Saturday, March 9, 2013

Kindle Tips: Now a Vivaldi "Big Box" mp3 album for 99c. Kindle Paperwhite thoughts in the news. Two Off-Topic news alerts.

Yet another composer Big Box of full works on mp3
Big Vivaldi Box - This one, released February 26 as part of the Bach Guild/Vanguard series, has 'only' 7.5 hours of music on it, on 138 tracks.

From the Bach Guild's notes in the reviews section:
  "...Alirio Diaz, Julius Baker, the musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic and the inexhaustible I Solisti di Zagreb's Antonio Janigro all embraced Vivaldi, and got to cherry pick the best of these new concertos that were coming out of the libraries, unearthed by music scholars with sudden free reign to this material...

  "Again, it's slightly insane to apologize for only 7+ hours of music for .99 - but what you have here is almost every note of Vivaldi that The Bach Guild recorded.  We have eliminated duplications, substituting the new Vivaldi concerto recordings from the late 1970s, which have been, oddly, harder to get than the marvelous 1950s-era I Solisti and Chamber Orchestra of Vienna State Opera recordings.  We wanted to give our members a better sounding choice - and fresher material as well ... So while it may only be 7.5 hours long - almost all of it is brand new to the digital world...As we mentioned earlier, we have made a choice to prefer newer, stereo takes rather than mono performances."

The Bach Guild also notes in a probably not-much-seen comments area to a customer review, that the currently missing big Beethoven Box WAS "pulled down while we correct some tracking issues.  We apologize for the errors."  So, that'll be back.

A spate of personal-style Kindle Paperwhite reviews as the front-lit e-reader is released worldwide and purchased, late, in the U.S. as well ...

"New Kindle a sight for sore eyes" - Herald Sun, Australia, by Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson, March 6.

  "The Paperwhite only recently arrived in Australia after a four-month wait but it's fast making fans and not just for its glow...The main attraction is that light, however, and it's not a feature Amazon has added hastily.  The LED lighting lies at the top of the screen, angled towards the E-Ink display so it doesn't shine directly into the reader's eyes.

  Despite its positioning, the entire screen seems consistently illuminated and the lighting is subtle enough, in most environments, that you don't think about it.  It's also worth noting that only the wi-fi Paperwhite model is available in Australian stores currently, though it can be bought from Amazon.
  Small issues aside, the Kindle Paperwhite is clearly a standout and the finest e-book reader to date..."

"Kindle Paperwhite is my new favorite gadget, via national news service.
  This one's about transitioning from a 2nd generation Kindle to the Paperwhite.  The writer keeps the Kindle 2 for writing, as he's used to the physical keyboard on it (and apparently is a very patient person).

  That article, from March 6 also, turns out to be written by Wayne Williams, who 3 weeks ago wrote "Why I Love Kindle" - published by betanews, an article written after he had his first novel published.  The comments posted to that article are interesting.

  As with many others, Williams resisted anything like a Kindle, since he loved books and "couldn't ever imagine switching to an ebooks reader" but was then given the device for Christmas, 2009, and despite his reservations, "fell in love with it almost immediately."

  For those of us with e-Ink Kindles, who bought one early, the story is familiar.
In that same year, 2009, I wrote the following in a blog entry (bold-facing mine):
' For me, who had not read much for years when not on the computer..., it's been interesting to see how pulled I am to read on the Kindle.
  In trying to explain it to the members of a writer's blog area (Catching Days, by Cynthia Newberry Martin) who had been lamenting the popularity of the Kindle because they love the look, smell and feel of books (do visit them, very good conversations there), I wrote on June 28 [2009]:

" I finally realized that the rectangle acts as a sort of magic window for me (as a paper book does for others) into other worlds, so much of it available to me at any given time, depending on my mood, my need to learn something I ordinarily wouldn’t but have downloaded a book for, and I never wonder 'where did I put that book' or regret leaving it at home when out and about.  Every book I’m currently interested in is with me whenever I leave the house.  And then there are the newspapers and magazines.  I am, most of all, info-drawn.

We who Kindle quite a bit sometimes joke that we are book readers, not book sniffers :-) But more seriously, what is a book ?

A collection and special distribution of words written by someone who wants to tell me something, who wants me to get lost in the world created by that person.  When an author sits down to write, I don’t think that s/he is thinking about what the cover will look like (though that always comes later) or what the layout of the externals will be.

What I experience when reading on my Kindle is — without attention to those eye-catching externals — something that feels like direct contact with the author’s mind..." '

Back to Williams' similar reactions (bold-facing mine):
' Despite my passion for technology I was concerned that I wouldn’t enjoy reading a book on the Kindle as much as reading a real, proper, made-of-paper novel, but it turns out the exact opposite is true. You forget, once you’ve gotten used to how the E Ink display flickers when you "turn" pages, that you’re reading on an alien, electronic device, because your mind concentrates on the words, not the way they’re being delivered.  On the message, not the medium. '

Now Williams has his Paperwhite.  He explains what he likes about it.
  "Moving around is just a case of touching the left and right sides of the screen to turn pages, and tapping the top of the display to access the menu. If you want to look up a word you just press and hold it for a bit, then let go and the definition pops up. You can share and highlight text or add notes in the same way."  You'll find his many other reasons at his article.

Off-topic alerts I happened to see while reading e-reader news

Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea tuna cans recalled over contamination worries - March 7, 2013

NECC insider describes fraud at heart of meningitis outbreak.  This includes links to a few news stories, including a CBS News one dated March 7 about the shipment of "17,000 vials of a contaminated steroid to 23 states" [used to relieve chronic pain} "and now a fungus is inside them."
  "The full investigation can be seen this Sunday (today) on "60 Minutes" at 7 p.m. ET."

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. Yeah, Kindle Paperwhite rules. Classik Kindle will die in early 2014 I think.

  2. I have the Classic -- now in a lighted cover I picked up when it was (a comparative) bargain -- and like it fine; am attracted to the Paperwhite, and may eventually get one for my spouse. But: a. I wonder if I'd miss the sound card, were I to move to the Paperwhite *today* (hypothetically); and b. I wonder whether Amazon mightn't consider increasing the Paperwhite's on-board storage and adding a sound-card in its next iteration, given the investment they've made in keying Audible books to their Kindle edition counterparts. That would make the Paperwhite the perfect device for language-learners, but would keep it great for the rest of the e-ink loving world.

    I have the 7" Fire HD, and an iPhone; but if I could only have a single device to my name, I'd choose a 3g e-ink model with a soundcard, for light weight, readability, and a means of blocking out other people's cellphone conversations on public transport.

    1. Anonymous, interesting! I'd be surprised if Amazon didn't eventually release a Paperwhite with sound as a higher-priced model, but I haven't heard anything about any such movement. People seem to want to pay almost nothing for 'just' an e-reader and the reviews focus on which e-reader is the best $-value.

      As much as I like a light e-Ink ereader, if I could have only one at this point, it'd be the 7" tablet, for the flexibility and because I'm news-oriented. Luckily, we don't usually have to limit ourselves that way though.


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