jerith (jerith) wrote,

A note to Audible about DRM

A while ago, I signed up for a subscription with Audible, the internet's leading retailer of audio fiction. Due to DRM issues and my inability to actually listen to their books except under very limited circumstances, I canceled my subscription shortly thereafter. Since then, they have periodically sent me emails with special offers in them to tempt me back. Here is my response to the most recent:
Good day,

I keep receiving special offers from Audible which appear to be designed to
regain me as a customer. I signed up several months ago in response to an
advert in some podcasts I listen to[1] and was very pleased with the audio
quality and production values of the books I purchased.

However, the DRM restrictions placed on the books required me to change
operating systems and listen to the books on my computer rather than my mobile
mp3 player. Since I primarily listen to audiobooks in the car and at gym, this
is a deal-breaker for me and the reason I canceled my subscription.

The fact that DRM doesn't really work is common knowledge. A brief Google
search yields a number of ways to strip Audible DRM protections from
audiobooks, but all of them require more time and effort than I am willing to
expend. This means that the DRM isn't stopping the pirates (since they are
prepared to put in the effort) but it is stopping legitimate customers, such as

I believe an Amazon spokesperson has said that if enough people complain,
Audible will consider removing the DRM on their audiobooks.[2] I would very
much like this to be the case. In their current form, Audible books just aren't
very useful to me.

I intend to post the contents of this email on my blog[3], and would like to
post any response I receive as well, although I will obviously respect your
wishes should you ask me not to.

Thank you,
Jeremy Thurgood

[1] Escape Pod (, Pesudopod (
    and Podcastle (

[2] Via Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing:


I don't really expect a useful response, but hopefully something will be done. As mentioned in the letter, I shall post any response I receive unless they ask me not to.

Update: I have received a reply from Audible
Tags: books, email, internet
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