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Topic: Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows? (Read 8622 times) previous topic - next topic
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Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

I want to legally free some DRMed stuff.

I use iTunes for Windows, only could not find out about a virtual CD player to burn data to bit by bit (the safe choice, right?)

Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

Reply #1
There are a number of programs specifically for Audible files that will make CD images on disk from iTunes or the Audible player, and others that will simply write a file on disk in any of a number of formats (e.g. mp3, AAC, wav,  ...). If you choose the CD image approach, you must then find a program that will play these CD images. I seem to recall that such programs were a tiny bit costly.

I experimented with several programs. One program that wrote CD images would have been nice but the results were always like badly extracted CDs; there were many missing samples, often with terrible noises there said samples should have been. Since I was trying to set up something on my daughter's laptop, for her, I don't know if the program would have been more useful on a more reasonable PC.

The CD image approach was the only offering I could find that worked faster than real time. I suspect that is why it had so much difficulty keeping everything together. To write the image at 24X (or whatever it was trying to do) required it to somehow decrypt the source at that speed. Since the only legitimate means of decrypting are meant to work in real time (i.e. the Audible player and iTunes), it perhaps wasn't a simple task.

There are at least a half dozen or so programs that work in real time, and work pretty much properly, creating a file on disk, not a  CD image. Aside from those programs, it is very simple to do your own without a specialized program, by simply running the Audible player or iTunes and recording the output on its way to the soundcard (i.e. "what you hear") or using one of the general purpose recorder programs that does the same thing. You can just turn the process on when you go to bed and let it record a file over night.

The advantage of the specialized programs  (these work by means of installing a virtual audio output that they then use as input to their own recording application) is that they handle the entire process for you. You tell them which Audible file (or files) to input and what you want to come out the other end and they do all the rest. If you do it yourself, you have to use a recording program that will stop via a timer. Without this, the recording does not stop at the end of the input but just keeps going, adding silence to the end of your output file.

Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

Reply #2
Thank you for your feedback.

To further clarify:

- I already located AudibleMediaPlayerFilter.exe on the Interents

- I want a totally free solution

- I have all the time in the world for this to do real time, so if it takes an hour for an hour of audio, so be it

- Burning the actual physical CDs are not out of the question, I just thought it might be better to do it virtually

The results I want to get:

The extracted WAV files should be identical (for reasons) bit by bit if I do the same extracting 2 times, 10 times, 100 times. This was not my experience when previously I tried some trial - not free - software.

Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

Reply #3
I can't say anything about this AudibleMediaPlayerFilter.exe you've found. To play the files in Audible Manager or iTunes, the computer must be registered with Audible. This registration process provides the key to play the books you have purchased from Audible. You cannot play someone else's books. This is the DRM restriction. If this "filter " does something extra, it is likely in violation of your Audible contract.

Therefore, you do not need this "filter" if you are buying the books. You register a legitimate computer and you can play the books with Audible Manager and iTunes. From there, you just need to record the output to disk over night, or anytime the computer will not be busy with something else for the time it takes.

Many soundcards have a DSP mixer chip. Some of those are set up to allow recording the mixer's output to disk without going through the DAC, or inputting it, still in digital form, to some other processing program. If your soundcard doesn't have this capacity, you need to use a software solution, of which there are a number (Total Recorder is one example).

If you do this and do not get exactly the same result each time (assuming proper alignment at the beginning in your comparison process), I would guess this comes from too many background processes stealing time and resources. You lose a few samples here and there because the OS and/or other applications take over the drive controller and other resources. Things like automatic updates, chat and e-mail notifications, anti-viral scans, etc. don't always let the audio you want to record get through.

You rarely notice this in most applications but the audio is running in real time. If the interference exceeds the buffer capacity, samples just disappear. Maybe you need to look into optimizing your computer for audio.

Why there would be any concern about getting the exact same samples each time from multiple runs is hard for me to guess. The audiobook is a highly condensed lossy encoding. Even if everything on your computer is stable enough to do the processing multiple times and get identical results each time, you will never come close to the source that produced the Audible file. I can't imagine any reason to ever create the output file more than once, unless something went seriously wrong during the first run and you need to try again to get a good copy.

Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

Reply #4
Thanks for your feedback.

I've bought the audiobooks from Audible, no problem with producing the code.

(I don't know much about AudibleMediaPlayerFilter.exe, was it intended for some illegal braking the DRM method only, or to replicate an Audible registered Audible or iTunes player in a 3rd party player? I just found out about its existence here, don't know much else)

OK, still do not have the free way in front of me to do the process. Which [free] software?

How does burning the actual CDs with iTunes compares to the digital only method. I want to be close to the compressed Audible source at least, not the original uncompressed one, obviously
- just because
- I have musical poems compressed as speech only
- hey, we are in an audiophile tech forum!

Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

Reply #5
The only free software I know about that can process Audible files on the computer:
Audible Manager

Either of these can be used to reproduce the audible data in a file without DRM restrictions, e.g. write it on a CD-R or write it into an ordinary mp3 file.

Be aware that this by this means you get only two tries at writing a good CD. If you choose some method that doesn't work well (as in, it writes so fast it loses data between the decoding from the DRM file and the write onto the CD (whether a physical plastic disk or a virtual CD image)) that is just too bad. You don't get to try again, the DRM will not let you. You can, however, play and write to mp3, wav, FLAC, AAC, etc, an unlimited number of times.

Writing to .wav files, lossless PC audio, will give you exactly what comes out of the DRM decoding -- as long as nothing goes wrong during the process (such as your internet connected PC deciding it is time for an automatic update of something and losing some of the streaming audio data while its attention is elsewhere). However, .wav has a length restriction (2GB). Many Audible book files will product much larger files at CD standard, and maybe at any configuration that does not lose something of the audio in the conversion. They will thus not work as .wav unless they can be automatically broken into limited size files as they are recorded (such as happens when writing to CDs). Some recording applications can do this but I don't know which. It has never been a need of mine.

If you write the .wav file as mono, 16 bit, with a reduced sample rate, such as 22050 Hz or 16kHz, you can create a file of considerably greater time duration than if you insist on CD standard. Many recording applications can write such files, but not all such programs. The Audible file itself is probably mono, 16 bit, and probably has no content that would not be captured by 16kHz.

You can write .wav files with a great many different free programs. Audacity is one of X number of free programs. Others you have to find on your own. Some of the free programs are possibly able to also write to a lossy format, or maybe FLAC, on the fly. I have no interest in these free programs and have not bothered to remember their names if anyone has mentioned one of them.

Probably the only place to get a definitive answer as to whether or not AudibleMediaPlayerFilter.exe violates any Audible contract provisions is from Audible. The place to find out how to use AudibleMediaPlayerFilter.exe is from whom ever produced it, unless adequate instructions came with it.

The reason totally convenient free methods to do  what you want are not popping up all over the place is that someone has had to put a lot of work in producing the software that does make it easy and convenient. Those people want a return for their efforts, so they have not written the code and made it available to anyone for nothing.

You are defining your desired results in term of the data, rather than the sound. It is quite possible that writing a 64kbps mp3 is perfect, lossless audio as far as you ever being able to hear any slightest difference between your Audible purchased file and your mp3 product. The only way to find out is to listen enough to discern the limit.

Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

Reply #6
Thanks really for your theoretical and long reply...

Though I honestly have to admit I did not became as much smarted by it as from a practical 'how to' guide.

Step by step:
- Though the Audible help does not mention I have only 2 tries to write a CD, I guess it is checked at the Windows registry level (no big deal for me to reset it every time I reset my computer; I have a 'portable' system), not at the server side at Audible. So, I have 2 tries every time I reboot the computer and install a fresh copy. Or use a bootleg 'portable' iTunes, if I understand correctly.

- Audacity is one nice free audio software all over the place its creators don't want any financial rewards for it, though I have not became any smarter how I am supposed to use it or any alternative paid software instead practically for my purposes. Not if burning actual CDs, or Wav files create better results?

I just asked for a preferably free solution because the domain of this site is .org and there are neat free solutions here for quite a few things. Out there on the VideoHelp forums they have all free stuff for even quite advanced stuff as well.

Thanks, really.

Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

Reply #7
Regarding WAV limitations: I intend to work in chapter size files. Any chapter is usually smaller than  CD, so I will not encounter the 2/4 GB limit.

Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

Reply #8
If you can figure out a way to divide the books' output up that way.

Regardless, that is a detail you can only consider if you get the process working at all.

Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

Reply #9
>AudibleMediaPlayerFilter.exe is from whom ever produced it

Audible made it themselves.

Virtual CD I can burn in iTunes for Windows?

Reply #10
Then, unless they have explicitly given it away, it is theirs to do with as they want. It is hard to imagine them trying to protect their property and at the same time providing a way for the general public to circumvent that protection. It was probably developed so it will be possible for partner business, such as iTunes and Sansa mp3 players, to be able to utilize what Audible is trying to sell.

In any case, it is as I wrote above: Audible is the authority on whether or not creative use by customers or the general public is legally allowed. If, in the unlikely case, they intend that you and I be able to download it and do as we wish, they most likely have provided a download link which includes instructions. Otherwise they allow only specific use such as using iTunes to play the books you have purchased, where the existence of what happens to provide that experience is on no concern to the customer.

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