How to convert Audible files to mp3 using open source or free software?
March 13, 2011 6:34 AM   Subscribe

How to convert Audible files to mp3 using open source or free software?

My girlfriend bought some Audible books without realizing that they are in some crippled DRM format, not mp3 (she maintains that they were advertised as mp3 before the sale, but their deceptive advertising is a separate question).

I'm trying to convert them to mp3, but the only options I've found so far require either paying money (Nero or SoundTaxi) or recording the files during playback (some are many hours long).

See e.g.

Does anyone know of any open source or free alternatives to the above?
posted by richb to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Is there an option to export them to CD? .wav files won't be encrypted, then you convert back to whatever you want. This is how we used to get around the encryption on iTunes files, before Apple finally gave up trying to encrypt music.
posted by COD at 6:47 AM on March 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yup - burn them to a CD and then rip the CD.
posted by brownrd at 6:57 AM on March 13, 2011

Response by poster: I need iTunes (what a pain) or Nero (costs money) to burn them to a CD (AFAIK), and we have 20h+ of files so we're talking about a significant number of CDs here. I may have to fall back on this option, but it's not ideal.
posted by richb at 7:58 AM on March 13, 2011 has a tutorial on how to convert Audible .aa files to mp3, which doesn't seem to require burning to CD. I haven't used it myself.
posted by bardophile at 8:22 AM on March 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Once upon a time (maybe five years ago or more) I found a (free) application online called Goldwave that opened audible files and then let you save them out in standard .mp3 format perfectly.

I just did a quick search and see that they're still around. I'm not sure if audible has cracked down on them or not, but it is definitely worth doing a bit of digging. If their current version doesn't work, I'm sure somebody out there has the version you need.

good luck.
posted by jimmereeno at 10:17 AM on March 13, 2011

Goldwave no longer supports the audible format. They received a cease and desist letter years ago.
posted by Gary at 1:17 AM on March 14, 2011

To be clear, Goldwave no longer documents any support for the audible format. That is different from whether the software can actually decode audible files. Some people claim that current-version Goldwave can read .aa files, as long as you have an *old* version of the Audible software installed (newer versions don't cooperate with Goldwave).
posted by Jpfed at 1:11 AM on May 25, 2011

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