I actually have a Kobo H2O too so I don't mind the kepubs. And, yeah, they are essentially epubs with some extra tags that non-Kobo readers can just ignore. No conversion really necessary.
The new Kobo is very tempting, especially at that price. But since I already have an H2O and a Kindle Paperwhite, I can't really justify it.
You're right, Amazon dropped SD card slots completely a while ago. But I don't really miss it on my Paperwhite. I think all the latest devices have 4GB of storage even without an SD card. Plus, I don't tend to keep very many books on my readers since I have everything organized in calibre.
For the most part I have not been affected by the new DRM yet. Every once in awhile I download a freebie just to make sure I can still future proof my books as I am unlikely to buy another BN device. I do not consider Nook for PC a reliable backup as it does not work very well. Ironically it is no longer supported by BN even though they insist we use it exclusively if we do not own a BN device. Most of the books I have downloaded are OK but once in a while I find one that has the new DRM. There seems to be no way to predict when this will happen as the "fails" do not seem to be limited to a certain publisher(s) so I do not think that is a factor in which books get the new DRM. I am buying many fewer book from BN so I have not bothered to tinker with the Nook Study app work-around.
Because of the lack of consistently I have been buying most of my books from Google books, These can still be downloaded & I have not found one yet I could not future proof (including one that was a BN "fail") The book prices are nearly the same as BN & in some cases less. The Google app is already built into Android devices & receives regular updates. It is also pretty decent ereader & allows you to import non drm epubs. Someone said you need to be online to read the books but I have not found this to be the case. I can read them on my phone in airplane mode just fine.
I use to be very loyal to BN & bought all of their devices up until the last one. Instead I purchased a Samsung Note 2014 edition which I use with Moonreader Plus & Callibre Companion which is a great library management tool in addition to allowing for Bluetooth transfer. This is a much more higher end Samsung device then the one BN was offering & it has 32gb a memory. The purchase was a no brainer as I was able to get it on a special 1 day sale for approximately the same price as the under powered BN offering. I still use my Nook HD+ to read although I will probably gift it to a family member soon. I have already gifted all of my other BN devices with the exception of a Nook Simple Touch I use for outdoor reading. Even though I am transiting away from their hardware I probably would have continued to purchase my ebooks from BN had it not been for their customer unfriendly approach to doing business. By their actions they have demonstrated they do not trust their customers so it is not surprising they have lost trust as well.
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Once your account is switched to the new DRM (and I believe everyone has been switched by now), all new downloads with DRM will have a non-cc based key. Another way has been revealed to get your new key without messing with Nookstudy. A certain Apprentice is working on incorporating this into the future-proofing tools.
From what I understand every one, regardless of whether they had made changes to their account, was switched to the new DRM in March. My luck actually held out until last week. Now I can't future proof anything that was in my archive or any new books. Nook for PC does not update & I always have to do a search to get the book to turn up. I Tried both methods to rectify the situation. I could not get Nook Study to work & while I was able to retrieve the key info using the other method it does not get the job done either. Way too much hassle when there are other places to buy ebooks. I can understand BN wanting to wall in their customers by requiring them to use their apps. However, they should provide something that actually works & that they continue to support. I still have gift credit but I will probably use it to get new books covers. Maybe this will make their devices more attractive when I put them on ebay. At this point I am out. I have been a customer since they came out with their first device & have bought a lot of books of all types from them. It's hard to continue to support a company that not only appears to view it's customers with distrust but actually seems to be actively working to drive them into the arms of it's competitors. This seems like a strange business strategy for a company that was already on shaky ground to pursue. At this point they have run out of feet to shoot off.
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If you haven't already, ask in the comments at Alf's blog. They should be able to help you with any remaining books you haven't unlocked.
Thanks! I use Alf all the time. Have tried both methods. Can generate a key, just does not work. Probably need to uninstalled everything & start all over again but don't have the patience. Just glad I got everything I actually paid for future proofed before this happened. What's still in archive are mainly freebies. Just a taste of what would happen if you no longer owned a Nook. Spend hundreds of dollars on books & have to rely on the barely functional Nook app to read them.
I understand how some freebies might not be worth the trouble. But you really should be able to get it sorted. Make sure you have the latest tools, make sure you have a relatively recent version of calibre (if you're using the plug-in), get the key entered correctly, and use a newly downloaded copy of the book.
So an interesting development on my end. My old tools (an older version of Alf's Tools that I kept using because it allowed me to bulk strip ADE books rather than having to do them one-by-one, that did not involve calibre) stopped working. I'd be hanging on to an old computer that still had ADE 2.7 and the old tools that worked with it, just for that functionality, and two nights ago, when I went to use it, I got an error on each book that claimed the file was not an ADE book. When I switched to my new computer, with the latest ADE and Tools pack, everything was good. This tells me that either Google Play or ADE have changed formats, even for older versions of ADE. So it's not just B&N that's tightening the ropes (though it IS just B&N that's trying to block downloads entirely).
A couple of weeks ago ADE quit working on both my (ADE 1.7) Win7 and (ADE 2.0) WinXP machines. They both still give me error 2038. Using our Win8.1 machine my GooglePlay books will download, and then I can use either of the old machines with the older versions of ADE to futureproof the books. It's quite annoying, and Adobe support is less then useless, they were a waste of time.
Edit: I'm not sure which versions of Calibre and Alf's tools are on the old machines, but they are older versions.
... Adobe support is less then useless...
I believe history will show this whole thing as a classic exercise in how to destroy a whole market.
Years ago Adobe sent me a letter, warning me about installing Adobe Photoshop on multiple machines. They apparently had tracked about six installs in just a few days.
Why had I done six installs in short order?
They were all on the same machine. Adobe Photoshop would occasionally get in a state that I didn't know how to get out of, and the help files were so poor that it was much quicker to just reinstall the entire suite (about ten minutes) than to try to figure out the byzantine menus in the program.
I strongly support anti-piracy measures that don't penalize honest users, but Adobe is in the midst of industry paranoia on this issue.