The Amazon Kindle has been out for over a year. Now is a good time to update this beginner's guide to content.
- First things first: Kindle Edition e-books are only slightly different from DRM'ed Mobipocket e-books. If not for the DRM, the Kindle would be just another Mobipocket e-reader. You need to know this, otherwise you might be puzzled by the following.
- Mobipocket Desktop 6.0 will recognize the Kindle as a reading device, and synchronize your e-books and RSS feeds correctly. This is important because Mobipocket disabled this feature in next version of the Desktop software (6.1), where the Kindle is no longer recognized as a reader device but only as a USB drive. You can download Mobipocket Desktop 6.0 here. A note of caution: If you already have a later version of Mobipocket Desktop, you will need to uninstall it first. Be careful though. If you are using the current installation to support your existing DRM'ed Mobipocket e-books, you will need to re-download them after you reinstall the older Mobipocket software. If you can't download your e-books again for whatever reason, you perhaps shouldn't uninstall the existing software.
EDIT: You can also use calibre to support your Kindle. Calibre runs natively on XP, OSX, and Linux. It is better than MobiDesktop in every way. You can download it here.
- There are over 34k newsfeeds available through Mobipocket Desktop. The process is simple to set up; you select the feeds, and set them to be downloaded onto your device. Downloading the feeds to your Kindle is automatic. Click here for a partial list of feeds that have full articles attached.
EDIT: Calibre can also download newsfeeds, as well as an entire day's content of a news website like the NY Times.
- Because the Kindle and Mobipocket e-book formats are basically identical, it is possible to buy an e-book in Mobipocket and (with some work) load it onto your Kindle. However, I currently know of only two retailers where you can officially do this (if you want to know why, click here). These are Fictionwise and BooksOnBoard. It may also work at your local library, if it offers Mobipocket e-books.
There are several steps required. The first is to tell the retailer the PID of your Kindle. If you have Mobipocket Desktop 6.0 installed, you can find the Kindle's PID under the reading devices menu. Next, you need to download igorsk's hack (<<direct download link removed>>, and a python interpreter. For more information, click here. If you have trouble, ask for help here.
- One neat feature of the Kindle is its ability to download e-books from the Internet directly onto your device. Feedbooks has an e-book guide full of links to free e-books. Personally I think it's one of the best sites on the Internet. You can download the guide here and learn more here. Munsey's is another site with excellent quality content. They also have a mobile version of their site here.
EDIT: At the beginning of February, Amazon added around 7k free public domain ebooks to the Kindle store.The ebooks you will find through the links I provided above are much better quality.
- This last part is about my preferred e-book format, Microsoft .LIT (Microsoft Reader). I prefer this format because it lets me protect my e-book investment. While I certainly won't explain how to strip DRM, I will say that to convert your purchased .LIT e-books, you need to download and install two components: ConvertLIT and Mobipocket Creator. When you run ConvertLIT, it will explode the .LIT file into its single parts. After this you need to click on the OPF file; Mobipocket Creator should open automatically. Then all you have to do is click on "make the book". The output will be a nearly perfect conversion.
P.S. There are a few things I left out, like the Kindle Easter Eggs
. But I think I included enough to get a beginner off to a good start!