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iPod Hardware and Accessories All iPod hardware discussions.

Moving mp3's to your Audiobooks folder


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bobtomay

 
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Just got my first iPod a couple of weeks or so ago and I have been downloading Old Time Radio shows and free books for listening to during my commute. Almost all of these are mp3 files and iTunes just installs them in the Music folder. This was just a pita when you wanted to put your music on shuffle and the next random track is chapter 8 of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or part 6 of a George Burns show. You get my drift. So, started my quest on moving these mp3's to the Audiobooks folder.

Well, it was no easy task. Just drag and drop 'em in the other folder? - Nope - Any directions for this in Apple's Help guides? - Nope
After reading through the links on the first 5 or 6 pages of several different google searches - and trying the cryptic responses other posers of this question had received, I had no clear answer anywhere, but there were some pointers out there. Foremost it has to be a .m4b file type. Found several places that said change the type to m4b, but none that told you how.

So below, I will give the how-to of moving files of your choosing to the Audiobooks folder of your Library. I did finally figure out 4 different methods for accomplishing this. I am going to provide the 2 best that I have found in my day and a half search so far. There is one for moving a single file. And then if you have a book with say 45 chapters and you don't want to have 45 individual files for your book, you must merge multiple files into one, and then move that single file. I created 5 files out of that 45 chapters.

There are two files you will need to download and install. Both of these come from Doug Adams. Am sure many of you long time iPod and iTune users will be aware of his site already, but to the rest of you new to this, he has a great site with over 400 scripts for iTunes. They are free, but if you find them useful, a little cash donation to Doug would be nice. I even had the occasion to e-mail him with an issue of my own doing and he responded back within half an hour. His main site is here.

The first is Make Bookmarkable v2.1 - The only other method I found to take the place of this one required a $40 app.

The second is Join Together v5.1.2 - You could accomplish the merging portion of this with Audacity, but you're going to add about 15 steps onto the total process of combining 10 files.

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bobtomay

 
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I am assuming you have already installed Make Bookmarkable - if not, stop, get it from the link above and install it. Close and re-open iTunes if you have not done so since installing the two files above.

'Right Click' / 'Command Click' = same thing

And all of this is for OS X, sorry for anyone trying to figure out how to do this on Windows, you're on your own. Am not going back there to figure out how to do anything that I can get done in OS X in a reasonable manner. Let's get on to it.


1. Import your file into iTunes if not already there and it will naturally show up in your Music folder however you normally do it

2. Right click on the file you want to move and select 'Get Info' and go to the 'Summary' tab
Find the 'Bit Rate' - it will be listed as something like '24 kbps', 32 kbps, etc.
Also look for 'Channel' and check to see if your file is mono or stereo

3. Open iTunes 'Preferences' - go to 'Advanced' - then the 'Importing' tab
Change 'Import Using: to 'AAC Encoder'

A. If your file is in stereo, skip this and go to step 'B'
For a mono file, I want you to double the rate you found in step 2, e.g. if your file was 32, that becomes 64; 64 becomes 128, etc...
Change 'Setting:' to match the doubled # you just came up with, up to a maximum of 128 kbps
Click 'OK'

B. If your file is in mono, skip this step
For a stereo file,
Change 'Setting:' to match the rate you found in step 2 if it was 64 kbps or less and change it to 64 if it was greater
Click 'OK'

Note: Increasing the bit rate of the existing file will not produce a better sounding file and for speaking recordings like books, 64 kbps is quite adequate. And for smaller files, you can experiment with setting lower bit rates down to a level that is still acceptable to you. You can of course increase the rate if you would like. A little experimentation is always a good thing.

4. Back to your playlist now - Right Click on the file and select 'Convert Selection to AAC'

5. When it is done, you will now have two of the same file in your playlist.
Use the Right Click - Get Info to make sure you know which one is the mp3 and which is the new AAC / m4a file you just created.
Right Click on the mp3 version of the file and select 'Delete' - when the window pops up asking if you want to 'Move to Trash' - yes you do

6. Make sure your new file is highlighted and then we're going to go up to that new little squiggly 'S' thing up on the menu bar (the scripts button) and click on it and select 'Make Bookmarkable'.
At the next dialog box that pops up click on 'Proceed' and then click on 'Thanks' when it's done

If all went well, the file at this point should have disappeared from the Music folder and you will find it has now placed itself in your Audiobooks folder.

NOTE: When you are done moving files to the Audiobooks folder, don't forget to go back into Preferences and change your import setting (Step 3) back to your standard choice.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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bobtomay

 
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You must have Quicktime 7.0 or better for this to work.

And you have already installed Join Together, closed it, closed and re-opened iTunes, right?


1. Import your files into iTunes if not already there and they will naturally show up in your Music folder

2. Right click on one of the files you want to merge and select 'Get Info' and go to the 'Summary' tab
Find the 'Bit Rate' - it will be listed as something like '24 kbps', 32 kbps, etc.
Also look for 'Channel' and check to see if your file is mono or stereo

3. Now select all the files you want to merge together (highlight them all with Command-Click) - I have read that the max for a single file is something like 13 1/2 hours and that it is best to keep them under 12 hours - it was at a reputable site and this is what I would recommend - I put my first book into about 2 1/2 hour segments reducing 45 files into 5.

4. Now open Join Together - it will be in your Apps folder
It will automatically populate with the files you have chosen in step 3 under Track Name/Order

(If Join Together is open before making your selections - not to worry - go ahead and highlight the files you wish to merge and then at the bottom of Join Together click the 'Get Tracks from iTunes' button)

5. At the top on the right is a 'Name' field - put in a name for this selection here - this field must be occupied
All the rest of the fields you can fill out as you wish

6. 'Track Number' - This can remain blank if your whole book will be merged into a single file
If you do as I did - took 45 files down to 5 - then the first merge will be 1 of 5, the next 2 of 5, etc. this will keep your book playing in the proper order.

7. Next: change the Data Rate to match the bit rate you obtained in step 2. You can also change the 'Channels' and the 'Sample Rate' to match your files. No big worry though, mainly the Data Rate is what you want to set.

8. Next to 'Save as:' - choose .m4b

9. Chapter Tool - I have not used this feature yet, but I will and will post back if I find some advantage of this feature

10. Click on 'Proceed' - this is a time consuming step as it is re-encoding all of those files and will take from a minute to several minutes depending on the size of the file you are creating. Sorry, have not actually timed them.

11. When it is finished you will get a box with the option of visiting the site - please do if you find this program to your liking and click 'Thanks' to finish. It will then open a new Join Together window to begin your next merge.
FYI: Clicking on the red close button does actually quit this app, so no need to go up to the menu to quit.

12. This program, unlike 'Make Bookmarkable' above does not remove the files from your Music folder, so you will have to delete them manually.
It does place the new file under your Audiobooks folder.
Check it out and give it a try before you delete the original mp3's from your Music folder if you like.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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bobtomay

 
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I am not advocating any type of piracy here and all links are to sites with books, etc. that are freely available and in the public domain. You will not find first run books at any of these sites.

Librivox - the largest collection of audio books in the public domain - some books already in iTunes m4b format so they will import directly into your Audiobooks folder

Audiobooks.org - not nearly as many books, but maybe something you would like here

AudioBooksForFree.com - their books are offered free only at 8 kbps and charge (though very reasonably) for higher quality downloads. They have a very nice breakdown of their books by category.

Interested in Old Time Radio - Here's a good place to start

For some free listening head on over to RadioLovers.com

These'll give you a taste of what's available and get started on your way.

I have no vested interest in any of the sites nor downloads I have recommended whatsoever.

Hope you enjoy, and hopefully will be beneficial to some.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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meatus

 
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Thanks man!! Great post!! It was a big help! I've been messing around with this forever trying to figure it out.
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bobtomay

 
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Glad someone could use it.

Will have a small update when I get around to it. But works for now.

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thanks for the writeup. I just tried with join together, I ended up with a 32kpbs file but it didn't chapterize it either. I think you shown howto do this very well and will take another shot at it later today
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seeing how someone replied 2mths ago and i chanced upon this thread while searching "moving mp3 to audiobook library"

i found that you do not need to convert any file type or encode it in another format.

all you need is

load the mp3 into your library
right click
Get Info > Options > Media Kind > audiobook

Apply and it will be in your audio book library. In mp3 format.

Same goes for Music Videos. They get moved out of your Movies folder and into your Music folder.
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bobtomay

 
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That is a nice feature, and the options have been expanded in iTunes 9 in that particular drop down.

However, there is a big problem related to audiobooks and is quite useless related to them.

It does not make them bookmarkable.

e.g. When listening to a book that could be up to 12 hours long, it requires that the player be able to place a bookmark so that it will start up next time in the place you left off when last listening. Alas, just changing the 'kind' in this option box does not do this.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcrying View Post

all you need is

load the mp3 into your library
right click
Get Info > Options > Media Kind > audiobook
While you're there, also turn on

Get Info > Options > Remember position > Yes

This solves all your problems, no scripts needed. I just tested it out on a CD I ripped and I was able to listen to part of the book on my computer, sync my iPod touch and continue listening there from where I left off.

Works fine on iTunes for Windows.

Cheers!

-JP
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Missed that one - Now that is a nice new option.

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In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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