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#1
Old 04-01-2014, 10:01 PM
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Convert Audible.com book to mp3?

I googled on this question and got a zillion answers and offers of software to perform this task.

I've downloaded my book into iTunes, but the audible format is something called "aa" (possibly because it drives you to drink) or "aax." I want to listen to it on my BlackBerry. BlackBerry is not one of Audible.com's anointed devices. Excuse me for living.

So I've come to the repository of all Knowledge That Matters to ask: what's the best way to do this conversion. Thank you.
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#2
Old 04-01-2014, 11:50 PM
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You gotta use one of those software packages, but you may only legally do so if you reside outside the USA. Otherwise it would be a DMCA violation and also against SDMB rules to further discuss it... speech may be free but lawsuits aren't.
#3
Old 04-02-2014, 12:14 AM
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The wiki on audible says that you can burn it to a CD through iTunes, so there's your answer. Burn the files to a coupla cds and rip them as mp3s.

I hate companies that pull that shit. If you're going to charge me 12 dollars, fucking give me the damn file. If I'm really only renting it, then charge a few bucks, you assholes.
#4
Old 04-02-2014, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
The wiki on audible says that you can burn it to a CD through iTunes, so there's your answer. Burn the files to a coupla cds and rip them as mp3s.

I hate companies that pull that shit. If you're going to charge me 12 dollars, fucking give me the damn file. If I'm really only renting it, then charge a few bucks, you assholes.
If you purchase a real audiobook on CDs from a physical bookstore, it'll be way more expensive than the paper book. Audible charges much less (on the order of 10-15 dollars per book) precisely because they can tell the publishers that you won't be able to copy it too easily.

They do give you lots of flexibility in listening to it, and I can still re-download books I listened to 8 years ago onto devices I didn't have back then. So it's not rental... but not really ownership either.

To the OP, I'd recommend getting a cheap iPod or Audible-compatible MP3 player. Even though my Android phone can be used with Audible, it's too large and precious to use on a treadmill at the gym, and won't work with my car radio. So I got a (used) iPod Nano for this purpose.

Last edited by Heracles; 04-02-2014 at 06:29 AM.
#5
Old 04-02-2014, 06:37 AM
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I am a long time Audible customer. While you can use iTunes to convert the books to a stupid number of CDs (which I used to do), you can also buy software like TuneConvert which will convert each Audible file into one massive MP3. I then use the free Audio Book Cutter to slice it into 10 minute tracks.

I find this the best length for finding where you are if you restart an audiobook.

Last edited by don't ask; 04-02-2014 at 06:37 AM.
#6
Old 04-02-2014, 08:31 AM
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Good answers, y'all. Thanks.

You're right, don't ask, breaking the book up into smaller chunks is the way to go.

Here's the thing that pisses me off the most: okay, so you're going to let me play your g.d. audio books only on the players YOU choose. Fine. Be proprietary. Whatever. But then don't discontinue the player *I* use (BlackBerry) just because it's not at the top of the heap anymore. At least give me a legacy option. But, NO. Grrrrr!

I do have an old iPod, but you know why I like my BlackBerry music player better? Precisely because the player window (even for audio files) has the same type of player window that you see on YouTube, with a "play" and "pause" button AND a slider that shows where you are in the file. So you can back up a few minutes or seconds (something you can't do on an iPod), plus if you shut it off in the middle, you just note where you are (i.e., 10:42) and when you restart it the next day, push the slider to that spot on the timeline and pick up where you left off.
#7
Old 04-02-2014, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heracles View Post
If you purchase a real audiobook on CDs from a physical bookstore, it'll be way more expensive than the paper book. Audible charges much less (on the order of 10-15 dollars per book) precisely because they can tell the publishers that you won't be able to copy it too easily.

They do give you lots of flexibility in listening to it, and I can still re-download books I listened to 8 years ago onto devices I didn't have back then. So it's not rental... but not really ownership either.

To the OP, I'd recommend getting a cheap iPod or Audible-compatible MP3 player. Even though my Android phone can be used with Audible, it's too large and precious to use on a treadmill at the gym, and won't work with my car radio. So I got a (used) iPod Nano for this purpose.
You can only listen to Audible books while logged into that account. If you cancel your account, you can't listen to them. So it is rental, really.
#8
Old 04-02-2014, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
You can only listen to Audible books while logged into that account. If you cancel your account, you can't listen to them. So it is rental, really.
If you download the books and put them in iTunes or on a player, you can listen to them forever. Maybe you mean that if you log out of your audible.com account, you can no longer access your "library" at audible.com? All the more reason to download those babies immediately and store them somewhere.
#9
Old 04-02-2014, 08:48 AM
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There is a discussion of this issue on the Crackberry site from May 2013 here for anyone who is interested. Not clear from that thread whether Audible is to blame for pulling the BB app, or whether BB is to blame for not wanting to play nice with Audible. <sigh>
#10
Old 04-02-2014, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
I do have an old iPod, but you know why I like my BlackBerry music player better? Precisely because the player window (even for audio files) has the same type of player window that you see on YouTube, with a "play" and "pause" button AND a slider that shows where you are in the file. So you can back up a few minutes or seconds (something you can't do on an iPod), plus if you shut it off in the middle, you just note where you are (i.e., 10:42) and when you restart it the next day, push the slider to that spot on the timeline and pick up where you left off.
It won't remember your position for you? Most devices that play audiobooks will either remember your position (true of any official Audible-approved device I've ever used) or allow you to set bookmarks. It'd be a PITA otherwise.
#11
Old 04-02-2014, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
If you download the books and put them in iTunes or on a player, you can listen to them forever. Maybe you mean that if you log out of your audible.com account, you can no longer access your "library" at audible.com? All the more reason to download those babies immediately and store them somewhere.
It may well have improved in the last two years, because technology changes so quickly, but downloading via anything other than itunes was a complete and utter arse that took many hours. And itunes didn't work on my smartphone.

If you have to download via another programme, that does constitute renting rather than buying.
#12
Old 04-02-2014, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
You can only listen to Audible books while logged into that account. If you cancel your account, you can't listen to them. So it is rental, really.
This is not true, except perhaps in a very limited way, unless I'm misinformed.

As ThelmaLou noted, anything you buy from Audible, you can download and keep. You could burn it to CDs or copy it to a cheap MP3 player that has no way of knowing whether you've cancelled your account or not. So there's that.

If I understand correctly, your account with Audible is your account with Amazon; as long as you have one, you have the other. It only makes sense to me that, if you no longer had this account, they'd no longer let you download or stream the audiobooks you bought, because how would they know you're the one who bought them?

A membership with Audible is what you have to pay for (a monthly charge, that gets you one or more credits), and that's what you might cancel if you decided you no longer wanted to pay for it. Since you can buy from Audible even without a membership (though it's more expensive then), I assume you can still access everything you've bought if you've cancelled your membership.


If anyone's really bothered by Audible.com's DRM, there are other sites that sell DRM-free downloadable audiobooks (e.g. Downpour and Tantor), but they don't have nearly as large a selection.


On preview, I find your later comment, "If you have to download via another programme, that does constitute renting rather than buying," nonsensical.
#13
Old 04-02-2014, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
It won't remember your position for you? Most devices that play audiobooks will either remember your position (true of any official Audible-approved device I've ever used) or allow you to set bookmarks. It'd be a PITA otherwise.
Yes, it "remembers" your place, unless you play something else in the meantime, or accidentally hit the dial. It's a flawed system at best. Some mp3 files don't have stopping places within them, so if for some reason you DON'T go right back to that same file and pick up right where you left off, you're stuck with listening to an hour's worth of the same thing over again until you get to where you stopped before. Also, I like to be able to manually back up (as one could once do with a tape) and listen to something over.

I've not had the option of setting bookmarks in any listening device I've owned. (But then, being a BlackBerry user bookmarks me as being way behind the times.)

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 04-02-2014 at 09:44 AM.
#14
Old 04-02-2014, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
This is not true, except perhaps in a very limited way, unless I'm misinformed.

As ThelmaLou noted, anything you buy from Audible, you can download and keep. You could burn it to CDs or copy it to a cheap MP3 player that has no way of knowing whether you've cancelled your account or not. So there's that.

If I understand correctly, your account with Audible is your account with Amazon; as long as you have one, you have the other. It only makes sense to me that, if you no longer had this account, they'd no longer let you download or stream the audiobooks you bought, because how would they know you're the one who bought them?

A membership with Audible is what you have to pay for (a monthly charge, that gets you one or more credits), and that's what you might cancel if you decided you no longer wanted to pay for it. Since you can buy from Audible even without a membership (though it's more expensive then), I assume you can still access everything you've bought if you've cancelled your membership.


If anyone's really bothered by Audible.com's DRM, there are other sites that sell DRM-free downloadable audiobooks (e.g. Downpour and Tantor), but they don't have nearly as large a selection.


On preview, I find your later comment, "If you have to download via another programme, that does constitute renting rather than buying," nonsensical.
If I download audible audiobooks onto my phone, and then cancel the account, no, I can't access them any more.
#15
Old 04-02-2014, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
If I download audible audiobooks onto my phone, and then cancel the account, no, I can't access them any more.
Wow. That's interesting. I have books in iTunes and on my old iPod from years ago. Is there something special about downloading to a phone? Or is it different when you use an "app"? Does the app maintain some kind of wireless umbilical connection to the audible site?
#16
Old 04-02-2014, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Wow. That's interesting. I have books in iTunes and on my old iPod from years ago. Is there something special about downloading to a phone? Or is it different when you use an "app"? Does the app maintain some kind of wireless umbilical connection to the audible site?
I think it does, yeah. Not that you have to be online all the time you're listening, but if you go to your files and try to open an old one, it won't work if you're not logged in.

It might be OK on an iPhone for all I know, but not android, or at least not the Samsung S2.
#17
Old 04-02-2014, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
I think it does, yeah. Not that you have to be online all the time you're listening, but if you go to your files and try to open an old one, it won't work if you're not logged in.

It might be OK on an iPhone for all I know, but not android, or at least not the Samsung S2.
Well, when you download into iTunes and then load onto phone, it's there forever and the umbilical cord is cut. I've manually transferred a couple of Great Courses recordings from iTunes to my BlackBerry Bold using the usb cable, not any "sync" process or app. I can play them on my BB just fine.

The connection you are experiencing sounds nefarious to me. (But then I've just watched three episodes of Midsomer Murders in a row, so everything strikes me as nefarious.)
#18
Old 04-02-2014, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Is there something special about downloading to a phone? Or is it different when you use an "app"? Does the app maintain some kind of wireless umbilical connection to the audible site?
Relatively recently, Amazon/Audible has been offering "Whispersync" on some of their titles, so that, if you own both the Audible audio and Kindle ebook versions of a book, it will remember where you stopped listening/reading on one device and allow you to pick up at the same point on a different device. Of course, it can only do this if the devices are connected (to the internet or the Audible site or whatever).

I also seem to recall seeing that Audible has recently started offering streaming audio on some devices, which of course would only work if you have a connection.

Still, I'm surprised by SciFiSam's claim that you can't listen to old files if you're not logged in. I did a little bit of poking around in Audible's FAQs but couldn't find anything addressing the issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
I think it does, yeah. Not that you have to be online all the time you're listening, but if you go to your files and try to open an old one, it won't work if you're not logged in.
I assume you mean these are files that still exist on your device—they don't need to be redownloaded?
#19
Old 04-02-2014, 01:32 PM
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There is some confusion between an Audible membership and an Audible account in this thread. Your audiobooks remain in your Audible account if you cancel your Audible membership (monthly credit plan) and you can continue to access them through the Audible app or download them to your computer via iTunes and transfer them to any compatible device.

I suppose it's possible to have a hissy fit and insist that Audible disable your account and then you'd have no access to purchased audiobooks, but I have no idea why anyone would want do that.
#20
Old 04-02-2014, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
<snip>...
If anyone's really bothered by Audible.com's DRM, there are other sites that sell DRM-free downloadable audiobooks (e.g. Downpour and Tantor), but they don't have nearly as large a selection.
I just went to Downpour and got the book I wanted, for $20.00+. But I really do want to listen while I'm walking... it's for my book club and this is likely the only way I'll get it done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
It won't remember your position for you? Most devices that play audiobooks will either remember your position (true of any official Audible-approved device I've ever used) or allow you to set bookmarks. It'd be a PITA otherwise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Yes, it "remembers" your place, unless you play something else in the meantime, or accidentally hit the dial. It's a flawed system at best. Some mp3 files don't have stopping places within them, so if for some reason you DON'T go right back to that same file and pick up right where you left off, you're stuck with listening to an hour's worth of the same thing over again until you get to where you stopped before. Also, I like to be able to manually back up (as one could once do with a tape) and listen to something over.

I've not had the option of setting bookmarks in any listening device I've owned. (But then, being a BlackBerry user bookmarks me as being way behind the times.)
From my further research, I gather that the function of setting bookmarks is not due to the device, but to the file format. When I was downloading from Downpour, it gave me the option of an MP3 or an M4b. The latter apparently has the option of setting bookmarks.

I wasn't 100% sure an M4b would play on my BlackBerry... I downloaded that format first and the icon that appeared on the desktop of my computer had the Quicktime symbol on it. EEEEKKKK!! I covered my BlackBerry's eyes and ears and ran screaming from the room.

Ultimately I chose MP3 because I'm so tired of screwing around with this that I could cry. In fact, I did actually cry during this process. From sheer frustration.

Thanks for all the help. I'm going to lie down with a cold compress on my eyes for a while.

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 04-02-2014 at 01:34 PM.
#21
Old 04-02-2014, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
From my further research, I gather that the function of setting bookmarks is not due to the device, but to the file format.
Well, some of each. MP3 files aren't specifically designed to support bookmarks the way some other formats are, but there's no reason a device's software couldn't keep track of the position you left off playing. There might be an app available for your Blackberry that plays MP3 files and supports bookmarking, but I'm not familiar with Blackberry.
#22
Old 04-02-2014, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Well, some of each. MP3 files aren't specifically designed to support bookmarks the way some other formats are, but there's no reason a device's software couldn't keep track of the position you left off playing. There might be an app available for your Blackberry that plays MP3 files and supports bookmarking, but I'm not familiar with Blackberry.
The player that was already on my BB lets me stop in the middle and then move the slider to that point (as I described above) when I want to listen again. That's close enough for me. I'm not in a frame of mine to search for or download anything else.
#23
Old 04-02-2014, 05:20 PM
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It's very easy to keep your place booked on your Ipod. Most book files will do so automatically. If it doesn't and MP3'may not default to it, just right click on the file in Itunes, select get info, select the options tab, tick remember playback position, that'll do it.
#24
Old 04-02-2014, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DeptfordX View Post
It's very easy to keep your place booked on your Ipod. Most book files will do so automatically. If it doesn't and MP3'may not default to it, just right click on the file in Itunes, select get info, select the options tab, tick remember playback position, that'll do it.
It's not that the iPod doesn't remember where you stopped. As I said above, it does. But if you accidentally click on the right side of the wheel so that you've accidentally advanced to the next chapter when you didn't intend to, and there are no built-in stopping places within a chapter, you will have to go back to the beginning of the chapter. And this could be 15-20 minutes. I know. This has happened to me with numerous audiobooks. Yes, usually it will go back to the place where you left off, all things being equal. This function is limited in its flexibility. Actually, it has no flexibility.

My BlackBerry player lets you use the timeline bar like the one you find (for example) at the bottom of a YouTube playback window so you can go anywhere you want to in the recording. This function also lets you "rewind," which is something you can't do on the iPod or on a cd.

ETA. Anyway, I'm not listening in iTunes. I'm usually in my car or walking.

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 04-02-2014 at 05:36 PM.
#25
Old 04-02-2014, 06:07 PM
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I've been using Audible for awhile now. Mainly for sitting in traffic in the DC area. That being said, I know I can move around within a chapter and skip by predetermined amounts. You can also bookmark as well, which is why I am surprised people are complaining.

Maybe some were using an old or outdated version of Audible, or, simply don't know how to use it? I really like how if I gave not listened to a book in awhile it actually will skip back a little to get one back in to where you left off. I thought that was nifty.
#26
Old 03-29-2017, 02:26 AM
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the best way to convert audible AAX/AA to MP3

As far as I know, the Audible AA/AAX are protected audio files. Probably the normal audio converter that you can find online are not able to do the conversion.
There are some program claim that they can convert AAX to MP3 even if the audiobooks are DRM-locked. You can give it a try.
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