Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

[FIX] Kindle not syncing across devices

Amazon does a good job on automatically syncing content purchased from the Amazon store, but stuff from other sources sometimes won’t sync the “last page read” properly. The problem is usually bad/missing metadata or using WhisperSync rather than manually loading.

Background

The simplest way to get “last page read” to sync any device except PCs is to use your Personal Documents (www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/manage) at Amazon. From “Personal Documents” you can distribute any properly formatted book to your Kindle/Android/iPhone/iPad devices, but not Kindle for PC. Kindle for PC requires you to manually transfer (aka sideload) the book to each of your devices: Android, iPhone, Kindle or PC.

Syncing Personal Documents to Android/iPhone/other Kindles

  • On your Kindle, remove the book (be sure you have a copy on your computer)

  • Email the book to your free.kindle.com address (I do this from inside Calibre). You can also send the book directly to your Android/iPhone using the 2nd email address you get when you install the app on you device. The Send to Kindle plugin for Windows works too.

  • Wait a minute and go to Personal Documents (www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/manage)

  • If your book shows up (at the top of the list), you’re golden.

  • Next to each book in your Personal Documents click “Actions”, “Deliver to” and select you Android/iPhone.

  • On your Android/iPhone fire up the Amazon Kindle app and open the book. You’ll see a popup prompting you with the last page read if you’ve been reading this book on another device.

If the book isn’t showing, check the “Archives” section of the Amazon Kindle app to download it.

If the book doesn’t popup to sync, you can force a sync by going to settings, more, sync.

If your book doesn’t show up in Personal Document or refuses to sync, your book is probably missing the Amazon ASIN #. You can check this in Calibre (right click the book, “edit metadata”, “edit metadata individually”). For sync to work properly the “Ids” field should read something like “isbn:0575096861, amazon:0575096861, google:6APPQgAACAAJ.” Click on “Download Metadata” and cross your fingers. Newer versions of Calibre will fix the metadata automatically and if Calibre adds the metadata, you’re golden. Email/send the file to your Personal Documents and sync as show above.

Syncing with missing metadata or to Kindle for PC

This is where it gets a bit tougher. Unfortunately, if Calibre can’t find the metadata or if you want to sync up with Kindle for PC, we have to do everything manually. We can’t change the metadata directly. Also, even once we fix the missing metadata we can’t just email the book to our Kindle email addresses.

Before you start

  • On your Kindle, remove the book (be sure you have a copy on your computer). Also remove the book from your Personal Documents.

  • In Calibre, strip DRM (instructions)

  • Convert the file to .mobi if it’s not already in .mobi format (right click the file, chose “convert books”, “convert individual”, select output type as “MOBI” and hit OK (this might take a minute).

  • Save the .mobi file to disk (right click the file, chose “save to disk”, “save only MOBI format to disk”, select a location and hit OK.

  • Lookup the Amazon ASIN. Search Google for “bookname asin” or use this script

  • (optional) Find an image you want to use for the thumbnail and cover.

Kindle for PC

  • If Calibre already has the correct metadata, just use windows explorer to browse to the .mobi file and open it with Kindle for PC

  • If the metadata is missing, follow these detailed directions from the MobileRead wiki will walk you through the steps.

iPhone/iPad (untested)

  • If Calibre already has the correct metadata, skip to step 3/4

  • To correct the missing metadata, follow the same instructions

  • In iTunes, click on your device, choose apps and scroll to the bottom. Add your .mobi file to File Sharing, Kindle, Kindle Documents and sync.

  • OR copy the .mobi file to Dropbox and save it to Kindle/library/eBooks

  • Launch the Amazon Kindle app, select “On Device” and select your book.

Android

  • If Calibre already has the correct metadata, skip to step 3/4

  • To correct the missing metadata, follow the same instructions

  • Connect your Android via USB. Copy the .mobi file to /sdcard/kindle/. Disconnect USB.

  • OR copy the .mobi file to Dropbox and export it to /sdcard/kindle/.

  • Launch the Amazon Kindle app, select “On Device” and select your book.

I hope this helps someone get more out of their books!