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How to back up the Audible library on Linux with OpenAudible

Audiobooks are increasingly popular, thanks to Amazon’s Audible service. Unfortunately for Linux users, Audible is a closed-source platform that doesn’t make it very easy to enjoy purchased audio books on an open source operating system.

To combat this, we can use OpenAudible. It’s a simple Java program for Linux and Windows that can back up the Audible library once installed. It can hook into your Audible purchases and convert books into an Mp3 format, which while isn’t an open codec, makes it much easier to enjoy on open source operating systems like Linux.

Note: Open Audible is for backing up legitimate purchases. Please do not use this program to distribute books online unlawfully. You should only use this tool to back up your audiobooks.

Install OpenAudible

OpenAudible has a few package releases for Linux users. Specifically, the developers have made the app available in a DEB, RPM and executable Shell script. To get the app working on your Linux PC, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, follow the command-line instructions that correspond with the Linux OS you are using.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, getting OpenAudible should be very easy. To start, install the Java Runtime Environment on your Linux PC.

With the Java Runtime environment working on your Ubuntu PC, use the wget tool to grab the latest DEB package of OpenAudible.

wget https://github.com/openaudible/openaudible/releases/download/v1.5.0/OpenAudible_deb_1.5.0.deb

Install the package using the dpkg tool.

sudo dpkg -i OpenAudible_deb_1.5.0.deb

Debian

To get the OpenAudible application working on Debian Linux, you must first install the Java Runtime Environment. To do this, head over to our in-depth guide on how to install Java.

Once you’ve got the JRE working on your Debian PC, use wget to grab the latest release of the OA package.

wget https://github.com/openaudible/openaudible/releases/download/v1.5.0/OpenAudible_deb_1.5.0.deb

Finally, install the app using dpkg.

sudo dpkg -i OpenAudible_deb_1.5.0.deb

Arch Linux/Fedora/OpenSUSE

On Arch Linux, Fedora and OpenSUSE, you won’t have an easy time installing Open Audible. Yes, it’s true, for OpenSUSE and Fedora there is an RPM available. However, this RPM file doesn’t seem to work very well. As for Arch, there’s no AUR package.

Due to the lack of AUR support and broken RPM package, the best way to enjoy Open Audible on Arch, OpenSUSE, and Fedora, you must convert the DEB package using Alien.

To install Alien, open up a terminal window and enter the following commands.

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

cd trizen

makepkg -sri

trizen -S alien_package_converter

Fedora

sudo dnf install alien -y

OpenSUSE

There are multiple releases of the Alien package converter for OpenSUSE. To get it working on your distribution, click the link here.

With Alien working, you must install Rsync and Java. To get Java, click the link here. For Rsync, do:

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S rsync

Fedora

sudo dnf install rsync -y

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install rsync

Finally, install Open Audible on your Fedora, Arch or OpenSUSE PC with the following commands.

mkdir -p ~/Downloads/oa

cd ~/Downloads/oa

wget https://github.com/openaudible/openaudible/releases/download/v1.5.0/OpenAudible_deb_1.5.0.deb

sudo alien -tv OpenAudible_deb_1.5.0.deb

tar xvf openaudible-1.5.0.tgz

sudo rsync -a opt/ /opt

Run the app with:

sh /opt/OpenAudible/OpenAudible

Back up the Audible library

To export and back up your Audible books on a Linux computer, start by clicking the “Controls” button in the menu. From there, find the “Connect to Audible” button and select it to bring up the Amazon login menu.

Using the Amazon login menu, sign into your Audible account, so that you can gain access to your library. After connecting, you’ll need to click on the “Full library sync” option to synchronize your book library to Open Audible.

Let Open Audible download your book list to the app. It will take a few minutes, depending on how many books you have in your library. When the operation is complete, you’ll see a green icon next to each of the books.

All converted audiobooks will be stored in ~/OpenAudible/mp3/ on your Linux PC.

Get access to audiobooks

Now that all of your books have successfully been downloaded and converted from Amazon’s proprietary audio format, it’s time to put them in a safe place. To do this, you can use the terminal or the Linux file manager.

Terminal method

As stated before, all of the audiobooks are stored inside of the ~/OpenAudible folder on your Linux PC. So, to access the backup Mp3 files, you must first move into the folder using the CD command.

cd ~/OpenAudible/mp3

From here, create a new audiobook folder in your home directory.

mkdir -p ~/Audiobooks

Finally, move all of the files into the new folder using the mv command.

mv *.mp3 ~/Audiobooks

File Manager method

To access your backed up audiobooks in the Linux file manager, do the following. First, click on “Home”. Then, right-click and create a new folder labeled “Audiobooks”.

After making the new Audiobooks folder, click on “OpenAudible,” followed by “mp3”. You should then see all of your books.

Press Ctrl + A to select every Mp3 file in the folder. Then, right-click and select “cut”.¬†Click on “home” in the side-bar of the file manager. Then, select “Audiobooks” to go to the new Audiobook directory.¬†Right-click on the open space and select “paste” to instantly place all of the book backups in the Audiobook folder.

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