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Old 02-07-2019, 02:47 PM   #1
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Limitations on Kindle Cloud services support when you upload your own books

Question for long-time Kindle and Calibre pros: When you upload your own non-DRM books to the Kindle Cloud, what are the main limitations in feature support (in contrast to books that you buy directly from Amazon and used in their DRM'd form on your devices)?

Here are the limitations I found, trying this recently:
* Uploaded non-DRM'd books--even if bought originally from Amazon--go into a special folder in your Kindle account called 'docs'. The books in this collection are treated differently from your normal Kindle ebooks that are in their original format and DRM'd.
* Your uploaded books, although they do benefit from storage in Amazon's cloud, will only sync the book and the reading data (positions/notes/highlights) across Android, Kindle, iOS, or Mac devices; they will NOT sync to PC, nor to your "Cloud Reader" Kindle account.
* Your uploaded books do not have their reading notes rendered in the online Kindle notebook at read.amazon.com/notebook. This is a great feature that I'd find useful, so it's a bummer to learn it's limited to Amazon Kindle DRM'd books.
* Uploaded books do not get rendered in the Amazon Cloud Reader. Another option that's nice as it gives browser-based access to your books from PC, Mac, or Linux, without needing to install an app.

Are there other significant limitations for uploaded books?
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:27 PM   #2
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Personal documents will not show a cover thumbnail in some cases. (MOBI-both/Master MOBI delivered to an e-ink Kindle device.)

Personal documents are not delivered in KFX format so the features of that format are not available. (Enhanced typesetting, Page Flip, adjustable right margin, continuous scrolling, etc.)
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:21 PM   #3
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There's one feature that only works with books in azw3 format (probably also mobi/both, I've not tried it). And that is the FONT_RAMP hack which allows you to use your own custom font sizes. FONT_RAMP doesn't work with books in kfx format or in the plain mobi format.

Before getting the Oasis 2 with 7'' screen, I was satisfied with the default font sizes. But the default sizes no longer worked for me on a larger screen (they were either too small or too big), so I installed my own sizes and find them irreplaceable. Admittedly I have rather poor eyesight.

So there's at least one advantage for sideloaded books.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:45 PM   #4
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They charge money to deliver user content over mobile internet, I believe.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:04 AM   #5
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They charge money to deliver user content over mobile internet, I believe.
Only if you send it directly to a 3G enabled Kindle. If you have a doc that is stored in the cloud, there is no charge to download it to a 3G enabled Kindle.

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Old 02-08-2019, 12:46 PM   #6
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Only if you send it directly to a 3G enabled Kindle. If you have a doc that is stored in the cloud, there is no charge to download it to a 3G enabled Kindle.

Shari
Also, I didn't notice any charge to sync an uploaded 'doc' to my android devices. But maybe that's still to come.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:48 PM   #7
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Personal documents are not delivered in KFX format so the features of that format are not available. (Enhanced typesetting, Page Flip, adjustable right margin, continuous scrolling, etc.)
OK, that's the first time I'd seen a concise summary of the KFX differences.

This reminds me slightly of the "kepubify" thread that is going on in the Kobo forum.

With KFX: Should a savvy Amazon user basically take calibre and convert all the books you put on a Kindle to the KFX format, to get the features? (Sorry if this is all well summarized elsewhere, it's a new thing to me).
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:28 PM   #8
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With KFX: Should a savvy Amazon user basically take calibre and convert all the books you put on a Kindle to the KFX format, to get the features? (Sorry if this is all well summarized elsewhere, it's a new thing to me).
If the features are important for you, then of course. I personally don't use KFX, because custom font sizes are more important for me than the features I'd get with KFX. YMMV.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:32 PM   #9
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Should a savvy Amazon user basically take calibre and convert all the books you put on a Kindle to the KFX format, to get the features?
There are tradeoffs in using the various Kindle e-book formats. Which is best for you depends of what features you value the most. (I personally do not use KFX for my personal documents because synchronization between multiple reading devices is important to me and I can't get feature that using KFX.)

Some of the potential problems with using KFX are listed in the "limitations" section of the KFX Output plugin documentation.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:33 PM   #10
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Lol, I actually use plain MOBI. I like having covers.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:51 PM   #11
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Lol, I actually use plain MOBI. I like having covers.
So, does a Kindle user have to decide between three formats (KFX, AZW3, or plain MOBI), when deciding what to use on your own devices? Or is the decision really just between MOBI and KFX?

I haven't been in the Amazon game for so long, I'm aware of the file formats but not 100% clear of the trade-offs from a READER's point of view.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:08 PM   #12
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So, does a Kindle user have to decide between three formats (KFX, AZW3, or plain MOBI), when deciding what to use on your own devices? Or is the decision really just between MOBI and KFX?

I haven't been in the Amazon game for so long, I'm aware of the file formats but not 100% clear of the trade-offs from a READER's point of view.
Three, at least for an eink Kindle.

Plain MOBI: covers, but not custom fonts, custom font sizes or the boldness slider. Syncing across apps and devices if you use Amazon Cloud.

AZW3 or MOBI/both: custom fonts and font sizes, and the boldness slider. Syncing for MOBI/both, but not for AZW3. Covers for AZW3, but not MOBI/both.

KFX: enhanced typesetting, adjustable right margin and other newest bells and whistles. No syncing and no custom font sizes.

Last edited by Sirtel; 02-08-2019 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:47 PM   #13
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Three, at least for an eink Kindle.

Plain MOBI: covers, but not custom fonts, custom font sizes or the boldness slider. Syncing across apps and devices if you use Amazon Cloud.

AZW3 or MOBI/both: custom fonts and font sizes, and the boldness slider. Syncing for MOBI/both, but not for AZW3. Covers for AZW3, but not MOBI/both.

KFX: enhanced typesetting, adjustable right margin and other newest bells and whistles. No syncing and no custom font sizes.
What is 'mobi/both'?
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:09 PM   #14
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What is 'mobi/both'?
Dual MOBI or a MOBI that contains both KF8 (AZW3) and regular MOBI versions.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:14 PM   #15
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AZW3 or MOBI/both: custom fonts and font sizes, and the boldness slider. Syncing for MOBI/both, but not for AZW3. Covers for AZW3, but not MOBI/both.
Note, no covers for sideloaded AZW3 either unless one uses Calibre to send to device (which puts the requisite thumbnail jpg in the correct folder). This is the same situation for KFX, I believe.
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