Audible files not showing up

I’m using a MacBook Air and ITunes.

I bought the Clip Zip to listen to Audible books while I walk.

I copied my .aa book files from ITunes to BOTH the Audible and Audiobook directories on the Clip Zip.

When I go to the Audiobook menu on the Clip Zip, it shows [Empty]. 

I know the files are there, but Clip Zip doesn’t see them.  

Also, the Clip Zip does not show an Audible menu, even though there is a separate directory for Audible in the

Clip Zip root.

What gives?

Did you authorize the Clip Zip as an Audible device?  (I do this using the Audible Manager or WMP; not sure how it’s done with iTunes.)

No, I did not authorize the Clip Zip as an Audible device.

 I’m using a MacBook AIr and ITunes.  I have no idea how to authorize the Clip Zip, and I do not have access to a PC.

I’ve searched the Clip Zip manual and it does not mention authorizing the Clip Zip for Audible books.  

Thanks for responding.

iTunes does not like to sync with anything other than an iPod, or an Apple device.  Download and install the Audible Manager  for OSx and use it to authorize your Clip Zip for Audible content.

Drag and drop cannot be used, as the license data is missing. There is anAudible Manager version for OSx here.

It’s also critical that you install the SanDisk Digital Players Plugin once you have the manager running.  To do this, open the Manager, click on Help > Check For Updates, and select the Sandisk plugin.  Next, plug in your Clip Zip.  You can then authorize your Clip Zip and transfer your books!

SInce you are using a platform that is hell-bent on using iTunes (it was designed that way, of course), the Achilles’ Heel  of using the Clip Zip, or anything other that an iPod, is iTunes itself, as it doesn’t show other devices as available for synchronization / transfer.  Simply use the Audible Manager in your case.  For the Audible Format, use Format 4 or Enhanced  with the Sansa, as these are the supported formats.  I am happy with Format 4, though it is a little larger than the lower formats. (Format 4 offers great sound quality-the 1-3 formats are not compatible with the latest generation Sansas.)

The Manager will be needed for download and transfer using your combination, since you cannot use the alternative, Windows Media Player.  The Manager is a good client, allowing you to follow your book progress while the device is connected and charging, a nice additional feature- as well as multiple bookmarks when listening on the PC or Mac.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

Hi neutron_bob,

I cannot find an Audible Manager for OSX.

I went to the link you provided and selected Mac OSX.   I got the following message:

"Mac users using iTunes do not need to download any additional software.

Audible files will download directly into iTunes."

This DRM stuff drives me nuts.

I just spoke to Audible, and they told me I have to use a PC to get this working.  They don’t have

a separate manager program for Mac computers.

I’m hoping Audible and Sandisk will get together and fix this.

Thanks for taking an interest in my problem. 


Aaargh!!!  Really?  They’re killing me!!

The Clip Zip needs that initial device authorization, as _iTunes won’t show any device other than an iPod in the iTunes interface.  _After being authorized, the Audible files can be transferred to the Zip for playback.  I don’t know if the combination of your Mac can be used as yet, but a Windows PC will indeed work.

Looks like it’s time to pull the access covers on this situation and do a little poking around.

I do know for certain that if you download and install the Audible Manager on a Windows PC, the Clip Zip can be authorized for playback.  I’ll get back to you ASAP on whether the Mac + iTunes combination can be used after authorizing the device.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

I would call Audible customer support back and have them walk you through how to authorize the Clip Zip using iTunes and your Mac.  Presumably, there is an easy way/solution.

Here is how I solved my problem.  I wrote this lenghty explanations and sent it to SanDisk support.

Re: Mac users trying to listen to their Audible books on their Clip Zip MP3 player.

I hope you and your fellow tech support team members will find my experience useful.  These are the facts,

as I understand them, as of October 25, 2011.

  1.  Audible audiobooks are DRM protected files with a .aa file extension.  (DRM = Digital Rights Management = copy protection).
  1.  You cannot listen to Audible audiobooks without activation software (provided by Audible) for the DEVICE you

are using.  (Device = computer, IPod, MP3 player, Kindle, Clip Zip etc.)  

  1.  Mac users normally use ITunes to listen to their Audible audiobooks.  ITunes has Audible activation software built in.
  1.  ITunes cannot activate the Clip Zip to play Audible files.
  1.  Audible does NOT supply a native Mac program to activate your Clip Zip device.
  1.  You must use a Windows PC and Audibles’ Windows program to activate your Clip Zip device.
  1.   Go to -> Device center -> MP3 players -> SanDisk -> Clip Zip and download the Audible program to your PC.
  1.  Run the Audible program on your PC. Use the program to download one of your books from your Audible library.  Plug in your Clip Zip.

The Audible program will detect your Clip Zip.  Drag the Audible book you just downloaded onto your Clip Zip.

 Unplug your Clip Zip, and you should see your Audible book under the Audiobooks -> Audible menu.

  1.  If you look in the Audible folder on your Clip Zip, you should see a file named AudibleActivation.sys.  I believe this is the file

that lets your Clip Zip recognize the Audible .aa files and to allow you to listen to them.

  1.  Once you have authorized your Clip Zip, you can copy any of your Audible .aa files into the Audible folder on your Clip Zip and they will display in the menu and allow you to listen to them.  I was able to copy Audible .aa files from my Mac to the Clip Zip and listen to them.  This means you do not have to continue using a PC to load your Audible books into the Clip Zip.
  1.  If your Clip Zip is not Audible activated, your Audible books will not show up in the Clip Zip menus.
  1.  I don’t believe your Clip Zip has to be in MSC USB mode to copy your books from a Mac to the Clip Zip.

I would encourage SanDisk to talk to Audible about writing a native Mac program to activate SanDisk MP3 players.  

Excellent!  The Audible client can authorize three devices per account.  Once your device is authorized, you can transfer your books to the Sansa (MSC or MTP mode).  The DRM is keyed to the device.

To transfer, since iTunes will not display the Clip Zip, manually transfer the books from your library folder under iTunes.

I agree, it would be wonderful if Audible made an application to authorize the device using the Mac as well.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

And so the issue seems to be: iTunes will not authorize the Clip Zip as an Audible device, and Audible does not offer separate Mac software (as it does on the PC side) for use with the Apple operating system. Arggghhh! :frowning:

@miikerman wrote:
And so the issue seems to be: iTunes will not authorize the Clip Zip as an Audible device, and Audible does not offer separate Mac software (as it does on the PC side) for use with the Apple operating system. Arggghhh! :frowning:

That was one of the things on Steve Job’s To-Do list.

No, there is  not an Audible Manager for Mac.  That link leads to a page that says Mac users don’t need any additional software, iTunes syncs Audible for Mac.  I called Audible Customer Service and was told that they officially suport ONLY Apple iOS devices for Mac.  On the Clip and Clip+, if you used a Windows computer to authorize the player, then you could us a Mac or a Linux box to drag and drop in Audible files and they’d work.  That doesn’t seem to be the case for the Clip Zip.  I have authorized my Clip Zip on a Windows box, but it still won’t see Audible files dragged on with either Mac or Linux.

That worked for me on the Clip and the Clip+, but it is NOT working for me on the Clip Zip.

And this despite the fact that Apple is now the #1 selling computer in both the US and the world.  Makes sense, huh?

@spookiewon wrote:

And this despite the fact that Apple is now the #1 selling computer in both the US and the world.  Makes sense, huh?

Apple is certainly not the #1 selling computer in the world. #1 selling tablet, the iPad, yes…#1 selling daps, the iPod line, yes. But their computers are still only around 10% of the computer market.

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and have no idea what the laws are with regard to DRM.

After you have bought and paid for your Audible books, there are several programs around that will convert .aa files to .mp3 files. After doing the conversion, you will be able to play your books on any device you want.

And there is no Audible Manager for Linux!

The funny things about that are (from the French Audible website)

  • even now, Sansa Clip Zip is not indicated as “compatible” with Audible
  • Audible is not compatible with Linux. They said they are searching a solution with Linux community… since 2009! Ah ah, very effective and credible, no???

For me, the best solution is to buy my audiobooks throught legal resellers who doesn’t use (**bleep**ing) DRM. In France, “Book d’Oreille” does that, and offers all the French audiobooks you can find through Audible in classic MP3. Just download from your browser,  drag and drop your files in your Sansa Clip Zip, and just listen your books!

Perhaps you can find similar resellers in USA, and escape from Amazon (they have bought Audible), who doesn’t treat employees and customers as they deserve.