If you’re like me and have multiple Kindles associated with your Amazon account, you may find that when sampling and purchasing books, you’re sending stuff to the wrong device. I currently have 3: the Kindle1 that I gave my daughter, my Kindle 2 and my upcoming Kindle DX. This situation has caused me some inconvenience.
For example: My Kindle is named Fred and I got the clever idea to name my (soon to be in my hands) DX, Big Fred. Unfortunately, Amazon does not have a way to set a default device so whenever I order or sample online, I have to change the device that my stuff is sent to. On the bright side, my DX will come with content, even if it was inadvertently!
So, as a multiple Kindle user, you need to setup your devices so that your default device is first alphabetically in your list. Or if you want to get stubborn on the naming you need to remember everytime you order/sample, to change the device in the drop-down.
This is a definite bug in Amazon’s system and was pointed out to me by one of my readers, Ivan Hemmans. You will only see this bug if you have multiple devices, whether Kindles or iPhones. Both of us have reported this issue to Amazon Customer Service.
When using Whispersync, staying on the correct page across multiple devices works great–until you decide to re-read your content. Also, using multiple Kindles, I may want to exclude one device from Whispersync.
Here’s the scenario:
You read thru a book on either your Kindle and your iPhone (or another Kindle). First time thru, you stay in sync any device. Later you decide to either re-read or restart the book. Unfortunately, the ‘Sync to Furthest Page Read’ will always be the furthest page you got to, so your furthest read page remains at either the end of the book or the furthest page you got to; Whispersync will be let you know when you open that book on the device. You can tell it not to go to the furthest page and continue reading. Go to the other device and try to sync, and you will be taken to the furthest page read, not the place you were at when you stopped reading on the other device.
This is a problem in a couple of ways. The simplest is that it makes it impossible to re-read or restart any book and use Whispersync to keep your place on more than one device.
Another scenario is textbook/reference book use. I want to use Whispersync for general reading content, but don’t want to sync textbooks or reference materials. Reading those items may not be linear, especially for reference books. And while I can just cancel the Whispersync action, I would prefer just to turn it off for a single device, in my case, on my Kindle DX.
Customer Service can and will reset your furthest read page, but this is something that Amazon probably should fix. Ivan’s suggestion is another menu item that lets you reset the furthest read page; I think it should be reset or delete the setting within a book. If Amazon really wants to increase usability, they could offer the option of turning off the sync for a single book.
(Edit 6/25/2009) I added the below after the recent Kindle DRM blow-up; its from a post that I did way back in March ’09
I sent the following to Amazon Customer Service today. I understand that Amazon is trying to ‘get this right’, but sometimes feel like the right hand isn’t talking to the left. I’m also wondering on what mandates are making it down to the software development group.
Before I begin, note that I own a Kindle 1 and Kindle 2 and at this time had planned on keeping up with major hardware updates. I have plenty of family members who are readers and would appreciate the use of my pre-owned Kindles as I purchase new ones.
With that fact in mind, I would like clarification on book ownership. I recently called to ask how I remove a book from my Archives and was told I could not as I own the book and it would always be available to my account. I then read the policy about reaching the 6 device limit and the fact that even if a Kindle is deregistered from my account, any books on it would be associated to that Kindle. Please offer clarification on the policy statement from Customer Service “Kindle Book Licensing Restrictions-The licenses associated with most books and other non-subscription content purchased from the Kindle Store allow you to download and view each item for your personal use on up to six Kindles registered to your Amazon.com account. If you deregister a Kindle for whatever reason, the licenses for any books downloaded to that Kindle remain linked with the device.”, particularly with the statement “your personal use on up to six Kindles registered to your Amazon.com account”.
If a device is no longer registered to my account or gets registered to another user’s account, how can that content license still be associated to MY account when the Kindle is not? A new owner cannot access the content from their account and if content licenses travel with the Kindles, how does that reconcile with content licensing being registered to my Amazon.com account? The content license for that item is now out in the ether with no owner according to my understanding of your current policy.
In the case of my purchasing a 7th Kindle and disposing of the 1st, that would mean that I have a content license that is not available to me.
I raise this issue because I frequently go back and re-read book purchases from 10 or more years in the past and unless something drastic happens, I see myself enjoying my current and future Kindles far into the future. So before I invest more time and money rebuilding my book library in electronic format, I need clarification on your policy.
It seems to me that not much thinking should be involved with fixing this. You have to re-register a Kindle on the device itself, it cannot be done from the website; the first time you do so, the initial sync should be able to wipe out any previous Amazon purchases from the device while leaving other content. Am I missing something here?
Customer Service is supposed to respond to all inquiries within about 12 hours, so we’ll see what I’ll have in my Inbox in the morning. I plan to be patient; the telephone Customer Service is exemplary, but I find the email CS a little lacking. There seem to be a lot of boilerplate emails initially sent that require nastygram clarification followups.
My hope is to get the issue nailed down without the ambiguity that exists now. Wish me luck!