Some time ago I wrote about the poor quality of the Kindle app for Windows 8. At that time I found the state of the app a real nuisance but at least it was usable. Or so I thought. Sadly I was mistaken. Yesterday when I was about to start download and read Storm on The Frontier Part 2 on my tablet I was presented with a message that said: “This title is not available on Kindle for Windows 8”. What the f…?
Was it a download issue or a problem with my installation? I tried it on Kindle for Windows 8 on my desktop PC with the same result. Then I tried to on the normal Windows 7 version of Kindle for PC and it worked fine. I even installed the Windows 7 version on my tablet and it worked fine.
Naturally I used the “Contact Amazon” option in the settings of the app and asked them what was going on and explained that I, since I could buy the book using the app’s in-app-store, it was not really acceptable that I could not read it. Well, those who have read some of my previous posts know that I am not impressed by big-company help-desks and Amazon’s didn’t exactly surprise me. I got a pre-canned answer back that they had tagged my book to be downloaded again together with half an A4 page of keyboard-diarrhea about how they strived to give good service. Utterly useless of course since a) the problem was that the app refused to download the book in the first place and b) it was pretty clear that the problem lay in Amazon’s crap-app and not in the download itself.
I have always taken the stand that authors and publishers have the right to protect their work (investment) and, as much as a nuisance that DRM represents, I can understand why it exists since some people obviously do not respect the works of others. However, that is under the assumption that it is done and implemented in a professional way and not like the slop job that Amazon obviously have done with this app. Now I am stuck with a book that I cannot read on my tablet because Amazon have chosen a proprietary format with a proprietary DRM and then shoved a faulty product out the door. Sure I can read it on the Windows 7 Kindle app even on my tablet but that one is, obviously, not really adapted for a good reading experience on a tablet.
Given the poor state of Amazon’s app I do already spend quite some effort to find the books that I want on some other format, even if it would be more expensive. With their latest screw-up I am quite tempted to do something I have never done or wanted to do before and that is to rip off the DRM from this particular book and read it in some reader that actually works, for instance the Book Bazaar Reader which is a lot faster and much more fluid than the Amazon one on the very same tablet. As a computer engineer I would have little technical difficulty in finding and installing the tools for doing this and by now Amazon have more or less muted the moral objections that I had.