadable program, called PocketNews, which syncs RSS feeds to the PocketBook 360 when the PocketBook is plugged into a PC. This was not tested.
BookLand.net is the advertised international PocketBook 360 e-book store. It is sorted first by language and then by subject, but browsing is a librarian’s nightmare. There are hundreds upon hundreds of subjects listed with virtually no order, yet ironically “fiction” is not listed. When the subject is narrowed down, the user may then browse by author which remains extremely complicated. However, if the user can handle using BookLand to browse or search, most of the books are free EPUBs, formatted specifically for the PocketBook 360. If you can deal with navigating the bookstore, there are a lot of books available.
One last thing to note: The PocketBook 360 is compatible with e-books purchased from other stores, as long as the e-books are not locked by a proprietary file format or proprietary DRM (such as Amazon’s Kindle books).
The iPad’s Built-in Accessibility
Apple’s products, such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad include accessibility features for the visually impaired. Shortcuts to accessibility features, a zoom function and closed captioning are included with the iPad. The iPad also allows the user to choose mono audio, which will focus the iPad’s speakers on either the right or left side of the device. VoiceOver software is included on the iPad. This program recognizes gestures made on the touchscreen and describes items as well as actions to the user. The user also has the ability to switch from black print on a white screen to the high-contrast white print on black.
In addition to built-in software, the backlit LCD screen provides an edge against E Ink e-readers when it comes to users who are visually impaired.
Accessories & Apps
Solona offers covers for the iPad, iPod and iPhone which make the screen slightly tactile for such activities as using the touchscreen keyboard.
The American Foundation for the Blind lists some useful iPad apps, including DaisyWorm, and audio book reader by the Association for the Blind of Western Australia, Inc. There is also an app which utilizes the iPhone’s camera called Digit-Eyes. This app reads item labels out loud to the user.
The Kindle’s Text-to-Speech
Text-to-Speech, or TTS, was an early feature of the Kindle 2. This software “reads” the text of an e-book out loud with a computerized voice.
Due to controversy over competition with audiobooks from publishers and the Author’s Guild, this feature was temporarily removed. Further controversy ensued because the Kindle was not accessible to the visually impaired.
On July 28th, 2010 the Library of Congress recommended that TTS may be considered legal under certain circumstances. Essentially, all users are allowed to legally circumvent DRM to enable TTS when there is no other audiobook option.