You probably have downloaded ACSM eBooks from your public library to the computer or pulled down the books locally from the Adobe Digital Editions application, but found the books could not be opened in your preferred PDF or ePub reading apps. That’s because ACSM books can only be opened via Adobe Digital Editions(abbreviated ADE) and have DRM protection. The only way to break this is to convert ACSM to PDF/EPUB (and remove DRM).
What is ACSM?
ACSM file is an Adobe Content Server Message file which contains information about downloading a digital publication and is protected by the Adobe DRM.
An ACSM file is not the actual e-book, but a type of link or message between the user and the Adobe Content Server DRM software. When you open an ACSM file, the actual eBook is downloaded from a remote source via the Internet.
When you download the eBook (i.e. from your google play bookstore), you will get a file named “URL.ascm”. ACSM files have an average size of 1-5 KB.
Summary:1. ACSM files are not ebooks.
2. ACSM files manage the download of Adobe DRM-protected ebooks.
3. ACSM files must be opened with Adobe Digital Editions.
What is DRM on Adobe Digital Editions ACSM?
DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, which is aimed to hinder unapproved access to or copying of digital content files. For ACSM books, DRM prevents users from copying its online library books for seeking personal gains or for sharing with the public. The protected books that come from the library websites or popular booksellers can only be read on Adobe Digital Editions and a device running ADE service linked to your (same) Adobe ID.
How exactly do ACSM files and Adobe drm protection work?
If creators or copyright holders choose to use Adobe Content Server to protect eBooks, when this content is purchased, it is automatically linked to the buyer’s Adobe ID. This ID is personal and non-transferable, and the user must set it up before purchasing any file with Adobe drm protection. Without this ID, the Adobe server application running in the background has no way of knowing whether to grant access to the copy-protected acsm file.
How can I convert ACSM files to PDF / ePub / Kindle / Word?
There are multiple third-party tools that can help you with this task. In this article, we take a look at the best acsm converters to help you turn your acsm eBooks to pdf (ePub, Kindle, Word) format.
Note:Some of these tools are free while others may require you to purchase a license code to use.
Tool 1. Adobe Digital Editions (Basic Requirement)
As I described in the previous part, Adobe Digital Editions is needed if you want to open the downloaded ACSM files.
Step1. Get started with Adobe Digital Editions 4.5.
Download Adobe Digital Editions 4.5 for PC/Mac, run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.
Step2. Authorize Adobe Digital Editions with an Adobe ID.
The first time you open the URL.ascm file, ADE will ask you to authorize your computer. The best way to do this is to supply an Adobe ID, associating the book with your ID.
And you can also create an Adobe ID manually by clicking on “Help” >> “Authorize Computer…” or you can just press Ctrl + Shift + U.
Tips:1. If you later open the book on another computer, you can simply supply the same ID to open the book.
2. A single Adobe ID can be activated on up to six different devices.
3. There are alternatives to Adobe Digital Editions such as Bluefire Reader. However, an Adobe ID is still required.
Step3. Open/download ACSM via ADE.
Using Adobe Digital Editions to open the book.
You can open a book in Adobe Digital Editions by double-clicking the book file, or you can open Adobe Digital Editions, click File >> Add to Library to add it to your ADE library. Then, double-click the book in the library to open it.
ADE will then download the eBook itself (some eBook files are large and this step may take some time), and it will be available in your Adobe Digital Editions bookshelf, from where you can read the book offline on your own computer.
All downloaded eBooks you can find in “My Documents\My Digital Editions” folder (Windows) or
“Documents\Digital Editions” (Mac OS X). You can right-click the book in Adobe Digital Editions and choose Show File in Finder to find the acsm file stored location.
When it’s finished you’ll have a PDF or ePub file, most of them are still with drm protected.
3 Solutions when unable to open a .ACSM eBooks (most common error messages)
a. If an error occurs when importing an acsm file to ADE (License Server Communication Problem: E_ACT_NOT_READY), try to erase all remnants of previous activations. To do that press Ctrl+Shift+D, then press “Erase Authorization”.
b. When Adobe Digital Editions returns an error message W_ADEPT_CORE_LOAN_NOT_ONRECORD, it means no record for the book loan is found on this machine. It means that you are attempting to open a borrowed/rented book that was previously expired or returned.
c. If you see E_ADEPT_REQUEST_EXPIRED error when downloading a book, that’s because the ACSM contains an expiry time, and if you don’t download the book within that token expiry time, you can’t download the eBook. Try to download the eBook again.
Tool 2. ACSM online converter
There is a lot of online ACSM to PDF conversion methods also.
ebook.online-convert is the website that specializes in format conversion. It can convert audio/document/ebook/image/video. Basically, you can solve all problems about format conversion in this website, as long as your computer is under network. Next, we will show you how to convert ACSM to PDF online.
Get access to ebook.online-convert (link: https://ebook.online-convert.com/convert/acsm-to-pdf) and then, upload the downloaded acsm file directly to its main conversion area and start conversion.
Importance: Add books from Digital Editions to convert formats please. Don’t directly drag the acsm to convert, or after you get the converted PDF file you will find the content is not what you need because the acsm file is not the actual book but a file contains book’s info.
Tool 3. Calibre ACSM input plugin (free)
By default, Adobe Digital Editions doesn’t offer an option to convert drm ACSM files to other formats. It’s an acsm eBook reader and management tool.
It’s nearly impossible to convert drm ACSM to pdf/epub with Adobe Digital Editions. But after you successfully open your acsm books with ADE, you can continue to try the following 3 tools.
Calibre is one of these tools as it’s a famous eBook management tool and eBook converter. It supports multiple eBooks formats.
After you get the ACSM Input Plugin installed to Calibre, you should also enter your AdobeID credentials in the plugin settings.
Then, import adobe digital editions eBooks from “My Digital Editions” folder to calibre library, then click on “Convert books”, choose ePub or PDF as the target format.
Tool 4. Epubor All DRM Removal
Epubor All DRM Removal is a powerful tool that can remove DRM from Adobe and convert acsm to common ePub or PDF.
While Epubor DRM Removal is a premium software, you can still download the free trial to try it before making a purchase.
Tool 5. iSummersoft ACSM Converter
iSummersoft ACSM Converter is a feature-packed premium converter that lets you get full control over the Adobe ACSM files you purchased from online libraries.
The downloaded acsm format eBooks can be converted into ePub, PDF, Word, AZW3, Mobi to enjoy the collection on all the non-ADE supported readers.
The tool comes with an adobe detecting feature that allows you to drag the opened acsm files from “Adobe Digital Editions Library” to its main workspace (thanks to its intuitive, drag, and drop-compliant interface).
Let’s quickly look at its key features:
Now you may find that converting ACSM files to ePub PDF is not hard work. These 5 helpful tools can really help you convert ACSM with ease in 2021 and make you enjoy your library eBooks offline. In addition, you may find that iSummesoft ACSM Converter can convert almost all encrypted acsm eBooks to DRM-free. Why not try it?