Customer Review

10 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Physical Great Resource Kindle Edition: major loading issue, December 25, 2012
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2013 (First Aid USMLE) (Kindle Edition)
After my many issues with the Kindle edition and the lack of response and support from the publisher, I ended up buying the physical copy and it was an amazing decision. As others have mentioned, many of the errors from 2012 have been removed and some of the terms have been changed to more recent nomenclature (compare orotic aciduria in the two texts). I have also been using Kaplan to study and the material is very cohesive with the online Kaplan material. The only problem - and not a problem with this book - is that Kaplan has not updated page number references to reflect the newer edition.

This is a review for the kindle edition of the book. Not for the printed edition.

First the positives for the book:
The pages and layout of the book beautiful and it looks like the paperback version. With the iPad retina display, the text is very clear even when zoomed in and easy on the eyes. The images also reproduce very well compared to ebook format texts. Additionally, you can take nice notes, bookmark pages, and highlight the text. The entire set of notes, highlights, and bookmarks show up in the margin when needed and it provides a nice summary that syncs between devices.

Now the major, major, issue:
However, there is one significant issue, which in part might be due to the high quality of the text. The pages in the book take forever to load. For example, if I go to page 63 and flip all the way to 70, pages 71 and onwards take about 1 to 2 minutes to load and then the same problem occurs every 5-10 pages. This does not seem to be a device issue- I have tried this on the ipad 2, ipad3, macbook air, and sony vaio. On the ipad app, the pages remain white and when you try to zoom in and out, you can see the text but it still takes forever to load. It almost seems like the pages have loaded but just aren't visible. I am not sure if the issue is the actual kindle app but as I mentioned earlier, the glitches aren't limited to my kindle apps. On the computer version it takes a long time to reach the next page (gives the loading symbol) for both windows and mac.
Also, I have the entire purchased version, not the trial version. This problem did not arise with the trial version. Until this issue is resolved, I am giving the Kindle product a 2 stars.

Update: For the ipad application: The only solution I have found is that if the book is left open for a few minutes, more of the pages load but if you go backwards, the pages return to their blank white state. Just to be clear, if you have highlighted information or taken notes, those are not lost. For the macbook (brand new pro and air): the book seems to crash the application.

2nd Update: I tried to contact the publisher and after telling me that they would contact me in 24 hours, the finally did more than a week later. They told me to contact a second email address and that email address did not work. Since this is a review for a product and not just the quality of the book, I am rating at as 1 star. If it was closer to the actual boards, this would be extremely frustrating.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 25, 2012 10:12:16 AM PST
Rubal says:
The problem that you are going through is due to the file being big. I had similar problem with the previous versions of first Aid and the pages take their time to load, even if you compress the file.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 9:55:20 AM PST
Kidd32 says:
I agree with your assessment but there might some other underlying issue as well. A faster device should be able to overcome the problem or at least reduce the problem (going from ipad 2 to 3 which has a faster graphic and cpu processor). However, this is not the case and the lag time is about the same. I have another book that is very similar in terms of quality (Draw it to Know It <-- Which I highly recommend for Neuro, I found that to be very useful for long term memorization of pathways and lesions) but that book does not have the same loading issue; it flows very smoothly and the flips are cleaner. It seems like the product testing for this book was not up to par.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 11:13:13 AM PST
S.M.H. says:
I have noticed the same issue with my Kindle Edition of the FA 2013 book especially in the musculoskeletal section and I am on a Google Nexus 7....this would prove to be very frustrating close to or during board studying....

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 4:57:02 PM PST
I have not had this issue. I am using it on my computer though. Also, compressing the file would make it take longer to load. Compressing it removes bit and pieces with an logarithmic of your choosing. .zip is a compression technique. A compressed file must then be decompressed and saved into the cache for it to load the pages. This is good for saving, but bad for reading. Get the desktop kindle app and you will be fine. You might even try Calibre. You would be surprised what you can do with it. By the way, this ebook is just a .pdf file in a wrapper made into an azw4 file for the kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 10:15:43 AM PST
so can i use calibre to convert to pdf ????
Is it possible that when i use PC app i load the file to RAM cache " i have been trying to do it " is it possible ???

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 10:33:36 PM PST
Kidd32 says:
As mentioned in the review, same thing occurs with PC and Mac. Sorry for the confusion but the problem is the high quality of the pictures and illustrations.
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