I am thrilled to report that the magic software which Sony requires me to use to download ebooks from their on-line bookstore finally runs under VirtualBox. For reasons which I understand, but do not agree with, Sony requires use of their special software to download anything from their eBook Store, even free ebooks. Since I use Ubuntu Linux on my computer, the only way I am able to use the store is by running Sony’s software under Windows under VirtualBox. Unfortunately, that did not work, as many of us reported to VirtualBox.
Being barred from use of the Sony eBook Store did not bother me very much. I refuse to buy DRM-locked books so there was not much in the store which I wanted. That changed this morning, though, when I read that Sony and Google have partnered to make 500,000 public domain ebooks available through the store. I wanted access these books so I downloaded the latest version of Sony’s eBook Library software and installed it on Windows XP running under VirtualBox and, lo and behold, it worked. I have successfully downloaded a book from the store onto my computer and then transfered it onto my PRS-505 ebook reader.
The Sony eBook Library software is kind of flakey. I have had to kill and restart it twice to get my PRS-505 “authorized” and to get a batch of books downloaded, but at least it runs. All of this would be completely unnecessary, of course, if the publishers did not DRM-lock their books. One of these days, they will get a clue and give that up. It has taken several years for the music industry to figure it out but they finally seem to have. I do hope that the book publishers will “get it,” too.