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Old 12-12-2017, 10:58 AM   #61
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I don't really understand most of this but I did buy a secondhand Kindle 4 to register to my account in order to try and limit my exposure to the new format for as long as I can. I like Amazon, I only have kindle ereaders now and so long as I can liberate my ebook purchases from DRM then I will continue to buy from Amazon. Once I can't i'll probably go exclusively KU.

I'm not worrying or panicking about it, I have over a thousand unread books plus hundreds i'd happily read again. I don't think anyone can predict what Amazon, or any other ebook seller will do in the future.
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:07 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
@notimp, what you fail to understand is that KF8 is not going away anytime soon. There are Kindle's such as the Kindle Touch that do not handle KFX but do handle KF8. Amazon's continuing support is going to keep KF8 alive. Plus, as it currently stands, not ever eBook that can be converted to KF8 can be converted to KFX. This is another reason KF8 is staying. You can rename one of the .exe files in the latest Kindle for PC to still download KF8. Also if you have an eInk Kindle, you can download the eBook and you will get a KF8.

So why get pissed? It's very easy to get KF8 instead of KFX. Also, why are you blaming us for not removing the DRM of eBooks our relatives are reading? You seem to have a chip on your shoulder that you should get rid of.
It is reasonable to think that kf8 will remain as long as there are kindles that don't support kfx. But one alternative for Amazon would be to produce some kind of inbetween and newly encrypted format with an corresponding fw upgrade that the older models could read. A kind of kfx lite. lm not saying Amazon will do it, but if they really wanted to shut down the garden, it would be an option.

In any case, one can certainly foresee a time when Kindle books will become uncrackable. Amazon appears to be playing the long game and boiling the frog on a very low heat.
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:09 AM   #63
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Question: Can kfx books be cracked when they have drm? Is there any progress in that regard?
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:15 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Pajamaman View Post
Question: Can kfx books be cracked when they have drm? Is there any progress in that regard?
Some proof of concept code has been posted.
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:16 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pajamaman View Post
Question: Can kfx books be cracked when they have drm? Is there any progress in that regard?
Yes, and yes.
The problem is that the unencrypted KFX is an inferior archival format and a sub-optimal source for format shifting (because of the device-specific pre-rendered content).
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:57 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
As far as the DRM thing goes. I tend to agree with many here: the "Unlimited (Amazon) Device" encryption practice on ALL KFX books is at odds with the intentions of those authors/publishers who have chosen to provide their content DRM-Free. Those who care deeply about this should let those authors/publishers know that their DRM-Free stance is being undermined by the Unlimited Amazon Device encryption on KFX.
There is an additional problem when amazon puts the following in the book description:
Quote:
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
This goes beyond how authors/publishers/readers feel about the principle, it is a false statement.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:05 PM   #67
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To my knowledge Amazon hasn't shared their reasons for developing KFX. My speculation is that the primary reason was a desire to have a common rendering engine that they had full control over and that could be used in all Kindle apps and devices.

KF8 was never released for the iOS app. Instead that supports AZK, which uses the same browser-based rendering engine as Kindle Cloud Reader. My best guess is that the modified Webkit used for rendering KF8 was not allowed by Apple. Apple has a requirement that HTML be rendered only using the Safari engine on that platform. By switching to a non-HTML-based format they have bypassed that restriction.

The current system of three formats with increasing capabilities (MOBI7, KF8 and KFX) seems pretty stable to me. I don't see any particular advantage for Amazon to do away with the older formats as long as there are a significant number of customers buying books and reading them on older devices.

On the other hand I also expect that there will be an increasing number of books going forward that are only available in KFX format. Currently Indic language books are only available that way. I have seen signs that Arabic language books and books with MathML will be coming soon and I believe that these will also be KFX only. Still I expect KFX-only books to be a minority for the foreseeable future.

Last edited by jhowell; 12-12-2017 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:15 PM   #68
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As I've been saying, KFX doesn't need to exist. And I've been also saying that darryl said that you do what KFX is doing with KF8. Amazon would just have to modify the renderer. Adobe did that with RMSDK (ADE) and ePub now can do hyphenation, ligatures, kerning, and variable spaces. This is all without the need for a new format.

A lot of us want our reading experience to be the way we like it. The problem is that we don't get this out of the box. So we resort to patching/jailbreaking our Readers and/or modifying the eBooks to deliver what is a good reading experience.

Amazon delivers a reading experience that most people don't mind. They download their eBooks and as long as they get that reading experience without any gotchas, they are happy with the status quo. They don't know the format of the eBooks they read. They don't know if there is DRM or not. They just want to read and as long as Amazon allows them to read the way they have been, they are happy. For these people, in most cases, Amazon has improved the reading experience with hyphenation, ligatures, and kerning. Now people can improve that even more with the ability to increase the weight of the default fonts and can set more font sizes. KFX, and the new font controls are only available on a PW2 or newer. This is where Kobo shines with their support for older devices with new or newish firmware. So from that perspective, you do get a better reading experience from Kobo on older devices then you do from older Kindles.

Amazon could go one step further to improve the reading experience by removing Mobipocket as a supported format. That way, those that make eBooks for use with Kindles could use more advanced features without having to deal with an obsolete format. Amazon could say that Mobi is going away and give people a year to save to buy a newer Kindle to replace the older one.

But overall, Amazon gives most customers what they want for a reading experience and until it's shown to Amazon that it's not working, Amazon won't change.
One comment:
Your suggestion to force customers to buy a new ereader would succeed in making Amazon lose customers. Some of us like our older kindles and might not could afford to replace them.

PS: Menopause is a pain in a butt. It is causing the need for me to severely censor my posts.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:19 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Josieb1 View Post
I don't really understand most of this but I did buy a secondhand Kindle 4 to register to my account in order to try and limit my exposure to the new format for as long as I can. I like Amazon, I only have kindle ereaders now and so long as I can liberate my ebook purchases from DRM then I will continue to buy from Amazon. Once I can't i'll probably go exclusively KU.

I'm not worrying or panicking about it, I have over a thousand unread books plus hundreds i'd happily read again. I don't think anyone can predict what Amazon, or any other ebook seller will do in the future.
You will still be giving Amazon money.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:29 PM   #70
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Hey folks,
I rightly don't worry about DRM or format or whatever. All I want is a book I can read on my chosen device. More hours in the day would be nice too. I would also like a wife for Christmas. Here is my chief complaint.
People that seriously complain about how evil a company is because they are a wall garden (even I found the gate), they mistreat their employees, etc, but still give this company hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year.
So if you would really like Amazon to change, quit buying from them.

Personally, I don't know how true the mistreatment is because I have seen people that got fired later complain about being mistreated when they were the ones abusing other employees.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:30 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
The problem is that the unencrypted KFX is an inferior archival format and a sub-optimal source for format shifting (because of the device-specific pre-rendered content).
I agree that KFX is inferior to KF8 as a source for conversion and archival, but I would say that it is compiled rather than pre-rendered. As far as I can tell the instructions in KFX for rendering a particular book are common across all platforms.

The process of conversion to KFX applies a bunch of heuristics intended to improve the look of the formatting, for example by tightening up excessive white space. It messes with units, so that a book originally coded with a particular property size expressed in pixels may have it changed to percent or ems in the interest of consistent rendering across devices. CSS is flattened into a simplified set of display rendering properties. Distinctions between HTML elements such as <p> and <div> or <span> and <b> are lost during conversion and are retained only in as much as they impact the resulting display properties of the element.

There are three different ways that images can be delivered based on the platform used to read the book: SD color, HD color, and grayscale. So the image content of a book converted from KFX will depend on the type of device that the book was sent to. Kindle for PC would be superior to an e-ink device as a source for conversion. (Images in KF8 format are sometimes split out into a separate azw6 file that varies across devices in much the same way.)

Last edited by jhowell; 12-12-2017 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:14 PM   #72
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We're saying basically the same thing, I think. I'm merely using incorrect terminology. I defer to your more intimate knowledge of the inner-workings of the KFX format, of course.
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Old 12-12-2017, 10:45 PM   #73
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Thanks to jhowell and DiapDealer for your comments on advantages of kix other than shoring up the walled garden which may have influenced Amazon's decision to go this way.

In post #60 DiapDealer wrote:

Quote:
If it were truly that simple to incorporate the enhanced typography features in such a way that all devices/apps (which supported enhanced typography) would display them similarly via KF8, it would have been done that way I believe.

What you're describing is handling it the same way as epub does. Meaning that the same file will render differently (from subtle to drastic) in every app and on every device.
I had not thought this through adequately nor sufficiently understood the technical advantages of kfx, but clearly this does fit in very neatly with Amazon's customer-driven philosophy. In fact, given the variety of Amazon devices and applications and its obsessiveness with customer satisfaction, having a single format able to deliver a near uniform and optimal reader experience over all devices and applications is an explanation in itself. As I understand DiapDealer's above comments, an epub like implementation in kf8 would not have the desired result of a similar rendering on all devices. Instead, to achieve this would require a separate customised kf8 file for each device, a far less satisfactory solution.

This also fits in nearly with jhowell''s comment in post #67 as to the use of only azk on the IOS app.

In post #67, jhowell also wrote:

Quote:
To my knowledge Amazon hasn't shared their reasons for developing KFX. My speculation is that the primary reason was a desire to have a common rendering engine that they had full control over and that could be used in all Kindle apps and devices.
So yes, as I now understand the situation, the features themselves could have been implemented in kf8, but not in a manner that could easily render in a similar fashion in all of Amazon's devices and apps. Perhaps the idea came from azk on IOS. Or possibly azk was a precursor or proof of concept.

In this light I also see no real reason for Amazon to seek to withdraw kf8 files or further lock-down kfx. In fact, the development of kfx would have been a good opportunity to strengthen its drm if it was of a mind to. To my admittedly less than expert view, it seems that Amazon could have made things a great deal more difficult than they in fact did if this was their aim. Certainly they did not make it easy, but the impression I get is that they were fairly indifferent to whether the format was reverse-engineered or the drm circumvented. It is even possible that Amazon does not entirely disapprove of this development. Given the noncompetitive nature of the other major ebook vendors, Amazon logically benefits to some unknown extent from selling ebooks to their customers which some can read only by removing drm and converting to epub. Even if this number is relatively small Amazon seems to have little incentive to lose them.

I'm trying to think what Amazon stands to really gain by going kfx only at this stage, particularly in light of its customer focus, and I'm not coming up with anything compelling in the foreseeable future.

Last edited by darryl; 12-12-2017 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:51 PM   #74
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I think you are giving Amazon a little too much credit for being customer focused. They drug their feet for a long time on the whole bold issue. They are going to be careful about doing anything to upset customers too much, but they aren't going to be responsive to customer's needs/wants unless there are enough of them that care.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:50 AM   #75
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I think you are giving Amazon a little too much credit for being customer focused. They drug their feet for a long time on the whole bold issue. They are going to be careful about doing anything to upset customers too much, but they aren't going to be responsive to customer's needs/wants unless there are enough of them that care.
Exactly. It makes no sense to please everybody. Wasted effort to make a minor subset happy. 100% customer satisfaction is a myth.

Take expandable storage for example. First Kindle had that and caused problems for CS. The next Kindles had no more sd card slot. Oh my, I need expandable storage to put all my books. That is a tiny minority fringe group. Kobo used to cater to them. Not anymore. Amazon waited a long time to make a huge storage availlable as option.

Coincidentally perfectly timed just after the sd card slot went the dodo bird route for Kobo in favour of better/cheaper water resistance. Amazon is smart enough to advertise the bigger storage option as place for audiobooks. The hardware is already in place with bluetooth in the cheapest Kindle and the most expensive one, even in last years Oasis. PW and Voyage are audiobook capable with an adapter. Many wrongly assumed that integrating BT in the basic was for accessibility only for the blind. Now looking at it, it is much more likely that it was the first step in reviving Audible support back into the Kindle line.

Think about it - tons and tons of capable Kindles already sold and in use, all waiting for a new FW to flip support on for Audible. Sneaky, right under the competitions eyes.
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