Placeing Chapter-breaks in .M4b (AAC)

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Fofer

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SouthPaw said:
The place holder bookmarks are not synced.
At least on my system (a Mac) -- placeholder bookmarks are indeed sync'ed. They roundtrip back and forth between iTunes and iPod... I never lose my place whether I am listening at my desktop or on the road. The bookmark syncs (as do playlist counts, star ratings, etc.)

Back on subject though, I sure would like to figure out how to add/edit chapter marks though. Would be a great boon to homebrew .m4b files (audiobooks we rip) as well as podcasts.
 

outofgum

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audible books are like magic. Incredible clarity / space ratio and bookmarks and chapter marks. Plus, the files always play flawlessly.

Putting in bookmarks would be a welcome addition... but I think apple has to come up with the method / program cause apparently, there is some trouble deciphering the aac standard.
 

snooze

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I'm actually not sure that it is that difficult. If you look at http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/3130 it appears that the file format is the quicktime file format. So what is needed is a way to drop the chapter information into the file. Unfortunately, I'm not coding enabled enough to figure out how to do this easily.
 

wbgraphic

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It's not terribly difficult to create chapter markers with QuickTime Pro (although a bit tedious), but I have had no luck in exporting the files in the proper (m4a/m4b/aac) format.

1: Create a text file to become a QuickTime text track. (See www.apple.com/quicktime/tools_tips/tutorials/texttracks.html for more info.) Here's an example:

Code:
{QTtext}{font:Geneva}{plain}{size:12}{textColor: 65535, 65535, 65535}{backColor: 0, 0, 0}{justify:center}{timeScale:600}{width:160}{height:48}{timeStamps:absolute}{language:0}{textEncoding:0}
[00:00:00.000]
{textBox: 0, 0, 50, 160}Chapter 1
[00:05:53.177]
{textBox: 0, 0, 50, 160}Chapter 2
[00:11:46.353]
{textBox: 0, 0, 50, 160}Chapter 3
[00:17:39.529]
{textBox: 0, 0, 50, 160}Chapter 4
[00:23:33.106]
{textBox: 0, 0, 50, 160}Chapter 5
[00:23:33.106]
2: Open your audio file in QuickTime Pro.

3: Open your text file in QuickTime Pro.

4: Copy the entire text file; go back to the audio file, select menu "Edit>Add".

5: Select menu "Movie>Get Movie Properties".

6: Select "Text Track" from the left pop-up menu; select "Make Chapter" from the right pop-up menu.

7: Click "Set Chapter Owner Track..."; Click "Sound Track", then click "OK".

8: Select menu "Edit>Enable Tracks"; click the green "ON" next to "Text Track" to disable it; Click "OK".

That's it. You have a QuickTime file with chapter markers. Now the trick is getting it exported in the right format. Anybody a suggestion for that?
 

greyhathacker

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The m4b Format contains an array with all the bookmarks written in there. we would have to find a way to emulate that (very tricky.) It's probably written in byte code, which would complecate this to the 10 power (trickyer.) This is a shame, becuase i wanted to do the same thing. i have all of the harry potty books backed up and those are so freaking long that, to navagate through there is a real pain. The QTP thing you were talking about probably won't work, because thats for somthing unrelated. For now, i just made a note with all the chapter mark's times, and i refer to it, when i need to. MarksMan will do that I Think, but it's a pain to run it every time.
 

Comrade Cruz

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Are the chapter marks also present in the Audible audiobooks that one can purchase through the iTMS (m4b), or are they only present in the Audible.com (.aa<-?) files?
 

david1951

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If and when the iTunes store opens in Australia, I'll buy an audiobook from them just to see if it includes chapter breaks. If greyhathacker is right about the array of bookmarks (how does he know this?) then it shouldn't (in theory) be all that difficult to write some code to modify this array.

The problem with the AAC format is that not much detail seems to be freely available, probably because of the need to protect the DRM capabilities.
 

Comrade Cruz

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I really want to check out this chapter stuff... I think I'm going to buy an audiobook off of audible.com (.aa). Would any book off of the site have chapter marks?
 

dordale

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I've never bought a book without "section marks" from audible. Maybe some of the shorter (less than 3 hour) files wouldn't have section marks.

I'd hesitate to call the marks that audible puts in "chapter marks", since in most books I listen to, the breaks don't come at the end of a chapter. In my experience, they're usually set every 45-50 minutes or so. Although I did have one book (can't recall which one it is now) that did have the section marks at the beginning of every chapter.

dordale :)
 

david1951

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My current Audible book is "Devil in the White City". When I click the centre button, it's clear that the section marks aren't evenly spread, so I'm presuming they are logical section breaks in the book (haven't tried moving between them, enjoying the book too much).
 

mantene

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Indeed. If someone would figure out just how it works perhaps we could have something similar for the windows users amoung us.
 

mantene

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At the moment it looks to me Mac only. Hopefully Apple will release a tool for Windows as well but the Mac tool i still BETA so if they do release one for windows chances are it is still a ways off.
 

Comrade Cruz

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The "Enhanced Audio Guide" it says that "Chapter Tool is a command line application, that must be run from Terminal on the Mac or the command shell on Windows." If this beta version doesn't support Windows, I'm sure a future version will. I'm also guessing that Apple already has a newer version that they are using, because on the podcast FAQ it reads "When you play an enhanced podcast on an iPod, your iPod displays the name of the chapter you're listening to above the playback position in the episode." That feature is not there with the enhanced podcasts created with this beta Chapter Tool.
 
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LostOnTheLine

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I know this is an old thread, but since it was one of the first found when searching, I'll post for future searchers.
For Windows you have a few options to create M4B files.
*Chapter & Verse - { http : // lodensoftware. com/chapter-and-verse }
This one uses iTunes to Encode but has the benefit of a fairly nice tagging & Chapter Title editor.
You can use it to edit Chapters in existing M4Bs but the downside is that it re-encodes to save the edits.
Another benefit is that you can edit out parts (Like "End of Disk 1" & "Disk 2') by creating chapter breaks & deleting it, even if it's already an M4B

*xRecode - { http : // xrecode. com }
Benefits of this one is that it can convert from formats that iTunes doesn't support, like FLAC

For Editing Chapters (like renaming chapters or adding them {Although you have to get the timecode from somewhere else}) there's a workaround using MetaX { http : // www . danhinsley. com/metax/metax. html }, an MP4 tagging program.
This works because M4Bs are AAC audio files with an MP4 Tag Header (also how you get the chapter marks) & MetaX edits MP4 tags.
The workaround part is that the file must FIRST have an [ITUNESMEDIATYPE] tag set to "Audiobook". this can be accomplished 2 ways:
1. Put the M4B in iTunes, 'Get Info', On the [Options] page set [Media Kind] to Audiobook.
2. Use a tagging program like the FREE MP3Tag { http : // www . mp3tag. de/en } (Yes it supports MP4 tags). Right-Click & select 'Extended Tags...'. Create a new Field & choose the 'Field' [ITUNESMEDIATYPE] and set the 'Value' to "Audiobook".
After that, drag it into MetaX. If you get a dialog asking you to choose Movie, TV Show, etc. then you did it wrong or forgot to save it. MetaX won't let you save if there isn't one set & The only options it has to choose from are the Video ones.
 
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