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Converting .aa files to mp3's

This discussion thread has 713 messages.

#26
Greetings everyone, Nice forum. I understand I can convert the aa files to mp3s with the River Past Audio software, but as a neophyte I'm asking why I can't burn these MP3s onto a DVD? I suppose not, but then I wasn't clear (even though it was mentioned above) on how I can split up the aa files into a number of mp3 files.

Last question, I have still to buy an mp3 player and would like a suggestion for the best buy, e.g. great product but last year's model which works just as great at half the price. BTW, is the free digital audio player from Audible.com OK quality? ;)Cheers
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#27
Interesting reading and SW available about AA file conversion and MP3 splitting:
http://home.austin.rr.com/unpocoloco/java/AudioBook/index.html

I've been using it for over a year and it works great. The Goldwave "free trail" usage isn't even close hitting the maximum yet and when it does I will probably pay the $ since I have gotten so much free use out of it.
#28
diabolos Suspended due non-functional email address
dBPowerAMP (dMC) may or may not convert .aa files. The only reason I think it might is because some of the .aa files out there, sold via iTunes, could be based on .AAC apples's "Advanced Audio Compression" format.


Link to dBPowerAMP and other apps
http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/127334


.aa I learnd about a new audio format today!
Ced
#29
Jeanc1 Suspended account
dBPowerAMP (dMC)^ cannot convert AA files. ! The reason is simple... only River Past had the guts to make a converter then promply quit after version 5.2 cause of a lawsuit and a Court Order..


#30
diabolos Suspended due non-functional email address
That was my mistake. Even if the .aa files being sold by iTunes where based on the AAC format, they whould be DRM protected. dBPowerAMP can't convert protected files.

Sorry,
Ced
#31
Jeanc1 Suspended account
AA files have nothing in common with Itunes or AAC format -- !
#32
diabolos Suspended due non-functional email address
What do you mean by in common? iTunes sells Audio Books for download. I'm sure that any body that sells somthing for download would put thier "Stamp" on it before selling it, especially when there selling it as a download.


Check out the programs attached to the file extension .aa (look at the Program ID list).
http://www.filext.com/detaillist.php?extdetail=aa&goButton=Go


The Audio Book format is versatile,
Ced
#33
Audible uses encrytion on their aa format that makes conversion to a mp3 format difficult. GoldWave (http://www.goldwave.com/release.php) can open an aa file if you select Open "all files". It will then perform a direct conversion to mp3 format. I have been using this for over a year and only once did I have to perform a little extra low pass filtering (via Goldwave) on a mp3 file after conversion to edit out a little high pitched tone.
#34
To convert anything to mp3 I use "Sound Capture. You have to listen as it converts but it will convert anything that your sound card will play. I use it a lot when I go into a site that will only let you listen to a song.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Nov 2004 @ 6:26
#35
understood ... but some of those aa files are > 7 hours long. It still takes about 10-15 minutes to complete the conversion.
#36
Yeah, I definitely agree. It is the long files that would be difficult. I don't think I'd go that route either. Lol. Kinda time consuming.
#37
pali_432 Suspended due non-functional email address
I have both River Past Audio 5.0.3 (registered) & Goldwave 5.0.8. I have removed my current version of the Audible software and reinstalled with version 3.5 with the Windows Media Player plugin. But I am still having problems converting files.

I have successfully opened a .aa file in River Past once and once only, every other time I have tried i am told: The following files do not contain recognizable audio

I have never been able to open a .aa file with Goldwave and each time I try I am presented with a list of format options to select, no matter what I select I am told: Could not open file. File does not exist or format is not supported.

I would really appreciate any help offered as I want to put all my books on MiniDisc
#38
You need to select "all files" in the format field when opening an aa file ... it will upen it and it can convert it.
#39
pali_432 Suspended due non-functional email address
nope phenner thats not it. I have tried both the "All Files" and the "aa Audible files" option. Neither one works thanks for tryin tho. anyone else I would really appreciate a solution.
#40
pali_432 Suspended due non-functional email address
I just figured out something else. I am able to open files that I have not yet listened to, but the others are still unopenable. Hope this helps someone come up with a solution. right now I am going to try to delete them and re-download and see what happens.
#41
Interesting problem ... I tried again to convert an aa file after I have listened to it, and still was able to open it with Goldwave and convert it sucessfully to the mp3 format. I'm not familiar with exactly what encryption method aa files use, but I didn't think there was a flag set after it was listened to ... but who knows. Good luck!

I average about 20 hours of mp3 converted aa files on a single 650MB CD ... they sound great.
#42
Which formats will the (older) version of .aa files is RiverPast supposed to work with - I can only get it to recognize Format 1. Any input here would be appreciated.

Thanks!
#43
I'm able to convert Audible.com Formats 3 and 4 with RiverPast. I've never tried converting their other formats.

I mentioned in an earlier post that after the trouble I went to to track down a program that will convert .aa to .mp3, I was surprised to find that several conversion applications I have that are easy to get will convert .aa to .wma, which my Rio Cali will play.

After hearing more discussion about GoldWave, which I hadn't been able to use to convert to .mp3 because I haven't integrated the codec it needs, I tried this:

I opened an Audible file in GoldWave despite first getting an advisory that the application didn't recognize it as an audio file. Then I used GoldWave to convert the .aa file to .wma. Finally, I used Acoustica, another converter that won't directly convert .aa files, to convert from .wma to .mp3.

It worked, but it took a very long time, and I have a 64-bit Athlon 3400+ that's really fast. It'll crank out a direct .aa-to-.mp3 conversions in a few minutes.

Zac
#44
ok, now this might seem like an odd question, but:
does anyone know how to convert .mp3 to .aa?

josh
#45
Great information folks - Thanks!

River Past Audio Converter 5.0.0 works great. I downloaded this version and registered so everything's legit. Now I can't figure out how to get the program to leverage the lame codec. I've copied it to every directory I could think of where Windows and AC would see it but no luck. Max sample rate is 24 khz and I'd like to use 44.1. Any ideas?

On another note... why would you want to convert TO an Audible format file? (just curious)
#46
Hello, FLTR Guy (I never know how to address you folks who don't go by your real names, but I also want you to understand that I'm not disparaging your adoption of screen names, usernames, handles, or whatever).

You say you downloaded RiverPast Audio Converter 5.0.0 and that it's working very well. If you've read earlier posts in this thread, you know that I also downloaded their current software only to find that it's not capable of converting Audible material. I'm curious what you mean when you say the software is working well for you. Since you say you haven't been able to "leverage the lame codec," I'm left with the impression that you haven't had any better luck than I did. The lame codec, as I understand it, would enable you to reformat certain material into MP3, but I'll be surprised if that means you can reformat .aa files.

If you've read the earlier posts, you know that that's because Audible’s legal department pressured RiverPast to stop providing .aa-to-.mp3 capability. I immediately discovered that the current RiverPast converter wouldn't do the job and asked for a refund, since I already had numerous converters that would do everything the current RiverPast software will do. RiverPast not only right terrific software, they were also impressively prompt and fair and processed my refund right away.

Later, I appealed to members of this forum to e-mail me the setup files for the old RiverPast converters, previous versions of the one you got, which did convert Audible material. I hadn't read the rules of the forum as I should have. We're not supposed to post e-mail addresses. I guess the moderator is looking out after our interests, but I post my e-mail address to lots of other forums, and I've never received unwanted e-mail or gotten a virus, but I value AfterDawn and have no complaints. The moderator censored my submission, eliminating my e-mail address, but not before a half-dozen generous people took note and sent me several different versions of the old conversion utility.

I wouldn't blame you or anyone else for giving up on this post at this point, since I'm using a lot of words to rehash old news, but it's not just to bring you up to speed, FLTR Guy. I'm leading up to new information that might interest you and others, and it needs to be put in context.

I'm ashamed to say that my conscience didn't start bothering me until about an hour after I got the converter working and, coincidentally, received e-mail from RiverPast advising me that their refund had been processed. Then it hit me. I'm using their converter, so I should've paid for it, even though the version I'm using is ostensibly obsolete now. So I wrote RiverPast and requested that they stopped the refund and except my payment.

They declined. All of their correspondence was notably friendly and classy. The gentleman who signed off on it was sympathetic to the needs of folks like us. They just don't feel they're in a position to provide the capability of doing something another company has asked them not to do.

I drew the analogy in one of my earlier posts between they're old converter and skeleton keys. Professional burglars have plenty of other ways to get into your rooms, but owners of old houses lose keys. By the same token, there are other ways to convert Audible material, and those of us who are thieves and have no intention of stealing intellectual property from Audible or anyone else have legitimate reasons to convert .aa files to MP3.

I'm a runner and a cyclist, and none of them digital audio players that will play .aa files is waterproof and skip resistant. Rain ruined one of mine that was supposed to be. The Rio Cali uses flash memory and has a slot for additional memory in the form of a flash card, so mine has 768 MB of capacity, enough to provide MP3 music for the six hours it takes me to ride 100 miles or enough for half a dozen recorded books. Part of its case is rubberized. I've knocked it against things and warned it in hours and hours of heavy downpour, and it has never missed a beat. The iPod is a terrific piece of equipment, but like all players that use hard drives, it skips and loses its place when you run, despite its fairly capacious buffer.

But the Rio Cali won't play .aa files. You asked why anyone would want to convert *to* the audible format. I don't know, but it does have a fine place-holding feature. The Rio Cali keeps your place to, even when you turn it completely off and then turn it back on, but it is cumbersome to "rewind" and fast-forward through, say, a nine-hour book. But as others on the forum have discussed, GoldWave and other sound editors are capable of dividing lengthy programs into segments of any links you choose, providing a handy way to get back to the part of a book you want to hear in case you do lose your place.

My wife and I put MP3 conversions of Audible material to another use. One of our computers is essentially a dedicated jukebox, connected to our whole-house sound system. We have infrared receivers in every room to control our TiVos, DVD player, CD changer, MiniDisc deck, radio tuner, and tape deck. We can also navigate the audio player on the dedicated computer with universal remotes in every room. We use Creative's SoundBlaster Audigy2 NX, which not only sounds better than most sound cards and enables all kinds of other neat tricks, but for our purposes, primarily provides the magic of remote control. When we're listening to a novel together and the telephone rings, we just stop the program until we can get back to it. We can also rewind and fast-forward and change from book to book, segment to segment, tune to tune. But the Creative player won't play .aa files.

Those of us who pay Audible for their programming have no right to profit from it or to give it away. I do occasionally lend CDs I've burned to a friend, but although I have the capability of making as many copies as I choose, I don't make extra copies, much less to give away or sell. I don't doubt that Audible, like the music industry, loses money to people who do sell or share their material you legitimately.

I'm glad to see that the moderator of this forum takes pains to neither encourage nor enable people to steal. I'm amazed that high school-and college-age people, most of whom are decent kids who will ultimately prove to be good citizens, feel so little compunction about ripping off intellectual material. I even feel guilty for zooming through commercials with TiVo. But then I'm 65 years old, and when I was 18 and living in a freshman dormitory, I thought it was harmless mischief to stick a safety pin through the cord of the payphone out in the hall and call my girlfriend long-distance for free. Infants aren't born honorable. We have to mature into persons of integrity.

There are probably lots of ways to circumvent Audible’s measures against the reformatting of their material. I've even set their books running overnight while my MiniDisc, GoldWave, or some other acoustic or editor records them. GoldWave will very rapidly load audible material into its window from which you can save the file in .wav.

Finally, I'm getting to something substantive! I mentioned in an earlier post that you can also save from GoldWave to .wma files. These will play in the Rio Cali and also in the Creative player, so it turns out that I really don't have to convert them to MP3 in order to use them. I also mentioned that even with a very fast computer, it took a long time to convert from .wma to MP3. But that was with Acoustica. Using the RiverPast converter, it was far faster. it was almost as fast, maybe just as fast, to load a book into GoldWave, save it as .wma, and then use RiverPast to convert from .wma to .mp3. The extra step may strike you as unnecessary, but although the RiverPast converter has readily and rapidly converted at least 95% of the Audible material I've tried it on, two Audible files proved recalcitrant. I tried several times but failed to convert them directly but had no trouble going through GoldWave and .wma. I bet Audible would love to know what kept RiverPast from converting those two files!

Some people have complained on the forum and in private e-mail to me that the old RiverPast converters they've downloaded and installed would only convert the first two minutes of an Audible program. At the time, I registered surprise, because I had never had that problem. But recently, after talking to one of these people, I tried installing the converter on one of my other computers and ran into the same limit. What I got was a box asking me to pay for the converter. So I'm going to. This will salve my conscience about using RiverPast software, and I hope that by activating the old converter with a legitimate activation key, the old converter, capable of reformatting Audible material, will work. That way, I hope, I'll legitimately on the software, reimburse its producers, and still be able to use it to do what their current software won't do.

I apologize for being so wordy. I'd be too lazy to type this much, but I dictate using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, so you may find some recognition errors here. Thank goodness, you don't have to read what I write unless you want to!

Dawn (actually written by Dawn's husband, although she's the nominal member of this forum)

Zac
#47
The River Past product converts to MP3 just not at the quality required. I believe it's not using the Lame codec since the sample rate is limited to 24khz.

On another note, Goldwave seems to work perfectly - converting directly to MP3 at the quality I'm looking for. I did have a problem with one particular file in that it would not convert the entire file or it seemed to scramble the file. Best I could figure is there is some interaction between Goldwave and Audible Manager with AM tracking where I left off when playnig the file.

Goldwave includes a batch processing option which I used to convert two files and it worked great... just set it up and walk away!
#48
FLTRGuy:

It worked. I was able to activate an old version of RiverPast after paying for the current version, so I have what I want, and RiverPast got paid for it.

I'm glad GoldWave is working for you. I'm going to try and live the codec I downloaded and compare the speed and ease of GoldWave with the speed and ease of RiverPast. With RiverPast, I'm able to select from a broad range of quality settings. It has never limited me to 24 kHz. I'm taking it for granted that you are able to scroll through alternative outputs but somehow can't get the software to reformat to MP3 at a higher setting.


Zac
#49
I understand Audio Converter 5.0.X (where X is something higher than 0) adds the ability to select codecs. In 5.0.0 I am unable to define the codec AC uses for MP3 encoding. Somewhere in versoin 5.1.X River Past removed the ability to handle .aa files.

Anyone know what the magic combination is?
#50
computrak Suspended due non-functional email address
I have been trying to convert .aa to mp3 using River Past and keep the size similar to the .aa but the mp3 always ends up significantly larger. If I start with a 27MB .aa I get a 130MB mp3. What am I doing wrong? Is there a way to convert .aa to .mp3 and keep the quality and size about the same. If so, what settings or steps do I need to use. Note: I was using mono and 32 khz even to keep it to 130MB.

traker
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