I want to transfer books I buy on Google Play (downloads a .acsm) to my Kobo reader device. Everything I can find on internet about it:

  • has you running Adobe Digital Editions
  • aims at removing the DRM

I want to avoid both: I'm fine with the DRM as long as I can read the book on my device, and I don't want to run ADE through wine or otherwise (already lost hours trying that).

I guess acsm -> epub "conversion" is mostly a download, but are there conversions/encryptions along the way ? There is an url in the <src> tag in the .acsm, but also a lot of other parameters. Is there a way to download "manually" (without ADE) ?


I see this is an old question... but perhaps this even older blog post at ebookreadersoftware.wordpress.com will answer it:

ACSM Files Explanation

Blog Post says:

Any website that sells ebooks in Adobe’s DRM-protected format will tell you ahead of time that you must use Adobe Digital Editions. If you skip over all those instructions, and you don’t install the software you are told that you need, then of course your computer won’t know what to do with this .acsm file.

As I mentioned above, the .acsm file is NOT supposed to contain the entire text of a book. It is not the ebook at all. It is a small file that manages the download of the ebook through Adobe’s content server.

  • 1
    Thanks but it doesn't really help. It keeps on repeating again and again that the acsm does not contain the book, which I was already aware of, as my question hopefully shows. And keeps advertising for ADE, which I don't want to/cannot run. – Gnurfos Oct 22 '17 at 21:42
  • Perhaps it's a little easier to think of the acsm file as a crypto key and the ADE as the program which reads the key. – RubberStamp Oct 22 '17 at 21:54
  • 1
    If one was searching for an explanation, I think here is the best one: "a per-user RSA key encrypts a per-book AES key which encrypts the content". Now I'm in need of something to download the encrypted content without using ADE. – Gnurfos Oct 23 '17 at 8:22
  • >download the encrypted content without using ADE... As far as I understand, there is no way to do this. The ADE program is required to verify the keys. This is, of course frustrating for those of us who prefer not to use proprietary Windows only software. However, the world doesn't seem to always care about ethics. – RubberStamp Oct 23 '17 at 11:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.