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?

About Nate Hoffelder (10079 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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