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Audible: Get it to work with WMP, Sonos and iTunes

Posted on March 24th, by Shaun Merrigan in News, Tech. Comments Off on Audible: Get it to work with WMP, Sonos and iTunes

Audible: Get it to work with WMP, Sonos and Itunes

I recently looked into joining Audible again after a hiatus of several years.  Looking at the greatly expanded catalog, and the new owner (Amazon), I decided to take the plunge.  My goal was to have all the audio books available on all my devices: Audible, Windows Media Player, my  iPads and Sonos.  The good news is that this can be done, but the process is not straightforward. There are a number things to watch out for:

  • Only use Audible Audio Format 4 for replay on all of the above devices. This is the highest quality that is available on all the devices.  The “e” format sounds better, but will not play on Sonos or WMP
  • You need two pieces of software from Audible: the Audible Manager, and the Audible Download Manager.  It is not obvious, but these are separate downloads:

See this link to set them up:

  • When you set up the Audible Manager (where you choose the download directory) pick a directory that iTunes does not know about (initially), and do not pick (or create) a directory under “Automatically Add to iTunes”. If you do, iTunes will move the Audible files and break all the links in the Audible Manager.  Instead, create a directory, say, “Audiobooks” outside of iTunes, and then point iTunes to it by “Add Folder to Library”. In this way, iTunes will monitor the folder, but will not relocate the files. Instead, it will make copies of the files, (which will be used by WMP, iTunes and Sonos) but leaving the originals in place to be used by the Audible Manager.
  • If you have WMP (Windows Media Player) set up to monitor your iTunes library , it will automatically find the Audible files and add them to your WMP library.

Because of the DRM that Audible still uses you cannot play these files in Windows Media Center .  But, because Audible is now owned by Amazon, I would suspect that the DRM will be lifted soon enough, and this restriction will disappear.   However, you can play the Audible files via Sonos, thus:

  • Note that you need to use the Sonos controller installed on your Mac or PC in order to do this initial step.
  • Now when you check your Music Library in Sonos, there should be a new entry under “Imported Playlists” called Audible.  Here you will find your Audiobooks.
  • You may have to perform the “Update Music Index Now” under Manage Music Library in order to propagate the change through all your Sonos controllers (iPads in my case).

Remember also that Audible has apps available for iPad and Android, so you can take your audio books with you as well.

Enjoy your Audiobooks, and thanks to Leo Laporte for reminding me about Audible.

Shaun Merrigan



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