As you've no doubt heard by now, Amazon recently announced that they will finally begin charging a fee for sending personal documents to your Kindle wirelessly (after giving it away for two years). Instead of charging by the document, as they had originally planned, they will by the megabyte -- 15 cents per MB rounded up to the nearest megabyte.
Of course Kindle critics see this as one more sign of the Kindle's future downfall.
One blogger asks "Does this increase lessen the value of the Kindle?", and proceeds to express his displeasure at the pricing change.
My favorite headline so far comes from C-Net: "Amazon's Kindle: Your fat personal docs aren't cheap."
Exactly how "fat" do your personal documents have to be before transferring them wirelessly is no longer cheap?
Just for a frame of reference, I visited Project Gutenberg and looked up War and Peace. Any guess on how much that "fat" txt file will cost to transfer under the new pricing structure? 60 cents. That still seems like a bargain for document conversion and wireless delivery, especially considering we're paying no monthly fee for wireless service.
Of course PDFs are much larger than text files, but given the dodgy quality of PDF conversions for Kindle I doubt too many Kindle users will be concerned about PDF pricing.
I don't know about you, but I don't have too many Tolstoy-sized personal documents sitting around that I need to transfer to my Kindle. But if you do, fortunately there's always the free solution of transferring documents to your Kindle manually via USB cable, either after converting them yourself using a program such as Calibre (which we introduced you to earlier), or by using your @free.kindle.com email address.
I'm certainly no Amazon apologist, but the whole thing seems to be much ado about nothing. I strongly doubt it will affect future purchase decisions or send any current Kindle users scrambling to eBay to list their device. Not until Apple unleashes their "Kindle Killer," that is (yawn). But that's another column.
Currently reading on my Kindle: Nothing! I'm reading a real paper book from my local library. Ugh. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-zinn.
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