Defeating Amazon Kindle Book Filename Obfuscation

One gruesome aspect of buying Kindle eBooks is the obfuscation Amazon uses in the filenames. People wind up with this horror show:


Click = big

How in the world is it ever possible to find a specific book in that mess? Amazon doesn’t want you to be able to, hence that.

But there’s an easy way to defeat this. Use the desktop (PC/Mac) program for Kindle. Then:

1) Open the book you want to locate as a file.
2) Make a Note in that book.
3) Close the book, quit the desktop program.
4) Open your desktop file explorer and Sort By Date. BAM:


Click = big

The part of the book file that stores notes will pop to the top of the list, as shown highlighted here. You now have the book’s filename.

Then Sort By Name and find the .AZW file, which is the book itself:


Click = big

There. Done. You can find any book you want this way, despite Amazon’s twitscreen speedbumping.

Remember to go back and delete the note if you intend to locate more than one book at a time, otherwise you’ll just confuse yourself.

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11 Comments

Filed under Amazon Kindle

11 responses to “Defeating Amazon Kindle Book Filename Obfuscation

  1. Pingback: Defeating Amazon Kindle Book Filename Obfuscation | Kindle Digest

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Defeating Amazon Kindle Book Filename Obfuscation « Mike Cane's xBlog -- Topsy.com

  3. James

    Or you could install the python plug in that removes Kindle DRM on Calibre, download all the books into that desktop tool. Bam, even easier.

    Do a google search for mobidedrm.py

    • mikecane

      I have that script. Never used it as a Calibre plugin. But it doesn’t work on K books without having the PID. And if you don’t have a Kindle — only Kindle for PC, as I do — you can’t get the PID without another script. Which I did manage to find and it worked (grabbing the PID and stripping all in one seamless step at the push of a single button) and I converted a DRMed K freebie book to ePub more or less fine (the more or less being that Adobe’s ePub rendering engine is total garbage and showed errors that FBreader did not!). So, success! I can buy ePub generally and still also buy Kindle-only books and convert them to ePub. Amazon still makes money and everyone lives happily ever after.

  4. Rogelio

    Filenames are not obfuscated, they refer to the ASIN number (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Standard_Identification_Number)

    You could simply look for the book using the URL:
    http://amazon.com/gp/product/ASIN-VALUE-HERE

    ASIN-VALUE-HERE is the first part of the filename (previous to the undescore)

    ex:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XRDBYY

    • mikecane

      That’s a lot of steps to go through, especially laboriously typing the damn number (or Copy/Pasting the correct one) — and requires you to know that to begin with. Thanks for the tip, though. I didn’t know that and have never seen it before.

  5. Thanks for your information, Im going to take in mind when I upload books. Anyway I recomend this page to look for Kindle books: [redacted]

    • mikecane

      I do not allow URLs that look spammy or seem to lead to pirate sites to get through here. Do not Comment again. You are banned.

  6. mike brodie

    every time I buy an ebook from the Kindle Store I simply look into it’s “Product Details”, right bellow the “Product Description”, and get the correspondent ASIN number… then I add that and the ebook name and author to a spreadsheet… simple copy and paste…

    but now I wonder: why on earth do you need “”to find a specific book in that mess”? what’s the purpose of that? K4PC just loads them all, you don’t need to know which file K4PC is using to read the ebook…

    • mikecane

      Because in this case I was doing a DRM-stripping test and wanted to try it on a specific book. Since then, the software has been updated to defeat that.

  7. sky

    Open the kindle book, make note of the name & author, and then just rename the file with what you want. The ebook will still open fine with the new name of the actual book & author!

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