You Don’t Have To Download Everything To Your Fire or Kindle – in fact, you shouldn’t

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I’ve posted about the whole Cloud Library vs. Device Library concept before, but since I keep seeing confusion about it in various discussion groups and in questions from readers, and a bunch of people are sure to get new Fire tablets and Kindle ereaders as holiday gifts, I figured it’s a good time to cover this topic again.

 

 

Stop Downloading All Your Content To Your Mobile Device – That’s Not How This Works
I recently got a message from a reader who’s fed up with the chore of copying or downloading all her content from an old device every time she gets a new one. I asked her why she’s downloading everything in the first place. Because you don’t have to, ever, and in fact you’re not supposed to.

Even when they include SD card slots, our mobile devices have memory limitations. They’re not intended to warehouse all of the user’s digital content, that’s the Cloud Library’s job.

 

 

Cloud Library vs. Device
An analogy that clears this up for most people pretty quickly is this: email.

You can access your email account from any computer or mobile device that has web connectivity, but your entire “filing cabinet” of emails is stored on a central server by your email provider, not on any of the devices you use to access it. Similarly, you can access your Amazon Cloud Library from your devices or computer, but that Library is stored on one of Amazon’s servers.

You can download or print copies of your emails, but deleting or throwing away those copies has no effect on the original, which will remain on the centralized email server until or unless you delete it from within your email program or site. Similarly, you can download copies of your digital content items from your Cloud Library, but deleting those copies has no effect on the originals, which remain in your Amazon Cloud Library.

When it comes to your device, you’re only supposed to download copies of the specific content you intend to use in the near future. It’s kind of like checking items out from the public library: you check out the things you want to use right away, but the rest of the library’s books, videos, records and so on will still be there when you go back to return your items and get something different.

Imagine if, in order to check anything out from a brick-and-mortar library, you were required to back up a big rig and load up the library’s entire inventory of books, videos and other content, and take it home with you. If you’re downloading your entire digital content library every time you get a new device, that’s essentially what you’re doing.

 

Don’t Worry, Your Cloud Library Is Safe
Amazon employs an army of technicians to keep their servers up and running with virtually no down time, and maintains scrupulous backups. Sure, there are the occasional technical difficulties that can interrupt access to any website or digital content service, but those incidents are very few and far between. In contrast, your own devices are far less secure–they can be lost, stolen or broken, and their batteries will die eventually—and cannot offer a guarantee of 100% uptime in perpetuity.

Amazon keeps a record of every piece of digital content you’ve ever bought or otherwise received from them, so your ability to access or download every piece of digital content has no expiration date. Whether you got it yesterday or five years ago, it’ll be right there in your Cloud Library until or unless you purposely delete it.

 

 

Don’t Worry, Accidental Deletions From Your Cloud Library Are Unlikely
You may be thinking that storing everything on your device will prevent accidental deletions from your Cloud Library, because so long as you never delete anything from the device you’ll know nothing’s been deleted from your Cloud Library. If so, you’re overthinking it.

The links used to delete from the Cloud on your mobile device, which means permanently deleting something from your Cloud Library, very clearly indicate they are for deleting from the Cloud (as shown in the screenshot above). And if you tap such a link by accident, don’t worry: a confirmation box will pop up to ask you to confirm the deletion and give you a chance to cancel the request:

 

 

Let’s say you’re not paying close attention and accidentally confirm a deletion when you didn’t mean to. Even then, I’m pretty sure if you immediately call Amazon Customer Support they can restore that content to your Cloud Library, because they will still have a record of your original purchase.

 

Use your Cloud Library as it’s intended. It’ll save you a lot of time and hassle.

 

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