Archive for the ‘Cloud Collections’ Category

Round up #256: 6 AmazonLocal coupons, DoJ looking at AMZN?

June 4, 2014

Round up #256: 6 AmazonLocal coupons, DoJ looking at AMZN?

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Cloud Collections are on Kindle for Android

A number of people had negative reactions to Cloud Collections when they were first introduced…certainly, there was confusion about them. That led me to write this post:

I really like them, personally. I find it easy to manage our Kindle books. There is a Collection for me to read, and one for my Significant Other. When my SO buys a book, I stick it in the appropriate Collection (I can do that on my device), and my SO doesn’t have to hunt around for the books.

Amazon has been spreading them out to more devices and apps.

You can now get to them on:

  • Kindle Fire HDXs
  • Kindle Fire HD 2nd Generation
  • Kindle Paperwhite (1st and 2nd Generation)
  • iDevices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)
  • On Android devices
  • In the Kindle for Samsung app

So, what currently sold as new devices (hardware Kindles/apps) don’t have them?

  • The “Mindle” (which is what I call the lowest priced model)
  • Blackberry
  • Anything Windows
  • Mac desktop/laptops (“non-mobile” Apple devices)
  • The Kindle Cloud reader (Amazon’s browser-based reader)

On my Samsung (running Kindle for Android), I tap the menu, then tap Collections. I don’t have a lot of Collections on individual devices, so what came up worked fine for me.

When I “long press” (hold a finger or stylus on it for about a second) one of those collections, I get the choice to trash it or edit it (using a pencil icon). Choosing “Edit” only lets me rename it.

If I tap a Collection to open it, I can use the menu to sort by author, most recent, or title.

Again, there is a pencil edit icon, and a plus in a circle, which lets me add titles.

Long pressing a title within the Collection gives me a plus circle, a minus circle, and a menu (three squares). Tapping the menu lets me download it, view it in the store, or see the Shelfari book extras. Clicking the plus  circle lets me add that book to other Cloud collections.

For me, again, this is a nice new feature!

I know a lot of people swear AT their devices, but… 😉

This is…well, I’m going to have to say cute. 🙂

In this

NBC News post by Erin McClam”>

I learned that Suzi LeVine, the new American ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, was sworn into office…by putting a hand on a Kindle!

It’s a cool picture, and shows how integrated they’ve become.

The file was open to the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution…

Department of Justice looking at Amazon?

I’ve been flipping lots of articles about the Hachazon War (the Hachette and Amazon “negotiations”) into the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard. I’ll link a few here, but one interesting thing is the number of people who say that what Amazon is doing with Hachette may be illegal.

Running a search for “Amazon illegal Hachette” nets quite a few results:

https://www.google.com/search?client=aff-maxthon-maxthon4&channel=t26&q=amazon%20illegal&gws_rd=ssl#channel=t26&q=amazon+illegal+hachette&tbm=nws

Apparently, the DoJ (Department of Justice) is asking publishers about their new dealings with Amazon.

Now, that might not be to target Amazon…it might just be checking in with publishers that settled over the Agency model with the DoJ.

Still, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if some entities (including the Authors Guild) might have asked the DoJ to investigate.

Sure, a store could stop carrying somebody’s product (like Amazon dropping Hachette, if they were to do that…which they haven’t) and that’s legal. There’s no obligation to carry everybody’s everything.

However, there might be other concerns.

Take a look in particular at this

New York Times opinion piece by Bob Kohn

Kohn is a lawyer, and explains the concept of a “monopsony”. I think my vocabulary is pretty good, but I didn’t know this one.

In a monopoly, a seller has excessive (that can be arguable) control over customers.

In a monopsony a seller has excessive control over wholesalers.

That’s the way I understand it, and I don’t know the legal detail on it (I’m not a lawyer).

To illustrate, though:

If there was one car dealer in town, and they charged a million dollars per car to customers, that would be exerting monopoly power.

If that same car dealer only agreed to pay the auto company ten dollars a car (for the cars they sell to the customers), that would be exerting monopsony power.

If someone does practice law in this are and would like to comment, I’d appreciate it.

Some other dispatches from the Hachazon War front:

AmazonLocal coupons

There are a bunch of relevant coupons through AmazonLocal right now!

You do need a free AmazonLocal account to take advantage of these, but why not? Well, I suppose some of you might not want to give them your information, but I’d be surprised if very many readers of this blog don’t already have Amazon relationships.

Update for Kindle Fire HDX rolling out?

One of my regular readers and commenters, jjhitt, mentioned getting an update for a Kindle Fire HDX to 13.3.2.3.1.

I don’t have that yet on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile: support a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Mine is still at 13.3.2.2…most likely, it is just bug fixes. My version is the one that shows for both the 7″ and the 8.9″ at

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates (at AmazonSmile)

I’ll keep an eye on it for you and let you know if I see an update becoming broadly available.

What do you think? Are you sick of Hachazon War stories? As regular readers know, I try to keep the blog eclectic, covering lots of different topics. This one is getting so much coverage, though, that it’s a bit hard to avoid mentioning it. 😉 Have you found good uses for Cloud Collections? Since they aren’t on the Mindle, does that suggest the Mindle is going to be discontinued? Does Amazon need a Kindle device which is lower-priced than the Paperwhite? Will the DoJ go after Amazon? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

New! Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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.

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Round up #243: 100 comics for $10, understanding the new Cloud Collections

March 9, 2014

Round up #243: 100 comics for $10, understanding the new Cloud Collections

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

KDD: “Books That Inspired Our Passion for Reading, $2.99 or Less [each]”

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deal‘s (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) is any of twenty specific books for $2.99 or less each.

This is National Reading Month (um, gee, isn’t that every month? No? Okay, then.). 😉 In honor of that, Amazon has discounted these books (for today)…and there are definitely some good ones on the list!

  • The Alchemist
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • American Gods
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Tales of the City
  • The Natural
  • The Poisonwood Bible
  • The Complete Stories (Flannery O’Connor)
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Kane and Abel
  • The Good Earth
  • Old Yeller
  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8
  • Cryptonomicon
  • Miss Marple, the Complete Short Stories
  • When Beauty Tamed the Beast
  • [Ray] Bradbury Stories
  • Native Son
  • Sophie’s World
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall

You know how you say you are going to wait until those really great, well-known books go on sale? That’s now. 😉

As a reminder, you can buy these as a gift and delay the delivery until the appropriate  occasion. For example, do you know a kid who would enjoy Sarah, Plain and Tall? You can order it now and pick a delivery date in December…

One of my regular readers, Lady Galaxy, suggested I might buy a couple to add to our Guest Bookshelf (see On our guest Kindle for a listing of the books we have on our Guest Kindle). A few people, I think wisely, suggested the list could use some more short story anthologies or collections.

Understanding the new Cloud Collections

Overwhelmingly, I’m seeing a positive reaction to the recent update to the Kindle Paperwhite 1st generation.

However, I’m still seeing a lot of confusion, even among very sophisticated users, about how Cloud Collections work now.

I have to say, this does show that Amazon could explain these things better. I like that they have the Kindle Forum Pros (I’m one of those…we volunteer our time to help people), but their Help Pages could be more scenario based, in my opinion. They don’t tend to say, “You want to do this…here’s how”). They will tell you steps to do, but not tell you why you would do them.

I’m going to share something I posted elsewhere…this is based on our KPW1 (Kindle Paperwhite 1st generation): I think it’s the same on the KPW2.

There are really three key things:

1. You can set a Collection so that it either appears in Collections view only, or in all views [note: you do this by selecting “Collections” in the menu to your right of where it says, ,”On Device”]

2. There is a menu for the filter (what will be displayed on your home screen). You can choose: All Items; Books; Periodicals; Docs; Collections; or Active Content [note: that’s the same menu as above]

3. There is another menu, similar to what we had before for sorting (the order in which the items you have chosen to display in the second step will show). You can use: Recent; Title; Author; or Collection [that’s the last menu on that row, to your right from the menu above]

Here’s my own example:

I created a Collection called “Guest Bookshelf” (this Kindle is one we use for guests). I can add books to it from the Paperwhite or from my Kindle Fire HDX (I find the latter easier).

That is the only Collection which is starred (“Show in All Views”) on this device.

I have it set to show “All Items” in the filter. It shows that Collection, plus active content, the Vocabulary Builder, a blog…just a few things that I have on it.

I have it sorted by “Collection”, meaning that the books in the Guest Bookshelf show inside that Collection (which appears at the top of the homepage) and not outside it.

That’s exactly what I want. 🙂

I think for most people, the set up is:

Switch the filter to Collections, and star the Collections you would like to show.

Switch the filter to All Items.

Switch the sort to Collection.

Now, I do understand that some people want more functionality. Right now, the count of items in a Collection doesn’t change if you are on the Cloud tab or the Device tab. In other words, if you have a Romance Cloud Collection, you can’t tell how many of those books are actually on this device without opening the Collection. Even then, it doesn’t show a count…they just look different (books not on the device are faded).

Let me know if you have more questions…

A tip on connecting with the Push2TV

I’ve written before about using my Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile) with the NETGEAR Push2TV (at AmazonSmile) to “mirror” everything on my tablet’s screen to my TV.

That works very well! I use it quite a bit.

I started running into an issue where it wasn’t always finding the Push2TV…in other words, it wouldn’t make the connection so that I could watch.

I figured out a minor thing, but it seems to make a big difference (that’s the way it often works, right? Big problems solved with a small change).

The trick seems to be to start the Fire looking first:

Swipe down from the top – Settings – Display & Sounds – Display Mirroring

then activate your Push2TV, rather than the other way around.

Sequencing is often the key with technology.

I assume what happens is that the Push2TV sends it’s “here I am” signal right away: if the Fire isn’t looking for it when it is broadcast, it misses it.

Comixology Submit started bundle: 100 books for $10!

Thanks to Publishers Weekly for the heads-up on this!

Celebrating SXSW (South by Southwest),

Comics (at AmazonSmile)

is offering a bundle of 100 of their Comixology Submit titles…for $10!

That offer is only good through Sunday (March 10). This is a savings of 97%, and will give you some good indie (independently published) comics. Think of it like Kindle Direct Publishing for comic books.

You can read this through the free app you can get for your Kindle Fire (see above), and read it other places (including Android devices, iPads and iPhones, and Windows 8).

Update: Orphan Black on Prime

I meant to mention this one (and gee, this has become a really multimedia post! I started with books, I’ve done comics, and now video). Amazon Prime has recently added

Orphan Black (at AmazonSmile)

It’s a science fiction series from last year where there was a lot of mainstream push that the lead actor should have been nominated for an Emmy…you don’t usually see that.

The performance by Tatiana Maslany is extraordinary. I want to leave you the discovery of what is happening, but I would guess you’ll be impressed. There are other good things to the series as well…might make a good binge watch (ten episodes). With Prime, you can watch them at no additional cost.

A content advisory: this ran on BBC America (and Space in Canada), and they don’t have the same restrictions that you might expect from a USA network show. There are sexual situations and nudity.

Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle. You can also now recommend a child to be the recipient.

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

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.

Understanding Cloud Collections

November 21, 2013

Understanding Cloud Collections

Amazon has recently updated both the current generation of Kindle Fires (the Kindle HDX models and the new Kindle HD, the $139 model) and the Kindle Paperwhite (second generation) to include a feature called Cloud Collections (it may be coming to other models as well.

First, I’m going to go over what Collections are, and then explain how this works. There has been quite a bit of confusion about it, and some disappointed people. As to the latter point, I think in some ways it is again an example of Amazon not naming something clearly…I do see that as one of Amazon’s few serious deficits. Naming the tablet (Fire) line “Kindles” caused a lot of problems in the beginning, with people wondering why the new “Kindles” were hard to read outside in bright light, or talking about “upgrading” from a Kindle 3 to a Kindle Fire (when they really aren’t the same type of device serving the same purpose). They’ve notoriously named several things just a “Kindle”, from the 2007 model to the current entry level one (which I call a “Mindle”).

Collections are organizational structures for your content. They are not like folders on a PC or a Mac, because they do not actually contain the files. You simply “tag” the files as belonging to a certain classification, and then you can locate the files by looking at that classification.

Deleting the classification (Collection) does not delete the files which are associated with it.

If you think of a file folder with papers in it, and you through out the folder, you would also throw out the papers…that’s how a folder on a PC works.

Think of a Collection as a listing. You have a list of books you’ve read this year on your computer (maybe in an Excel file). If you delete the Excel file, you don’t delete the books. The difference is that the Collection has a link that enables you to open the book, but it is really just a link. Getting rid of the link does not get rid of the book.

Until these updates, we created Collections on a single device, and that Collection only applied to that device. I could have a “To Be Read” Collection on my Kindle, and my Significant Other could have a “To Be Read” Collection on theirs, and there was no confusion.

We could, however, import Collections from one device to another. When we did that, we copied the classification structure from Kindle A to Kindle B.

Again, it didn’t move any of the actual content…just the instructions for which lists should have it.

That’s still the way it works on devices without Cloud Collections. On my Mindle, I do

Home – Menu – View Archived Items (called “the Cloud” on some devices) – Add Other Device Collections

Then, if I was connected to wi-fi, it would show me devices which had Collections.  That includes devices which have been deregistered. It does include a Kindle for PC installation. I could choose to add Collections from a particular device, but I didn’t get a choice as to which Collections would be added.

If I had e-books on my device which were already in a Collection as defined by that other device, they would be added to the Collection on this device.

Let’s say I’m working with Kindle A.

I import the Collections from Kindle B.

Alice in Wonderland was in a Collection (“Classics”, perhaps) on Kindle B, and the Alice i Wonderland e-b0ok is on Kindle A.

Alice in Wonderland would now be in the Classics Collection on Kindle A.

Note that you had to have the e-books on your device before importing the Collections for this to work.

That’s the way it used to be.

I don’t think a lot of people found that to be convenient.

What people wanted was for the books in their archives/Cloud to be in Collections…so they could choose a book to read more easily, for one thing, without it being stored on their device.

That’s one reason people kept thousands of books on the device (as opposed to in the Cloud/archives). There was no organization in the Cloud/archives.

I usually only keep about ten Kindle store books on any of my devices…so I don’t use Collections that much.

I generally remember what the books are called, and what they are about. That may have some connection to my having been a brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, but I think it’s just sort of how my brain works. 🙂

Now, we have Cloud Collections, and those are very different.

Here’s the key thing first: even though they are called “Cloud Collections”, they do not show at

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

That may change at some point, but they aren’t there now.

What happens is that you can now see all of the Collections from any of your devices on each of your devices. On my Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers, I see Collections that I’ve created on other devices…even deregistered devices.

I can add titles to those Collections from the Fire…and if I do, they will also show on my  new Kindle Paperwhite.

Cloud Collections do not belong to any individual device: they belong to all of the devices.

As soon as I added a Collection on my Fire, it appeared on the Paperwhite. I had both of them connected via wi-fi, of course.

If I delete a Cloud Collection on one device, it is deleted on all of the devices (they do warn you about that). Again, it does not delete the files.

Rename it on one device, and it is renamed on all of the devices.

Initially, this may have caused some  embarrassment. One of the parents might have had a Collection called, “Guilty Pleasures”, or “Don’t Show the Kids”, and those Collections (along with links to their content) would appear on the child’s device (if it has Cloud Collections).

If you’ve had  lot of devices, like we have had, you might get a lot of Collections…I got 18 of them, and again, I haven’t even used Collections much at all.

Certainly, I can see real advantages to this. We could have a Collection called, “Bufo’s Weird Stuff”, and my SO would probably never look at it. 😉 We could have a Collection called, “Bufo’s To Be Read”, and it wouldn’t matter on which device I accessed Collections, I could find it.

Now, let’s talk about how you work with the Collections. I’ll start out with on the Fire.

Go to the Books tab. Tap the menu (three horizontal lines in your top left corner). Tap Collections.

Now, you’ll see all of your Collections from all of your devices, in alphabetical order. You’ll see thumbnails of some of the titles in the Collection (only four will fit).

Tap the Collection, and it will come to the foreground. You may need to scroll to see everything.

Tap the title to read it. If it isn’t on your device yet, it will download to it.

If you want to add titles to the Collection, there is an Add button. You’ll be able to add not just from the e-books already on the device, but from the books in your Cloud (listed alphabetically). That’s thousands of books, in my case, and I didn’t see anyway to search or change the sort order. You can remove a book from a Collection by “long pressing” it (hold your finger or stylus on it for about a second), and then you’ll get a Remove button. It appeared to me that you did those one at a time.

Note that you can also remove a book by dragging it out of the Collection. I found that out first when I tested dragging a book from one Collection to another, which does not work…it removes the title instead.

You can rename the Collection by long pressing the name of it when it is in the foreground.

When a Collection is not in the foreground (when you are seeing all of them), you can long press it and add it to Home (just on this device, I presume), or delete the Collection (from all devices).

Adding it to Home makes sense. Here’s a cool tip: you can also drag one item in your Home (not in your Carousel…down at the bottom) on top of another item, and it instantly creates a Collection.

On the Fire, you can also create Collections for apps. You can not mix content types: you can not put an App into a Collection for e-books.

On the Paperwhite, it’s a bit different. You don’t have a Books tab: the Collections appear right on your Homescreen. Tap the Collection, and it opens, similar to what happens on the Fire.

Long press it, and you can Add/Remove Items, Rename This Collection, or Delete This Collection.

Those are the main workflows. 🙂

Again, I can see some real value to this, but Amazon didn’t explain it very well. Many people would have preferred having the option as to which Collections showed up: although it isn’t hard to rename or delete them, so the “Manager” of the account (perhaps an adult) should deal with it on their own device first, if possible (but you can’t control when another device will update over wireless).

I  tested using Parental Controls to turn off access to the Cloud (Home – Menu – Settings – Device Options) on the Paperwhite. The Collections were still displayed, but Cloud items did not show “inside” them.

I also did a quick test with Kindle Freetime on the Paperwhite: with that on, even the names of the Cloud Collections did not show (they did not show at all).

Here is the Amazon Help Page for the HDX (they don’t appear to have the Paperwhite one up yet):

Organize Your Content with Cloud Collection for the HDX

Cloud Collections are also available on the iOS apps (for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch).

That Help Page also has this, and it’s not clear to me:

Import a collection: With Cloud Collections, collections are automatically stored in the Cloud and can be synced between Kindle Paperwhite (2nd Generation), Kindle Fire HD (2nd Generation), Kindle Fire HDX, and Kindle for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch reading apps.

Note: Importing collections from other devices or reading apps to Kindle Paperwhite (2nd Generation), Kindle Fire HD (2nd Generation), Kindle Fire HDX, and Kindle for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch is currently limited to the first time you register the device or reading app.”

I’m not sure what they mean by that one. When you first register a device or reading app, how can it have any Collections? I’ll see if I can find out more about that.

If you have any questions about this, or opinions about it, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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.


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