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Old 05-09-2019, 04:27 PM   #1
NoSpamMan
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Syncing Non-Amazon purchased books on Kindle App and Device

Howdy,

I'm new to Kindle books, but have been using Apple iBooks for some time now. Now that I'm in Grad School, and having to read a lot of books, I realize how limiting iBooks are since they will not (officially) move to other devices. I just got a Kindle about 6 weeks ago and love it, but also need to bounce around from that to the Kindle App on 2 macs, and very rarely, my iPhone.

Unfortunately, I still have a lot of iBooks I need to read for school and keep synced on all devices, the Kindle itself, and the MacOS app in particular. There is no major problem doing this with Amazon purchased books, but apparently, I cannot send or sync an iBook, even one with DRM removed (in MOBI format), to the MacOS kindle app. And that's really where I most want to read it. I chatted with Amazone Kindle help and all they would say was no, no, no. Can't do it. Now I'm wondering if that's just the party line and they don't want to help a student out, or if it's really true or not.

Just to be clear, using Calibre, I can get the iBook into a MOBI format that you can open and read in the App and on the Kindle itself. What I don't know how to do, if it's possible, is to keep it synced with the Kindle and the other Kindle app on the other Mac.

Is there any way to do this?

What I've learned is that buying iBooks is a stupid, narrow, limiting thing when they restrict it to only Apple devices. I really hate that and will only buy Amazon books from here on out.

In the meantime, is there a reasonable way to do what I want to do?
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:15 PM   #2
Barbara1955
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E-books Not purchased thru Amazon Can Not be Sync across devices.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSpamMan View Post
Howdy,

I'm new to Kindle books, but have been using Apple iBooks for some time now. Now that I'm in Grad School, and having to read a lot of books, I realize how limiting iBooks are since they will not (officially) move to other devices. I just got a Kindle about 6 weeks ago and love it, but also need to bounce around from that to the Kindle App on 2 macs, and very rarely, my iPhone.

Unfortunately, I still have a lot of iBooks I need to read for school and keep synced on all devices, the Kindle itself, and the MacOS app in particular. There is no major problem doing this with Amazon purchased books, but apparently, I cannot send or sync an iBook, even one with DRM removed (in MOBI format), to the MacOS kindle app. And that's really where I most want to read it. I chatted with Amazone Kindle help and all they would say was no, no, no. Can't do it. Now I'm wondering if that's just the party line and they don't want to help a student out, or if it's really true or not.

Just to be clear, using Calibre, I can get the iBook into a MOBI format that you can open and read in the App and on the Kindle itself. What I don't know how to do, if it's possible, is to keep it synced with the Kindle and the other Kindle app on the other Mac.

Is there any way to do this?

What I've learned is that buying iBooks is a stupid, narrow, limiting thing when they restrict it to only Apple devices. I really hate that and will only buy Amazon books from here on out.

In the meantime, is there a reasonable way to do what I want to do?
I'm not on a Mac, but I think you just need to email the .mobi file to your kindle email address. This puts it into your Kindle cloud and all kindle apps should sync to that. However, I'm not sure if the kindle app on a PC/Mac will work with these doc files (which is how Amazon defines them in the Kindle cloud).
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:51 PM   #4
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A personal document will sync with Kindle devices, Fire tables and the iOS and Android apps. It will not download or sync to the PC or MacOS apps or the cloud (web browser) reader.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Barbara1955 View Post
E-books Not purchased thru Amazon Can Not be Sync across devices.
This is what Amazon told me and may be true. Just hard to tell what their "official" word is, -vs- what might be done unofficially.

They also told me I could not get a book in the app, but I just did that by converting the file to MOBI and then just asking the Finder to use the Mac Kindle App to open it. It did.

I don't understand what to do with the metadata file that Calibre creates though. I guess that doesn't go anywhere?...
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kyrilson View Post
I'm not on a Mac, but I think you just need to email the .mobi file to your kindle email address. This puts it into your Kindle cloud and all kindle apps should sync to that. However, I'm not sure if the kindle app on a PC/Mac will work with these doc files (which is how Amazon defines them in the Kindle cloud).
This would have been an excellent solution, but Amazon does not provide email addresses for anything in the MacOS. iOS is fine, but not the MacOS. My Kindle, my iPhone, and any iPads I have banging around can have a mail-to-kindle email address, just not the Mac App.

They could fix this quite easily I'd think and the tech I chatted with said s/he would submit it as a possible feature for future versions.
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:00 PM   #7
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A personal document will sync with Kindle devices, Fire tables and the iOS and Android apps. It will not download or sync to the PC or MacOS apps or the cloud (web browser) reader.
I guess it just seems like an odd, illogical restriction unless there is some concern about viruses. But we're still talking about the MacOS, where that's not a major issue, so...

Just seems so weird, extremely arbitrary and very frustrating that we can't enjoy a book on any digital device. I really get the anger about DRM now a lot more.
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:03 PM   #8
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They also told me I could not get a book in the app, but I just did that by converting the file to MOBI and then just asking the Finder to use the Mac Kindle App to open it. It did.
You can get it into the app locally, but it will not download from your account. It will not connect the sideloaded copy of the book with your account to sync reading position or highlights.

Quote:
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I don't understand what to do with the metadata file that Calibre creates though. I guess that doesn't go anywhere?...
Calibre’s metadata.opf file is a backup of book metadata for the calibre program. It isn’t for use by anything else.
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:49 PM   #9
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You can get it into the app locally, but it will not download from your account. It will not connect the sideloaded copy of the book with your account to sync reading position or highlights.

Bummer. Well, now I know.

Calibre’s metadata.opf file is a backup of book metadata for the calibre program. It isn’t for use by anything else.
Ah, that's helpful to know. Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:59 PM   #10
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I guess it just seems like an odd, illogical restriction unless there is some concern about viruses. But we're still talking about the MacOS, where that's not a major issue, so...
This is probably due to monetary considerations rather than any concerns for malware. More likely than not, few people use the Windows PC and MacOS apps so development resources is more focused on mobile platforms.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:54 PM   #11
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If you can't get it to sync for you you can do it yourself. I used to do this all the time when I was reading on my Kindle and on the Moon+ app on my phone. I just make sure to remember a key phrase on the current page as I end a session and do a text search for that phrase on the other device.

For example, in my current book I'd pick the phrase "slowly and carefully" and just remember it. That's not much to remember. Then in the other device I do a text search in the book. About 99% of the time there'll be only one instance and I tap it and start reading. Sometimes there'll be 2 or even 3 instances of a phrase in a book but there's enough context on the search page that it's no more difficult. I tap it and start reading.

The difference in this and letting the Kindle do the syncing is that it takes more effort. It's also quite a bit faster when I use search so it's worth the effort. Letting the Kindle sync usually takes 2 or 3 times longer than doing it with text search and Kindle's sync sometimes fails, although it usually works. Text search never fails as long as I remember the phrase and type it correctly.

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Old 05-09-2019, 08:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by NoSpamMan View Post
What I've learned is that buying iBooks is a stupid, narrow, limiting thing when they restrict it to only Apple devices. I really hate that and will only buy Amazon books from here on out.
So now you'll be restricted to Amazon devices. Hmmm.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:18 PM   #13
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So now you'll be restricted to Amazon devices. Hmmm.
Not true. The Kindle app can be installed on Android, iDevices, PCs, Macs, and Windows tablets.

And the Cloud Reader can be used from a browser.

We own two Kindles, and have the Kindle app on our other iDevices. No restriction at all.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:25 PM   #14
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Not true. The Kindle app can be installed on Android, iDevices, PCs, Macs, and Windows tablets.
True, but you're still restricted to their ecosystem. It's the usual argument about proprietary DRMs, which was my underlying point. No need to beat that dead horse any more and there are other threads devoted to it if you want to.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:11 AM   #15
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If you don’t need to read these books on a Kindle, you can add .ePub or .PDF files to Books and sync via iCloud and they’ll be in your Books library on all your iDevices

You can use Google Play Books for ‘personal’ .ePub and .PDF as well. On your Mac you can use browser to read them. Also read them on PC browser, Android etc. There’s also a slick way to export notes and highlights to Google Docs. You can even sorta read these on your Kindle with Experimental Browser (last time I tried it anyway), but don’t.

Last edited by tomsem; 05-10-2019 at 12:13 AM.
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