Another year, another blog post! If you’re not interested in reading backstory and just interested in getting MobiPocket DRM-protected books onto your Kindle, check out the Mobi2Kindle page at Google Code.
Not too long ago, I won an Amazon Kindle while attending the CS4HS workshop at CMU (Yay Google and other sponsors!). Perhaps not surprisingly, I fell in love with reading on it. I quickly looked for all the free e-books I could, discovering sites like MobileRead and FeedBooks, with their ultra-sweet Kindle-based book browsers (Click and download right on the Kindle? Awesome!). However, their selections of recent works are certainly… lacking. Only a few authors have really embraced free e-book distribution, and while I do love Cory Doctorow, my brain really craved more.
I investigated the local library, which has been a great source of mind-food ever since we moved to Cleveland a couple years ago. Alas, they had nothing expressly for the Kindle – though they did have an e-library with MobiPocket and Adobe EPub books. I had remembered reading somewhere that the Kindle could do MobiPocket, so I decided to investigate further.
I found out that Igor Skochinsky had done some investigations into the Kindle’s handling of MobiPocket DRM, and had put together a set of Python scripts that were supposedly able to convert normal MobiPocket DRM’d files into a format readable by the Kindle. I tried them out on my own, and lo and behold, I was reading Barack Obama’s book on my Kindle, straight from the library! Well, not quite straight from the library – it made some detours on my Mac, involving some Terminal usage and some copying-and-pasting. But it was still pretty sweet!
I decided that dealing with the command-line was not something my wife would be interested in doing, and so I decided to write a little AppleScript application that handled all the tedious stuff, like running the commands. This, in fact, only ended up taking me the lesser part of an afternoon, despite having never worked on a similar project before. However, the end result was a fancy little droplet, that I could simply drag and drop a PRC file onto and get an Amazon-compatible AZW file back.
I contacted Igor, and he gave me permission to redistribute his code. So I created a logo and a Google Code project, and am happy to share it with you, readers of the world! I give you: