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TWIT + Audible = irony

08/14/07 | by [mail] | Categories: computer/tech

Am I the only one who finds it strange that TWIT rails against DRM in many of their episodes (as they should), but then they do ads for Audible, which has a terrible DRM? My parents tried using Audible to get audiobooks for their commutes, but the restrictions caused a lot of problems. I wouldn't want to pay for a book that I couldn't easily take with me when I get a new computer. Cory Doctorow's speech is still one of the best explanations for why DRM is bad. If you haven't yet, read it!



Yeah, used to be a big Audible fan when I was in China, but no longer after I lost all my books when I switched computers. Serious BS.

[Member]  http://brendoman.com08/15/07 @ 02:50

Found this post while searching around and I thought I’d jump in here. I’m a big fan of both TWIT and Audible, I’ve actually been an Audible premium subscriber for over two years now and I love it.

In my opinion, the Audible DRM is probably the best DRM model I’ve seen, not that I wouldn’t love to get rid of it, but they’ve done a good job.

The things I like about it is that while it can be a pain to deactivate and activate devices they’re very good at helping you if you need it. I had both a computer and a PDA go down last year and I didn’t have any activations left and no way of deactivating my broken devices, one email to Audible and they had reset everything.

The DRM plays well with almost everything, both Windows Media Player and iTunes; both PlayForSure and the iPod line. The only major exception right now is the Zune, but hopefully MS will get that working soon.

Finally, it’s not actually that difficult to get past the DRM, you can go the brute force method of writing out to CDs and ripping them back in, or I’ve seen people get around it with TuneBite pretty easily.

But even if the DRM was way worse I’d still use Audible because I’ve never found a comparable service. Actually, I think I’ve gotten a better education for $22 a month with Audible than I’m getting for my four $60,000 BFA at the university (but don’t tell them I said that).

Chris White [Visitor]  http://www.chris-white.net09/08/07 @ 15:39

I found this post while searching for TWiT’s list of Audible recommendations. I don’t have one of the DRM capable devices that Audible supports. What I do have is the Nero suite. Nero & Audible play well together. I download an audio book, burn it to virtual CDs (creates an ISO-like file for each CD which can later be mounted on Nero’s virtual drive). Then I use Nero to rip the “CDs” to playable tracks. No DRM. I can choose where to play them. It’s working for me.

Wizard [Visitor]  11/07/07 @ 05:02

The worst thing about audible DRM is that there is no way to use it on linux with an iPod. Its driving me crazy, I just wish there was an alternative!

Greg [Visitor]11/21/08 @ 14:56

the information in this thread is incorrect. You DO NOT lose anything when you move to a new computer!!!

In fact, you can re-download any book as many times as you like - over an over and over again. Also, when Audible creates a new audio format with a higher quality, you can re-download your favorite books when they are available in the new format.

Lastly, for those so worried about DRM and Audible, take the advice of a previous poster here and burn to CD (or virtual CD) and then rip or just listen to the CDs. I used to do that until I got smart and went with Apple iPods, which work seamlessly with Audible files. No fuss, no muss, it all just works.

For the dude on Linux, you gotta face reality dude. I love Linux and have used it for years too, it’s far superior to anything else, but the fact is that there are not enough people in this world who realize that. In this day and age (and it might improve someday), you have to have a Mac or Windows box to ensure you can take part in everything out there including Audible. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. Audible cannot afford (obviously) to support platforms with a small demographic.

For me, someone who LOVES Audible so much, the most important thing is that they do what they need to do to stay afloat in this economy.

Support Audible!! Support Audible!!!

mike [Visitor]06/28/09 @ 07:25

Mike is a BS artist. I too am an Audible customer but I don’t sing their praises. It just so happened that I entered into a relationship with Audible secondary to having my 1st iPod several years ago as opposed to Mike who got an iPod to make his life easier. Burning and ripping cds is crap and a damn waste of time especially for hard-working honest people who pay for their books, it is contemptuous and Audible needs to stop this BS. In the previous post, Mike makes assertions about the way Audible’s DRM works because he has not experienced the down side of it yet with even his iPod(s) (I have 8 of them spread across my 5 member family I have lots of bad experiences to share).

Yes it is technically true that you do not ever lose access to the physical files (as long as you are an audible customer), but you lose authorization to the content if you have activated more than 3 times. So yes it is quite possible that if your current machine dies you will lose access to your entire library because your dead machine would have gone down with one of your active authorizations and the only way to get it back on your own is to de-authorize it … but you really can’t de-authorize it because it is (un-expectedly) dead.

It is also true that you can send Audible an email and have them reset your authorization but … that only goes so far … Audible does have the right to refuse your request and then you are stuck with a bunch of dead books.

It is probably not likely that they would refuse but really think about it … why the hell should I have to beg Audible to “do me a favor” by allowing me to listen to some content that I have paid for already with my hard-earned money. As far as I am concerned it is lost … because if Audible refuses to reset your activation count (and they have the right to) then you are SOL.

Audible needs to listen to its customers or they will lose them. I am on the brink of canceling (as soon as I have completed converting all my content). It is sad too because I have purchased over 180 titles for my family since I joined and I really like the convenience on those occasions when the DRM doesn’t prevent me from using the content in a way that Audible cannot foresee as being important enough to authorize.

richard [Visitor]08/09/09 @ 17:46

Hi Richard…
I am not a BS artist.

I do not agree with DRM in general, however I understand that companies need to protect their property. In my opinion DRM is the wrong way to do it because it only punishes the people who actually pay for the content.

That said, I have never had a problem getting Audible to clear my authorizations when I’ve had a PC die or otherwise used my my 3 authorizations. It’s been a while now, but at least in the past they were more than willing to help me when I’ve been faced with that situation.

Richard, have you tried calling Audible? You say you sent an email… maybe you’ll have better luck talking to them.

Again, if you want to protect your most valued books, just burn them to CDs. I know it takes time, but that is just the way it is right now. Otherwise you can just keep complaining and call other people BS artists. It really doesn’t take that long to burn a book to CDs and once it’s done, it’s your book forever.

mike [Visitor]08/09/09 @ 21:57

Twit 207 has another awkward moment regarding DRM and audible. It was edited out of the mp3 version but can be found on the odtv site. There is a tense moment between Molly Wood and Leo at the beginning of the Audible add 1:14 into the show.

Adam V [Visitor]08/10/09 @ 22:32

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