New Kindle Voyage & DeDRM

Old "Kindle Keyboard"
Old “Kindle Keyboard”

The old Kindle Keyboard I bought four years ago and use the heck out of had been acting “hinky” for the last year or so. First it had gotten to the point that it wasn’t holding a charge as long as it once did. Worse with the massive number of books I kept stored in it, it would occasionally freak out. I suspect the database of metadata was getting corrupted and on waking the kindle up, the home screen would only display a few books, and then go about updating its database (which took forever) until it would eventually display all my books again. Even after I significantly removed the amount of books I was storing on the device, this still happened every once in a while, and waiting for the device to get its bearings so that I could continue reading my latest book was getting to be a pain.

New Kindle Voyage
New Kindle Voyage

On Christmas I had received a bunch of Amazon gift cards, and it finally placed purchasing one of the new Kindle Voyage e-ink readers that I have been coveting for so long in reach. I finally bit the bullet and got one, and so far am really loving it. I won’t go into all the new and awesome features here, as there are a ton of sites that do that. What I want to talk about is DRM.

As many know I like to keep a DRM free copy of books that I own on my computer so that I can read them on whatever platform or device I may choose. I don’t distribute or sell these of course, nor do I condone that. But for those who like me want control over their own purchases, they may find this useful.

I use the DeDRM tools from Apprentice Alf that are designed to work easily with the excellent ebook management tool Calibre so that when I backup books from my Kindle to my computer the DRM is automatically removed. As I suspected would happen, when importing books purchased on the Voyage I found the DRM was no longer being removed. I updated to the lastest version of the DeDRM tools, and tried again and this was still the case. Then I recalled I would have to configure the tools for my Kindle. It had been a while since I had done this, so if any others have similar issues, here’s what you’ve got to do:

First: get the serial number of your new e-ink Kindle. These seem to be 15 digits and start with “B0….”. The number is printed on the box the kindle is shipped in (for my voyage it was the number labeled DSN, but shows an extra letter at the end). The best way to find this though is having your Kindle display it. You can do this on the Voyage by going to the Home screen. Then click on the menu button in the top toolbar and click on the “Settings” option. With the main settings screen displayed, click on the menu button in the toolbar again. Click on “Device Info” option. Your Serial Number will display in the “Device Info” pop up that will appear along with other useful info.

Screenshot of Calibre's DeDRM plugin Configuration
Screenshot of Calibre’s DeDRM plugin Configuration

Second: Add the serial number of your e-ink kindle to the configuration of the DeDRM plugin in Calibre. (See screenshot to the right.) In Calibre click on the Preferences button (looks like gears). In the Advanced section of the Preferences screen click on the Plugins button (looks like a puzzle piece). Expand the File Type Plugins tree. Select DeDRM plugin from the list and then click on the “Customize Plugin” button at the bottom of the screen (or just double-click on the DeDRM plugin). In the Customize DeDRM popup, click on the “eInk Kindle ebooks” button. Click the “+” plus sign. A popup will open asking for the serial number of your new kindle.

Once this is done, whenever you import a new book from your Kindle into your Calibre library the DRM should be removed properly. Worked for me anyway.

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