Major changes to MYK: bulk actions

Major changes to MYK: bulk actions

This is just breaking now, and I can’t really see it myself yet, but I wanted to give you a heads-up…it may be working for you.

There have been major changes to the

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

page.

I say “have been”, but it appears that they are in process. They may not appear in all browsers, and it sometimes takes a while for a change to be available to everyone (even if you are using identical browsers). That may be due to different users “hitting” different servers at Amazon.

Right now, I am seeing at least some of it in Silk on my Fire HDX…but not in Maxthon on the same device, or in Maxthon, Chrome, or Internet Explorer on my desktop.

What are the changes?

There is a lot of shifting about where things are, but let me hit some functional things that I can see (or about which I’ve heard).

Bulk actions

This appears to me to be what people have wanted for some time: the ability to take the same action on several different items at once.

I can select several items, and then I’ll have a choice to

  • Deliver to my…
  • Delete from library

That means that when you got a new Kindle, you could select a bunch of books, and have them delivered all at once.

Now, there are negatives to that, and that’s why we used to think it wasn’t available.

When a book arrives on a Kindle, the Kindle indexes it. Basically, it “reads it”, and builds up an index to make searching easier. That takes up some battery charge. Throw a thousand books on there at once, and you’d better be plugged in for a while.

It’s possible that they’ve figured out a different way to do indexing, and the index travels with the book…that would resolve that issue.

Telling which books are on which device

The devices and the content now appear in basically the same place. If you click or tap a device, you’ll see a checkmark if a book is downloaded to that device. I don’t see a way to send a message to the device to delete something, and I’m not initially seeing a way to sort by what is and isn’t on the device.

I do see this information for the device:

  • Edit the name
  • Edit the e-mail
  • Deregister
  • Type (that’s nice!)
  • Serial Number

“Your Cloud Library” is your archives

If you don’t want to be on a specific device, the first tab is for “Your Cloud Library”. You can filter by using a button that says “Books”. That has a new filter for “Dictionary & User Guides”. That’s actually been around for a short time for some people.

There is another button for sorting…it’s labeled “Date” by default.

There is another choice for “Your FreeTime Profiles”.

There is a magnifying glass for searching.

There is an icon on your far right that lets you switch between seeing the covers (which does look nice on my Fire, although I wouldn’t use it most of the time) or seeing a list).

There is also a Show choice to your right of the device list…you can choose there whether you want to see Devices, Apps, or both (All).

Generally, this looks like a big improvement…although, of course, people will want more.🙂

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

40 Responses to “Major changes to MYK: bulk actions”

  1. scottishbookworm Says:

    Looks nice! One thing I did notice – they’ve separated Pre-orders from pending deliveries. I do like the cover view layout.

  2. Judy Schechter Says:

    Hi Bufo, thanks for the heads up! I like the changes, especially being able to sort alphabetically. The search option seems to work better now. I used to have to type the author or title exactly as it appeared on the book. If the title was all uppercase and I didn’t use all capitol letters the book wouldn’t show up in my search, but now it does!

  3. Harold Delk Says:

    Have you seen any changes or improvements to Collections since the last upgrade to the PaperWhite2 basically destroyed it’s usefulness. Still waiting to be allowed to manage them from the Cloud on a device by device basis … or to choose which Collections will appear on a device. As is currently; all Collections on an account show on all devices and any change to one cascades through them all. I’ve had most of the new bulk features for years via some clever Javascript routines, but very happy to see them being brought “indoors.”

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      It was the last update which brought us the Cloud Collections on the PW2, so no, no changes yet. Amazon is aware of how people feel about it, and I expect we’ll get a change in the next update.

  4. rogerknights Says:

    It’s possible that they’ve figured out a different way to do indexing, and the index travels with the book…that would resolve that issue.

    Wow, that takes me back! I was arguing online that Amazon ought to do that 18 months before I had a Kindle! (I didn’t think the K1 and K2 were good enough.)

  5. elaine Says:

    Sorry to ask you this here but is there some way to get your blog delivered to the kindle fire? I have found that I am using my fire more often than my touch and am missing reading your blog….delivered automatically to my kindle

    • Marvin Says:

      elaine, you can set it on MYK page, I think in manage your subscription part.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, elaine!

      Why would you be sorry to ask? It’s a great thing for me to hear.🙂 You want to read the blog, and I understand reading on the Fire more. My Fire is what I take with me when I leave the house, so I do a lot of my reading on it.

      Which Fire do you have? The answer is a bit different on the first generation and the later ones. For the first gen, I recommend Pulse. On later gens, I recommend Flipboard.

  6. Edward Boyhan Says:

    OK, I have the new myk on IE10 on the desktop, but not on the just-released Chrome 32 on the same desktop (running Windows 8).

    It’ll take me some time to figure it all out, but it does seem to point in the direction of eventually (though not yet) being able to see cloud collections (and manage them) on the myk page.

    One thing I just noticed in both versions of myk is that I suddenly seem to have 15-20 kindle reader apps (mostly Kindle for PC versions). This is due to me getting a new smartphone, and reinstalling many pc’s to Windows 8 from whatever was there before. Since the kindle apps aren’t upgraded as part of a clean OS install, I reinstalled them. Unfortunately, this leaves the old apps (which are wiped as part of the clean OS install on the pc) still visible on the myk page.

    Problem is: there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to decide which myk apps are the current ones, and which are the old.

    Any suggestions? I could just deregister all of them on myk, and then go back to the phone & pc devices, delete the kindle reader apps, and reinstall them — sheesh. It would be nice if the apps on the myk page could indicate the actual device names they were installed on.😀

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      Lots of people have seen that multiple app thing without deliberately reinstalling. Looks to me like I have two installations registered of Kindle for PC right now.

      To fix it, go through and change the names on MYK: EB1, EB2, that sort of thing. Then take a look at the name that shows on your device, and deregister the other ones…

      • Edward Boyhan Says:

        Well the recent discount to $99 on the PW2 got me to finally pull the trigger — even though there may be “cloud collections” issues as mentioned over in the forums. I’ve been madly scurrying around this evening changing the collection names on all my collection compatible devices and apps.

        From a Windows desktop kindle app you can import collections from another device or app. By selecting this it gives me the list of devices and apps upon which I’ve created “old style” collections. Luckily other than my KDX and KT, I have no other devices with collections on them — their collection names have been changed to reflect the device type in the collection name. It also says that I have one PC app with collections: an app that may no longer exist because of a system upgrade.

        At any rate this incentivizes me to cleanup my kindle devices (5) and apps (12). With the PW2 I actually have 5 devices — so that’s OK (even though the PW2 hasn’t arrived yet). Some of those 12 apps must not be “real” — but not as many as you might think. Each Windows 8 machine (I have 3) can potentially have 2 kindle apps per machine: one for the desktop, and one for the start/metro side of things. The desktop kindle app tells you its name in the title bar; the metro app’s name takes some digging through the charms bar settings while the kindle metro app is open.

        It’s a tedious process, but getting the app names to reflect the machine they’re installed on will avoid mucho confusion. At this point I only have 3 or 4 kindle apps left that I can’t tie to a device …

        Just another area where Amazon/Kindle administration/management could be improved. I’m ultimately hoping that cloud collections will enable me to get a better handle on at least those titles I’ve already read.

        BTW I too noticed that the MYK page gives on the ability to target past AND future blog issue deliveries to devices other than the eink EBRs although the non-eink devices are greyed out.

        Once the PW2 and cloud collections are sorted, I intend to explore what if any management/integration benefits might come from Goodreads (:grin)

        BTW BTW apropos the meat of this post — I just went to MYK in both Chrome and IE, and I don’t think I see the bulk editing nor the books on devices info. I thought I saw it before on IE10. Is this something that never really made the light of day? Or am I just not figuring out the UI for the new stuff?

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Edward!

        Quick comment on the last part: I was given permission to share the information that they are turning off the new page for now, while they look into improving it, based on data collected.

      • Edward Boyhan Says:

        Thanks for the heads up — I won’t drive myself bonkers trying to figure out MYK😀

  7. Dragi Raos Says:

    Thanks for the recap, Bufo. For now the new version shows (here in Croatia) in my Silk, but not from any browser from PC, either.

    I see one omission there (apart from collections, of course): a convenient way to see book and order details. One has to switch to list view, click “view details”, and select the link from pop-up window. Upon return to cover view the whole page reloads. It looks as if the developers tested this with ten books in the library…

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Dragi!

      Well, once the books are in list view (which is where I would always keep them), it’s two clicks in the new version.

      The old version is also two clicks: one to expand the node (clicking the plus box) and one to click the Order Details link. That seems to be the same number of interactions to me with one book.

      I just did one in the old view and came back…the node was collapsed again, so it seems to me to be the same…if you don’t switch back to cover view.

      • Dragi Raos Says:

        “if you don’t switch back to cover view.”

        Well, yes, that kind of defeats the purpose of cover view, doesn’t it? :o)

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Dragi!

        Only when you are taking those sorts of actions…a lot of people like the covers to remind them about the books. I’m not very visually oriented myself, so I don’t feel the same joy in seeing the covers, but a lot of people will.🙂

  8. Marvin Says:

    I like bulk actions, I have been waiting for that. I have some texts delivered daily to my PWK. And of course they appear in cloud content to all my family members and I am too lazy to delete it periodically. Old version allowed me to delete two items at a time, if I was really fast then 3 items. But as the interface was so slow it was a pain to delete several items.
    Now I tried bulk action. I wanted to delete 50+ items. You are allowed to select only 25 a time (no biggie). But after 13-15 were deleted, all others gave me “failed !” message. So I am stuck with 42 (does it have anything to do with me being Douglas Adams fan?) personal documents which I just cannot delete. Sigh, I will wait couple of days and try again.
    Oh, I almost forgot – Thank you for bringing the news, I like the new interface.

    • Marvin Says:

      This is really funny. I contacted Amazon Customer Support via chat. I talked to two different people about my issue with deleting those documents. The second person suggested to relogin again to MYK. When I did that, I see the old MYK page !

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Marvin!

      Interesting! Gee, with “Marvin” and the “42” reference, I’d expect you to be a lot more morose about it.😉

  9. rogerknights Says:

    Generally, this looks like a big improvement…although, of course, people will want more.

    Yep:
    1. Allow users to sort items by category. (Will have to wait until Kindle’s cloud becomes category-aware.)

    2. Provide a count in the heading lines of the items shown below it.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Roger!

      I definitely agree with #2.🙂

      What sort of categories?

      • rogerknights Says:

        Another word for Kindle’s “categories” is “folders,” although that’s not exactly the mot juste. I mean the buckets one puts similar sorts of books, etc. into, such as Thriller, How-To, Food, etc.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Roger!

        Thanks! Amazon calls those “Collections”.

      • rogerknights Says:

        D’oh!

    • Dragi Raos Says:

      Roger, Amazon “collections” are not folders, they are tags or labels, not unlike those in Google Mail, which is the correct approach (the main point being that a particular book can belong to several collections, that is, can be labeled with several tags, e.g. by genre, series, form, reading status…).

      To make this concept really useful, the UI should be such that one can filter by several tags simultaneously, or at least filter by one and display others (as in “let’s see which unread (1st) books of short (2nd) mystery (3rd) stories by self-published authors (4th) we have”).

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Dragi!

        Yes, that’s correct…I assume that’s why Roger put folders into quotation marks.🙂

        Folders and Collections/tags are both ways to create categories, although they function very differently. You can think of it this way: cats and dogs are both animals, although they have distinct differences.

        The key conceptual difference is that folders are location based, and tags/labels/Collections are document based. To organize the domestic cat using folders, you could first gather all the animals together, then group the vertebrates together, then group the mammals together, then group the felines together…and you’d find the domestic cat there.

        With tags, as you point out, you simply label the cat an “animal”…but you can also label it “predator”, “pet”, “whiskered”, and so on.

        I see a lot of people get very confused about this, even at my work. “Where can I find the xyz-file?” “You search for xyz.” “But where is it?”

        Being able to search by multiple tags would be good, certainly, although I do already find it useful the way it is. That’s another place people can expect it to work differently than it does. With tags, you don’t have the hierarchy that your numbering may suggest to some people (which you do have with folders). It’s simply a question of overlaps: find things which are “unread” and “mysteries”…it doesn’t matter in which order you state the variables.

        With folders, you might first go to “unread”…but if the mystery you wanted had not been filed in a folder inside the unread folder, you wouldn’t find it.

        Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages…

  10. Zebras Says:

    I keep trying the MYK on every device/browser, and I’m still getting the old one.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      I’ve only found it on one so far. I think I mentioned it might roll out by server…I’ve been hearing that it could take a week before everybody sees it.

  11. Harold Delk Says:

    Folders and tags are different in another way which may help explain the difference more clearly. A tag is merely a label attached to something (such as a file or even to a physical book); you can attach as many labels as you wish to each of them and you may search or “gather” them together by any or any combination of their labels. A tag or label does not alter the physical location of the file or object.

    A folder is a physical location into which you can put something such as a file or a book. A file can only be in ONE folder at a time; to put it in another folder you must first remove it from the folder it currently resides in and move it there. You may copy it to another folder, but in doing so you have created a second file. If you move a physical book from a folder (bookshelf) to another it does not cause a second book to be created nor does it change any tags or labels attached to it. I find tags to be much better for organization than folders because I do not need to know the physical location of a file to find it and I can use multiple criteria to locate anything quickly. A “fiction” book “I have read” and “did not enjoy” and “bought for less than $3.99” … you could even stick labels on physical books and group them in this manner (cumbersome) to determine which ones to donate. Psst! Once you donate them they will no longer be on your bookshelf, but they still will have their tags attached. Geez, did I really say that?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      Precisely…you’ve laid out the difference well.

      Currently, we can’t “search” by multiple tags on the Kindle. We can look for a book with the “fiction” tag or we can look for a book with the “did not enjoy” tag, but we can’t look for “fiction” and “did not enjoy”. That would obviously be an improvement.

      To provide the argument for the other side, folders often help people discover something which they otherwise wouldn’t realize was there.

      Let’s go back to animals.

      Suppose you have a folder for…mammals. You go in there, and notice the file for “aardvark”. You haven’t attached any particular tags to aardvarks, and you don’t even remember what they are. To find something using tagging, you need to know something about it.🙂

      Another problem is that people have to remember to tag, and tag using a pretty consistent tagging convention. If one person tags a book “did not enjoy”, and another person tags similar books as “meh or yuck”, you won’t find them both with the “did not enjoy” tag.

      People don’t have as much to think about with folders as they do with effectively tagging. I am not diligent about tagging the posts in ILMK, and WordPress often reminds me of that.

      The last thing I’d say in favor of folders is that it can make searching easier. If I know I am looking for something that happened in December 2013, I can probably find “2013” and “December” pretty easily…and then use my human processing to scan the files. With tags, the entire database gets searched every time (although indices can certainly help).

      I do tend to prefer tags myself, but I do see value in both.

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  13. Harold Delk Says:

    I see your point, but respectively offer this: if you were to search the “mammals” tag you would also discover aardvarks in the same serendipitous manner as you would in folders even if the aardvarks were not in the mammals folder where they should have been populated.

    I cannot stress this next point strongly enough (you have wandered into my area of expertise) … TAGS (unlike folders) are attached directly to files (usually as metadata or sidecars) and move with files when they are moved or copied from location to location. If you move an untagged file to another folder will you remember where you moved it next year? Good luck trying to find it. If it is tagged and it is moved elsewhere to find it next year you merely search for “aardvark” or “mammal” and up it pops no matter where or why you moved it. Within reason of course.

    BC said::: [If one person tags a book “did not enjoy”, and another person tags similar books as “meh or yuck”, you won’t find them both with the “did not enjoy” tag.] HHD replies::: Those tags would not be in the same account/database … the same applies even if those named tags were named folders. Tags would give you a better chance of finding those items because a “tag search” would allow you to search multiple folders in a single search … {FIND: “did not enjoy, meh, or yuk} as opposed to {search this folder for {:”did not enjoy, meh, or yuk”} … obviously I’m not using proper db language here, but I think you see the point I’m trying to make. Amazon needs to allow tagging, IMHO, of our files rather than the creation of a folder structure or a combination of both. It’s really easier to maintain a tagged structure (because there is no structure to maintain) in the long run and a whole lot easier for the user. Adobe has the best implementation of this idea in Lightroom … I can instantly find any photo in my collection of over 100,00 photos in mere seconds. Books are so much simpler … or should be. Amazon would do well to look at Adobe’s “Smart Collections” and implement it ASAP. It’s all done with tags, metadata, and whatever the user chooses to make user-defined collections on the fly without even stopping to think about it. Collections are just automatically populated by auto-magical processes that few users really understand … except they know it works. It’s the “Don’t Make Me Think” process.

    Database designers with a background in linguistics, semantics, semiotic theory, logic, statistics, and natural languages are an odd lot … ask your offspring! We are also quite opinionated and often flaunt the obvious.

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