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Topic: Beginners Guide. Copying an Audio CD to a Bookmarking iPod File. All iTunes process.

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Old 05-25-2004, 11:11 PM
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Make bookmarking iPod files from audio CDs. All iTunes. Opt shareware join AAC files

[color=blue]Guide to all-iTunes step-by-step process to rip audio book CDs into easily managed bookmarking iTunes/iPod files. Import in AAC format to iTunes, rename m4b, & add to iTunes. Blog duplicate of this post

B. MarkAble, Highly recommended alternative. Shareware with CD wizard. $15 Markable and its CD Wizard takes over after you feed the CDs into your computer. Leave overnight to create bookmarking files in iTunes in either mp3 or full-function AAC format. Elegantly simple, no difficult file management, beginner friendly. For step-by-step instructions with MarkAble screen shots and for a quick look at how very simple MarkAble is to use, see MarkAble CD Wizard Tutorial..

C. Mac Only:
Mac equivalent of MarkAble, Audiobook Builder or from the Apple download site: YAMB freeware to merge into files no greater than 5 hours listening length. Joins and renames m4b in one step. If you wish to take this route go to YAMB Tutorial now. Beginners will find the Smart Playlist solution below satisfactory and much easier and should go directly to Step B3.



B3. Highlight and right click on any of the new files in iTunes Library Music Folder, sort it descending by Date Added Column, sliding the button on the right all the way up to see all the files.
-Select Show in Windows Foldder in the dropdown window. All of the imported (ripped) *.m4a files will appear in a window of the author\bookname folder, distinguished by a unique sequential number except for disc 1 with no number. This has changed. work in progress.

B4. Highlight each of the files, clicking on “Rename this file? under “File and Folder Tasks? list on left.
Click here to see more on how-to rename to m4b.. And here to see screen
-Change each file extension from *.m4a to *.m4b by deleting the “a? and keying “b’
If the m4a file extension does not show, see Guide to make file extension (m4a) show
-Click yes that wish to change.
-Repeat to rename all m4b
-Do not close this window, it is required for the next step

B5. Add Files to iTunes Library. There are several ways to do this, but I think this is simplest and most straightforward:
- Highlight all the files in the window (Control & Click simultaneously)
- Drag and drop all the files to the iTunes Audiobooks Folder in the Source Column of iTunes window.Screen shot
OR
-L click on one of the new file names. See this window which says “The Song Book Name 1_5A …original could not be found. Would you like to locate it? Click YES.
- In widow (click here) that opens with list of all the book files.
-Repeat for each file.
This will add each m4b file to the library and delete the now-invalid index to the m4a.
Alternate add to Library

If any files do not show in Audiobooks, look here
Edit: All files successfully renamed *.m4b, beginning with iTunes 7.0, no longer appear in both Music and Audiobooks.In the current version of iTunes, only ripped files with an m4b (frequently renamed from m4a) extension 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.



C. Place on iPod
Manual:

Guide for Search for file; Highlight files and Drag and Drop renamed and numbered files to iPod
Auto Synch:
Guide to unchecking to prevent auto synch of all files

D. Optional: Create one + Smart Playlist(s) on iPod for ripped audio to make easy to find/manage. Smoothly proceed to next file, dropping off listened-to sections. Smart Playlist Guide here


Full AAC/m4b conversion is required to show in Audiobook menu and to play faster.

If homemade mono files lock up your iPod, follow see Guide to convert to Stereo .

Pre-4G iPods may lose bookmark in homemade files upon auto sync of iPod with iTunes.


Images hosted by Image Shack.

Last edited by robert; 10-23-2008 at 10:07 PM. Reason: Updated to iTunes 7.0, Shareware to merge AAC, imbedded screen shots
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:11 PM
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General Information about ripping CD's Which May be Helpful

To locate a newly created file in iTunes
In iTunes Click on Library in Source, click on Browse button upper right, until Genre/Artist/Album do not show above song listing. Click on Date Added column heading to sort it until latest date is first and file is on top of list. It may be necessary to Left click on Date Added column a few times and move right hand slider up - slide it up even if looks like at the top alread - to get newly added file on top.

***Locating iTunes Folder or Files
- Default is C:\Documents and Settings\Default\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\Book Name or Author name and not necessarily in alphabetical order.
- Go to iTunes/Edit/Preferences/Advanced Tab/iTunes Music Folder to determine or verify the location of your iTunes Music Folder location.
- It may be necessary to click a couple of times on date added column heading in iTunes to get a newly created file to show up.
- So that AAC 'Book Name CD X of Y' (which for a time has no genre), will show in iTunes, click on Browse in upper right corner until Genre, Artist, and Album no longer show.
- An erroneously deleted, file may be restored from recycle bin with a right click/restore.

If the m4a file extension does not show, click hereto learn how to make it show

Columns: To add/remove a needed/no-longer-needed column in iTunes listings

Right Click on any column heading/click on checked item to remove column, click on unchecked items to add that column.
-Successive Clicking on any column heading will sort that column.

Initial Rip in AAC vs. MP3 merge and conversion to AAC
Pros:
- Fraction of the time to create versus single file process (link below)
- No MP3 merge,
- No time consuming and possibly degrading mp3 to AAC conversion
- Smart Playlist sequences through one-for-each-CD files automatically.
- Less difficult file management and handling and identification
- No searching for files, no deleting temporary files, easily identified files
-Fewer steps
- If you lose a book mark, it is much easier to find your place with the multiple-files process since the files leave the play list when completed. One file will require searching through 5-10 hours of book to find a lost bookmark place.
Files over 320mb do not perform properly on iPod


Cons:
- Multiple files. One for each audio CD
- Requires very precise file naming.
- 3G and earlier iPods must be taken out of shuffle mode for smart list to work properly.

Cons to both:
- Except for 4G and probably mini, Loss of bookmark reported upon synching, but not when connecting to computer.



See Guide 3. Copy Audio CD into fewer bookmarking iTunes/iPod files
. Requires MP3 merge and an AAC computer-hogging hour or two conversion for each book.

Last edited by robert; 03-13-2006 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:02 AM
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Robert--

Thanks for the detailed instructions--I'm sure they will be useful to many!

What worked for me that might be a tad easier...I created the smart playlist in iTunes (not on the iPod itself). The numbered files were added to the iTunes playlist in the correct order when it was created. I then dragged the whole playlist to the iPod, and the files stayed in the correct order.

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Old 05-26-2004, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dordale
Robert--



...I created the smart playlist in iTunes (not on the iPod itself). The numbered files were added to the iTunes playlist in the correct order when it was created. I then dragged the whole playlist to the iPod, and the files stayed in the correct order.

dordale
Thanks to Dordale, the solution is to first sort on Song before drag and drop. That is, click on "Song" column heading in iTunes until that column heading has an arrow pointing up (ascending). It wouldn't hurt to click on the left-most untitled column as well. Then highlight the entire group of files and drag and drop them into iPod icon in source column. iPod smartlist will pick them up.

To save visitors time and to shorten the thread, I am deleting all of my posts regarding that discussion.

Last edited by robert; 12-12-2005 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:47 PM
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Robert--

It is strange how some things seem to work for some people and not for others.

For me, I simply made a smart play list on my computer (not on my iPod) and input the following restrictions:
"Album is" = Name of book (which I have inserted in the album tag.

+
"Play Count" = "0".

I make sure "Live Updating" is checked.

That's all I did. The files were ordered perfectly in the smart playlist on my computer, and retained their order when I dragged the smart playlist on to the iPod.

I do have the track number filled in, and the files are named something like "01-Conspiracy Theory.m4b"; "02-Conspiracy Theory.m4b"; etc.

So far, I've tried this with three different books, and it's worked the same for each.

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Old 05-26-2004, 03:31 PM
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Robert--

I'm working with files that have already been ripped to mp3s. Maybe this is the difference? I'm not ripping the files directly from the cd in iTunes.

I have them in a directory on my computer, and to get them into iTunes, I choose "File/Add Folder to Library". After the files are in my library, I highlight the files, and right click and choose "Convert selection to aac".

I let iTunes do it's stuff, then I highlight all the files and right click again and choose "clear". iTunes asks me if i want to send the files in my iTunes directory to the recycle bin, and I say no.

Next, I use a program called "AF5 renamer" available from: http://www.fauland.com/af5.htm to change the extension on all the files from "m4a" to "m4b".

Then, I go back into iTunes and re-add the files to my library and create the smart playlist. (I only use album=book title and playcount=0 as my criteria)

Looking at all these steps, it seems like a lot more work than it really was! The part that takes the most time is converting the mp3 files to aac files.

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Old 05-26-2004, 05:38 PM
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I prefer my audiobooks as one single file. Much easier to manage that way. I certainly don't want to have to deal with 30+ separate files for long books. Until there is a utility to merge AAC files, I have to use a workaround:

I rip all the CDs to WAV, naming them sequentially. I then import the WAV files into iMovie (PC users: there should be plenty of sound utilities to allow you to merge WAV files, and Mac users have choices other than iMovie too...) and then export the movie as an audio-only soundtrack. I can then convert the WAV file to AAC (I find AAC 32 kbps is great for audio books, much better than MP3) and voila, I now have a single file for my entire book. There is an Applescript (on Doug's Applescripts for iTunes site) that will then convert the file to a bookmarkable AAC file so you don't have to mess with the file extension itself (no big deal either way), which you may have read about on one of the other threads. Yes, this method takes some available hard drive space.

BTW, are you sure your bookmark isn't retained after syncing with iTunes? I swear I thought it did when I tested it. Perhaps a Mac vs. PC thing? I'll have to do more testing.

Finally, a reason to buy books on CD that aren't available through Audible (Harry Potter, for instance)!
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Old 05-26-2004, 05:59 PM
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Even beginners like options.

The Smartlist is a great idea, the reason it doesn't work for me (and may not work for others) is I like my iPod set to "Shuffle" for music. And I switch back and forth from music to audio books all the time. So rather than having to keep changing my "Shuffle" option on my iPod, it's easier to have books contained in a single audio file. Is there a way to change the shuffle options for specific Smartlists? So one Smartlist, for example, will always shuffle, while another remains in sequential mode? Maybe, I've not tried that.

For what it's worth. Yes, my post might better apply to one of the other threads on this topic rather than the "Beginner's Guide" thread.
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Old 05-26-2004, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by LagunaSol
Even beginners like options.

The Smartlist is a great idea, the reason it doesn't work for me (and may not work for others) is I like my iPod set to "Shuffle" for music. And I switch back and forth from music to audio books all the time. So rather than having to keep changing my "Shuffle" option on my iPod, it's easier to have books contained in a single audio file. Is there a way to change the shuffle options for specific Smartlists? So one Smartlist, for example, will always shuffle, while another remains in sequential mode? Maybe, I've not tried that.

For what it's worth. Yes, my post might better apply to one of the other threads on this topic rather than the "Beginner's Guide" thread.
Thanks for your input LagunaSol, I wasn't aware that you could do that type of work in iMovie. I, myself, have been having corruption issues with large MP3s converted to AAC, but clearly your WAV to AAC method is working fine.

Also, thanks again Robert for putting together and posting the guide.
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Old 05-26-2004, 07:54 PM
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LagunaSol--

Just a clarification...if you are using a Mac, you have run the Applescript file to convert the aac file(s) to bookmarkable files.

On the PC side, the applescript utility won't work, and you have to rename the extension.

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Old 05-27-2004, 04:40 AM
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Just wanted to say 'Thank You' for putting this information together in one thread. I got tired of printing these threads up and putting them in some type of logical order so I could use the info. Now I can reorder my mp3 books and convert them to use on my iPod. I had sent them back when I had read the thread on 'Audible Books and Bookmarking' by Parannoya.
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:32 AM
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Aha. Thanks for pointing that out honeybee. I will update the Audible User Guide to reflect the new developments and make a link to this thread.

Do keep in mind though, that when using this method, you're bookmarks will get erased whenever you mount your iPod to the computer. It requires a fair amount of work for limited benefit. So just be aware of those two caveats versus bookmarking in Audible files.

EDIT: Clarification- bookmarks get erased when you sync with iTunes, not merely upon connecting.



fka parannoya
New! 4Gig Nano
iPod: 15 gig 3G with 2.1 / 6G iPod Mini / Shuffle-512mb

iTunes for Win 4.6 (w/Audible Download Helper plug-in)
Computer: Win XP

Last edited by Podunk; 05-27-2004 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 05-27-2004, 10:05 AM
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Robert, you are correct. To clarify, bookmarks get erased when you snyc with iTunes, not merely upon connecting to the computer.

Maybe you can also try snyc sometime instead of manual to see if you get the same result as I do?



fka parannoya
New! 4Gig Nano
iPod: 15 gig 3G with 2.1 / 6G iPod Mini / Shuffle-512mb

iTunes for Win 4.6 (w/Audible Download Helper plug-in)
Computer: Win XP
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Old 11-12-2004, 02:34 PM
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Thank you all. This info has been of great help to newbie me. 2 questions: Has all worked up to Creating Smart Playlist. When stated Play Count = 0, is this the Limit To box/info? Or where? Also, in moving to iPod "regular way" with Smart Playlist created there, book all transferred, but didn't go into S.Plylst. So cleared & tried Dordales way: create in iTunes & move. Has moved 5 of 8 files, now keep getting Attempt to copy to iPod failed. An unknown error (-36). Any ideas here? Thanks
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:36 PM
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create your smart list by
edit/newsmartlist/and select multiple criteria;
to see all possible criteria, click on the arrow in the left most box of the smart list match window.

add any number of additonal criteria with + to right of all the boxes in the window.

play count is only one of the criterion

if you have done your smart list correctly, the dragging to your iPod should move the files into the smart list. Obviously what I prefer. Try a drag to iPod icon and file should show up in both ipod icon listing and the smart playlist listing (but is not on your ipod twice)

be certain that your files match all the criteria you set in the smart playlist. that is where I would look first to solve the problem you describe.

Let us know if this is not clear or doesn't work for you.

I am thinking about modifying the instructions to create a smart play list for each book, or give that option. so that the numbering scheme will not mix and confuse.

Thanks for the feed back. I have just assumed that the high number of visits means this was useful
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Topic: Beginners Guide. Copying an Audio CD to a Bookmarking iPod File. All iTunes process.

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