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August 2009
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Poll about Kindle Downloader application

I’ve been traveling in the UK for over a month now. One major pain point I encountered with Kindle is downloading periodicals and books to the device without WhisperNet connctivity. It’s one thing when you are in the US, you click on a book and within a minute or two it appears on your Kindle. However if you have to get the file on the device manually, number of clicks increases. As for periodicals, you actually have to manually download it to the device every day. It’s almost as if you had to go to the store for your newspapers rather than have it delivered by subscription.

Being lazy as I am, I put together some scripts that automatically login to amazon.com, check for new content and download it to folder on my PC. Once I connect my Kindle it is automatically synced with the device.

I realized that this software might be useful even for people who don’t travel abroad:

  • Maybe you don’t have Sprint WhisperNet connectivity in your area
  • Or you would like to automatically back up all the digital content you purchase from Amazon
  • Or you want to improve battery life by turning the 3G radio off in Kindle and dock it instead.

I can’t release these scripts to the public right now for a couple of reasons:

  1. They are very crude and are not meant to be used by anyone but me right now. They even have my amazon.com login information hard-coded into them.
  2. They might be considered to be a violation of amazon.com EULA since they can be considered to be a “robot accessing the website”

All this can be fixed. However before investing some effort in making this software usable and getting the OK from Amazon I would like to know if anyone would be interested in this stuff and actually use it. If I see enough interest in the project I’ll release it to the public freely and open-source it if there will be no objections from Amazon.

Please respond in the poll below or in the comments.

Would you be interested in Kindle Downloader application?
View Results

13 comments to Poll about Kindle Downloader application

  • charles

    Please make sure it will be Apple compatible. THANKS I am traveling in India and France until September and xled my NYTimes because of this issue and it just bugs me to no end.
    Charles

  • Gulliver

    Definitely, it will be the one, I am looking for. I am living outside of US, therefore Whispernet is far away from me.

  • Sue D

    While I live in the US and have Whispernet I rarely turn it on in order to save batteries. I prefer to download to my PC and transfer that way. An app to improve that process would be wonderful.

    The real question is why isn’t Amazon doing this??? I would be willing to pay less for a device that did not have Whispernet, or a pay-per-use Whispernet. Particularly with the new Sony device at $100 less, Amazon needs to come up with a lower priced device if they want to stay ahead in the ebook reader space. Please give me a device without the built in cost of Whispernet.

  • There is an application called Calibre out there that does this. I use it every day (on my Mac).

  • Elmo Glick

    Sounds good, but why re-invent the wheel? Calibre can do what you want and a lot more.

    El

  • admin

    Thanks for the info. I’ll take a look a Calibre. If it really does what I described, I wish I found out about it sooner… :)

  • admin

    Hmm… I don’t see how it can automatically download books and magazines from Amazon. Am I missing some plugin?

  • Elmo Glick

    Calibre can’t download books and magazines from Amazon, but I’m not sure that there’s really a need for that, since they can be sent (for free) via the Manage My Kindle page as well as retrieved as needed via the Kindle’s Archive section.

    El

  • StuckinHongKong

    Please do develop this. There is a need for it. For those not on whispernet there is a whole lot of inconveniences with the net effect of me not being willing to subscribe to paid periodicals from Amazon …

  • admin

    It looks like calibre can’t do what I described in this post.
    It also looks like there is enough demand for this app.
    I’ll start working out legal stuff with amazon.com and will keep you posted on the progress.

  • Igor Kolker

    I have a Kindle 2 and use Calibre, it doesn’t do what you describe in you post exactly but can accomplish many of the same goals which is reading news & blogs. Rather then downloading them from Amazon it gets RSS feeds directly. It can then either send them to your Kindle mail or sync on USB connect to the Kindle. I use it to get NY Times, UPI, AP, USA Today, & The Register every morning before I leave the house. Aside form that its great for managing all the eBooks from other sources. It is able to convert from almost any form to Kindle.

  • danny

    What I’d really like is a software application where I can download and read books right on my pc – but still linked to my amazon account. So, for the books that I’ve purchased, I could read them on my kindle or on my pc. Is there anyway to do that yet?

  • admin

    Only Amazon can legally publish such an application and I don’t believe this is going to happen any time soon.

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