Monday, March 16, 2009
  Brief Review of The Kindle 2
As part of my research (the part that delves into usability and design of formats that will likely replace print journalism forms), I recently acquired a Kindle 2.

I fear this is going to sound like a laundry list of complaints. It’s not. There are some great executions represented in the Kindle 2. If you check out the official Amazon page (linked above), I think most of this content is more than just promotional hype.

But I think most potential consumers need to think through their media uses and expectations to determine if this device is suited for them.

Early thoughts:

Again, I know most of these points will seem like I find more at fault than good with the Kindle. Not so. I know I’m not really the target of this device. I read a lot, but most of what I read isn’t available for this device. And I am multimedia-centric (it’s quite obvious that this device was designed to constrain the noise normally associated with digital content to maintain reading integrity).

My primary interest is how to design new content for the intended audience of this device. This may offer insights into the future of print interfaces, at least those removed from the multimedia convergence model preferred on the Web.

I’ll likely expand the various points raised above in future posts, as I grapple with nuanced understandings of the issues and hopefully begin to come up with suggestions to either overcome short-comings or improve user expectations about why such shortcomings actually improve the text experience.
I think you nailed the Kindle's true fault here:

"...I have no way to acquire that content for the Kindle without spending tens of thousands of more dollars. Even in the early days of the iPod, I could import CDs into my library."

One of the top selling points for the iPod was that you had "10,000 Songs in your Pocket". Though, I don't know that the classic print media needs to decline, they just need to get on board. Or, maybe they don't want to. Books currently have an excellent DRM system built right in.
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Considering our place in a hyper-mediated world.

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Name: jrichard