Kindle update to add 'proper' page numbers
Print or e-ink, you'll get identical indices
Amazon has posted a preview release of its next Kindle firmware, and it's bringing real page numbers to the platform.
An obvious feature of an e-book reader, you might think, but no, Kindle uses "Locations" - large numbers that identify how far into a book you've got and which are supposed to be consistent across Kindles and Kindle apps for other gadgets.
But punters want proper page numbers, and Amazon says it has heard their call.
The update will add "real page numbers that correspond directly to a book’s print edition", so if your Kindle has a quote on page 57, anyone else can go to the paper copy and look it up using that page number.
E-books can, of course, be viewed at a selection of type sizes, and most readers and reader apps re-calculate page numbers when you change the typeface and font size. Kindle's new page numbers will presumably be impervious for such textual changes.
Amazon is also chucking in a range of 'rate this book' and other social networking flim-flam for those folk who feel World+Dog gives a fig for what they're reading. Notes you make while reading can be made public.
It is also improving newspaper and magazine layouts, Amazon said.
The preview can be downloaded now, but Amazon didn't say when the final release will be automatically pushed out to devices. ®
I've had my kindle for quite a few months now and I'm still happy with it, as stu 4 note, it's a life saver for going on holiday, in one week I read what I'd think of as 6-7" of paperbacks (if they were all stacked up), but only had to put one small device in my bag.
Of course, Calibre is a must (especially with it's plugin based DRM removal).
My iPad owning friend was asking if I was tempted by a colour eBook reader, I pointed out that I stopped reading many books with pictures in around the age of 7 so colour isn't much use to me.
Forget page numbers…
…I just want to be able to load my own standby screens without jailbreaking my Kindle. It's just screaming for a "Don't Panic" standby screen.
The .epub standard itself doesn't force page numbers useage. Although the NCX spec does support manually forcing page numbers, the .epub spec doesn't mention how much of the NCX spec must implemented. I can't speak for other formats.
The Sony Reader itself has no way of calculating where the pages fall in a print edition.
Thus it doesn't.
What it does do is use an arbitrary system - Adobe Digital Editions for instance uses 1000 bytes to a page, when their own propriety format hasn't been used.
While the .epub standards people have tried to clarify the problem. these changes certainly came after the PRS-505 was released.
Your Sony Reader does this thru an Adobe hack to the EPUB spec which won't be carried forward into newer versions. Most publishers have already dropped the trick used as it stops the EPUB working on various other environments (due to failing validity checks). The page numbering it displays without the publisher including the page mapping file is based on counting 1000 characters and calling it a page - nothing to do with physical pages
@Anton Ivanov - there are already citation rules for eBooks where no page numbering is visible - take a look at a recent Chicago Manual of Style.
Probably the biggest problem is that Amazon have announced this feature without actually bothering to tell us (the content creators and publishers) how to do it. Most Kindle files are generated from EPUBs these days. I don't hold out much hope that they've used the page location support in the EPUB spec but it would be nice.
Locations are still there
I downloaded the update last night and after doing a resync on my library I found that the book I am currently reading had had the page numbers added (tip: look at a book on the Kindle store and if its details - e.g. ISBN - include "page number ISBN" it has page numbers included). When reading a book now the progress bar is still there, as is the percentage, but the locations and page numbers are only displayed when you press the menu button. As for their accuracy the page numbers seem spot on - I also own the book I'm reading on my Kindle as a hardback and when I looked at the page number the Kindle had me at in the text it turned out to be spot on.