How-To Cram Your Favorite Audiobook CD Into Your iPod

Ray Aguilera's picture

How-To Cram Your Favorite Audiobook CD Into Your iPod

When it comes to music, the iPod is the greatest thing since amps that go to 11. Audiobooks, on the other hand, are a completely different beast. While audiobook downloads from the iTunes Store are as simple as a few clicks, getting your existing books from CD, or audiobooks from other stores like eMusic or the free Librivox into your iPod's Audiobooks playlist can be a chore.


The problem is that iTunes (and your iPod) don't recognize audiobooks as audiobooks unless they come from the iTunes Store. If you import an audiobook from CD, iTunes treats those files as music. They won't remember your place when you stop playback, and they won't show up in the Audiobooks playlist. Additionally, you'll often end up with generic track names, making listening to an audiobook an organizational nightmare.


Enter Audiobook Builder, a $9.95 utility from Splasm Software. With just a few clicks, the program can take existing files or audiobook CDs and turn them into bookmarkable audiobooks that iTunes and your iPod will recognize. The software also handles sequential file naming automatically, and can dump its output directly into your iTunes library.


Specify the length of parts the program outputs, and imports into iTunes.


Audiobook Builder allows you to choose an encoding quality (which is great for huge tomes like James Joyce's Ulysses) and lets you break audiobooks into parts of a length that you specify. The program also uses a project-based file system, so you can start importing a book and save your progress to come back to later.


Audiobook Builder's data files are also completely self-contained, so you can even move a project to a different machine and continue where you left off. Both of these features come in handy when you're importing an audiobook from a large number of CDs.


The final screen gives details on the total length, number of chapters, and how many parts will be output with your current settings.


If you're a fan of audiobooks, but frustrated with iTunes' default handling of them, Audiobook Builder is an indispensable utility.


Ray Aguilera is a writer and food geek in the San Francisco Bay Area.




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The program also uses a project-based file system, so you can start importing a book and save your progress to come back to later. powerfull



With the updates to itunes in the past year or so you can now select multiple files (IE an entire book) at once and use the "get info" to set them all to the same genre (IE audiobook), set remember position to "yes", and set skip when shuffling to "yes". You can also create smart playlists that will list all music except those of genre audiobooks so you can scroll through your music library without viewing the many audiobooks files. This will make audio books much more functional with minimal effort on your part and no additional software necessary. I had some audiobook importing software previously and have subsequently stopped using it as it is now just as easily done manually. Unfortunately this does not place them in the "audiobooks" folder but I just make a playlist for each book (to delete audiobooks just sort by genre and you will see all audiobooks together).

As of late I am also an audible subscriber and have to say that is a very simple an relatively inexpensive way to support your audiobook listening habits. It is a conveinent way to find new books and pretty seemlessly imports books into itunes.



I, too, have no problem importing audio books manually, especially since the itunes update. Once iTunes recognizes the CD, I Select All, Join tracks, etc. And finally add each CD to the Playlist in its proper order i.e. 1/7, 2/7 etc. My question is this: When listening to a Podcast, the iPod will automatically stop at that podcast's end and not continue to the next podcast. I would like to know if there is a way to accomplish a stop at the end of each Audio CD of the book. If I don't stop it, it will continue running to the end of the last CD of the book. Sometimes I fall asleep while listening and it's hard to pick up where I was if it plays to the end. I cannot find anything in the settings that would address this.


Bob Galvan

I've been using ABB for several months now with books on CD that I get from the library. Generally it's pretty good, I am happy paying $10 for it, but I am having one persistent problem:

When I stop listening to an Audiobook and either switch to music for a while or connect the iPod to the Mac, when I resume listening to the Audiobook, it will often play for 10-30 seconds, then quit. The iPod goes back to the very top menu and the bookmark is lost.

I don't know if the problem is with the ABB produced file or with the iPod software. I haven't purchased any iTunes or Audible Audiobooks, (too much $$$!) so I can't compare.


Ernest Phillips

Audible downloads are also properly recognized as audiobooks automatically.

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