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This just in – Amazon Kindle for iPhone Application

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kindle-on-iphone

Amazon hit my mailbox with their announcement about the launch of a Kindle application for the iPhone and iPhone Touch. This effectively makes available to iPhone users the 240,000 books currently in the Kindle Store. I know my previous posts on my new Kindle 2 (see below) generated a lot of discussion so I’ll be interested in whether any of you iPhone users plan to give this a try. I have an iPhone Touch and will give it a go myself. I’ve heard some of you say that you have some challenges reading books on your iPhone so will be interested in your thoughts. I’m assuming the size factor is one of the key issues.

Of note, I’ve read posts around the net about rumors of a larger Kindle targeted toward the student market. I’ve heard it would be 81/2 by 11 inches and thus perfect for textbooks and  storing school documents or journal reading assignments. VERY COOL if it happens. The Kindle 2 missed some rumored launch dates so rumors are rumors.

The folks at Oxford University Press seem to be jumping on the Kindle bandwagon. As I mentioned in my post titled Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln’s Opponents in the North, Weber’s book is available in a Kindle version. Also, their dictionary is preloaded on Kindle 2 and can provide word-by-word definitions at the bottom of the page as you read through a book if you so desire.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon will port their application to other phones and networks in the near future. Sprint’s Instinct, HTC Touch, and the upcoming Palm Pre (I want one) would seem to be excellent options.

What this does signal is another way to quickly download, carry, and read not only books in print but the myriad of “public domain” documents available, many being primary source material. See my previous post here on just a few of those titles already loaded on Amazon for download at either no charge or minimal charge that should be of interest to those into 19th century American and / or the American Civil War.

Here are quick links to the previous posts on Kindle 2. I recommend, if you are intrigued and considering a Kindle 2, that you read the comments.

My New Kindle 2
More on My New Kindle 2
WOW – This just In! Kindle Store has 7000 Public Domain Books including Civil War Memoirs
Free or Inexpensive American Civil War Titles for Kindle

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More on My New Kindle 2 – Using it with Public Domain Books

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My new Amazon Kindle 2

My new Amazon Kindle 2

There has been a lot of interest in my Kindle 2 since last night’s post here. Harry Smeltzer from Bull Runnings has asked some great questions that have led to a little experimentation on my part. You’re welcome to follow in the comments on the original post but here’s some information many of you will find helpful. Also, I made a correction to my original post. Amazon doesn’t convert files you upload for conversion to PDF but rather to Kindle (.AZW, .AZW1). This is what it sends to your Kindle wirelessly or that you can download from the site and move to your Kindle via USB. Read below for more details. I have the same interest Harry does in reading public domain books on the Kindle.

—Snip from comments—

—Harry said—

It sounds like I should be able to download pdfs into the device myself, and would only need Amazon if I wanted something converted to pdf. Or would I need to go through Amazon anyway to get it into a format compatible with Kindle? The reason I’m so nagging about this is that I would love to be able to read these public domain books (thousands available for free from various sources, including Google) on something other than a computer.

—My reply—

AHA! This is COOL.

OK Harry – so here’s the scoop. The Kindle will read the following file formats:
Kindle (.AZW, .AZW1)
Text(.TXT)
Unprotected Mobipocket (.MOBI, .PRC) (Without DRM)
Audible (.AA, .AAX)
MP3 (.MP3)

So I just downloaded saved an ASCII text version (.TXT) of “The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete” (i.e. both volumes) from Project Gutenberg. I connected my Kindle via the USB to my MAC and simply dragged and dropped the .txt file into the Documents folder on the Kindle. I disconnected the Kindle and VOILA, I have published the entire work to my Kindle.

Now you can also upload to Amazon for conversion files in the following formats:
.DOC
PDF (this is experimental)
Structured HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
GIF (.GIF)
PNG (.PNG)
BMP (.BMP)
Compressed ZIP (.ZIP)

They will convert it to Kindle-speak (see formats above) which appear to be UNIX-based and wirelessly send it to your Kindle for $0.10 like I mentioned before. That said, I sent the same book as above in Word (.DOC) over and hour ago to be converted and it hasn’t happened yet. But it’s a BIG HONKING file to be sure. So it may just take some time for really big stuff.

It goes without saying, but I will, that this is not intended to be used for copyrighted materials. I recommend that you review the copyright rules for any site you get ebooks from. Project Gutenberg has some excellent guidelines here. They have some books which are, for example, licensed for use on their site but that license does not allow readers to distribute it. Those in the Public Domain can be used IF you remove the Project Gutenberg trademark and license (which I did for the Sherman Memoir).

Another nice feature is that the dictionary constantly runs at the bottom of the page. So if you run the pointer down the page, it automatically looks up the words and provides a definition at the bottom. I need more text books in this format!!!

Very cool.