De-drmed audiobooks and cd rips

How should we list the status of de-drmed and ripped audiobooks? for instance I and a few people I know like to buy audiobooks from audible (usually single aax file) and remove the drm, then split the file into a series of mp3s. I also know people who buy cds and rip them for personal use. should it be considered a bootleg since it isn’t the original format even though it isn’t meant to be distributed?

1 Like

In terms of officialness, I don’t think a bootleg status would be appropriate here. We also do not list streaming-only releases as bootlegs, even though the only way to obtain them as taggable files is to rip them somehow. Remember4 that Musicbrainz is a database of music in general, not just one for tagging.

Regarding the splitting, I would argue that this is not something that should be entered into Musicbrainz, because it’s not from an official (or even public, if I understand you correctly) source.


on the splitting, should we avoid entering it even if the original aax file has chapters marked that give the same effect as splitting and combining into an album?

If you’re splitting by chapter then I think you are fine to add it as official - as it’s a fair representation of the Audible ‘release’.

If it’s an arbitrary split then bootleg.

I don’t know about the first part of your question but a ripped CD does simply not appear in MB, except as the CD itself.

It’s just a carbon copy of a release.

It’s like when I audio rip my DVD for listening or for MB submission, I only submit the original DVD using the copy.


This is a messy part for me. If you split the tracks, you’ll split out a unique version with your own choice of time per track. Messy. And not a release format. It is a personal format.

If would be like me ripping a CD and then deciding to slice up that 20mins track into 5mins segments. A unique to me edit. I don’t take the 23mins Atom Heart Mother from the CD and split the suite into parts. That is against MB guidelines.

Add the Audible CD as a single file as you downloaded it, but any post processing you do should not really be added. It is not “as per release”. Add it at the “remove drm” stage. Not at the “split to MP3” stage.