Round up #58: estimated pages, X-ray info, Kindle Nation app
X-ray: not enabled
No, that’s not a warning for the radiologist. ;)
I like the feature, and in fact, wanted it on more books.
One big problem I had was not knowing which books had it before I downloaded them.
Well, today, I was checking the Kindle store from my Kindle…not something I usually do. I usually just shop the Kindle store from my computer…I find that easier. However, i was going to get a book from the Kindle Owners Lending Library (available to paying Prime members who own a Kindle, as opposed to just an app or no Kindle at all), and that’s a bit easier to do from the device, in my opinion.
Anyway, I noticed that the books were telling me whether they were X-ray enabled or not!
That made my selection easier.
However, I couldn’t see that information when I was on my computer, and I couldn’t see it when I tested it from my Mindle (that’s what I call the $79/$109 Kindle).
That suggests to me that they’ll only show that information when someone using a Kindle Touch shops.
That’s smart! I figured they weren’t showing it because they didn’t want a lot of questions from people about what it meant who couldn’t get it. Also, it seems the vast majority of books are not enabled…so it might be disappointing.
I wondered if Mindles would be able to see that text-to-speech is enabled, since they can’t play it (or any audio). I checked: I couldn’t see that on my Mindle, although it didn’t seem to show me much about a book in the Kindle bookstore compared to my Touch.
There was, though, a real inconvenience discovered in this process. I knew I’d want to listen to text-to-speech in the car on this one (I want to take advantage of Prime lending, and that means getting through those books relatively quickly…that’s what TTS does. I always hope the publishers all realize that, and react by enabling it more offer).
I’d tried TTS in the car on my Touch once before, and it seemed much quieter than on my Kindle Keyboard (formerly commonly called a Kindle 3) or my Kindle 2. I use a Coby CA-745 Wireless FM Car Transmitter, and it’s always worked fine.
When I tried the TTS once before with my Kindle Touch, and it was relatively very quiet. Cranking my radio up on the way, it was still hard to hear.
While I was testing this, I got the same result with the book I borrowed, Water for Elephants. I took my Kindle Keyboard out to the car to test it…it was fine.
It does seem harder to get the headphone jacked into my Kindle Touch. I’m guessing it may have a somewhat different jack, but I’m not sure.
I tried a pair of headphones on the Kindle Touch…they seemed okay (but a bit quiet).
I’m guessing some of you have a Coby or have tried your Kindle Touch with different headphones and cables. If you can let me know how it’s been for you, I’d appreciate that. I’m curious as to whether this might be a problem with the Coby and the Touch, or maybe just my Touch.
Speaking of product page information, I’ve noticed that some Kindle store book product pages now give you an estimated number of pages. That’s the case with Stompin’ On Stetsons by D.D. Scott*, but curiously, not with Scott’s Bootscootin’ Blahniks, the first in the series.
That’s also not the case with my latest book, Love Your Kindle Fire: The ILMK Guide to Amazon’s Entertablet.
My guess is that it will eventually show up on all the books that don’t have “real page numbers”, but I don’t know that.
Still, interesting. It seems to me like the page estimates are perhaps high…they say that it’s “…Based on the page size of a paperback book.”. When I estimate pages, I use 250 words, which is sort of a traditional measure. I wonder if paperback books have fewer words? That could certainly make sense.
“Stop Freaking Out About Amazon’s Price Check App”
I’ve been in some lively discussions about Amazon’s new Price Check app. People are worried that it’s unfair for Amazon to encourage people to go into brick-and-mortar stores and price check the items and then buy them on Amazon.
I’m a former retail manager…I would have welcomed that. I kept competitor’s brochures at the counter, so people could check them if they wanted. When you have a brick-and-mortar store, you aren’t going to get people to shop there nowadays because you have better prices or a better selection. It’s simply not going to happen, most of the time, compared to the e-tailers.
They are going to buy from you because they like you (yes, personally) and want to support your business.
They want your expertise and the experience of shopping there, certainly…but if they like you, they are willing to pay more for the same product they can get cheaper elsewhere.
That’s the winning strategy for a small physical store these days, in my opinion.
So, it was nice to see this
It gives several reasons why this isn’t any big deal. I recommend the article (by Laura Hazard Owen) to you.
Kindle Nation app
Most of you will be familiar with Stephen Windwalker, the “Dean of Kindle Bloggers”.
Well, Windwalker has made another interesting move:
It’s a free app in the Amazon Appstore.
I’ve only taken a first look at it, but I will say that it looks good. It looks like one of the magazine apps (I’ve tried Wired, Entertainment Weekly, Smithsonian, and National Geographic). It navigates like a webpage, though…no thumbnails of the pages, for example.
You can increase the text size, which is something I really appreciate.
Some of the content (at least two of the links I clicked) requires a live wi-fi connection.
It’s an interesting move. I really like the Pulse app that comes with the Kindle Fire, as you know. I will say that the KND app looks better than that does. :) Is this the future of blogs on the Kindle Fire? I don’t know…I like the subscriber model, and Stephen’s Kindle Nation Daily has been a bestseller in the Kindle store longer than mine has (I’m at 835 days in the top 100…Kindle Nation Daily is at 895).
I really rely on those of you who subscribe (thanks, subscribers!). That’s not even an option on the Kindle Fire right now. On the other hand, you can’t run an app like KND on a reflective screen Kindle.
It’s still an evolving world…being in it feels a little bit like diving deliberately into a tornado. :) It might make you dizzy, but it’s a heck of a ride. ;)
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.
Overall, it looks like it’s worth trying. Let me know what you think about it.