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Topic: Audiobooks questions

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Old 06-22-2013, 10:07 AM
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Audiobooks questions

Hello folks,

My collection of audiobooks is growing and need to have one file per audiobook so looking into it again. Few question in that regards. I have gone through few threads here but I guess, either they do not answer my questions directly or I did not understand few parts.

This question is for Windows 7 64-bit operating system, so all Mac related stuff is out. I thank the respondents for taking this into account.
The goal is to have multiple CDs to one m4b file with chapters.

What I have been doing/done so far,
- I used to use iTunes for mp3 or aac encoding. In the past, I used to join all the tracks so that I have one file per CD. Beginning 11.0.4.4, I do not seem to find this 'Join Tracks' option, hence I started hunt for alternative applications.
- I used to use Chapter and Verse, but lately, it is given ton of troubles and hence became almost unusable. The application forum is not useful at all in fixing the problems, hence I stopped using the application.
- I have used mp3 to iPod Audiobook Converter but it NEVER worked in my hands.

I found adding chapter post very interesting. What I did not understanding in this post is, how to get information for first 2 steps, where do I get information about the chapter and if there is any way to rip the audiobook by chapter (like we can rip DVD by chapter using IFO file.)

I have looked into Markable and ChapterMaster. I found it interesting and got the concept of Markable but again, I did not understand how Chapter Master works. Same thing again, where do you get information on chapters?

So the questions -
- If I do not want to go Markable and Chapter Master, do I have any other option for Audiobook CDs to m4b?
- What option do I have making m4b (with chapters) from already ripped mp3?
- If there are any freeware options to get the job done i.e. previous 2 questions?

Thanks in advance.

Rant - I am so curious to know why the f*ck Apple never implemented m4b format ripping in iTunes? If it is their format for audiobooks, why no access to this format for regular folks? I know apple wants to make money out of even dead body if possible (more clear after reading Job's autobiography), get a shareware app for regular folks !!!
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:48 AM
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The Join Tracks option is in the Options Menu of the CD when you have it viewed in iTunes. A screen shot of the menu is attached.

You probably don't want to continue along these lines, as experimentation on my part has discovered that there is a limit to how big of a file an iPod can play. merge or join m4b files (look at item 6.). Granted current iPods may be able to handle larger files than the iPods at that time, but I don't think they are going to work for files larger than a gig or 2.

As for the post you mentioned, it kind of assumes the information obtained from Gracenote would show you where the chapters are, and if you made chapter based files, clicking on the files in iTunes would show you the length of that file, and you can convert it to seconds.

You don't need a m4b importer, never have. You can do one of two things to get files imported to behave as m4b. The first is to select the tracks, right click, choose Get Info, go to the Options tab and change Media Kind to Audiobook. This works for m4a and mp3 files. The second is you can open a command prompt in the directory of the audiobook. Then type the command xcopy *.m4a *.m4b then delete *.m4a, import the files and you are done.
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Audiobooks questions-join-tracks.jpg  



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:15 PM
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Thank you for all the information.

- I am not going to use these m4b files on any iPod. I will be using these files on my android phone but the chapter idea from iPod always intrigued me. I found it easier to navigate through the file. So far, I have played file larger than 1GB without any hassle but my future imports will be 64kbps only. I was trying to future-proof these files but the future evolving so fast, I don't know what to expect..
So file size is not an issue anymore. Its more about easier handling.

- Unfortunately, Gracenote does not have all the data and for many of my audiobooks, I got the file names as 1a, 1b so on. That essentially makes Gracenote pretty useless. CDDB is lot better than that. And even if Gracenote had the file names, they do not correspond to the chapter name all the time..

- Thanks for the information on xcopy option. I did not know that. One question though, can I use it for mp3 without transcoding to m4a? Or I did not understand that part correctly.

- I used to use the join option that you showed in a screenshot but now I updated to 11.0.4.4 iTunes and I do not see that option anymore !!

Thanks again.
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:19 PM
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No the xcopy will NOT transcode the data. It only I changes the extension to have a particular behavior in iTunes and iPods. The other trick where the media type is changed in iTunes only helps iTunes and iPods.

Since Gracenote is unreliable thn use CDDB. Then that is where you get the info for the chapter making process.

I am on 11.0.4.4 so you must have a bad install if you don't have that menu option. I would uninstall and reinstall to see if it comes back.



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