I have bought some audio books at Audible. The default .aa files play fine in VLC, but the quality is pretty bad - there's a constant background hum during any speech. Their enhanced quality audio files open in VLC, which displays the frontispiece, chapter number, and progress indicator, but there is no sound. Is it possible to fix this (Linux and open source software being the two parameters I care about)?

The latest VLC (2.2.4) displays the following codec information for an .aax file:

  • Stream 0
    • Type: Audio
    • Codec: MPEG AAC Audio (aavd)
    • Language: English
    • Sample rate: 44100 Hz
    • Bits per sample: 16
    • Bitrate: 1411 kb/s
  • Stream 1
    • Type: Subtitle
    • Codec: tx3g
    • Language: English

Using audible-activator and AAXtoMP3 worked. With a few tweaks, AAXtoMP3 converts to FLAC as well.

  • works for me with debian jessie (following the requirements of the linked articles/software, btw: using ffmpeg from jessie-backports and libmp3lame-dev from apt) – eli Jan 25 '17 at 13:16
  • I used this method to convert an audiobook to MP3 for listening to in the car, but the quality was quite low. Not sure if that is just the quality of the AAX file or the conversion process. – mydoghasworms Jul 22 '18 at 17:21

Check out the cross-platform OpenAudible. You can connect to your Audible account, manage/download your Audible audiobooks, and convert to mp3.

  • Very interesting! I've stopped using Audible in the meantime, but this may be an option. – l0b0 Jun 7 '19 at 4:35
  • OpenAudible is not free software and you need to buy a licence to convert from aax to other formats. – Alpi Murányi May 13 at 18:37
  • @AlpiMurányi Correct, unfortunately OpenAudible is no longer free nor open source, though it previously was when this answer was posted. – adatum May 13 at 22:18

Download the Audible file using "Audio Quality: Format 4" which will be saved with the extension .aa then after downloading open the file in VLC (version tested/used 3.0.6 Vetinari). I'm using RebornOS (Arch Distro). I was able to play the file, as well as use the File Convert within VLC to save it as an .mp3. Audio quality is very good.

  • The question is not about the .aa files, but rather .aax. – l0b0 Dec 6 '19 at 8:02
  • And unfortunately, aa files have been discontinued. – Chris Jenks Mar 10 at 0:04

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