I had originally planned to do a straightforward post about what I loved and didn’t about my Kindle Fire HD 6. I got it in the spring, and have been getting to know it for a few months. My experience so far has been awesome…and awful.
As far as the device itself goes, it’s a love love relationship. As my first tablet, it far outpaces any smartphone I’ve had in the slick, sharp, fun, and cool departments. It’s an absolute joy to use. Unlike most people I need/want smaller screens. My weird eyes need less darting about, which kept me away from tablets, until I saw a random add for a new 6″ Fire on Amazon. I was always looking for a way to paperless proofread. This Fire solved that problem for me, as I explained in this post . While that and reading with a lighted screen were the main reasons I loved it, I quickly discovered so much more.
First, it’s really nice to look at. The screen is bright and sharp. That’s saying a lot, considering how low I like to keep the brightness of my screens. The sound is good on headphones. All this formed background for my great discovery: Amazon Instant Video. I loved that I could buy music or download what I already owned from the cloud, with the nice big cover art display and some albums coming with scrolling lyrics, but being able to watch video was an awesome extra. Even being careful with usage of my data on the Fire’s WiFi connection, I soon had the Despicable Me 2 Mini Minions Movie Collection, one of my favorite Futuramas (the one where Lord Nibbler kidnaps Fry and takes him to Eternium, where he finds out he’s needed to save the universe…with the eventual aid of Scootie-Puff Sr.), and a free extra featurette from The King’s Speech. These kept me occupied for some time.
Then it all started going south when I was browsing, and accidentally bought a Bugs Bunny season. Oops! What the heck, though. I like Bugs and friends, and it would be cool to download it to my computer to watch whenever I want. Right? Oh, so wrong. I couldn’t find a way to download it to my computer.
I had to be me missing some little something. So I went online and started digging through Help stuff. That led me to the extremely frustrating and disappointing news that the videos can not be downloaded to computers! What the–? Turns out there had been software available from Amazon that did just that…until they discontinued it shortly before I needed it! Leaving the videos only downloadable onto Amazon devices. Streaming only on other devices.
One of those anvil to the head
It gets worse. Due to a dearth of choices, I use a limited data WiFi hotspot as my internet service. So streaming is so out. I thought downloading a few Bugs Bunny 2 episode chunks a month would be an extremely annoying solution. But no.
It gets worse again.
When I looked into the downloading options, there’s a recommendation to download the entire season immediately, because even though it’s all supposed to stay in the cloud something could happen and you’d lose access. Oookay.
Now I know that if I download it all at once it will burn through my data, and if I don’t I may lose it. The. Video. Content. I. Have. Bought. I can’t stream, due to the limited nature of my data allowance. Okay, so let’s say I decide the lesser of evils would be to just download as much as I can, as often as I can, and try to enjoy my videos I’m starting to resent.
Well, that’s a great idea! Not!
So, the more you dig into all this detaily stuff, the more you feel the quicksand start to undermine the solid ground you thought you stood on. For when you order the Fire you can get 8GB or the more expensive 16GB. I chose the former, thinking that would be plenty of space for my music, video, app, and book needs on that particular device. I still think that. Only when I was doing my Help digging did I discover that my 8GB of storage is actually a lot less than that in available storage. Now, I know quite a bit about computer stuff, but it never occurred to me that there would be that big a difference between actual storage and available storage.
Some little annoying things, like having no ability to have cool wallpaper on the lockscreen and having to actually pay extra to keep from getting ads as your lock screen image were minor annoyances, especially when I got such a great Kindle/tablet combo for such a great price. This business of needing to download a whole season of something to ensure I can keep the videos I own, yet having so little actual storage that it would crowd or firestorm what I had left after getting so many awesome free App of the Day downloads…well, frustrating is putting it lightly.
I’ve downloaded my favorites of Bugs, and may do the rest a little at a time, watch, delete, then leave them to fend for themselves in the cloud and hope they’re still there if Amazon ever decides to give us back the ability to download them to a computer. Streaming is huge now and those of us who can’t do it are going to face being left out of the, well, stream. As things stand I’m going to have to give up buying video for my Fire, when I run out of room to store it there. I’ve looked into Google Play, but they don’t allow download to computers either. I guess if I want a series on my laptop enough
I’ll have to buy it on DVD with a digital copy, and download it a little at a time. At least the only worry I’d have about the physical copy disappearing is if I lost the DVD.
I really do love my Fire HD 6″. It does a lot, beautifully, and makes my tech loving side happy. That something as “simple” as wanting to enjoy videos on it is so complicated and frustrating is more trouble than it’s worth. Almost. That gorgeous screen….