Archive for the ‘Kindle for PC’ Category

Round up #179: updates, DRM that changes the words

June 18, 2013

Round up #179: updates, DRM that changes the words

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

Playing “Hangman”…

Amazon claims in this

press release

that its publishing division has had a million seller. It’s significant that Amazon could, with its traditional publishing business, sell enough of a work to challenge the Big Six publishers. As I wrote about a couple of years ago in A Tale of Two Middles, that’s one way that Amazon can potentially work around the publishers. The e-tailer has tended to lose when going up against them (text-to-speech, and the Agency Model, for two examples), but as indicated in the current Apple trial, the publishers are worried about Amazon gaining more power and luring away their authors.

Congratulations are definitely due to Oliver Pötzsch, who is the author featured in the press release.

However, this isn’t exactly Stephen King territory yet.

Here’s the telling part of the press release:

“… the first Amazon Publishing author to sell 1 million copies in combined print, audio, and Kindle English language editions worldwide.”

That’s right…this is not the same thing as selling a million copies of a hardback book: it combines hardbacks, paperbacks, audiobooks, and e-books. This is also the combined figure for three different titles (the fourth, The Poisoned Pilgrim: A Hangman’s Daughter Tale, can be pre-ordered for July 16th, 2013).

Still, this is no small accomplishment, and can’t make those other tradpubs any happier.

Steve Jobs in the Apple trial

We are winding down in the Apple Agency Model trial, and today, Eddy Cue talked about Steve Jobs role, as reported in this

AllThingsD article by Peter Kafka

Honestly, I looked at another article first to bring you, but it was too tacky. Steve Jobs didn’t always do things with which I agreed, certainly, but I do think that respect is reasonable here.

Cue talked about how Jobs got into the iBooks project, once it was decided it was a go…including picking Winnie-the-Pooh as part of the launch.

It looks like we’ll have closing arguments on Thursday, and I would expect there to be a decision fairly quickly…I like Judge Cote, and I don’t think this will get stretched out for months.

As this point, I do think it’s possible Apple will prevail…

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of years…”

Just doesn’t have the same ring as the original, right?

Well, according to this article by Janko Roettgers

Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute is working on an anti-piracy DRM (Digital Rights Management) scheme that would change words in books so that you could identify which copy belong to whom, as a way to combat piracy.

Wait, what? 😉

I mean, I’m sorry, but authors sweat blood sometimes picking just the right combinations of vowels and consonants to tell their tales. I can’t imagine that this kind of “finger-printing” is going to be embraced. I hope-I hope-I hope… 🙂

Netflix to introduce user profiles

The video giant has figured out that not everybody on the same account has the same tastes. 😉

Huffington Post article by Alexis Kleinman

My adult kid and I share an account (my Significant Other just doesn’t use it), and that does make for some odd recommendations. For one thing, my kid is a linguist…we aren’t even always watching things in the same language! We don’t know quite how it will work yet, but it is supposed to be here by the end of the summer.

Why report on that?

We’re still waiting for Amazon to get something like that going for Kindle accounts. Yes, we have FreeTime for the Kindle Fire, and parental controls on the RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles…anything but a Fire at this point), but we could certainly use something simpler. My SO is not going to read the Doctor Who book I borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library this month, so it just sort of clutters things up.

I mentioned that we might see more software/service changes from Amazon this year than radical hardware changes (although I would figure that we’ll get new hardware), and this “profiles within accounts” kind of thing could certainly attract a lot of people.

Kindle for Windows 8 update

In this Amazon Kindle forum thread

Kindle for Windows 8 update 2.0

Amazon announced a new version of Kindles for Window 8. It’s bringing quite a few new features:

* Ability to search from inside a book
* Redesigned home screen and in-book navigation
* Easier bookmarking
* Filtering of Notes and Bookmarks
* Option to sample recommended books
* Live Tile displays of the book you’re reading
* Updated view options menu, library and search views

I’ve seen quite a few threads where people complain about the limited functionality of this version, so this should help. I’m intrigued by “filtering of Notes and Bookmarks”…I’ll look for more info on that.

Kindle Paperwhite update 5.3.6

They also announced the

Kindle Paperwhite Update Version 5.3.6

While it appears to have brought some other minor changes, this is the big new feature:

* Improvements when buying from a book sample – While reading a sample of a book, you can view the price of the full book and purchase from the reading toolbar with one tap

That seems nice…we all want things that make it easier for us to spend money with Amazon, right? 😉 Well, if it’s money you were going to spend anyway, making it easier is a plus for the consumer.

How to support a blog

I do get asked about this, and I’m reluctant to bring it up. I don’t accept payment for ads (any ads you ever see here are added by WordPress, and they get the money. You don’t see that in the regular blog feed, I think, but I have seen it on individual articles on the website.

You can certainly subscribe (thanks, subscribers!) if the blog is in the Kindle store…but that doesn’t work for a lot of people (if you are outside the USA, I think, or if you are using a reading app).

I’ve had people ask me if I accept donations, or if they can just send me money. I’m not a non-profit, and reporting money given to me for the blog on my taxes would really befuddle me.

One thing you can do: if the blog has a link for Amazon Gift Cards, that can be a good way to do it. You can buy gift cards for other people, or you could just buy them and apply them to your account. That’s a pretty painless way to help out. 🙂 It doesn’t change what you pay for anything at all.

As long as I’m writing about this (and so I can get back to something where I feel more comfortable), let me talk about Amazon Gift Cards a bit…I often see questions from people who are confused about how they work with Kindle books.

There are no Kindle gift cards…there are Amazon gift cards with pictures of Kindles on them, but when you buy a gift card with a picture of a birthday cake, that doesn’t mean you can only buy cake. 😉

You apply the gift card to your account.

The way that we buy books in the Kindle store is with “1-click”. 1-click will draw from any available gift card balance on your account until it is exhausted, then go back to whatever 1-click payment method you’ve designated (if any).

Let’s say somebody gives you a $25 gift card, and you want to spend it on books. You apply it to your account, and someone else on your account buys, oh, mouthwash (I’m not suggesting anything about their personal hygiene here, by the way). 😉 If they use 1-click, it will take away from that gift card balance.

You aren’t asked if you want your gift card balance applied to your current Kindle store purchase, because you would have to click on something to do that…and it’s called 1-click. 🙂

That’s why some people have an account just for Kindle purchases, so they can keep them separate.

Infographic of mysteries in different US states


Ebook Friendly article

has a nice infographic from Open Road with e-book mysteries in different states in the USA.

I have to say, I’ve never gone to this site before, and I’m impressed! I don’t follow a lot of sites on Twitter, but I’m going to start following this one, which will put it in my Flipboard read in the morning.

I’m going to explore

more, and then report back to you on it. I always figure there is room for a lot of good writing on the web about e-books, EBRs (E-Book Readers), and publishing. You’ve probably noticed that I tend to link and credit…I like being a place you can find the good work that others do. 🙂

What do you think? Is changing words in a book an acceptable way to combat piracy? Will you just be happy when the Apple Agency Model trial is over, however it goes? 😉 Am I making a mistake when I promote other sites, or do you like it? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

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


Kindle for PC, Kindle for Mac updated: version 1.10.1

July 6, 2012

Kindle for PC, Kindle for Mac updated: version 1.10.1

New versions of the free reader apps for Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac have been released:

Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac Version 1.10.1

I’m looking for the big changes (unless these are just bug fixes), but I wanted to let you know right away. 🙂

Update: I’ve heard that this doesn’t really add new features, just performance enhancements.

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

New update 5.04 update available for the Kindle Touch, Kindle for PC updated

March 1, 2012

New update 5.04 update available for the Kindle Touch, Kindle for PC updated

Thanks to regular reader and commenter Tom Semple for the heads-up on this.

There is a new update available for the Kindle Touch (5.0.4).

The description isn’t very explicit: “This update features general software improvements for Kindle Touch.” 🙂

I won’t get a chance to test it until later, but if you want to get it right away, you can at

Kindle Touch Software Update Page

There are instructions there for using your USB cable to transfer it to your KT.

You can also just wait, and you should get it when connected to wi-fi…that’s easier, but it’s hard to say when it will happen.

Tom also tells me that Kindle for PC has been updated to accommodate KF8 (Kindle Format 8).  I’m not where I can test that one, either.

If you get either of these and notice differences, feel free to let me know.

Thanks, Tom!

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

Flash! Kindle for PC updated with Collections, copy and paste!

July 21, 2011

Flash! Kindle for PC updated with Collections, copy and paste!

Big, big, big!

Kindle for PC looks quite different with a brand new update…and includes the ability to import your Collections (and create them on the PC).

I have my K4PC set to update automatically…but it didn’t, and I’ve had that happen before.

Open K4PC, and do

Help-Future Improvements…

Even though the Future Improvements page hasn’t been updated with a new description, go ahead and

Download the new version

It went smoothly for me, although I’m seeing some things in the Kindle community where people say they crashed…I’m on Vista Home Premium on this machine.

It looks quite different. For one thing, Home is now called Library.

It prompted me to add Collections…although you can also do it through the File menu.

You can also duplicate Collections…that’s a nice touch.

It’s showing me my total items, as well as downloaded and archives…again, a nice touch.

There is a Recommended for You link…it looked like it was only going to pull up Kindle books, but it didn’t find anything for me.

There was a fascinating addition, and I don’t see how you’d realize it was there. Highlight a name in a book (a person, a place), and you’ll have some new choices:

Note that Report Content Error? Interesting!

When you click the Book Extras by Shelfari, you get a description…which you can edit or you can add something new:

This should contribute to massive updating of the Shelfari extras…I wanted to alter this one right away. 🙂

When I clicked to View All Book Extras, you get all kinds of things…perfect for a homework assignment. You get character descriptions, a synopsis (which is “spoiler-blinded” until you click on it), alternate covers, quotations, themes…really nice!

Hey…we can copy and paste now! I highlighted a fairly large selection, copied it, pasted it into Notepad…it even gave me citation data! It was a bit misleading, but it gave it to me:

Carroll, Lewis (1997-05-01). Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Kindle Locations 543-553). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

Misleading because Lewis Carroll wasn’t born in 1997, of course.  He also wasn’t born on May 1…I’m thinking that’s the publication date of the edition.

They are really making this much better for school work…and that may also tie into the tablet.

If you don’t have Kindle for PC at all yet, start here:

Kindle for PC

Try it out, let me know what you think!

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

Flash! Kindle for PC updated

November 16, 2010

Flash! Kindle for PC updated

I have to say, just like its namesake, Amazon never stands still.

Now, they’ve added some nice additions to the free

Kindle for PC app

 There are three new things:

  • You get the dictionary!
  • You can see your titles in a list, rather than in tile (thumbnail…little pictures of the covers) form
  • You can choose multiple column reading

We’ll take these one at a time, then I’ll tell you how to do the update…or if you can’t wait, just go to the above link and download it.  🙂


The Kindle has an on-board dictionary, and you can use it to look up words.  That’s now been added to the Kindle for PC.  You can also look up words and phrases in Google and Wikipedia.  Unlike the Kindle, you don’t just put your cursor in front of the word…you select the word (by double-clicking or by dragging over).  The definition will appear at the bottom of the screen.  The first time you do it, you apparently have to download the dictionary…at least, I did.  It had a kind of scary message about the dictionary not being in the archives, but of course, it was. 

You’ll also get a choice to Lookup…select that, and you’ll see Google and Wikipedia as options.  Be careful, though!  It didn’t open a new window for me, it knocked me off of the last thing I had open…like this post I’m composing.  🙂  That may not be true for everybody, and it wouldn’t be a problem if you only had Kindle for PC open.  The short definition appears in a hover window at the bottom (like it does on your Kindle) and you can choose to see the full definition.

If you want to turn off the dictionary, you can do that in Options.

List View

Oh, I like this one!  Regular readers know, I’m not that visual a person.  I’d rather look at the numbers than look at a graph.  When you are in the home screen, you’ll see two buttons to your right of the sync button:

The one on your right, with the little boxes, represents tile view.  The one on your left will list your titles…sort of like an Excel spreadsheet without the lines.  You can sort by clicking the column titles…much easier, in my opinion.

Multiple Columns

There’s another new button.  You’ll see it when you have a book open.  It’s to your right of the full screen button:

It’s the one on your far right here.

That will display your book in multiple columns, like you might see in a magazine. 

All in all, these are a few nice changes.

To update your Kindle for PC, you can go to the link I gave at the top and choose to download.  If you already had K4PC open, it will ask you to close it.  The whole thing took about three minutes, I’d say.  It was all pretty painless and worked fine for me.

One other little thing I noticed: if you go to Tools-Options, you can now see and change where your Kindle content is stored…that’s a nice touch.

I did notice that it was taking longer to get back to Home from the book…not a big deal, but it did seem to degrade performance a little.

I’m looking forward to the next thing to come down the river!  😉

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

Flash! Search added to Kindle for PC

August 16, 2010

Flash! Search added to Kindle for PC

I tweeted this a couple of days ago, after seeing a tweet from Andrys A Kindle World of about it.  I hadn’t had a chance to test it until today.

Amazon has updated its free Kindle for PC app.  They seem to have done two main things: changed the background of the homescreen so you see that same “kid under a tree” graphic; and added in-book search.

The first one isn’t an advantage to me…I’d say I liked it better before.  🙂  However, I do have some color vision deficiency, and I tend to prefer flatter looks, perhaps for that reason.

The second change, though, that of adding search, is a great plus!  After you get the update (more on that in a bit), you can either type into a search box in your upper right with a book open, or (and this is really cool) highlight something and have the option to search without typing.

So, you have Alice in Wonderland open (that’s my normal test book…for a lot of the things I do, it’s good to use a public domain title).  You can just double-click the word dodo. You’ll get a choice to highlight, highlight and add a note, or search.  If you choose Search, you’ll get a sidebar with the results.  I really like this, compared to the Kindle.  You still see the text that you were reading, plus you get the context of each of the appearances of the word.  You get the context on the Kindle as well, but it’s in a different screen and you have to go Back to get back to what you were reading.  There’s a big red “You are here” bar above your current context…that’s a nice touch!

If you click one of the context quotes, you will jump there on the main screen…and you can use Back to get back to where you were.

It’s a very nice implementation.  You can’t interact with the results bar, except by clicking on it to go somewhere…no copying that list and pasting, but that’s okay.  I always hope that a more interactive document will enable text-to-speech (in this case, I tried Windows Narrator), but it didn’t.

Bottom line: I like it.  🙂

Now, as to how to get it…

I have my options (Tools-Options) set up to automatically apply updates…but it didn’t do it.  I reopened the program, did a Sync & Check…nope.  So, I went to Help-Future Improvements.  That did get me to a link for the update.  I think you can get to it directly here:

K4PC improvements 

If you already have Kindle for PC open, it will probably restart it and install it…that’s fine, I didn’t lose anything doing that, and you shouldn’t either.

Just another way Amazon is improving the product…thanks, Amazon!

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

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