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Old 04-21-2011, 05:28 PM   #1
bastil
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Arrow New EASIEST way to manage collections using a computer

Hi there,

I just replaced my Kindle 2 with a new Kindle 3 yesterday. So I had the issue that I had a lot of books that needed to be put in collections.
As doing this on the Kindle takes forever I looked for a faster way, using a computer and found one that only needs 10 steps.

Note 1: This tutorial is based on a MAC but I don't see any difference for Windows users, except for the text editor application's name.

Note 2: Apparently some users can not see the folder "system" that is referred to later when the Kindle is in USB mode. This is because the folder is hidden then. You have to enable "show hidden folders and files" for your system then.

Note 3: At the moment this is verified to work with bought Amazon eBooks. I will later today check how this works with non-Amazon eBooks.




OK, here we go.

Step 1:
Create the Collections you would like to use on your Kindle. Put one book into each to simplify later steps.

Step 2:
Plug your Kindle into your computer via USB.

Step 3:
You are now able to access the Kindle as an USB drive via the Finder (Explorer in Windows).
Navigate to the "system" folder. In there you will find a file called "collections.json". If you can not see this file see Note 2.

[Smaller image needed - MODERATOR]

Copy 2 copies of "collections.json" to your Computer (one to have a backup - edit it's name to be able to distinguish them, one for editing).

Step 4:
Open the copied "collections.json" in a text editor. Use "TextEdit" on a Mac (on a Windows computer I guess maybe "Notepad").

It will look like this now:



You will see the name(s) of your collection(s) and their content (see the picture).
I for example have two collections, one called "Englisch" and the other called "Deutsch" and one book in each.
Ignore the other numbers, they are used by the Kindle for last access monitoring.

Each book is named like this:
"#B0036DEB7Q^EBOK"
The combination of letters and numbers corresponds to a book on your Kindle.

Step 5:
Now navigate to the "documents" folder on your Kindle device (still via USB).

[smaller image needed - MODERATOR]

Open a new Text Document and copy paste the letter/number combinations of the books (see picture) you want to have in one collection into this new text document, one per line.



Now paste:
,"#
in front of each line and:
^EBOK"
at the end of each line.

I only have ebooks, that have the EBOK filetype. I don't know how other filetypes would behave.



Then undo the line jumps by positioning the mouse cursor at the beginning of the lines and pressing the backspace button once.
Now it should look like this:



Step 6:

Now select all from the text document and copy past it into the "collections.json" text window right after the book that already is in the collection (the highlighted text is the pasted text in the picture).
All these books will now be in the "Englisch" collection.



Step 7:
Now repeat Steps 5 and 6 for the other collections.

Step 8:
When you are done save the "collections.json" text window.

Step 9:
Copy the edited "collections.json" file from your computer into the "system" folder on your Kindle. It replaces the one on the Kindle.

Step 10:
Eject your Kindle from the computer.
Restart your Kindle for the Changes to take effect.
To restart go to it's Homescreen, press "Menu", go to "Settings", press "Menu" again, then select "Restart".

You are done! :)

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 04-22-2011 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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Note 3: At the moment this is verified to work with bought Amazon eBooks. I will later today check how this works with non-Amazon eBooks.
Welcome to Mobileread!

I think you'll find it won't work quite the same way with non-Amazon books as the code you are using is not always embedded in the title of the book (for non-Amazon its an SHA1 hash code of the path on the Kindle).
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:41 PM   #3
bastil
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Thanks!

I will transfer my Calibre books in a couple of minutes and see how it handles those and then update the tutorial if necessary.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:01 PM   #4
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Or you could just use the plug-in within Calibre that let's you manage your Collections. I have found it to be easy and is updated on a regular basis.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:05 PM   #5
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Another option without the computer is to highlight a collection's name and press right on the d-pad. Then select Add/Remove Items and you can just go through your books and press once to add/remove them from the collection.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:08 PM   #6
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Dang! People seem get all worked up about Collections. Creating them, editing them, migrating them, managing them, and writing various programs to do all the above for you. Maybe I'll create one someday just to see what all the fuss is about, but with all the work that seems to be involved with them, I'm afraid it would cut into my reading time.

Anyway... looks like you've put some thought and effort into this tutorial. I hope your process makes someone's life a little easier.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Another option without the computer is to highlight a collection's name and press right on the d-pad. Then select Add/Remove Items and you can just go through your books and press once to add/remove them from the collection.
Yeah, I like this one, I just thought about a way that would include less back and forth work on the Kindle.

Quote:
Or you could just use the plug-in within Calibre that let's you manage your Collections. I have found it to be easy and is updated on a regular basis.
I have to admit I never used this plug-in so far. Which one is it?

Quote:
I think you'll find it won't work quite the same way with non-Amazon books as the code you are using is not always embedded in the title of the book (for non-Amazon its an SHA1 hash code of the path on the Kindle).
Ok, I checked them and it doesn't seem to be hash codes - at least not of the actual book files on the Kindle. I checked the hash codes for example calibre books I put in collections but they did not resemble the ones listed in the .json file...

Quote:
Anyway... looks like you've put some thought and effort into this tutorial. I hope your process makes someone's life a little easier.
I hope so too
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:33 PM   #8
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Since you asked

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=118635
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bastil View Post
...
Then undo the line jumps by positioning the mouse cursor at the beginning of the lines and pressing the backspace button once.
In my experience, there is no need to delete the line breaks, so long as they are not in the middle of a token.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:08 PM   #10
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Here's another way below. Create the folders to correspond with Collections and then place the appropriate books whereever. Then:

http://www.accwebworks.com/kindle.aspx

You can either use the kindle's folder or create a mirror folder structure on your computer.

I've used the site a few times and probably need to do it again.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Dang! People seem get all worked up about Collections. Creating them, editing them, migrating them, managing them, and writing various programs to do all the above for you. Maybe I'll create one someday just to see what all the fuss is about, but with all the work that seems to be involved with them, I'm afraid it would cut into my reading time.

Anyway... looks like you've put some thought and effort into this tutorial. I hope your process makes someone's life a little easier.
Creating ~One~ isn't the problem DiapDealer. It's creating 187 of them and then having to move the books in that gives people the grumps. Luckily mine are all mostly created now and I only have to mess with a book or two as I obtain them.

I've played around with the Calibre plug-in some but I really wish the Kindle Collection Manager would get an update to make it work again.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:35 AM   #12
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Creating ~One~ isn't the problem DiapDealer. It's creating 187 of them and then having to move the books in that gives people the grumps. Luckily mine are all mostly created now and I only have to mess with a book or two as I obtain them.
Oh I know. I was having a bit of a joke. I just don't use Collections. I've found it much easier and much less frustrating to restrict the number of books on my Kindle so that they all fit on one page. To each their own.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:49 AM   #13
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Oh I know. I was having a bit of a joke. I just don't use Collections. I've found it much easier and much less frustrating to restrict the number of books on my Kindle so that they all fit on one page. To each their own.
I like to keep everything on one page also, except I use Collections, but only 8 of them. Anything past the first page would drive me nuts so I cannot fathom 187 () Collections
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:15 PM   #14
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I've played around with the Calibre plug-in some but I really wish the Kindle Collection Manager would get an update to make it work again.
I'd be interested to know if you had any suggestions for the plugin. Feel free to post over in the plugin's thread. Of course, it may not do everything you want in the way you want, but I'm always looking to improve it.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:14 PM   #15
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The REAL easiest way is without a computer

Did you know that you can click to the right on your collection on your kindle and rename or ADD FILES TO THE COLLECTION IN BULK?
I was half way through your well documented process before I saw this. I thought you'd all like to know (or the next people)
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