Thursday, May 03, 2007

Audio Books

You know, for as much as I have tried my hardest to like Audible, I am getting to the point where I'm about ready to stop purchasing audiobooks and just buy the actual book and go download the audiobook from Oink or somewhere else on the internets (I'm inspired to use this word since our lovely president was using it again).

The latest problem has arisen with my MP3 player that I usually use for listening to audiobooks. It's an RCA Lyra 256MB sport MP3 player. Just a cheap gadget that I can use to take my audiobooks with me. Recently I received a laptop upgrade at work so I installed Audible on my new laptop. Turns out it won't recognized my Lyra correctly in Audible now. After tinkering for a bit, I gave up and installed Audible at home. It recognized my MP3 player just fine, but keeps throwing errors when trying to transfer.

No matter what books I download from Audible (that I've purchased already and haven't listened to yet), they won't transfer. So this leaves me with no option for listening to my audiobooks unless I a) listen to them while at my computer, b) buy a new MP3 player, or c) burn the audiobook to CDs (I think this is an option) and then rip them to MP3.

The first is not an option since I refuse to sit at my desk to listen to a book. I'll sit and read a book, but the whole idea of an audiobook is that I can listen to it on the go, like when I'm on the bus or walking around. The second isn't really an option right now as I don't want to spend another $40-$50 just to get another MP3 player to listen to audiobooks that should be playing just fine on my current MP3 player. The last is not an option because it is way too time consuming.

Since Audible uses a proprietary audio format (extension .aa) loaded with DRM, I can't just convert the audiobooks into MP3 or another playable form. Which leaves me sitting around not being able to listen to the books I spent my money on already... which really pisses me off. I'm more than willing to pay for audiobooks but because of the ridiculous DRM scheme used by Audible, it's making this paying customer think about switching to piracy to get audiobooks in the future because I know I will always be able to listen to the pirated audiobooks in non-DRM'd MP3s. Screw copy protection. You're only hurting the ones who are actually already buying.

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