Of course I had to get a Kindle Fire as soon as it came out.
And of course I had to root the device just a day later, as soon as an exploit was discovered.
Everything went well, or so I thought. I popped into bed and thought I’d watch a little Arrested Development before dozing off, courtesy of Amazon’s free streaming videos for Prime members. But the “Watch now” link was greyed out, and I saw a little informational link that said, “Why can’t I play or download?” Clicking it revealed the cryptic message, “Your device is no longer configured to play video content.”
Really, Amazon? Really? Just because I rooted a device that I own, which is my right, for perfectly legitimate reasons, you’re going to kick me out of Prime videos? Lame.
Fortunately, I found a workaround. There’s an app in the Android Market called Voodoo OTA Root Keeper. It’s free, and it will let you “unroot” your device after rooting it.
The tricky part for some people will be that the app isn’t in the Amazon App Marketplace. That’s OK – you have a rooted device, and you may have already sideloaded the Android Marketplace.
But if not, here’s one way you can get the OTA RootKeeper app onto your Kindle.
1. First, install it to your phone using the Android Marketplace. Also install an app called Astro, it has app backup capabilities.
2. Then start up Astro on your phone & tell it to “back up” OTA Root Keeper. (And any other package that you want to move to your Kindle Fire.) Take note of where you choose to back the files up – maybe create a directory on your SD card called “backups.”
3. Now that the apps are backed up, move them off your phone using Astro’s networking capability or by connecting your phone to your computer.
4. Get the backed up files on to your Fire in some way. The easiest may be by connecting it to your PC.
5. Now install Astro on your Kindle Fire. (It’s in the Amazon App Store.) Check that – Astro is NOT in the Amazon Store. Instead, install a package called “File Expert.” It’s like Astro, only different. Use the file manager functionality to browse to the packages you just backed up from your phone. Click each package file and watch the Kindle Fire install each of the apps.
6. Now that you have OTA Root Keeper installed, you can start it up & choose to temporarily “unroot” your device.
7. That’s it. Videos should now stream once again. (Note: You may have to reboot your Fire. I didn’t have to, but some people have reported having to do so.) And you can get root back at any time by running OTA Root Keeper & undoing the un-rooting.
What irks me about Amazon blocking streaming to rooted devices is that it makes no sense. What, do they think I’m going to configure my 8GB device (with 6 GB of effective storage) to “rip” the complete works of Richard Dean Anderson and then burn them off to DVD’s or something? What a pain the ass that would be. There are much, much, much easier ways to “acquire” these files, believe me.
No, Amazon, I want root on my device so I can run a VNC server. And an SSH daemon. I find them to be incredibly useful tools, and they don’t work without root access. Believe me, I have better things to do than steal content from you. That’s why I paid you good money for this, my third Kindle, and it’s why I continue to buy books & periodicals from you. Hey, I also pay for Prime membership. And I “subscribe and save” to a bunch of grocery items. And I buy lots of other stuff, too. In fact, when someone wants to give me a gift & asks what sort of gift card I would like, I always say “I can always use Amazon gift cards.”
I’m not really offended or anything, I’m more confused. The restriction seems so… pointless.