Audiobooks can be expensive. $50 seems to be the average for a full-length title. And yet there are thousands of free audio books available for download, all perfectly legal. Find out where to get free audiobooks here.

Free audiobooks? Yes, by the thousand. There are computer generated, human volunteer narrated, and professionally recorded audio books available for download for free from many sites. Some are recordings of classic works that have passed into Public Domain due to copyright expiring, some are works released by authors under Creative Commons, and some are fully copyrighted works lent through libraries. Read more about copyright and what kinds of audiobooks are available here.

Some audiobooks, both free and purchased, and other digital content can be protected by Digital Rights Management software. DRM is instructions embedded within digital audio or video in order to limit how it can be used. There are as many kinds of DRM as there are companies using it, all with different restrictions. Common restrictions are on how content can be replicated and shared: limited or no CD burning, limited number of computers and MP3 players on which content can be played.
DRM protected content will not work with hardware it is not compatible with. Microsoft's PlaysForSure (used by many independent merchants) will not work on Mac or Linux, and will not let files play on incompatible portable devices. Apples FairPlay protection scheme will work on both PC and Mac, but will play on very few devices other than company's own iPod.
Find out how Digital Rights Managment affects audiobooks here
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