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Convert an Audible AAX File to MP3 — The Quick and Easy Way

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A year ago, I created a tutorial on how to convert a DRM protected Audible AAX file to MP3 — a much more user-friendly audio format. This tutorial overrides everything that was written up in the previous tutorial. Please, follow the below steps to make your AAX file to MP3 file conversions.

What will you learn in this post?

I will show you:

  • how to look up free Audible AAX files with search engines
  • how to easily download AAX files without using the Audible Manager software
  • how to convert AAX files to MP3 using a super simple tool

Search for Free AAX Files

For the sake of this post I needed to download some AAX files.

There’s a simple trick to search for free Audible files online. Just use the following search command:

You can use this in Google or DuckDuckGo. The results will be pretty similar.

$0.00 site:audible.com — DuckDuckGo

$0.00 site:audible.com — DuckDuckGo

Without much thought I went for the first result — The Jewel of Dantenos by Brian D. Anderson.

Download the Free AAX File Directly from Your Browser

Audible Manager is a crappy piece of software. Thankfully, you can download your AAX files directly from your browser using a nifty trick.

1. Go to your Audible library. You need to have an Audible account and you need to be signed into it to do this.

2. Select the audiobook you wish to download. Select Enhanced in the Audio Quality box. Then click on the Download button.

Download audiobook from Audible library

Download audiobook from Audible library

3. After you click on the Download button a popup will appear. Save the admhelper file to your disk.

Save admhelper as a file

Save admhelper as a file

4. View the admhelper file and copy its full content (Ctrl+C).

View content of admhelper file

View content of admhelper file

In the above case, I used MultiCommander‘s built-in MultiDataViewer feature.

But you can open the admhelper file in Notepad or Notepad++ just the same.

5. Type in your browser’s address bar:

6. Now paste in (Ctrl+V) the admhelper file’s content after the question mark.

The full URL should look something like this:

7. Hit enter to get a download file popup.

Direct download of the Jewel of Dantenos AAX file

Direct download of the Jewel of Dantenos AAX file

8. Save the AAX file to your disk.

Audible Manager

Update (January 16, 2017)

As Kevin pointed out in the comments section, for the conversion described in this post to work, you might need to install Audible Manager.

Here is what he wrote:

Users must have the audible manager installed and verified by audible for use on their pc for this to work with aax2mp3.

I missed this fact for a simple reason. I installed Audible Manager two years ago, but shortly thereafter uninstalled it from my computer.

However, something remained on my computer that allowed me to convert AAX files to MP3’s using AAXtoMP3 — the software tool I am describing below. In the meantime, I found out what was that remaining piece of code.

Read this related post for an in-depth investigation of the issue and much more…

Related Post

The Ultimate Guide to Downloading and Converting AAX to MP3


There are many guides to downloading and converting AAX to MP3. This is the third one I have come up with and I like to think that this is the ultimate one.

Convert Your AAX File to MP3

Download the free, portable, and open source AAXtoMP3.

Unpack the contents of the downloaded AAX2MP3.zip file using 7-Zip.

Unpacked, there will be four files:

Launch AaxToMp3GUI.exe.

Yes, its two buttons are in German…

AAX to MP3 Conversion Tool

AAX to MP3 Conversion Tool

Select the AAX file you wish to open by clicking on the Durchsuchen button.

Then click on the Umwandeln button to convert the AAX file to MP3 format.

Converting the AAX file to MP3 format

Converting the AAX file to MP3 format

The conversion process is pretty fast.

It takes about a second to convert a minute’s worth of audio material. In other words, a 90 minute AAX audiobook will be converted to MP3 in about 90 seconds.

Listen to Your Converted MP3 File

To make sure that the process worked like a charm, open up your converted MP3 file and rejoice.

TheJewelofDantenos.mp3

TheJewelofDantenos.mp3

Because this tutorial really works!

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Comments 54

  1. Thanks for the tip on AAXtoMP3. I’ve been looking for a free converter w/o luck. However IMO a simpler solution to dl’ing .aax files than the convoluted copy/paste process you outline here is to use Audible’s free Audible Download Manager which you can get here:
    http://download.audible.com/AM50/AudibleDM_iTunesSetup.exe

    Unlike the horrible AudibleManager, ADM is simple and easy and will let you dl the AA or AAX file for any of your Audible books. In fact, once it’s installed it will automatically launch when you dl books from your Audible library.

    One other tip: Be sure the Audio Quality dropdown is set to Enhanced in your Audible library so the dl’d files will be in the AAX format.

    1. Peter Post
      Author

      Yes, thank you. I forgot to mention the Enhanced audio quality setting in the write up. I’ll add that to the post right now…

      But here is the thing. With the above tutorial, you don’t need to install anything. Which is pretty cool in my opinion. Also, I deeply hate iTunes. 🙂

      The only way I like my software is when it’s free, open-source and portable. Portability being the most important of those three aspects.

      1. The ADM setup file has itunes in the name for some reason (maybe cos it does enable itunes integration), but I don’t believe there’s a dependency on itunes. Maybe you can test it. I can’t cos I do have itunes installed.

        1. Peter Post
          Author
          1. “Actually, in the previous tutorial I mentioned Audible’s download manager: http://download.audible.com/AM50/ActiveSetupN.exe

            No that’s AudibleManager, and I said that was garbage in my original post. ADM is simple and sweet. To each his own, but no way would I futz around w/ copying file contents to a text file and sticking that in a URL for every book I want to dl when there’s a nice utility that handles it all — you don’t even need to launch it!

            As for the difference between a zip and setup prog, as someone who has written dozens of installers — they unpack compressed files and copy them. You’re splitting hairs. But whatever, you’re entitled to your opinion.

          2. Peter Post
            Author

            I’m sorry but you lost me here. I don’t like to install software, especially from large corporations such as Apple (i.e. iTunes) because they put crap into dozens of places in my computer.

            I very much like nifty small programs that stay in one place and don’t change anything anywhere. It doesn’t matter whether they come as a zip file or an msi file or anything else. That’s not the point.

            Please, read this, so that we are on the same page as per portability: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_application. Basically, if you can put it on a USB stick and it works the same, it’s portable.

            Also, writing a small script that would automatize the URL copy/paste is a trivial matter. Still beats installing software monstrosities like iTunes. But, as you said, to each his own. 🙂

    1. Peter Post
      Author
  2. does not work for me, starting to convert after a while, it show no progress, and thats it, I waited few hours and killed it, (does it have a limit to the size of the file ?)

    1. Peter Post
      Author
  3. I got to the point of downloading the AAX file. Unfortunately, 7-zip won’t open it. It just says “cannot open file as archive”. Help?

    1. Peter Post
      Author
      1. You instruct to “Unpack the contents of the downloaded AAX2MP3.zip file using 7-Zip.”

        That’s what I cannot do.

        1. Peter Post
          Author

          OK. But that’s quite different than what you wrote in your first comment.

          The AAX2MP3.zip file you downloaded from Sourceforge is the AAX-to-MP3 software program and it does open with 7-Zip.

          The AAX file you downloaded from Audible is the audiobook file and it does not open with 7-Zip.

  4. This doesn’t work for me after several tries with two different PCs. AAXtoMP3 gives me a “conversion terminated” error immediately after pressing the “convert” button. Any ideas?

    1. Peter Post
      Author

      Are you trying to convert an AAX file? Did you download an AAX file based on this tutorial or did you obtain it another way? Are you sure the AAX is not corrupted? Have you tried playing it in Audible’s software?

      1. Downloaded the AAX files from my Audible account using their recommended software, no dice. Downloaded them using your method, no dice. I doubt two different methods would both cause seven different files to all be corrupted. They do play fine in Audible’s software.

        1. Peter Post
          Author
        2. Peter Post
          Author
  5. Using AAXtoMP3 GUI it starts the conversion and creates the mp3 file but each time the file is only 854kb and does not progress getting no errors.

      1. Peter Post
        Author
  6. Thank you! I tried a lot of different ways to get this file converted, and this one finally worked!
    The funny thing is that I have several audiobooks from Audible.com that I bought several years ago. They are all .mp3 files… I don’t remember having to jump through all these hoops to get those converted… or, indeed, having to convert them at all :-/
    I was super-confused when I couldn’t just transfer the audiobook I recently purchased the way I did all the ones I previously owned. Does anyone know if Audible.com made changes in this area?

  7. My Audible file is not AAX but just AA. When the german open source program looks for it in my downloads it can’t see it. Is there a way to convert it if it’s just AA? Is this a new extension for Audible? Thx!

    1. Peter Post
      Author

      The reason why you have an AA file and not an AAX file, is that you haven’t selected the Enhanced option in the Audio Quality box when saving the admhelper file to your disk.

        1. Peter Post
          Author
  8. Thanks for the tip on converting AAX to MP3. I’ve used audiobook converter from applemacsoft dot com. it works fine.

  9. Users must have the audible manager installed and verified by audible for use on their pc for this to work with aax2mp3.

    1. I just read through it again, and DO NOT see any mention that AudibleManager must be installed on the pc to use aax2mp3. It says you need an account with audible, and I had an account before installing the AudibleManager. It did not work (exactly as the 5-10 individuals that commented above me said). With no clear solutions in these comments, I looked at the sourceforge download site to see if there was any solutions there. That is where I saw it stated explicitly that AudibleManager must be installed on your machine to use aax2mp3. I installed it and it worked.

      1. Yeah, activating the download manager is required. Wish I would have read your comment first Kevin, but happened upon the comment about checking to make sure I could play the audiobook in Audible, and that’s when it asked to activate my machine. Not too bad, but recommend adding it to this tutorial (which I am grateful for, btw) Thanks!

        1. Peter Post
          Author
  10. Ok, I’ve read all the posts here. I can’t get it to work at all. Yes I have the enhanced, yes I have the audible manager and it plays there. I love this program. However, I recently had to format my hard drive and now I can’t get it to work at all. After a few seconds, it says it completed, but obviously it can’t be. What the heck am I doing wrong.

    1. Peter Post
      Author

      Brenda,

      So you actually downloaded the AAX file, but when you try to convert it in AAX2MP3, the conversion process fails. Is that what’s happening?

        1. Peter Post
          Author
          1. In my first post I said I have the manager, and yes they play in it, so that’s not it. Besides, I already knew you had to have the manager.

          2. Peter Post
            Author
          3. Peter Post
            Author

            As a last resort, try this: 1. Reinstall Audible Manager. 2. Run an update of Audible Manager. 3. Try playing an AAX file in Audible Manager. 4. Log in to Audible via Audible Manager. 5. Launch AAX2MP3. Let me know, whether this approach helped.

          4. This did not work either. It’s a stand alone program, I don’t understand why I can’t get it to work. Before my format it was working beautifully. Losing hope

          5. Same issues as Brenda, here. Used to work well (btw, thanks for the tutorial!) about 1 month ago. In the meantime, I had to reinstall the OS (new build of Win 10 insider preview) and it no longer works (instantly says ‘Umwandlung beendet’, ie ‘conversion finished’). Book plays well in AudibleManager. Tried downloading both via AudibleManager and your URL copy-pasting. Format is AAX+. Will try your new ‘Ultimate’ tutorial, next.

          6. Solved my problem.
            By running AaxToMp3.exe (not the GUI executable), I got an error message saying MSVCR100.dll was not found. I found this to be a recurrent issue of Windows 10 installations. The library is part of the “Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package”. The most up-to-date version is available here.
            https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=26999
            After clicking on “Download”, you’ll be asked what version you want. Choose “vcredist_x86.exe”, even if you have a 64-bit version of Windows, as the other versions will not work.

            Installing this brought me a tiny bit forward: now the conversion with AaxToMp3GUI.exe still terminated instantly, but created a 1kB mp3 file with no audio contents.
            Apparently the audible Manager got somehow deactivated, and indeed my audiobooks would no longer play. I found the solution to this issue here:
            https://sourceforge.net/p/aaxtomp3/tickets/7/
            And that was:
            1) Deinstall Audible-Manager and install new.
            2) Starting the Update of the audible-manager (help->update)
            3) Start playing a file in the audible manager.
            4) Now log in.
            5) Start the aax2mp3-program.
            6) Now its working.

            Only thing I can add is that help->update never seems to really update my AudibleManager program, as when starting anew, it still offers me the same update. Never mind, it works now.

            Hope that helps Brenda, as well.

          7. Hey Peter! Just wanted to let you know that I was stupid and installed iTunes and discovered later I don’t need it and uninstalled and completely ruined my computer, (again). 🙂 I was having the same issue as before and Amir’s directions worked. 🙂 I’m going to try this on my mom’s computer next 🙂 Thank you for all your help, suggestions and tutelage.

          8. Peter Post
            Author
  11. You may read this article : The Official Guide to Convert Audible to MP3
    It introduce three methods

    1. Peter Post
      Author
      1. The four methods work well. If you think my recommendation is useless, you can just delete it. There is no need to say something else as our software are also always anti-virus.

        1. Peter Post
          Author
  12. Since it’s in German, I don’t know exactly where the converted file is, any idea. Is there a default folder?

    1. Peter Post
      Author

      The output file should be in the same folder as the input file that you were converting using AAX2MP3.

  13. I highly recommend another solution to convert AAX to MP3 in just seconds. The tool is called TunesKit Audible Converter and it will convert any Audible book to multiple formats without iTunes. You can get it from the official website for a try: http://www.tuneskit.com.

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