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Old 08-24-2011, 02:04 PM   #1
scamuicune
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Issues with Converting

Hello, I had recently gotten a book from Amazon that came in .azw4 format. (I actually don't know what the 4 means, and I have tried looking it up to no avail.)

After I had used a deDRM program, the program yielded a .mobi file, which I thought to be perfectly normal. However, I can only open this file on Kindle for PC. I've sent it to my iPad and the Kindle app basically crashes every time I try to open it. I've tried converting it to other formats in Calibre, but it fails or claims to have completed the job (when in reality, the finished product is only two pages long, out of the 500+ pages)

I've tried searching through these forums for anybody that had a similar issue, and I've tried looking through FAQs as well, but I haven't found anything yet.

Thanks for the help
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:53 PM   #2
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The file is damaged. Most likely your DRM tool does not fully support the 4 format. I have no idea what the 4 means but it could indicate a new DRM version.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:23 PM   #3
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Ah... alrighty, thanks
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:25 PM   #4
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Could also be that the deDRM tool used was an older version that has bugs.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:45 PM   #5
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Could anybody recommend a deDRM tool that works on .azw4? I tried using Calibre plugins, but that didn't work.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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To avoid difficulties with various authorities, we don't recommend any DRM removal tools. You could ask Apprentice Alf - Google know whereto find him
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:40 PM   #7
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BTW:

If you simply run the "strings" command on Kindle for PC 1.6.1 exe file you will not find the .azw4 string anyplace. If you run the same thing on Kindle for PC 1.7.0 exe file, you will find the .azw4 string so it is a new extension and a new file type!

So the question becomes: is this some new type of file (say a textbook or a magazine?) or is it the future file format for all .azw ebooks?

Interesting to say the least! Since it is a new format ... someone will have to reverse engineer its format so that at least Calibre can handle its metadata.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scamuicune View Post
Hello, I had recently gotten a book from Amazon that came in .azw4 format. (I actually don't know what the 4 means, and I have tried looking it up to no avail.)
Which book at Amazon? It sounds interesting. I wonder if this could be a step towards Amazon supporting ePub.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:20 AM   #9
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Which book at Amazon? It sounds interesting. I wonder if this could be a step towards Amazon supporting ePub.
I was wrong. It's a new format supporting textbook sales via a kind of PDF format. "Print Replica" is the marketing name. See this page at the amazon site, or search Amazon for "Print Replica"

I'm sure the current de-DRM tools won't work properly on them.

Some of the books can be rented, as well as 'sold'. I'm not sure the current developers would be interested in removing DRM from rented books, and it seems likely that any tool that could remove the DRM from purchased "Print Replica" kindle ebooks would also work on the rented versions.

Here's a book in the new format: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005HGFG0G/

Note the bit that says:

Print Replica: This Kindle book looks just like the printed book. Read it exclusively on Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac

Last edited by pdurrant; 08-27-2011 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:51 PM   #10
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@pdurrant - The first link needs to be complete without the ...
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:05 PM   #11
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@pdurrant - The first link needs to be complete without the ...
Thanks — Mobileread truncated without me noticing. Now changed to a link on some text.

Further investigation (using a drm-free sample of one of the books) shows that the new format is, essentially, a PDF wrapped in a Palm Database along with some other information, probably including some indexes into the PDF.

Since the Kindle 3 can already display PDFs, a firmware update should be possible to allow these books to be read on Kindles, but it might be a deliberate decision to limit to Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac, as displaying US Letter PDFs (which is the size of most textbooks) on the 6" Kindle screen is rarely pretty.
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:08 PM   #12
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the new format is, essentially, a PDF wrapped in a Palm Database along with some other information.
Commenting on my own post, sigh.

Amazon have probably developed this format for several reasons, but I expect the most important one is so that they can offer drmed PDF files without having to pay Adobe anything.

As I may have remarked before, I rather expect Amazon to eventually support ePub in the same way: introduce a new format that wraps an ePub in a Palm Database file so that they can use their own DRM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Thanks — Mobileread truncated without me noticing. Now changed to a link on some text.

Further investigation (using a drm-free sample of one of the books) shows that the new format is, essentially, a PDF wrapped in a Palm Database along with some other information, probably including some indexes into the PDF.

Since the Kindle 3 can already display PDFs, a firmware update should be possible to allow these books to be read on Kindles, but it might be a deliberate decision to limit to Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac, as displaying US Letter PDFs (which is the size of most textbooks) on the 6" Kindle screen is rarely pretty.
Good investigation. I suspect this format will be at least supported on the Kindle DX which is targeted at schools. Why else would they mention that a feature of this format is the ability to sync between various Kindle devices and programs. It is likely to also go to the Kindle readers on Tablets. The DRM feature is likely a good part of the reason as many manufacturers are aiming at the textbook market these days. It seems to be the next big push. Time limited licenses are also needed for rentals which also seems a feature for textbooks. I feel a new wiki page coming on in the next few days

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Old 08-27-2011, 03:47 PM   #14
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Further investigation (using a drm-free sample of one of the books) shows that the new format is, essentially, a PDF wrapped in a Palm Database along with some other information, probably including some indexes into the PDF.
Any chance you can send me the DRM sample of the book you looked at? I really don't want to have to setup and register Kindle for Mac. calibre supports PDB-PDF already and I want to see what, if any work, is necessary to support this format.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:56 PM   #15
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Any chance you can send me the DRM sample of the book you looked at? I really don't want to have to setup and register Kindle for Mac. calibre supports PDB-PDF already and I want to see what, if any work, is necessary to support this format.
Sure, just send me your email address. I should mention that mobiunpack will give you access to most of the metadata, since it's really like the Mobipocket format there, and a tweak of mobiunpack to output the raw text rather than the tweaked HTML-ised text will give you access to the raw PDF (in amongst other data) when used on a non-DRM copy (e.g. the sample file). I don't have a DRMed sample. They're too expensive for me!
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