After a couple of months of debating it I finally got an Audible subscription today. To put it bluntly it really does sum up why DRM just doesn’t work.
For those not in the know Audible is a subscription service for audiobooks. The basic plan gives you one audiobook a month for £8 a month and a discounted rate if you want to buy more (usually £4). Considering the cost of physical audiobooks this is fairly good value, no complaints there.
The problem is the format it comes in. Audible uses its own DRM file format which a few select players can play. Now this isn’t a problem when you have an Android or iPhone which have native Audible apps but what if you want to play it in the on a Windows Phone 7 handset?
There is a way to convert the files to MP3, the Audible website even tells you how to do half of it. Burn them to CD and rip them back to MP3.
So after downloading the files to my computer I then have to download iTunes which is the only player which is actively supported. Then you can make a playlist of the audio books and burn the to disc. That said you are best checking that you have a lot of spare CDs or a virtual ISO program as an audio book in CD audio format is going to take up half a dozen discs. Once that is done you can then rip the discs back to MP3.
OR you could download a pirate copy and save yourself a couple of hours of pain. If I wanted to I could have found a pirate copy in minutes and saved myself some time and money. When will companies learn that DRM like this doesn’t work. It punishes paying customers and does nothing to stop people who want to steal it doing so.
Audible you make me want to steal