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Old 04-14-2009, 04:47 PM   #1
Mike L
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Finally cracked it: Sample books without Whispernet

One of things that's been bothering me since I got my Kindle was that I couldn't download the free sample books because I'm not in the USA and therefore outside Whispernet range.

Well, I finally figured out how to do it. I guess many of you folk already know this, but I'll post the details for the benefit of those who don't.

The trick is to use the iPod / Kindle sync feature. But first, I had to download the free Kindle for iPod application from the iTunes Store, which was a hassle. Here are the steps:

1. You can't download the Kindle app from iTunes if you are outside the US. So, first, you must set up a new account in iTunes with a US address (a friend's or colleague's perhaps). To do that, first set your iTunes country to United States, using the dop-down at the bottom of the iTunes Store window. Then click the button to set up a new account. You will need the US address at this point, but you don't need to enter credit card info. You will also need to enter an email address for verification purposes.

2. Having got your US-based iTunes account, go back to the iTunes store, search for Kindle, and locate the Amazon Kindle application. Go ahead and "purchase" it (it's free, so you still won't need a credit card).

3. Reset your country and log in with your normal iTunes account (the one you use when syncing with your iPhone or iPod Touch). (Actually, I'm not sure if this step is necessary, but do it to be on the safe side.)

4. Connect your iPod or Touch to your PC and sync the apps.

5. The Kindle app will now appear on the iPod Home page. Open it. It will prompt you to register with Amazon. Do that, using the same Amazon ID and password to which your Kindle is registered.

6. Go to the Kindle Store, either on your iPod or your PC (it's much easier on the PC). Select the book you are interested in.

7. Just below the Send Sample Now button, you will see a drop-down. This shows your Kindle and your iPod. Choose the iPod and click the button.

8. The next time you launch the Kindle app on the iPod, or refresh it if is already running, you will see the sample book, which you can then read on the device.

What I haven't been able to do is transfer the sample to the Kindle, but reading it on the iPod is OK if you only want to review it to decide whether or not to buy.

Hope this is of some interest. If nothing else, it will help convince all you folk in the US how fortunate you are to have Whispernet.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:52 PM   #2
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That's a new one. Good work!

I have a simpler solution for you. If you go to MobiPocket.com (owned by Amazon), you can download their books samples (which should be the same) to your computer. The samples don't have DRM so you can read them on your Kindle or computer. Transfer teh samp[le into the "documents" folder of the Kindle and you're good to go! Just make sure you don't buy books for your Kindle from MobiPocket.com because the DRM will not work on the Kindle.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tip, Daffy4u. I knew about MobiPocket.com, because I used to get books there (to read on my PC) before I owned a Kindle. However, I was under the impression that Amazon had a much larger selection -- several of the books I recently bought from the Kindle store don't appear to be in MobiPocket.Com. (Either that, or MobiPocket's search engine isn't as good.)

But I'll maybe try again. It would certainly be easier than the iPod hassle.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
Thanks for the tip, Daffy4u. I knew about MobiPocket.com, because I used to get books there (to read on my PC) before I owned a Kindle. However, I was under the impression that Amazon had a much larger selection -- several of the books I recently bought from the Kindle store don't appear to be in MobiPocket.Com. (Either that, or MobiPocket's search engine isn't as good.)

But I'll maybe try again. It would certainly be easier than the iPod hassle.
It could very well be true that MobiPocket may not have all of the same books as Amazon and therefore not all of the samples you want.

I have a couple of other suggestions, neither of which I've tried.

This post is from the thread "Kindle app for iPhone and iPod Touch in iTunes Store". Maybe this will help you get the samples off the iPod. You may want to read the rest of the thread starting with this post #142.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbp View Post

<snip>

My iPhone isn't jailbroken, so I used the iPhone Backup Extractor (Google is your friend) and extracted the Kindle app from my latest iPhone backup. Within the folder for the app are the books (com.amazon.Lassen/Documents/eBooks), and I figured out which one was Ur by loading them into Calibre, which gave me the titles. I made the change quoted above to the kindlepid.py script, and was able to get my PID by using the serial number for my iPhone in the "Manage my Kindle" section on Amazon. Running the file through mobidedrm.py script produced a file I could load in Calibre and convert to LRF, which I then loaded to my PRS-505. Cover image transferred just fine, and from my cursory perusal of the book, everything looked correct.
I also learned from a CNET podcast about some software called Pod to PC (also Pod to Mac). It's main purpose it to get music and video off your iPod or iPhone onto your computer (in case your iTunes crashes and burns and you don't have your content backed up). I'm not sure how much access it give to the whole directory structure of the iPod but you can give it a try (I haven't).

If neither one of those works, I've seen mention of jailbreak apps that will do the job (can't remember where I saw the posts though).

Let me know how it goes.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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A Kindle-users board also has the feature of matching folks who need samples (and don't have Whispernet) with others who are willing to download and forward. Samples are not DRM'd so this apparently works well.

It worked for me last week - even though I have Whispernet. Amazon removed the book "Q&A" (I think it was part of re-labeling it "Slumdog Millionaire"). Folks who had the sample on their Kindle were still able to purchase it, so a very nice user emailed me a copy of the sample and I was able to purchase the full novel on my Kindle, even though you can't buy it on the computer.

I'd be willing to forward the odd sample - LMK.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlrowley View Post
A Kindle-users board also has the feature of matching folks who need samples (and don't have Whispernet) with others who are willing to download and forward. Samples are not DRM'd so this apparently works well.

It worked for me last week - even though I have Whispernet. Amazon removed the book "Q&A" (I think it was part of re-labeling it "Slumdog Millionaire"). Folks who had the sample on their Kindle were still able to purchase it, so a very nice user emailed me a copy of the sample and I was able to purchase the full novel on my Kindle, even though you can't buy it on the computer.

I'd be willing to forward the odd sample - LMK.
That had actually crossed my mind but I wasn't sure if the samples were DRMed (because I hadn't checked). This is a great idea. I'd be happy to share as well.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:05 AM   #7
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One caveat I should have mentioned - it seems the Topaz formatted samples ARE DRM'd - dang it all!!! This is still a small subset of all the books, though.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:10 AM   #8
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One caveat I should have mentioned - it seems the Topaz formatted samples ARE DRM'd - dang it all!!! This is still a small subset of all the books, though.
Good to know. Hopefully those few samples will be available from MobiPocket.com.
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:07 PM   #9
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Daffy4U,

I'll follow up those leads you suggested. Thanks for that.

I like the idea of being able to extract content off the iPod. I must look into it. You've also convinced me to check for samples in MobiPocket.Com before I look in the Kindle store.
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
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Daffy4U,

I'll follow up those leads you suggested. Thanks for that.

I like the idea of being able to extract content off the iPod. I must look into it. You've also convinced me to check for samples in MobiPocket.Com before I look in the Kindle store.
In the meantime, if you like, you can PM me and tell me which sample you want, I'll see if I can get it to you (if it's not Topaz).
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
In the meantime, if you like, you can PM me and tell me which sample you want, I'll see if I can get it to you
Thanks. I don't need anything at the moment because I've been managing with the iPod route, but I'll be sure to keep your offer in mind.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:13 AM   #12
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Hmm... I wonder what the samples would be copyright wise and if uploading samples to MR would be legit and or fair use. Any copyright lawyers here?

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Old 04-16-2009, 12:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
Hopefully those few samples will be available from MobiPocket.com.
TOPAZ ebooks won't be available from mobipocket.com, and in many cases they are not available for any device except the Kindle. This is because Amazon scans and OCRs paper books to create TOPAZ ebooks. If the publisher had an electronic copy of the book they would not agree to the conversion to TOPAZ, but would instead convert directly to multiple reflowable formats (including MOBI/AZW).
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