[sf-lug] audible.com

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Jun 4 23:54:34 PDT 2008

Quoting Alex Kleider (a_kleider at yahoo.com):

> Does anyone know if it is possible to make use of an audible.com
> account:
> i.e. download books
> using a linux box?
> As far as I can figure out, one MUST use a program that they provide. 
> It's an exe file so I'm assuming it is a windows program.

It's _much_ worse than that.  If it were just a matter of enabling a
Win32 ".exe" file to run, you'd be able to do that using one or more of
WINE, Crossover Linux, Win4Lin, Bochs, Qemu, VMware, Xen, VirtualBox,
Linux KVM, Parallels Workstation, AMD SimNow, Simics, Virtuozzo, etc.

No, it's _much_ worse.  Once you get the files downloaded, you'll find
that they're DRMed.  You're not buying them; you're renting them and
using them on sufference where and as long as the copyright barons
permit.  To ensure you're not accidentally permitted any rights they
don't wish to allow you, the alleged download file is in fact
cryptographically obscured, and made conditionally available to you
using crypto control on terms of _their_ choosing.  That's why the files 
aren't merely _officially_ accessible only on the operating systems they
specify; the files are _actually_ accessible only there -- unless you
either (1) crack their ".aa" DRM-obscuring scheme (which isn't likely)
or (2) resample and re-encode the files to a non-DRM-obscured _real_
audio format such as MP3 (which would take some work, and be a lot of

So, really, it's not exactly an anti-Linux situation, so much as it is
an anti-users-who-don't-submit-to-total-control one.  Absent options #1
or 2, above, you really have to decide to either be a good little peon
and accept DRMed content you have no real long-term access to, in place
of real content you can keep and archive, _or_ just say no to DRMed

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