Freedom and Privacy, Technology, Ubuntu

Audible for Ubuntu: Epic Fail

Trying to listen to an audio book from on your Ubuntu machine?  Spare yourself the pain, and just ask to cancel and get your money back.  They have no plans to help you.  I hope I can one day edit this post with some good news, but until they they are in bed with proprietary operating systems of the world.  All you need to do is read this live-chat transcript I just had with them and the picture should be very clear:

Audible Your

Message From Customer Service


Here’s a copy of the chat transcript you requested:

Initial Question: Technical support
I’m trying to listen to my book on my Ubuntu machine. Please tell me how to do it. Thanks

04:39 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Hello Wayne, thank you for contacting Audible. My name is Rose. I’ll be happy to help you today.
Is it running Windows?
04:40 AM PDT Wayne : I’ll repeat, it’s an Ubuntu machine.
04:40 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Let me check.
04:40 AM PDT Wayne : Thanks. Much appreciated.
04:41 AM PDT Wayne : I followed the instructions: Listen on computer, click download button under ‘listen’ and it downloaded a .aa file which does not launch an audio player.
04:42 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Just to make sure, is it Linux operating system?
04:43 AM PDT Wayne : based on the fact that you are asking me this question, I will giev you a short answer: yes
04:44 AM PDT Wayne : (it’s the fastest growing OS in the world so I’m quite surprised that you asked)
04:45 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Linux-based operating system is not supported by Audible.
04:45 AM PDT Wayne : What are audible’s plans to help me?
04:46 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Do you any other listening devices?
04:46 AM PDT Wayne : Do you have a release date planned or any work planned?
No. I use just Ubuntu. I don’t have money for other players
04:46 AM PDT Rose(Audible): To see the list of compatible devices, please click here
04:46 AM PDT Wayne : or another computer. I can’t afford to buy an operating system just to listen to the book I just bought from you.
Can you send me the file as an mp3?
or .wav?
04:47 AM PDT Wayne : Or why can’t I live stream it?
04:47 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Our files cannot be converted into MP3 or any other formats. The measures taken by are required to protect both the intellectual property rights of our Content Providers, as well as the authors.
04:47 AM PDT Wayne : That was a nice copy/paste. I understand.
So how can I listen?
04:47 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Do you have a mobile phone? Like Smartphones?
04:47 AM PDT Wayne : It’s running ubuntu.  Do you support Ubunto Mobile?
04:48 AM PDT Wayne :
04:50 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Do you have Play Store or Market?
04:50 AM PDT Wayne : I want to share something else while you are checking that. I do not recall reading anywhere that you did not support Ubuntu. Nor do I recall reading what you do support (ie. Windows/Apple only). Before someone like me gives you money I deserve to know that I will be facing this kind of problem.
04:51 AM PDT Wayne : No. I will repeat. I cannot afford to buy a smartphone to listen to my simple audio book.  I thought I would be logging into the website and listening.
04:52 AM PDT Rose(Audible): I’m pertaining to the Ubuntu mobile.
At this time, we are working with the open-source developers of Linux to see if we can make our file format compatible with their operating system. If that happens, we do expect to expand our support to Linux computers in the future. We would love to make our content available to Linux users as soon as possible, as we often hear from Linux fans regarding Audible playback.
04:53 AM PDT Wayne : This was a copy/paste again. It was the same one I found online from 2013. This is a disappointing conversation, Rose.
So, let me keep it simple: Unless you buy me an operating system that you support I cannot listen to my file. Will you credit all my fees for the last two months (I didn’t have time to listen) and cancel my subscription please?
Immediately, please.
Or buy me a smartphone or new computer.
04:54 AM PDT Wayne : You can keep your credits until you finish your promise of making it available on linux.
04:54 AM PDT Rose(Audible): I am sorry to hear that you are looking to cease your Audible membership. No
Although I am sad to complete this request for you, I can definitely help you with your concern.
04:54 AM PDT Wayne : Thanks.
04:55 AM PDT Rose(Audible): With that being said, I have gone ahead and cancelled your Gold Monthly Membership which will ensure that you receive no charges from us. You will also receive an additional confirmation email regarding this cancellation.
$29.90 will be going back on your account within 2-3 business days.
04:56 AM PDT Wayne : You are amazing.
Great work, Rose, and I hope i can be your customer very, very soon.
Can you please put me on a list of people who want to give you money?
I am ready to give audible money when I can listen on my Ubuntu machine.
You can see that I have money to give you. I already gave it to you.
04:58 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Thank you for contacting us with your concern about downloading books on your Ubuntu machine. We appreciate your feedback on making it available on Linux OS in the future. I’ll be sure to pass it along to the department in charge.
04:58 AM PDT Wayne : Thank you so much for making the cancellation and credit fast and easy.
This was smart and good.
04:58 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Sure my pleasure. Is there anything else?
04:58 AM PDT Wayne : That’s it. I just want your books. 🙂
04:59 AM PDT Rose(Audible): That’s great to hear then. No worries, I’ll pass it along.
Thank you for contacting Audible! We look forward to seeing you again soon. Please click the end chat link to close this session. Have a great day!
04:59 AM PDT Wayne : Thanks. See you.

Thank you.

This email was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.


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14 thoughts on “Audible for Ubuntu: Epic Fail

  1. Sometimes it seems, that Microsoft have contracts with the software manufacturers, that they will produce exclusive software for Windows only.
    Or some companies are focuses on on Microsoft OS and sometimes Apple too, because this are the big company investing millions in advertising their OS. And people think, that the only good OS is the one they always see in advertisement.
    It’s a long lasting slogan of Microsoft: Windows that’s it
    I don’t like the companies which are forcing me to buy Microsoft Windows for using their product.

  2. Hey Wayne, my name is Francis Shanahan and I work in the engineering group at Audible. I’m really sorry you’ve had such a frustrating time. I run Ubuntu 14.01 myself on my desktop at home and just verified our Cloud Player runs on both Chrome and Firefox on that platform. We don’t support Ubuntu on a mobile device at this time. To use the web-based Cloud Player you can visit (which is your library page) and click “Play” under any of the titles there. That should launch a live stream of the audiobook on your desktop. We’re working on making this more accessible/obvious. Cloud Player works in a lot of places, including Samsung TV browser. I realize you’ve canceled your service and I do apologize for the experience you had. Hope this helps,

    1. Hi Francis,
      do you work for Yahoo or Audible? Your email is ‘’. Did Yahoo buy Audible? What is this all about? Who are you? How can I trust your cloud player if your email doesn’t even match your company name?? Seriously?? this is more LOL on top of LOL.

  3. I have an audible membership running and I must say I love it.
    I love Ubuntu/Linux too and planning to make it my primary OS on my home computer (my work laptop is already running it).
    With the availability of Ubuntu phones I’m torn… will I have to cancel my membership on my next phone upgrade ?

    I don’t think this kind of trend is going to die soon. More and more people will start to get annoyed. I am.

    1. First of all, why do you do a /linux with Ubuntu? Everyone knows Ubuntu without the linux part. That’s like saying I love “apple/unix” – who cares about the kernel? Just my two bits and sorry for the rant on that. I have been running the Ubuntu phone for a while and I didn’t have any issues with any web pages that I could remember. I would guess that since Audible claims that you can run it in Firefox that it should also work in the native browser on the Ubuntu phone or perhaps the ubuntu phone will allow for firefox mobile version to be installed on it one day. I would force Audible to PROMISE you that they will make it work and test it and then provide a written promise, though. They have proven to me that they didn’t know very much about the fastest growing OS on the planet (Ubuntu). All the best and please post back here with your updates on this topic and hopefully Audible will get smarter quicker about supporting the Ubuntu community.

        1. No prob. Just razzin’ you. I just realized recently that it annoys the crap out of me so I started calling people out on it. You never here people say ‘I’m using Windows DOS” or whatever the heck is under the hood there. ha Onwards! And by the way. If you aren’t enjoying ubuntu on earth, try

  4. I understand it’s frustrating you can’t use audible on ubuntu… but did you really have to be such a dick about it?

  5. I will just leave this chat log here.

    You are now connected to Dave from
    Me:The cloud player is not loading in chrome or Firefox for any titles
    Dave:Thank you for contacting Audible. My name is Dave. I can certainly look into this for you.
    I’m sorry to know that you’re having trouble playing audiobook into Cloud Player. Nothing to worry, let me help.
    Before we continue, I’ll need to access your account. To do so, can you please provide me with your name on the account, e-mail and billing address.
    Me:Hi Dave
    Me:Name on the account is Asha
    email: ****************
    billing address is *************
    Dave:May I have your last name and complete billing address?
    Me:its ******** ********* *********
    Address,****** ****** ******** ****** ********* *******
    Dave:It requires here on our verification your apartment number. Can I have it please?
    Me:But why do you need to verify apartment number when I am connected through my account
    and my request is nothing related to account, it a technical issue
    Dave:I’m sorry about it Asha but it is a security verification to your account.
    By the way what kind of computer are you using?
    Me:I am using an ubuntu machine
    Dave:Does it runs Windows 10 Operating System?
    Me:It s linux based operating system
    I have been listening through cloud player in the same system yesterday, but none of the titles are working today
    Dave:The Linux operating system is not currently supported by Audible, however we have developed a variety of other alternatives in our applications and desktop software to accommodate most users.
    Me:well the cloud player launched perfectly well in chrome yesterday..
    but has decided to not work any more today
    And can you direct me to some information in the website where it mentions Linux operating system is not supported for streaming
    Dave:Since Linux is not supported by Audible, we are not guarantee that it will work, but we could try to troubleshoot it.
    Please have this link:
    Me:This link is about devices where the app is supported.. I am enquiring about online streaming
    Dave:That’s correct, even if it is online streaming device using varies.
    Me:what are my troubleshooting options
    Dave:Are you still using Chrome?
    Dave:Please allow Flash into your browser’s settings.
    Me:yes i have enable it in settings
    Dave:Next, try to sign out and clear your browsing history from the beginning.
    Dave:Reset your browser and try to play the book again.
    Me:what do you mean by reset? I have cleared history and cache
    do you mean exit from browser?
    Close the browser and re-open it.
    still buffering
    Dave:Alright, let us wait for a minute.
    How is it?
    Me:i will ttry again
    Me:no luck
    Dave:We are continuously evaluating opportunities to expand Audible and its offerings onto new platforms and hope to provide support for Linux in the future.
    We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.
    Me:As i see online, you have been giving this reply since 2013
    Thanks anyway for trying to help
    Dave:You’re welcome.
    No worries, we are looking to have this device compatible in Audible in the future.
    Before I let you go, is there anything else I could assist you with today?
    Me:Nope, thanks
    Dave:Thank you again for contacting Audible. If you would like additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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