How to play iTunes audiobooks with Sonos

Sonos is able to work with iTunes, but what you get from the iTunes folder on your Sonos app may not be entirely satisfying because it omits the audiobook file formats, if you’re a fervent lover of audiobooks and has invested a fortune within the iTunes store over the years, this is simply unacceptable. However Sonos is able to recognize and play iTunes music, and the discrimination is due to the FairPlay DRM system, embedded within the audiobook files, it prevents the host file from being used on unauthorized platforms. If you want to listen or stream iTunes audiobooks with Sonos, the DRM embedded files need to be converted to something friendly, say mp3.

Considering the very nature of DRM is to restrict legitimate user, it’s not a thing to be loved. So it’s no surprise that the market is abundant with DRM removal tools that effectively turns DRM protected media to universally supported file types. DRM media converter is a DRM removal/video converter that’s well-developed and supported, extremely straight forward and easy to use, this is a step by step guide to convert iTunes audiobook for Sonos with DRM media converter:


The step by step guide:

  1. Download the DRM media converter on your Windows PC. The software is available on Windows platform, decoding and encoding media files will take up considerable amount of CPU usage, so currently there’s no mobile version of the software available. If you’re reading this on your iPhone or Android, time to find a desktop PC.
    Download For Windows
  2. Load the iTunes audiobook files to DRM media converter by simply drag and drop the files to the software interface, or by clicking the “add” button, then navigate to the iTunes folder and select the wanted files. If you’re not sure where the iTunes audiobooks are located, open iTunes, right click on any title, choose “open in file explorer”. The opened folder is where the iTunes media files are located.
  3. Set output audio format as mp3, which is a great file format for audio files, it compress the audio data in a way that’s efficient in keeping the file light in terms of size, and keep good in term of audio quality.
  4. Start the conversion. The conversion may take more time than you think.
  5. After the conversion is completed, you can simply move the files to the Sonos local file folders on your mobile phone or desktop PC.

Something about the iTunes audiobooks

Audiobooks published on iTunes are encoded in .aac compressing method, with the file extension of .m4b. the unique trait of the m4b file format is its bookmarking ability, by converting the .m4b to mp3, the audiobooks will be compatible with all platforms, they can be recognized and indexed by the Sonos app, can be added to the local music library, and can be listened to through Sonos. The downside is that you lose all the bookmarks.


Can I just change the file extension of the iTunes audiobooks to mp3 or m4a?

The audiobook files of iTunes are with the file extension m4b, if the file’s not protected by DRM, then yes, m4a and m4b are interchangeable, the file will play after its file extension’s changed to m4a. If the file’s DRM protected, as many of the titles are on the iTunes store, simply changing the file extension to a universal file format doesn’t remove the DRM restriction from the file, the file is still unplayable on Sonos unless it’s been processed by DRM removal software.

What’s the IDEAL file format for playing through Sonos?

Sonos is a high-end audio speaker crafted with the desire of being the best, to fully utilize the hardware’s potential the audio files are recommended to be lossless, uncompressed file format like FLAC or ALAC.

The state of DRM

DRM by its design is to ensure the profitability of artist and publishers, to make creative work worthwhile. But nowadays it’s generally misused, abused as a weapon for dominating tech giants to advance themselves in the fierce competition, to keep their own flock inline because leaving means forfeiting all the previously made, legitimate purchases.

Sonos and its limitation

Sonos, despite all its virtues, doesn’t have the option for an expandable storage, which is the ideal way of playing our converted, local mp3 files. The alternative route is to move the music files to a folder on your cell phone or computer, then have the Sonos controller app run a scan and index the music files so that you will be able to stream the sound.


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