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Old 08-08-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
Cockeye
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Kindle books on ipad - whats this location rubbish?

Ok - due to the fact that I can't and never will be able to borrow ebooks from my local library on my ipad I have recently given in and started buying ebooks.

I have to say, the reading experience to me on ibooks is so much better than it is on kindle app. I love the fact you can clearly see what page you are on, how many pages left, and how many to the end of the chapter.

It feels much more like reading a book rather than pages of text as it does on the kindle app, if that makes sense.

One of the things i cant get to grips with is this location thing on kindle. I mean can someone explain to me why that makes sense? We have been using page numbers for ever and now Amazon want to change it? I am not sure how locations work. Can anyone enlighten me?
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:18 PM   #2
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Location numbers are assigned in lieu of page numbers for Kindle books. Since your personal choice of font, font size, words per line, etc. will change how much text is displayed on screen, actual physical page numbers are somewhat irrelevant. Amazon has substituted location numbers, which correspond to the % of text you have read/have left to read. So that, for example, if you start reading a book using very small font but finish it on a larger font, or with different settings, and stop reading, it's the location number that is stored. Thus, when you re-open the book, or if you sync to another reader, or a phone app, and load the same text, you will be restored to the location number where you stopped reading.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:26 AM   #3
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poohbear_nc has it nailed.

I agree that iBooks is great when you want to know how much is left of a chapter. However, as you zoom in, the book gets bigger, so it's not actually that great.

The Kindle location across multiple devices is very useful. If you are at location 567, 11% of the way through, that will be true on you iPhone, iPad, computer, balckberry etc. The "how far to go until the next break" feature would be a small and easy change for Amazon to make.

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Old 08-09-2010, 02:39 AM   #4
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Each location is a count of 128 bytes in the file. As has been said, the whole point of it is that it's font- and screen-size independent. To describe it as "rubbish" without understanding it perhaps a little unwise.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:19 AM   #5
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Ah - i understand a little bit better now. Thanks. I can see why they do it now, although its easier to remember page numbers than locations for me!
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:34 AM   #6
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The problem with page numbers is that they would be totally different on the 10" iPad and the 6" Kindle, so they are worthless in referring to a position in the book. A location, on the other hand, can be used for that purpose, regardless of which Kindle device the reader is using, and what font size has been selected.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The problem with page numbers is that they would be totally different on the 10" iPad and the 6" Kindle, so they are worthless in referring to a position in the book. A location, on the other hand, can be used for that purpose, regardless of which Kindle device the reader is using, and what font size has been selected.
I disagree that "page numbers are worthless." One of the things I really liked on the Sony (and now iBooks) is that it uses page numbers. I feel much more at home looking at page 55 of 215, even if I change the font and it becomes page 82 of 323. It's true, we don't really have pages anymore, but I think the metaphor still works for most people. We don't really have file drawers and folders in our computers either, but we seem to work just fine with the little paper and folder icons.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:30 AM   #8
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I disagree that "page numbers are worthless." One of the things I really liked on the Sony (and now iBooks) is that it uses page numbers. I feel much more at home looking at page 55 of 215, even if I change the font and it becomes page 82 of 323. It's true, we don't really have pages anymore, but I think the metaphor still works for most people. We don't really have file drawers and folders in our computers either, but we seem to work just fine with the little paper and folder icons.
Yeah but people who read on different devices (i.e. myself at home sometimes 6" K2 or KDX and then iPhone on the go and PC at the office) are not able to get anything from a "page number".

A "location" is universal and can be synchronised so i am very happy with it, i don't really care about this "bookfeeling" some people are looking for when it comes to usability.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cockeye View Post
Ah - i understand a little bit better now. Thanks. I can see why they do it now, although its easier to remember page numbers than locations for me!
Why is Page 123 any easier to remember than Location 123?
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:23 AM   #10
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I disagree that "page numbers are worthless." One of the things I really liked on the Sony (and now iBooks) is that it uses page numbers. I feel much more at home looking at page 55 of 215, even if I change the font and it becomes page 82 of 323. It's true, we don't really have pages anymore, but I think the metaphor still works for most people. We don't really have file drawers and folders in our computers either, but we seem to work just fine with the little paper and folder icons.
I didn't say that they were worthless; I said that they were worthless as a method of providing a reference for a particular point in a book.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:56 PM   #11
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I don't think showing the number of pages of an e-book is terribly helpful for exactly the reasons specified: You change the font, you change the screen size, you flip it sideways(? not sure about that one) and your page numbers change. I haven't played with Kindle stuff enough to know how their method works, but I really like they way Stanza tells you simply the percentage of your way through the book. To me, that is a number I can attach some meaning to. To me, iBooks tries too hard to be a digital representation of a physical book, whereas Stanza tries to be an efficient way to read electronic print, ignoring the limitations that come along with trying to replicate a physical book. Page numbers in particular lose meaning not only because they change based on font size, but because they lack context when all books are exactly the size of your device. If I'm page 150 of a book, and can look at the book and see where page 150 is in relation to the thickness of the book, and that will tell me something. But if the book is electronic, I can't see the thickness of the book, so I have to look at the total page numbers and figure it out as a percentage to put the values into perspective. Might as well start with a percentage and save me the effort.

Sure, placing the text inside a picture of an open book looks cool, giving it page numbers makes it more familiar as does giving you a page turn animation, but all of that seems to exist to make you feel like you're reading a real book at the expense of some of the benefits of electronic versions.

That said, I do make use of Stanza's page information when I want to see if I'll be at a good stopping point soon. Tap the screen, and it says that at your current screen/font size, you're 20 of 24 screens (or pages) into the current chapter. To me that is useful information and so much better than the physical book method of flipping through the pages and trying to catch the next chapter heading as you flip by (and then, sometimes, reading with a finger sandwiched in that spot so you know how far you have to go).
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:15 PM   #12
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^ I think the page numbers are great and don't understand why you can't have both. For me, I don't change font sizes or orientation and read on one device. I really like knowing how 'big' this new book is in relation to the one I just finished. Gives me a sense of how long it is going to take me to read - something that is much harder to get with just a percentage.

As far as percentages complete, ibooks doesn't give you a specific number, but you can tell relatively easily by looking at the progress bar - as far as I can tell, each little dot represents 5%.

That said, while I don't have one yet, it looks like the Kindle 3 (all kindles??) show the end location number (the kindle iphone app does not). So, yes, you can use that as your 'page number' and reference for book 'size'.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:16 PM   #13
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Why is Page 123 any easier to remember than Location 123?
Well, it is not usually just location 123, but location 123 - 128 (or something). But I suppose just looking at the first number gets you close enough.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:29 PM   #14
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^ I think the page numbers are great and don't understand why you can't have both. For me, I don't change font sizes or orientation and read on one device. I really like knowing how 'big' this new book is in relation to the one I just finished. Gives me a sense of how long it is going to take me to read - something that is much harder to get with just a percentage.
Ideally there would be options to accommodate everyone's preference, but Apple's tendency is to simplify the UI to supply the one "right" way to do it and thus eliminate confusion. So naturally I want them to simplify it in the way that I prefer it, and to heck with anybody else's preference.

I may feel differently once I get to do some serious reading on an iPad, which has a lot more screen real estate, but now most of my ebook reading is done on an iPod Touch, and I don't want to waste any screen space. I love how Stanza will let me fill the whole screen with text. No page numbers, no title bar, and the only progress indicator is a very narrow, almost invisible bar at the bottom of the screen that shows how far into the book I've gone. I wouldn't want to give any more screen space to a persistent page number, but I do occasionally take advantage of the fact that a single screen tap will generate a pop up bubble with page and percentage information. To me, even with a print book, page information is not something you pay attention to on every page, but when you do look for it, you want it to be there, so physical books have to keep that information on just about every page just in case. But on an ebook, it makes perfect sense to me to hide that information until you want it. It seems to me to be a clear advantage of the electronic medium, and including page numbers on every page is to take a limitation of physical books and force it into electronic books where it doesn't need to be.

But, again, that's based on the sparsity of screen space on my iPod, and a more generous screen might change my mind.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:48 PM   #15
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All I can say is I've been using my Opus for the past week instead of my K2 and I miss the location, % progress and chapter marks I got with the Kindle.
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