How to Download Audiobooks from Google Play Books – DRM-Free!

When Google started selling audiobooks in Play Books back in January I was quick to dismiss their service because the audiobook experience was simply awful. It was so bad that I concluded "Google clearly does not" care about selling audiobooks.

It looks like I will have to revise that opinion.

Boing Boing has brought my attention to the fact that Google will let you download your purchased audiobooks as DRM-free files.

You can find the download option in the audiobooks tab in the "My Books" section of the Google Play website. Simply click the 3-dot menu icon for a given ebook, and then select the export option.

How to Download Audiobooks from Google Play Books - DRM-Free! Audiobook Google Books

I checked, and I can confirm this is true. I was able to download both of the audiobooks I bought from Google, and play them in VLC. I got the complete file, and not just a sample.

This is great news for anyone who wants to protect their investment, and it also gives Google a competitive advantage. Amazon refuses to let you download DRM-free audiobooks from the Audible website; when I try, they give me a file that is intended to be opened with their abysmal Audible Windows app. (I gave up in despair a while ago.)

I know where I will buy my audiobooks in the future; how about you?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

4 Comments

  1. Dave Parker24 July, 2018

    I have managed to get audiobooks out of Audible in the past, the procedure is:

    1) Download the audiobook from Audible to get a .aa file
    2) Open the file with iTunes
    3) Burn it to CD from ITunes (I used a virtual CD drive)
    4) Rip the CDs to mp3s

    Reply
  2. Ana24 July, 2018

    For those of us that don’t have an iThing, Nate provided another option some time ago, although you need a Linux computer or the knowledge to fake browsing from a Linux computer.
    Anyway, Google Play is a good option more popular for the general public than other alternatives, if they have the audiobook you look for, which is another caveat, Audible has a lot of audiobooks exclusively.

    Reply
  3. Vikarti Anatra25 July, 2018

    This does not work for ALL audio books, at least in theory.
    All Play Books audibooks have ‘???????: ????????” (Export: Available). If such option is present, it could mean it does have 2 states.

    p.s.
    For iTunes we have inAudible app

    Reply
  4. Raymond27 July, 2018

    Like Vikarti says, not all audiobooks support downloading. The publisher has to enable that option and you’ll find it in the description of a title under “export function”. In fact, in most titles i tried, export (downloading) was unavailable.

    The ones that do are great though and you can download a m4a file that you can play on other devices (or convert to mp3). I play them with the free VLC Player which also handjes audiofiles well.

    Reply

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