Other Media Review

Sony 505 Review: Ranting, Comics, and Reporting by Randi the Nerd Heroine

Randi has some problems with the page lag on the Sony 505. It’s an eInk thing, I think – they all do it: Kindle, Sony. ALL THE COOL KIDS are doing it, ALRIGHT?!!


Randi also has some commentary on the swirly arrows of doom.


Randi also has some ranting to do about the software—which is part of the reason I set up the Test Drive. The learning curve can be steep, and the process of setting up the Reader can be challenging. Especially if you’re frequently greeted by the Swirly Arrows of Doom:

I don’t read manuals until something goes wrong. Sometimes this has led me into trouble. (Remind me to tell you the story of the day I got HAL’s new internal DVD drive) Most times, and with most of today’s technology, you can plug in and go. That actually really impressed me with Johnny. Plugged him in, loaded the software, and away we went.

Now the software. The ebook Library software sucks so hard. It’s slow, which may be HAL’s fault – he is six years old poor guy which is like 114 in people years, and there is no intuitive way to back-navigate. While I can get to where I want to go, when I want to go where I’ve been I run into roadblocks. There is a back button, but it applies to the entire program. So if, say, I click between the store and my reader, when I go back to the store the back button takes me to my reader, rather than where I was in the store. Some people are using Calibre software, and I shall be looking into this. But for the moment, and in the spirit of the test-drive, I’d rather use the software Sony gives us for a while first.

Calibre – it is a MARVEL I TELL YOU. I’m waiting on the edge of my desk chair for the Mac compatible Sony Bookstore software, because more shopping options = JOY, but I’m still a Calibre acolyte on every machine I use.




Ranty McRant

Comments are Closed

  1. Elaine says:

    I am a speed reader and I think I read more slowly on the Kindle because of the E-Ink refresh factor.  I don’t notice as I read, but it seems to take me longer to finish books, and I think I am more likely to abandon a book that is not keeping me sufficiently entertained.

  2. Chris says:

    I’m a speed reader. I have a Hanlin v3 (another eInk device). I think I’ve adjusted to the lag and am able to time when to hit the forward button so as not to have to wait between pages.

    The Hanlin v3 (aka BeBook aka EZReader) has a nice directory structure, which is really helpful for organizing books and files.

    Calibre is excellent!

  3. HeatherK says:

    I already have a Sony, which I adore more than any other gadget I own (except maybe my MAC). But these reviews, I am so enjoying. The cartoons are way funny. It’s also very interesting to read other people’s take on new tech.

    Spam word: Ball57. Hmm, I could understand, oh say ball69, but 57? Really?

  4. Terry Odell says:

    I have an eBookwise (which admittedly is a dinosaur, but it’s MY dinosaur, and we’re good friends).  I saw a SONY demo in a bookstore, and that ‘flash’ and delay between pages made me wonder if I could ever get used to it.  Since I don’t have enough spare change at the moment to buy another reader, I’ll have to keep wondering.  It sure drove me crazy in the store.

    I suppose if I’d never seen a reader behave differently, I might not have objected.

  5. Erica says:

    Calibre may be one of those inventions that surpasses even the tools it’s meant to work on.  I have been converting ebooks and other media since computers could convert files, and I have to say this is one of the best data management systems I have come across.  My Kindle1 loves to nom on some converted lits, that’s for sure.

    Also codeword =looking69, I LOL’ed.

  6. Sherri says:

    Wow, I have noticed no such refresh delay on my 505.  My pages turn over in the time it takes me to blink.  I’m not a “speed reader”—I tend to read words in groups, and I find I read just as fast with the Sony.  What might be the difference is the change in physical action to turn pages.  Also, even on the smallest type face, there are fewer words to the page, so there are more page turns. 

    Calibre is a glorious thing.

    I HATE the Sony library software, mostly because it bombs regularly and takes a good bit of poking around to figure out even with the manual, but, like most things on computers, once I learned it, I could bulldog my way through.

    I wish, wish, wish, WISH SO HARD that Sony would really push the envelope on this and make their reader the “all format” reader.  Otherwise, I fear they will push the reader right down the Betamax road.  They don’t need to go into the publishing business—plenty of e-publishers around.  Just be the one device you can read most anything on!

  7. Jessica says:

    I already read very quickly and I was worried about the page refresh.  But I find it is often faster than my one handed fumbling and overall I find that I read faster on my Kindle than in print.  400 page books just seem to disappear….  And then I have to buy another one.  I am completely dedicated to reading big books on my Kindle now, no more hand strain and I at least feel like I am getting through them faster.

  8. Jessica G. says:

    FYI new Sony Readers just got leaked if anyone’s interested:
    It looks like the 300 is a scaled back 505 (I’m thinking for a lower price point), 600 slightly scaled back (but improved) 700. No wifi on either (which frankly I’m happy about), definite mentions of Mac support, 300 no expandable memory but expandable memory on 600. 600 is touch screen, looks like no side light like the 700 which could mean better clarity.

    Just thought I’d share! Also I totally love the comic 😀

  9. liz m says:

    Jessica – I haven’t seen a 700 (Sony Store didn’t have one) but I was told the 505 had better clarity than the 700 because of the lack of touch screen. According to the store (which could be totally wrong) the overlay needed for the touchscreen lowers the contrast. I wonder if that’s the case? The 505 has been easier for me to read than a paper book, contrast wise.

  10. SB Sarah's Hubby says:

    I applaud your naming your device Johnny 505.  Short Circuit = one of my all-time guilty pleasure movies.

    Yes, you may take this opportunity to criticize Sarah in her uber-nerdy choice of a husband.

  11. Deanna says:

    I strategy for dealing with the Sony Library/Store is to not.  I did that once, that was enough. 

    When I need to use the Sony ebook store, I just go there in my browser and do any searching around that I need to do.  If you go in through your browser, then the store works just fine.  No slowness, no delays. 

    I make a list of what I want to get, and then later go back in through the Sony Library.

  12. MamaNice says:

    Count me in the page lag is negligible camp. The quick “flash” as the page “turns” took a little getting used to, but it happens VERY fast.
    I did notice that with the e-books I borrowed via my local library and Adobe digital editions that the page turns lagged a teeny bit longer, but not much – certainly no longer than physically turning a page.
    Yes, less words fit on an e-page, but since I am easily distracted by, oh I don’t know, my 6 year old giving my 1 year old a tattoo, this means I can relocate my place on the page much quicker. Couple that with the “opening back up right where you left off feature” and I am actually reading faster with the e-reader.

    As for the Sony store, I had had zero issues – and everything loaded, authorized, transferred, etc within seconds. My nerdy husband (I have one of those too) built my computer, so maybe he just did something to make it extra sweet – I have no clue.
    Everything has gone so smoothly that I haven’t tried Calibre yet…“and I stress ‘yet’ ”

    Quick, name that movie quote!

  13. I do occasionally get the Swirly Circle of Death, but not often.  It tends to show up when I have over 100 books already on my eReader and add more or use the Memory Stick to read fanfiction at the same time.  When there is a hangup, I’ve discovered that turning it off, plugging it into a power outlet, and using reset makes everything go away.

    Page delay?  I don’t really notice it and I am a fast reader.  The page turning blip doesn’t bother me a bit.  I have used both the 500 and the 505.  I don’t need the bells and whistles of the 700.

  14. JulieD says:

    I’ve found that that my 505 tends to lag with one specific publishing house. I’m not sure why. But most of the time its find and then boom the lag he comes. And the software sucks horse dung big time.

  15. Anne Stuart says:

    I nobly bought the 505 for my mother’s 95th birthday but a girl’s gotta make sure it works, right?  So far i’m loving it.  Only problem is I automatically try to turn the page every now and then instead of pushing the button.  Right now I’m reading the new book from my favorite writer in the world (she actually wants a quote from me, which astounds me).  I got the file via email, switched it t RTF and uploaded it.  The formatting’s a little off (the font switches) but apart from that it’s totally readable.  Which means I’ll be able to upload my own stuff to see how it works.
    Very very cool.  Hey, if you’re 95 you can’t live that long, right ….?

    I’ll upload some Pratchett and some of her favorite fantasy and SF to keep the old bat happy.  Since she still uses her Mac I figure she’ll adapt just fine, and it’ll be easier on her hands.

    Or if she hates it then I dn’t have to wait till she croaks

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