Not all the titles are available for download (or purchase for that matter), and judging by the unhappy comments in the community forums, the rental option also has its down side, so I wasn't able to buy or download the Earth's Children books by Jean M Auel, but I did find the unabridged version of John Grisham's "The Appeal", which Audible advertises but won't let me buy.
I signed up and started the download, which took some time because it is a long book. While it was downloading I read the FAQ to make sure that I had all the right components and stuff to make it work. I even tried the free book to make sure everything was working. But when it came to actually listening to the book I'd bought, the wheels came off.
The emailed instructions and the on-line Getting Started Guide tell you what needs to be done before you listen to your first book, but there is no help to tell you what to do after you try to listen and get nowhere. Nor is there a test file you can download and play to ensure that everything is working. DUH. And did I mention that their Technical Support is only available Monday to Friday? Not much use when you buy something on a Saturday.
So now I wait until Monday 9am EST, which is late Monday afternoon for me, and hope that the Tech Support people can actually help. Time will tell, but I'm not optimistic, given the amount of technical help available on the site.
Update Monday 10 March: To their credit, Gillian from Member Services sent me a reply at 11pm on Sunday night. That's awesome! Her solution was to reset the licence from "Claimed" to "Unclaimed" and then instruct me to delete the old book and download all 268MB again. I decided to risk it by just trying to play the book and see whether the DRM stuff was working. It was. So I am now listening to John Grisham's new book.
I had guessed the email address of Pete Wright, the VP of Software Development, and to his credit he wrote back on Sunday at noon (local time). I have suggested some changes to the site to help get the process going:
- Warn Firefox users to download the extra ActiveX control using Internet Explorer;
- Add a DRM'ed "Play Me First" file to the download shelf when users sign up, so they can test their setup and get it working before screwing up th liense on a "real" book; and
- Add a test on the login screen in WMP to ensure the ActiveX control is installed.