View Full Version : What is the page number conversion?


markbot
11-23-2007, 10:12 PM
If you use the mid size font....how many more or less pages is it on the Kindle in comparison with the printed trade paperback version?

SanAntone
11-24-2007, 01:27 AM
The kindle doesn't use page numbers. That way, when you change fonts and the amount of words per page change, you can still go to the same spot. They use a different numbering system.

DaleDe
11-24-2007, 12:18 PM
The kindle doesn't use page numbers. That way, when you change fonts and the amount of words per page change, you can still go to the same spot. They use a different numbering system.

Has anyone figured out how to decode the numbering system on the Kindle? It seems to the related to the number of words or bytes in a file or some such simple measure. It does not change with font size and it seems not to be intelligent like counting paragraphs would be.

Dale

markbot
11-25-2007, 09:30 AM
so how does it keep track of the page number?

I thought they'd keep pages as a metaphor at least. i don't think i like the idea of not being able to reference by page number. also, in terms of progress.....i think about what page i am. i am on page 100 of 500....i prefer that to i'm 20% complete. don't u agree?

But i'm not sure yet since i don't have the device yet. should arrive by the 4th.

bwit
11-25-2007, 12:14 PM
so how does it keep track of the page number?

I thought they'd keep pages as a metaphor at least.

Same here but the Kindle seems to have no concept of page. It uses something called location numbers. I have not been able to figure out how they are calculated. They aren't high enough to be a word count. If I look at the first page of the welcome letter that came loaded on the Kindle the locations are 1-6. In this case it almost looks like a paragraph count but in other books this doesn't seem to hold.

Bob

JSWolf
11-25-2007, 12:30 PM
On the 505, the pages are smaller then your average paperback and thus, you will find that you will have more pages per ebook then you do per paperback book. This goes for the Kindle, the Gen3, the 500, and the 505. The iLiad might have a better shot at matching a pbook given it's higher resolution and larger screen.

tsgreer
11-25-2007, 12:34 PM
Um, I can't quite figure out the numbering system either. When I want to jump ahead, it's pure guess work on my part. And since it doesn't change with the font size and it isn't a word count, I have no idea what they were thinking by using that system. I hope their software updates change that.

Zoot
11-25-2007, 03:34 PM
Ok, I did some research using Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson, which is available on the kindle and also as a "Search Inside" pbook at Amazon which means they provide text statistics for it.

The ebook includes additional material so they aren't identical (I tried to compensate for this by using the Kindle "page" number at the end of the regular text where applicable).

Here are some numbers:

Characters per Kindle "page": 133
Words per Kindle "page": 23
Kindle "pages" per paperback edition page: 14.8
Compressed Kindle ebook bytes per Kindle "page": 109.

Based on the search behavior I was expecting a Kindle "page" to simply be a chunk of 64 bytes of the uncompressed text data, but the number came out closer to 128 bytes and not quite close enough to be sure that's what it's doing rather than some variable-length magical computation. But since it doesn't seem to be correlated to anything else, my guess at this point is that a page may indeed just be 128 bytes (or characters) of book data, and the number varies a little based on embedded formatting data etc.

Z.

markbot
11-25-2007, 03:53 PM
I don't like the idea of the progerss being in units of 128 bytes, etc. They need to have page numbers!!! based on the current sized font.

kovidgoyal
11-25-2007, 05:22 PM
The mobipocket reader software is designed to run in extremely CPU limited environments, which is why it does not do proper layouting and pagination.

igorsk
11-25-2007, 05:54 PM
I wouldn't call XScale PXA 255 an "extremely CPU limited environment". Though they do run UI in Java, so maybe it evens out :)

kovidgoyal
11-25-2007, 07:25 PM
I doubt they re-wrote the code for the Kindle.

DaleDe
11-25-2007, 07:37 PM
The mobipocket reader software is designed to run in extremely CPU limited environments, which is why it does not do proper layouting and pagination.

The big problem is that they allow the user to change the font size in very small increments any time they wish on basically all the different platforms they support. Recalculating the number of pages every time the user changes the font size is a real problem. Most eBook readers precompute from a limited set of sizes. Sony has only 3 for example and takes a big hit the first time you select one that has not been used on that book before. Connect prepages all 3 sizes. Ebookwise prepages its 2 sizes. This is the real reason. MobiPocket devices are the same approximate power as eBook devices these days although that was not always the case.

Mobi tends to tack on changes to their software while they really need a full re-write.

Dale

markbot
12-05-2007, 12:27 AM
now that I have the Kindle....I've figured out a system for understanding the location number.

Based on comaring the Kindle version with the paper version....my formula is.

Based on the 2 sized font, 2 Kindle pages = 1 paperback page.

also,

Location number / 20 = page number.

For example, the location number of Great Expectations goes up to 9000. There are about 485 pages in the print version. 9000/485 equals about 20.

Thus, 200 location numbers is like 10 pages.

DaleDe
12-05-2007, 12:34 PM
now that I have the Kindle....I've figured out a system for understanding the location number.

Based on comaring the Kindle version with the paper version....my formula is.

Based on the 2 sized font, 2 Kindle pages = 1 paperback page.

also,

Location number / 20 = page number.

For example, the location number of Great Expectations goes up to 9000. There are about 485 pages in the print version. 9000/485 equals about 20.

Thus, 200 location numbers is like 10 pages.

I believe the Kindle count is 128 bytes of data. Someone posted that number earlier.

Dale

Alisa
12-05-2007, 01:42 PM
I don't like the idea of the progerss being in units of 128 bytes, etc. They need to have page numbers!!! based on the current sized font.

Personally, I would hate it if the page numbers changed depending on the font I was using. If they're going to do pages, then IMO the page numbers should be fixed regardless of font even if it meant they didn't correspond to page flips.

tklaus
12-05-2007, 04:13 PM
Location number / 20 = page number.

For example, the location number of Great Expectations goes up to 9000. There are about 485 pages in the print version. 9000/485 equals about 20.

Thus, 200 location numbers is like 10 pages.

I think that depends on the book, you can't apply that formula universally. Even different print editions of the same book (hardback vs. paperback, or even different paperback layouts) are not always consistent with regard to page numbering.

rflashman
12-06-2007, 10:26 PM
Really who cares about page numbers on the Kindle? I just go by the percentage bar (of dots) at the bottom of the screen. At a glance I can see how much I've read and how much is left. I wish the Sony Reader had that...

markbot
12-06-2007, 10:28 PM
I think that depends on the book, you can't apply that formula universally. Even different print editions of the same book (hardback vs. paperback, or even different paperback layouts) are not always consistent with regard to page numbering.

yes...that's true.....but in your mind it is good because now u have an idea on the length of everybook...and u can make uniform the theoritical page numbers.

JSWolf
12-07-2007, 12:37 AM
What I do sometimes is go look at the page # the next chapter starts so I can decide if I should stop reading now or wait till I gett o the next chapter. So in this case, page numbers are very important. I've done this even before electronic reading.

kovidgoyal
12-07-2007, 12:56 AM
Even more importantly, what if you want to discuss the book with someone else who is also reading it and need to refer to a certain page.

Alisa
12-07-2007, 01:10 AM
If you want to discuss the book, then it would still depend on which edition they had even if you both had print copies. For some that's as simple as the hardback or the paperback. For others, especially classics, there are tons of printings. If you tried to use a page number system on the ebook that was not related to screens, you'd have to decide which version of the print book to use as a reference. At least the Kindle is internally consistent and probably not too hard to estimate. If I know I'm 200 locations in from the start of chapter 4, I can probably get the person I'm talking with to the right point pretty quickly. Speaking of chapters, I'm totally with Jon on that one. I would love it if the Kindle could display easily how many locations to the end of the chapter. I hate stopping my reading in between chapters.

WilliamG
01-06-2008, 04:26 PM
My wife has been reading on her Kindle a huge amount, and if there's one thing she really doesn't like - it's the useless pagination indication. It's meaningless. The only thing that makes any sense are the dots at the bottom of the screen, and even these mean nothing if you've no idea what page you're on. I WISH Amazon would release a software update to let you just see page numbers. I thought the Sony Reader implementation was much better - showing you what page you're on depending on what font size you're using.

JSWolf
01-06-2008, 07:10 PM
My wife has been reading on her Kindle a huge amount, and if there's one thing she really doesn't like - it's the useless pagination indication. It's meaningless. The only thing that makes any sense are the dots at the bottom of the screen, and even these mean nothing if you've no idea what page you're on. I WISH Amazon would release a software update to let you just see page numbers. I thought the Sony Reader implementation was much better - showing you what page you're on depending on what font size you're using.
Since you do really want page numbers, why didn't you get a Sony Reader PRS-505 which DOES have page numbers?

WilliamG
01-06-2008, 07:41 PM
Since you do really want page numbers, why didn't you get a Sony Reader PRS-505 which DOES have page numbers?

Er, because the Kindle is better in pretty much every other way? :D

And I have a PRS-500. Sheesh. Talk about someone advising you to sell your house because you don't like the toilet bowl in the downstairs bathroom. Sheesh!

Zoot
01-07-2008, 02:47 PM
Even more importantly, what if you want to discuss the book with someone else who is also reading it and need to refer to a certain page.
This is obviously the problem with the Sony page numbering scheme that Amazon was trying to solve. I thought of the same thing when I got my Sony 500, so I can certainly understand that a programmer might think this is a clever solution.

But once you see it in action, it's clear that the arbitrary but absolute numbering scheme the Kindle uses is just not useful in most cases.

I believe the best solution would be to have each book embed page number data so that it decides what a "page" is. Where possible, the page number data should match the paper version of the book.

This would give you an absolute system like the Kindle (where people can share page numbers and potentially even match them to a physical paper book), and would also let it display "You are reading page 86 out of 359" which would give most people the psychological anchor that they're currently missing.

Currently many Kindle conversions of technical works include cross-references to page numbers from the printed editions, and these could be made useful if the physical book pagination could be captured and re-used.

The only downside to this scheme is that a "page" would likely consist of more than one screen's worth of data, so there would be no "page number" that would return you to the exact same Kindle screen full of text. You'd have to search through the ~3 screens worth of text or just read the whole "page". But then all the other paging schemes have similar issues in the presence of variable font size, etc.

Z.

Alisa
01-07-2008, 03:35 PM
Another downside to this page numbering system would be determining which edition of a book you referenced for page numbers. With most modern books, that's not too hard. The number of printings are usually fairly few but still >1. With public domain works, you may have dozens of printings out there. So you're still back to the problem of how you refer to a location in a book for the sake of discussion. I think this could actually be helped by Amazon making your location in relation to a chapter more easily accessible. If I know I'm 100 locations into chapter 3, I'm pretty sure I could get you to that point in a pbook really quickly. If the "page" numbers are all over the place from the printed versions, then I'd have to resort to the same method anyway so I haven't really gained anything but a tedious debate and extra work for every book that is converted from print to electronic format. I don't think we need to be making the process harder for publishers. If it's quick, easy and cheap to do, they're more likely to do it.

kovidgoyal
01-07-2008, 04:50 PM
I recall having this discussion in another thread where we reached the consensus that for the future paragraph numbering is the way to go. Readersoftware should then have a "reference mode" where it will overlay paragraph numbers on the text for easy reference.

Alisa
01-07-2008, 04:52 PM
How biblical. But if it works for a text with that many printings to allow people to study and discuss, seems like a good method.

gshipley
02-13-2008, 05:30 PM
The page numbering is the only thing I dislike on the kindle. I like to know how many "next pages" I need to hit before I read the end. I hate click "next page" to find out I am at the end. :(

badgoodDeb
02-13-2008, 07:48 PM
My Kindle occasionally wedges ... it ignores my Next Page press, and in 60 seconds or so, it will dump me back to the index. I don't have to do any resetting, it eventually comes to its senses, but it is back in the index. I've discovered that when the Next Page is ignored (and I pressed it again to make sure I really pressed it) I should make a note of the "number" listed at the bottom left. When it dumps me back to the index, it usually has forgotten what page I was on, and entering the book again puts me quite a number of pages further back. So I just select "Goto Location" from the menu, type in the number I took note of during the freeze, and voila! I'm all set.

So -- I do use those number occasionally! (Though a page number would work too, in this case.)

gshipley
02-18-2008, 09:51 PM
After having my kindle for a week and trying to be "okay" with not having page number I conclude the following:

I no longer mind not having page number. I am not going to suggest that I like the location system better, but once I figured out how to understand and use the location numbers I do think it makes the most sense for a e-reader.

JSWolf
02-23-2008, 12:20 PM
if page numbers are important, why get a Kindle when the 505 has page numbers?

Alisa
02-24-2008, 12:39 AM
Maybe because many of the other features the Kindle has may be more important than page numbers to them. Personally, I don't like the system either uses. I'd rather see things marked by chapter and paragraph numbers. I don't want a page number to change based on font size. I want it to refer to a location in a book but I think chapter/paragraph makes it easier to convey a location to people reading paper books or other devices. However, if the Sony had that, I'd still choose the Kindle because I don't want to give up search, dictionary lookup, or the convenience of the Kindle store. It's a lower priority item to me.

tsgreer
02-27-2008, 06:46 PM
Maybe because many of the other features the Kindle has may be more important than page numbers to them. Personally, I don't like the system either uses. I'd rather see things marked by chapter and paragraph numbers. I don't want a page number to change based on font size. I want it to refer to a location in a book but I think chapter/paragraph makes it easier to convey a location to people reading paper books or other devices. However, if the Sony had that, I'd still choose the Kindle because I don't want to give up search, dictionary lookup, or the convenience of the Kindle store. It's a lower priority item to me.

I would prefer a regular page numbering system, but you are totally right in the fact that the dictionary and Kindle store convenience more than make up for their strange page number system.

Really the only reason I like page numbers is so that if I forget to bookmark a page or something gets weird and I wander away from the page I was reading, I can get back.

rationalbiker
02-27-2008, 10:55 PM
if page numbers are important, why get a Kindle when the 505 has page numbers?'

I hope you recognize that a person can be critical of one aspect of something while enjoying the rest of it, or enjoying the item as whole? That's really not that difficult a concept is it?

JSWolf
02-27-2008, 11:05 PM
Maybe because many of the other features the Kindle has may be more important than page numbers to them. Personally, I don't like the system either uses. I'd rather see things marked by chapter and paragraph numbers. I don't want a page number to change based on font size. I want it to refer to a location in a book but I think chapter/paragraph makes it easier to convey a location to people reading paper books or other devices. However, if the Sony had that, I'd still choose the Kindle because I don't want to give up search, dictionary lookup, or the convenience of the Kindle store. It's a lower priority item to me.
Interesting concept of displaying chapter and paragraph number. It might actually work. Because even different pBook editions of the same book have different page numbers and that would be a way of being able to say where you are regardless of eBook, PB pBook, or HC pBook.

Ervserver
02-27-2008, 11:34 PM
Perhaps eventually Amazon will offer a Kindle with page numbering for $499.00

JSWolf
02-27-2008, 11:49 PM
Or perhaps they'll add page numbering in the 2.0 firmware.

Alisa
02-28-2008, 02:00 AM
Interesting concept of displaying chapter and paragraph number. It might actually work. Because even different pBook editions of the same book have different page numbers and that would be a way of being able to say where you are regardless of eBook, PB pBook, or HC pBook.

It was actually Kovid that brought it up earlier in this thread. I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me before, though. After all, that's how the Bible is done and talk about a book with a lot of printings. Plus people do routinely study and discuss it. Makes sense that it would have a good system of facilitating that.

TallMomof2
02-28-2008, 09:28 AM
I haven't spent much time with a 505 but are the page numbers always the same, assuming you don't change font size or style? One of MobiPocket's "features" is that page numbering is very fluid even if you don't change font style or size. If you move around a lot in the book the page numbers shift. I've found this to be true on all my Palms and even the Desktop version but I don't read much on the Desktop. On the Iliad, MobiPocket almost always underestimates the number of pages. You think you're getting near the end of the book but it keeps on going.

DaleDe
03-05-2008, 11:36 AM
It was actually Kovid that brought it up earlier in this thread. I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me before, though. After all, that's how the Bible is done and talk about a book with a lot of printings. Plus people do routinely study and discuss it. Makes sense that it would have a good system of facilitating that.

Kovid may have bought it up this time but it is a tried and true system in business documents such as specifications that are revised often. It has also been brought up plenty of times in earlier threads on this same topic which occurs quite often in this forum.

The Bible does not use paragraphs for numbering since paragraphs hadn't even been invented when the Bible was originally written. It does not even use sentences for numbering since they hadn't been invented either. It uses a system that is not particularly intuitive but proves that a standard is more important than consistency.

Paragraph numbering, indexed with headings such as chapters, is an excellent system when a document needs to be referenced. This can be easily accomplished and will work well for most documents but is not a perfect system for all documents such as poems where it needs to be adapted a little but can still be made to work I believe.

Dale