Audio Books

Objective: To import an audiobook from a set of CDs into your iTunes library. Each CD in the set is converted to a single audio track in iTunes (about 70 min.) that is bookmarkable. That is, if you stop listening in the middle of a track and return later it will resume playing from the place you left off. Once in iTunes, the tracks can be copied to your iPod or iPhone.

There are several sources for audiobooks, but the following describes importing them into iTunes from a set of audiobook CDs.

In March 2007 I wrote about this topic. Since then iTunes has improved and and the process of importing books has gotten simpler. I describe the steps to convert a a set of CDs that comprise an audiobook in a set of audio tracks that I can transfer to my iPod. This is my personal approach. Others may do it differently.

Start with a set of CDs that comprise an audiobook. This could be one CD or twenty, depending on the length of the book.

This final step converts the files from music files (m4a) to audiobook files (m4b). They now appear in the Audiobooks library in iTunes, rather than the Music library. A most important feature is “Remember Position.” Each audio track is now about an hour long. If you stop listening in the middle of a track and go do something else you’d like to be able to return to where you left off. Remember position bookmarks your spot and lets you do that.

You can also convert the files using an Applescript called "Make Bookmarkable" from Doug's Applescripts.

Coda: If you do a lot of messing around with audio, as I do, particularly compressed audio, a couple of programs I use and recommend are Amadeus and MediaRage. They're not free, but not expensive.