Audible.com — device activation problems — location matters
Note to self: Audible activation of devices — it matters where your computer thinks you are.
I don’t much like the service provided by audible.com — lots of DRM, inconvenience, and so on. But there is not much choice in the audiobook space. Librivox is excellent but perforce limited in what it can provide (I highly recommend anything read by Mark Nelson or Karen Savage).
So I recently wanted to activate an mp3 player — a Philips GoGear Raga, one of the earlier ones with the power button on top, much better than the crippled later ones (‘Raga 3’) which use the main stop/start button for power and are too slow in responding to button pushes to be fit for purpose. The earlier ones (this one is a ‘Raga 2’) were a useful, cheap, audible-enabled player.
Some background; I have an Audible username, not an Amazon account (the account is from before they were merged) and I am based in Australia.
- Updated Audible manager. This is Windows software. I use it about once a year so I always need a new version.
- Plugged in mp3 player. Selected it within Manager and selected ‘Activate’ from the Devices menu.
- Was sent to a webpage where I was to log in to Audible, but there was no option to put in an Audible username, only an Amazon account.
- Read lots of (so-called) ‘Help’ information. Nothing.
- Began a Chat with Audible staff.
- An hour was spent installing software, changing the default web browser from Firefox to IE, scratching heads, and so on.
- Turned out that this is the story: My Audible account is from before they had a presence in Australia and before they merged with Amazon. As a result, I need to log in to the US site, because the Australian one has no link for logging in via an Audible username. So…
- Went into computer settings and changed the location (and language, though probably not necessary) to ‘United States’. At this point the default browser was still changed to IE, though that is not important unless IE and Firefox use the locale information differently.
- Now tried to activate device. Was forwarded to a US website that did have the ‘log in with username’ (or whatever it was) option.
- Did so, and the device was activated.
- Changed computer settings back to what they were.
So, the upshot is that if you are trying to do something with an Audible username from outside the USA, but you are getting directed to a webpage that does not let you log in that way, pretending you are in the USA might be the solution to your problem.