Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments
NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

use Perl Log In

Log In

[ Create a new account ]

rjbs (4671)

rjbs
  (email not shown publicly)
http://rjbs.manxome.org/
AOL IM: RicardoJBSignes (Add Buddy, Send Message)
Yahoo! ID: RicardoSignes (Add User, Send Message)

I'm a Perl coder living in Bethlehem, PA and working Philadelphia. I'm a philosopher and theologan by training, but I was shocked to learn upon my graduation that these skills don't have many associated careers. Now I write code.

Journal of rjbs (4671)

Monday February 04, 2008
09:08 AM

audible.com itunes stupidity

[ #35572 ]

Ages ago, I got an Audible membership. Three days each week, I walk about half an hour to the bus and about half an hour home. For most of the year, I can spend that time reading a book. In the winter, though, it's just too cold. My fingers freeze, even if I read with one hand in my pocket and switch back and forth. Audible sells audiobooks, and I can listen to them on my iPod while I walk. They have a subscription model where get one or two credits each month, and each credit can be exchanged for one book. Sometimes, this is an okay deal: you pay $15 per month and get a $25 copy of the abridged version of a popular novel. Sometimes, it is a great deal: you get a $40 copy of a twenty-five hour classic.

I cancelled my old membership when winter ended, but my sister got me a gift certificate for Christmas (because I'd asked for one) and I signed up again. I got in on a promotional rate of about $7 per month. This week, I downloaded the 41 hour unabridged audiobook of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, volume one... for $7.

Audible lets you download files in their .aa format, which is basically an MP3 wrapped up in some DRM. I'm not a fan of restricted media files, but Audible has such good deals that I don't mind. iTunes has a plugin that lets you authorize your computer to play your Audible tracks. Ever since I rejoined, it's been giving me grief: I try to play a track and I have to re-enter my password. After that, all my Audible files will play until I quit, when I have to re-enter my password again.

It's not some easy six character password, either, it's a big monster generated by 1Password.

I was concerned that I'd broken something in my account, the way I broke things (I think) by stripping PPC and certain languages from Mail.app. I hadn't touched anything since I reinstalled, though! Why was this happening?

I had a heck of a time finding information on this until I stumbled across this blog post that pointed out the undisclosed fact that when you authorize iTunes to play your Audible content, you must be logged in as an administrator. I have no idea why. Maybe it stores your token somewhere in /Library. I am pretty damned sure that no matter what the reason, the reason is stupid.

Anyway, I'm pretty annoyed at Audible about this, but not annoyed enough to write them off forever. I mean, even at their normal rate, $15 for a forty hour audiobook is a pretty great deal. Maybe I'll even stay subscribed through the summer, this year.

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
 Full
 Abbreviated
 Hidden
More | Login | Reply
Loading... please wait.
  • Did you see Thursday (IIRC) that Amazon is buying Audible?
    • I did see that! So far, it seems to have no impact on anything. Maybe eventually (ha!) audiobooks will be available as DRM-free mp3s. That would be nice. I mean, I imagine that I could go torrent most of the stuff I'm buying, it's just a hassle and I like to feel like I'm helping people stay employed. I just wish they'd help me, in return, keep my blood pressure down.

      We'll see!
      --
      rjbs
      • I don't think the purchase is final, so it'll likely be awhile before any real changes make it to the surface.

        Carl does something magic to turn his Audible stuff into MP3. I could ask him what he's using, if you want.
  • Hey, Ricardo...

    This requires Windows. I don't know how to do it on other platforms without capturing the audio in real-time.

    Audible has gone around and DMCA-threatened folks for posting details on how to do this, so I'll list the pieces... you can figure it out from there. (For the record, I do this to play on a non-DRM-enabled device.)

    dBpoweramp Music Converter + its WMA codec
    Audible's Windows Media Player plugin

    That will get you one big WAV file, at a fraction of playback speed, for each .aa file.

    I to s
  • Have you tried the audio books on eMusic? They are DRM-free MP3.
    • eMusic.com shows me one giant image that links to signup. I can't see any way to browse their offerings.

      I don't see any reason to sign up for Who Knows What.
      --
      rjbs
      • Hm, actually, after trying a bunch of links, I found it by going to About Us, then to the "Browse" tab.

        Good work, jerks.
        --
        rjbs
        • ...and then, for example, they have only the abridged version of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and they have only vols 1-2, of 3.
          --
          rjbs