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Topic: Bookmarking? Keeping chapters? Newbie questions

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Old 12-13-2006, 01:27 AM
#1
 
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Bookmarking? Keeping chapters? Newbie questions

Hi everyone,

I've been reading the forums here at iLounge for a while and have found them to be quite helpful. But now I find that I have a few questions that I haven't been able to find the answers to.

I have many audiobooks on CD which I'd like to import into iTunes (version 7) and thus onto my iPod (5th Gen. Video). I have already imported many audiobooks but just the "regular" way, meaning they show up as Music. Now I'd like to go a step further and "reclassify" them as audiobooks. I read through the sticky at the top that talks about how to do this, but I'm wondering if I really need the bookmarking feature. I've never tried to bookmark an audiobook and I guess I don't understand why I'd need to do it. If I don't want/need to bookmark my audiobooks, do I still need to go through all those steps in order to have it appear as an audiobook?

Also, it talks about joining the tracks. But I'd like to keep the track names. For example, I just went through a 3 disc audio book (A Christmas Carol) and made the following notes:
Disc 1
Track 1: Intro/Preface
Track 2: Stave 1: Marley's Ghost
Track 8: Stave 2: The First of the Three Spirits

Disc 2
Track 4: Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits

Disc 3
Track 1: Stave 4: The Last of the Three Spirits
Track 6: Stave 5: The End of It

Is there a way to do it so that I join, say, tracks 2 through 7 (of Disc 1) and then track 8 (on Disc 1) through track 3 (on Disc 2), etc.? Or is there another way to keep/add the chapter names?


I also have a couple of audio books that are on MP3 CD's. I'd like to do the same thing (with the chapter names) with those.

Finally, my husband and I share our audiobook collection but we live in different states. Since we're geographically separated, we've been importing the audiobook into iTunes, creating a playlist, and burning the playlist to a CD (or multiple CD's if the book warrants that). Then we send (snail mail) the CD's to eachother and import them into iTunes. So far it's worked out okay that way. If I change the settings in iTunes so that audiobooks show up as audiobooks (and not music) and if I'm able to keep/add the track names, can we still burn the (then presumably) m4b or aac files to CD to send to eachother?

Any other hints would be appreciated. I'm not too good at understanding what I'm doing when I read through instructions (such as the Beginners Guide Sticky) but I am good at actually following the directions and getting the expected outcome.

Thanks,
Sue
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:31 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 9,210

Wow! I could write a book here.
Personally I don't see the need to do any of this because you can set Skip on Shuffle and Remember Playback Position (bookmarkable) on any AAC or MP3 file in iTunes and manage your audiobooks with smart playlists. But I'll try to answer your questions anyway.

Joining Tracks: I highly suggest joining tracks to reduce the number of files. But if you want to keep the Chapter Names as listed, I haven't found a way to do that without buying 3rd party software.

Bookmarking: this is just setting Remember Playback Position on a song file. This will make it so if you pause the soon or book the next time you play it, it starts where you paused it, not at the beginning. The bookmark transfers with Syncs so you could pause on your ipod, sync, listen on your computer, sync, listen on your iPod again. Combined with smart playlists and this is a great feature.

MP3 Audiobooks: Convert to AAC then follow the steps below for making them show up as audiobooks.

CD Audiobooks in the audiobook section: You have to open a command prompt window in Windows and cd to the audio book directory.

For example CD C:\Documents and Settings\<your login name>\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\J.K. Rowling\Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

If your music is not located in the default location you'll have to adjust the path above accordingly.

Assuming you have been importing your books as AAC (apple's default format) you can get them to show up as audiobooks by typing the command:
xcopy *.m4a *.m4b
delete or move the .m4a files to an new location.
Open iTunes and find the audiobook pieces, right click each piece, choose Get Info, answer Yes to you want to locate the file. Navigate to where you performed the xcopy command and choose the correct file. Click Ok and the piece will move to the audiobooks section of iTunes. You can permanently delete the .m4a version now.

None of this will affect your ability to burn the audiobook CDs at all.

Hints:
1. Don't try to join audio CDs together and make a 1 book file, large books don't work for all iPods.
2. Import audiobooks at Podcast quality to reduce size by 50%
3. Make 2 playlists for each book
1. z_bookname - All of the pieces of the book, ordinary playlist is fine, don't sync with iPod
2 BookName - Smart playlist rules: playlist is z_bookname and playcount is 0. Sync with iPod.
Listen to the book with the BookName playlist and as you finish files they fall out of the playlist so you always have your current place in the book by listening to the BookName playlist.
4. Search the regular articles for more information.



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmnews
Joining Tracks: I highly suggest joining tracks to reduce the number of files. But if you want to keep the Chapter Names as listed, I haven't found a way to do that without buying 3rd party software.
Is there a listing of the different 3rd party software and what it does? Or can/would you (someone) just tell me what 3rd party software would allow us to keep the chapter names?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmnews
Bookmarking: this is just setting Remember Playback Position on a song file. This will make it so if you pause the soon or book the next time you play it, it starts where you paused it, not at the beginning. The bookmark transfers with Syncs so you could pause on your ipod, sync, listen on your computer, sync, listen on your iPod again. Combined with smart playlists and this is a great feature.
Great description. Thank you. Now I understand why people are so excited about the feature. My husband might make use of something like that. He often listens in the car (at the moment his iPod is hooked up through one of those cassette adapters) and then takes his iPod either to work or into the house. I, however, only listen in the car and I usually start over again at the last CD track where I left off. That way, I have the chance to get "back into" the audiobook before continuing.

And thanks for your wonderful instruction for how to make audiobooks into iTunes recognizable audiobooks. I not only can do it but actually understand what to do and why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmnews
Hints:
1. Don't try to join audio CDs together and make a 1 book file, large books don't work for all iPods.
There's a way to join say disc 1 (of 3) with disc 2 (of 3)? Maybe that's what I need to do to make my chapters. Join tracks 8 and 9 on disc 1 with tracks 1 through 4 on disc 2. Right now my example audiobook is 3 CDs with 5 chapters plus an introduction but it's a total of around 26 tracks. Is there an obvious/easy way to join tracks across CDs? I guess again we're getting back to the 3rd party software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmnews
3. Make 2 playlists for each book
Okay, now I'm sure these are real dumb questions, but on the subject of playlists...
When you make a playlist, you're just copying the list and not making another copy of all the files, right? But you still have to have the audiobook (or whatever items your playlist is made up of) somewhere else in iTunes? I mean, I can't import my A Christmas Carol audiobook, then make a playlist for it and then delete the files from the music or audiobooks area. That's actually one of my husband's pet peeves. He can't neatly categorize his numerous audiobooks in iTunes. He'll make a playlist, then delete the audiobook from his Music tab, and the playlist is empty and the files are gone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmnews
4. Search the regular articles for more information.
Will do, thanks!


And a question about organizing the audiobooks on my iPod. Right now it seems that I have the same audiobooks (about a dozen already on the iPod ranging from Harry Potter to Stephen King and Dr. Phil) under Playlists, Artists, Albums, Songs, Genres (as either Audiobook, Audiobooks, Seminar, or Spoken Word) and Composers. Is there a way to get them all under the audiobooks heading ONLY once I follow the directions so that iTunes thinks they are audiobooks?

And, finally, how do I delete a file (or a number of files) from my iPod? My husband and I traded iPods for a while so now I have much of his music and audiobooks on my iPod and he has my stuff on his iPod. Both are the biggest 5th Gen. Video iPods that are available (bought within the past 4 months), but I still worry about running out of room on mine since I share mine with my son and we're getting ready to put a handful (or more) DVDs on it (using some 3rd party software that I read about on this site). I know I should probably search for the answer to this last question, especially, but am hoping that someone will just give me a quickie answer and thus save me some time.

And now I'm off to play with joining tracks and browse these message boards some more. We're getting ready to head back home -- a 2-3 day car trip from Vermont, where my husband is, to Illinois where we usually live -- and I'm hoping to get my iPod all ready for listening in the car.

Thanks again,
Sue
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:35 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 9,210

Quote:
Originally Posted by MomWilson
There's a way to join say disc 1 (of 3) with disc 2 (of 3)? Maybe that's what I need to do to make my chapters. Join tracks 8 and 9 on disc 1 with tracks 1 through 4 on disc 2. Right now my example audiobook is 3 CDs with 5 chapters plus an introduction but it's a total of around 26 tracks. Is there an obvious/easy way to join tracks across CDs? I guess again we're getting back to the 3rd party software.
You can do it using AAC files with YAMB or Quicktime pro. Yamb does a better job in my opinion as it does not include any header info in it and can be played on any iPod.
I wrote an extensive article on this here http://forums.ilounge.com/showpost.p...8&postcount=49

You can do it with MP3 files using MP3Merge or other programs. I don't think the ones I used will retain chapter names. But if you wanted to merge your own tracks into chapters, that would work as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MomWilson
Okay, now I'm sure these are real dumb questions, but on the subject of playlists...
When you make a playlist, you're just copying the list and not making another copy of all the files, right? But you still have to have the audiobook (or whatever items your playlist is made up of) somewhere else in iTunes? I mean, I can't import my A Christmas Carol audiobook, then make a playlist for it and then delete the files from the music or audiobooks area. That's actually one of my husband's pet peeves. He can't neatly categorize his numerous audiobooks in iTunes. He'll make a playlist, then delete the audiobook from his Music tab, and the playlist is empty and the files are gone.
A playlist is not a second copy of the song or book. It is just a list of songs grouped together. It uses very little space to do this. As your husband has seen you can't delete the files after making a list, because the files are not in the list, the list is just the names of the files. Delete the files and the list becomes empty. So keep the original files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MomWilson
And a question about organizing the audiobooks on my iPod. Right now it seems that I have the same audiobooks (about a dozen already on the iPod ranging from Harry Potter to Stephen King and Dr. Phil) under Playlists, Artists, Albums, Songs, Genres (as either Audiobook, Audiobooks, Seminar, or Spoken Word) and Composers. Is there a way to get them all under the audiobooks heading ONLY once I follow the directions so that iTunes thinks they are audiobooks?
No. The audiobooks will still show up in all those places. It is how the iPod works. Just look at it as convinience when we all get older and can't remember the title of the book, but can remember the author...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MomWilson
And, finally, how do I delete a file (or a number of files) from my iPod? My husband and I traded iPods for a while so now I have much of his music and audiobooks on my iPod and he has my stuff on his iPod. Both are the biggest 5th Gen. Video iPods that are available (bought within the past 4 months), but I still worry about running out of room on mine since I share mine with my son and we're getting ready to put a handful (or more) DVDs on it (using some 3rd party software that I read about on this site). I know I should probably search for the answer to this last question, especially, but am hoping that someone will just give me a quickie answer and thus save me some time.
That depends on how you are putting them on.

If you are using Sync Checked Items, then you uncheck the items in iTunes that you want removed from your iPod.
If you are syncing specified playlists, then uncheck the playlist in iTunes that you don't want on your iPod.
If you are doing manual, I think you drag the files off of the iPod. But I am not sure. I like autosync.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MomWilson
And now I'm off to play with joining tracks and browse these message boards some more.

Thanks again,
Not a problem (except that the response made me late for work) Happy ipodding.



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:55 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 1,375

I didn't dig thru all these posts so this may repeat, but to exchange files that have been imported, the easiest and simplest way to do so is to simply copy the files you wish to share onto a USB flash card memory device. Of course, RWCD RCD, RWDVD, RDVD works also. I assume you are only copyijng the files, not creating an audio CD set of each book. The digital mp3 or AAC files will occupy much less than one CD even tho the audio book is many CDs.

You can also upload up to 2GB files, one at the time, to a free service like yousendit and download onto the other computer.

In otherwords, avoid creating audio CDs by using the digital mp3 or AAC files from the iTunes default library. When you create audio files from audio cd's if you R click in iTunes, select get info and insert Book name in Album and author in Artist name, it will be much easier to find the files.

You can also locate files by R clicking the song in iTunes and choose show file in explorer window from the drop down and then drag and drop the files to a CD write program or to a removable flash card device. If you have a digital camera, find a USB reader ($10 or so) that fits its cards and use them for exchange

I guess now that we are no longer constrained by maximum post length, I need to put an overview paragraph in the guides to explain where all the steps are going. Pretty simple
Insert CD which will show up in iTunes if your settings are ok
Join tracks to combine (optional)
Import as AAC - results in one file per track or CD (if tracks are joined)
rename AAC file extensions from m4a to m4b
drag and drop or auto synch to iPod.

Where in the guides, especially the sticky Guides-Bookmarking iPod Files From CDs did you get confused? Everywhere? LOL

Last edited by robert; 12-15-2006 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:06 PM
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BTW, unless you are getting CDs from the library, you should consider audible.com as an audio book source. You can designate both computers to download audio books and buy them much less expensively than most other sources I have found.

Also, consider $15 MarkAble unless you want to have the tracks = files.

Robert
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Old 12-30-2006, 04:44 PM
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Benefits of converting book to m4b vs mp3

Since itunes and ipod (5.5g) support remembering (bookmarking) of position in regular mp3's, what is the advantage of converting auodio books (ripped from my cd's) that are in mp3 format into audiobook m4b format? Only thing I see is they fall under "AudioBook" listing, otherwise I see no benefit. Am I missing something?

- Clayton
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Old 12-30-2006, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malathan
Since itunes and ipod (5.5g) support remembering (bookmarking) of position in regular mp3's, what is the advantage of converting auodio books (ripped from my cd's) that are in mp3 format into audiobook m4b format? Only thing I see is they fall under "AudioBook" listing, otherwise I see no benefit. Am I missing something?

- Clayton
m4b files allow altering the listening speed on your iPod. This works great for some narrators, well for others, poorly for some, and not at all for a handful. I have never measured it, but I have seen a 30% speed increase stated. Audible and iTunes books allow playing speed changes as downloaded.

I am listening to a very boring book now that the narrator is in the poorly category at faster speed. What a lousy trade off -- listen to a boring book and hear all the words clearly at normal speed or the pain of not getting thru the book fast enough. Fortunately it is a NL download. Not quite bad enough to abandon entirely. There is a great amazon.com review of this book that I will quote in the recommendations thread when I finish the book.

To change listen speed tap the center button on the iPod wheel until you see the speed in display and then rotate the wheel until the speed changes from normal to faster.

Cheers.
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Old 12-30-2006, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malathan
Since itunes and ipod (5.5g) support remembering (bookmarking) of position in regular mp3's, what is the advantage of converting auodio books (ripped from my cd's) that are in mp3 format into audiobook m4b format? Only thing I see is they fall under "AudioBook" listing, otherwise I see no benefit. Am I missing something?

- Clayton
btw, you can import CD audio books in aac at the same speed as importing as mp3 and then rename to m4b. If you can't stand having one file per CD, then you can use YAMB to merge the files. One of these days I will add how to do that to the guide.
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