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Old 02-06-2017, 06:36 PM   #1
jhowell
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Florida
Device: iPad Air 2, Kindle PW2, Nexus 7, Fire 5th Gen
Dealing with Kindle for PC/Mac 1.19 and KFX in calibre

Starting with version 1.19 for most books Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac use the new KFX format, which is incompatible with calibre.

These books will appear in a subdirectory of the "My Kindle Content" folder, will import into calibre as "AZW" format, and will fail to convert with the error: "KFXError: This is an Amazon KFX book. It cannot be processed."

The following descriptions apply both to Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac unless one mentioned explicitly.


Method 1 - Revert to an older version of Kindle for PC/Mac

At the moment Kindle version 1.17 can still be installed to work around this problem. I suggest following steps:
  • Launch Kindle and under the menu choice "Tools", "Options", "General", uncheck "Automatically install updates when they are available without asking me." (Note: This option is not available in Kindle for Mac version 1.20.2.)
  • Exit the Kindle program.
  • Delete the contents of the "My Kindle Content" folder within your "Documents" folder.
  • Download version 1.17 of Kindle. These files are no longer available directly from Amazon, so you will need to search for the proper file name and find it on a third party site. The name is "KindleForPC-installer-1.17.44170.exe" for PC and "KindleForMac-44182.dmg" for Mac.
  • Verify the one of the following cryptographic hash values, using software of your choice, before installing the downloaded file in order to avoid viruses. If the hash does not match, delete the downloaded file and try again from another site.
    Kindle for PC:
    MD-5: 53F793B562F4823721AA47D7DE099869
    SHA-1: 73C404D719F0DD8D4AE1C2C96612B095D6C86255
    SHA-256: 14E0F0053F1276C0C7C446892DC170344F707FBFE99B695176 2C120144163200
    Kindle for Mac:
    MD-5: E7E36D5369E1F3CF1D28E5D9115DF15F
    SHA-1: 7AB9A86B954CB23D622BD79E3257F8E2182D791C
    SHA-256: 28DC21246A9C7CDEDD2D6F0F4082E6BF7EF9DB9CE9D485548E 8A9E1D19EAE2AC
  • Install the downloaded version 1.17 software.
  • Launch it and check that the option to automatically install updates is still turned off.
  • Kindle may need to be registered by signing in to your Amazon account within the program. Some users have reported being unable to sign in to their Amazon account within Kindle for PC once version 1.17 is reinstalled. If that occurs go to the Amazon website and on the manage your content and devices page, and on the "Your Devices" tab locate "Kindle for PC" (or Mac) and deregister it using the "..." "Actions" menu. Wait a few minutes for it to take affect and try to sign in again. (If all else fails then re-install and register again and start over with step 1.)
  • If asked if you want to update to the new version always reject it. ("Skip" the update.)
  • Re-download your books and import into calibre as before.


Method 2 - Disable KFX support in Kindle for PC/Mac

As an alternative, a method is available to prevent versions 1.19, 1.20 and 1.21 from making use of KFX format.
  • Exit the Kindle program.
  • Open a command window (PC) or terminal window (Mac).
  • Cut and paste the appropriate command for your operating system to disable the renderer-test program.
    PC:
    Code:
    ren %localappdata%\Amazon\Kindle\application\renderer-test.exe renderer-test.xxx
    Mac:
    Code:
    chmod -x /Applications/Kindle.app/Contents/MacOS/renderer-test
    This prevents the renderer-test program from executing, blocking the use of KFX.

    PC Note: The renderer-test program may be in a different location in some Kindle for PC installations. If the rename command fails look in other folders, such as C:\Program Files\Amazon\Kindle.

    Mac Note: If the chmod command fails with a permission error try again using sudo.
  • After restarting the Kindle program any books previously downloaded in KFX format will no longer open. You will need to remove them from your device and re-download them. All future downloads will use the older Kindle formats instead of KFX although they will continue to be placed in one individual subdirectory per book.


Method 3 - Use an e-ink Kindle instead

If you have an e-ink Kindle device registered to your Amazon account you have the option of downloading books directly from Amazon instead of using Kindle for PC/Mac.
  • From the Amazon website access "Account & Lists" -> "Manage Your Content and Devices".
  • Find a book you want to import into calibre and press the "..." button in the "Actions" column for that book.
  • In the menu that pops up choose "Download & transfer via USB". Then select the name of your registered kindle device in the drop down menu and press the "Download" button.
  • Import the downloaded file into calibre as you would a file from Kindle for PC. You will need to select the proper folder containing the downloaded file. (This folder will be different from the "My Kindle Content" folder used by Kindle for PC.)
  • Users of the DRM Tools should refer to Apprentice Alf's Blog for information on the configuration required to support books downloaded for an e-ink Kindle.

Method 4 - Convert from KFX to other formats

It now possible, but not easy, to convert books from KFX to other formats in calibre by installing the optional KFX Input plugin. The lack of automatic DRM removal makes this process difficult so it is not recommended unless there is no other alternative, such as for Indic language books only available in KFX.

Last edited by jhowell; 11-01-2017 at 10:09 AM. Reason: add method 4
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