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Old 10-09-2012, 12:57 PM   #1
Darth W
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Copy files from PC while reading

Hello,

I am looking for an e-book reader that allows to read books and to transfer files from a PC via USB at the same time. I am particularly interested in doing what follows:
* download a PDF or ePub document on my PC;
* drag&drop it to my reader;
* immediately open the document on the reader.

I already know that things are not that easy on the Kindle or the Cybook Odyssey: you need to disconnect/unmount the reader in order to read a document and reconnect it to transfer a new one.

Does anyone know a brand/model that allows reading and syncing via USB at the same time?

EDIT: Summary of the replies up to #18: The Kindle Fire HD (Android) allows this (by using the Media Transfer Protocol instead of the classic mass storage mode) but currently no regular e-book reader does. However manufacturers could theoretically do it as all these devices are based on Linux.

Last edited by Darth W; 10-16-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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It's not really possible with USB.

You can do this with hacks on Wifi readers. As long as you have a Linux shell or a custom network aware app running in the background, you can use that to sync files through Wifi, while you read. I could do it with my Story HD, if it was worth my time.

With USB it's a bit different. USB exposes disks with filesystems on them. In order for that to work, the reader itself has to stop using those filesystems itself. Because filesystems are not designed to be in use (mounted) by multiple machines at the same time. There are exceptions (cluster filesystems) but nothing you'd find on a reader.

So all readers have to stop using files while offering storage via USB. And remount their filesystems after USB is ejected/disconnected. Reading during this time would only be possible if the book and everything pertaining to reading was loaded entirely into memory beforehand.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:30 PM   #3
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What is so critical that you can't stop reading for a minute to connect via USB and copy a file?
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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I have had my Kindle Fire HD connected to my computer dragging and dropping files on and off of it. And at the same time There also was a book open and viewable on the Fire.
It was like the kindle was two machines, one connected to the computer for file transfer and another that acted just like nothing special going on and you could read a book. Tho I can not see the utility of it.

Not at all like the K3 where it was ether mounted or unmounted to the computer. The fire can be both it seems.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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susan_cassidy, actually it's not about stoping reading, it's more about the time that it takes from having a file on my PC to reading it on the device. 5 seconds is better than 30 seconds for something you do frequently. I'm not talking about books here (of course 30" is nothing if you're gonna read for hours), but any text document, or a long blog post for instance, like using the reader as a second screen just for reading.

frostschutz, although a physical filesystem can't be mounted by several OSs at the same time, the device's system could emulate a filesystem that it would show to the PC via USB. Maybe that's what happens on the Kindle Fire as reported by DustyDisks?

However, I'm not looking for a tablet but for a reader with e-paper, so another brand maybe?
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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Kindle's Personal Documents Cloud. No USB needed. Just email or use Send To Kindle.

K3, K4, Kindle Touch and Paperwhite support this. Also the Kindle Fire, Kindle iApp and Kindle Android app. K4PC doesn't.
It doesn't support epub though. Calibre will be needed to convert to Mobi.

I almost never plug in my Kindles to my PC. I use the Personal documents Cloud extensively. You will need WiFi access.

Last edited by Blossom; 10-09-2012 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
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I've owned Kindles, a nook, a Sony, and a Boox. All of them have gone into a USB mode when connected to a computer. I don't think there is an ereader out there that behaves any differently.

I do have to comment that it is refreshing to come across a question I have never seen on the forum before.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pidgeon92 View Post
I've owned Kindles, a nook, a Sony, and a Boox. All of them have gone into a USB mode when connected to a computer. I don't think there is an ereader out there that behaves any differently.

I do have to comment that it is refreshing to come across a question I have never seen on the forum before.
When I connect my KFHD to my computer, and I have a book open in the kindle the screen does not change at all. I can use the kindle as normal and it gives no sign that the kindle is connected to the computer by usb.

But when I go into my computer and look at the drives it shows the fire connected and I can drag and drop files to and from it.

If I wanted I can read my book and transfer files at the same time.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyDisks View Post
When I connect my KFHD to my computer, and I have a book open in the kindle the screen does not change at all. I can use the kindle as normal and it gives no sign that the kindle is connected to the computer by usb.

But when I go into my computer and look at the drives it shows the fire connected and I can drag and drop files to and from it.

If I wanted I can read my book and transfer files at the same time.
Can you open any of the newly transferred books immediately while still connected to the computer? That's what the OP was looking to do, and it's not quite the same as continuing to read a book that you previously opened (which could be stored entirely within the program's memory at that point).
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkomar View Post
Can you open any of the newly transferred books immediately while still connected to the computer? That's what the OP was looking to do, and it's not quite the same as continuing to read a book that you previously opened (which could be stored entirely within the program's memory at that point).
Yep!

Just read your post and plugged in the kindle to computer by usb and went to file manager and opened the directory's on the kindle. Then I changed books that I was reading on the fire and everything worked just fine.

I have a split screen now one side showing the kindle directory's and the other side this forum. and I am turning pages on my kindle book. If I had enough hands and eyes it seems that I can read and also drag and drop files on the fire at the same time.

Edit: To add I just created a text file and dragged and dropped it into my KFHD book directory and Immediately it showed up on my carousel and opened while usb is still connected.

Better than buttered toast with jam!





Well almost!


Last edited by DustyDisks; 10-09-2012 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:47 PM   #11
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Nice!
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:49 PM   #12
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An Android tablet is very different than a dedicated e-reader.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyDisks View Post
When I connect my KFHD to my computer, and I have a book open in the kindle the screen does not change at all. I can use the kindle as normal and it gives no sign that the kindle is connected to the computer by usb.

But when I go into my computer and look at the drives it shows the fire connected and I can drag and drop files to and from it.

If I wanted I can read my book and transfer files at the same time.
Trouble is, the OP specifically stated in his second post that he doesn't want a tablet.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:34 PM   #14
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You can use an iPad and connect it to iTunes via WiFi and transfer eBooks while still using the iPad for reading.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susan_cassidy View Post
An Android tablet is very different than a dedicated e-reader.
In terms of the display and input devices, yes, but in terms of handling hosted mass storage devices, I don't think they have to be that different. They both use the Linux kernel to run the underlying operating system. Whatever it is that allows the Android system to provide local access to filesystems that are also simultaneously mounted by desktops via USB could be ported to a device with an E-Ink screen. Maybe it comes down to the decision by e-reader producers to make the whole UI revolve around a single book-centric database, but that's an artificial limitation.
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