The Kindle 2.5 upgrade dropped today, and I love that Amazon lets you update manally. My killer feature this time was going to be Collections, with the promise that you could finally arrange your content into folders. I'm not sure why this was never present on a device that could hold like 1500 books and is based on Linux, but it wasn't.
Here's what I was expecting: when you connect your Kindle via USB, it shows up as a drive. Open the Kindle drive and there are three folders–audible, documents and music. I'm expecting to be able to open documents, create a folder, and drag my content into the folder. Standard stuff on pretty much anything these days. Much like any other OS, when I arrange the display by title, the collections/folders would be on top in aplhabetical order, and anything not in a subfolder would follow, also in alphabetical order.
Here's the reality: Collections can only be created through the Kindle menu. Documents can be added to Collections by using the 5-way controller to highlight the document, nudging the 5-way to the right to expose a "right-click" menu, then choosing "Add to a Collection". You're then presented with a list of available collections, and you can choose the collection. Repeat for every document you want to organize. I imagine in someone's mind this was a cool idea so you could put a document in multiple Collections, but why when you could already tag documents with multiple tags, and then selectively display content by tag.
The real annoyance is sorting the home screen. If you sort by collections, the Collections show up alphabetically, and anything in a Collection does not appear. Anything not in a Collection is organized in some other non-alphabetical fashion. If you sort by title, Collections show in line with the rest of the content, and all titles–even the ones in a Collection–are listed as well.
Collections are not folders–they are simply metadata the UI uses to arrange items. After you create a Collection, there is no subfolder. No one has ever accused Amazon.com of having a great UI experience, and it seems they're going to carry that experience through to the Kindle.