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Old 12-04-2014, 06:45 PM   #1
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Question azw or mobi for a PW2?

Apologies in advance for this newbie but genuinely uninitiated question.

Having taken advantage of their $99 promo price I recently treated myself to a 2nd generation Paperwhite. I've done a fair share of conversions with my Nook HD and am aware that the Kindle PW can handle both azw as well as mobi formats but am left wondering what other users have experienced with either? Not that I'm asking if one is better than the other but rather what, if any differences there might be between the two or is it a coin toss preference?

Can one provide better Xray benefits? Does one flavor format or index better? Which one is more (or, less) prone to frustrate?
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:37 PM   #2
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AZW and MOBI are two names for the exact same, byte-identical files. You can rename the filename from one to the other and it will still be the exact same book.

There are two formats, mobi7 and mobi8.

mobi7 is known as MOBI and was the original mobipocket format which used the Palm database wrapper. On certain devices, this needed to have the extension PRC (Palm Resource Compiler) and additionally Amazon calls them AZW.

mobi8 is the new version Amazon created which is similar to an EPUB but in the same Palm Database wrapper. Known as KF8 (Kindle Format 8), it uses the file extension AZW3.

The difference between AZW3 and MOBI is that AZW3 supports more stuff, like embedded fonts and saner handling of hyphens.
It also cannot be read by any standard ereaders except for Amazon's Kindles, whereas MOBI can be read by other devices like the Kobo and various smartphone/tablet apps.

calibre, of course, supports both, because AZW3 was reverse-engineered for conversion purposes.
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:11 PM   #3
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I believe that if you convert with Calibre, x-ray doesn't work, because Calibre doesn't copy the X-ray, etc files.
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:55 PM   #4
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X-ray is a feature of Amazon's servers, and is available for Amazon books. And conversion will indeed change the book, so the X-Ray data becomes invalid. The is a program to create X-Ray data, however.
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=245754
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:05 AM   #5
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So xray will not work if not connected to wifi?
will dictionary work without wifi?
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:08 AM   #6
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Sorry if I wasn't clear.

X-ray is a proprietary (and mostly reverse-enineered) bit of secret sauce which Amazon delivers, but it is of course downloaded for offline usage, the same way the book was.

Dictionaries likewise are downloaded.

Bing Translate and Wikipedia on the other hand depend on Internet connectivity, for obvious reasons.
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:54 AM   #7
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I think the original poster was asking about AZW3 vs Mobi. In which case, AZW3. All the way.

Even if the book was converted from ePub 2, since it may contain embedded fonts (which Mobi doesn't support).

Last edited by DSpider; 12-05-2014 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:30 AM   #8
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I'd experimented with a couple of clean epub titles to get accustomed to a different type of conversion. The first came through with Kindle's version of generic covers, which led to a search here for what additional boxes/radio buttons I needed to be more aware of. To tell the truth I figured it was a combination of my naivety and choice of mobi for conversion.

Thanks for the mini lesson, eschwartz. Leave it to the suits at Amazon to buy up or control the tools needed for their own wizards to sort out!
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:44 AM   #9
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From what I've read the Paperwhite has 6, maybe 8 fonts. They'll have to do for now. All conversions have been from epub to mobi, which was then re-converted to azw as it seemed to make more sense after reading these replies.

Thanks, DSpider.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phunnylinguist View Post
From what I've read the Paperwhite has 6, maybe 8 fonts. They'll have to do for now. All conversions have been from epub to mobi, which was then re-converted to azw as it seemed to make more sense after reading these replies.

Thanks, DSpider.
With regards to fonts, as was stated earlier (by @eschwartz) if you are converting to azw3 you can embed a font of your choice with Calibre...the trick is to find one you really like. There are several threads on MR concerning fonts and some fonts that have been modified by forum members to work well on e-ink are linked and available for download.

Last edited by GoSharks; 12-05-2014 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:48 AM   #11
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Don't convert epub to mobi, then the converted mobi to azw3. That's just wrong. You may end up losing some formatting along the way. Mobi is a really ancient format (think PRC, Palm Pre days, that sort of thing, when "PDAs" were still around). Go straight from epub to azw3, without any in-between conversions.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phunnylinguist View Post
Can one provide better Xray benefits?
As far as X-Ray is concerned, there is no difference between book formats, it's all determined by a file external from the AZW or MOBI that is generated by either Amazon or one of the building tools. However, the builder is not compatible with the new PW2 firmware yet, so you will only have X-Ray on books you get from Amazon for now.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:02 AM   #13
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I had posted an inaccuracy: all previous conversions were in fact to azw from clean epub, and not from mobi.

Thanks for the tip, despite the nebulous admonition. I can appreciate the appearance of potential byte marks on a re-reconverted document.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:07 AM   #14
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Given Amazon's desire to keep users of their devices completely immersed in their (Amazon's) environment, this makes sense; why should we expect it to function on ebooks migrated from/purchased elsewhere?

That'd be like expecting LG 3D glasses to work on a Samsung TV.
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:00 PM   #15
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The X-ray file has to exist, and match the book file, in all respects. Otherwise, hoe would the Kindle or app realize that they go together? Also, when you use Calibre to transfer books to a Kindle, it doesn't copy the sidecar files. They probably aren't even in the Calibre library.
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