View Full Version : Kindle Edition != Mobipocket?


Adam B.
11-19-2007, 10:33 AM
So I'm looking through Amazon's store at their Kindle Edition books. I like the pricing on them (I'm a cheap bastard ;)). But I have to register my "Kindle" to buy it or even view the free sample. I thought I had read that the Kindle uses the Mobipocket format.

Why would Amazon create yet another incompatible DRM format? Has anyone been able to get a Kindle edition book to test with?

tirsales
11-19-2007, 10:37 AM
Well, hope is still somewhere. I see two (rather unlikely but optimistic) good versions and one pessimistic, but propable version:

1. They continue selling via Mobipocket and sell their Kindle-Books there too
2. They start selling Kindle-Books to "normal eReaders"
3. They will sell Kindle-Books only to Kindle-Users (and only in the US for the next two years).
I like Amazon - but that would seriously piss me off.

igorsk
11-19-2007, 10:49 AM
Kindle's User Guide in ".AZW Kindle Format" (http://s3.amazonaws.com/kindle/KindleUsersGuide.azw). The file IS Mobipocket format (rename it to .mobi).

tirsales
11-19-2007, 10:49 AM
From the manul:
Supported filetypes:

• Kindle (.AZW)
• Text (.TXT)
• Unprotected Mobipocket (.MOBI, .PRC)
• Audible (.AA)
• MP3 (.MP3)
Tip: Mobipocket files must have no Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection
applied to be readable on your Kindle. If you purchased a Mobipocket file from a
Mobipocket retailer, you will not be able to open the file on your Kindle.

--

That answears this question ...

CommanderROR
11-19-2007, 10:51 AM
does not sound too promising...but if .azw is .mobi...

da_jane
11-19-2007, 10:56 AM
Sounds like the super proprietary Amazon mobipocket we all feared.

Alisa
11-19-2007, 10:58 AM
Sounds like the super proprietary Amazon mobipocket we all feared.

It sounds like they also won't be selling them directly to anyone who doesn't own a Kindle, either. I'm hoping at least the titles make it to Mobipocket sellers even if the price is a little higher.

tribble
11-19-2007, 10:59 AM
This really, really sucks. Amazon is locking buyers in. Thats what i hate about Apple. Well, time to buy books anywhere but amazon. :(

HarryT
11-19-2007, 11:01 AM
Oh well - should make our Mobi downloads more popular, at least :).

I would GUESS (and a guess is all it is) that the Kindle is a standard DRM-encoded Mobi file, and that the sales mechanism will encode it for the user's registered device automatically. IF that's the case, and IF the Mobi PID is accessible somehow, that would let Kindle owners buy other Mobi books. What it will NOT do, of course, is allow non-Kindle-owners to buy Kindle books.

da_jane
11-19-2007, 11:06 AM
Do you read it to say that you can only buy the Kindle book from the Kindle device itself?

da_jane
11-19-2007, 11:07 AM
Okay, I answered my own question:

1-Click to order your Kindle Edition. Your purchase will be sent automatically and wirelessly to the Kindle via Amazon Whispernet. No cables, no computer, no syncing.

Nate the great
11-19-2007, 11:07 AM
Do you read it to say that you can only buy the Kindle book from the Kindle device itself?

You can only buy Kindle ebooks if you have a Kindle.

igorsk
11-19-2007, 11:21 AM
You can buy books using PC, but you need to have a Kindle registered to your account.

tribble
11-19-2007, 11:24 AM
You can buy books using PC, but you need to have a Kindle registered to your account.
But you cannot download them to your PC only get them transferred via Whispernet. Am i right?

JSWolf
11-19-2007, 11:33 AM
Unless the Kindle encrypts the PID when they send it to the site, use a WEP wireless connection and with another wireless computer watch the stream as you register your Kindle and then see if any of the packets contain the PID. Then if there is a way to get the books off the Kindle, you'll have the PID.

Now, what I want to know is will Kindle books have images that are Kindle screen sized instead of PDA sized?

igorsk
11-19-2007, 11:35 AM
It's not very clear, but I think you can download AZW files to PC and transfer them to the Kindle over USB.

da_jane
11-19-2007, 11:55 AM
I don't think so because on the Amazon site, the only option is to get the book sent to your Kindle.

I wonder, then, if you have more than 200 books, what happens? Can you save to an SD card and then transfer them to your computer. I suppose you could email them to yourself? Maybe not. It sounds like the ebooks are trapped on the Kindle.

Alisa
11-19-2007, 11:59 AM
I don't think so because on the Amazon site, the only option is to get the book sent to your Kindle.

I wonder, then, if you have more than 200 books, what happens? Can you save to an SD card and then transfer them to your computer. I suppose you could email them to yourself? Maybe not. It sounds like the ebooks are trapped on the Kindle.

They say they store them for re-download if you want to free up room on the Kindle.

wallcraft
11-19-2007, 12:03 PM
It should be possible to transfer AMZ files from the Kindle to your PC via USB. I assume they will still work if they are transfered back. Since Amazon once before had e-books on-line and then deleted them after one year, it is a very good idea to have a backup copy of all AMZ files on your PC.

silvania
11-19-2007, 04:00 PM
Oh well - should make our Mobi downloads more popular, at least :).

I would GUESS (and a guess is all it is) that the Kindle is a standard DRM-encoded Mobi file, and that the sales mechanism will encode it for the user's registered device automatically. IF that's the case, and IF the Mobi PID is accessible somehow, that would let Kindle owners buy other Mobi books. What it will NOT do, of course, is allow non-Kindle-owners to buy Kindle books.

The kindle manually explicitly says there is no way to put a drm mobi book "from another retailer" on the kindle. Looks like they torqued it to lock out other retailers.

Adam B.
11-19-2007, 05:03 PM
Kindle's User Guide in ".AZW Kindle Format" (http://s3.amazonaws.com/kindle/KindleUsersGuide.azw). The file IS Mobipocket format (rename it to .mobi).

Just tested this on my Iliad. Renaming to prc worked without a problem.

I wonder if you used your Kindle's serial as your Mobipocket PID, if it'd allow you to buy books from the Mobipocket store.

I've tried entering my iLiad's PID as my Kindle serial, and it doesn't allow it. :disappoin

tirsales
11-19-2007, 05:53 PM
@Adam: Is this for sure? A kindle-file IS a normal Mobipocket-file that just needs to be renamed?
Oh well, then I will stop ranting - or wait, there is still no europe-support and it is not sure, wether this is true for every file and wether they will change it in the future. AND I would need an kindle to buy those, so .. I probably will go on.

@AMAZON: Please, just sell those kindle-files to everyone. In both - kindle and mobipocket format.

Alisa
11-19-2007, 06:12 PM
@Adam: Is this for sure? A kindle-file IS a normal Mobipocket-file that just needs to be renamed?
Oh well, then I will stop ranting - or wait, there is still no europe-support and it is not sure, wether this is true for every file and wether they will change it in the future. AND I would need an kindle to buy those, so .. I probably will go on.

@AMAZON: Please, just sell those kindle-files to everyone. In both - kindle and mobipocket format.

Pardon me for butting in, but I think a DRM-free .AZW is just a Mobipocket file that you can just rename to read. You can change the name of a DRM-ed .AZW file but that doesn't get you past the DRM. You still will only be licensed to view it with a Kindle.

Hopefully the publishers will start selling their ebooks through multiple sources. I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon gets a little better price, though.

NatCh
11-19-2007, 06:14 PM
@AMAZON: Please, just sell those kindle-files to everyone. In both - kindle and mobipocket format.Kindle doesn't own them, per se, any more than they own the rights to say, The Hobbit, they just have distribution rights to them.

The folks who own the files are the copyright holders or publishers, depending on contractual nuances. I think I'll go out on a limb here and guess that they might have some interest in distribution deals with other sellers in other formats.

Assuming that Amazon's distribution privileges are non-exclusive (and they evidently are not), then there's nothing stopping other arrangements from being made with other sellers. "Rising tide" and all that. :shrug:

RWood
11-19-2007, 09:54 PM
The cited problem from publishers has always been that they do not have their past catalog in digital form from which to create ebooks. If Amazon is getting them to create these "new" "old" ebooks then it is in their own best interest to allow other distributors to also sell these ebooks.

Perhaps, like Apple, they will start with DRM versions and move to non-DRM versions as time passes. Then again, if they are selling in DRM, why bother stripping it out.

NatCh
11-20-2007, 03:02 AM
Then again, if they are selling in DRM, why bother stripping it out.I believe the common practice is to apply the DRM just before download -- that's how they lock it to a given device/account, as far as I know. :shrug:

robhedin
11-20-2007, 03:29 PM
I don't think so because on the Amazon site, the only option is to get the book sent to your Kindle.

I wonder, then, if you have more than 200 books, what happens? Can you save to an SD card and then transfer them to your computer. I suppose you could email them to yourself? Maybe not. It sounds like the ebooks are trapped on the Kindle.

you can down load them either via the kindle directly or through the "my media library" thingie on amazon. Each kindle edition book purchased shows up there with a download link that you can retrieve from a PC/Mac and then push to the Kindle via USB.

rob.

CCDMan
11-22-2007, 12:40 AM
you can down load them either via the kindle directly or through the "my media library" thingie on amazon. Each kindle edition book purchased shows up there with a download link that you can retrieve from a PC/Mac and then push to the Kindle via USB.

Yup, and I called Kindle Customer support to ask about the wireless and also asked this. That is what they said. Important to me as we do not get EVDO here, only the much slower 1x something.

andym
11-22-2007, 02:11 AM
The cited problem from publishers has always been that they do not have their past catalog in digital form from which to create ebooks. If Amazon is getting them to create these "new" "old" ebooks then it is in their own best interest to allow other distributors to also sell these ebooks.

Perhaps, like Apple, they will start with DRM versions and move to non-DRM versions as time passes. Then again, if they are selling in DRM, why bother stripping it out.

It's always possible that Amazon might be doing the work to digitise the books. So they might have a non-exclusive licence but the publishers woul have to do the work to digitse the book to make available in other formats.

It does seem really odd that the Kindle won't read mobipocket-format books bought from someone else.

astra
11-22-2007, 06:07 AM
It does seem really odd that the Kindle won't read mobipocket-format books bought from someone else.

Amazon don't want it. They want Kindle customers to buy content from Amazon only. Although as long as you don't care about DRM I don't see any reason why to buy it somewhere else. I don't think anyone is going to beat amazon's prices for ebooks.

nekokami
11-22-2007, 01:13 PM
Even if a Kindle customer buys Mobipocket content from Amazon, Amazon still gets a cut because they own Mobipocket. I still think this is an odd decision for Amazon to have made. The only rationale that makes sense to me that I've heard so far is that they want people to have the experience of books formatted specifically for the Kindle (in terms of graphics), rather than buying a Mobi book somewhere with teeny unreadable graphics and getting mad at the device.

RWood
11-22-2007, 05:52 PM
I believe the common practice is to apply the DRM just before download -- that's how they lock it to a given device/account, as far as I know. :shrug:
My point was that if the DRM books are selling, Amazon may not have any incentive to strip DRM from the files they sell as Apple has started to do with certain music files it sells.

Barcey
11-22-2007, 06:45 PM
Even if a Kindle customer buys Mobipocket content from Amazon, Amazon still gets a cut because they own Mobipocket. I still think this is an odd decision for Amazon to have made. The only rationale that makes sense to me that I've heard so far is that they want people to have the experience of books formatted specifically for the Kindle (in terms of graphics), rather than buying a Mobi book somewhere with teeny unreadable graphics and getting mad at the device.

I think they still could have sold "Kindle Edition" books specifically formatted for the Kindle and not locked out their existing customers.

Other then greed the only logical explanations I've been able to come up with are:

1) Although they purchased Mobipocket they didn't like the contracts they've signed with business partners and how the DRM technology is handled and shared. They're happy to let Mobipocket run and collect the money but they didn't want to share that DRM scheme with the Kindle.

2) A scenario where they know or suspect that the DRM for Mobipocket has been broken and they couldn't fix it and maintain backwards compatibility. Under that scenario they might not have trusted the existing DRM scheme with the future business volume they plan on executing with the Kindle. Continuing to run the Mobipocket site as it was is no additional risk then it had been yesterday. This would be naive in my opinion because any DRM can be broken.

Pure and utter speculation. Only Amazon knows for sure and I haven't heard them talking (about this).

nekokami
11-22-2007, 08:28 PM
Except that I don't think they're really using anything other than Mobipocket with a hidden ID number on the Kindle, and a separate Mobi account. So there's no change in how DRM is implemented.

JSWolf
11-22-2007, 11:16 PM
Even if a Kindle customer buys Mobipocket content from Amazon, Amazon still gets a cut because they own Mobipocket. I still think this is an odd decision for Amazon to have made. The only rationale that makes sense to me that I've heard so far is that they want people to have the experience of books formatted specifically for the Kindle (in terms of graphics), rather than buying a Mobi book somewhere with teeny unreadable graphics and getting mad at the device.
I've been saying the same thing basically. I downloaded a book from the library that has maps, charts, tables, etc. and they are all graphics and way too small for the computer screen or a 6" eink screen. I tried Photoshop to enlarge the graphics, but because of the poor quality, they came out too fuzzy when sized to maybe see. So one problem I see for the iLiad and the Gen3 are books in Mobipocket that need the graphics to be viewable properly. That means the books could be possibly useless. I do hope if anyone purchases such a book that the book is returnable.

gteague
11-23-2007, 12:07 AM
I've been saying the same thing basically. I downloaded a book from the library that has maps, charts, tables, etc. and they are all graphics and way too small for the computer screen or a 6" eink screen. I tried Photoshop to enlarge the graphics, but because of the poor quality, they came out too fuzzy when sized to maybe see. So one problem I see for the iLiad and the Gen3 are books in Mobipocket that need the graphics to be viewable properly. That means the books could be possibly useless. I do hope if anyone purchases such a book that the book is returnable.

i'm on the fence trying to decide whether to return mine or not. and this is a big one in the return column. i downloaded the sample of 'clash of thrones' which has a map of the kingdom and it was completely useless. i still have found no way to enlarge such embedded images insitu, that is, in the unit itself. even a small jpg i transferred over i can do nothing with on the kindle.

/guy

jbenny
11-23-2007, 03:06 AM
i'm on the fence trying to decide whether to return mine or not. and this is a big one in the return column. i downloaded the sample of 'clash of thrones' which has a map of the kingdom and it was completely useless. i still have found no way to enlarge such embedded images insitu, that is, in the unit itself. even a small jpg i transferred over i can do nothing with on the kindle.

/guy

This is due to the lazyness of the creator of the ebook. In Mobipocket Creator, you can have a thumbnail image that when clicked, displays a much larger image. This works on a PDA. You can even scroll the larger image on the small screen.

Of course, the real problem is the use of bitmapped images, but this is endemic to all ebook formats. There is some hope, as epub supports SVG, which is scaleable. Not a solution for all images, but many images that are currently delivered as bitmapped could be done as SVG.

strangeseraph
11-23-2007, 06:04 AM
Okay, big question that nobody seems to have answered.

Do you HAVE to register a kindle with amazon to read non-kindle files on it? Which formats does it support that I can upload from off my computer?

I'm in Canada, it may be forever until we see the Kindle here. If I ebay'd it, would I be unable to even use it or can I use it, just not online? I don't understand this whispernet thing either.

If its like the iPhone where you can't use anything until you have the contract/signup complete then forget it. I don't want that. I have over 1000 eBooks on my PC that I don't want to bother with having to convert to yet another digital format. -.-

catsittingstill
12-04-2007, 09:08 PM
JSWolf wrote: "I do hope if anyone purchases such a book that the book is returnable."

FWIW, I recall reading on a different forum that Kindle books have a seven day return policy. So as long as the purchaser didn't wait too long before checking the graphics to see if they work, the book should be returnable.

TallMomof2
12-05-2007, 12:44 PM
Yes, the return policy is seven days. I purchased a cookbook without a working TOC and returned it without a problem.