KDEASY: free, sophisticated management for your Kindle

KDEASY: free, sophisticated management for your Kindle

Update: I can not recommend the use of this software at this time. I asked an apparent representative about the purported ability to copy a book from one Kindle to another and read it. If the book is protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management), as most books in the Kindle store are, that should not work. Stripping the DRM would generally be illegal under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 in the USA, as I understand it. The response I got was,

“As per your question, “If KDEasy is used to transfer a book from one Kindle to another, how is it able to be read on the other Kindle?”

I don’t think it’s a good idea to discuss a lot about this, however, you can have a try. 🙂

We create this program to make Kindle easier to use, that’s our goal.”

Not wanting to talk about something which is possibly a crime makes me too uneasy about the product to suggest you use it.

One of the issues people have had with Kindles since the beginning is managing the content.

Some people keep thousands of books on one device. That’s not my style: I tend to keep about ten (maybe twenty) Kindle store books on a device…I keep the rest in the Cloud. That’s not going to work for everybody. Part of it depends on how accessible wi-fi is to you. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and even when I’m away from home, wi-fi is often there for me.

Even in my case, though, the interface provided by Amazon for a Kindle is nothing to Periscope home about.😉

A lot of people use

Calibre

a free program to manage e-books. I’ve tried it, and it works, but it still isn’t really Kindle focused.

I had recently flipped an article mentioning

KDEASY

into the

ILMK magazine at Flipboard

and I was approached by the company (I wasn’t given any compensation or anything from them, just a suggestion I look at it and an offer to answer questions).

They call KDEASY a “toolkit”, and that’s a good description.

It’s a free program you download to your computer (PC or Mac). Then, you connect your Kindle to your computer and you can use the software. Oh, they list the supported models this way:

“Kindle 3(Keyboard), Kindle 4(5-way controller), Kindle Touch, Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite (2). With firmware version under and not include 5.4.5”

I haven’t used it as much as I’d like yet, but I wanted to go ahead and give you information about it now. I may write about it again in the future.

The download was easy. I did need to make sure I had a device with a USB port and a compatible operating system.🙂 That shouldn’t be a problem for most people.

It did want to update the operating system on my

Kindle Paperwhite 2 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That went quite smoothly, but honestly, it made me a bit uncomfortable. Will what it did interfere with updates from Amazon in the future? I honestly don’t know that yet. If it did, I’d reset the Paperwhite to factory defaults…it doesn’t take me long to restore it. I don’t believe I have violated the Terms of Service at this point…my guess is that it didn’t modify Amazon’s software, but added new things.

Note that you have to have the Kindle plugged into the computer when you launch KDEASY for it to work.

It asked to back up my books, which I allowed it to do (to my computer). Even if you have thousands of books, that’s not going to be a ton of memory on most computers…unless you have a lot of graphically intense items (picture books, graphic novels, magazines).

The program looks nice…the graphics are good, it’s easy to read.

There are five main functions:

  • Library
  • Collections
  • Cleaner
  • Transfer
  • Free Books

In this first post, I’ll just look at the library function. What do the others do (which I plan to cover in later posts)?

  • Collections lets you create Collections (essentially, book organizations tools, like folders) on the computer rather than on your Kindle…and then they will appear on the Kindle
  • Cleaner not only “cleans up your device”, but downloads metadata (author, title) from major sources on the web
  • Transfer is to transfer books between the Kindle and a computer, and from there to another Kindle. I haven’t yet tested their claim that “The transferred Kindle books can be read on any Kindle perfectly.” I’m also a bit concerned about the legality of that, at least in the USA. I’m not going to try that part of it until I do some more research
  • Free Books: that’s a source for you to download free books from them to your device

Information on the library screen

  • Model
  • Available storage
  • Books in kindle
  • Serial Number
  • Kindle Email Address
  • “Jailbreaked” (yes or no)
  • Wifi Address
  • MAC Address
  • Firmware Version

It’s quite nice to easily have that information available. It includes a picture of the device model.

On the library page it shows me the books, with covers.

If you double-click on a book, you can edit the metadata.

That’s something people really want to do!

It lets you change the way the author is listed, for example. Some publishers (who may be just authors) accidentally listed the name of the author backwards, so the Kindle then displays it in an alphabetical sort by first name instead of by last name…even though most books get it right.

A common thing for titles is that the publishers enter it in a way that a title sorts by the word “The” or “A” at the beginning of the title…you can fix that in the metadata.

You could also change the title of the book…hm, I suppose that might be a way to help “hide” certain titles when someone is glancing at your device.

You can additionally edit the publisher, the ISBN, the language, and the “Publish Date”. The last one might be useful, since the publication date is often when it appeared in the Kindle store, not when it was first published. So, a 19th Century title may look like it came out in the 21st Century.

I made a point of it saying “Publish Date” above, because I think it’s worth noting that the language is sometimes a bit off…perhaps written by someone for whom English was not the first language, or perhaps its just a non-American usage I don’t know.

You can also add a description.

I haven’t found the book description on the Kindle itself. My metadata changes were visible.

Here is what I would say at this point:

The concept is very good, and may make many of you love your Kindle more.

I’ve had some problems with the execution. I created a Collection on the computer. It appeared on my Kindle properly (showing the three books which I had added to it), but the Collection within KDEASY showed there were three books in it.

I’ve had trouble scrolling in the program on the computer…seeing my Collections in the sidebar navigation is difficult. I move the scrollbar, tried arrow up and down, page up and page down, and couldn’t get the one I wanted to display (typically, the Collections don’t move at all…sometimes it jumps to the bottom). In fact, looking at it now through Display Preferences, I’m not seeing that KDEASY Collection within KDEASY at all…and interestingly, while I was writing this article, it also disappeared from my Kindle.

My Kindle also appears to be running more slowly, and it froze at one point to where I had to restart it. Let me emphasize that I do not know if that’s because of this software: it could be a coincidence. It has only been happening since I started to use KDEASY, though.

Let me bottom line this for you for now. It’s not for the average user, who isn’t an early adopter willing to deal with technical imperfections.

If you are the adventurous sort, you may find this really interesting.

My guess at this point is that they’ll get things smoothed out, and that people will find it an attractive management option.

What do you think? If you do play around with it, please feel free to share your impressions with me and my readers by commenting on this post.

21 Responses to “KDEASY: free, sophisticated management for your Kindle”

  1. bear Says:

    interesting. Do you know of a way to manage clippings and articles, copying/sending/organizing same? Will this program do this?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, bear!

      How are you collecting them?

      If you are using the Send to Kindle option for the articles, then yes, this would work with those…because they show up as “Docs”.

  2. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I’m glad to learn of this. I had used Calibre for a while, but it was overly complex.

    Based on some Google searching, it appears that this is very new, and rough around the edges. It concerns me that it modifies the kindle OS.

    Some Q’s:
    – Does it modify the OS on all supported kindles, or just the PW2?
    – Is the KDX supported?
    – Does it do anything about managing ebooks on the Amazon servers — as opposed to those resident on individual kindles?
    – Does it keep track of ebooks gotten from Amazon as well as those purchased elsewhere?
    – Does it record ebook purchased source?
    – Any thoughts about how this might be used in a single account multi-kindle environment?

    Bottom line: I’m going to wait, and see how it evolves.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      I can tell you that the KDX is not supported.

      On your others…I don’t know at this point.🙂 I may play around with it more, but I’m concerned about how our Paperwhite performed after I was using it. I’m a bit leery. You might want to address your questions to

      http://www.kdeasy.com/contact.html

      I’d appreciate hearing what you find out!

      • Bansha Says:

        As per your question, “If KDEasy is used to transfer a book from one Kindle to another, how is it able to be read on the other Kindle?”

        I don’t think it’s a good idea to discuss a lot about this, however, you can have a try.🙂

        We create this program to make Kindle easier to use, that’s our goal.

    • Bansha Says:

      Hi Edward,

      I’m from KDeasy and I will answer your question here.

      – It supports K3/K4, and the later generations which is running firmware version under 5.6. And NOTICE, this limitation is only for collection management feature. Other features supports all kinds of Kindles.

      – We can’t get a KDX in our office, so we can’t get it supported. If we have a change to get one, we will try our best to support this generation. As we are just a start up, with limited members and foundation, we need to use the sources on the edge, so we didn’t include the old gens into our supporting device list. Sorry for that.

      – We only manage books on the device. If a book is only on server, we cannot manage it.

      – We can identify all the books and documents in your Kindle, no matter it is purchased or not.

      – We can’t get your book purchase record. But we can identify if a book is bought from Amazon store.

      – If you have several Kindle, you can make the most of “Transfer” feature. You can plug two Kindles to computer, and use KDesy easily transfer books between different Kindles.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Bansha!

        On that last point: if a the vast majority of books are purchased from the Kindle store, they are “keyed” to an individual device. If KDEasy is used to transfer a book from one Kindle to another, how is it able to be read on the other Kindle? Is the DRM (Digital Rights Management) stripped?

  3. Angel Says:

    @ bear

    Though I’m not sure whether KDeasy will satisfy your needs, but as what I known, KDeasy supports PDF well, it says that if you had PDF in your Kindle, you can also manage collections for them, transfer, edit metadata, etc.

    You know, PDF is readable on Kindle under “Docs”.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Angel!

      I appreciate you trying to help bear!

      Yes, that’s right…it can manage your Docs on your device as well. However, if you “clip” articles within a magazine on your Kindle, for example, that’s not a PDF. That’s why I’m hoping bear will get back with how the clippings and articles are being collected.

  4. rogerknights Says:

    Can it handle highlights and notes?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, rogerknights!

      Tell me a little more…handle them in what way?

      • rogerknights Says:

        I mean create a collection of highlighted passages similar to what Amazon shows on Your Highlights on its website.

      • rogerknights Says:

        Yes. As I said, “I mean create a collection of highlighted passages similar to what Amazon shows on Your Highlights on its website.”

    • Bansha Says:

      Hi Rogerknights,

      I’m the product guy of KDeasy. To support highlights and notes is on our mission list, we are still study how users will want this feature to be.

      Can you give us some clues? You want to export/import hightlights and notes? Or even some management features?

      Thank you

      You can find us via support@kdeasy.com, I will read every single letter from you users.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Bansha!

        I really appreciate you following up with my readers here on the blog! That is going the extra mile.

      • rogerknights Says:

        I’d like to know if you’ll collect highlights from non-Amazon books.
        And if you’ll collect all the highlights, beyond the 20 percent limit some publishers require.
        (I think Amazon has a bug wrt highlights, because, for some books, I can only get it to show them on its site at a five percent level.
        Something else I’d like to see is an option, while in the main text of a book, to skip ahead to the next highlighted passage, instead of ping-ponging back and forth with the View Highlights view.
        (I’ve already suggested Amazon do the last two things, via Kindle Feedback.)

    • Bansha Says:

      We haven’t got much information about the Kindle highlights mechanism at the moment. So I am not able to tell you if we will collect highlights from non-amazon books and beyond the 20 percent limit.

      As per your needs, you’d like to read the highlights on computer, right? Export the highlights from Kindle to computer, organize them in order, and of course, display all your highlights. Right?

      • rogerknights Says:

        PS: As long as I can get my highlights into a Word file somehow, they needn’t be posted online, as Amazon does.

  5. Barnabás Kádár Says:

    KDeasy doesn’t recognize the existing collections on my Kindle 4 non-touch black.Please help!

  6. Barnabás Kádár Says:

    “Connect your Kindle eReader device to your computer with USB cable please. Run this tool, then it will automatically detect your kindle and write some files into the Kindle.

    Update your Kindle. This is to make sure you can directly operate the collection from computer and make it take effect on your Kindle.

    Re-connect Kindle to computer, then the program will display all your existed books and collections.

    Now you can easily operate on your Kindle collections.”
    Update Your Kindle option in settings is “grayed out”, so it doesn’t work.

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