without DRM

Convert .aa files to DRM-free .mp3
  • ... or .ogg or other formats
  • at blazing 70x or faster speeds even on a lowly intel atom cpu
    • multiplied per cpu core if converting multiple files
      • single core atom converting a single file = 70x
      • single core atom with hyperthreading converting 2 or more files = 90x
      • dual core atom converting 2 or more files = 140x
      • quad core i7 converting 4 or more files = 400x overall speed

  • $36 in software (or only $24, but merely 10x to 20x speed)
  • batch convert a large number of files at once
  • optional scriptable command line interface
  • convert right from Windows Explorer right-click on .aa files
  • legal, using Audible's own software (which they just no longer offer on their site)
  • no cd burning & ripping
    • including no "virtual cd" kludges

  • no sound card loopback
    • conversion does not use or interfere with sound card
    • use of sound card does not interfere with conversion


Install the following IN THIS ORDER!:

Microsoft DirectX 8 or later

Just get whatever is the current version from Microsoft.


Just get whatever is the current version from and install as normal.

Choose "Listen on my Computer" as the device if you don't happen to have an officially supported device you want to use.

Audible Media Player Filter

First get these 2 files:


From Audible themselves. Or just google. They are available from many places.

Copy them to C:\WINDOWS

Then install the Audible Media Player Filter

If that link disappears some day, obviously just google for the file name.

Alternatively, look for an AudibleManager 4.x installer as it included the same thing.

On Vista or Windows7, right-click on the installer, properties, compatibility, Run in XP compatibility mode.

After install, activate the filter (one-time operation):
  1. Double-click on a *.aa file.

  2. Windows Media Player will pop up.

  3. Then an Audible Login / Activation window will pop up.

  4. Fill in your name & password.

  5. Once this completes successfully, Media Player will start playing the file and you can close Media Player.

You MAY have to deactivate some other registered playback device to allow the Media Player Filter to be activated.

And that in turn MAY require calling Audible on the phone to deactivate ALL your registered playback devices if you no longer have access to some previously registered device. In that case you will have to re-activate whatever other devices you currently use.

You will have to reinstall the filter afterward any time you reinstall AudibleManager in the future, so keep the installer for future reference.

dBpoweramp Music Converter

For fastest convert speed, get the "Reference" version and the Helix mp3 encoder.

For slightly cheaper, and 4x slower convert speed, get the "PowerPack" version.

dBpoweramp Music Converter

Helix m3p encoder plugin

dBpoweramp DirectShow Decoder (Release 2 or later)

DirectShow Decoder plugin

Done installing

At this point you should be able to right-click on any .aa file and the Explorer menu should include an option "Convert To".

If the "Convert To" option doesn't appear, go back over all previous steps. View the help for each of the installed apps and plugins.


Right-click on any .aa file, "Convert To"
    Converting To: [ mp3 (Helix)]
    Quality 30%


While converting, a small window will pop up that says "Section Navigation" with an Audible logo and some "|<<" ">>|" buttons.

Do not press the buttons in the Audible popup, just ignore or minimize it.

It will exist as long as dBpoweramp is reading the .aa file and it will go away on it's own.

It's part of the Audible Media Player Filter and is unavoidable.

One one these Audible windows will appear for every file being converted, so, if you have a multiple cpu cores and dBpoweramp is converting 2 or 4 files at once, there will be 2 or 4 Audible Section Navigation windows.

By default the new .mp3 file will be created in the same folder as the .aa file.

dBpoweramp remembers your convert settings, so after the first file, you don't even need to select the Helix mp3 encoder or set the quality level any more. Just right-click on *.aa (or highlighted list of *.aa), Convert-To, Convert. Done.

Tip: AudibleManager5's download helper has a handy button on it "Downloads Folder". So you can download a book from your library and immediately find the actual .aa file to convert it and then drag the new .mp3 from there to your player.

Tip: Right-click on the new mp3, "Edit ID-Tag" to use dBpoweramp's tag editor to add title and auther and cover art to the mp3.

Tip: Right-click on the image in the books description right in AudibleManager to get a low-quality but convenient image for use as cover art.


  1. This doesn't appear to work in Win v8.1. I tried the above with dBpoweramp Reference Release 14.4 and get the following error:

    Error converting to Wave, 'C:\.' to 'd:\'
    DirectShow filter for '.aa' file types is not installed, or audio file is corrupt. [clDecoder::Open]

    Works fine on my Win 7 Pro x64 system.

    Thanks for the 'how-to.' I've been burning to virtual discs forever, and this is SO much faster.


  2. Absolutely, I want to share the resultant mp3s so people don't have to waste their time on something they paid good money for.

  3. alternatively, rather than doing something illegal, you could just show them how to do these steps themselves and let them buy the audio books. While i feel that music is fair game in the piracy world, a book, weather it be in written form or audio book, took a great deal of time and effort on the authors part to write.

    That and book sales are what encourages authors to continue writing further books.

    1. anon because this is ridiculous:
      what the hell are you talking about? music piracy is precisely equivalent to piracy of any other intellectual property -- yes a lot of work goes into a book, but do you think music runs like water? it seems to me that the point of this article was that Audible is audacious for monopolizing the digital audiobook market and forcing a proprietary, DRM-encumbered product on us.

    2. Tell you what - when the industry provides decent content at high-quality bitrates and stops making cumbersome DRM that all but guarantees that any "Plays4Sure" device won't work, I'll be inclined to pay more attention to your rant. I've spent far too much money on crap books and music and god knows how many devices. I pay for the content and cannot use it on the devices I want or at a quality bitrate - and you're here whining about piracy and theft of intellectual property? How about the incessant theft of money from consumers? I notice you conveniently omitted that aspect.

  4. Which exact part of this is illegal?

    That was a trick question. No part of this is illegal.

    The key component is a piece of software that Audible themselves produced and distributed publicly and for free on their own web site for years.

    You have to have a valid working Audible account and some books purchased under your own account in order to play them through the directshow filter.

    You even have to register the directshow filter with Audible, and they have to activate it for you!

    But even without that, you could always record your own sound card no matter what it's doing, including playing your book, without any special tricks, and produce the same mp3.

    This is merely a way to do that faster than real time. Whoever doesn't like that, too bad. It's not within anyone's rights to say anything about it, not Audible, not the publisher, not anyone.

    Distributing the resulting recording might be illegal, but so what?

    Distributing the name & password to your Audible account would be illegal too. But it's not illegal to write your login details on a piece of paper, in a text file, and in a password manager. You can make 20 copies of your login details in as many different formats and media as you want, including in gasp zomg a drm-free plain unencrypted text file!!! It's not illegal, and it's not merely a technicality.