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Topic: FAQs & Helpful Links & step-by-step guides.LOOK B4 U POST!

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Old 02-22-2006, 03:00 PM
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Q. Is listening to a book cheating? Can I say I read the book? What are the diffs?

Q. Is listening to a book cheating? Can I say I read the book? What are the differences? What can I say to the snob who says "I prefer old-fashioned, traditional paper books?"

The oral tradition is the oldest form of communicating and passing on stories, lore, culture, and traditions. Books and epic poems such as The Iliadand The Odyssey, the even older Gilgamesh, and the recent Ireland:A Novel, may be particularly better in audio versions than in print. Many people enjoy both the newer-fashion paper books as well as unabridged, older-fashioned audio books. Being read a book by a lover, friend, or parent is an incredibly rewarding and intimate happening.

The following exerpt from a review of Ulysses by James Joyce is pertinent (thanks to Moriond for the link):
Quote:
The Modern World Review by Bob Williams re: the Norton narrated Ulysses Naxos version:
If a man in the Middle Ages read silently, others might have suspected him of being a magician. The accepted way to read was to read aloud. A monk read to his fellows at meals and a reader delivered the text to scribes. Up to fairly recent times, a reader could amuse workers busy with dull, repetitive labor. To Jane Austen, a good reader was second only to a good actor, and had much the same responsibilities to the audience. Family readings were once a common entertainment, and most of us have fond memories of being read to at home and at school both before and after we learned to read.
But today, for most adults the pleasures of listening to another read has faded. It survives as the solace of the commuter or the worker who confronts mindless toil. To sit, therefore, in one’s home surrounded with its urgent demands and to listen to a recording of a book seems at best unnatural. But, although initially it seems an uncomfortable and a strange task, there are for the persistent persuasive compensations.
When we read, the inner voice in our head is usually our own. When we listen to another read, we are provided with a fresh voice; that inner voice to which habit has hardened us gives way to a voice that makes us face evaded challenges. It is harder for the mind to wander when the voice is new and skillfully used. If the book is a familiar one, listening is better than reading at renewing the text.
[Ulysses:]
... A glance at the abridged version shows that in comparison with the complete recording, the latter is less generous with abrupt dynamic ranges. It [the unabridged version] is, in other words, suitably designed for the long haul. It is a smoother listening experience.
.... The first nine chapters are relatively short and not – with the exception of the chapters known as “Proteus” and “Scylla and Charybdis” – especially difficult to understand. ... But with the introduction of the first of the revolutionary chapters – “The Wandering Rocks” – the recorded version showed a great advance over the book. The skill of the reader, Jim Norton, has much to do with this. Questions of understanding being cleared away, one is able to concentrate on the text with attention on essentials that a reader can seldom accomplish easily. The chapter known as “Sirens” especially benefited from this, since Norton’s reading was versatile, sensitive, and alive in a sustained effort that excites admiration...
Read the entire review at this link:The Modern World Review by Bob Williams re: the Norton narrated Ulysses Naxos version:

Last edited by robert; 03-31-2007 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 03-11-2006, 05:57 PM
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Q.Why don't mp3 & homemade files show in iPod Audiobook Main Menu?What is bookmarking

Q. What is bookmarking?

Bookmarking remembers where you last stopped listening. Some iPod models lose the current bookmark and revert to a prior bookmark when awaking from deep sleep after not playing for an extended time. This varies by model and battery capacity. Other reasons for lost bookmarks are homemade files over maximum recommended length of 5-13.5 hours at 32KBPS, brushing the |<< or >>| buttons accidentally or unintentionally tapping one of those buttons when you meant to hold down for fast forward or fast reverse. Solution to button error is to put iPod on hold. Newer iPods will cease playing (most of the time) when the earbud 1/8" connection is disconnected even if hold button is on.

A. Only iTMS, audible.com, or homemade audiobook files that have been made bookmarkable by renaming m4b as described in guides linked in signature below will show up in iTunes and iPod Audiobook main menu. They will also return to your last listened to place (bookmark), and main menu shuffle will skip them. There is now a way to make any file book mark and skip in shuffle, but they will not show in Audiobook category. All homemade files must be converted to AAC and extension renamed m4b (or run thru Doug's mac AppleScripts to change tag) to do so.


Manual searches for lost listening places are tedious, but are best performed by pressing the center select button until time bar changes and then quickly rotating the click wheel backward and forward until you find your place. A 1/8 to 1/4 turn will recover from a missed word or interruption.

Apple and PC users will find this discussion informative and useful: Everything I [Doug] Think I Know About Bookmarking iTunes Tracks And Files Includes a Matrix outlining what tracks and/or files are recognized by various iPods as bookmarkable Audiobooks and How To Get Them That Way. Scroll past big gap to get to matrix and some useful links.

And also this one for mac users: Applescripts and bookmarking Summary Post by Moriond

Last edited by robert; 12-15-2006 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-11-2006, 08:03 PM
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Q. How do I fast forward and reverse an iPod audio book?

A. Best is to click on center wheel select button until you get a time bar that responds to spinning the click wheel by reversing or advancing the time. A 1/8 or ¼ turn will capture most missed words or interrupted listening. Using the |<< or >>| is at high risk of going to the beginning of the file or end of the file with a complete loss of location reference point. Hit those buttons once and you go back, hold them and you get fast forward or reverse. It is easy to make a mistake.
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Last edited by robert; 03-11-2006 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 03-11-2006, 08:30 PM
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Q.How do I make my iPod play at the fast or slower listening speeds?There is an echo.

A. Click on the center click wheel button until you see speed and rotate clickwheel to faster, slower, or normal. Sequence through Time Bar, Album Art, rating stars, to Speed. Some narrators voices do not listen well at faster speed. Or
Quote:
Apple 101
Audiobooks (Settings > Audiobooks > reading speed)—This screen allows you to vary the reading speed when you're listening to an audiobook file—this is especially helpful if your book narrator is amped up on coffee or has the delivery of a turtle. You can select Slower, Normal, or Faster to suit your listening comprehension.
A. Playing at slower speed makes some narrators sound with an echo. Follow directions above to move to normal or faster mode.

Only ripped files with an m4b (frequently renamed from m4a) will play slower/faster and show in Audiobooks Library. If renaming, you must delete and add the renamed files back to iTunes to get them to show in Audiobooks Library. An mp3 made to bookmark will not play slower/faster nor show in Audiobooks.

Last edited by robert; 09-05-2008 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 03-11-2006, 08:42 PM
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Q. What are smart play lists, how use them & will they assist in listening to books?

A. Many audiobook listeners prefer to have smart playlists for their audiobooks to make it easier to find audio books and have the smart play list dump listened to audio books. Recommend that, on iPod, you go to Main Menu>Settings>Main Menu>turn Playlists on so that you will see Playlist entry on Main Menu, select it, and choose audio book. See iPod 101 and Smart Playlists (scroll down on linked page or see at bottom of this post). and How to Create Smart Playlists

Highlight Library or, with iPod attached, the iPod icon, choose File>Add New Smart Playlist, which will open this Window
[img=http://forums.ipodlounge.com/attachment.php?s=&postid=838098.jpg][/img]

Suggestions are:
Create a smart playlist of
genre=audiobook
playcount=0 (This will remove a listened to section from the smart playlist. If you accidentally lose a file to playlist count, look for it under Audiobook Main Menu category).
and any other criteria you wish
And use naming convention that will keep your audiobooks together:
Book Name 1_3U
Book Name 2_3U
Book Name 3_3U for three part unabridged book.
If you name with Chapter 1 or Part 1 preceeding book name, the audio book list will group all chapter 1’s of different audiobooks together.

See Moriond's Excellent naming conventions answer

Quote:
Apple 101 Smart Playlist instructions and window
Smart Playlist—A Smart Playlist is a playlist that will automatically update its content, based on a list of criteria that you define, as you add and remove items from your library (iTunes includes a few Smart Playlists when you first install it, including "Top 25 Most Played" and "My Top Rated"). To create your own Smart Playlist, choose New Smart Playlist from the File menu. For example, we created a Smart Playlist of our favorite 60s Motown tunes that automatically syncs its list with songs in our library that were recorded between 1960 to 1969, has R&B listed as the genre, and is rated (by us) as being a 4- or 5-star song. When we add or remove songs from our library that match this criteria, our Smart Playlist dynamically updates all by itself.
[img=http://images.apple.com/support/ipod101/tunes/images/tunes01-7.jpg][/img]
To create a Smart Playlist, choose your conditions from the menus and set the corresponding criteria. To add more conditions, click the plus sign (+) button.

Last edited by robert; 03-29-2006 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 03-11-2006, 08:50 PM
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Q. Why is there a max file size and time length?

A. Larger files cause some model iPods playback of homemade files to skip and stutter and to skip out of file, lose bookmark and increase play count by 1. You may also get a message "AddMediaToTrack:InsertMediaIntoTrack failed with error -2015" or an indication that the file is 777 hours more or less when you know the file is nowhere nearly that long.

If a conversion is made at no more than 32 kbps and the sampling rate is set to automatic in preferences (see guides in signature), the resulting 22,050 Hz sampling rate MAY accomodate up to 13.5 hours. Conversion in Stereo is a good idea to keep some iPod models from hanging up on mono files.

For an excellent discussion on Quick Time maximum file time length at different bit rates, click here where you will find a table that includes these maximum times:

32 kbps (18:38:28)
48 kbps (12:25:39)
56 kbps (10:39:7)

Thanks to lintujuh for posting this link.

Last edited by robert; 12-12-2007 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:19 PM
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Q.Why pay $15 for MarkAble? What does it do to make CDs, MP3s, etc., bookmarkable?

Q. Why pay $15 for MarkAble?
A. MarkAble simplifies converting CDs, MP3s and other files to bookmarking iPod files. It has a CD wizard that does most of the work for you. The guides tell you how to import and convert to AAC, how to merge files to reduce book parts, how to rename the file extension from m4a to m4b, how to remove the old file names from iTunes, how to import the newly named files into iTunes. MarkAble does most of this for the user. Try the full-function free trial download at this link and see guide in signature below.
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Last edited by robert; 12-12-2007 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:34 PM
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Q. My iPod freezes or doesn't respond properly for any discernable reason. Help?

A. 4G iPods playing homemade files converted in mono will cause this. Convert in stereo. An exisiting file can be converted to stereo by changing the settings. Later color models will experience freeze ups when mono podcasts are present or when there are empty podcast files on the iPod. Delete any empty podcast folders. Search for threads with extensive discussion of this.

A. Sometimes iPods just freeze or display bizarre behavior. Go to iPod 101,
My iPod doesn't Respond Normally, where you will find instrutions on the Five R's:

1. Reset your iPod, iPod nano, iPod mini, or iPod shuffle. [On Most models: toggle hold button> hold down menu and center button simultaneously until Apple logo appears on LCD]
2. Retry your iPod with a different USB or FireWire port on your computer (please note that the latest iPods can only be synced through USB).
3, Restart your computer, and make sure that you have the latest software updates installed.
4. Reinstall your iPod and iTunes software. You can download the latest versions of iPod Updater and iTunes from our website.
5. Restore your iPod using the latest iPod Updater. Please note that this will erase all songs and files on your iPod and restore it back to its original settings. After restoring, you can transfer your music and files from your computer back to your iPod again.

Last edited by robert; 03-12-2006 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 03-12-2006, 05:39 PM
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Setting import preferences to /AAC, Kbps 1 of 4

Edit>preferences>Advanced>importing and change "Import As" to AAC. Set kbps to your preference. Set Sample Rate to Automatic. 32kbps stereo is equivalent to audible.com's best quality audio. Recommend between 32 and 40 kbps.
One of 4 windows/posts. Click here for a composite set of instructions and screen shots.
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Last edited by robert; 03-23-2006 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:51 PM
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Convert Part of File to AAC 2 of 4

Check and set beginning time and ending time in the format of
5:00:00 = 5 hours.

See Previous Post for kbps and other settings and next post for subsequent mp3 conversion to AAC for discrete section of mp3.

One of 4 windows/posts. Click here for a composite set of instructions and screen shots.
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Last edited by robert; 03-23-2006 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 03-12-2006, 08:02 PM
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Splitting MP3 Files Prior to AAC conversion 3 of 4

second and last file, or continue to additonal files. When converting selection to AAC, make note of first conversion time and if the second conversion is for same lenght of time, match up conversion times. If appreciably longer, your time settings did not take.
one of 4 windows/posts. Click here for a composite set of instructions and screen shots.
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Last edited by robert; 03-23-2006 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 03-12-2006, 08:07 PM
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Splitting MP3 Files Prior to AAC conversion 4 of 4

R click>Select Convert to AAC from dropdown menu

one of 4 windows.posts. Click here for a composite set of instructions and screen shots.
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Last edited by robert; 03-23-2006 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:00 PM
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How to reduce large MP3 files to below max prior to AAC Conversion?

A. This all-iTunes process converts discrete portions of large MP3 files to AAC files by setting unique start and stop times for each separate conversion. The complete, original mp3 remains and is used for converting each subsequent part of the MP3 to AAC. No need for MP3 splitter software to reduce files to maximum size recommended. (Somewhere between 5 and 13.5 hours at 32 kbps). If you choose to play a long bookmarking MP3 file, it may not have playback problems which are probably due to the iTunes AAC conversion codec. However, mp3 files do not show in iPod Audiobooks main menu category, play faster/slower, or skip in main menu shuffle.

-Start and Stop Times for each part are set in Options for beginning and ending times of each resulting AAC file, to which is appended a unique part/file sequence number.

This solution was first posted by Moriond here on 6-25-05. Thanks, Moriond!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Code Monkey
it's trivial to split mp3s. For example, mp3directcut is free and works well even with VBR files.

Edit 4-4-06 Message from CodeMonkey: If you're going to include this in the FAQ you should include instructions since it's not exactly intuitive or obvious. However, it is free and it works perfectly.

When using mp3DirectCut you select "Auto Cue..." under the "Special" menu header. This gives you a dialogue that asks for what size chunks (in time) you want to break the mp3 file into.

All this does, though, is set cue points, to actually break the mp3 into the chunks you want you then select "Save Split" under the "File" menu header.

This then prompts a dialogue for what sort of file name mask you want to use and where you want the split tracks saved.

Any tag information is lost.

Robert's Edit: I have not tested this reliable poster's suggestion

Set Preferences:




-In iTunes: Click on Edit>preferences>Advanced>importing and change "Import Using" to AAC Encoder.
-Change Setting to Custom. Reset to Custom if already Custom to get to next window.
-Set kbps to your preference.
-Set Sample Rate to Automatic (results in 22,050khz). 32kbps stereo is equivalent to audible.com's best quality audio.
-Recommend between 32 and 40 kbps. Return to iTunes default of 128 kbps standard for music when audiobook conversion completed. Audiobook voice quality will not be noticeable above 40.

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Add MP3 file to iTunes. In iTunes, File>Add file to Library and browse to the mp3 file, and double click.
2. Highlight the MP3 file in iTunes. R click>Choose Get Info>Info Tab>Options tab to get this window:


Choose time length of files and enter start and stop times (Files should be between 5 and 13.5 hours at 32kbps):
3. Check Start time and enter time in audio that conversion is to begin. 0:00 for first file 8:00:00 for second file
4. Check Stop time and enter time in audio that conversion is to stop. 8:00:00, for first file, End time of prior file plus time length desired for Subsequent files. In the screen shot case, it is the end of book and not checked.
5. Click OK and then Highlight the MP3 file, R click it and choose Convert Selection to AAC:

Check the conversion time at the top of the iTunes window for each new file. If the conversion time is markedly different from the first file and the files are the same time length, stop the conversion by clicking on the X and reset start and stop times. You probably did not set correctly or did not check Start Time and/or Stop Time.
6. When conversion is complete, highlight the new AAC file, R Click>Get Info>Info tab and append X_Y to song name. This is a must so that the files can be distinguished from one other. X = file number, Y = Total number of files in the audio book. You may have to click on Date Added column until arrow point down and push right hand slider to top (even if it looks like it is at top) to get new AAC file to show. The new AAC files will show unique date added times so that if you don't rename they will be distinguishable. I don't know if two files of the exact same name, differing only by date added, can co-exist.
7. Click OK
8. Repeat steps 2-7 for each successive file, entering the prior file ending time for start time and the end time at that time plus 5 to 13.5 hours. 5 is safest.
9. As steps 2-7 are completed, enter each time as in this window:


Upon each successive step 2-7:
Change Start Time to stop time of previous conversion,
Change Stop Time to stop time of previous conversion, plus time desired for length of file.Check the conversion time at the top of the iTunes window for each new file. If the conversion time is markedly different from the first file and the files are the same time length, stop the conversion by clicking on the X and reset start and stop times. You probably did not set correctly or did not check Start Time and/or Stop Time.

10.When all files are completely converted rename each file extensions from m4a to m4b. Use MarkAble or the CD Guide, steps B1 to B5. Each is linked in signature below.

Retaining the original mp3 file is optional. Recommend you wait to clear until it is determined that files are contiguous by listening to the audio book. If retaining the original mp3 file, remember to uncheck start and stop times in the mp3 file so that when playing in iTunes it plays properly at beginning and end of file.

Last edited by robert; 04-06-2007 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 03-13-2006, 04:55 PM
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Q.How can I create an audiobook with fewer files than the one per CD of the Guide?

Q.How can I create an audiobook with fewer files than the one per CD of the Guide?

Easiest: Use MarkAble software CD Wizard.
Manually:
A. Import CDs as MP3s and merge them with freeware into the desired number of files. Use the quick and easy method to make the mp3 files bookmarkable or perform an AAC/m4b conversion.

BEST. Requires less time and steps but more technical, to get reduced numbers of m4b file:
B. Import the Files as AAC using All iTunes Guide (link in signature below) and then merge into max five hour files using YAMB freeware to merge into files no greater than 5 hours listening length. Must be merged prior to renaming to m4b.

YAMB m4a Joining Tutorial

C. Fewer File solution. Import CDs as MP3s, merge and convert to AAC files.
iTunes can import audio CD as mp3 files which can be merged with freeware into files < 13.5 hours ea. Bookmarking mp3 files do not appear in iPod main menu Audiobook category, play at faster speed, or skip in main menu shuffle. After importing and merging, either:
a. Make the mp3 files bookmark by following the instructions in this link or
b. Merge the mp3 files into < 13.5 hours and use mp3 guide in signature below to convert the merged files into AAC and rename the extension to m4b. Results in fewer files. For discussion of maximum size, see Moriond’s post.

Last edited by robert; 12-17-2006 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 03-13-2006, 05:59 PM
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Q. How do you decide what kind of book to listen to during a trip?

A. Go for Harry Potter or similar if travelling with kids. Look for advanced books that you and children will like. Wicked and Son of a Witch are two good books for mature teens. Warning: Some sex content, though not explicit. When travelling with significant other I find it best to find a light book, no longer than one half to two-thirds the time of the trip unless you aren't speaking to each other, then try Tough Marriage: How to Make a Marriage Relationship Work. Try Alexander Macall Smith's books, beginning with No. 1 Ladies Dectective Agency, Carl Hiaasen's Skinny Dip, etc. Finishing a unfinished audio book after a trip is difficult.
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