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Old 06-18-2011, 12:52 PM   #1
kharrisma
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Mobipocket.com

Anybody here had any trouble with this site?

I ordered a book (First Light Chronicles Omnibus), and paid for it, no problems whatever. Tried to download it; let the fun begin!!

They required registration of the ereader device, demanding a PID#. No such critter available for Kindle. Two hours of Google and several python script downloads/runs later, I had a PID to give them, so as to be "allowed" to download what I had already paid for.

Went to open it up in the Kindle... no go. It's a .prc file, of which I have plenty, but this one is apparently DRM'd, and the Kindle can't get past this. Calibre won't touch it, either.

Tried to seek help from their site; get this: the "forum" is LOCKED! No further postings, no edits. The very definition of useless. There's only ONE method of contacting them, which I used.

The reply comes from Amazon.com. Yup. Amazon.com. They had no idea what was going on. We've been emailing and calling back and forth for almost a week. Yesterday, some dufus from their troubleshooting division tells me that "sorry, mobipocket is a third-party vendor... we can't help you... contact them directly..." despite the fact that I had explained to him that every attempt to do so resulted in a reply from HIS COMPANY!!

Tried it again, another reply from Amazon, and then finally just today, a lovely tech-support girl managed to find a mobipocket department or division within Amazon.com. She directed me to one little line in one of the many emails sent that I had skimmed over or misunderstood (brain function inversely proportional to level of irritation), which led me to a completely different page on Amazon. Maybe THIS one will net me a refund.

Granted, it's only ten bucks... but I'm on a fixed income (reading my only surviving indulgence,) and besides, it's the principle of the thing.

My suggestion; you'd better know precisely and in advance what it is you're buying, and whether or not your particular ereader will be able to eat it. Watch your step on this site, and count your fingers and toes when you leave.

And, no big surprise: like Amazon, they're supposed to keep records of what their customers download, so the files can be re-downloaded if need be. Guess what? NO record of my purchase. A whole multi-paged thread on this very subject on their "LOCKED" forum.

I'd look elsewhere, anywhere, but here.

Is it just me??

Karl

Last edited by kharrisma; 06-18-2011 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Deleted a statement that referred to a site that was not mobipocket
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:24 PM   #2
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1- Kindles don't support mobipocket.com and mobipocke.com does not sell kndle content.
2- mobipocket.com content is sold to be used with standalone copies of the mobireader app, each instalation of which generates it own pid. You supply that pid so the content can be encrypted to that reader app. The app is free and prominently featured at mobipocket.com.
3- expecting amazon.com to provide user support to mobipocket.com customers is akin to expecting an Opel dealer to provide service to a Corvette. The two companies may be parts of the same multinational but do not share personnel, equipment, functions, or mission.
4- if you knew enough to find out how to calculate a pid for a kindle, which is an unsupported hack and might be illegal in some locations, the same sources could have told you how to get the file readable on a kindle. It is not a particularly hard process but the same legality issues attach.
5- as a rule, kindle carries a superset of mobipocket content. Buying it direct from the kindle would've been a lot easier. Or were you trying to circumvent georestictions or local taxes as well as the mobipocket DRM?

All in all, I think the amazon personnel just set a new high in politeness and bending over backwards in the name of "customer" service.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
They required registration of the ereader device, demanding a PID#. No such critter available for Kindle. Two hours of Google and several python script downloads/runs later, I had a PID to give them, so as to be "allowed" to download what I had already paid for.
If you still have that PID, then you can read those prc's on anything you want to read them on. Google "Apprentice Alf's Blog."

But also realize that mobipocket.com doesn't sell content intended to be read on a Kindle.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:53 PM   #4
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Absolutely. Amazon own Mobipocket, but books sold by Mobipocket can't be read directly on the Kindle. It's a great shame the original poster didn't do a little research before buying.
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kharrisma View Post

My suggestion; you'd better know precisely and in advance what it is you're buying, and whether or not your particular ereader will be able to eat it. Watch your step on this site, and count your fingers and toes when you leave.
Yep, and this is where you went wrong. Any DRMd books from any site other than Amazon will not be accessible on a Kindle. If you check the supported devices page on the Mobipocket site, you will see that the Kindle is not listed.

In reality, you can strip the DRM. As was mentioned previously, Google Apprentice Alf, and you can find the tools you need.

Last edited by pidgeon92; 06-18-2011 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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There is also a program (I forget the name) that is supposed to be able to strip the DRM though you need a PID (the Mobipocket reader App has one) as part of the process and of course the vendor charges almost $30.00 for a registration #. I imagine such is to make sure that someone isn't selling copies of the books they have bought to other parties, but I have to wonder what happens if Amazon/Mobipocket tweaks their DRM again as well.
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:05 PM   #7
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and of course the vendor charges almost $30.00 for a registration #
Anyone distributing DRM removal tools might be breaking the law. But someone who is charging money for DRM removal tools is most certainly a criminal. They're just packaging up the already freely available tools and ripping people off. Don't fall for it.
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:27 PM   #8
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It would be entertaining to see someone come forward and accuse them of copyright infringement on the grounds that they were the real author of those tools .
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Anyone distributing DRM removal tools might be breaking the law. But someone who is charging money for DRM removal tools is most certainly a criminal. They're just packaging up the already freely available tools and ripping people off. Don't fall for it.
I haven't. The one attraction is that it's an import and click program rather than having to work out how to get things to work. $30.00 is very steep for a small program and I have no intent to spend it. If someone was to come up with a free executable program that did the same thing though that would be great.
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:58 PM   #10
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It would be entertaining to see someone come forward and accuse them of copyright infringement on the grounds that they were the real author of those tools .
I hadn't thought of that Harry, but you're right it would be amusing. Though you never know someone might, just might be stupid enough to do so. All you have to do is look at some of the news stories there are out there about stupid criminals to realize that anything is possible.
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:58 PM   #11
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If someone was to come up with a free executable program that did the same thing though that would be great.
It's not rocket science and there's no reason you have to fumble around on your own in the dark. Go to Alf. Talk to the friends of Alf. They listen and respond. They're polite and helpful.
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:09 PM   #12
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Diap is absolutely right, crich. The Calibre plugins, in particular, are totally painless to use. All the work is done completely transparently. Just drag your DRM book into Calibre, the plugin works its magic behind the scenes, and you have a DRM-free book. Couldn't be easier.
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:23 PM   #13
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Diap is absolutely right, crich. The Calibre plugins, in particular, are totally painless to use. All the work is done completely transparently. Just drag your DRM book into Calibre, the plugin works its magic behind the scenes, and you have a DRM-free book. Couldn't be easier.
I was *amazed* how painless the Calibre plugins are. Even those pesky Amazon .tpz files.
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:49 PM   #14
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but I have to wonder what happens if Amazon/Mobipocket tweaks their DRM again as well.
Once the DRM has been stripped, it doesn't matter if the DRM system gets revised. A good reason to always strip the DRM from your ebooks.

The free tools have easy to use GUI versions as well as drag&drop utilities. There's really no reason to pay for ebook de-DRM software.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:07 PM   #15
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@fjtorres:

quote:3- expecting amazon.com to provide user support to mobipocket.com customers is akin to expecting an Opel dealer to provide service to a Corvette. The two companies may be parts of the same multinational but do not share personnel, equipment, functions, or mission.

Apparently you misunderstood what you read. I did NOT expect Amazon to support mobipocket. It took me a week to find out WHY Amazon kept interjecting themselves to my emails to mobipocket. THEY are the ones who obligated themselves by doing so. Too bad most of their tech "support" people aren't aware of the relationship between Amazon and mobipocket.

quote: 5- as a rule, kindle carries a superset of mobipocket content. Buying it direct from the kindle would've been a lot easier. Or were you trying to circumvent georestictions or local taxes as well as the mobipocket DRM?

No intent here to do anything other than buy a damned ebook legally. It isn't offered by Amazon/kindle, and I found it on mobipocket.com. Most of my ebook files are .mobi, .prc, and .azw. I thought that the file would work, given the same file extensions. This was my first run-in with DRM, and a quick, nasty education about differing devices/formats.

quote: 2- mobipocket.com content is sold to be used with standalone copies of the mobireader app, each instalation of which generates it own pid. You supply that pid so the content can be encrypted to that reader app. The app is free and prominently featured at mobipocket.com.

Sorry, bud; I run Linux, haven't run Winblows for over five years now. No Mobipocket reader for linux. Runs unstably in WINE. So no go there, either.

My whole beef was that anyone who isn't already well-informed about all this crap can just wander in and pay for a book that they can't use. I'm not in the habit of scouring a website, checking all the fine print before I order something. Perhaps I should start.
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