Saturday, March 16, 2013

Top 5 Digital Manga Websites: Feed Your Reader and Stay Legit

Naruto on Nook

A few days ago, as Michael noted, JManga announced it is shutting down. The significance for many users was grave: Since JManga was a streaming site, most of the users will lose access to the manga that they paid for when the site goes dark on May 30. It’s unfortunate, as JManga offered a lot of quirky, interesting books that probably wouldn’t succeed in print.

There’s still plenty of manga out there for your e-reader, though, and unlike JManga’s selection, it’s downloadable.

Barnes & Noble has a robust selection of manga for the Nook. Viz, Yen Press, Digital Manga Publishing (DMP), Seven Seas, and Manga University all publish manga for the Nook. Check before you buy, though, because not every book is available on every platform; some are available only for certain devices or apps. Amazon and iBooks also carry manga, but Barnes & Noble seems to have the most robust selection.

Viz is the largest manga publisher in the U.S., so naturally they have the largest selection of titles available digitally: Action stories like Naruto and One Piece, romances such as Vampire Knight and Hot Gimmick, classics like Neon Genesis Evangelion, and arty titles like Natsume Ono’s Tesoro and Taiyo Matsumoto’s GoGo Monster. Most single volumes are priced at $4.99, and omnibuses are a good value at $8.99 to $9.99. Viz also publishes the digital magazine Shonen Jump, which carries new chapters of an assortment of manga released the same day they come out in Japan. The Viz app is available for the web, iOS, Kindle Fire, and Android. Yen Press and Kodansha Comics have their own iOS apps, and Dark Horse has web, iOS, and Android apps as well.

ComiXology doesn’t have a huge selection of manga, but what’s there is pretty good. Here’s their manga page; their most noteworthy titles are Hetalia: Axis Powers, the classic Cyborg 009, and a wide selection of volumes from Digital Manga Publishing (DMP). Prices vary widely; Hetalia is 99 cents per chapter (and the first chapter is free), Cyborg 009 is $4.99 per volume, and the DMP books are all over the place, from $2.99 for the shoujo manga Mizuki to $9.99 per volume for their yaoi titles and Vampire Hunter D. ComiXology has the advantage of being available on multiple platforms, including the web, iOS, and Android, so you can sync across different devices.

eManga (Warning: May not be safe for work) is DMP’s own website, and it carries a wide selection of Digital’s own titles (mostly yaoi manga, with a sprinkling of shoujo as well as the flagship title Vampire Hunter D). Digital gets singled out for special mention because unlike all the other apps mentioned, they offer DRM-free downloads in PDF or a variety of other formats. Digital offers a lot of titles at a wide variety of prices. However, the reason for the NSFW warning is that they also carry hentai (erotica) and photo magazines of models, which they mix indiscriminately among their other titles, many of which are teen-friendly. Plus their crowded site design is a little hard on the eyeballs.

GEN Manga offers alt-manga in a variety of genres at a very affordable price, and everything they publish is a downloadable PDF. Until recently, their flagship title was a monthly magazine, but that has been put on hiatus. They are still publishing single volumes of manga, and they now have a monthly manhwa (Korean comics) magazine.

Top 5 Digital Manga Websites: Feed Your Reader and Stay Legit is a post from: E-Reader News

Feedly Gaining Prominence Among Google Reader Replacements


Google's decision to shut its Reader services has opened up a lot of opportunities to others to fill the void that perhaps is much larger than many might have thought. While Digg has gone on record stating they will have its version of Google Reader up and running before June 1, others such a feedly has also joined the fray to be seen as a Google Reader alternative. They are already claiming half a million of the Google Reader users already having switched their alliance with them in the last few days and at this rate, the total user base with feedly will be well past the million user mark soon. The rapid rise in popularity has prompted those behind it to make sure the service is available to its users without a hitch and have added to their resources considerably towards this.

Feedly is currently available on both the iOS and Android platform and is encouraging users to come forward with their feedback to make the service even more user friendly and useful to its users.

Feedly Gaining Prominence Among Google Reader Replacements is a post from: E-Reader News

Lincoln Heard, age 3, and his Raspberry Pi

Meet Lincoln, who is three years old. He’d like to show you how to set up your Raspberry Pi.

Thanks very much, Lincoln, and thanks Dad!

RasPlex: Plex for your Pi

If you’re a media centre user of the Raspberry Pi, you might want to check out this new port of Plex to the Pi. RasPlex is a open, platform-independent home entertainment system (so you can play media from any of the machines you have cluttering up the house using the RasPlex media server. Great news for people like me who just can’t shake an iTunes addiction).

RasPlex is currently in Beta, but plans are in place to support Plex channels – which means that eventually, you should be able to use Netflix, Hulu and all that good stuff on your Pi. We’ll be watching progress very closely. Click the image above, or visit the RasPlex site to learn more.


Google Nexus 7 VS Barnes and Noble Nook HD

google nexus vs nook hd

The Google Nexus 7 and Barnes and Noble Nook HD are two devices that most people who want to read eBooks, think about buying. You can go with the software agnostic approach of the Nexus, where you have tons of options on who you want to deal with. Or, you can instead go with the closed ecosystem with Barnes and Noble, whose sole premise is the reading experience. Both bring some interesting hardware and software elements to the table, that should appeal to all digital readers. Today, we compare both of these tablets against each other.

Our video comparison documents how eBooks, Magazines, Newspapers, Comics and a myriad of other content. We also conduct extensive audio, video and internet tests, to see how it holds up under real world conditions.

The Barnes and Noble HD lives up to its name with a seven inch IPS capacitive touchscreen display and a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels. This is the highest resolution tablet the company has ever released. The Nook Tablet had 1024 x 600 and the Nook Color had the exact same. Newspapers, magazines, and videos look way better on this unit than the prior models.

Underneath the hood sits a TI OMAP 4470 1.3GHz dual-core CPU processor and 1GB of RAM. Memory wise, there is a 8 GB and 16 GB models, depending on your needs. Barnes and Noble is fairly consistent with giving customers expandable memory via the Micro SD. You can get it going to almost 64 GB of added storage, which would be perfect for your media.

The Google Nexus 7 features a seven inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280×800. The resolution overall is fairly solid and videos looked a little bit better than the Apple iPad Mini and Kindle Fire HD. One of the strongest elements this tablet has going for it is the processor. It crushes all other e-readers on the market with a Nvidia Tegra 3, quad-core 1.3 GHZ processor. In conjunction with 1 GB of RAM, you can multitask to your heart's content and not experience stuttering while watching videos or turning the pages in ebooks.

Google Nexus 7 VS Barnes and Noble Nook HD is a post from: E-Reader News

Google Newspapers to be Announced at Google I/O


has been quietly developing a newspaper section on their Google Play store, to expand on their offerings for eBooks and Magazines. Android Police have noted new Javascript available on the Play store that read "To read Google Play News, you must have a supported Android phone or tablet." "Please sign in to get this News edition." "Please sign in to purchase this News Issue." "Please sign in to purchase this News Edition Subscription." "Subscribing you to this news edition…" "You have subscribed to this news edition. It is now available on your device."

This new code was the exact same when Google first unveiled their magazine service and this would make sense for the Mountain View company to get involved in a hot segment of publishing. When it comes to newspapers on Android, you normally have to deal with dedicated apps, such as the USA Today or World Newspapers. If you feel like going the replica edition route, you can deal with PressReader.

When we look deeper into the code, you notice Google alludes to both subscriptions and issues. This would lead us to believe that you could buy a single issue to take out a subscription to a specific newspaper.

Newspapers are the type of publication that normally does not have a geographical restriction, so users on a worldwide scale should be able to purchase anything they want. Google Magazines is only available in certain markets, and the same goes with Google Books. The magazine and book publishing sector is rife with restrictions on specific geographical regions. Most newspapers care about selling issues and don’t really care where you live. This has been part of the reason why NewsPaperDirect and PressReader has enjoyed tremendous success worldwide.

It seems that Google has the color code and Javascript in place, and most of images seem to be place holder right now. You can expect this service to be officially announced at the upcoming Google I/O conference.

Google Newspapers to be Announced at Google I/O is a post from: E-Reader News

JManga Announces Digital Service will Close May 30th


Digital Manga company JManga has announced today that the company is folding and closing up shop on May 30th 2013. This basically means all of the stuff you purchased will disappear completely and you will not have access to it. The company has also ceased selling their in-app currency, which is used to purchase content. Customers will have until March 26th use all of their credits to purchase manga, or exchange them for Amazon Gift Cards.

JManga was being run by Toppan Printing of America (a subsidiary of the Japanese Printer/Publisher Toppan. It was a project with 39 different Japanese Manga companies supporting it, but was only available in North America. The beleaguered company failed to attract really hot titles because of the lack of publisher support for their subscription model.

JManga was also very slow in adopting mobile apps for Android and never did a proper iOS version. The credit system often charged users exorbitant amounts of money for comics that never truly belonged to you. The ones you bought were streamed and not stored locally, which hampers users who purchased stuff from them, only to lose it all when the company goes out of business.

Manga users are accustomed to pirating their content. A Google search for “manga” returns seven “scanlation” aggregators and zero manga publishers in the top ten, while searches for “comics,” “books” and “graphic novels” turn up stores and publisher sites, and even a search for “anime” turns up mostly legitimate sites. Many pirates are simply scanning their purchased copies and digitizing them, and most people tend not to pay the publishers directly. In retrospect, Gabe Newell said piracy is a service problem not a pricing problem and as its stands the service for providing manga outside of japan has been mostly complete garbage, it seems that scanlators have been doing a far superior job so far.

Many manga users and fans saw the writing on the wall with this company. When they shut down, most users will tend to gravitate towards Viz Manga and Yen Press for their needs.

JManga Announces Digital Service will Close May 30th is a post from: E-Reader News

Sony Relaunches their UK eBook Store


Sony has just relaunched their eBook store in the United Kingdom today, and the company never did an official announcement. It is the quintessential Sony pattern of launching new products and services and never publicly acknowledging it. The only thing they did with the relaunch, was send an email to people who purchased eBooks from them before, when they opened up their store in March 2012.

If you own a Sony PRS-T1 or T2 e-reader and live in the UK, you will not be able to access it directly on your device. Sony, has not released a new firmware update yet that points to the new domain. Instead, you will have to open up your internet browser and type in the URL:

Sony has totally redesigned their eBook store to look more modern. It actually looks fairly slick and intuitive, which I commend them. The company is boasting almost 200 thousand titles to choose from including bestsellers and new releases. Sony is putting a priority on international support, with eight new languages including Spanish, French, Italian and more.

The eBooks that Sony is offering, on average, are a few pounds more then their competition, such as Amazon or Kobo. There is still no word yet if Sony will offer its discount service where they give out a few eBooks for just a few pence.

Sony Relaunches their UK eBook Store is a post from: E-Reader News