July 31, 2011

Audible.com on Linux

Filed under: Technical — Tags: , — James Bunton @ 1:06 am

I wanted to play some audiobooks from Audible.com on various devices as mp3s. These books are distributed in an encrypted .aa format. You can play these in iTunes or Audible Manager. You can also burn them to audio CDs, which is a pain as they can be 20-40 hours long, that’s a lot of CDs!

The files I’m converting at the moment are mono, 22.05kHz, 32kbps mp3 audio, so I don’t mind retranscoding them. As I mentioned, they can be very long so I didn’t want to tie up any of my computers for the entire time. So I will rip these to wav files in a VNC session on my Ubuntu Linux machine. PulseAudio will capture the output from wine and route it to a dummy output. This lets the machine be used for other things, including audio, while the rip is in progress.

  1. $ aptitude install wine tightvncserver
  2. Start vncserver and connect
  3. $ padsp winecfg – configure audio output to OSS
  4. Go to System->Prefs->Sound->Applications and check you can see wine in there. Turn the volume down a little bit so that it won’t clip.
  5. Install Audible Manager on Linux using wine then add the audio files, no special hacks here
  6. Sometimes the play button doesn’t start, in that case try using the fast forward and rewind buttons as well to make it play.
  7. Run my pulse-rip script to read the audio and create an mp3

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