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Old 02-06-2017, 05:36 PM   #1
jhowell
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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 is still available from Amazon and can 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."
  • Exit the Kindle program.
  • Delete the contents of the "My Kindle Content" folder within your "Documents" folder.
  • Download version 1.17 of Kindle. It is safest to download it directly from Amazon, instead of going to a third party site. Direct links are https://s3.amazonaws.com/kindleforpc...1.17.44170.exe for PC and https://s3.amazonaws.com/kindleforma...rMac-44182.dmg for Mac.
  • 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 version 1.19 (and possibly version 1.20) from making use of KFX format.
  • Exit the Kindle version 1.19 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
  • 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.

Last edited by jhowell; 03-25-2017 at 09:05 AM. Reason: update instructions
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Old 02-09-2017, 01:03 PM   #2
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to: jhowell

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this information. I was ready to give up on my free books from Amazon for the future since I got "improved" version of KindleforPC automatically today. Your directions for uninstalling and re-installing KindleforPC are excellent and worked great for me. One thing I'd like to add. I had downloaded my books once this morning right after the upgrade installed. Then when I tried to download them with the older version of KindleforPC. I found that I needed to go to Amazon and in manage my content, set the books up for delivery again. Once I did that, presto, chango everything was back to normal. Thanks again for the timely help. You are amazing.

Last edited by bauerhjb; 02-14-2017 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:55 PM   #3
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I must be doing something wrong, because this problem hasn't effected me. All my AZW books are downloading as AZW3 and I have had no problems converting, transferring and reading. There must be some kind of catch here.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:58 PM   #4
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Nevermind. I still have 1.171
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:53 AM   #5
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Wink Worked for me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
Starting with version 1.19, Kindle for PC (and Kindle for Mac) often uses 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."

At the moment Kindle for PC version 1.17 is still available from Amazon and can be installed to work around this problem. I suggest following steps:
  • Launch Kindle for PC 1.19 and under the menu choice "Tools", "Options", "General", uncheck "Automatically install updates when they are available without asking me."
  • Exit Kindle for PC and uninstall it.
  • Delete the contents of the "My Kindle Content" folder within your "Documents" folder.
  • Download version 1.17 of Kindle for PC. It is safest to use the link in this post to download it directly from Amazon, instead of going to a third party site.
  • Install the downloaded Kindle for PC version 1.17.
  • Launch it and check that the option to automatically install updates is still turned off.
  • If asked if you want to update to the new version always reject it.
  • Re-download your books and import into calibre as before.

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.
  • 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.)

Note: 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.
This has worked well for me thanks
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:06 PM   #6
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Same Problem

Thank you so much jhowell for those instructions on how to uninstall and roll back my kindle for pc to 1.17. I'm back in business.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:02 AM   #7
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I'm not sure if Kindle for Mac 1.19 does download as KFX. I just tried on a new user account, and all the books I tried came down in the old formats. (But inside folders in My Kindle Content)

Oh - but I didn't check for "Enhanced Typesetting" on the book pages at Amazon! Is it that only "Enhanced Typesetting" books comes down as KFX?
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:53 AM   #8
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Thanks for this information.
For me only reverting to Kindle for PC version 1.17 did work. Downloading from the Amazon website does create AZW files but I was unable to import them into Calibre.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:58 PM   #9
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Some reasons why KFX files may not be delivered to Kindle for PC

(copied from another thread)

Check the Help/About menu to see what version of Kindle for PC you have. Anything before 1.19 doesn't support KFX. If you are using an older version then you probably have updates disabled since Amazon is aggressively pushing the new version to be automatically installed.

If you do have 1.19 or newer there are still some circumstances where books may be present in the older MOBI/KF8 formats supported by calibre.

Any books sent to the app before it was updated to 1.19 will still be in the older formats. You can identify these books because they will be .azw files in the My Kindle Content directory.

Books delivered after the app is updated to 1.19 are placed into subdirectories of My Kindle Content. Some of these will be in KFX format and some will be in the older formats. You can detect KFX because there will be a file with a name beginning with amzn1.drm-voucher.v1 in the same subdirectory.

There are several reasons that a book might still delivered to Kindle for PC 1.19 in an older format.

First, books that do not have Enhanced Typesetting listed on their product page are not delivered in KFX format. (There can be exceptions for fixed layout books.)

Second, it may be a book you purchased a while ago. Amazon locks you in to the version of the book that is current at the time you purchase it. If that version of the book did not support enhanced typesetting, but the product page for the book now shows that it does, you might or might not receive it in KFX format.

Also, KFX format is a moving target. New features are being continuously added to the format and some devices/apps do not support all of the optional features. If a book contains KFX features that a particular device/app does not support then MOBI/KF8 is delivered instead. I have found through testing that Kindle for PC 1.19 doesn't support all of the latest KFX features and so some books are excluded from being delivered in KFX to that app.

Finally, there may be other factors of which I am unaware.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
I'm not sure if Kindle for Mac 1.19 does download as KFX. I just tried on a new user account, and all the books I tried came down in the old formats. (But inside folders in My Kindle Content)

Oh - but I didn't check for "Enhanced Typesetting" on the book pages at Amazon! Is it that only "Enhanced Typesetting" books comes down as KFX?
Perhaps Amazon is not (yet) delivering KFX to Kindle for Mac 1.19 for some reason. I do not have a Mac so I haven't tested it myself.

Looking at the installer for Kindle for Mac 1.19.1 it does have support for KFX in a file that appears to be installed to:
/Applications/Kindle.app/Contents/Frameworks/libKRFDynamic.dylib

See my previous post for some conditions under which KFX will not be delivered, including non-Enhanced Typesetting.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
I'm not sure if Kindle for Mac 1.19 does download as KFX. I just tried on a new user account, and all the books I tried came down in the old formats. (But inside folders in My Kindle Content)

Oh - but I didn't check for "Enhanced Typesetting" on the book pages at Amazon! Is it that only "Enhanced Typesetting" books comes down as KFX?
I installed 1.19 for PC and 3 of my 5 test ebooks downloaded as KFX and did not import into Calibre.

I reverted to 1.17 and all 5 imported to Calibre.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:45 PM   #12
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Talking Thank-you to calibre, shame on you Kindle

Hi,
I just wanted to say thank-you to the Calibre tech team for their post on how to deal with the new Kindle update ( that happened without my permission!)

I have been using Calibre for a while now to convert the books I buy to epub - why - because I have recently become partially sighted, (thats is a nats whisker away from being blind for those who do not know, and why should you ;-)

The reason being that I need a TTS ( text To Speech) software to be able to "read" my books, that is the software reads the text, rather robotically, but allows me to enjoy the books I buy, from Amaon for Kindle and other places, I have been an avid reader since I was 4, and have no intention of letting a mere issue of not being ble to see, get in the way of me accessing my books.

I started off with the super secret, not on the amazon website but official Amazon Kindle PC download for the blind which reads the text to you, as amazon and other publishers put their books in a format that TTS software cannot read - then that stopped working - on an update.

So I googled and chatted with other people with sight challenges and they recommended Calibre - and it was all working out fine until tonight when I bought, paid for and downloaded my new book from amazon, and when I opened up kindle it did an update, without asking, and when I went to convert the book it kept saying that it could not, so a quick search of the Calibre forum and a quick solution ( roll it back, find the hidden "automatically update without asking me button that is automatically set to on without the customer knowing" and turn it off.
and lo and behold I am able to convert the book and now able to have my TTS read it to me.

I know publishers like Amazon offer their own narrated versions of things, but having tried the free audible trial and finding that the narrator was so disinterested sounding, and got both the name of the main character and the title of the book wrong, repeatedly, I uninstalled that very quickly.

I am baffled, having worked with t he government many moons ago on ensuring accessibility in all electronic means, and the total faff it was back then to code, so much easier now to comply, why major companies make it so darn hard for us to get access to things ( I was not blind as a bat back then, it was just part of my job - who knew, an untreated autoimmune disease and bobs your uncle and I am rather stuffed)

So, after all that waffle, I just wanted to say that I am ever so grateful to companies like Calibre who make life easier for us with disabilities, and not only that - keep on top of things and continue to offer advice and support, especially when those who should know better get up to nefarious activities.
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Old 02-13-2017, 12:41 AM   #13
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:09 PM   #14
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I just followed these steps of removing the newer Kindle for PC app, installing the old, etc. My "classics" which are public domain convert from AWZ to EPUB just fine, but books I bought recently (Tim Ferriss, Tools of Titans, for example) give me the DRM error in Calibre.

I don't have any branded devices, just a Windows 10 Phone (Lumia 930) and a Surface Pro 4. Amazon killed off their app, so now I'm stuck with unreadable books except for the clunky PC version of Kindle.

Any ideas of what I'm doing wrong? I'm brand new to Calibre and this whole EPUB & DRM thing.
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:00 PM   #15
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If you followed the steps in the first post and are getting DRM errors then I suggest that you check out Apprentice Alf's Blog for further assistance with that.
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