Book, Interrupted

Book, Interrupted

I’ve written previously about reports I’d seen that sometimes, after a book had been downloaded to a Kindle Fire, the reader had to connect to wi-fi again partway through the book to be able to finish it.

I polled my readers about it:

===

Have you been reading a downloaded book on a Kindle Fire and been unable to finish reading it without reconnecting?

Yes 36.59%

No 39.02%

I don’t know  24.39%

===

As you can see, about half of the people who thought they knew one way or the other reporting having had it happen.

Well, as of this morning, you can add me to that list.

I was reading a book I borrowed from the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library)*

Baby Boomer Comics: The Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Comic Books of the 1960s**

I was about twelve percent through it yesterday. I turned off the wi-fi before I went to bed…I typically do that. On my RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles…anything but a Kindle Fire), I tend to leave the wi-fi off unless I am using it. With the Fire, I figure I charge it every day, so I’m not as concerned about the wi-fi. I do turn it off when I’m traveling between locations, so it doesn’t use up a lot of battery charge finding networks along the side of the road on the route. :)

When I went to open the book today, I saw this:

Notice that you can see the “Kid under the Kindle Tree” logo? I saw the reader launch when I opened the book. Ordinarily, you don’t see that when you open a book on the Fire. You can see the logo if you go into

Settings Gear – More – Applications

and switch to All Application.

I had to turn on the wi-fi, then click Resume in my bottom left. The download happened, and then I’ve been okay since.

The fact that this screen exists with specific instructions shows that Amazon knows that this might occur.

Now, I’ve hypothesized before that maybe people move out of a wi-fi area or turn off the connection before a book completes its download.

I can’t say for sure that didn’t happen. I don’t remember checking to see the notification to see if it had completed.

However, I’m sure the little progress bar showing that it is downloading had finished.

This gives me personal experience with what other people had reported.

I have to say, this would have been pretty annoying if I was on an airplane (I’m going on a trip soon). I might have really wanted to finish that book on the trip.

It may not matter, but this book is a huge file. Amazon figures a typical novel is 800 or 900KB, somewhere in there. This book? 14057KB…much more than ten times the typical.

Hmm…I wonder if the size of the file meant that something timed out before the download completed?

Well, just thought you’d want to know. :)

One other thing that may be interesting. We took a picture of the screen with my Samsung Captivate. I don’t know of an easy way to do a screengrab on a Kindle Fire, without adding something to the Fire to do it.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to demonstrate something about the appearance of the Kindle Fire. The picture you see above was taken with the brightness turned down all the way.

This one was taken with the brightness up all the way:

See how much more washed out it looks?

I was not using any extra lighting in the room. I’m just showing you how much difference the brightness setting can make. Outside, I have the brightness setting cranked up all the way…it makes it easier to read in bright light.

Settings Gear – Brightness, slider (tap or slide)

* The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) is a group of books from which eligible Prime members can borrow up to one a month at no additional cost

** I do plan to write a review of this one. I know it’s a fun idea that may appeal to some of you right away…there are some issues with it, so you may want to wait until you can read my review (within a week, I’d bet)…up to you, though.

Off topic: if you are a movie fan, you might be interested in my annual BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) game. There is no charge for anybody to play. I mentioning here because of the limited time left (the Oscars are a week from today). For more information, see this post in The Measured Circle.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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10 Responses to “Book, Interrupted”

  1. Pam Says:

    You don’t think they don’t download it all because of the limited space on the Fire, do you? Maybe by design?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Pam!

      I suppose that’s possible. However, they let us download movies and songs, which are much larger files. A movie might be the size of 600 typical books…this book was only the size of about 15.

      Of course, the book files may be more formatted by Amazon, so that may give them more control over them.

      it’s not an unreasonable hypothesis. :)

  2. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Well, the message displayed on the screen clearly indicated that the download was interrupted. I wonder if Amazon is spreading the download of large books over time to manage network bandwidth usage? How long after you started reading did you turn it off and go to bed? I wonder if the downloading of KOLL books is handled differently from the store bought variety? :-)

    It never occurred to me to turn wifi off, yet on my KDX I always run with “wireless off” to save the battery. The KDX been sitting on my bed untethered for several days now — not being used at all. I just checked it — the battery icon is indicating full or close to it.

    On my KT and KF I run with wifi on all the time. I’ve been using the KT for two or three days now off and on reading a thriller (about 3-4 hours per day). It is untethered, and hasn’t been charged in several days. I just checked and the battery icon is at about at 3/4. My impression has been that wifi doesn’t use the battery unless you are actually doing a wifi transfer — I’m noticing no battery degradation from leaving wifi on.

    On the KF the story is a little more complex. Currently, the KF is idle and has been untethered and not used much for two days the battery icon is showing almost full. However, once I turn the KF on and start to use it the battery drains down pretty darn quick. I don’t think I get 8-10 hours of usage out of it maybe half to 2/3 that. I’ve taken when I’m home to use the KF only when it’s plugged into the wall adapter. But in both cases wifi does not seem to hurt battery usage the way 3g does on 3g kindles (with wireless on).

    As to the academy awards, I had done an early pre-golden globes prediction of what and who would be nominated. I shared my thoughts with some friends and family with whom I participate in an annual guessing pool.

    Yesterday, I bought tickets to go see the Daytona 500 (an item on my bucket list :) ), Today I realized that that happens on the same day as the academy awards. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive from my house to the speedway. The race starts at 1pm (that means the cars will cross the start line around 1:30. With average speeds of around 180 mph, pit stops, and crashes (and the attendant cleanup), the race will take 3-4 hours to complete. Best case I won’t get home until 8pm EST — so I’ll be home in time for the big awards (whew!).

    FWIW, having followed all the lead-up awards I would say that best picture and director are a lock for “The Artist”. Which IMO is sad because in so many ways the film is derivative not just in the fact that it’s (mostly) silent and in B&W, but that the plot takes off from themes that have been covered before in “Singing in the Rain”, “A Star is Born” and “Sunset Boulevard” — for many of today’s generation I suppose “The Artist” probably feels new and fresh. I suppose there could be a “French” backlash, but that hasn’t been the case so far in the 2012 awards season.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      I’d say it was at least four hours after I downloaded the book before I turned off wi-fi.

      One possibility that occurs to me: perhaps I opened the book too quickly? That seems like it would be odd, but I could see deliberately engineering a book so that, if someone opens it before the process is complete, it shows what it can…sort of like buffering a video. While you are reading, though, it might interfere with completing the process. Unlike my RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles), I don’t always return to Home when I’m done reading. I suppose it’s possible that I opened the book up, read twelve percent, and then turned off wi-fi without having gotten out of the book. I’ll try and pay attention to that going forward.

      Leaving the wi-fi on probably doesn’t matter…as long as the available networks don’t change. I don’t know if it proactively seeks out other networks, but my guess is that it might. If the device sits in your room and nobody turns a network on and off around it, that is probably fine. For me, I carry it around and go in and out of the house, so I try to be more aware of it. I’ve actually watched a wi-fi device (my smartphone) locate network after network as I rode in a car…that’s got to take a charge.

      I also know that at least some RSKs do use the network while they are sleeping. Someone brought that up to me, and I had an easy way to test. I could put it next to my computer on the same network…and when the Kindle uses the network, I can hear it crackle. Turned off? No sounds. Sleeping? Sounds.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if the Daytona 500 has wi-fi. :) Have fun!

      Sunset Boulevard was the movie which occurred to me the most while watching The Artist…but I would say “homage” rather than “derivative”. The ability to evoke that silent timeframe is a real challenge…look at movies that try to do other periods and fail.

      I think it was Leonard Maltin that observed that it was easy to predict what would happen in a Laurel & Hardy short…but it was the fact that it happened so perfectly that made it good. That may be the case with The Artist…

  3. Rose in PV AZ Says:

    Have you read the article from Kindleworld blogspot about this problem? I don’t have a Fire but like to read about them in case I get one sometime. She mentions the disappearing book and a solution in an article dated Feb. 15. It involves clearing the cache/data while wifi is on. This doesn’t help people who are out of wifi range when the problem occurs, but explains a lot.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Rose!

      Yes, I do read A Kindle World, and strongly recommend it.

      That particular post doesn’t address this issue, though.

      There are three issues out there, all of which are connected by an inability to read a book on your Fire from the Kindle store:

      * The book opens on the Kindle, but the pages appear to be blank…you can flip through the pages, but you can’t read anything
      * The book is available on the Fire, but when you open it, it requires you to connect to wi-fi to continue reading it
      * The book is unavailable on the Fire, but is in the archives at http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle (and the Fire is registered to that account)

      The article you reference addresses the third one.

      The blank thing may have been fixed with the 6.2.2 update.

      The second one still appears to be out there.

      The third one also still appears to be out there.

      I appreciate you pointing me to what could have been a solution, and that is a helpful article for those with the third problem.

  4. tuxgirl Says:

    Bufo:
    There are rumors floating around the forums that if you open books from the cloud tab instead of the device tab, it only downloads part-way. I haven’t had the opportunity to test this, but do you know which tab you downloaded from?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, tuxgirl!

      Well, let’s see…I was borrowing from the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library). I’ll have to look next time (in March), but there may have been a choice to open it from there.

      Are people suggesting that the sequence should be

      “Long press” (hold your fingertip on it for about a second) a book on the Cloud tab and choosing download

      then

      switching to Device before tapping it to open it?

      I’d be sure I didn’t do that…

  5. What I did on Spring Break « I Love My Kindle Says:

    [...] earlier post [...]

  6. Round up #74: Fire update coming, global Touch « I Love My Kindle Says:

    [...] “partial download” of books problem. I’ve had it happen a couple of times, as I’ve written about previously. You download a book, but part way through reading it, you have to connect again to continue. Yes, [...]

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