Sony eReader (PRS-650 Touch Edition)I don’t want to call this a review, because the opinions I’m going to express are personal and relate mostly to my trials, errors, and experiences. In the spirit of full disclosure, I received this ebook device as a gift from my workplace. It is a Sony eReader Touch PRS-650.

Upon first playing with it, I found it a bit slow in response time, and my boss (who was testing the office device) expressed a displeasure at the black screen flashing when the pages were turned. I actually didn’t mind that, at least it was some indication that the eReader was doing something.

When I started to click into the settings and books, I experienced a huge lag time between the touch and the action being completed. By “huge” I mean 4 or 5 seconds. But by today’s standards, that’s quite a lot. I would often touch the screen again thinking it hadn’t registered the first one. This would make me select something inadvertantly on the next page as the eReader stored my clicks.

I hooked the eReader up to my computer (MacBook) to charge it (as it didn’t come with a wall charger) and to install the Sony Reader Library software. I did not have a fun time with this software! The PRS-650 has 2 GB of memory space, but as I tried to sync my ebooks to the device, it would freeze. I thought that perhaps I had filled the memory (with the 14 free books I’d downloaded from Gutenberg).

When I Googled it, I discovered Calibre which most people suggested for the Mac/Sony eReader relationship. I used Calibre successfully, but a couple weeks ago it prompted me to upgrade. I had forgotten I’d intentionally installed an earlier version of Calibre because I have an older MacBook (4 years old). Once I’d upgrade Calibre, I wasn’t able to run it on my Mac (doh!) which was totally my fault.

In the mean time, I’d gotten a free holiday gift from Chapters-Indigo for two books — The Bishop’s Man and Oryx and Crake if you’re curious. When I downloaded them, they wanted to open via Adobe Digital Editions. So I downloaded Adobe Digital Editions and started playing with it. It had a decent way to organize my eLibrary and I liked that I could make different bookshelves.

I then checked Adobe’s list of supported devicees to see if the PRS-650 was supported, which it was. Score! Then I looked to the help section to find out how to transfer my books to the device. I followed all the instructions but Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) didn’t recognize my eReader. I knew it wasn’t my computer because it was showing up on my desktop as a separate drive.

After more Google-fu, I discovered that ADE and Sony syncing doesn’t work on a Mac. My exact thoughts (after searching for more recent comments about the relationship): Fuuuuuuuuuuck you. Please excuse my language, but in total, I have spent at least 5 hours messing about with this damn device. That is precious time that I could have been reading a paper book.