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Topic: MP3 Audiobooks, tracks, and bookmarking?

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Old 12-12-2008, 12:07 PM
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Question MP3 Audiobooks, tracks, and bookmarking?

In the beginning, it was not possible to mark an MP3 file as an Audiobook, and have it appear under the AUDIOBOOK section on the iPod. I believe the only way tracks could be put into the AUDIOBOOK section of the iPod, was if they were M4A or M4B files.

However, I recently noticed that the GET INFO window has changed (when, I do not know exactly), and there is a tab in the window called OPTIONS and in that tab, one of the selections is MEDIA KIND. Here you can tag an audiobook as an AUDIOBOOK, and it will then move the tracks to the AUDIOBOOK section in the iPod. This is great news, since MP3 files can now be put into the proper place in the iPod. In the past, all my audiobooks were lumped into MUSIC; I had to change the GENRE tag to AUDIOBOOK to make them easier to find. But the downside of this was that I really could not shuffle all the music tracks in my iPod - the audiobook speech files were played in the shuffle.

However, I still have some questions about this.

Most of my audiobook collection is in the format of MP3 files, and most of my books are composed of multiple MP3 files, vs a single large file. This has the advantage of jumping into the book at almost any spot; with a single large file, if I lost my place in the book, it would take forever to fast forward through the book to find my spot. Yes, bookmarking helped, but sometimes when reading a book (consisting of a single MP3 or M4B file), when I needed to backspace to re-listen to a section, if my finger jumped on the click wheel, instead of rewinding, it would jump back to the very beginning of the book. And anyone who ever tried to fast forward through a book several hundred megs in size, will agree with me it is not a pleasant task!

With this new addition to the GET INFO section, I thought that would change. Although it moved all the audiobook tracks to the AUDIOBOOK section, it did not merge all the tracks into one single book track. So, in effect, bookmarking is rather useless - it bookmarks the spot within the specific track, not the entire book, so I still have to remember exactly what track I in the book I left off at.

Also, when tagging all MP3 files of a book as AUDIOBOOK, and then loading the book onto my iPod, the listing in the AUDIOBOOK lists all individual tracks (MP3 files) of the book. So, if I have several books on the iPod, I have to do a lot of scrolling to find the one I want. Is there anyway of having the audiobooks listed individually, and then clicking on one to open the track listing? (similar to a music album and its individual tracks?)

Is there a function within iTunes to combine all the tracks into one single book track, or do I need to use some external program to do this before including in my iTunes library? If I need to pre-merge the tracks, what is the best program to do this (for Windows PC)?

And lastly, is there any way to REALLY fast forward through a long book? (cause I know I will still need to do this if I accidentally backspace to the beginning)

Any other helpful suggestions on using MP3 Audiobooks on the iPod would be greatly appreciated. Tnx!
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:14 AM
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Yes it is quite nice that Remember Playback Position and Skip on Shuffle works for MP3s and iPods

Don't make a huge single file, unless it is under 5 hours long. iPods can't seem to handle that and lose your place randomly.

If the books are purchased from on-line you can't combine them due to the DRM.

Personally I don't think it is worth it to bother with getting the files in the right section, unless you want the faster/slower playback. Just use smart playlists to manage the books and it works quite well with Mp3 files too.



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:28 AM
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Pilaar--

As CJMnews says--smart playlists are the way to go. (Read the post he refers to in his post for more info on how to do this.)

Answering your second question--the best way to REALLY fastforward (or rewind) through a longer audio file...just hit the middle button on your iPod. When you do this, the position marker on the file should change to a diamond. When you see the diamond, you can "scrub" forward or backward in the track (same motion you use for changing the volume.)

Hope this helps!

dordale
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilaar39
Is there a function within iTunes to combine all the tracks into one single book track, or do I need to use some external program to do this before including in my iTunes library? If I need to pre-merge the tracks, what is the best program to do this (for Windows PC)?

And lastly, is there any way to REALLY fast forward through a long book? (cause I know I will still need to do this if I accidentally backspace to the beginning)

Any other helpful suggestions on using MP3 Audiobooks on the iPod would be greatly appreciated. Tnx!
Check out MarkAble ... it does have a fee for the full registered version, but it has a 10-day FULLY-FUNCTIONAL trial version. But personally, I think it's worth the cost. You can even get their other software package (Chapter Master) at a discount when you buy the two together, which makes making audio books from CD / Files even easier.

First, MarkAble uses iTunes to import files from CD (if needed), then joins the files together into suitably sized files (files over 6-8 hours long are too much for most iPods to handle well), and the newest version also has the option to add Chapter Markers either every 15 minutes, or after each track. When used with Chapter Master, you can actually rename the chapters so they are named like the track listings ... which is very cool, not to mention adding custom artwork for each chapter.

Since the files are then converted to AAC .m4b, they automatically go to the Audio Books section and always remember their position. But even if you do somehow lose your place ... maybe you threw your iPod into a brick wall then hit it with a sledge hammer and had to replace it ... well, the files are broken up with internal chapter markers


There are some downloads you can find out there of the OLD version which DOES NOT add chapter markers, but does everything else, but it's "free" and has no time limit ... though, personally, I find using MarkAble 2 & Chapter Master is well worth the $25 they cost together.
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dordale
Pilaar--

Answering your second question--the best way to REALLY fastforward (or rewind) through a longer audio file...just hit the middle button on your iPod. When you do this, the position marker on the file should change to a diamond. When you see the diamond, you can "scrub" forward or backward in the track (same motion you use for changing the volume.)

dordale
Excellent!!! This is a great tip - may I ask where this is documented? Maybe I can learn somthing else about my iPod that I did not know! Thanks a million!!

btw.. speaking of middle botton options - I notice that when playing music I can click the middle button several times, and the last option available is shuffle songs or albums. However, this only seems to be available when playing music tracks. If I am listening to music tracks, and set shuffle on, and then later go to Audiobooks to listen to an audiobook, the shuffle setting is still on (which of course makes listening to a multi-track book totally jibberish), and yet the option to turn off shuffle in audiobook is not available. I need to revert back to some music track, or the ipod settings, to turn off shuffle before returning back to my audiobook. Now I realize that the option to set shuffle ON when in audiobooks is absurd, but don't you think the option to turn it OFF should be there in audiobook mode? Or maybe shuffle should be automatically turned off when switching to audiobooks? A couple of times I found myself listening to a book, and found it totally confusing, until I realized that shuffle was still ON. Ugh!
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:27 AM
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All the manuals are on this page, and for an example you can see the 3rd Gen Nano manual here page 6 has your "documentation".



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VixenofVenus
Check out MarkAble ... it does have a fee for the full registered version, but it has a 10-day FULLY-FUNCTIONAL trial version. But personally, I think it's worth the cost. You can even get their other software package (Chapter Master) at a discount when you buy the two together, which makes making audio books from CD / Files even easier.

First, MarkAble uses iTunes to import files from CD (if needed), then joins the files together into suitably sized files (files over 6-8 hours long are too much for most iPods to handle well), and the newest version also has the option to add Chapter Markers either every 15 minutes, or after each track. When used with Chapter Master, you can actually rename the chapters so they are named like the track listings ... which is very cool, not to mention adding custom artwork for each chapter.

Since the files are then converted to AAC .m4b, they automatically go to the Audio Books section and always remember their position. But even if you do somehow lose your place ... maybe you threw your iPod into a brick wall then hit it with a sledge hammer and had to replace it ... well, the files are broken up with internal chapter markers


There are some downloads you can find out there of the OLD version which DOES NOT add chapter markers, but does everything else, but it's "free" and has no time limit ... though, personally, I find using MarkAble 2 & Chapter Master is well worth the $25 they cost together.

Ok, thanks. I checked out the Markable site, and there is not much said about Chapters. Exactly what is special/different about chapters? Are they simply breaks in the book by creating different files? If so, what is the difference in creating 4 files vs 4 chapters? How are chapters used on the iPod? If I have a book with 10 chapters, and leave somewhere in the middle of chapter 5, then return later, does the book pick up where I left off, or do I have to open chapter/file 5 and it resumes at the bookmark within that chapter/file? If that is the case, then it sort of defeats the bookmark purpose.. and ends up being a chapter mark.. meaning, I still need to remember the chapter I left off at when I return to the book.

One last question.. you (and others) mention that "files over 6-8 hours long are too much for most iPods to handle well". Can you qualify what you mean by most? I have the 160 GB (classic/video) model.. does this model handle bookmarks in large files correctly?
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:52 AM
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I found this thread because I really like the shuffle for audiobooks, but find fast forwarding through is annoying when I accidentally lose my place. Anyway, the chapters software seems to be a great idea and the answer to my question. This forum won't allow me to post a link (as a freshman lounger), but if you google chapter master rightword, you'll find it.

As for your ipod not handling large audiobooks, I routinely upload 10-15 hour books with no problem. I import from cds, but I lower the quality to spoken work to make the files smaller. I also join the cd tracks so that each cd is 1 track before importing. You can find this under Advanced.

Not sure what your source is, but if it's cds, I hope this helps.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:09 AM
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Chapters are positions within the file that you can navigate to by using the scroll wheel.

4 Chapters could be 1 file. 4 files could be more than 4 chapters (or less) depending on how you ripped the book.

As long as you have Remember Playback Position on, the book should pick up where you left off, assuming 1 file with chapters. It uses the bookmarks to do that.

If you use the smart playlist solution above, clicking play on the smart playlist will pick the correct file AND position within the file where you left off. The bookmark and the smart playlist work together to do this.

Chapters just gets you a quicker way to get to specific chapters in the book by showing up as diamond within the book, and allowing easier skipping. Bookmarking is restricted to the file. You can have chapters with a single file or multiple.

Combining works to a point, when the books get too large some iPods don't handle them well. They lose their place while playing them, and sometimes the bookmark too.



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:39 AM
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Chapters are a special kind of text track that is added to the MP4 file along with the audio track. The chapter track tells the iPod (or iTunes/Quicktime) where the next chapter starts. It allows you to jump to that time position directly rather than having to scan through the file.

Older iPods (e.g. the Video iPod) have playback stability issues with audiobooks longer than 5 hours. The iPod will stop playback of the file and lose your bookmark when waking the iPod from sleep mode, when switching back and forth between music and a long audiobook or sometimes at specific points in the audiobook.

You can find the most detailed information about this problem in an older post on the Splasm Software forums (makers of Audiobook Builder for the MAC). They worked with Apple Developer Technical Support and were finally told to submit it as a bug. Apparently after that they were not allowed to discuss it due to their confidentiality agreement with Apple. Since I am a new user I cannot post links directly, but the title of the thread is "iPod Skips Ahead/Returns to Main Menu/Bookmarks Reset"

Newer iPods (Classic and Touch) appear to have the long audiobook playback problem resolved.

A free alternative to for creating an audiobook with chapters on windows is called Chapter and Verse It is available at lodensoftware . com
Just so you know this is software I have created after I was unable to find a simple free tool for windows.

Jeff Loden
lodensoftware . com
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jloden
Chapters are a special kind of text track that is added to the MP4 file along with the audio track. The chapter track tells the iPod (or iTunes/Quicktime) where the next chapter starts. It allows you to jump to that time position directly rather than having to scan through the file.

Older iPods (e.g. the Video iPod) have playback stability issues with audiobooks longer than 5 hours. The iPod will stop playback of the file and lose your bookmark when waking the iPod from sleep mode, when switching back and forth between music and a long audiobook or sometimes at specific points in the audiobook.

You can find the most detailed information about this problem in an older post on the Splasm Software forums (makers of Audiobook Builder for the MAC). They worked with Apple Developer Technical Support and were finally told to submit it as a bug. Apparently after that they were not allowed to discuss it due to their confidentiality agreement with Apple. Since I am a new user I cannot post links directly, but the title of the thread is "iPod Skips Ahead/Returns to Main Menu/Bookmarks Reset"

Newer iPods (Classic and Touch) appear to have the long audiobook playback problem resolved.

A free alternative to for creating an audiobook with chapters on windows is called Chapter and Verse It is available at lodensoftware . com
Just so you know this is software I have created after I was unable to find a simple free tool for windows.

Jeff Loden
lodensoftware . com
Sounds like great advice.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jloden View Post
Chapters are a special kind of text track that is added to the MP4 file along with the audio track. The chapter track tells the iPod (or iTunes/Quicktime) where the next chapter starts. It allows you to jump to that time position directly rather than having to scan through the file.

Older iPods (e.g. the Video iPod) have playback stability issues with audiobooks longer than 5 hours. The iPod will stop playback of the file and lose your bookmark when waking the iPod from sleep mode, when switching back and forth between music and a long audiobook or sometimes at specific points in the audiobook.

You can find the most detailed information about this problem in an older post on the Splasm Software forums (makers of Audiobook Builder for the MAC). They worked with Apple Developer Technical Support and were finally told to submit it as a bug. Apparently after that they were not allowed to discuss it due to their confidentiality agreement with Apple. Since I am a new user I cannot post links directly, but the title of the thread is "iPod Skips Ahead/Returns to Main Menu/Bookmarks Reset"

Newer iPods (Classic and Touch) appear to have the long audiobook playback problem resolved.

A free alternative to for creating an audiobook with chapters on windows is called Chapter and Verse It is available at lodensoftware . com
Just so you know this is software I have created after I was unable to find a simple free tool for windows.

Jeff Loden
lodensoftware . com
I will try this one. Seems like a cool software you created.
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Old 10-21-2016, 05:47 PM
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Smile Mp3's Read as Audiobooks

Greetings -

I was psyched to read the post about Get Info offering an option for designating mp3's as audiobooks - since I also have a lot of ripped from CD Audiobooks and have laboriously converted some to m4b's in the past for listening.

But I don't see this option section mentioned in Get Info in Mavericks 10.9.5. What System has this option?

Many thanks.

Last edited by valiantone2000; 10-21-2016 at 05:53 PM. Reason: Didn't have access to thread as New Member.
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:05 PM
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I usually deal with Windows users, but Mac can do this as well.

Get Info is available in iTunes, and even in Finder.

The Get Info window is available by holding the Control button then Click on the track (or several tracks that are selected) then let go of the Control button, then click on Get Info.



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Topic: MP3 Audiobooks, tracks, and bookmarking?

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