Customer Review

127 of 133 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition is AWFUL!!!, May 13, 2012
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This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers (Kindle Edition)
I am really pained as to how to review this.

The content, like all of Evening's books is excellent. Five stars for sure.

The Kindle edition would require negative stars to properly rate. It is absolutely horrid. This is a book on photography and the sample images are hyper compressed to the point they are just a sea of artifacts. All of the samples in the sharpening chapter are therefore worthless. Everything looks like trash.

Next, this is about a graphical application and as such includes many screen shots, both small and large. The captions often include useful annotations that are complementary to the text. In a proper page layout this results in an easy to read flow as you can hop from the text, to the figure and back again easily. In flows of related figures both the text and figures can have a natural spatial flow. In Kindle's draconian linear arrangement this is not possible and the result is a broken and barely intelligible quagmire of text and figures in a willy nilly arrangement.

Most amateurish and ridiculous are key sequences. Being a book on a computer text there are lots of these, including option and alt keys a plenty. Here they are rendered as over pixelated blobs that worse still are not integrated in the text but instead occur by themselves preceded and followed by line breaks! This is insane! It is as if someone attacked the text with scissors and pasted together a ransom note.

Keep in mind this was viewed both on a Kindle device and on the iPad Kindle app and it looks like trash on both and is essentially unreadable.

What pains me the most is that the new iPad is just delicious for reading graphics heavy PDFs and this book would be wonderful to own in such a format - PDF of the paper version with its proper page layouts. I guess I'll grudgingly have to kill a bunch of trees and burn oil to get the overweight paper edition delivered. The Kindle edition is unusable.

Is one star fair? Again, I'm pained as Amazon lumps the print and Kindle ratings and reviews together. Furthermore, I know they pressure authors to do Kindle editions and typically the royalties are higher to the author for the Kindle edition. In this case Martin Evening is serving neither his readers nor himself by offering the Kindle edition. Which is a shame, I like the author and his work and I would rather give the content the five stars it deserves. Unfortunately Amazon has decided to force me to drag down both editions ratings.

In conclusion - Amazon stop pretending these editions are the same. They are not, one is a beautifully crafted text and the other is unusable garbage. Mr. Evening, I'd recommend you pull the Kindle edition - it does you no credit and is a disservice to your readers. Insist Amazon provide a useful and modern format that preserves the careful page layout of your text before attempting an ebook edition again.
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 16, 2012 7:47:14 AM PDT
D. Schwabe says:
Thank you for this valuable detail. For a moment there I was thinking about ordering the Kindle edition to read it on my new iPad. I too hate collecting heavy books in this digital age. I assume Amazon just ran their standard conversion software over the original and compressed all media content to death just so that it can still be delivered via their Whispernet service.

Posted on May 23, 2012 12:40:57 AM PDT
Petr Vandas says:
Thank you for your opinion. It made me completely sure I should not buy the Kindle edition. I will pay more for a real book to spare me disappointment.

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 1:59:13 PM PDT
Thank you for highlighting the difference in the Kindle edition and the printed edition. I too would prefer to have this book in my Kindle library but not if it will be confusing and difficult to read.

Posted on Jun 9, 2012 7:45:22 PM PDT
Chris says:
I agree, kindle books are good if there aren't any pictures or examples in the actual book. I buy a lot of tech manuals in PDF format, which preserves the format, and read them on my iPad. Typically if amazon doesn't have the PDF ebook, go directly to the publisher and usually they have them for sale on their website.

Posted on Jun 26, 2012 11:04:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 26, 2012 11:04:24 AM PDT
A. Quinones says:
I really wish the Kindle ratings didn't get mixed with the paper copy ratings, which is exactly what happened here, skewing the ratings average.

Posted on Nov 5, 2012 8:18:06 PM PST
BCFN says:
So, where can I get the Adobe PDF version?

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 12:24:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2012 6:14:37 PM PST
Ken, I don't know if Adobe uploaded higher-resolution images or not, after your review, but they do appear to have uploaded images that don't fill the screen of the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet which has a 1280x800 screen resolution display.

I did a couple of screen shots and did a long-press auto-enlarge to fit the Adobe image to the Kindle tablet screen and then also pinch-zoomed beyond the display borders a bit to take a closer look. The image did not degrade noticeably during that.

I put one of those screenshots (1280x800) in the customer images area and of course the Amazon display is at something like 500 pixels width but I didn't want to lower the jpg quality any more than converting it from a png screenshot. The image here won't show you whether the display text is readable though. I've put the original-sized one saved at 95% with Irfanview, at http://www.pbase.com/andrys/image/147556033/original hoping that'll help people decide whether this will work for them in Kindle Edition version.

It does work for me as I can read the text bubbles on the display on the Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablet. There's also one of the sharpening sample done by the author at only '25' instead of the '150' shown in the customer image here.

On the Kindle HD tablet, the book's alt-keys are where they should be and so far the flow of info, while not just like the book's, hasn't bothered me.

It could be that the Kindle app for iPad doesn't handle well the images or the placement of alt- and other key icons. I don't have an iPad so can't check.

Amazon has a policy that if a Kindle book doesn't work out for you for formatting problems etc., you can do an automated filing for a refund within 7 days of purchase.

I'd think that a physical book is often better for this kind of guide though. I just like to be able to read the text at any time, which I can on a digital copy.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 5:33:55 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2012 5:34:24 AM PST
Thank you for the work you went through to post this reply. I was going to give the Kindle version of the book a pass but now I think I will, at least, get the sample and see how it looks on my Kindle Fire.
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