Archive for the ‘Manage Your Kindle’ Category

Checking in on MYCD (formerly MYK) April 2017 part 2: see what books are on your devices

April 27, 2017

Checking in on MYCD (formerly MYK) April 2017 part 2: see what books are on your devices

In my last post,

Checking in on MYCD (formerly MYK) April 2017: resend gifts to a different address!

I wrote about the new feature on the “Your Content” tab of

MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices), formerly MYK (Manage Your Kindle) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which is Amazon’s centralized spot to manage your Kindle account.

I knew there was more for me to examine when I took this latest look at MYCD, and one of my regular readers and commenters, Tom Semple, brought up something about the “Your Devices” tab.

When you click or tap (or eye gaze in virtual/augmented reality…the latest Oculus/Samsung Gear update has a native browser, and Amazon is one of the default choices. You can’t do everything there, but you can do a lot: in the ellipsis (…) for a given device, you have these choices:

  • Deregister
  • Set as default device
  • Remote Alarm (this is cool…it makes your device beep so you can find it)
  • Find Your Tablet (this locates it)
  • Remote Lock
  • Remote Factory Reset
  • View device content

Note that the above listing is for my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX7. You can’t make a Kindle EBR (E-Book Reader) beep, for example. You’ll see the appropriate choices for that device (you won’t see a lot for an Echo device, although you can manage voice recordings).

The big revelation for most people, and something I think Amazon should have promoted, is the ability to “View device content”.

When you select that, you’ll get a new page with all of the content on your device listed!

Right away, you can see a count, which is nice.

Checking, though, I’m seeing Kindle store books and samples. I’m not seeing blogs, for example.

If you click the ellipsis (…) for a book, you get a choice to deliver it to the Default Device, or to “Others”. Others is a plural: you can select multiple other devices.

There is also a checkbox to the left of the ellipsis. After you check that, two new buttons appear: one to Deliver, and one to Deselect All.

What that means is that you could select several books and deliver them to several other devices.

One major limitation is that you can only select up to ten…which means that if you are trying to transfer hundreds of books, it’s going to be some work.

We can go from a book and see the Collections of which it is a part. We can go to a device and see what books are in it.

The one big direction we can’t do is go from a book and see which devices have downloaded it.

Why does that matter?

Books from the Kindle store have a designated number of “Simultaneous Device Licenses” (SDLs). Unless it says otherwise on the Amazon product page, that number is six. Some books have fewer (I’ve seen as few as one); some (especially those in the public domain) are unlimited.

If you’ve downloaded a given book with 6 SDLs on six devices, and then try to download it on a seventh (without deleting it from one of the others), it won’t let you do it.

It would be very helpful to know which devices have that book, so we could choose where to delete it.

Still, MYCD is getting important new capabilities, and I appreciate that.

It would also be nice to be able to delete a book from a device through MYCD…hopefully that’s in the works for the future.

This strengthens the role of what I refer to the Manager, which is anyone who has the password for the account (as opposed to users, who just use the account and control what is on their individual devices).

I suspect some users will be surprised that the Manager will be able to see what’s on their devices!

I’ll check out MYCD a bit more, and see if there is anything else standing out to me.

Thanks again to Andrys Basten, Edward Boyhan, and Tom Semple!

===

My Amazon Giveaways: 

I recently concluded a giveaway for

One Murder More (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

and there were ten winners. I’m doing a new one for the same book:

1 winner

Requirements for participation:

  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Kris Calvin on Amazon (you’ll be notified when future books are added to Amazon…I think that’s the only contact you get, although I’m not positive)

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/c2fb235f3cf97ced 

Start:Apr 24, 2017 6:06 AM PDT
End:Apr 29, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

LAST HOURS TO ENTER! There have been about 1,000 entrants at time of writing

CelebriDucks Rocky Horror Picture Show Dr Frank-N-Furter RUBBER DUCK Tim Curry (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/10d9d8f4121e9918

Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
18+ years of age (or legal age)
Tweet a message: “Happy birthday, @timothycurry! Tim Curry born April 19 1946 https://www.thehistoryproject.com/projects/view/1433/timeline?eventId=31535 https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/ #giveaway”

Start:Apr 19, 2017 7:04 AM PDT
End:Apr 26, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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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Checking in on MYCD (formerly MYK) April 2017: resend gifts to a different address!

April 25, 2017

Checking in on MYCD (formerly MYK) April 2017: resend gifts to a different address!

What should hypothetically be one of the most important parts of our Kindle experiences is

MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices), formerly MYK (Manage Your Kindle) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That is the centralized place to manage what is happening on your account. Since that’s where our Amazon Kindle purchases live, you would think people would be in there every week. After all, do you spend more time in your house or in your car?

Actually, that may be an apt parallel: I would say most people care more about, and have a more intimate relationship with, their cars than their homes. Not true for everybody, of course, but cars are what we use, and that’s true of our devices versus MYCD, too. It’s also possible that the relatively short lifespan of a car/device versus the home/account makes us care about them more.

That said, I would think that someone like me, who loves to alphabetize** and play with databases, would be constantly checking in on MYCD to see what’s new.

That’s just not the case. For so long, we had relatively little we could do there that, well, I think I just got out of the habit. I have to have some conscious prompt to go look, typically, and this time, in came in the form of a private e-mail.

The suggestion was that there were new features. The first thing I did was check the

Manage Your Kindle category at ILMK

and it’s actually only been since October that I last wrote about it.

By the way, another part of that discussion was you would think that Amazon would alert us in some way if there were improvements, and tell us what they were and how to use them.

That’s definitely something I would change about how most cutting edge technology companies do things. They’ll work really hard on creating a new feature…and then not spend any time creating real instructions for it. 🙂

I see that all the time in VAMM (Virtual/Augmented/Mixed/Merged) Reality space. Hulu, Netflix, Oculus…they’ve all had interesting experiences for me there, but they were really trial and error for me to figure out how to use them.

I know writing user-friendly instructions takes a bit of work…maybe they could crowd source that?

Anyway…

On the content page, these are the choices in the first “Show” dropdown:

  • Books (books you buy from the Kindle store)
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Blogs
  • Audiobooks
  • Music (with a jump link)
  • Apps
  • Instant Video
  • Docs (personal documents you’ve uploaded, which could include books from non-Amazon sites, like Project Gutenberg)
  • Active Content (apps and games for non-Fire Kindles)
  • Dictionaries & User Guides
  • — (dividing line)
  • Collections
  • Kindle Unlimited (you might not have that if you aren’t a member)
  • Prime Reading
  • Gifts
  • Pending Deliveries

The last time I listed that was about two years ago, and the sub-dividing part is pretty different.

The second dropdown, which starts as “All”, has

  • All
  • Purchases
  • Samples
  • Rentals
  • Loans
  • Borrows

It was a big deal when we got “Samples” management, but that’s not new. It used to be that when you downloaded a sample, there was no record for you of that, which made things confusing at times…especially if you were only part way through a sample. If you sample a giant omnibus edition, it’s possible the sample contains an entire book (or more), so not being able to move it from one device to another was an issue. Another thing is that some people use samples as a “to buy” list…and if your device died, you lost that record before it was added to MYCD.

Clicking the ellipsis (…) to the left of a book title gave me information about the book and my purchase of it, and then these choices:

  • Deliver to Default Device (or) Others (the latter did let me select multiple devices to which to download it at once)
  • Delete
  • Download & transfer via USB (that’s how you get books when you don’t have a wireless connection)
  • Clear furthest page read
  • Read Now
  • Manage Family Library
  • Add to Collections

At the end of the book’s record, it had a column for Collections…it showed me a linked number and a dropdown (down caret). If the book was in zero Collections, it offered a link for me to add it to one. If the book was in one or more Collections, there was a link where I could go right to the Collection to manage it.

I was hoping something would tell me to which devices the book had been downloaded…people really want that. I understand that it would be difficult for it to tell you if a book is actually on a device, since someone could delete a book from a device without having the wireless on, and your MYCD would have no way of knowing that.

There was a banner at the top of the page:

“Have you sent digital gifts to your friends and loved ones? Now you can view and manage them from Manage your content and devices page. ”

That’s a different banner from last time (which talked about Cloud management of Collections).

Switching to Gifts, that did look new!

The second dropdown now gave me a choice between pending gifts and redeemed gifts. The pending gifts showed a delivery date.At first, I thought I had many more that were pending than have been redeemed, but it just took a while for the redeemed ones to all populate. I download every Kindle gift book I’m given, and generally love reading those! I really appreciate them from my family.

Gifts of

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

show, but not

My Amazon Giveaways

which is good. I don’t get any information about people who enter to win through my Giveaways, except the name they chose to enter, and that’s only if they win. I debated about sharing that, and went with first names only…I do think it makes it seem more real to people to show a winner, but I want to protect your privacy. In one case, the name was two people, which I thought was too revealing, so I just used initials.

The ellipsis on a pending book gift has a great new choice: you can send it to a different e-mail address! You can also resend it to the same one, but this is a significant improvement. I gifted a couple of my books to Jeff Bezos more than five years ago…it’s possible the Amazon CEO (Chief Executive Officer) just hasn’t gotten around to them yet 😉 but I could give up and gift them to someone different.

There are also ones I sent to myself, and then printed out and gave to people to redeem. Knowing that they haven’t been redeemed is useful…I could resend them to their own e-mail addresses, in case they lost them, or assume they aren’t really wanting to redeem them…which might make me rethink my gifting. 🙂

For redeemed books, you obviously don’t get those resend choices.

It’s exciting to find this new capability! This post is long enough for now, but double-check the Collections management and look at the other tabs in the next week or so, and let you know if there is anything new and interesting there.

Thanks to my reader, Edward Boyhan, and blogger Andrys Basten of A Kindle World for the discussion (I’ll look more at your specifics).

Questions? Thoughts? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

===

My Amazon Giveaways: 

New!

I recently concluded a giveaway for

One Murder More (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

and there were ten winners. I’m doing a new one for the same book:

1 winner

Requirements for participation:

  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Kris Calvin on Amazon (you’ll be notified when future books are added to Amazon…I think that’s the only contact you get, although I’m not positive)

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/c2fb235f3cf97ced 

Start:Apr 24, 2017 6:06 AM PDT
End:Apr 29, 2017 11:59 PM PDT
I’m sharing you the experiences of running these Amazon Giveaways, which I really like! It’s new to me, though, so I’m experimenting with the options…and I made a mistake on the first ten giveaway of OMM which meant that it didn’t appear in Amazon’s public list. That clearly really dampened down participation…I had about 60 participants for that, and I’m already over twice that in about a day on the new one.

===

LAST TWO DAYS TO ENTER! There have been about 1,000 entrants at time of writing

CelebriDucks Rocky Horror Picture Show Dr Frank-N-Furter RUBBER DUCK Tim Curry (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/10d9d8f4121e9918

Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
18+ years of age (or legal age)
Tweet a message: “Happy birthday, @timothycurry! Tim Curry born April 19 1946 https://www.thehistoryproject.com/projects/view/1433/timeline?eventId=31535 https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/ #giveaway”

Start:Apr 19, 2017 7:04 AM PDT
End:Apr 26, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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! :) 

** Me and alphabetizing and databases…I had once been in a videostore (remember those?) for anout an hour when an employee tentatively approached me and asked me what I was doing. “I’m alphabetizing the movies.” Employee: “They are already alphabetized.” Me: “Well, the ‘As’ are in the As and the ‘Bs’ are in the Bs, but they aren’t alphabetical within the letter.” The employee walked away slowly. 🙂 Another time, I was teaching a database class and said something like, “Remember those little plastic file boxes you played with as a kid? You’d have 3×5 cards, and write things on them and sort them into categories?” Needless to say, crickets. 😉 I guess I was the only person in the room who had fun doing that as a child…

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.

 

New! Collection management comes to MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices)

October 13, 2016

New! Collection management comes to MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices)

Thanks to a reader who let me know in a private e-mail (if you want credit in the blog, just let me know) about a new development!

It’s something people have wanted for years…or at least, it’s a step in that direction.

There was a banner at

MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices), formerly MYK (Manage Your Kindle)> (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

saying,

“Cloud Collection Management is launched. Cloud Collections can be created, edited, and shared from the Manage Your Content and Devices page.”

I’ve had a chance to check it out, and it’s going to be useful, but it may not be everything people expect (but what is?). 😉

A little overview on Collections first…

“Collections” are sort of like folders on a computer or a phone. They are organizational tools. You can “put” books (and some other items) “into” these Collections.

The Collection is not the books, though. You can delete the Collection without losing the books.

Originally (once we eventually got them), the Collection just lived on one device. You created it on your Kindle (nowadays, that might also be a Fire device), and it was just there…it didn’t exist on another device on your account. You could import them, but that was a bit tricky.

Then, Amazon introduced “Cloud Collections” in 2013…I wrote about them in some depth here:

Understanding Cloud Collections

Those were visible from any compatible devices on your account…and I use them a lot. I have a Collection which is the “Guest Bookshelf”, and I’ve used that on multiple devices. I have one for apps which is “Bufo Morning”…that goes from one Fire to another.

What we haven’t been able to do, though, is actually create, rename, or delete Collections from the cloud (Amazon’s central account management system).

Well, you can now!

When you are on MYCD, you can switch where it says “Show” in your top left corner to be Collections.

From there, you’ll see your Collections, including how many items (it says “Books”, but some of mine don’t contain books) are in them. Depending on how they are sorted, you’ll get a modified date or created date. You can sort by those (either newest to oldest or oldest to newest) or alphabetical (A-Z or Z-A).

In an Actions column, you can delete or rename the Collection.

You can also use checkboxes to select Collections, and then bulk delete (you’ll see the button after you select at least one).

Those are nice…it will allow us to easily delete unused Collections. Many people experimented quite a bit at the beginning, so this is a good opportunity to clean up.

There are two big things it can not do that people want.

It won’t tell you which books (and other items) are downloaded to which devices.

You can’t move books into and out of Collections.

So, you can’t work on the items in the Collections here, but you can work on the Collections themselves.

Update: thanks to regular readers and commenters Edward Boyhan and Ann Von Hagel for pointing out that you can, in fact, move books in and out of Collections at MYCD now!

I was looking at the Collections selection, thinking that I would be able to choose a Collection and move things in and out of it. That’s an option on your device. It works, though, the other way.

You set the “View” selection to Books. Then, if a given book in at least one Collection, you’ll see that indicated with the number of Collections of which it is a part. There is a dropdown, and you can select a Collection. If you select the Collection in that dropdown, you then get to see all of the books in the Collection. That’s great! I hadn’t realized you’d be able to see them there. From there, just as you can in the Books view, you can click the Actions ellipsis (…) and choose to add or remove from Collections.

One interesting thing there: when I added one to a Collection on MYCD, I could then remove it from there. When I got to the Collection with the method I described in the previous paragraph, where I selected the Collection from the dropdown in the Books view, it was showing me it was in a Collection…but didn’t give me the option to remove the book from a Collection. I may have to experiment with that more…it might be that MYCD doesn’t give you the remove option unless it was added there.

When you choose to add a book to a Collection at MYCD, you get the option to create a new Collection in situ…that’s also a nice feature!

I just did that…very simple, pretty much just typing in a new name. It was smart enough to add the book to the new Collection, without having to take an extra step. I added a few books to that Collection, then checked on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX…and the Collection was immediately there (I was connected to Wi-Fi, but did not have to tell it to sync).

That means that (unless I’m missing it), the only big thing I’m not seeing is on which devices the books/Collections reside currently.

Thanks, Ann and Edward!

This is a beginning…I’m sure there will be more coming in the future. They do have a content management system for enterprises (companies and schools and such) called Whispercast, but this is unrelated to that.

The other thing they’ve added to MYCD that I noted was that they’ve added Prime Reading

Frequently Asked Kindle Questions: Prime Reading edition

to the choice of items to review.

As long as we have Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), I don’t think we’ll ever see anything in that section in my family…just in KU. People who don’t have KU will see their Prime Reading borrows there.

What do you think? If you have any questions or th0ughts, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Checking in on Manage Your Kindle

February 23, 2015

Checking in on Manage Your Kindle

One of the most important resources an Kindle owner has is the Manage Your Kindle page.

Well, that used to be true…now it’s called the “Manage Your Content and Devices.” 🙂

I assume that’s because the new tablets aren’t called “Kindle Fires” any more, but simply “Fires”.

Not only that, other devices appear as well…my Fire Phone, our Fire TV, our Fire TV stick. I’m guessing our Amazon Echo will appear there as well, although it hasn’t yet (our delivery date still has, as the early end, the end of May).

Whatever you call it, I like to check in on this page from time to time, to see if anything has changed…and it often has.

One thing to note before I get into it: what you see and what I see may not be quite the same.

Amazon is big on “A/B testing”: you give different people different interfaces (and sometimes, different features), to see how well they work and how much people like them.

It’s usually not huge: it could be that a button appears on the top for me, and on the side for you.

Also, which browser you use may matter. I’m using Maxthon, my browser of preference, although I also use Chrome, Internet Explorer, Silk, and SeaMonkey.

We all get to the page the same way, though. I’ll give you the shortest URL (Uniform or Universal Resource Locator…web address), although there are others:

http://www.amazon.com/myk

For me, I see three tabs, and a link to Help. I’ll take them in the order they appear for me:

Your Content

This is where I see things I’ve purchased (including for free) from Amazon on this account, personal documents I’ve uploaded, and resources they give me (like dictionaries for the Kindle).

The first thing I see are two dropdown menus for “Show”.

The first one of those defaults to “Books”, and then gives me these other choices:

  • Books (purchased from the Kindle store)
  • Kindle Unlimited (you may not have that if you aren’t a member…it shows me which books I’ve borrowed under that plan)
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Blogs
  • Audiobooks
  • Music
  • Apps
  • Instant Video
  • Docs (personal documents I’ve uploaded)
  • Active Content (games and apps for non-Fire Kindles)
  • Dictionaries & User Guides (provided by Amazon)
  • Pending Deliveries

Next to that is a dropdown menu which says “All”. That presumably modifies the choices you make in the first dropdown, and not all choices will apply to all content categories. For Books, I see:

  • All
  • Purchases (including free)
  • Samples (this is relatively new, that samples are stored in the Cloud)
  • Rentals (yes, you can rent books…textbooks)
  • Loans
  • Borrows (this is showing me Kindle Unlimited…and ones I got from public libraries)

The next thing I get is a way to sort what shows:

  • Purchase Date: Newest-Oldest (default)
  • Title: A-Z
  • Title: Z-A
  • Author: A-Z
  • Author: Z-A
  • Purchase Date: Oldest-Newest

New here is a toggle to “Show Family Library” or “Hide Family Library”. When it is toggled to “Show”, you can Add to Library and Remove from Library.

There is also a search box you can use to search items

For individual books (or other content), there is a checkbox. When I check a book, I can then Deliver it somewhere or Delete it. I can check more than one book, and take the same action on multiple books (although I’ve heard from people that it can get overwhelmed…I’ve heard of a limit of ten at a time, but I have not tested that recently).

NOTE: if you delete a book from your Cloud, you are surrendering the licence for which you paid (or which you got free). If you do that, and anyone who is on your account now or may be on your account in the future wants to read that book, they’ll have to purchase it again…if it is still available.

I don’t delete books from the Cloud…it would be like throwing out a paperbook.

I know some people do,  though.

This ability is one of the reasons why you have to know the account username and password to get into MYK. Many people have accounts set up where some people are “users” and other people are “managers” (that’s just my name for it). The managers have access to MYK; the users don’t.

In addition to “Deliver” and “Delete”, there  are buttons for actions on individual books.

Tapping one (I’m using a touchscreen device…you might be clicking it), I can see

  • The title (which I can tap to go to the book’s Amazon product page)
  • The author
  • My purchase date
  • The price
  • A link for Order Details
  • Deliver
  • Delete
  • Download & Transfer via USB (you can put books on your device this way, if the device can’t connect to wireless)
  • Clear furthest page read
  • Read Now
  • Manage Family Library

Other choices may appear: for example, if you are within seven days of purchase, you’ll typically get a choice here to return your Kindle book for a refund.

The book line item will also list the Title | Author | Date of purchase…and if an update is available, it will indicate it to the left of the date.

It appears to me that this is an “infinite page”…as I scroll down, more titles appear. That’s also new.

The action buttons continue to appear that the top as I scroll down…that’s a good thing, even though it likely slows down the scrolling.

Moving on to

Your Devices

I see all the devices (hardware and apps) registered to the account.

They appear to be Fire tablets and non-Fire Kindles first in alphabetical order by name, then other hardware (Fire TVs and sticks first for me, then the Fire Phone), then apps.

As you select each device, you’ll see options below it…and those will depend on what the device is capable of doing.

For example, we have a 2007 original Kindle registered (more than one, actually). The options for that are:

  • Edit the name
  • Deregister
  • Set as default device (this is somewhat new)
  • Edit the e-mail address (this address is used to send items to this device, not to send regular e-mail to it)
  • The type
  • The Serial Number

Looking at the

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

I use every day (mine is named “HDXter”, which I pronounce like “H-Dexter”), I see first a dropdown for Device Actions:

  • Deregister
  • Set as default device
  • Remote Alarm (this is nice…even if the volume is turned off, you can make your HDX make a not entirely unpleasant beeping noise…so you can find it if it is lost around the house. If you do find it, you can stop the beeping…otherwise, it goes for two minutes. You will, I assume, need to have wireless on for that to work)
  • Find Your Tablet (this will actually locate it physically…I just  tried it, and it was quite close…certainly close enough so I would know it was at home)
  • Remote Lock (could be useful if someone steals your device…but they may not connect it to wireless)
  • Remote Factory Reset (this would wipe everything off your device, including personal files you put on it…system software updates you had done would not be affected)

Those last three or four might also be used by account managers to…work with account users. For example, a legal guardian could hypothetically lock a child’s device…or see if the device is at home where it was “supposed to be”, rather than, say, at the park…

Then I see

  • Email address (editable)
  • Special Offers status (editable…that wasn’t on the K1 above, because it didn’t do Special Offers)
  • Type
  • Serial Number

Last tab…

Settings

  • Digital Payment Settings (you can edit your 1-click Payment Method through a link here…again, this is fairly new)
  • Country Settings (you can see where they think you live, and you could change it…but you still need to have something that evidenced where you live, such as the country location of your bank. This has to do with copyright and licensing)
  • Households and Family Library: you can add 1 adult here who is not on your account to share books, apps, games, and audiobooks…both of you have to be present when you are doing that. You can also add up to four children
  • Newsstand Subscription Settings (there is a link here to Manage Your Subscriptions, such as unsubscribing or changing a payment method…changing your 1-click above does not change the payment method for a subscription)
  • Kindle Unlimited Settings (you can unsubscribe here, and it tells you when you next payment will be)
  • Device Synchronization (it’s good to have this on if you read the same book on different devices, like a tablet and a phone. If two people on the same account read the same book at the same time on different devices ((which we do sometimes)) it’s good to keep this off)
  • Automatic Book Update (you can turn this off…if it’s on, and an update comes out for a book, it will just happen without asking you…I keep this off)
  • Language Optimized Storefront (you can currently choose English or Spanish)
  • Personal Document Settings (you can edit the e-mail addresses for your devices here), turn on or off Personal Document Archiving (I keep this on….it means that if I use “Send-to-Kindle”, the document will be added to the Cloud so it is available to other devices on the account), Whispernet Delivery Options (you can choose whether or not your personal documents will deliver over 3G/4G if you have it, or just on wi-fi…you could be charged for a 3G/4G delivery), and the Approved Personal Document E-mail List (you choose here what e-mail addresses are allowed to send documents to your devices…prevents “spam”). There is also a list of your previous charges here
  • A link to Manage Whispercast Settings (Whispercast is a special service designed for businesses and organizations)
  • A link to Your AmazonLocal Vouchers
  • The last thing on this page is Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations…the key thing here is that you can view or edit your browsing history at the botttom

Whew!

As you can tell, there is a lot of “self service” provided by Amazon! Good self service can be part of excellent customer service.

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

Join thousands 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.

New: set your default delivery device for Kindle books

October 18, 2014

New: set your default delivery device for Kindle books

===

NOTE: if you are reading this on a site called


Kindle Updates
Your source for the latest Kindle updates and news

they have reproduced my copyrighted material without my permission. They are infringing on my copyright.

They are also reproducing posts from other sites, I presume again without having obtained authorization (although I do not know that for sure).

If you are able to contact them, please ask them to stop. I would be satisfied with that outcome, and would rather not take additional action (I have already alerted Google’s AdSense to the situation, and they appear to have removed their sponsorship).

Thank you for your consideration of the rights of authors.

===

Well, this should reduce the questions which get asked in the Amazon Kindle forums!

For years, people have been confused by where a book goes when they order one from the USA Kindle store.

In the past, there were two answers to that:

If you ordered from your device (from a non-Fire Kindle, a Fire, or a Kindle reader app), it would first go to that device. That’s if you are ordering from within the Kindle store…not using your browser to go to Amazon.com.

If you were at Amazon.com (on your desktop or laptop, for example, or in your browser), you could choose which device got it first…but it would default to your first Kindle (including Fires) alphabetically.

That led to people naming their Kindles in special ways, to drive one up to the top of the list. Instead of “Bufo’s Kindle”, for example, it might be “AAA Bufo’s Kindle”.

Today, for the first time, I was asked to set a default delivery device.

Before I tell you how, it’s important that I point out that you might not have it yet.

Amazon is big on A/B testing: in other words, some people get something and some people don’t while they experiment with it.

A new feature might work for me, and not for you…or vice versa.

It might work in one browser and not another.

It might work in one way for one person (a button might be on the left side of the screen or the choice might be in a menu) and a different way for another person (button on the right, for example).

That said, here is what I am seeing.

When I go to

http://www.amazon.com/myk…formerly called “Manage Your Kindle” and now called “Manage Your Content and Devices

and click or tap on

Your Devices

I see a

Set as default device

link under a selected non-Fire Kindle or Kindle reader app.

For Fires tablets, it’s in the Device Actions menu.

It isn’t available for my Fire Phone or my Fire TV, although they both show on this page (my Fire TV doesn’t have a Kindle app, but my Fire Phone does).

When you set that,

Default Device

appears under the device’s name.

That’s it. 🙂

As far as I can tell, you can change it whenever you want.

Once I’d done that, the “deliver to” dropdown on a book’s Amazon product page changed to showing the default device first.

Opening the dropdown, the choices looked like they did before…same order, with hardware Kindles and Fires alphabetically first, followed by apps alphabetically.

It did not change the behavior when ordering from a device…when I ordered from my

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

(through the Kindle store, not the browser), it went automatically to that device, not the default device I had designated.

Even those this is a little thing, it’s a big improvement!

A device we don’t use much happens to come alphabetically first…I had sometimes been forgetting to change that, and the book would just sit as a pending delivery forever.

Oh, I could still get it on another device by downloading it from the Cloud/archives, or sending it from that MYK page above, but I really don’t like having those pending deliveries out there (maybe they’ll let us cancel them at some point).

One other tip.

I often get books, and would prefer that they not be on any of my devices right away. I’d rather read them some time in the future, and don’t need them taking up local memory (I usually only keep about ten Kindle store books on any of my devices at a time).

While we can get apps and have them go only to the Cloud, that’s not currently an option for Kindle books.

However, you can get the free Kindle Cloud Reader

http://read.amazon.com

and set that as your default device (I checked…yes, you can do that).

That way, by default, it will go to that Cloud reader, which means the book won’t take up memory on your Kindles and Fires…until you download it.

Remember, that’s only if you order in a browser…if you order it in the store on one of your devices, it will go to that device first.

I’m very happy to see Amazon still making these kinds of asked-for improvements!

If you get a chance, take a look and see if you have the option. If you don’t, I’d be interested to hear that. If your interface is significantly different from what I described above, I’d be interested to hear that as well.

What else would be on your list of tweaks (minor changes) you’d like to see? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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.

New Manage Your Kindle page

May 25, 2014

New Manage Your Kindle page

Amazon’s Manage Your Kindle page has some wonderful features to it.

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

It has been one of the features that shows what Amazon does best when it connects with its customers…although it has certainly had challenges and people have wanted it to do more.

Some of the great things we could do there:

  • “Return” a Kindle book for a refund within seven days of purchase
  • Reset the last page read
  • Send items to different devices on the account
  • Manage whether a device was subscribed to Special Offers
  • Change the display name of a device

I’ve written about changes to it several times…they rolled out a change that allowed mass actions not too long ago, then rolled it back in again. 😉

Right now, I have a new version available to me…in Silk on my  Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile: support a non-profit of your choice by shopping*).

It’s not available to me in Maxthon on my desktop or Google Chrome on my desktop.

My guess is that they are testing it out (again). You might have it, you might not. It’s possible that clearing cookies and/or signing in and out of your account might help. If you want to see it, I’d try different browsers and devices if you have them.

What’s different?

I’d say one big stand out is that there appears to be a single scrolling page, rather than fifteen items at a time. Many people complain when they take an action on an item, and then it takes them back to the beginning of the list. That won’t happen here, since you can do mass actions.

By mass actions, I mean that you tap or click a checkbox next to each item, and then you can choose to deliver or delete all of those at once.

That “deliver” option is something that people really want. When they get a new device (app or hardware Kindle), they could send a bunch of the books on the account to it at the same time.

I’d be a bit careful, though, particularly with a non-Fire Kindle. If you send 500 books at once, you could “overwhelm” the device…unless they’ve figured out how to deliver it in “buckets” rather than as a firehose.

With whatever device you put it on, there will be indexing** which has to take place. If you put, oh, 100 books on your device, I’d leave it plugged and not turned off (asleep is fine) so the device can finish all that up.

It now has three tabs: Your Content, Your Devices, Settings

I like that better than the old side navigation: it seems clearer.

“Your Content” defaulted to Books, and then I could choose

  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Blogs
  • Audiobooks
  • Music
  • Apps
  • Instant Video
  • Docs
  • Active Content
  • Dictionaries & User Guides
  • Pending Deliveries

Hm…I see that “Loans” is gone. Oh, I see! There is a dropdown next to the one that I listed above. In that one, you can choose

  • All
  • Purchases
  • Rentals
  • Loans
  • Borrows

Selecting “Borrows” did not show my any of my Kindle Owners’ Lending Library borrows, except for the current one. It did show me public library borrows.

This does mean that people won’t see the foreign language dictionaries Amazon provides so that the Kindle can do look-up in different languages, unless they switch something: we get questions about those pretty much every day in the Kindle forums.

I checked “Pending Deliveries”. It appears to me that I should be able to cancel the pending delivery, although it isn’t actually letting me select the checkbox.

If we can do that, it would be great! I have accidentally ordered a book to be sent to a device we no longer have, for example…in the past, that has just kept sitting there under Pending Deliveries…forever, as far as I can tell.

It also tells me for which device it is pending, and when it was ordered.

If the checkbox worked, this would be a feature I would definitely use.

Choosing “Music”, by the way, takes you somewhere else…haven’t checked that yet.

I went back to displaying books, and checked the actions. That one was:

  • Deliver
  • Delete
  • Download & transfer via USB
  • Clear furthest page read…
  • Loan this title

There were also links for the Order Details and Manage Kindle FreeTime Content.

The sort options for the items were

  • Title: A-Z
  • Titles: Z-A
  • Author: A-Z
  • Author: Z-A
  • Purchase Date: Oldest-Newest
  • Purchase Date: Newest-Oldest (default)

Going to “Your Devices”, it looks pretty much like it does now (a ribbon across the top), but we do have more actions!

On my Kindle Fire HDX, I now do have:

  • Deregister
  • Remote Alarm
  • Find My Device
  • Remote Factory Reset

In the old version on Maxthon, I don’t have any of the last three.

In the old version on Chrome, I only Deregister and Remote Alarm.

I just tested the “Find My Device”: it did show within a couple of blocks were it is. I could tell, for example, if it was at home or at work.

It didn’t find my exact address…but neither does my SmartPhone.

The fact that we can remote a factory reset will mean that more companies will allow the use of Kindle Fires, since it helps protect company data.

Obviously, I had to have my Fire connected to the wireless (this is not a 4G model), and you have to have allowed this. For more on this, see my post

New “Find My Kindle” device setting on HDX

from a couple of weeks ago.

Yes, this could mean that one family member could “spy” on another family member (by locating them, not listening to them or seeing them), if things were set up that way. It doesn’t have to be family members, of course: it could be bosses checking up on employees.

Under Settings, we have…whoops, it failed to load! I got a message suggesting I refresh the page, and if that doesn’t work to call customer service (they actually gave a phone number for that). I don’t recommend calling “cold”…start at

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

and what devices you have.

Refreshing the page did it. Then I had:

  • Kindle Payment Settings
  • Country Settings
  • Subscription Settings
  • Kindle FreeTime Settings
  • Device Synchronization
  • Automatic Book Update
  • Language Optimized Storefront
  • Personal Document Settings
  • Send-to-Kindle E-Mail Settings
  • Personal Document Archiving
  • Whispernet Delivery Options
  • Approved Personal Document E-Mail List
  • Personal Document Service Charges
  • Manage Whispercast Membership
  • Your AmazonLocal Vouchers

Overall, I think this version is a massive improvement! Assuming it works reasonably well, this is the kind of thing I like Amazon to do. 🙂

It would be nice, as a future improvement, if we could manage Cloud Collections here, but that doesn’t dim the brightness of this one for me.

Thanks, Amazon!

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! :) 

** I recently answered a question for somebody in an Amazon Kindle forum who wanted to know (in a non-technical manner) what indexing and syncing were. I thought it would be useful to post it here as well:

…indexing is somewhat similar to what is done when an index is created for a paperbook.

The Kindle “reads” the book, noting the location of specific words. For example, it might create a file like this:

cat: location 5, location 17, location 35
dog: location 5, location 40, location 93

I’m using that format as an illustrator: it wouldn’t really look like that.

Then, when you look up a word, it can find it very quickly.

The initial indexing, as you can imagine, takes the device some work to do and takes some energy…again, just as it would with a paperbook.

Note: I’m not suggesting that the Kindle indexes as well as a human would…humans can create indices based on concepts, and the Kindle just does it based on words (although it does skip some words, like “the” and “and”).

“Sync” is short for “synchronize”, which basically means “to make the same”.

Your device (Kindle or app) displays some items which you have downloaded from a central storage area. The latter is called the “Cloud” or your “Archive”.

Let’s suppose you have a Kindle on the account, and your Significant Other has a SmartPhone on the same account.

Your Significant Other buys a book using the SmartPhone.

The SmartPhone knows about it, and so does the Cloud…but your Kindle doesn’t know about it until it “syncs” with the Cloud. That doesn’t mean it will automatically download the book, just that it will have knowledge of it being available on the account.

Another example of syncing is for reading progress. Let’s say you are reading a book both on your Kindle and on a SmartPhone.

You read to “page” 100 on your Kindle.

When you sync with Amazon, you tell the Cloud that you are on page 100.

When you open the book on your SmartPhone, it can sync with Amazon and open the book right to where you left off.

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.

Updates to the Manage Your Kindle page

October 9, 2011

Updates to the Manage Your Kindle page

The Manage Your Kindle page is your Kindle Command Center. It’s where you make your global level choices. It’s where you can get to your archives for all of your devices.

I wrote a full post on it coming up on two years ago.

A lot of things have changed since then, and we’ve had a cascade of changes recently.

My guess is that, even if you have been a regular MYK user, there may be some features you haven’t noticed.

I’m going to go back through it. I think there is a lot of value here that people may be missing…and I like you to get the most out of your Kindle.

As I wrote back in 2009, it’s worth noting that Amazon says you don’t need a computer to use a Kindle. That’s true, but if you use your computer to work with your Kindle, it’s a biiiiiig plus.

You get to the Manage Your Kindle page here:

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

That’s the address I usually give people in the forums, because it’s a logical one, making it easier to remember. The Manage Your Kindle page is at ManageYourKindle (tacked on to the Amazon.com address people already know).

There’s also a shorter version (but not as easy to remember, in my opinion):

http://www.amazon.com/myk

That’s the one I usually type, if I have to type one (Google Chrome remembers the sites I had open when I close it, and MYK is usually one of those…I look at it that often).

When you first get to the page, you may see a yellow banner communication at the top, in case there is something Amazon wants you to do.

This next thing is a change from how it used to be. The page takes quite some time to load. I have 2433 items in my archives, and it took about a minute and thirty seconds to complete loading.

That’s been confusing for some people, and I’ve seen questions about it on the Amazon Kindle community forum. People are in a panic searching for a book they’ve purchased. It’s because they are searching before that particular book has loaded on the page.

If I was designing the page, I would put up a warning to wait for best results…and more importantly, let the user know when it’s done loading. At this point, you can watch the

Showing 1 -15 of x items count

until it counts up to all of your items…if you know what that number is.

It’s probably going to vary somewhat based on your connection. In my set-up, it takes about two seconds to load one hundred titles. Generally, I think if that number hasn’t changed in ten seconds, you are likely good to go.

I’m going to start working through the navbar (navigation bar) on the left side…it’s like a table of contents.

Before I do, though, I should point out that the MYK page defaults to the second item in the navbar…your books, rather than all your items.

I’m going to move up to the top item first, though:

Your Kindle Library

That’s just a header.

All Items

This is a listing of all of the items in your Kindle archives. That used to be just things you got from the Kindle store, but that’s changed (I’ll get to that).

There’s a dropdown for what you can view, and a searchbox. The dropdown is close to the items in the navbar (it’s slightly different), but I’m going to deal with those there.

The search box lets you type something into it…it will search for titles and authors, and for words within those (if you type “Dickens”, it doesn’t matter if the publisher listed Dickens as the first or last name). It will show you its findings…and you can click on one of them to select that one. Alternatively, you can click Go to find everything that matches your search term.

It does not search within the books or other items…it won’t find a word inside a book.

Capitalization doesn’t matter.

Below the dropdown and the searchbox, you’ll see a list of your titles. By default, it sorts them by most recent first. However, you can click Author or Title to sort by those…expect it to take a little while. If you click one of the field names again, it will reverse the sort…but it again, it may take a minute. It will indicate on the screen how it is sorted by putting a pyramid next to the field name. A rightside up pyramid is “ascending” sort (A-Z, 1-10, oldest first). An upsidedown pyramid is “descending” sort (Z-A, 10-1, newest first).

To your left of the title is a small plus box, if you click that, you’ll be able to see the cover of the book, the price, the date you bought it, as well as two links.

One is the order details. Click that one to see an invoice style listing of the purchase, which can be printed. It will tell you when you ordered it, how you paid for it, the sales tax (if any)…that sort of thing. It does not tell  you to which Kindle/app on your account you originally had it sent…more on that later.

The other one is to “View Product Page”. That takes you to the book’s Amazon product page, where you can see reviews, print length (if any), and so on.

You can get back to the MYK by using the Back button in your browser…but it will have to load again.

When you click a plus box, it becomes a minus box. The plus is to tell you, “There is what you are seeing now, plus there is more.” Click the minus box will “collapse” the listing, showing you less. That’s true in many computer systems, by the way. You’ll sometimes see options to “collapse” or “expand” sections.

On your right side of the book, you’ll see an

Actions…

button. Hover over it (put your mouse over but don’t click) and you’ll see what you can do with that book. It’s possible not every item will have the same choices, by the way. You may not be able to do the same thing with a magazine that you can do with a book, for example. For that reason, I’ll address the Actions under each of the sections.

Books

This is where you are going to see the books you get from the Kindle store. It won’t include books you got from other places, even if you have archived them with Amazon.

The actions here are:

  • Read Now
  • Deliver to my…
  • Download and transfer via USB
  • Delete from library
  • Loan this title*

Read now will open the book in the Kindle Cloud Reader, which lets you read a book online without downloading (although you can also download it there). If you don’t have the Cloud Reader yet, it will ask you if you want to install it…at least, that’s what it did before. I don’t have a computer without the Cloud Reader now. This will also open a different window. The Cloud Reader only works in a couple of browsers at this point, but will increase.

Deliver to my…will let you send the title wirelessly to one of the devices on your account. There’s also a link here to transfer via USB, which I’ll discuss next.

Download and transfer via USB will let you download the book to this computer. When you do that, you’ll have to choose a Kindle for which to download it…the file you get will be keyed to that device. You’ll use your Kindle’s included USB cable to transfer it to your Kindle’s Documents folder. This is a way for you to get Kindle books when you don’t have wireless. Your apps will appear in the dropdown list of possible devices, but will be “disabled” (you won’t be able to select them). Currently, only Kindles can use this method.

For more information on this, see the Amazon Kindle lending help page.

http://www.amazon.com/kindletransfer
Delete from library is something we didn’t used to have, but people requested. It allows you to totally delete something you have bought from the Kindle store from your account…you can’t do that from your Kindle. However, I’ve never done this…it would be like finishing a book and throwing it in the trash or burning it. I just can’t do it. Even if I didn’t like it…it’s that whole thing about books being special. I also don’t know who is now or may be on my account in the future who might want to read it. Yes, I’ll also admit it…I’m wanting to get to at least ten thousand books on the account. 🙂

If you do choose to delete a book and anybody else on your account ever wants to read it again, you’d have to buy it again…if it was available. I have a book in my archives that was removed from the Kindle store by the author (not because it was infringing on somebody). In that case, it stays in the archives. If it’s removed from the store because it infringes a copyright, Amazon can’t let you download it again…and it gets removed from your archives by them.

You’ll be warned when you go to delete it. I think people wanted the ability to do this because they have the ability to do it with paperbooks, mostly. I also think people don’t like the Archived Items list on their Kindles to be cluttered…that list is just a list of the things that are available for download to that device. The books that are in it aren’t taking up room on your Kindle. However, if you want to delete something, this is the place to do it.

Loan this title lets you lend the book to someone who is not on your account. You will only see this option if the publisher has allowed this type of lending, and the large publishers generally don’t. When you make this choice, you’ll be asked to enter the recipient’s e-mail address and name, and you’ll be given an opportunity to add a message. Loans are limited: you can lend a given title only once, and for fourteen days. For more information, see

Newspapers

I have to surmise some of this based on the magazines section. I don’t have any current newspaper subscriptions…what I do have is single issues of newspapers which I have bought from time to time. These have the same options as books…except for Read Now. You can’t currently read newspapers in the Cloud Reader. If the subscriptions work the same was as magazines, they’ll be labeled as subscription.When you click the plus box, it will have a link for

View your Kindle active subscription

instead of Order Details. If you click on that, you’ll be taken to Subscription Settings, which we’ll deal with below. It’s where you can change payment methods, among other things.

Actions:

  • Deliver past issue to my…
  • Download and transfer past issue via USB
  • Cancel subscription

These are sort of equivalent to the book choices. The first one lets you send it wirelessly to another device on the account. Currently, those Kindles and Android devices…including the Kindle Fire! I just noticed that, because I have a Kindle Fire on order. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise, since my Android SmartPhone can get them, but that’s still nice.

This ability to download to other devices on the account has only been around since December of 2010.

Interestingly, it appears that you can only download the immediately preceding issue. Again, I’m actually looking at that on a magazine, but I presume it’s the same for newspapers.

Magazines

See Newspapers immediately above.

Blogs

See Newspapers above. this ability to share blogs with other devices on your account is new…I’m not quite sure how new. Unlike magazines, blogs can not be delivered to Android devices…that also means they can’t be delivered to the Kindle Fire.

Personal Documents

wrote a long post on this recently, and I’m going to refer you to that for the details.

Essentially, these are personal documents (including books you get places other than Amazon) that you have sent to one of your devices after activating the personal document archiving service.

On your right side, before the list of documents, you’ll see how much of your 5GB cloud personal document storage you’ve used.

When you click a plus box, you’ll see how much memory that individual file takes.

I have three documents in there at this point, but they are small…not even 2K each. My cloud drive meter hasn’t registered them yet. 🙂

Actions

  • Deliver to my…
  • Delete from library

Deliver to my... will let you send it to eligible devices. Basically, those are devices with wi-fi that you have either registered or reregistered since September 28, 2011.

Delete from library is like deleting a book…it should become unavailable for download to other devices, but local copies will stay on those devices.

Audible Audiobooks

These are audiobooks you got from Audible.com (which is also owned by Amazon).

Actions

Deliver to my…

At this point, I can deliver it to my Kindle Keyboards (formerly known as K3s), but not my Fire. I assume that’s because I’ll have to link my Kindle Fire to my Audible account after I get it. I’m not positive about that, though.

You can’t delete the Audible book from here…if you click the plus box, click Order Details, log into Audible, and then go to My Library…hmm, I don’t see how you can delete it there, either. I looked in Help, and it looks like you need to download the Audible Manager, which I haven’t done. I don’t know if that will also delete it from the Audible account.

I did find this interesting thing in Help while looking, though:

“… the Kindle Touch , Kindle Touch 3G< and Kindle Fire will be able to playback Audible files. The Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G will be able to wirelessly download and play Audible files. The Kindle Fire will also be able to wirelessly download and play Audible files.”

There’s the definitive that the Kindle Fire will be able to be linked to your Audible account.

Active Content

These are your Kindle games and apps. Again, you’ll see the Order Details link and the View Product Page link.

Actions

  • Deliver to my…
  • Download & transfer via USB
  • Delete from library

It’s interesting…I can’t download the games or apps to my soon-to-be-delivered Mindle (the new $79 Kindle 4). I guess I knew that, but it’s a confirmation. I also checked for my Kindle Fire: nope.

Pending deliveries

These are items that you’ve ordered that are waiting to connect wirelessly to your Kindle so the item can be delivered. Honestly, I wish there was a way to cancel these. I have some Kindles that are registered, but that aren’t connected very often. I’ve also chosen the wrong Kindle once in a while…it would be nice to cancel it before it got there. 🙂

More interesting, I think, is what is below there…and this is something many people have wanted and probably don’t realize is here (you have to scroll down to see it).

View Recent Successful Deliveries

Click this link to see what has been delivered to which device on your account when. That’s great! This wil,l let a “Manager” of a Kindle club tell who ordered that $5,000 Kindle book (they exist), and deal with it.

Mine goes back to July 13, 2011…feel free to let me know if yours is older or more recent (or the same…I’m not picky).

That finishes the first section. 🙂

Your Kindle Account

That’s just a section title.

Register a Kindle

Click this one, and an entry box up so you can put in the serial number.

There’s a link to buy a Kindle.

There’s a link to the terms…hey, there are special section for people who have ordered a Kindle Fire:

If you place an order for or register a Kindle Fire, you also agree to the following additional terms:

  • Amazon MP3 Music Service: Terms of Use
  • Amazon Cloud Player: Terms of Use
  • Amazon Cloud Drive: Terms of Use
  • Instant Video Terms of Use
  • Amazon Appstore for Android Terms of Use
  • Amazon Silk Terms & Conditions
  • Amazon Mobile for Kindle Application License Agreement and Terms of Use
  • Amazon Prime Terms and Conditions

Well, that goes on my TBR (To Be Read) list. 😉

Manage Your Devices

This section has changed recently. You’ll see each of your Kindles, including a picture of the model and the name of the model. You can edit the username of the Kindle here. You can deregister a Kindle.

You’ll see an indicator as to whether or not the device is subscribed to special offers. With the Mindle, you can now change that from subscribed to unsubscribed…but you’ll currently pay $30 for doing that (the same difference you would have paid initially for a non-ad-supported Mindle).

You’ll see your serial number…we didn’t used to see that here, and that could be important if it is lost or stolen.

There is a link for registering a Kindle at the top…that’s nice, in case you want to deregister a Kindle and then reregister the same one. There are some reasons you would do that…one of them has to do with the “Send All” Kindle e-mail address (see above).

Registered Reading Apps

You can deregister them or change the username here.

By the way, there was a thread in the Amazon Kindle community recently where people reported the number of reading apps they had mysteriously multiplying…mine haven’t done that…let me know if yours have, if you like.

The next two, I think, only apply if you have a Kindle with Special Offers, but it may show anyway.

Your AmazonLocal Deals

You can click a link here to see your current deals. I found that a little confusing…it takes you to Your Deals, but I think those are ones you have redeemed. You need to click Today’s Deal to see what’s available…that’s how I think it works, anyway. If you know differently, feel free to let me know.

Your Kindle Screensaver Preferences

Again, I think this is only for people with Special Offers Kindles.

I find this a bit strange for that reason. This one lets you state preferences for what categories of things you would like to see as a sleep mode picture (“screensaver”)…but we only see ads as sleep mode pictures. I don’t get that at this point.

These are the categories:

  • Architecture
  • Country
  • Family/Kids
  • Humor
  • Illustrations
  • Landscapes/Scenery
  • Literary references
  • Modern
  • Nature
  • People
  • Photography
  • Travel

I don’t know when or if that will ever have an impact. We can “vote” for ones we’d like to see more, and vote against ones we’d like to see less.

There’s also a link here that takes you to AdMash, so you can vote on the “sponsored screensavers” (AKA ads).

Device Synchronization (Whispersync Settings)

This is where you can Amazon whether or not to synchronize the last page read between different devices. Some day, we may be able to specify devices which sync, but at this point, it’s all or nothing. We usually keep this off, because it isn’t unusual that different people on our account are reading the same book at the same time…having the pages sync would be confusing. If you have one person reading the same book on different devices, you want this on.

Subscription Settings

These are your subscription items: magazines, newspapers, and blogs. You can change which Kindle (or device…my Android phone works for magazines, so does my Kindle Fire) should first get issues in the future. You can click View Billing Details to see what you’ve been billed and on which credit card.

This is important: you can edit which credit card is billed. I’ve seen this confuse people: when you change your 1-click method, it does not change the billing method for your Kindle subscriptions.

You also have the same Actions you had above:

  • Deliver past issue to my…
  • Download & transfer past issue via USB
  • Cancel subscription

Kindle Payment Settings

Oh, this is nice! You can change your 1-click setting here…and you can change the payment method for each of your subscriptions. It’s good to be able to see them all in one place, so you can see the odd duck out, if there is one.

When you change a payment method on a subscription, you need to pick a card and then pick a billing address. After you do that, it will bring you back to the MYK page.

Personal Document Settings

There’s a lot happening here. You may want to look at the post I mentioned earlier about Personal Documents.

Send-to-Kindle E-mail Address

You can choose an e-mail address here for your Kindles that share an address (they’ll have Auto Deliver enabled).

You can choose e-mail addresses for each of your devices…but if they are set for Auto Deliver, those all use the same one.

If it’s an eligible device, you can turn Auto Deliver on and off.

Personal Document Archiving

You can choose here whether to have Personal Document Archiving on or for the account, and see how much space you’ve used. This isn’t exactly the same as Auto Deliver: you can archive a personal document whether or not you have Auto Deliver set.

Whispernet Deliver Options

You can choose whether or not Amazon should ever send you personal documents via 3G (they seem to now be calling 3G Whispernet and wi-fi not…that’s new, I think). If they do that, you’ll incur a charge…and you can set the maximum charge you can have on a single document. If it’s more than what you’ve chosen, the document doesn’t get delivered.

Approved Personal Document E-mail List

Why don’t you get spammed on your Kindle? It’s because personal documents can only be sent from e-mail addresses you approve. This is where you can edit that list.

Country Setting

This is where you can change the country that Amazon has for you for your account. You are only supposed to that, as I understand it, if you’ve moved…not, for example, if you are on vacation…or just want to get that book that is unavailable in your actual country of residence. Changing this to get a book which is not for sale in your territory may be fraud, as I understand fraud.

Other Digital Content

This is new here, and seems clearly connected to the Kindle Fire.

  • Manage Your MP3s
  • Manage Your Videos
  • Manage Your Apps

Finally, there are links to Help:

Kindle Support

Kindle Help Home
Getting Started Guide

There you go! Knowing Amazon, they may change this tomorrow. 🙂

If you have any comments or questions, let me know. In particular, I’d be curious as to what was the biggest surprise here, if any.

* Thanks to my reader Liz for pointing out that I had omitted the “Loan this title” information. I was going through the page methodically, and it happened to be that the book I was using didn’t have lending available, so the option didn’t appear.

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

Amazon redesigns the Manage Your Kindle page

June 8, 2011

Amazon redesigns the Manage Your Kindle page

Amazon says you don’t need a computer to use your Kindle, and while that’s technically true, it’s like saying you don’t need ketchup when you eat french fries.  😉

Or…um…mayonnaise if you are from Holland…or…drat, well, you know what I mean.

I tend to shop from my computer: I don’t think I have bought something directly from my Kindle in a year, certainly.

I use

http://kindle.amazon.com

fairly frequently.  That’s where I’ll copy and paste notes I’ve made and highlighting I’ve done.

However, the big Amazon computer destination for your Kindle is

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

which is also

http://www.amazon.com/myk

You can do all kinds of important things there: register your Kindle; change your country; manage synchronization; and so on.

I think in the future you may be able to do a lot more there, but more on that later in this post.

It’s always been kind of a pedestrian page, in terms of its design.  No navigation, for example…you had to scroll through it.

Blaiz, one of the frequent (and most helpful) posters in the Amazon Kindle community noted a change in the way the MYK page looked last night in this:

Amazon Kindle community thread

I didn’t have the change last night, but I did this morning…and you may have it by now.

I’ll start out with a negative, even though it seems generally positive to me.  It took much longer to load…and even failed to load in one of the three browsers I use regularly.  However, that’s the price you often pay for increased functionality: decreased performance.  The browser that failed is an old one, by the way…you probably won’t run into that problem.

The first thing you’ll probably notice in the navigation bar on your left, letting you jump to different parts of your library.  For example, with one click, you can see all of your Active Content.  The sections are

  • All items
  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Blogs
  • Audible Audiobooks
  • Active Content
  • Pending deliveries (with a count)
The last one is particularly improved.  We used to have to use a dropdown to switch between devices to see pending deliveries…now you can see them all at once.
Pending also now shows you pending orders…but also pre-orders (allowing you to cancel them) and Gift Orders which have not yet been redeemed.
Magazines now have a choice to “Deliver past issue to…”.  For a long time, we could only have a magazine go to one device.  Since December, we were able to get them from an eligible device through the archives.  Now, we can get them from MYK…that’s a nice improvement!
Hey, looks like blogs are the same way now…you can send past issues to a different eligible device.  Not surprisingly, they only have one date available…the way blogs work is that every time it is downloaded, it is a package of issues (I think it’s ten for this one).  You don’t download each post/day separately.
Following the Your Kindle Library section, there is one for Your Kindle Account.
Those sections are:
  • Register a Kindle
  • Manage Your Devices
  • Subscription Settings
  • Kindle Payment Settings
  • Personal Document Settings
  • Country Settings
The Manage Your Devices has a really big plus: you can see the serial numbers right there.  That’s helpful for insurance purposes, and if you have to report one lost or stolen.
If you have Kindle with Special Offers, you can indicate your “screensaver” preferences here.  I’m still not quite sure how that is going to affect things, though.
Whispersync is much more obvious…we used to have to go to a different page, which never made much sense to me.
Blaiz noted that it now says that Whispersync is on or off for a specific person’s name (mine says “OFF for Bufo Calvin”, for example).
Does that suggest that we’ll have multiple people’s names on there, and allow us to have different settings?
I don’t think so, although it is possible.
One of the biggest improvements in Amazon’s future, in my (purely speculative) opinion, is device specific archives.  I’d be surprised if it was “person specific”.  Amazon doesn’t know at this point anybody else’s name who is using our account.  I’m happy with that, by the way, although it might make things easier in a divorce situation if you owned different books.
What I would like to see, though, is device specific settings.  I’d love to be able to say, “This book appears in the archives of this device”.  That would solve the parental controls problem.  It would let people share accounts…and still keep those embarrassing books hidden.  If we could say, “This iPhone syncs to that Kindle, but not to that other Kindle,” that would be great.  You could also do, “This device can buy books” or “This device can go on the Whispernet”, and so on.
That would encourage multiple Kindle households, which I think is something Amazon really wants.  Of course, it would enhance other aggregations (such as coworkers) as well, but I don’t know how much of a negative that would be…it could also be a positive.
The last section is Kindle Support
  • Kindle Help Home
  • Getting Started Guide
Those actually took you to a different window…I would have liked to have known that first, but it’s still helpful.
The Getting Started Guide has a few videos…a lot of people like those.  🙂
Overall, this is a nice upgrade…and might be hinting at things to come.  As I’ve said before, Amazon never stands still, just like the river…and that’s one of the reasons I like them.  🙂
Have you checked out the new MYK page?  What do you think?  Do you not have it?  Feel free to comment and let me know.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

I think we can manage that: the Manage Your Kindle page

December 10, 2009

SPOILER ALERT!

If you have never read the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, you may want to skip the indented section.

So the Scarecrow followed him and was admitted into the great Throne Room, where he saw, sitting in the emerald throne, a most lovely Lady. She was dressed in green silk gauze and wore upon her flowing green locks a crown of jewels. Growing from her shoulders were wings, gorgeous in color and so light that they fluttered if the slightest breath of air reached them. 

When the Scarecrow had bowed, as prettily as his straw stuffing would let him, before this beautiful creature, she looked upon him sweetly, and said:

 
“I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz  (free from the Kindle store)

That’s what the Scarecrow saw when he first encountered the Wizard.  For him, it was a simple (although awesome) experience…like reading on a Kindle.  🙂  Behind the scenes, though, there was a tremendous amount of work going on to manage this stage illusion (and the ones the other friends saw).  We are about to go “behind the curtain” where you can manage your own Kindle experience.

END OF SPOILER

 
Never been to the Manage Your Kindle page?  That’s okay with Amazon.  You get to it on your computer, and they say that no computer is needed to use your Kindle.

In the archetypical Kindle experience, you won’t have to go there.  You would buy books wirelessly through the Kindle, and do everything through your device.

However, there are times when you may want (or need–whoops, really benefit from) 😉 going to the Manage Your Kindle page.

It’s here:

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

You’ll be asked to log in to it, and that’s an important point for those of you with Kindle Book Clubs , or anybody sharing an account.  What we are going to talk about next can be done by someone who has the password.  If you have a device registered to the account, but not the password, you have different options. 

I’m going to go through the sections on the page, although they are subject to change, of course.

Your Kindle(s)

This is the first thing you’ll probably notice.  For each Kindle on the account, it lists:

  • The Kindle’s name (also visible on your Kindle’s home page, and how you tell Amazon where to send Kindle content
  • The Kindle’s e-mail address (this is where you send information to have it delivered wirelessly to your Kindle, where available.  You can modify this address by putting “free.” after the @ sign.  For example, by Kindle’s regular address is bufocalvin@kindle.com, and my free address is bufocalvin@free.kindle.com.  You might be surprised I am mentioning that, but I’ll explain why a bit later.  For more detail on putting documents on your device, see this earlier post)
  • Warranty information
  • A link to edit the information (the Kindle’s name and e-mail address)
  • A link to degerister the device

Then there’s a link to register a new Kindle.  If you are doing it this way, you need the 16 digit serial number from the back of the device.  If you register directly from a Kindle, you need the username and password.

Your Computer and Other Mobile Device(s)

You’ll see a similar table to what you saw on the Kindles…without the Warranty column, of course.  These would be iPhones, iPod touches, and PCs…as I write this.  Macs and Blackberrys are expected “soon”.

You’ll also have a link to register a new device. 

Continuing down the page, we get to…

Your Kindle Approved E-mail List

This is a really key section.  This where you authorize e-mail addresses that can send personal documents to your Kindle.  That’s why I can give you my Kindle’s e-mail address above: you can’t send things to it anyway unless you use an e-mail in this section.   All e-mails in this section can send documents to any Kindle on the account.  Note that you can authorize an entire company.  If you wanted everybody at Amazon to be able to send things to your Kindle, you could authorize @amazon.com.   Then, Jeff Bezos and Drew Herdener could both send you documents.  🙂  

There is a box where you enter the address, and then you click Add Address.  While you can leave off the name as I indicated above, don’t forget to include the @suchandsuch.com part…whatever is right for the full address.

Your Default 1-Click Payment Method

1-Click is how you pay for things you get for your Kindle and other devices from the Kindle store.   This is where you specify what that payment method is (typically, a credit card).   If you apply gift certificates/cards to the account, that balance will automatically be used before the payment method here is used.   Editing the card may require you to log in again.  You can change the method whenever you want…before each purchase, if you want to do that. 

Note that subscription items do not change future billings if you change this.  If you subscribed to the I Love My Kindle blog on your Visa, and change 1-click to your Mastercard, your Visa will continue to be charged…unless you change it below.

Your country

Amazon guesses your country based on your address and credit card and such (I don’t know exactly what they use).  You can change it manually here…according to Amazon, if “you’re moving”.  I’ve asked them if I can change it at will just to look at other countries’ selections, but don’t have an answer yet.

Your Active Kindle subscriptions

This is where you’ll see your magazines, newspapers, and blogs.  For each one, you’ll see:

  • Title
  • Status (such as Active since 7/5/2008)
  • Billing amount (with a link to see more billing details, such as when each charge was deducted and from which payment method)
  • Payment (where you can change the method for future payments, regardless of what your 1-click default is)
  • Deliver future editions to… (that’s where you could send your future editions to a new Kindle if you wanted.  That’s important…if you lose a Kindle or have one stolen, they’ll keep delivering to it unless you tell them not to do that)
  • Cancel subscription

Next to each title, you’ll see a plus box.  If you click that, you’ll see a cover image, and have the ability to get back issues.  With magazines, for example, you’ll see six back issues.  That’s how many are stored for you, unless you choose to “keep an issue”.    You can download the back issue to your computer and then transfer it to your Kindle’s documents folder with your USB cord.  If you do that, you’ll avoid any charges when traveling abroad.  You can also choose to have it sent to your Kindle wirelessly (but additional charges may apply if you are outside your home country).

Open Orders 

If you have any open orders, they show here.

Your Orders

You’ll see books you’ve gotten from the Kindle store, as well as single issues of periodicals (not your subscriptions, and not samples).   They have a search box (you can enter an author or a title or part of either), which is really nice.  You can also filter down to Books, Magazines, Newspapers…or choose to see all your items (the default).   Then, for each title, you’ll see:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Order date

The default sort (the one you get unless you do anything else) is “descending by order date”…the most recent ones will show first, at the top.  To change that, just click on one of the “column headers”.  For example, if you click on Title, it will sort by title ascending (1-10, A-z, numbers before letters) first.  Click the same column header again, and it will reverse the sort (10-1, Z-A).

Each entry will have that Title, Author, Order Date, and a choice to send it wirelessly to one of your device, or transfer it via computer.  The box says, “Deliver to…”.  Click the down chevron (it looks like a letter V) to see the choices.  If you choose to transfer it via computer, you’ll still need to specify a device.  That lets Amazon key it for that device, which helps comply with the Digital Rights Management (DRM).  You may also see an indicator next to the title (for example, if you get a book that is optimized for a larger screen, it will show that to you).

To your left of each title, you’ll see one of those plus boxes again, like we saw on subscriptions.  In computers, those always mean that “there is what you are seeing now, plus there’s more.”   Click that one, and you’ll see some more interesting options.

  • A cover image
  • There will be a link to the title in the Kindle store.  That’s kind of cool, because you can go there and read reviews or the synopsis…and rate and review the book yourself (something I suggest you do on independent titles, especially if you like them)
  • The order date and the price you paid for it
  • A link to View All Order Details (that shows you the order number, how you paid for it, and so on)
  • The download options (wireless or transfer via computer)
  • Delete this title (this one is new)

Delete this title will permanently delete it.  If you want to get it again, you’ll have to order and pay for it again (although you might pay zero if it’s a freebie).  This is a great new option.  Here’s an example: you bought a book, but it was later significantly updated…enough so you’d be willing to pay for it again to get the new version.  You can now delete it yourself, and then buy it again.

Your individual charges

This is where you’ll see the charges for using the Whispernet to deliver an item to your computer, if any apply.   For example, if US customers send a personal document wirelessly to the Kindle in the US, they pay fifteen cents a megabyte, rounded up.  This is where you’ll see the tracking on that.   If you click the plus box, you’ll see the name of the file, the origin e-mail address for personal items, the file size, and the charge.

Manage synchronization between devices

This is a link that takes you to a place to turn synchronization between devices on and off.  If you read the same book on more than one device, it makes sense for this to be turned on.  If two people are reading the same book on different devices, it makes sense to turn this one off.

Moving over to your righthand column…

Shortcuts on this page

This is just a quick way to jump to specific sections.

Delivery status for:

There’s a dropdown here so you can pick a specific device.   It will show you the status (Success, which means it was sent wirelessly to your device or Pending, which means it couldn’t be delivered yet), the Title, and the Delivery Date.  It doesn’t seem to go back very far, but I don’t know what the time period is.

In the future

Since this is the place you can do more sophisticated things, I’m thinking that there are some good options here for the future.  This is just speculation on my part, but if there is ever a password option, this where I think you would set it.  A person who just reads recreationally would never have to come here and worry about it.  But someone like me, who uses it for business documents and would like to have confidential information on it (I don’t now) could come here and create a password that would need to be entered when using the Kindle.  Similarly, parental controls could be set here: you could specify under a title which devices are allowed to even see it.  You could also give an option to prohibit certain devices from ordering or using the web browser.   I could also see being able to set it up so different devices use a different payment method.  I’m just speculating, though.  🙂

So, now, you have the power!  Doesn’t mean you need to use it, though… 😉

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


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