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Old 08-05-2008, 09:06 AM   #1
bannerdog
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General Non DRM material

Hello,

The Kindle video I watched indicated that Word documents can be uploaded to the Kindle via email for a small fee.

My thought was "That's absurd. Why not allow documents to be uploaded via a USB port?" (possibly charging for conversion software).

I later read that the Kindle does have at least one USB port.

So, what is the situation regarding uploading documents from my computer to a Kindle? Certain formats can be uploaded via USB, and other formats require a "pay per use" email upload?

If so, which formats use which method?

I understand RTF is not supported? Well, I suppose that's not too bad as long as HTML is.

Can HTML simply be uploaded via the USB port (with no fee or software required)?

Will the text appear the same as it would for a purchased book (or will it appear in a "mini browser")?

How about plain text documents? Can they be uploaded? Once uploaded, can character size be changed for plain text documents? Do plain text documents "look good" on the Kindle? Would formatting the document (for indentation, etc) prior to uploading make a difference?

I'm trying to determine how good a Kindle would be for reading material that I already have on my PC (or might obtain). This material is in various formats.
And in particular, I want to know whether I can upload the material myself without "going through" Amazon.

Thanks
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:13 AM   #2
HarryT
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The "small fee" (10c) is not for the conversion, but to have your documents wirelessly sent to the Kindle. You can, if you wish, have them returned to your Kindle e-mail account and then upload them to the Kindle via USB.

You don't have to use Amazon at all; the Kindle uses MobiPocket and you can use any tool you wish (eg Mobi Creator) to convert other formats to MobiPocket format yourself.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:52 AM   #3
wallcraft
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The Kindle will read plain text (.txt) files, and single-file HTML if you rename it .txt. However, everything else is converted into a MOBI (.mobi or .prc, or .azw for Kindle-only MOBI). Everything (including TXT) is read by the same reader, so there are always 6 font sizes to choose from.

If you have a Windows PC, download Windows MobiPocket Reader and try its import option. All files get converted to MOBI, and the converted version will be in "My eBooks\Mobipocket". The result looks very similar on the Kindle as it does in MobiPocket Reader (the Kindle is using MobiPocket reader software after all). The Amazon conversion process is thought to be based on MobiPocket's conversion, but may be better in some cases. Note that PDF conversion is particularly problematic, because "reflowing" PDFs is often hard to do well. The MobiPocket Creator software gives you more control over how the final document looks, but has less import capability than the Reader (it is one version or so behind).

I'm not sure if RTF is supported directly, but these can easily be converted to DOC. For DOC conversion to work with MobiPocket software you need MS Word on your PC (the DOC is converted to HTML by Word and then imported).
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:51 PM   #4
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I've converted over 200 files to .mobi using the free Mobi Creator software, then transferred them to my Kindle. It takes some trial and error to figure out how you like your documents formatted, but once you do it's pretty easy. I do all my formatting in Word and use MC to create the final file.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
If you have a Windows PC, download Windows MobiPocket Reader and try its import option. All files get converted to MOBI, and the converted version will be in "My eBooks\Mobipocket". The result looks very similar on the Kindle as it does in MobiPocket Reader (the Kindle is using MobiPocket reader software after all). The Amazon conversion process is thought to be based on MobiPocket's conversion, but may be better in some cases. Note that PDF conversion is particularly problematic, because "reflowing" PDFs is often hard to do well.
I've found how wll PDF conversion works depends on the source material. Fairly simple one column PDFs with embedded images are handled reasonably well. Multi-column PDFs and PDFs with fancy formatting will fare less well, and may need substantian work on teh generated HTML to make a usable Mobi file.

Quote:
The MobiPocket Creator software gives you more control over how the final document looks, but has less import capability than the Reader (it is one version or so behind).

I'm not sure if RTF is supported directly, but these can easily be converted to DOC. For DOC conversion to work with MobiPocket software you need MS Word on your PC (the DOC is converted to HTML by Word and then imported).
Mobi Creator supports RTF, it simply isn't a file extension it recognizes. If you navigate to a directory containing an RTF file, it won't see it unless you change the drop down file box to All Files. Once you select the RTF file, it will convert it.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:42 PM   #6
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Hi bannerdog,

It may be useful to you to read through the Kindle User Guide for a bit more detail on the Kindle than you see in the videos.

You may also want to check out the Kindle Fan Guide for some tips and tricks not found in the User Guide.

Welcome to MobileRead.
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