Modest Suggestion: Don't Merge Audiobook Subparts

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Stensvaag

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This forum--and particularly some of its faithful members--have been a great help to me as I have listened to dozens of audiobooks in the past few years. At the risk of going against the grain, I simply wanted to let new users know that it is not always necessary to try to merge audio book parts into larger files. My modest suggestion is that users rejoice in the simple ability of converting audio book CDs and audio book tapes into separate iPod files, and just keep them that way. (Obviously, this does not work for long WMA books like those offered through NetLibrary.)

Two illustrations:

(1) If you are ripping an audio CD book, for example, a novel with 12 audio CDs, simply create a separate AAC (*.M4A) file for each CD, and name them something like "Kite Runner 01," "Kite Runner 02" and so forth. Rename the *.M4A files to *.M4B (and re-add them to iTunes) or use the new version of setting the check mark for "Remember Playback Position" or whatever it is if you have a newer iPod. Then (being sure to have the book sorted by file name) make a Playlist "Kite Runner" containing as many components as you wish to load to your iPod. Works like a charm!

(2) If you are creating iPod files from audio tapes (there are plenty of instructions here on how to do that), simply name them "Lonesome Dove 01A," "Lonesome Dove 01B," "Lonesome Dove 02A," and so forth.

My point is that there is nothing wrong with having audio books on your iPod that consist of a whole bunch of shorter files. In fact, as you listen to files 01, 02 (or 01A, 01B) and so forth, you can manually remove them from your iPod, freeing up space for your next audio book.

Some of the headaches we've been enountering with remembering playback position, skipping to the end of the file, and so forth, seem to occur only (or primarily) in merged files. My suggestion: don't bother merging them.

Happy "reading" !

John-Mark
 
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david1951

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But you ARE suggesting merging (or joining) individual audio tracks so you end up with one file per audio CD, aren't you?

I agree that there's nothing at all wrong with having several files per book - after all, that's the way most Audible books come. And I certainly agree that attempts to concatenate long books into huge files (eg Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in one file) is just asking for trouble. On the other hand, you wouldn't want the clutter of one file per track (several hundreds of files for a book like HP), and even one per book would be over 20 files for HP, which could be annoying.

But there is a happy medium, I think, which to me is about 4 CDs per part - so only say 6 or 7 parts for HP.

I acknowledge I have a vested interest in saying so - this, of course, does involve merging with something like MarkAble - but I do believe it to be a comfortable compromise.
 
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Stensvaag

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david1951 said:
But you ARE suggesting merging (or joining) individual audio tracks so you end up with one file per audio CD, aren't you?
Hoo-boy! Absolutely! You definitely would not want to have all of those individual tracks as separate files! David is right about that. When you put the audio CD in, you select all the files and from the menu pick "Advanced > Join Tracks." Good point!

david1951 said:
I agree that there's nothing at all wrong with having several files per book - after all, that's the way most Audible books come. And I certainly agree that attempts to concatenate long books into huge files (eg Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in one file) is just asking for trouble. On the other hand, you wouldn't want the clutter of one file per track (several hundreds of files for a book like HP), and even one per book would be over 20 files for HP, which could be annoying.

But there is a happy medium, I think, which to me is about 4 CDs per part - so only say 6 or 7 parts for HP.

I acknowledge I have a vested interest in saying so - this, of course, does involve merging with something like MarkAble - but I do believe it to be a comfortable compromise.
This is a judgment call. David takes a reasonable position. But, yes, I had 23 files for Harry Potter 5, and it was slick as can be for me. I have my iPod(s) set to "manual" mode, so I just kept deleting parts of the book after I listened to them, and so that Playlist always started with the file I was on. Plus, I use David's "MarksMan" program religiously on a daily basis to help me keep track of where I am in any given file.

Bottom line on merging. Once all these bugs are worked out with the Apple software and things settle down, merging will again become the sensible thing to do. And it is sensible already for the iPods that don't have this problem (our old 3Gs and the nano).

For those of you who are new to the forum, do yourself a favor and check out David's audio book software: MarksMan and MarkAble. You're in for a treat! And, if you end up using them regularly, give David the thanks and the license fee that he deserves.

Happy "reading" !

John-Mark
 

moriond

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Stensvaag said:
Hoo-boy! Absolutely! You definitely would not want to have all of those individual tracks as separate files! David is right about that. When you put the audio CD in, you select all the files and from the menu pick "Advanced > Join Tracks." Good point!
John-Mark
I also tend to import joined by CDs, without necessarily making large, single, audiobook files. Even though I have also created merged files of whole audiobboks, I find importing by joined tracks CD to be a trouble-free method. The only really tempting modification is adding Chapter markers to the merged files. And on the 3G iPod with a Mac I can simply make these all bookmarkable (by highlighting and running the Make Bookmarkable script) without worrying about locking up my iPod. If I _do_ want to merge these into a larger book, I can just select the merged tracks and run an AppleScript like iTunesJoin (or Track Splicer, but I've found that unstable for AAC since iTunes 4.7) and merge these into a single book in a few minutes, for typical book sizes.
 

Woofb

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I now rip one CD or tape at a time and don't use tracks. I never found tracks actually useful since my first mp3 player which didn't even do mid-track resume, let alone bookmarking, but mistakenly ripped audiobooks one track at a time for ages because it's the obvious way to do it.

OTOH, it's easy to press rewind instead of holding rewind on practically any mp3 player and find yourself right at the start of the file. Manageable chunks of an hour or so are a reasonable compromise--you're more likely to be able to remember which file you're in and work from there if you get lost.
 
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