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Listening to music on the Kindle

April 7, 2010

The only multitasking that the iPad can perform is listening to music stored on the device (not streaming from the browser or an App such as Pandora). Well, your Kindle can do that, too.

There are two ways music can be stored on the Kindle–but only one, currently, allows listening to music while you read your eBooks.

Basic Instructions:

  1. Connect the Kindle to the computer via the USB cable. “AutoPlay” dialog box will open
  2. Choose “Open folder to view files” (dialog box may differ slightly based on one’s operating system).
  3. Drag your desired mp3 files into the “music”  folder

Shortcuts/Audio player controls

  • Start/stop: ALT + Spacebar
  • Skip to the next mp3 file:  ALT + F
  • Pause:  Spacebar

Notes about the Kindle music player

The Kindle currently only plays music files in the .mp3 format. If you have the CD of the music you wish to transfer, rip the tracks into .mp3 format. If you do not have the CD, or if you already have ripped the tracks into a different format , you can easily convert the tracks to .mp3 format:

  • iTunes software:  follow this help link to convert your aac files
  • Free MP3 WMA Converter (Version 1.9):  this small, free software can be downloaded here and will convert any music format (e.g. wmv, aac, flac, wav, ogg, etc) into mp3 format.

    Instructions:

    –  Open the program. Drag files to be converted into the window (or click the + icon).
    – Select “Mp3” as the “Output format”
    – If your Kindle connected via the USB, you can choose to save the converted files directly in the “music” folder on the Kindle
    – For the “Format parameter” option, keep the default 128 Kbps or choose a lower bit rate (and smaller file size) such as 96 Kbps
    – Click the “Convert” button.

Playlists

The Kindle plays your mp3’s in the order in which they were added to your Kindle.

To marginalize this limitation, there is a way–roundabout, but easy and effective–to make individual playlists for your Kindle music. This also has the benefit of removing the slight pop sound that occurs when the Kindle player moves to the next track in your music folder. We will create our playlists by merging selected music tracks into individual mp3 tracks.

  1. Download the free software (less than 1 Mb). The program does not install on your computer–simply unzip MergeMP3.exe from inside the ZIP file, place it into any directory/location you choose and execute it by double-clicking.
  2. Add the Mp3 music tracks (in the order you wish to combine them)
  3. Select “File” -> “Merge” and then choose the location (e.g. your Kindle “music” folder) to save the new Mp3.  [note:  if you receive an error, select “View” -> “Preferences”, check the box next to “Merge using raw stream mode” and re-do Step 3.

Final comments

No one is suggesting that the Kindle is a multimedia player, but even with its current, rudimentary music player, one can effectively listen to music via headphones or the built-in speakers while reading or by itself.

Classical–particularly Yo-Yo Ma–is my prefered reading music in quiet settings (or when putting the toddler and baby down at bedtime). In louder or more distracting environments, I often find white noise or other ‘sound-machine-type’ sounds pumped via my headphones to be better suited. Grab 75-minute tracks such as “White noise”, “Ocean Surf”, “Rain”, and more for just 99 cents at Amazon.com.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2010 3:00 am

    lol amazing stuff man.

  2. August 13, 2011 3:10 pm

    I keep getting a screen that says USB Drive Mode telling me to eject the kindle from the computer and nothing I push makes that screen go away. I’m trying to get music files transferred from my computer to the Kindle.

  3. August 14, 2011 6:34 pm

    Great work around! Thanks.

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