Oct 17 2010
Update: I have had some readers report problems with dropbox + the Kindle 2.
Last week Sarah Wendell had reviews of many different electronic reading devices. One thing she mentioned was how she moved her digital books around quite a bit and how she did not like using a cord to transfer her books. I mentioned to her that she could use dropbox with her Kindle.
I’ve mentioned dropbox before and creating your own personal cloud but you don’t even have to go that far. All you have to do is sign up for this free service (2 GB for free) and designate one folder for your DRM free mobi books. You can call this folder “Kindle” or something easy for you to remember.
To access this folder, you use the Experimental Web Browser on the Kindle. The first time you do this, it is a bit tedious because you have to enter the URL and your username and password, but once entered and bookmarked, it is a breeze to access your digital books from anywhere.
Step 1: Setting up the Dropbox Folder
First you need to sign up for a dropbox account. Dropbox provides a 2 GB of online memory space for free and works on Windows, MAC, Linux, and the iPhone. Dropbox is has automatic synching abilities. Everytime your files change on your harddrive, Dropbox notes that and uploads the changed file. I don’t get an affiliate fee anytime I mention dropbox or refer a person there. It’s just a service that I love and really couldn’t live without.
So step 1 is signing up for a dropbox account. Sign up and install the software program. The software program will require you to designate a Dropbox folder on your computer. Within the Dropbox folder, you will put your ebooks. This does not have to be a “public” folder.
Note: You can put your Calibre library folder within dropbox which is what I do. Open Calibre. Under the book icon (this is the library icon) select “Switch/create library.”
This will give you a new dialog box. Browse to your new dropbox folder and click the radio button next to “Move current library to new location. If your database is big, go take a big break. Calibre will copy over every file to this new location and that can take some time.
Step 2: Ensure your files are DRM free
Make sure that the files that you put in your Kindle folder are DRM free and mobi format. The easiest way to do this is to use Calibre because you can convert your files to MOBI using Calibre.
Step 3: Kindle.
From the home page, click the “MENU” button and select “Experimental Settings”
Step 4. Launch the Experimental Web Browser:
Select Launch browser. Once the browser is open, wait for it to get done loading and then hit the “MENU” button again. Using the four way rocker, scroll down to “ENTER URL”. Click the middle of the rocker.
Step 5. Enter the URL.
The URL line should be highlighted. Type in “dropbox.com” (without the quotation marks). You do not need to enter “http://”. Move the rocker to the right so that ” ” is highlighted. Click the middle of the rocker to enter the command.
Wait patiently until the page loads. There is a mobile site for dropbox which is m.dropbox.com but Kindle won’t load it for some reason.
Step 6. Enter your dropbox username (email address) and password.
The entire dropbox webscreen shows up. There will be a magnifying glass with a + sign inside a bounded box. You can move this box to the right and click. The area will be magnified. Manuever the hand cursor up to the username box by using the rocker arrows. Click the middle of the rocker when you are at the username box. Enter your username. Rocker over to the password and enter the password. MAKE SURE YOU CLICK “REMEMBER ME” otherwise, you will have to re-enter your username and password, which on the Kindle would be abysmal.
Rocker over to the “login” button and depress the middle of the rocker. Wait for the site to load.
Step 7. Make a bookmark.
To avoid excess typing on the Kindle, you should now bookmark the Dropbox site. You do this by clicking on the “MENU” button and then selecting “BOOKMARK THIS PAGE.”
Step 8. Access your book.
You can either search for your book by rockering down to the left hand search area (this actually works very well if you remember the name of your book or you can maneuver, using the rocker, to the folder you set up in Step 1.
That’s it. In the future, all you will have to do is Step 3, then “MENU” and then “BOOKMARKS” and your Dropbox bookmark should be on the second page.