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Convert Audible files to MP3, AAC or Flac, Tells how to convert any Audible file to a different format
post Sep 1 2010, 15:29
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As my car radio only accepts MP3 files (and audio CDs of course), I was annoyed that Audible do not provide any files that a standard HIFI device can play (and MP3 is pretty much standard nowadays). Of course I started with burning the audible files to CDs, but honestly who wants to have tens of CDs laying around in the car?
Therefore I tried to write a small program which takes the burned CDs and converts them to MP3 (or AAC or Flac) files, fully tagged and divided at the chapter points. Further it automatically removes the annoying "Presented by Audible" comments at the beginning and the end (it should work for english and german fileS). Please let me know what you think of it!

Here comes a full documentation of how to convert the audible files (no cracking or hacking involved!):

1. Burn your audible file to (real or virtual) audio CD(s) using ITunes. Best is to deactivate "Gap Between Songs" (set it to "none") - but I don't know whether it really has any impact in this case... Now the DRM is gone and we can work with the CDs.
2. Extract the CDs to an "image" file (whole audio CD in one single file). ITunes will insert a new track roughly every 7 minutes, it doesn't look whether there is a pause at the track junction or not! Also ITunes will repeat roughly 20 seconds of audio when starting a further CD. So this division in tracks is not helpful, that is why we just extract the CDs to CD image files. Use Exact Audio Copy (EAC) for enhanced security - or just any other Audio CD Grabber. Extract the images to uncompressed WAV files and name them xxxxx01.wav, xxxxx02.wav, etc. (xxxxx can be any name).
3. Locate the according Audible file (either .aa or .aax) on your harddisk, e.g. right click the audiobook in ITunes and select "Show in Windows Explorer".
4. Use my tool to create WAV files (untagged) or fully tagged AAC, MP3 or Flac files.

Now the documentation of my tool:

1. Installation
Extract the files to a directory of your choice, it comes with the Flac Encoder preinstalled. If you want to encode to MP3, you need to copy a current version of the LAME MP3 Encoder in that directory (LAME.EXE), and if you want to get a single(!) AAC file (including chapter marks), just drop the Nero AAC Encoder package in that directory (NeroAACEnc.exe and NeroAACTag.exe are necessary). The tool will detect which encoders are in the same directory and create such files - if you have three encoders installed, the tool will create all three encoding schemes! Only if no encoder is found, the tool will produce untagged and uncompressed WAV files.

2. Usage
The tool is a command line tool only, so open a dos box and change the current directory to the path where you installed the EXEs.
Just starting the tool without any parameters will show you all possible options.
If you start the program with only the audible file name (with extension .aa or .aax), it will just show you the title and chapters of the Audible audio book. These information are stored unencrypted in the Audible files, so no hacking of a DRM or whatever is needed - all information can be read in plain text using a hexeditor.
In order to convert the files to the "selected" output formats, use this command line:
AudibleChapters.exe <audible filename> <first WAV image> <target directory>
<audible filename> is the name (and full path) of the Audible file with an extensio nof .aa or .aax
<first WAV image> is the name (and full path) of the first extracted WAV image (which must end with "01.wav"!)
<target directory> is a full specified path, in which a subdirectory will be created (from the name of the audio book)
If the audio book is an .aax file, everything is probably fine. If not, you can do something about it!
I also found a book, which has real chapters (the speaker really tells "Chapter Five"), but the audible chapters where just somewhere inbetween! This is not nice, so I decided to implement also a function for automatically find possible chapter markers (the chapter marks from the Audible file will be ignored completely).
There is a fully automated usage possible when just specifying -d on the command line. You can also specify a rough minimum and maximum length of a chapter in minutes (e.g. -d10:20 will create chapters which will be mostly between 10 and 20 minutes in length). The program will find the best matching positions, but of course can not be perfect without any user interaction. Therefore the -i option provides this user interactivity (used in conjunction with -d). After having searched the file, the tool will play a position within the file (the audio just after the "beep" will be in a new chapter). If the book has real chapters, which can be identified easily, you can decide whether you want to have a chapter mark at the "beep" position. Press "y" for yes and "n" for no. If you want to listen again to that piece of audio, press the "r" key. If you have enough chapters and want to start processing, press "q". Usually if there are no new chapter starts after 10-20 false propositions, there will be no further chapter start...
Any problems with the tool should be shown on the command line, have a look for WARNING and ERROR messages...

The tool can be found here : AudibleChapters

Please share your thoughts!


Anonymous Audible Addict
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post Sep 25 2013, 07:21
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Did you notice that your tool is running into problems since Audible does now huge one-file aax+ files. Chapters from a certain time onwards are not extracted properly anymore. Also if you look at the chapterlist of an huge aax+ file with your tool you can see that the running time and chapter positions have negative values.

Not knowing your code I assume you need to change to some longer vartypes.


Well, that tools removes that ugly overlap itunes is adding. That is (for me) the most important feature.

Seperating the files into chapters add to more convenience for me when listening to the same audiobook with different devices for me. It's easier to find the right spot with the next device. Since some of my player cannot do gapless mp3 I always have to join the itunes 8min tracks into one big 80 minutes file.

If I forget to write down on which position I am and my player cannot remember where I stopped listening (foobar) I have to find the right spot back. With small chapters I don't mind repeating a few minutes.

Imho the tool is adding to the experience. But it is by far not a must-have. If you don't want it don't use it. I really like it and hope AudioAddict comes up with a revised version to handle the new huge aax+-files soon. Having to fall back again to listen to audiobooks the way I was used to, before I found this nifty tool, makes me appreciate it even more.


This post has been edited by Puniam: Sep 25 2013, 07:30
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Posts in this topic
- AudibleAddict   Convert Audible files to MP3, AAC or Flac   Sep 1 2010, 15:29
- - AudibleAddict   I have prepared a new version (version 1.1) of the...   Sep 15 2010, 10:51
- - Synthetic Soul   IIUC ".aa" files are MP3 audio files, an...   Sep 15 2010, 18:45
- - Synthetic Soul   CODEaudiblechapters "M:\My Music...   Sep 16 2010, 09:16
|- - AudibleAddict   QUOTE (Synthetic Soul @ Sep 16 2010, 10:1...   Sep 16 2010, 11:02
- - Synthetic Soul   I think I have misunderstood the purpose of your a...   Sep 16 2010, 12:14
- - pacohaas   Neat little tool! Takes up lots of temporary s...   Nov 11 2010, 07:16
- - AudibleAddict   Mmmm... Never encountered such an audiobook before...   Nov 12 2010, 14:26
|- - pacohaas   QUOTE (AudibleAddict @ Nov 12 2010, 05:26...   Apr 10 2011, 08:56
|- - pacohaas   QUOTE (pacohaas @ Apr 9 2011, 23:56) also...   Apr 10 2011, 19:10
|- - kbaerwald   QUOTE (pacohaas @ Apr 10 2011, 20:10) QUO...   Apr 11 2011, 16:58
|- - AudibleAddict   QUOTE (kbaerwald @ Apr 11 2011, 16:58) Tr...   Apr 12 2011, 11:02
|- - pacohaas   QUOTE (kbaerwald @ Apr 11 2011, 07:58) Yo...   Apr 12 2011, 17:05
- - hmayer321   Hi Anonymous Audible Addict, thanks for the app. ...   Dec 16 2010, 17:48
- - Napkin   Just wanted to say Thank you! It works like a ...   Mar 16 2011, 17:08
- - AudibleAddict   Hello, New version 1.3 available, mainly fixed th...   Mar 25 2011, 14:01
|- - kbaerwald   QUOTE (AudibleAddict @ Mar 25 2011, 14:01...   Mar 25 2011, 17:51
- - Napkin   Yeah, no chance to burn them in Linux. I hadn...   Mar 25 2011, 17:52
- - Napkin   It still works fine with wine It feels like it ta...   Mar 25 2011, 19:45
- - kbaerwald   Hi AudibleAddict just to tell you that I worked o...   Mar 30 2011, 16:28
- - pacohaas   I tried something different this time using Audaci...   Apr 13 2011, 03:51
- - pacohaas   Here's an error I'm getting on another fil...   Apr 13 2011, 14:20
|- - pacohaas   QUOTE (pacohaas @ Apr 13 2011, 05:20) It ...   Apr 14 2011, 05:09
|- - kbaerwald   The following workflow is my very individual one: ...   Apr 15 2011, 19:20
- - JBark   In regards to the chapter breaks being incorrect f...   Apr 14 2011, 08:36
|- - JBark   And even more odd, the files are correctly split i...   Apr 14 2011, 10:19
|- - Micha234   Hi all, thx for your answers, it works now for me...   Apr 16 2011, 16:54
- - pacohaas   @Klaus: nice, although you don't need to creat...   Apr 15 2011, 19:50
- - Napkin   That's a limitation of Noteburner. iTunes crea...   Apr 15 2011, 19:55
|- - kbaerwald   QUOTE (Napkin @ Apr 15 2011, 20:55) That...   Apr 16 2011, 07:42
|- - Micha234   Hi all, @Klaus Whitch settings do you use with N...   Apr 16 2011, 15:07
||- - Napkin   QUOTE (Micha234 @ Apr 16 2011, 15:07) @Kl...   Apr 16 2011, 15:52
|- - pacohaas   QUOTE (kbaerwald @ Apr 15 2011, 22:42) @p...   Apr 16 2011, 15:43
- - kbaerwald   I am using Noteburner 2.31 and in the settings/out...   Apr 16 2011, 16:19
- - Napkin   Oh, weird - it doesn't create clicks for me. W...   Apr 16 2011, 17:01
|- - Micha234   Hi, I doesn't put it to gether. For the momen...   Apr 16 2011, 17:21
- - Napkin   Nah, I'm listening to the results in my car an...   Apr 16 2011, 17:26
|- - Micha234   Hi, yes, I can still hear it. Maybe it's a pr...   Apr 16 2011, 18:05
- - pacohaas   Sounds like it may be a problem with your CD-Rs or...   Apr 18 2011, 15:34
|- - Micha234   Hi, i've also try this. The actual problem fo...   Apr 18 2011, 17:23
|- - kbaerwald   QUOTE (Micha234 @ Apr 18 2011, 18:23) Hi,...   Apr 19 2011, 08:37
|- - Micha234   Hi all, did I unserstand that correctly? 1. Crea...   Apr 19 2011, 18:40
- - pacohaas   Create 1 wave file for each CD-R using iTunes.   Apr 19 2011, 20:24
|- - kbaerwald   QUOTE (pacohaas @ Apr 19 2011, 21:24) Cre...   Apr 24 2011, 17:34
|- - pacohaas   QUOTE (kbaerwald @ Apr 24 2011, 08:34) QU...   Apr 24 2011, 17:52
|- - kbaerwald   QUOTE (pacohaas @ Apr 24 2011, 18:52) QUO...   Apr 25 2011, 08:15
- - Alexander Ostuni   ...and all this hassle to use an audiobook that yo...   Apr 25 2011, 09:17
- - Napkin   True.. I wish I could get audiobooks for the same ...   Apr 25 2011, 09:22
- - kbaerwald   Basically the copying works fine without the ...   Apr 25 2011, 12:33
- - elvquant   Hi, you have written, that AudibleChapters is com...   Jul 3 2011, 08:48
- - exsistosane   Do I need to do it twice for an audiobook that com...   Mar 10 2012, 22:25
|- - wiwa53   Sorry, cant find an answere here. My problem: hav...   Apr 27 2012, 15:45
- - AudibleAddict2   I have released a new version (1.4) of the convert...   May 29 2012, 13:13
- - Puniam   Thanks for the great work. Btw.: I don't thin...   Jun 19 2012, 09:23
- - Puniam   I noticed a problem with audiblechapters. If the ...   Jun 25 2012, 07:49
|- - Puniam   Never mind what I wrote above. I just noticed tha...   Jul 3 2012, 08:57
- - seguin   First of all, I would like to thank AudibleAddict ...   Jul 17 2012, 11:06
- - SonicPet07   So the idea of this program seems awesome but I...   Aug 10 2012, 06:48
|- - Puniam   4792 seconds missing .. that are roughly 80 Minute...   Aug 23 2012, 13:27
|- - SonicPet07   I managed to get it working but I noticed somethin...   Aug 23 2012, 14:59
- - nbarzgar   Hello AudibleAddict, thanks for a great app! ...   Aug 26 2012, 17:59
- - jcbrief   Thanks for your program. I've tried it and it ...   Oct 2 2012, 04:19
- - belafarinrod666   Hello AudibleAddict, I've got the same issue ...   Jan 12 2013, 16:11
- - Puniam   Hallo, Version 1.4 seems to have a problem recogn...   Jan 31 2013, 19:49
- - darku   Has anyone seen AudibleAddict lately? He should h...   Apr 2 2013, 10:46
- - encoder   Can I easily extract chapter/trac positions and ti...   Jul 29 2013, 08:18
- - AndyH-ha   Just my curiosity: you want to listen on some gene...   Jul 29 2013, 08:47
|- - encoder   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jul 29 2013, 09:47...   Jul 29 2013, 12:13
- - AndyH-ha   I don't suppose it is worth pursuing but no, I...   Jul 29 2013, 19:59
- - Puniam   @AudibleAddict Did you notice that your tool is r...   Sep 25 2013, 07:21
- - greynol   Because the OP cannot seem to adhere to our TOS I ...   Sep 25 2013, 14:39

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