Feature Friday: Open Letter to Audible: a DRM-free option.

Dear Audible,

I love you guys. You’ve brought nearly 700 science fiction and fantasy books to audio, 43 so far this year, and we’re not even done with February yet. (And that’s just Audible Frontiers alone, not counting Audible, Inc. or Neil Gaiman Presents, or Brilliance Audio, or even just the beginnings of what you’re doing with ACX.) I love the narrator features and interviews, and I am really liking the ability to follow reviewers which was added last year, and the addition of individual ratings for overall, story, and narration.

No, really, I love you guys. The Audible app for my phone is nearly perfect. (And I understand why there’s no shop or buy buttons in-app. That’s on Apple’s money slice grab, which is one of the reasons I’m glad that you’ve also built an Android app.) I can download, manage, and play on the go. It’s got 1.5x speed which I sometimes miss when listening to a particularly slow audiobook elsewhere.

But. But, I want something from you. I want you to give publishers the option of selling DRM-free files at Audible. I want you to do this so that when the next Cory Doctorow audiobook comes out, I can buy it, download it, and listen to it, all on my phone, without having to involve my computer, compact discs, converting, etc. So I can rate it and discover new reviewers at Audible through their reviews of it.

 

It’s really a pretty small thing I’m asking for, isn’t it? Just the option?

(While I’m at it, my non-content-related wishlist continues with: 1. offer Audible/Brilliance/etc. titles DRM-free to help lead the way, and open up to users of Linux a wider world of excellent audiobooks; 2. pie-in-the-sky: figure out some way of partnering with libraries to do e-lending, all in the Audible app; …)

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