Category: DMM U - Part 5

What Is Twitter Good For, Anyway?

Take it from the Digital Media Mom, Twitter is not the colossal waste of time you’ve been led to believe it is. True, many celebrities and teenagers have used it only for purposes of wasting their own and others’ time, but that’s not Twitter’s fault. Hard though it may be for you to believe, Twitter can be an amazingly powerful tool and resource you may soon find yourself using on a daily basis. Twitter Basics Twitter is one example of “social media”, which is really just a jargon-y way of saying “tool that facilitates communication between individuals and groups”. Blogs, online discussion groups, message boards and newsletters (whether online or the old fashioned, real-world type), group emails and even phone trees could all be classified as social media, depending on how they’re being used.

Can I Share Content From My Thingie?

This is a question I get pretty often, in many variations. “Can I share the movies on my iPad with my daughter, on her iPad?” “Can my wife use an app I bought for my Galaxy Tab on her Android smart phone?” “Can my roommate listen to the audiobook I got for my Kindle Fire on her own Kindle Fire after I’m done with it?”  The answer to the question of whether or not you can share content from your thingie with someone else’s thingie is twofold: It depends on the thingies, and the content. I can’t possibly address every portable device (the thingies) or every existing piece of content. So I’m going to deal in types of thingies and types of content.

Surviving A Kindle Fire Factory Reset – With Most Of Your Stuff Intact

If you’re here to answer the question of what happens to all your content when you get a new Fire, or when your Fire is lost or stolen, see my post Managing Your Kindle Content: Cloud vs. Device, Deleting and Storing Content. Relax: you will not have to re-purchase all your stuff. See the post for full details. What follows is a reprint of a post I originally wrote for Kindle Fire on Kindle Nation Daily, plus a few subsequent updates I’ve made, where indicated. It is reprinted here in its entirety with that site’s permission. When your Fire starts acting hinky, as mine did a couple months back, sometimes there’s nothing for it but to do a “factory reset”. This post is about how to tell when it’s necessary, how to do it, and how to preserve as much of your Fire’s content as possible in the process.

Kindle Email – Did You Know Your Kindle Has Its Own Email Address?

Your Kindle Can Read More Than Just Kindle Books Kindle books aren’t the only e-publications you can read on your Kindle or Fire. It can handle pdfs, text files and .mobi files without any extra steps, and Amazon will convert many other popular file formats (like .doc, the standard format for Microsoft Word documents) into Kindle format for you for FREE, too. You can get ebooks from sources other than Amazon, in formats other than .azw (Amazon’s proprietary file format for Kindle books), and email them as attachments from your personal email account to your Kindle device. You can do the same with personal documents like files from work or school, as well. Amazon doesn’t exactly keep this information secret, but it seems like most Kindle and Fire owners have no idea how to send anything other than Kindle books they’ve bought from Amazon to their Kindle devices. No worries,…

Printing From Kindle Fire, Printing From Android

Today’s post is brought to you by Weekly Shirts, where you can get the coolest custom-designed, limited edition shirts around. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support. 3/27/14 UPDATE: please see this more recent post on the same topic, which includes links to more printer apps that have been released since the time this post was originally written. Like most people who own one, I LOVE my Kindle Fire. But one area where Android tablet computers and smartphones fall short of their bigger, beefier PC, Mac and laptop counterparts is in printing. Android smartphones and tablets like the Fire aren’t designed to be connected to other devices with cables, like regular computers are. You can connect your Android device to a computer with a USB cable for file transfers, but unless your device has printer driver software installed (a program that…

Amazon Instant Video Restrictions

If you’ve taken advantage of the current DreamWorks Animation sale (**UPDATE: this limited time sale is now over) in the Amazon Instant Video store, and Kung Fu Pandawas among your purchases (at just $6.99, it should’ve been!), you were shown this warning before being allowed to complete the purchase: Don’t worry, this message isn’t as scary as it seems. What Does It Mean? Studios have licensing agreements with vendors like Amazon, Red Box, Netflix and other vendors who offer digital videos for sale and rent. Those agreements are sometimes subject to expiration dates. When the expiration date comes, the contract may or may not be renewed. If the licensing is not immediately renewed the vendor cannot offer the movie in question for sale or rent until a new agreement is made, and in rare cases, the vendor is prohibited from streaming the movie from its servers at all. Most contracts will be renewed eventually, but it’s…

Does Your Kindle Fire Need Virus Protection?

* * * Today’s post is brought to you by ESET Smart Security, the tech security product I’ve used for years and love. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support. * * * Note: Kindle Fire HDX owners, please see this more recent post, which is specific to the HDX line – Kindle Fire HDX Antivirus: Do You Need It? In a word, at this point in time (October 2014), assuming you haven’t hacked your Fire and don’t “sideload” apps to it, no. Not really. While it’s true that the Kindle Fire runs on the Android platform, and there have been numerous reports of hackers targeting phones that run on the Android platform, that doesn’t mean they’re also targeting your Kindle Fire. Here are the reasons why: The Kindle Fire runs on a custom, Amazon-proprietary version of…

Kindle Fire Tips: Text To Speech, Charger Options and Where’s My App?

My last post with Kindle Fire tips was such a hit, I figured y’all might like another! Text To Speech: Amazon Doesn’t Advertise It, But It’s Available On The Fire HD Line The first-generation Kindle Fire was rolled out without Text To Speech (TTS) functionality, which upset and annoyed the many fans of this feature. TTS is a feature that originated with the original, monochrome Kindle device. Where the publisher has enabled this feature, TTS reads the Kindle book aloud to you using text-recognition software and a computerized voice. It’s nowhere near as a good a reading as you’ll get with an audiobook narrated by a professional actor or voice actor, but for the sight-impaired it’s a godsend. Many Kindle owners who are not sight-impaired made regular use of TTS as well. When Amazon unveiled its new, HD line of Kindle Fire devices last year, TTS fans anxiously waited to hear if it…

Can’t Afford To Buy New Digital Media & Devices? Amazon’s Buyback Program Wants Your Used DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, Vinyl, Books & Electronics

It’s one thing to realize digital is the better, less expensive, more versatile and more portable way to go with your entertainment media, or to know the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” totally p0wns your first-generation Fire*, but you can’t do anything about it until you’ve got the means to buy that newer and better stuff. Amazon’s Semi-Secret Buyback Program Well you’re in luck, because in its quest to become Media & Retailing Master of the Universe, Amazon has launched a massive media and electronics buy back program. They don’t advertise it much, and they don’t make it particularly easy to find either, but Amazon’s buy back program allows you to send in your used stuff in exchange for Amazon store credit. Amazon even lets you look up your items first, to see what their trade-in values are, and provides a pre-paid postage label you can print out at home so that shipping costs are covered. All you…

Managing Your Amazon Instant Video Library

Amazon Videos: What’s It All About?! If you’re like me, you’ve bought some Amazon Videos of favorite movies and programs when they were on sale, and now you’re a little confused about what you can and can’t do with them. Once you’ve downloaded a video to your Fire tablet, does deleting it to free up space mean it’s gone forever? What’s all this Cloud business? And what’s up with the two-download and two-online licensing limits on purchased Amazon Videos? I’ve spent many an hour experimenting, reading Amazon Video help topics, experimenting with my own Amazon Video collection, and on the phone to Amazon customer support (three times) to finally get to the bottom of the purchased Amazon Video situation. I can boil it down to four simple topics: Buy, Stream, Download, and Delete.