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Old 01-08-2013, 06:10 PM   #1
CtB
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MOBI files on iPad (Kindle App)

I have started using iPad instead of my Kindle to read (and highlight) my library of MOBI books (managed by Calibre on my PC). I do a lot of highlighting. When I used a Kindle, the highlights were kept in another/companion file (*.MBP). Good, so I had a clean original version of the book and could also read/share a version with my highlights by also using the *.MBP companion file.
So, I highlighted a few books on the new iPad. If I try to export from the iPad the highlighted MOBI book (from the documents subdirectory, under Kindle App directory [using iExplorer to see into the hidden directories on the iPad], there is only the MOBI file showing, not the *.MBP highlighting file). I look at the book back on my desktop (using Kindle for PC) and my highlights are gone; I go back to the iPad, they are still there.
Does anyone know the ins/outs of MOBI/*.mbp [highlight/notes files]/iPad/Kindle App?
Is my value added (by highlighting) trapped forever on my iPad and not exportable back to my desktop?
Is the Kindle device the only one that let's me manage/export my highlights (*.MBP file) back to my desktop for sharing?

Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:01 PM   #2
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You've got that right, CtB -- Kindle for iOS is a sub-par product, and the inability to export highlights and notes is one of the major flaws in it. There's just no way around that currently. If you need to export your annotations fom books you read on the iPad (as I need them), I suggest for you to convert (for example, in Calibre) your books from MOBI to EPUB and read them in the Marvin app, which is the best app to read books on the iPad. Marvin allows you to export your highlights and notes with a single tap of your finger, in an XHTML file. It's much better than the hardware Kindle's snippets file. I'm in the same pickle as you are -- I read books on hardware Kindles in daytime, and in Marvin on the iPad after it gets dark, so I end up with two sets of highlights/annotations, but there's just no way around that currently.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:02 PM   #3
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If you sync your highlights, they should show up on other devices.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CtB View Post
I have started using iPad instead of my Kindle to read (and highlight) my library of MOBI books (managed by Calibre on my PC). I do a lot of highlighting. When I used a Kindle, the highlights were kept in another/companion file (*.MBP). Good, so I had a clean original version of the book and could also read/share a version with my highlights by also using the *.MBP companion file.
So, I highlighted a few books on the new iPad. If I try to export from the iPad the highlighted MOBI book (from the documents subdirectory, under Kindle App directory [using iExplorer to see into the hidden directories on the iPad], there is only the MOBI file showing, not the *.MBP highlighting file). I look at the book back on my desktop (using Kindle for PC) and my highlights are gone; I go back to the iPad, they are still there.
Does anyone know the ins/outs of MOBI/*.mbp [highlight/notes files]/iPad/Kindle App?
Is my value added (by highlighting) trapped forever on my iPad and not exportable back to my desktop?
Is the Kindle device the only one that let's me manage/export my highlights (*.MBP file) back to my desktop for sharing?

Thanks!
Side loaded books will not sync highlights on to ANY other Kindle or Kindle app. However if you use the Send to Kindle function to put your mobi books in the Amazon Cloud then DL to the iPad from the Cloud they will easily sync highlights, bookmarks, notes, etc. with the same mobi book on other Kindles and Kindle apps. That is why I stick with the Kindle app because Whispersync is second to none.

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Originally Posted by Faterson View Post
You've got that right, CtB -- Kindle for iOS is a sub-par product, and the inability to export highlights and notes is one of the major flaws in it. There's just no way around that currently.
What a load of crap! I'm glad you are so deeply in love with Marvin, but please get a room...
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:11 AM   #5
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What a load of crap!
Huh? Please explain what was factually wrong in what I wrote. Unlike the hardware Kindles, the Kindle app for iOS does not allow you to export your highlights and notes, which is a major flaw, and is one of the reasons (by no means the only reason) why I would call Kindle for iOS a sub-par product. That said, the Kindle app for Android is a lot worse still.

As to your workaround, Jack, you only described how you can synchronize your highlights and notes across various Kindle devices or Kindle apps. (With the inability to side-load books being a major stumbling block.) However, that's different from exporting your highlights and notes. If the original poster has (unlike me) completely replaced his hardware Kindle device with the Kindle app on the iPad, he seems to have lost the ability to export his notes and highlights. (If the Kindle app for Mac OS or Windows can do it, I will happily apologize, but last time I checked, they were extremely crude, bare-bones apps.)
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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Huh? Please explain what was factually wrong in what I wrote. Unlike the hardware Kindles, the Kindle app for iOS does not allow you to export your highlights and notes, which is a major flaw, and is one of the reasons (by no means the only reason) why I would call Kindle for iOS a sub-par product. That said, the Kindle app for Android is a lot worse still.

As to your workaround, Jack, you only described how you can synchronize your highlights and notes across various Kindle devices or Kindle apps. (With the inability to side-load books being a major stumbling block.) However, that's different from exporting your highlights and notes. If the original poster has (unlike me) completely replaced his hardware Kindle device with the Kindle app on the iPad, he seems to have lost the ability to export his notes and highlights. (If the Kindle app for Mac OS or Windows can do it, I will happily apologize, but last time I checked, they were extremely crude, bare-bones apps.)
Gents [Jack and Fatterson]. I think we have a workaround that still gives you syncing across Kindle/iPad and also save the separation of Church and State (i.e., the MOBI from the *.MBP companion Notes/Highlights file. I followed another blog's suggestion and e-mailed the MOBI file to my iPad using [my name]@kindle.com]. It is then treated as a personal document. I then highlighted a few paragraphs and synced. I went back over to my Kindle, synced and the highlights I made on the iPad were there. BEST yet, when I mount the Kindle as a hard drive under Windows Explorer, the *.MBP file is there AND separate from the MOBI [clean text] file. A little Kludgy, but exactly what I needed - my highlights are now not trapped because the MOBI book I am highlighting is a "personal document". You can get more info here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...40#approvefrom
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:28 PM   #7
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Right, CtB, that workaround is well-known. But it presupposes several things, among them:
  • you also have a regular Kindle device (not just the iPad), which makes it impossible for you to truly and fully replace your former Kindle device with the Kindle for iOS app on the iPad
  • you lose the ability to "side-load" books into the Kindle app, such as opening them directly from the Web, from an email attachment, from the Dropbox or SugarSync app, etc. etc., which is a major nuisance
  • you agree to treat your books as "personal documents" from now on, which is highly annoying
I hope you will agree I am entitled to call any reading app that forces the user to employ such excruciating workarounds, "a sub-par product". And the inability to export highlights and notes normally, is just one among many deficiencies of the Kindle app. The only feature where it shines, is the dictionary integration (best in its class on iOS).

When I looked at the above (and many other) limitations of the Kindle app, I had to decide for myself: is it worth sticking with the Kindle app, if it tortures the user so much with senseless, arbitrary limitations? My answer: nope, it's definitely not worth it. So, I just convert the MOBI book into an EPUB book (takes a couple of seconds in Calibre), and then enjoy reading it in the fabulous Marvin app that allows you, among many other great and even unique features, to export all your highlights and notes in an XHTML file with a single tap of your finger.

Last edited by Faterson; 01-09-2013 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:36 PM   #8
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What about kindle.amazon.com?
My highlights taken on the ipad seem to be available there.
I have not tested it extensively, so I am not sure whether it works with side-loaded books as well, or only with Amazon purchases.
But I do buy most of my books on Amazon and it seems to work well for me.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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My highlights taken on the ipad seem to be available there.
Those are 2 different things:
  1. highlights & notes being available (synchronized) somewhere
  2. ability to export highlights & notes for processing, sharing, backup, etc.
The Kindle app only allows no. 1, not no. 2, and it only allows it for some books, not all. That's one of the reasons why it's a low-quality reading app.

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I have not tested it extensively, so I am not sure whether it works with side-loaded books as well
It doesn't, as already discussed earlier in this thread. It only works for purchased books and those that you email to your own Amazon address, which then Amazon absurdly treats as "personal documents".

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But I do buy most of my books on Amazon and it seems to work well for me.
I made the mistake of buying an Amazon book last month and especially of reading it in the Kindle app. In discussing the book online with my friends, I wanted to quote 2 brief sentences fom the book to support what I was saying. Oops! Not only does the Kindle app fail to support proper export of highlights and notes -- but not even the elementary copy-in-order-to-paste works in the Kindle app. I felt like a complete ass, copying the entire 2 sentences from the novel manually, just by looking in the book and writing them down elsewhere. (It was not worth, for 2 brief sentences, to employ the tortuous workaround of loading the entire book on the hardware Kindle.)

I intend to never make that mistake again -- reading a book in the Kindle app. I do like reading on the hardware, classic Kindles, especially Kindle DX.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:14 PM   #10
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What you are all forgetting is that Amazon is about selling the hardware. It will NEVER give the same features to the apps on other devices. They are "tasters" of what you can have on a "real" kindle.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:41 PM   #11
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The software on a "real" Kindle is now inferior to a reading app like Marvin on iOS, so that's no excuse. Besides, I've always found it to be a counter-productive strategy to intentionally annoy your customer with product A, hoping that will inspire you to buy product B from the same vendor. It just doesn't work.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:24 AM   #12
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Thanks to Faterson for recommending Marvin

I'm transferring my annotations at the moment.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:15 AM   #13
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The software on a "real" Kindle is now inferior to a reading app like Marvin on iOS, so that's no excuse.
But the device itself isn't. I'd far, far rather read fiction on my Kindle PW than on my iPad. It's much lighter weight, I can read it anywhere, in any lighting conditions, and it doesn't need charging for weeks at a time. I enjoy using my iPad for all sorts of things, and it's unbeatable as a PDF reader, but for fiction, give me an eInk device any day.
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