Kindle Ebook Format – You should know
What is the Kindle Ebook Format?
The Kindle Ebook is the original and best ebook reader, and is able to read several different ebook formats, including its own. The formats it can read are:
1. AZW – This is its primary format, and was developed from the mobi format, after Amazon had taken over the French company Mobipocket. All books sold by Amazon are in this format. You could load and read this ebook format on Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Fire.
2. PDF – Portable Document Format, this is Adobe’s famous file format, although not all pdfs can be displayed all that well on the Kindle.
3. MOBI – This is the file format from the French firm Mobipocket, which was pretty much the industry standard before Amazon took them over.
4. PRC – This is Palm’s format, when the Palm Pilot series of devices was pretty much the handheld system to own in the early part of the millenium.
5. TXT – Plain text format, the most basic text formatting available.If you send a doc (Word document) or HTML document to your Amazon email address, Amazon will convert these files to be read on the Kindle too. Other file formats supported include jpg, gif, bmp and png, and many are using this service to convert Manga comics to be read on their Kindles too.
In addition, the Kindle is also able to handle audio formats for music or audio books. It is therefore able to also play back mp3 music, and for audio books, it can play Audible.com’s AA and AAX formats. Amazon also own Audible.com, so it really comes as no surprise for it to be able to “listen” to those formats.
The one main disadvantage to the Amazon Kindle was its inability to be able to handle the industry standard epub format. Its main competitor, the Barnes and Noble Nook uses this as its native format, along with a multitude of other ebook reading devices.
It is similar in the way Apple never used to be able to read mp3 files on its iPod devices, but now it has changed to be able to read those industry standard file formats too, so perhaps Amazon will follow suit in the future.
This inability to read epub formats means the Kindle is tied heavily to Amazon (as you would expect), and you are technically unable to buy books for it from other book stores. That is, of course, unless you have a little technical know how, because it is possible to convert other file formats into Amazon’s native Kindle file format, the AZW format.
There are many text file converters available online, but one that would be well worth getting hold of is Calibre. Calibre will not only convert your books into whatever file format you wish, but also provides an excellent database for you to keep track of your ebook collection. It’s always a good idea to back up your devices anyway, and Calibre can read and convert the Kindle ebook format easily.
This means you are not as limited to purchasing books through Amazon as your first thought, and it opens up a new area to explore with your Kindle.
Although the Kindle does at first seem to be a closed shop where you are tied to Amazon for your reading supplies, with a little bit of know how, you will be able to read books from a variety of different sources, and simply convert them into the Kindle ebook format.
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