Configuring Applications for Windows MultiPoint Server

Most applications install cleanly in Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 (WMS) without any special tricks. They’re smart enough to not attempt to write critical files that can’t be shared into locations where they shouldn’t be. But some applications simply aren’t Terminal Server aware, and those can be an issue. One we ran into recently is Audible Manager. If you’re using a Zune or Sansa or other non-Apple product to listen to your Audible books, you need Audible Manager to transfer your books to the device. Well, needless to say, as we’re moving users to WMS, one of their requirements is to be able to use Audible Manager.

The first problem was USB support so they can connect their device. That was easy, I just installed KernelPro for them. But that brought up a second issue. When two people try to run Audible Manager at the same time, the second person gets a “Can’t open Content.aud” error. Why? Because Audible Manager installs it into “C:\Program Files (x86)\Audible\bin”. That’s a really bad idea, and bad programming practice, to say the least. But I found a workaround, and it actually does what Audible should have already been doing.

  1. Close audible manager.
  2. Navigate to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Audible\Bin".  
  3. Cut "content.aud" and paste someplace you can find it and get to it.
  4. For EACH USER (this is the part that’s a pain!):
    1. Navigate to %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming
    2. Create a new folder "Audible"
    3. Drop a copy of "Content.aud" into the folder
    4. Start Audible Manager.
    5. When Audible Manager can’t find content.aud, it will prompt you to either “Create A New, Empty File" or "Browse For An Existing File".
    6. Choose Browse, and then point to the file you just dropped in Roaming for the user.
  5. Repeat the sub-steps for each user. (or, if you’re doing this on a new server, do this and then copy to the default profile, and it will happen automatically when you add a new user.)

You’ll probably want to start with an empty content.aud file to do this. And, yes, it shouldn’t be necessary. I’ve already filed a report with Audible.com, but don’t expect any fixes any time soon.

While this is just one application, it also points to a way that can work with other ill-behaved applications. No guarantees, of course. But worth a try.

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