Sony eReader (PRS-650 Touch Edition)My initial musings on my Sony eReader were not very positive due to technological issues. However, I do have some good news, some improvements, adjustments, and (of course) bad news.

Problem 1: Calibre did not work on my Macbook (Calibre software not compatible)
Status: Fixed. I installed an old edition of Calibre in my late-2006-era Macbook. This worked and I was able to successfully add books to my Sony eReader. But remind me not to update Calibre when it tells me there is a new version available.

Problem 2: Adobe Digital Editions and DRM-protected books
Status: Previously I had started playing with ADE after issues with Calibre. As I had got Calibre working, I thought I would be fine without ADE. But then… (famous last words, eh?)

I got two free books as a “holiday gift” from Chapters-Indigo promoting KoboBooks. I went to Kobo’s website, registered an account, followed the instructions on my postcard, entered the single-use-codes, and downloaded the books.

The books are DRM-encoded so I selected the epub format to download, knowing my Sony eReader supported epub files. Kobo automatically wanted me to use Adobe Digital Editions to open the epub files. Okay, so I did that— I also discovered I had to authorize them with an Adobe account too.

In ADE I was able to save the epub files to my desktop, so I did that and then added them to Calibre (as I already knew I couldn’t use ADE with Sony on my Mac). I opened Calibre, added the Kobo epub files, and then synced them to my Sony eReader. So far so good, I thought.

A few nights later, I crawled into bed and picked up my Sony eReader. I decided to start reading one of my free Kobo books, The Bishop’s Man by Linden MacIntyre, who won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2009. I clicked to open the book and got the following message: Content Protected by Digital Rights Management. Waitaminute!

Sony eReader: Content Protected by DRM

I ended up contacting Kobo support to explain the issue (Mac vs. ADE vs. Sony) and basically the response was ‘too bad, read it on your computer’. Well, looks like I’ll not be a paying customer of Kobo any time soon….

Okay, now not to open a DRM can of worms, but seriously? I realize that corporations and companies are worried about everyone pirating stuff, like what happened to the music industry, and all the torrent sites for movies and television. But I just want content I buy (or receive) to work on my devices that I buy (or receive).

I bought my iPod, I bought my Mac, I installed iTunes. I buy CDs and want to put the songs onto my iPod via my Mac (all of which I paid for) so why can’t I? Oh right, apparently I’m going to steal the music and give it to others for free.

Don’t even get me started on lending books vs. lending ebooks. Right now all I have on my Sony are books downloaded from Project Gutenberg because they’re in the public domain.

Now, since my iTunes has crapped out for the second time in less than a month, I’m going to go read my paper book. Sound familiar?