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Topic: Article: "No, seriously: Oyster comes pretty close to being a Netflix for e

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Subject: Article: "No, seriously: Oyster comes pretty close to being a Netflix for e
Date Posted: 9/6/2013 5:19 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,814
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This may be of interest to iPhone and iPad owners.

http://gigaom.com/2013/09/05/oyster-netflix-for-ebooks/

Date Posted: 9/6/2013 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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Thanks for the link. I requested an invite and will be curious to see what books they have on offer.

Date Posted: 9/8/2013 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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Dear Author has a review.  And they are checking out the romance section.  Still lacking, but still in beta.

Oyster



Last Edited on: 9/8/13 2:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/8/2013 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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If it looks sucessful, hopefully they'll get more authors to sign on. I'll be watching it in the future, but realistically I have a huge TBR pile and need to wittle those down. Nice to see another option, though.

Date Posted: 9/14/2013 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2013
Posts: 11
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Interesting. I did some research after reading your post and saw that they only have one of the big publishing houses (Harper Collins), but are growing. Anyway I read more indies nowadays so might give them a chance.
Date Posted: 9/14/2013 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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I got my invite and went to go browse their selection like they say you can. However, in order to get into where the book list is, you have to create an account and there's a terms of service right there on the front page that says "By creating an account you agree to receive marketing related emails" so there we go- once again, we are the product, even when paying $9.95 a month. And they want you to use an app to read on your iPhone which means full access to data mining your phone within the TOS.

I almost got seduced by shiny new things and I'm glad I caught myself before I did. I had to remind myself I already have a Netflix for books at a much lower cost- my library card to the Brooklyn Public Library is $50 a year and I can check out and read as many as I can check out and read without giving up all of my personal data to do so. And I'll spend the other $70 on books not available at the library.

Date Posted: 9/14/2013 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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so there we go- once again, we are the product, even when paying $9.95 a month.

For $9.95 a month, split between a lot of authors and publishers for the loan of an ebook, I don't think that it's unexpected. They have to be able to pay the copyright holders enough money to make it worthwhile, while still keeping the price low so that they can get a good turn-out and make money. I receive marketing emails from Netflix, and DH gets them from Audible, along with the monthly membership fees.

So, unless I buy stuff outright, I expect they're going to use their customer info for other things, including trying to sell me things. It's how they can keep the membership low.

I think in almost every business situation, we are always the product in one way or another.

And they want you to use an app to read on your iPhone which means full access to data mining your phone within the TOS.

Always something to consider. But mainly I think it's to ensure that people can't keep copies past their memberships. Apple's can't be accessed like other machines, so if they don't want people moving files to other machines, it's easier to ensure. Especially if the data isn't managable by iTunes, so you never can see it except through the app.

This kind of DRM may be part of their agreement with the copyright holders.

my library card to the Brooklyn Public Library is $50 a year and I can check out and read as many as I can check out and read without giving up all of my personal data to do so.

If you mean the ebook lending libraries, you have to remember that Overdrive does harvest information. Sometimes it's anonymous, but for some services you have to identify yourself and then they can track who you are. Here.

If you mean your physical public library, I'm glad you enjoy it. I gave up on mine quite a while ago. They rarely have what I want to read, and hardly ever have a full series. One of the reasons I came here, to trade for the books I wanted to read, because they're not really available without me buying them.

As with everything, you can to weight the pros and cons. For a lot of people, $9 is going to be a steal.

 

Date Posted: 9/15/2013 3:49 AM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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I am not naive to think that there is a lot of information I unwittingly give out about myself and a lot I knowingly and unknowingly give out as well. I am, after all, playing three games on Facebook thru Apple apps right now. But, I am becoming more and more aware of how these things work and choose to decide one by one what I am willing to do. When I can't even browse the selection without authorizing ok for marketing, that's jarring to me. I can't count the number of times I browse on my mobile and the first thing that pops up is "download the app". Why no, I'll just use my browser, thank you. Right here on PBS, the app is developed and sold by a third party- one of the members. Pay your $1.99 and you think you're accessing the PBS data base, etc (and you are), but you also allowed a private member from here to data mine you.

I choose to be aware of what I give out. I realize it's not 100% foolproof but some success is better than none. And yes, if I had crappy ebook access I would view this service in a different way, which is why I saved my invite email just in case.

Date Posted: 9/17/2013 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would love a service like this but I want to be able to read on an actual ereader.  I have an Iphone so I could download an app but it hurts my eyes to read on it or a computer screen for very long.

It would be awesome if Amazon had this type of thing for the Kindle. I would even consider acquiring another ereader if they had some program like this.  But I need an e-ink screen.

Date Posted: 9/23/2013 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2013
Posts: 11
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Hmm Netflix can send marketing e-mails, but you can opt out of them. With Oyster I understand it is part of your memebership agreement. So, can you opt out? Doesn't sound like it.