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Arwen
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New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:17 pm

Recently I started playing with Amazon's Cloud Player channel. I don't have many songs
installed, but I have bought all my MP3s from them, (as Amazon does not have as many
problems using non-Amazon players that a certain other source does have.) It even
allowed me to play songs from a CD I bought from Amazon.

Well that got me thinking, (I know, always a bad sign :-). I also have a few books in my
Kindle Reader application on my non-Amazon tablet. It works good, though my tablet is
not one of the paperwhite ones, so it's hard to read at times, like it bright sunshine.

But, what about a Kindle Reader channel for the Roku?

It would not be hard, as the eBooks are already available on the network at
Amazon. Here is what I think would work;

  • The remote server does most of the real work making pictures of the pages, based
    on the Roku's set video resultion. Perhaps limiting the channel to 720p and 1080p so
    that the words are clear enough.
  • If the user changes fonts or font sizes, then the remote Amazon server re-creates
    the eBook's page pictures and then downloads them to the Roku.
  • On the Roku side, the channel / application would simply allow scrolling through the
    pages.
  • Certain Kindle features may have to be supported oddly. For example, annotations
    or book marks may be stored on the individual Roku. So that if you have 2 Rokus, they
    would not be shared. Or perhaps they can be stored at Amazon.
  • Last, if the eBook is large, (or perhaps this should be for every book anyway), only
    the current pages and near by pages are downloaded. Meaning if you are on page
    100, then perhaps pages 90 through 120 would be on the Roku.

If Roku developers can't give me a good technical reason why such a channel
won't work, then I will likely suggest it to Amazon in their forums.
Arwen Evenstar
Middle Earth
 
thetick
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:41 pm

You can use your PC. See
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000426311

And well Amazon really should be working on an android player for their Instant Prime Videos... seriously I can't believe that does not currently exist.
TheTick
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Arwen
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:56 pm

I vaguely remember seeing something about a Kindle app for PCs. I also seem to
recall a web reader, (or was that a web song player for my MP3s?).

My point was simply to point out we have these nice LCD, LED or Plasma screens
and unless you have a PC wired to one, you can't use it to read eBooks.
Arwen Evenstar

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thetick
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:05 pm

After more searching there is an ebook reader for Roku. It's a private channel and I have not tried it, so idea if works.
See viewtopic.php?f=28&t=54807

Also there is libravox which is mention in the link above.
See http://librivox.org and https://owner.roku.com/add/Q4DSY
TheTick
Roku 3 for Pokémon TV / Disney XD / PBS / Smithsonian
PC / Chromecast for all other media
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TheEndless
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:45 pm

Kindle books are protected with DRM, so you can't just read them from the cloud. You'd need to either first de-DRM them (there are third party tools for that), or you'd need Amazon's certificates, which would obviously require Amazon's participation.
My Channels: http://roku.permanence.com - Twitter: @TheEndlessDev
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jbrave
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:55 pm

I'm working on a couple of things in this regard,

1. an Ebook publishing system for reading on Roku
2. a Roku front end for Calibre (which is like Plex for books). Maybe I'll integrate 1+2

You may have seen the published, public channel roku book: "The Holy Bible, King James Edition", which was my second experiment in this direction,

The first was a private channel, Makers by Corey Doctorow

- Joel
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Arwen
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:19 pm

TheEndless wrote:
Kindle books are protected with DRM, so you can't just read them from the cloud. You'd need to either first de-DRM them (there are third party tools for that), or you'd need Amazon's certificates, which would obviously require Amazon's participation.


Yes, I'd say any Kindle book viewing application would have to be Amazon blessed or written.
Arwen Evenstar

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Allureana
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Sun May 22, 2016 10:11 pm

I've been pestering Amazon and Roku and Samsung (smart tv) for ebook readers annually since 2012. They aren't interested. Amazon's Cloud Kindle only recognizes 4 web browsers and that doesn't even include Microsoft Edge.
For a workaround, I have hooked up a $35 Raspberry Pi computer, loaded it with the standard Raspbian OS (Linux) and added Iceweasel (Firefox for Linux). Using Iceweasel, you can log into your Cloud Kindle account (https://read.amazon.com) and read your ebook in the browser. If you want, you can even download the entire book you're currently reading and set the browser to NOT clear data when you log out.
Then, when you reboot the Pi and restart Iceweasel, you can use "Work offline" mode (maybe while traveling away from your last wi-fi access) and continue reading your ebook right where you left off. Note: reading the books this way does not require either a Kindle or iOS device or a ROKU.
The Raspberry Pi computer, itself, is only $35, but to make it useful, you need some extra things. You can buy "Starter kits" with all the extra things (HDMI cable, mouse & keyboard, SD card with OS, power supply, etc) for prices from $59 on up, depending on what extras you want. You will need to supply your own monitor. Still worth it. The latest model Raspberry Pi 3 has a 1.2GHz quad core CPU and 1GB ram and can accept a 32GB SDcard and can output 1080P, 30fps videos just fine through it's HDMI connector.
I've hooked one onto our 50" LED TV in the living room to work around the fact that the TV manufacturers just don't want to bother with ebooks on their TV's. I can also use it to do anything else a basic computer can do, except for power gaming.
The Raspberry Pi's can also be used to run KODI, either by swapping out the SDcard or you can install KODI on top of Raspbian.

Meanwhile, in the years since we got our 2012 Samsung Smart TV, Amazon has only added their music store. Amazon videos can only be watched if you have the Amazon prime account.
I use the Raspberry Pi's and KODI and watch any darn thing I please. CoolReader and Calibre also can be run on the Raspberry Pi's and used with your ebooks directly.
Calibre on your PC can be used with add-ons to remove DRM from Kindle books you purchased legally and convert them to EPUB format you can then put on your Raspberry Pi and read with either CoolReader or Calibre.
 
jlsoaz
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:55 pm

I'd like to see a kindle reading and purchasing capability via Roku, just as we have Amazon video viewing and purchasing ability via Roku.

I'd also like to have the same capability with audible books.
 
Steve43
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:25 am

The best solutions I've found are these, I use mirroring on my Galaxy Note to my ROKU-TV then open the Kindle app on my phone. Works great. Another way that works, I connect my Asus ChromeBook Flip to my ROKU-TV using a very long Micro HDMI to HDMI cable I bought from Amazon then open the Kindle app on the laptop.That keeps my phone free for other things. Hope this helps.
 
Allureana
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:52 am

Nine years after the original post, 3 years after my last post, and a year after Steve43 suggests mirroring, here in 3Q 2019, there are STILL no Kindle apps for most smart tv's - unless they run Android.  I read recently that Google and Amazon have "become friends" (i.e. quit not advertising each other's competing products, like Amazon.com advertsing Echo's more prominently than Home devices).  But Amazon is still lagging behind at pushing Kindle where it could!  People who read Kindle ebooks are assumed to own Kindle tablets.  I have over 200 Kindle books and have never owned a Kindle device.  I just read them on my Android phone, using immersion reading, often connected to any bluetooth speaker that sounds better than my phone.  If I use the Echo Dot as the speaker, I can use Alexa to pause and resume controlling the playback of the Kindle book running from my phone. 
I have both an Amazon Firestick and a Google Chromecast device, but getting either of those to run Kindle is geek work.  I managed, but it's easier to simply mirror my phone to the tv.
Amazon is still not making Kindle for PC capable of doing Immersion reading.  PC users who want to do immersion reading on their Windows 10 devices have to run an Android emulator app in Windows and then run Kindle for Android in the emulator.  It works, but Amazon obviously has failed to do a bit more development work here.  And why can't Cloud Kindle work on smart TV's (those that aren't Android TV's) ?  Because so many (older, but still in use) smart TV's have only proprietary web browsers that are not HTML5 capable.
Why can't ROKU read Kindle ebooks or other ebooks on your TV?  Because ROKU is not an Android TV box.
I find it amusingly ironic that Amazon has figured out how to get their Kindle app to do Immersion reading on Google's Android OS, but NOT YET ON Microsoft's Windows 10 !
As for having Alexa "read aloud" your Kindle ebooks, the AI software behind Alexa has a looooong way to go before the stories are read with male, female, proper emotional overtones, and differentiated voices of the many characters in most stories. The professional readers at Audible are in no danger of losing their jobs to AI reading software.
At this point, the best solution is still to mirror your phone to the Roku box or smart TV and run the Kindle app on your phone.  And even doing that is "geek work" beyond a large portion of the audience.
 
37mediagroup
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Re: New channel idea - Amazon Kindle Reader for Roku

Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:56 am

I mean, don't you think 'Audio Books' have greater potential & market share than reading an entire book on the TV. Maybe there's a small market for it, I'm not sure I'd invest too much into it. Also, advertising. Would someone really want to sit thru a commercial break while reading a book on their TV? 

I get it, the 'text' is already written & there on Kindle, so it's only a matter of transcribing it to a channel. But Amazon surely isn't wanting to push Roku's out the door, and Roku surely doesn't want customers sitting in front of there TVs not seeing commercials. And again, would market research show people want to read an entire book on their TV set? 

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