Amazon Audible

Does anyone know how to change the aa. to mp3? I have tried many programs and not one has been able to do it. Amazon say there is a way but it was a little bit complicated for me to work out. So if anyone out there can help an older person to get this book on to a memory stick to be able to play on a normal mp3 I would be very grateful.

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Are you an Audacity user?

Converting the AA format amounts to removing the Digital Rights Management. We will not tell you how to do that but you can use your favourite internet search engine to find out how.


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I’m afraid there is probably copy-protection on your files.

.aa is Audible and contains either mp3 (not protected), or Audible DRM format. There seem to be some utilities floating around that could break the DRM. They look dodgy to me and breaking DRM is illegal in the US.

I have no experience with these files, so you might need a grain of salt…

According to Amazon Audible there is a way legally to do this and it is nothing to do with Amazon copy-write as I have paid for the books and am trying to put them on an ordinary memory stick as a mp3 as the person is partially sighted and cannot read so she listens to speaking books and I cannot find it anywhere in the mp3 format only copy found was from Amazon Audible with a tag of aa. Amazon tell me ther is a way and tried to explain it but it was far too confusing for me and I was hoping someone could tell me how to do this in plain and simple terms…
Thank you.

As previously explained it is exactly to do with copy protection. As I understand it, Amazon digital rights management only lets you play the file on the computer that downloaded the file and selected mobile devices of their own choosing. They do not let you directly convert AA to MP3 or other audio format.

Audible allow you to burn the book to multiple audio CDs. To do that you must install and use iTunes to burn the CD’s.

Burning the CD’s removes the rights management. You can then use CDex or similar to rip the CD’s to MP3 files to put on your stick.

There are applications you can download that avoid the Audible copy protection by playing the file “virtually” at high speed and recording the playback to a file. We will not post links to such software. If you download free software that does that you must be aware of the risk that the applications will place viruses on your computer. If you are not computer literate you do not want to deal with viruses on your computer.

This is nothing to do with Audacity so we will not be writing out step by step instructions for you. You can find steps online in the support pages for iTunes and CD-ex.


Gale, If Amazon say that it is ok to change it then I do not know what you are on about??? not only do I have the confusing way of doing it from Amazon you add to my confusion and all you are doing is making me feel like giving up trying to help a person who CANNOT read a book and can ONLY listen to them and she wanted this particular book. I do not understand where your attitude is coming from, it sounds like you have shares in the book rights or something. As far as I am concerned I go by what Amazon said that it is perfectly LEGAL to change the format to play on any player that is not one of the ones that Amazon supply and no she cannot afford to buy a special player from Amazon as she is in a home on funding which only allows her to keep £25 a week for her incidentals. And I am just on a State pension. I thought it would have been easy to get some help from one of the people on the internet that would know exactly how to do it. And I do not have a cd burner for some reason it will only play not burn. I did not know this when I bought it from a shop that has closed down and it was very cheap for what it is, but I now know why they have shut up shop and why it was so cheap…

Do Amazon say that you can convert aa. to mp3?

Perhaps if you could give a link to where Amazon say that we could work out what they are saying you should do.

Thank you for contacting I’m sorry to hear you are having issues with audio books on the MP3 Player. I hope the following information is able to solve your issue:
Our MP3 files contain no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions, are provided in an industry standard MP3 format, and should be compatible with most CD burning software or CD and DVD players capable of reading MP3 audio files. More information about our digital music format can be found here: - That is the reply I received from them at A. Audible.
I do not know what is wrong with my CD device, but when I put a blank in it tells me to insert a cd so it is not reading it. I have updated to the latest updates available and the properties says it is working,
So here it is from the Horses mouth, NO DRM… Now do you think someone can help me?
Thanking you in anticipation.

and to be fair, that is NOT what you asked in your original question.

As they said, their MP3 files: “should be compatible with most CD burning software or CD and DVD players capable of reading MP3 audio files.”.

I have the same problem with the CD drive in my laptop. Unfortunately the reason is that the CD drive is faulty / worn out / kaput, which is quite annoying as the drive in my laptop has hardly been used. The solution would be for me to fit a new CD drive, but in my case it is hardly worth it as the laptop was a budget model and is now quite old .

It is very likely that you have the same problem and your CD drive needs replacing. Fortunately, CD drives are very cheap these days (though sadly they are often not very reliable, so get one with a good warranty). For Desktop computers, a CD drive is likely to cost from around $10 + fitting, or for a laptop from around $20 + fitting. Note that fitting a drive in a laptop can be quite expensive because many laptops are difficult to get appart (which is why it is not worth having the drive changed in my laptop). Another alternative is to get a USB CDRW drive - these just plug into a USB port and are available from about $20.

Steve, Thank you very much for the info. I have never heard of a cdrw usb before and I will now go on the surfing trail to see what i can get. That would help a great deal if it means I can convert the book to the player she is given by the blind society.
Thanks again.

Absolutely. You asked about converting AA to MP3. From

At this time you are unable to burn Audible content to a DVD or MP3 disc. In order to protect the intellectual property rights of our content providers and authors, you are unable to convert Audible audiobooks to any format other than the .aa or .aax files offered by Audible.

As far as I know, the MP3 format does not properly support DRM so if you had said you had an MP3 the answer would have been completely different. I answered what you asked - how to remove the DRM from an AA file (which always have DRM).

I agree there is an argument if you paid for an AA book you should be able to use it as you see fit, but we cannot go too far with helping users break DRM. Giving you step by step instructions would be going too far, in my opinion. And again, this appears to be nothing to do with Audacity.

If you have an MP3 why can’t you put it directly on the stick? :confused: You only need to burn the CD if you only have an AA file.