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Old 07-01-2010, 10:48 AM   #1
GRiker
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Sideloading MOBI files to Kindle for iPad

I just discovered a way to sideload MOBI files to Kindle for iPad on a non-jailbroken iDevice.

Macroplant offers a free app 'iPhone Explorer' which allows you to browse the contents of your connected iDevice.

When you open your iDevice with iPhone Explorer, there are two folders - Apps and Media.

Inside the Apps folder is a Kindle folder (assuming you've installed Kindle for iPad), and within you will find Documents/eBooks. For those of you playing at home, the full path is Apps/Kindle/Documents/eBooks.

I dropped a MOBI into that folder, and lo and behold, that MOBI can be opened in the Kindle for iPad app.

Update: iPhone Explorer occasionally crashes when dropping the file into the folder, and it appears that all sideloaded files share the same cover, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

G

Last edited by GRiker; 07-01-2010 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Added update
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:47 PM   #2
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Upon further exploration, I've discovered how to properly add covers to sideloaded MOBI files.

The folder structure of the Kindle app:

Kindle
Documents
cache
eBooks
LibraryCovers
Kindle.app
Library
tmp
The cover for a given MOBI files goes in the LibraryCovers directory. If only it were that simple.

The MOBI file implicitly names the cover that will be displayed in the Home page of the Kindle app. Within the EXTH headers, the value contained in the ASIN field is used as the cover filename fetched from the LibraryCovers directory.

For example, let's say you want to sideload WarOfTheWorlds.MOBI with its cover WarOfTheWorlds.JPG into the Kindle for iPad app:
  • Modify WarOfTheWorlds.MOBI (using Mobi2Mobi, for example), adding or modifying the ASIN field (in the EXTH block) with the name of the cover jpg, WarOfTheWorlds.JPG. (Since your sideloaded book didn't come from Amazon, you don't need a real ASIN.)
  • Copy the modified WarOfTheWorlds.MOBI to Kindle/Documents/eBooks (using iPhone Explorer)
  • Copy WarOfTheWorlds.JPG to Kindle/Documents/LibraryCovers (using iPhone Explorer)

When the Kindle for iPad app loads, if the file named in the ASIN field is found in the LibraryCovers folder, it will be displayed in the Home screen of the app. If there is no ASIN field, then a bogus cover will be displayed.

Amazon downloads are stored in the eBooks directory using their ASIN number, and the covers are stored using a filename that is simply the ASIN number (no extension).

You can use any filename you want - so long as the value in the ASIN field is a valid JPG found in the LibraryCovers directory, it will be displayed as the cover.

This works on OSX, but I tried it in Windows using the Win version of iPhone Explorer, and the Kindle app is not shown in the Apps directory. So for the time being, this is only possible under OSX.

Next challenge: If it were possible to mount the Apps/Kindle directory (on a non-jailbroken iDevice), it would be possible to do all this in a program instead of manually.

G
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:00 PM   #3
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What a marvelous app! Thank you, G.

Now I can enjoy the free e-book John Scalzi just posted (get it yourself from http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/07/3...a-free-e-book/) in comfort on my iPad.
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:54 AM   #4
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I would request GRiker and Kovid to incorporate kindle cover solution to Calibre. i tried above method but its tedious to implement for each book in library.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiru View Post
I would request GRiker and Kovid to incorporate kindle cover solution to Calibre. i tried above method but its tedious to implement for each book in library.
Unfortunately this is not easily implemented due to Apple's 'walled garden' philosophy. The necessary directories are not visible programatically through iTunes, which is why using iPhone Explorer is necessary.

If a means of accessing the 3rd party directories in the iDevice becomes available, I will discuss with Kovid how we might implement sideloading. In the meantime, the only option is the manual approach.

G
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRiker View Post
Unfortunately this is not easily implemented due to Apple's 'walled garden' philosophy. The necessary directories are not visible programatically through iTunes, which is why using iPhone Explorer is necessary.

If a means of accessing the 3rd party directories in the iDevice becomes available, I will discuss with Kovid how we might implement sideloading. In the meantime, the only option is the manual approach.

G
i meant only for cover issue in kindle app and not for side loading as i am on jailbroken ipad so no problem in this regard.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:07 AM   #7
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I'm assuming this is just for a Mac? I'm running Windows and I don't see Kindle at all.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:10 AM   #8
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I'm assuming this is just for a Mac? I'm running Windows and I don't see Kindle at all.
Yes, as I noted in the second post in this thread:

Quote:
This works on OSX, but I tried it in Windows using the Win version of iPhone Explorer, and the Kindle app is not shown in the Apps directory. So for the time being, this is only possible under OSX.
G
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:48 PM   #9
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I just wanted to say thank you so much, I have been trying to figure out how to do this for a while now.

You rock the house!
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:54 PM   #10
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Updated info iTouch, iOS4

I have an iPod touch with iOS4 (jailbroken) installed and what I found varies a bit from what has been already discussed. When I use iPhone Explorer I see 2 hives, Apps and Root Directory.

I didn't see Kindle under Apps so I started digging around. Under Root Directory>User>Applications you will find a bunch of directories that are named with some type of GUID. If you expand Applications on the left panel and click the first one you will see the sub folders one of which will be named in a way that it can be matched to an app. If you just hit the down arrow you can cycle through them pretty quickly until you come to one that has Kindle.app in it.

In this same directory you will see the Documents folder. You can copy your .mobi files straight into this folder. If you have cover art all you need to do is rename the image file to match the name of the .mobi file you copied without the extension and copy it to the LibraryCov folder.

To get this book to show up in the Kindle app on my iPod I had to do a complete power off (hold the top button for 5 sec and you will see slide to power off.) Turn it back on and you should see the new ebook in the Kindle app.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:08 PM   #11
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Ni!ice! I have a G5 UB so the kindle app won’t work there but I have the Kindle app on my iPad w/ no way to load mobi files, they don’t seem to convert very well w/ Stanza and not at all w/ Calibre. It did crash the 1st time I dropped something into it but works fine now.

I don’t seem to have any problem w/ covers.

Thanx for sharing.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:49 PM   #12
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update: works on windows too

This works just fine from a windows PC as well.

The issue is that the name of the top level directory is just not "Kindle".

It showed up as "com.amazon.Lassen" for me. The Windows version must use a different method of naming those top level folders, but everything else below that folder looks as descirbed, and the .mobi file that I dropped in there works as expected.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:38 PM   #13
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Does it sync last read position to your Kindle? I'm guessing not.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:19 PM   #14
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Thanks

Hello Griker,

I registered just to say thank you for this awesome tip. It works like a charm on my Ipad (with windows Itunes).

Back to reading 100+ books now
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:06 PM   #15
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I'm having little luck finding mobi2mobi for mac, or something else that will let me change the ASIN to change the cover picture as described- can anyone direct me?
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