Importing audiobooks | iLounge Article


Importing audiobooks

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Q: I’m trying to take an audio book from a CD or web site and put it into my iPod classic as an audio book and the files keep going into the Music section. I’ve tried a drag and drop and several other things and can not figure what to do. Any help would be appreciated.

- Dan

A: The key to getting an audiobook to appear in the “Audiobooks” section in iTunes is simply based on the format and extension of the file. Audiobooks firstly must be in the AAC format—MP3 audiobooks will need to be converted in order for them to appear in the “Audiobooks” section of your iTunes application or your iPod.

If your tracks are in MP3 format, iTunes can handle the conversion to AAC for you. Simply ensure that your default “Importing” preferences are set to the “AAC Encoder” under iTunes/Edit, Preferences, Advanced, Importing:

You can then select the audiobook track(s) you would like to convert, and choose Advanced, Convert Selection to AAC:


Once the track has been converted to the AAC format, it will be named with a .M4A extension, and will still appear under the “Music” section. The next step is to copy the track out of your iTunes library—you can do this by dragging and dropping it to your desktop—and then delete it it from within iTunes completely. If you converted from an MP3 file, ensure that you remove both the AAC and MP3 versions in the process.

Take the resulting file on your desktop, and rename it to have a .M4B extension, and then add it back into iTunes by dragging and dropping it, or choosing File, Add to Library from the iTunes menu. The result should be that it appears under the “Audiobooks” section within iTunes, and will also appear in the corresponding section when synchronized to your iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV.

Tracks imported properly into the “Audiobooks” section as M4B files will automatically be set to remember their playback position in iTunes and on the iPod (sometimes referred to as the track being “Bookmarkable”) and set to be skipped when shuffling.  You can confirm this by selecting the audiobook within iTunes, and choosing File, Get Info to display it’s properties. Select the Options tab and you can see that the “Remember Playback Position” and “Skip when Shuffling” options are selected and greyed out:


Note that a track does not have to be set as an audiobook to enable this option. The “Remember Playback Position” option is set by default for Movies, TV Shows, and Podcasts and forced on for Audiobooks, but can actually be set on any track, including even normal music tracks.


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