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Old 05-25-09, 10:46 AM   #1
DJLinus
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Audiobooks and iPods: a big mess

I'm glad that iTunes now has the capability of converting one's files to the audiobook format, where in the past one needed to use a different program to do that. But when it comes to putting the files onto an iPod, it really comes up short.

When I rip an audiobook into iTunes, it's ordered correctly and everything seems great. But when I transfer multiple books to my iPod Classic 160 gb, it orders the files by the "track" name, so it's all very disjointed. The audiobooks are all jumbled together. It's really a mess.

For music, it automatically sorts files by Artist -> Album -> Song. You'd think it'd be a no-brainer for it sort audiobooks by Author -> Book -> Chapter, but it doesn't. It's maddening. For a piece of software that's otherwise intuitive, Apple really dropped the ball here.

I know that I could just name all of a particular audiobook's files "audiobook 01," "audiobook 02," "audiobook 03," etc. and it'd be fine, but I like having the tracks named after a book's chapter titles, so I can easily find what I'm looking for and locate where I left off previously.

I also figure that I could just make a big audiobook playlist (or a series of them), but that kind of seems to defeat the point of having an "audiobooks" section on the iPod, you know? Plus, if I made a playlist for each different book, my playlist menu will get cluttered quickly.

Is there anyway to get the audiobooks ordered correctly within the iPod's "audiobook" section without having to do what I wrote above? If not, any idea if Apple has hinted at fixing this in the future?
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Old 05-25-09, 06:07 PM   #2
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Re: Audiobooks and iPods: a big mess

Could you (or itunes) leave the tracks named as they are, and go into the "Track X of Y" section of the settings and number the tracks? It's my understanding that's how it sorts music tracks in an album.

If you did need to do one playlist per book, you could create a genre and put them all in that, so it wouldn't clutter your lists, except for within that genre. Basically set it up like one book = one album, all in the genre of "Books" or something. (I haven't ever used audiobooks, so I'm talking out of thin air here.)
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Old 05-25-09, 06:24 PM   #3
CKMorpheus
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Re: Audiobooks and iPods: a big mess

I did not realize iTunes could rip into the Audiobook format. Are you sure you are ripping them to an Audiobook file?

Also, are you on a Mac or a PC? I am on a mac and I had a bunch of Audiobooks I had ripped to MP3 format. Each chapter was a separate MP3. I got a program called Audiobook Builder where I dragged and dropped all the chapters into the program, along with the cover art, and it spit out a single Audiobook file, which automatically went into iTunes' Audiobook section. I can select each chapter within the single file, AND it saves it's spot if I decide to listen to something else.



Here's what you can do if you have a bunch of chapters as individual MP3s (if that's what's happening... your post is a little unclear):

- Highlight all the chapters, right click on them, and click Get Info...

- In the Info tab, fill out the Artist with the Author's name. Album with the name of the Book.

- Make sure the track numbers area is filled out correctly, with the number of chapters on each disc filled out.

- If the book spans multiple discs, make sure you list how many discs there are, and which disc these chapters are on.



- Get the cover image of the Audiobook from Google or Amazon, and then click/drag the artwork into the artwork section.

- Go to the Options tab and make sure Media Kind is set as Audiobook.

- In Remember Position, make sure it's set to yes.

- Skip when shuffling, yes. You don't wanna hear a random chapter from the book being played when you have shuffle on.

- Gapless album, yes. Let's it know these tracks were all meant to be played without any interruptions.

Hit okay. That's all I can think of to solve your issue.

The PC has a piece of software called MP3 to iPod Audiobook Converter which is free and apparently works really well turning multiple MP3 chapters into one single Audiobook file. The only downside is that it doesn't retain the chapters.

Good luck, lemme know if there's anything I can do to help more.
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Old 05-25-09, 06:40 PM   #4
CKMorpheus
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Re: Audiobooks and iPods: a big mess

A bit more of a tutorial I'm just gonna whip up out of thin air because I'm bored:

Let's pretend this Mike Birbiglia standup album is an audiobook. The entire book was on two CDs, 9 chapters on the first disc, 10 on the second.


Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

You'll see I have all the ID3 tags filled out already and correctly for disc one.


Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

There are 9 tracks/chapters on this disc. It is disc 1 of 2.

In options, make sure you have it set up correctly.


Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

The key really is in the ID3 tags. Make sure each chapter/track is numbered correctly and in the right order.
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