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Old 02-17-2023, 10:29 PM   #1
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DRM workaround: Kindle for Android

Note: Please don't PM me with questions! Better to ask in this thread (we'll redirect you to the NoDRM Github if needed).

If you are affected by the changes to Kindle downloads and yet don't have a Kindle device, there's now another solution: Kindle for Android.

You don't need an Android device, thanks to Bluestacks.

As I do not have a Prime account, I've only tested this for purchased books and samples.

Note that reading a book via KU loan pays the author per page, which cannot be tracked if the book is read outside Kindle.

A brief set of instructions. If you need something more step-by-step, this post will help more.

1. Acquire SDK Platform Tools to get adb.exe (Android Debug Bridge) and an APK for an older version of Kindle for Android, 4.17 and below.. I used 4.16.0.75.

If OldVersion.com isn't working, I don't know of the legitimacy of other websites. An APK of version 4.16.0.75 should have an MD5 hash of 1ebe31041db4824c9f83a43d04d74668 (not case-sensitive). If you have nothing to check, this website will do it.

Note that there are reports that the apk won't work for Android 11, and that at least on Android 10 the app may attempt to force the user to upgrade to download books. 32-bit Nougat on Bluestacks is confirmed to work.

If you don't have an Android device and Bluestacks is not available for your system (Linux or M1 Macs), one user reports success using 4.16.0.75 in Android Emulator (part of Android Studio), albeit with severe performance penalties.

2. Follow these instructions to extract your Kindle key and import to DeDRM.

If your adb file is very small (0-1 kb), the backup most likely failed. Try running through the instructions again. One possible error is using newer version of Kindle for Android, which doesn't support backup.

One user reports that using adb backup -all also works, but expect a large file!

(Note that if using Bluestacks, you need to enable the option in its advanced settings, check the port number—most times its 5555—and use adb connect localhost:{portnumber} or 127.0.0.1:{portnumber})

3. After downloading your book, look in /Android/data/com.amazon.kindle/files/ for PRC files inside ASIN-labelled subfolders. Copy it out and DeDRM it.

(Bluestacks has a preinstalled "Media Manager" app that allows you to export the file to the OS.)

Notes:

- There was no attempts from the app to update itself. Still, I would suggest keeping the APK for backup.

- I suspect Amazon may be monitoring MobileRead. If this method gets blocked, I'll know for sure.

- There's been several reports of this method failing on physical devices and the app demanding an upgrade to download. It continues to work on Bluestacks for now, so try that.

- For high-resolution images:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieTigger View Post
Workaround to get high resolution image downloads. This is an anomaly with Bluestacks that refuses KFX downloads, for now at least. So I suggest you keep a Bluestacks version that has the old 4.16 app which does not support KFX. To get high res do this:
  1. Create a new Nougat VM with the Bluestacks multi-instance manager. (alternatively you can clone your working Kindle 4.16 VM, then skip #2)
  2. Follow the instructions in first post to install, login, and backup the Kindle for Android version 4.16.
  3. Download Kindle for Android version 8.51.1.0 (oldversion doesn't have it, I used apkpure Kindle for Android version 8.51.1.0 - the arm64-v8a will only work for 64bit Bluestacks and the armeabi-v7a will work for 32bit and 64bit Bluestacks)
  4. Install the downloaded APK - if using adb, you need to use "adb install -r XYZ.apk" to update existing app, the builtin APK installer in Bluestacks does that automatically.
  5. download and install the AZW6 Image Merge into calibre
  6. delete and redownload books that have previously been downloaded with the Kindle 4.16 version, e.g. if you cloned your instance
  7. for each book extract the .prc and .ast file (the quick and dirty way is to use "adb pull /sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.kindle/files" - then traverse the files folder and drag and drop the .prc files into calibre)

This will NOT work on Android Emulator or on a Nexus7 tablet, it probably won't work anywhere else than Bluestacks.

Last edited by ownedbycats; 05-11-2023 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 02-17-2023, 10:31 PM   #2
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Old 02-17-2023, 11:18 PM   #3
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Unfortunately I can't get it to work. The command prompt returns "No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it."

Edit: ignore the above. The portal was not supposed to be 5555 in my case.

Last edited by Sirtel; 02-17-2023 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 02-18-2023, 12:06 AM   #4
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Well, it finally worked, but it was not the simplest of things I've done. I'm no computer whiz.

Many-many thanks to you, ownedbycats! While I do have a couple of eink Kindles, it's good to have more than one method.
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Old 02-18-2023, 07:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ownedbycats View Post
- I suspect Amazon may be monitoring MobileRead. If this method gets blocked, I'll know for sure.
I don't think they'd even need to monitor Mobileread for that (although they probably do).

I imagine Amazon knows exactly which version(s) of their clients supports what DRM, and which of their DRM versions can be removed and which can't.

If they suddenly see a huge increase in new registrations with an ancient K4Android version, it should be pretty clear to them what is happening.
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Old 02-18-2023, 08:24 AM   #6
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@ownedbycats thank you

IS this process can Work in an Android Tablet?

Last edited by Patitapetit; 02-18-2023 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 02-18-2023, 09:51 AM   #7
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Should ONLY be used for purchased books, never Kindle Unlimited, Prime or Library borrows, or else the author isn't paid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leseratte_10 View Post
I don't think they'd even need to monitor Mobileread for that (although they probably do).

I imagine Amazon knows exactly which version(s) of their clients supports what DRM, and which of their DRM versions can be removed and which can't.

If they suddenly see a huge increase in new registrations with an ancient K4Android version, it should be pretty clear to them what is happening.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patitapetit View Post

@ownedbycats thank you

IS this process can Work in an Android Tablet?
Yes, it will work on any Android phone or tablet that allows 3rd party APKs.

Most do if you enable developer mode.
First hit on search.
https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-enab...ndroid-4684044

Works on all my Android devices (I have actually done Android development).

Also lets you install KOReader apk for Android direct from Git using the phone/tablet browser to download it!
Click on Latest under releases
https://github.com/koreader/koreader

scroll down to:
Installation instructions: Android • Cervantes • ChromeOS • Kindle • Kobo • PocketBook • ReMarkable • Desktop Linux • MacOS

If you don't see a load of downloads for each platform under Assets, then try a different browser such as Chromium.
Quote:
koreader-2023.01-amd64.deb
27.3 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-2023.01-arm64.deb
25.9 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-2023.01-armel.deb
25.6 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-2023.01-armhf.deb
25.6 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-android-arm-v2023.01.apk
30.9 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-android-arm64-v2023.01.apk
33.1 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-android-x86-v2023.01.apk
33.2 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-appimage-x86_64-linux-gnu-v2023.01.AppImage
41.1 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-cervantes-v2023.01.zip
39.6 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-kindle-legacy-v2023.01.zip
40.1 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-kindle-v2023.01.zip
39.5 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-kindlepw2-v2023.01.zip
39.6 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-kobo-v2023.01.zip
41.4 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-pocketbook-v2023.01.zip
40.1 MB
2 weeks ago
koreader-remarkable-v2023.01.zip
39.8 MB
2 weeks ago

Last edited by Quoth; 02-18-2023 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 02-18-2023, 10:21 AM   #8
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@Quoth thank you for your answer

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Old 02-18-2023, 10:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post

Also lets you install KOReader apk for Android direct from Git using the phone/tablet browser to download it!
Click on Latest under releases
https://github.com/koreader/koreader

scroll down to:
Installation instructions: Android • Cervantes • ChromeOS • Kindle • Kobo • PocketBook • ReMarkable • Desktop Linux • MacOS

If you don't see a load of downloads for each platform under Assets, then try a different browser such as Chromium.

Why get KOreader directly from GitHub?.
I've downloaded It from F-droid

Last edited by Patitapetit; 02-18-2023 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 02-18-2023, 11:40 AM   #10
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Why get KOreader directly from GitHub?.
I've downloaded It from F-droid
Because that's where it's released. F-droid is a downstream copy. More risk of contamination or being out of date.
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Old 02-18-2023, 12:12 PM   #11
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Because that's where it's released. F-droid is a downstream copy. More risk of contamination or being out of date.

Thank u . I didn't know

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Old 02-18-2023, 01:55 PM   #12
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Why the enormous text?
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Old 02-18-2023, 02:18 PM   #13
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Why the enormous text?
sorry I didn't know It was so big. In my tablet this size look very little
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Old 02-18-2023, 02:21 PM   #14
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Ive changed my texts. I hope they do not look big

Last edited by Patitapetit; 02-18-2023 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Change
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Old 02-18-2023, 02:31 PM   #15
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If you are affected by the changes to Kindle downloads and yet don't have a Kindle device, there's now another solution: Kindle for Android.
Thanks for your work on this. I will give it a try when I have time.
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