DRM-Free Audiobooks

How do you even listen to a DRM-free audiobook?

Ninety-nine percent of my audiobook reading is done through the Libby app that my local libraries use. I’ve resorted to Apple Books and still have some old books left over on an old Amazon account for the rest.

Recently, I purchased The Internet Con by Cory Doctorow, which is, first and foremost, DRM-free! Once purchased, you receive a link to download a zip file that contains 25 audio files. Great, but how do you play it on your phone while walking the dogs?

That’s where Audio Book Shelf comes in—a self-hosted audiobook and podcast server.

It was easily installed on my home server. I pointed the library folders to my NAS and dropped in the audio files that Cory sent upon purchase, and the book quickly appeared on Audio Book Shelf.

But what about playing the books on your phone? Audio Book Shelf offers player apps for both Apple and Android. Once the app is downloaded, you just need to point it at your server URL, and away you go.

What are your other options? While writing this, I did notice on the book’s Kickstarter page, The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation it mentions that Libro.fm’s app offers an option to sideload audiobooks. I’m not sure if you need to specially purchase the book through Libra.fm, though.

I’ll keep that in mind, but for now, I’m happy with my self-hosted audiobook server.

View this page on GitHub.