Scida – Kindle Management App for Mac

Scida Kindle Manager for Mac

If there is something that is lacking for the kindle, it is book management.  Many people are like me and have increasingly large ebook libraries and no good way to manage them.  Calibre has been the main option.  I use Calibre primarily to convert books between format or to correct book metadata.  But I have always thought Calibre was missing the boat on device syncing and working with Amazon on document management.

Scida is a new app for Mac design to just manage Kindles, Kindle books and Kindle Collections.

Scida is trying something different from Calibre.  So when I first tried it out I was not sure what it did. It does not convert between formats, it does not download metadata for books (although you can correct book metadata).

screenshot_72Scida focus is syncing with the Kindle.  All you have to is plug in your kindle with the microUSB cord. A dialogue box will pop up and ask for permission to sync with that kindle and ask you if you want to name the kindle.

Once the kindle is named and permission given then Scida will look at the books on the Kindle.  You may also add any books that you currently have from outside of Amazon into Scida.

screenshot_77I have not used collections to organize my kindle books because creating a collection on a kindle is clunky and time consuming.  With Scida, you simply right click on the Kindle Icon, Add New Collection, Name the Collection and then add the books.  It is drag and drop and you can add one or more books at a time.  You can also move collections from your computer to your device.

The collection management does not work with Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Touch.  But you can still move books back and forth from your computer to your device.

screenshot_78You can also use Scida to monitor your storage space.  I keep my kindle fairly clean because I only want 50 to 100 books that I am going to read ‘soon’.  But I know many people like to keep virtually their entire kindle library on the their Kindle.

One feature that is missing is the ability to delete books from your device with Scida.  You can delete them using Finder, but not Scida.  The developer contacted me and said that cmd-delete works to delete books (and it does).

I also think it would be useful to get a metadata download system like Calibre has so that you can add cover art and other metadata easily.  But I do not edit my ebook metadata that often so it is not that useful for me.

One other thing that is minor, is that when you eject your kindle from Scida, it does not eject the kindle from your Mac.  So you still need to eject the kindle using the finder. (The developer said that this should work unless there is something accessing the kindle in the background.)

A fairly major problem, which I am not sure is Scida or Amazon, is that when you add a DRM book from one Kindle, and try to move it to another Kindle.  It shows that it has been moved, but it does not show up.  I suspected this would be the case because I have tried to directly move books previously.  But it would be useful to have a message that says, “you need to download a new copy of this book with an updated DRM” or something like that.

On the whole I think this a useful app.  It is only $5.99 right now.  I think that is reasonable, especially if you like to use collections. If Scida can figure out a way to easily move the DRM books from one kindle to another (registered to the same account) this would be an awesome app.

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The app developer provided me a copy of the app for testing.

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