iRex Technologies Having Financial Difficulties

In news from the Netherlands, iRex Technologies has applied for suspension of payments because of disappointing sales in the US, which explains why the iRex DR-800 disappeared from Best Buy’s website last week.

According to iRex CEO Hans Brons, the situation is not hopeless, but there is no cash and the banks are cautious at this time. Because the revenues from the U.S. are far behind expectations, there is no more working capital.

The DR-800 was supposed to go on sale last October in the US, but was delayed by the FCC and didn’t see a US release until February, missing the holiday season. To add to the problem, the DR-800 only sold from Best Buy’s website and not in stores for people to see and use. And there was virtually no marketing done for it whatsoever.

At least iRex was able to get a new firmware update out last week to make existing customers happy, but as to what will happen to the DR-800SG’s free 3G wireless if iRex doesn’t come up with a solution for their financial problems remains to be seen.


3 Responses to “iRex Technologies Having Financial Difficulties”

  1. Well, the 3G network has been disabled. Bought an iRex cheap at an auction before I got wise to the fact that this company is now defunct. Anybody know of any tricks so that I can still use? Was able to transfer a Nookbook over, but the device is requiring me to enter in my Adobe ID, which of course then requires an internet connection. Even if I could figure out a way to make the darn ebook readable, I’d be fine with the fact that the iRex didn’t connect to a server.

    • You should be able to use Adobe Digital Editions to authorize it using your computer. Download and install ADE, connect the Reader via USB cable, and then when you open ADE it should prompt you to authorize it. Doubt this will work for Nookbooks since B&N uses their own system for DRM, but you should at least be able to use any other Adobe DRM ebooks.

  2. In *theory*, NOOKbooks should work on the DR800. It’s supposed to have the updated Adobe Reader Mobile version with the DRM system used by B&N.

    You would just copy those e-books over to the device, and when you try to open the first one the DR800 will ask for the name on the B&N account and the default credit card number when the e-book was downloaded. This information is used to create the decryption key, and that decryption key *should* be stored by the DR800 so that it won’t have to ask you again, not for that e-book nor for any other e-book using that decryption key.

    Whether any of this works In Real Life or not, I couldn’t say. I’d suggest setting up a B&N account and downloading a free sample of a major e-book, and trying with that. If the free sample works, you should be all set. (I say a “major e-book” because some of the publishers don’t put DRM on theirs: Carina, Samhain, and Smashwords come to mind.)

    To be clear: “NOOKbooks” should never use an Adobe ID. B&N doesn’t use Adobe IDs except for their NOOKstudy e-textbooks. All of their normal NOOKbooks either use “Social” DRM (name and credit card number) or no DRM at all. Adobe Digital Editions is clueless about social DRM and will gripe about DRMed NOOKbooks. Don’t bother trying to copy DRMed NOOKbooks with ADE; just use Windows Explorer, Calibre, or whatever. Adobe said they’d fix Adobe Digital Editions in 2010, but it’s not looking like they’ll make that timetable.

    Small note of caution: it seems that B&N’s new PubIt! service for independent authors and small publishers is putting junk into the EPUB metadata (title, author, etc.) at the moment. If you get a PubIt! title, I recommend loading it into Calibre first and cleaning up any metadata messes before loading it into the reader.