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Old 04-29-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
koland
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Amazon to Charge by Megabyte for Personal Docs

(from my blog)

You knew it was too good to last and the abundance of tools that let you get all your RSS feeds downloaded to your Kindle via Whispernet, essentially at no charge, has apparently forced a change. Although Amazon has always said they would charge a dime a download (essentially $3/month for a daily newspaper feed, for those using this type of service), they have yet to have charged anyone at all. Today, however, they have announced that not only will they start charging these fees (on May 4), but that they have increased the charge to 15 cents per megabyte, rounded up to the nearest megabyte (so a fifty percent increase in the lowest charge). Looks like those two newspapers a day I was reading thru Calibre (plus a weekly and monthly) would cost me about $14.25 a month (at the current average file sizes). Time to turn off the automatic downloads and start using the USB cable instead. Now more than ever, I wish the Kindle had wireless or bluetooth support, so transferring files at home were easier to accomplish (the USB connection on my computer is on the rear, back and in the floor).

On the positive side, free document conversion is still an option (I wish I could set up multiple email addresses for this, since we have four Kindles on one account, but it is manageable) and RTF and DOCX support is being added.


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Old 04-29-2009, 12:39 PM   #2
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Interesting, so are they going to make you pay a subscription fee for their blogs/newspapers and a fee for downloading them to your Kindle?
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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15c per MB is an absolute bargain for 3G wireless data transfer. I really don't think anyone has cause to complain about that.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Interesting, so are they going to make you pay a subscription fee for their blogs/newspapers and a fee for downloading them to your Kindle?
I've always understood that the subscription fee for blogs is there to cover the cost of data transfer.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:55 PM   #5
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I've always understood that the subscription fee for blogs is there to cover the cost of data transfer.
That's weird, if it were to cover the cost of data transfer, why should it be a flat fee, shouldn't it depend on how large the ebook of each blog is? Some blogs have more pictures/text than others. Besides they always claimed they would start charging for wireless download, so why should they need to impose an additional fee structure?
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
That's weird, if it were to cover the cost of data transfer, why should it be a flat fee, shouldn't it depend on how large the ebook of each blog is?
Perhaps it represents a fee for the size of the "average" blog? I don't know - that's pure speculation on my part, and I may very well be wrong.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:35 PM   #7
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Just as I was looking to learn how to do auto emails for my Houston Chronicle news from Calibre....
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:42 PM   #8
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Umm, the announcement is not as the initial poster characterized:
Quote:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/post/PLNK13R15I1M4DD9J

Kindle 2 Personal Documents
8:09 AM PDT, April 29, 2009
For anyone who has recently sent personal documents to your Kindle, we'd like to let you know about some updates to our Personal Document Service (via Whispernet).

Starting May 4, in addition to the existing list of supported file types (DOC, HTML, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TXT, AZW, MOBI, PRC), you can send RTF files to your Kindle email address for convenient wireless delivery. In addition to the existing experimental support of PDF, you can also send DOCX files for conversion. Some complex PDF and DOCX files might not format correctly on your Kindle.

We have also modified the fee associated with sending personal documents wirelessly to your Kindle. This fee is now based on the size of your file. The fee for Personal Document Service (via Whispernet) is 0.15 per megabyte rounded up to the next whole megabyte.

If you would like to download your personal documents for free, or if you are not in a wireless area, you can continue to send attachments to "name"@free.kindle.com to be converted. These documents will be e-mailed to your computer at the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com account login.

As always, you can also use our free document conversion service for any document you want to transfer over USB, and you will not be charged.
Nowhere does it say "We said $0.10 before, but we never charaged anyone. Now it's going to be $0.15/MB, and we WILL charge you!" It's primarily an announcement about supporting new document types for conversion. Now, koland may be correct that people will start being charged now, but that's not what was announced.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:50 PM   #9
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:53 PM   #10
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Ah, the joys of being locked to a sole provider...
Yeah, such a shame we can't transfer our documents to our Kindle some other way for free... oh wait, we can!

Well at least on a Sony you can transfer those documents wirelessly for free... oh wait, you can't!

Frankly I don't see any reason to bash Amazon for this.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:39 PM   #11
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Yeah, such a shame we can't transfer our documents to our Kindle some other way for free... oh wait, we can!
... Frankly I don't see any reason to bash Amazon for this.
Uhm, but if I limit you to a closed, proprietary format, then you have to convert your files to it. And if you are not all that technically savvy, you'll pay me whatever I ask (within reason), for the convenience.

No, it's not a big deal for me, but Amazon has been in the news quite a bit, with the deceptive Search results, and with the banned accounts. Someone up there might have been a bit wiser about the timing.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:49 PM   #12
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Isn't it a little hard to argue that .mobi is "closed" and "proprietary" when you can get a free converter for it, either command line or gui based?

If Amazon forced you to use their service to convert/transfer, it would be one thing, but they don't, so I'm not sure what the big deal is.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:52 PM   #13
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Isn't it a little hard to argue that .mobi is "closed" and "proprietary" when you can get a free converter for it, either command line or gui based?

If Amazon forced you to use their service to convert/transfer, it would be one thing, but they don't, so I'm not sure what the big deal is.
You cannot get a converter from mobi. And the existence of a converter to mobi has no bearing on the fact that the format is closed an proprietary. For exemple the mobi format can change anytime and reverse engineered converters will stop working.

The awz format is even less documented then the mobi format and can change more easily.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:07 PM   #14
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You cannot get a converter from mobi. And the existence of a converter to mobi has no bearing on the fact that the format is closed an proprietary. For exemple the mobi format can change anytime and reverse engineered converters will stop working.

The awz format is even less documented then the mobi format and can change more easily.
There is a "from mobi" converter. It's called calibre. And no, they can't change the format; it would cut off all the users who have older devices.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:24 PM   #15
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There is a "from mobi" converter. It's called calibre. And no, they can't change the format; it would cut off all the users who have older devices.
No, since the format is not documented there is no converter that understand all of the format. MobiPerl also have a program that tries to unpack a mobi file.
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