View Full Version : Questions about the Kindle


pilotbob
11-19-2007, 10:46 AM
Ok, I have read the Newsweek article online, and watched the Kindle video on Amazon. I have also read the Kindle product info on the product page for the Kindle. I have also done some searchs in the Kindle Books section of Amazon. The best thing the kindle has going for it is content. Amazon shows as of right now 91,327 results in the Kindle books section.

But for those of you "early adopters" here are my questions...

1. Does the kindle support any formats other than Kindle books?
2. If yes to one, can you sync from your computer?
3. What format are kindle books actually using? I would love to have all that content on my Sony reader. Damn, we really need a ubiquitious format!
4. I have heard that kindle uses the Sprint network... what if you aren't in range of that... there are alot of areas in the middle of the contry not covered by sprint... can you still download/synch kindle books via your pc or perhaps use your LANs wi-fi?

Thanks,
BOb

tirsales
11-19-2007, 10:50 AM
1. Yes
• 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.

Software supports conversion from:
Microsoft Word (.DOC)
• Structured HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
• JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
• GIF (.GIF)
• PNG (.PNG)
• BMP (.BMP)
• Compressed ZIP (.ZIP)


2. SD-Card or USB
3. .AZW, seems like a new format
4. no idea

TallMomof2
11-19-2007, 10:50 AM
About halfway down it it lists supported file types.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200137060

afiggatt
11-19-2007, 10:58 AM
I have a question. The product description for the Kindle at Amazon's web site says it supports 4 gray scales. But I assume the Kindle is using the EInk Vizplex display which provides 8 gray scales. The Sony Reader 505 provides 8 gray scales which does provide better images. Typo on the Amazon web site or does the hardware support only 4 gray levels ala the Bookeen?

HarryT
11-19-2007, 11:12 AM
I have a question. The product description for the Kindle at Amazon's web site says it supports 4 gray scales. But I assume the Kindle is using the EInk Vizplex display which provides 8 gray scales. The Sony Reader 505 provides 8 gray scales which does provide better images. Typo on the Amazon web site or does the hardware support only 4 gray levels ala the Bookeen?

It really is almost entirely irrelevent - I can see no noticeable difference in image quality between my Gen3 with 4 grey-scales, and my iLiad with 16. It's all about how good the dithering algorithms are that they use - and they are both pretty good.

Nate the great
11-19-2007, 11:12 AM
I have a question. The product description for the Kindle at Amazon's web site says it supports 4 gray scales. But I assume the Kindle is using the EInk Vizplex display which provides 8 gray scales. The Sony Reader 505 provides 8 gray scales which does provide better images. Typo on the Amazon web site or does the hardware support only 4 gray levels ala the Bookeen?

There is a good chance it is still using the old screen.

MikeF74
11-19-2007, 11:17 AM
I have a question. The product description for the Kindle at Amazon's web site says it supports 4 gray scales. But I assume the Kindle is using the EInk Vizplex display which provides 8 gray scales. The Sony Reader 505 provides 8 gray scales which does provide better images. Typo on the Amazon web site or does the hardware support only 4 gray levels ala the Bookeen?Even though the panel supports it, I think the device's custom electronics needs a graphics controller with the requisite bit depth.

MikeF74
11-19-2007, 11:18 AM
There is a good chance it is still using the old screen.I thought production has moved entirely to the new screen. I can see no reason why Amazon would launch with older technology, unless they've been stockpiling for several months. I just hope they start using a different color for the case to get rid of the ugly.

igorsk
11-19-2007, 11:25 AM
AFAIK, PVI still doesn't (didn't?) have the new controller working, thus even Viziplex models with only 4-color support. PRS-505 uses Metronome controller from E-Ink, so it can support 8 colors.

wallcraft
11-19-2007, 11:29 AM
The Vizplex screen can use the old 4 grey scale controller (e.g. Cybook 3), but it is certainly possible that the Kindle uses the old screen. The first purchaser of both a Kindle and a Cybook or PRS-505 should be able to tell for sure.

afiggatt
11-19-2007, 11:33 AM
There is a good chance it is still using the old screen.
I doubt that. The improved contrast and whiter background with the new Vizplex screen is a significant improvement. If Amazon was using the old screen, the complaint level on the gray background would be too high. Even with the new Vizplex screen, I expect that we will see reviews bash the screen as not white or contrasty enough.

If the 4 gray scales is not a typo, then it is likely a constraint of a hardware design freeze of the video hw that predates the release of the Vizplex screen. I also disagree that 8 versus 4 gray scales is irrelevant - while 8 versus 4 is not a huge improvement, it does make for better images. If people are going to be viewing newspaper photos with the Kindle, people should not have to look at the picture for a while to figure out what it is. OTOH, the improved contrast of the Vizplex will help with the pictures.

HarryT
11-19-2007, 12:37 PM
I also disagree that 8 versus 4 gray scales is irrelevant - while 8 versus 4 is not a huge improvement, it does make for better images.

What is the basis of your comparison? As I said, my PRACTICAL experience of my 4 grey-scale CyBook and my 16 grey-scale iLiad is that it makes no difference at all. What have you compared?

tompe
11-19-2007, 12:40 PM
What is the basis of your comparison? As I said, my PRACTICAL experience of my 4 grey-scale CyBook and my 16 grey-scale iLiad is that it makes no difference at all. What have you compared?

At least the photos of the Mona Lisa on 505 and Gen3 in another thread here showed a noticeable difference at least. If this translates to a practical difference is hard to say.

afiggatt
11-19-2007, 01:17 PM
What is the basis of your comparison? As I said, my PRACTICAL experience of my 4 grey-scale CyBook and my 16 grey-scale iLiad is that it makes no difference at all. What have you compared?
The Sony Reader 500 screen (4 gray levels) to the 505 screen (8). The sample photos that come with both readers are clearly improved on the 505 along with other images I loaded to both in experiments. The contrast and whiter screen improvement in the 505 may count for more than the 8 gray scales, but the details in the images are better.

Even so, the 505 with the improved Vizplex screen is lousy photo viewer, even for B&W only. The current generation EInk display works fine for text, not so much for images. I suspect the acceptance of readers based on EInk technology is going to be somewhat limited, even for B&W use, for the true mass market until we see another round of improvements in contrast (whiter background screen), >16 gray scales, faster screen changes, reduce the black "flash" effect for page changes, and lower cost. With the increased volume of sales and production with the Kindle and the Bookeen joining the show, lower costs for the EInk displays should follow - and more capital for technology development.

I still would be more interested in the Kindle if they had based it on the 8" screen. The 6" is going to be very small for reading newspaper and news magazine articles. But the price would be higher.

DaleDe
11-19-2007, 04:41 PM
Even so, the 505 with the improved Vizplex screen is lousy photo viewer, even for B&W only. The current generation EInk display works fine for text, not so much for images. I suspect the acceptance of readers based on EInk technology is going to be somewhat limited, even for B&W use, for the true mass market until we see another round of improvements in contrast (whiter background screen), >16 gray scales, faster screen changes, reduce the black "flash" effect for page changes, and lower cost. With the increased volume of sales and production with the Kindle and the Bookeen joining the show, lower costs for the EInk displays should follow - and more capital for technology development.


The iLiad forum has posted some excellent medical pictures for their device. Very clear and readily viewable. These are 16 gray scale (not dithered). Figures and images (not photos) should come through in excellent condition on this device. 4 is not enough and dithering typically does a poor job unless it is finely tuned.

Dale

dugbug
11-19-2007, 06:05 PM
well, the kindle uses viziplex:

http://www.eink.com/press/releases/pr105.html

they must use the 4 color display option for faster page turning
-d

NatCh
11-19-2007, 06:23 PM
I think the issue is with the controller hardware, dugbug. :shrug:

Zoot
11-19-2007, 09:43 PM
well, the kindle uses viziplex:

http://www.eink.com/press/releases/pr105.html

they must use the 4 color display option for faster page turning
-d

Cool. I thought the page-tunring speeds in the videos looked faster than my Sony Reader 500. It will be nice to get a bit better contrast too.

Z.