How to Play ZAB Files and Convert Them to MP3?

Have you ever stumbled upon a mysterious .zab file and wondered how to play it or convert it to a more familiar MP3 format? We've got all the tips, tricks, and answers to your burning questions right here!

Kevincy Kevincy | Nov 2, 2023

So, What Exactly is a .ZAB File?

Well, the abbreviation stands for Zipped Audio Book. It's actually an audio book that has been compressed into the ZIP format. ZAB files contain multiple audio files compressed into one - usually one audio file per chapter. By zipping them together, it makes downloading, transferring, and listening to audio books much more convenient than having to deal with individual files for each chapter.

However, there's a hitch - not many media players and applications can handle this unique file type. But don't worry, we've got a few tricks up our sleeves to tackle this conundrum!

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Nonetheless, How to Play ZAB Files?

As the ZAB format is relatively uncommon, not as well-known as the usual MP3 or WAV, you'll inevitably run into playback failure in your media players and devices. However, there are a couple options for listening to these handy compressed audio books.

#1. Use VLC Media Player

Your best bet for playing .zab files is to use VLC media player. As a free, open source cross-platform media player, it can handle just about any audio or video format you throw at it. At the moment, VLC seems to be the only free ZAB player that supports playback of ZAB files.

To play a .zab file in VLC:

  • Open VLC and go to "Media" > "Open File".
  • Choose "All Files (*)" in the drop-down menu.
  • Locate and select your .zab file, then click "Open" button.
  • Alternatively, simply drag and drop the ZAB file into the VLC interface.
  • VLC will recognize and play the .zab file and show all the chapters in the Playlist.
  • You can then listen to the Zipped Audio Book like normal.

Play ZAB Files in VLC

#2. Extract Audio Tracks from a ZAB File

Alternatively, you can extract the individual audio files from the .zab container so they can be played in any media player.

  • Rename the ZAB file by changing the file extension from ".zab" to ".zip" (e.g. change book.zab to
  • Open the extracted folder and locate the individual audio files, which are usually in the MP3, AAC, or OGG format.
  • Now you can add them to your media player library for listening as normal.

Note. If the extracted audio chapters are still saved in an uncommon audio file type, try to use some reliable free audio converter software, such as Free HD Video Converter Factory, to edit, merge, and convert the selected audio files to MP3.

Extract Audio Tracks from ZAB File

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I play .ZAB files on my smartphone or tablet?

A: Yes, you can play .ZAB files on your smartphone or tablet using VLC media player's mobile app, available for both iOS and Android devices.

Q2: Are there any online services that can convert .ZAB files to MP3 directly?

A: Unfortunately no, as far as I know. You're generally recommended to use offline audio converter software for better privacy and control over the conversion process.

Q3: Is there a way to edit the chapters within a .ZAB file?

A: Yes, you can extract the individual audio files from the .ZAB file using the method mentioned earlier and then edit them using audio editing software such as Audacity.

Q4: Can I create my own .ZAB files?

A: Yes, you can organize and zip all audio chapters into a single ".zip" file using a ZIP compression tool. Then rename it to ".zab", although it's rarely necessary.

Final Words

The .zab audiobook format provides a handy way to compress audio books for distribution. While support is limited, VLC player makes listening to ZAB files a breeze. And if needed, it's easy to extract the files and convert to common formats like MP3 for total flexibility. So don't be put off if you encounter one of these zipped audiobooks - with the right tools you can enjoy the convenient format on any device.

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