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PW: Available space: an inexact science?

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Showing 1-25 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 16, 2013 2:46:52 PM PDT
mike palmer says:
Has anyone else noticed that the available space reported by the Kindle (PW, specifically) seems kind of...inexact? Random, almost?

First, I feel like there's more available space than the Kindle thinks there is. My only reason for believing this was I had it full, I cleared it out by resetting it, and reloaded books onto it, and I was able to get way more books on the second time than the first time.

But, on the other hand, maybe not. After I loaded up all those books, it said I had about 120 MB left. A couple days later, without having loaded up any more books, it said I had 49 MB left.

Are there other things (collections, book progress, etc.) that can eat up space? Or is the Kindle just sometimes unsure of exactly how much space it has available and recalculates from time to time?

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 2:58:05 PM PDT
Fud53 says:
Look's really simple...only load the books you intend on reading for the next few'll never run out of space. Loading it up serves no purpose...seriously. As to why it varies why not ask amazon?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2013 3:05:59 PM PDT
mike palmer says:
I have no idea what I'm going to read over the next few weeks. One of the nice things about having a kindle is having at least most of my collection in one place, not two. I can make spur of the moment reading decisions without having to be near a wi-fi spot. And I don't have to chew up the battery downloading books all the time. Anyway, I didn't ask for advice on how not to run out of space.

As for why I don't ask amazon, because I'm not in desperate need of an answer, I was just curious to see if other people had similar experiences. You clearly didn't, but felt the need to act superior on the internet anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2013 3:23:11 PM PDT
I would guess that it's the index that gets created for searching. When you download a book the Kindle creates an index for most of the words in the book. If you download a whole bunch of books at once, it can take a day or more to create the index for all of them.

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 3:19:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2013 3:21:30 AM PDT
Charlie says:
Mike, on a practical basis Fud53's suggestion of only loading on relatively few books makes sense -- why not take advantage of the unlimited Cloud storage at Amazon. As to figuring out what is going on to satisfy curiousity, my guess is the biggest chunk of missing memory are the search index files the Paperwhite generates. Other files that build up include the many, many files in the ASIN.sdr folders (where ASiN is the Amazon ID number like B000a12345). The .sdr folder get populated with files for highlights and note, public highlights, location to page number indexes, end action files, last page read, etc.

What is a bit strange is that deleting a book or personal document leaves the .sdr folder for that book, so someone that reads multiple personal documents each day accumulates hundres or even thousands of .sdr folders. The phantom folders don't seem to have any effect on Paperwhite operation and take up just a few kB each. I did manually delete a whole bunch of them once, via USB. After restarting the Paperwhite the memory size increased about 20 MB.

Index files, which are larger appear to be deleted when a book or document is deleted.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 3:23:35 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
I'm thinking that part of the .sdr folder that's left holds some settings for the book in question, especially the Collection tags for it because if you subsequently redownload a book, it automatically goes back into the Collection it was in

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 3:41:57 AM PDT
A. Sisk says:
ANYTHING you put on the kindle (collections, for example) will indeed take up space.

I don't need to have ALL my books on my kindle at all times, as its pretty easy to access the cloud to put anything on if I should need it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 3:42:28 AM PDT
Indexes and notes/marks/highlights would be my guess too. But also, unless you loaded exactly the same books onto it the second time around, the size of the books will also be a factor. Just *one* particularly large book could easily equal 10, 20 or even more smaller items.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 3:45:51 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
like this book?

Delphi Complete Works of Mark Twain (Illustrated)

takes about 10 minutes to download

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 3:50:46 AM PDT
mike palmer says:
Lots of helpful answers here, thanks.

Also lots of apparent cloud storage pitchmen.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 3:53:19 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
no, just lots of realists

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 3:57:35 AM PDT
At 46MB, probably about 100x the size of an "average" book, yes. Or the Snoopy one that was a freebie recently, which IIRC was about 70 MB, although it wouldn't have a commensurately large index file as the Twain one might.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 3:59:16 AM PDT
It just seems like lots, Mike. There were only 3 of them, though :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 4:02:55 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
and i just picked up their Baum collection (the one I had wasn't illustrated and this one Delphi Complete Works of L. Frank Baum with the Complete Oz Books (Illustrated) is

it's File Size: 39729 KB

so another huge one, but I do love the original Oz illustrations and at $3.50 (with my country settings), it's quite worth it

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 5:16:42 AM PDT
I have a lovely hard copy of that, and don't feel like a kindle version can trump it.

But what fascinated me the first time I read the book and looked at the colour plates is that those famous ruby slippers were actually silver. A greyscale kindle just can't do them justice :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 5:22:28 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
I sent it to my Kindle Fire and it has color illustrations (probably partially accounts for the size of the file)

do the look inside and you can see how the handled it

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 5:30:44 AM PDT
Oh look, I'm not sying they haven't done it well; just that a) colour illustrations won't be good enough on the KK, and b) it's one I actually like in hard copy form.

Just a personal preference on that book, that's all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 5:34:03 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
and I'd love to be able to afford all the Oz books in DTB format, but this will have to do, especially given my husband's complaints about moving all those %&!!X!! books the last time we had to clean out a house.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 5:37:33 AM PDT
Charlie says:
CBR, I know that most things in the .sdr file are restored by Amazon if you reload the book. This includes page info, highlights, notes, end actions. All those bits of info are on Amazon servers, including your notes and highlights.

Collection tags I don't know about, but will check next time I do USB transfer and/or deletions on my Paperwhite -- just out of curiousity. The Amazon ecosystem does a pretty good job of handling almost everything behind the scenes without any user involvement or knowledge needed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 5:50:47 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
I seldom transfer that way and I know my mobi files don't get directories and i don't think all my books do - I'll have to check that as well

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 6:11:03 AM PDT
My husband complains about moving my DTBs, too, but mostly the series that are more than 30 books each (5 or 6 series) and particularly the one that's 90-odd books in the series :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 6:54:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2013 6:58:19 AM PDT
Charlie says:
I do know that .pobi (periodical) files generated by Calibre or and emailed to my Paperwhite send-to-Kindle address DO generate .sdr folders. Actually, the next day a new .sdr folder will be generated for that day's .pobi file even when the two obi files have the same name. The .sdr folders have some inscrutable name.

I don't know whetherwebpages sent via sendtoread or the Amazon Send-to-Reader browser plug-ins generate.sdrfolders.

I appreciate that Amazon supports last page read function in Personal Documents. The file for that is in the .sdrfolder.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 7:09:43 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
you have me curious about the books I have sideloaded (I seldom send them to my kindles via Amazon) - that's what i mean to check when I get home (no cable here at work)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 2:08:36 PM PDT
flipoid says:
OT: The only reason the silver slippers got changed to ruby slippers in the 1939 movie was because of the Technicolor--silver wouldn't be as "jazzy" as the red.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 4:06:24 PM PDT
Yes, I realise that. But it intrigues me how much it caught on, how "ruby slippers" became part of general cultural knowledge, and how few people know it was originally any different.

Part of the reason for that, at least here in Australia, I suspect, is that the movie was perhaps the first one where the movie was more known than the book.

It's quite rare to even see a copy of the book here.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  26
Initial post:  Jul 16, 2013
Latest post:  Jul 17, 2013

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