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Old 02-20-2012, 06:44 AM   #1
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Batch fix old Mobi files for Kindle for Android?

Since it looks like Amazon is never going to fix the bug they introduced into Kindle Reader for Android (when the pointless PDF support was added) where the old format Mobipocket books open at position -1 of 1 and can't be read...

I'm looking for a quick way to fix all the old Mobi books I have so the app will work with them.

It's been 4 or 5 updates to Kindle for Android since Amazon broke this, many people have been complaining about it to Amazon and apparently they don't give a bleep. Personally, I think they did it to mess with Baen, since that publisher has been slow to re-do their back catalog into the newer Mobi format.

For example, this book http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/0...sk_Station.prc doesn't work since PDF support was added.

The latest release claims "reduced size" but the download is 8.2 megabytes.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:58 AM   #2
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For example, this book http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/0...sk_Station.prc doesn't work since PDF support was added.
I don't have a general fix, but that particular book is available in a newer version, still for free, from http://www.baenebooks.com/p-304-on-b...k-station.aspx
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:10 PM   #3
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Have you tried importing them into Calibre and batch converting them to MOBI?

Or if you prefer the command line, use Calibre's ebook-convert.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:37 PM   #4
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I've a ton of older Mobi format books and I'd rather avoid Calibre if possible.

Baen knows about the Kindle bug and a rep told me they're recommending Aldiko instead. Fine, but Aldiko only groks epub. :P Perhaps I should tell Amazon their bug is pushing publishers to recommend non-Amazon software and ebook formats.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:21 AM   #5
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Personally, I think they did it to mess with Baen, since that publisher has been slow to re-do their back catalog into the newer Mobi format.
No they haven't. Every one of Baen's books has now been converted to the new Mobi format. You can hardly blame Baen for the fact that someone completely unconnected with Baen has put ancient CDs up for download, can you?

Can you give an example of a book on Baen's own site which is still in the old Mobi format?

Last edited by HarryT; 02-21-2012 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:13 PM   #6
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You can hardly blame Baen for the fact that someone completely unconnected with Baen has put ancient CDs up for download, can you?
I agree, and the general point is that all ebook files will eventually fail to work if you keep them long enough. The fix is to be DRM-free, as here, and convert them to a newer format (in this case a newer MOBI).
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:03 PM   #7
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And with regard to wanting to avoid calibre... nobody's likely to be willing to reinvent the wheel for a handful of your out-of-date MOBIs. You don't have to marry calibre or anything; use it to fix all of your old MOBIs and then purge it from your computer forever if you like. If you don't have the resources to script your own solution, I'm not sure you should willingly turn your back on any existing solution that will eliminate your issue.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:46 AM   #8
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I agree, and the general point is that all ebook files will eventually fail to work if you keep them long enough. The fix is to be DRM-free, as here, and convert them to a newer format (in this case a newer MOBI).
You make a good argument for someone to write an open source, multi-platform reader app that works with as many ebook formats as possible, where support for an old format won't be dropped because it's no longer fashionable.

We shouldn't *have* to repeatedly convert and convert again or depend on publishers to convert old ebooks to the latest shiny new format.

I have several hundred ebooks in PalmDoc and TealDoc format as well as all the older Baen freebies from the CD-ROMs. It would take me a very large amount of time to convert them all to other formats.

Amazon deliberately, or accidentally, breaking support for the older Mobi format in their reader app for Android doesn't make good business sense because it pisses off a not insignificant portion of their customer base.

If it's an "oops", then not getting a fix out ASAP is simply really bad public relations. Most companies would stop distribution of a program with such a bad bug and work fast on a fix for the next release. That's what most people who write software do, especially those who depend on their software for making a living.

I run my own small business and one of the top rules is NEVER irritate your customers because that's the fastest way to convert them to *former* customers.

I'm not like you "Oh well. That's how things go." types who just accept whatever a company does that causes you inconvenience.

I prefer to do business with companies that appreciate it when customers point out things they're doing that are or may cause them problems or inconvenience their customers, and take steps to make changes. They know that every customer that goes elsewhere is MONEY GOING ELSEWHERE.

In business, you have to look upon *every income source* as money flowing in. It matters not how little or how much. It's income, it's profit, the lifeblood of the company. When a company begins to not care about ALL its customers, that's when it begins going downhill. History is littered with defunct companies that stopped caring what anyone thought about their products.

The absolute pinnacle of customer service I've ever experienced was when Western Digital had a BBS and automated FAX-back system to get documentation on nearly every product they'd ever made, including product lines they'd sold off to other companies. You'd dialup the BBS, find the document number then call a number to enter the document numbers you wanted FAXed to you. A few minutes later you'd have your documents. When the WWW came along they put all of that on their website. Western Digital was a company that knew that helping people use some old product of theirs was highly likely to encourage them to buy new WD products because they'd know those products would always be supported with information and if required the software to use them.

Then there are companies that almost the instant a product is discontinued destroy all information they have about it and sometimes will deny ever making it, even though it has their name, logo and address printed on it. Yes, I have encountered such companies. One even told me they didn't put specifications and manuals for their discontinued products online "because someone might want to buy them" I replied "Well I don't want to buy your current products because if I lose the manual and need it six months from now, you'll just expect me to buy your latest thing, which shortly thereafter you'll no longer support in any way." Another was US Robotics trying to claim they never made the PC Card modem I had in my hand, with their name on it. The person on the phone was very snide and snippy about it too. What happened to US Robotics, formerly one of the biggest modem and networking products companies? Out of business and bought up by 3Com, not just because of one instance, but a whole bunch of wrong things they did.

Every failure in a business, no matter how small it appears, is a *failure*. What makes it worse is when that failure turns into a failure to make a correction and a failure to learn from it.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems you're really not that interested in being able to read your older MOBIs in Amazon's android app, but rather, you're more interested in complaining about why they just don't continue to work ad infinitum.

Your first post suggested that you were looking for a "quick fix" to update all of your older MOBIs. There is a quick fix... you just don't seem to like it. So I have to assume that fixing your MOBIs was never really your goal in the first place.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:24 PM   #10
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On last thought on it, remember when Amazon remotely deleted some public domain books from Kindle devices?

Changing their software to no longer work with a file format is essentially the same. They're controlling what you're allowed to read on your phone or tablet.

Yet another reason for an independently developed universal reader app.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:00 AM   #11
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On last thought on it, remember when Amazon remotely deleted some public domain books from Kindle devices?
No, I'm not aware of Amazon ever having deleted public domain books from Kindle devices. Can you give a reference to this?

Do you actually want to convert your old Mobi books or don't you? If you do, you've been given the answer - use Calibre and then delete it if you don't wish to continue using it.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:25 AM   #12
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Google for amazon deletes 1984
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:43 AM   #13
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Google for amazon deletes 1984
That was NOT a public domain book - that's the whole point. The publisher had wrongly marked it for distribution in the US, where it is still very much in copyright.
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