EBook Formats Supported by Amazon Kindle

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There is no shortage of e-book formats and e-readers, although not all e-readers support all e-book formats. Take the Kindle, for example, which supports most e-book formats, but not all. Those that the eReader does not support can be converted to a format that it is capable of reading.

The AZW format

The primary format that Kindle is perhaps most comfortable with is the AZW format. This is the format that applies to all eBooks available in the Kindle Store. It is almost identical to the Mobi format and the reason behind this is that the AZW has its origins in the Mobi format. The latter was again created by the French company MobiPocket which Amazon had acquired and then designed the same in the main Kindle format.

Having said that, the Amazon AZW format is still a little different from Mobi in that the former has better compression, so the same AZW format e-book would take up less space than Mobi. Also, while the Mobi format is DRM free, AZW files are not.

Other supported formats

Besides AZW and Mobi, other eBook formats supported by Kindle include Microsoft Word File, Plain Text, Rich Text Format, HTML Page, Unprotected PRC, Compressed PostScript File, Adobe PDF ( not all PDF files are alike on Kindles), and HTML page. Additionally, Kindles is also capable of decrypting a few image file formats including JPEG, PNG, and BMP.

Audiobook formats

Kindles are also able to read audio books. The formats it supports include popular MP3 files. Any audiobook saved in MP3 format can be listened to using a Kinde e-reader. Then, of course, there are the Audible (AA) and Audible Enhanced (AAX) formats that Kindle is compatible with. All audiobooks from Audible, owned by Amazon, are available in the above file formats.

Formats not supported by Kindle

The open source EPUB format is the most notable omission here, so much so that there is active speculation that Amazon may change its mind about this format very soon. Other formats not compatible with Kindle include LIT and LRF, the latter being created by Sony.

Fortunately, there is software available that can be used to convert an unsupported format to one that Kindle easily recognizes. Among these are the Caliber or the Kindle Create.


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