Q: I have audiobooks that I ripped from CDs that are currently in MP3 format broken up by chapters. I figured out how to get iTunes to recognize them as audiobooks but I’m still not completely satisfied. I would like to take all of my split MP3 files, join them into one audiobook track, but have chapters within the MP3 file so that I can skip around. I see that podcasts do that often.
Is there a way that I can do this too, preferably through iTunes?
A: Although there is no way to do this through iTunes itself, third-party utilities are available to merge your MP3 files into a single audiobook file and add the necessary chapter markers.
If your a Windows user, you’ll want to check out MarkAble and Chapter Master from iPodSoft. MarkAble provides the ability to join multiple MP3 files together and convert them into an iTunes audiobook format and Chapter Master can then be used on the resulting files to add in the specific chapter markers. Each application is sold individually, but iPodSoft also provides a bundled price of $25 for both.
Note that if you already have another tool that can join your MP3 files and convert them to an AAC format, you can purchase Chapter Master alone for $15 simply to add chapter markers. Much of the other functionality previously provided by MarkAble, such as making files bookmarkable and having them show up as Audiobooks, is now directly supported from within iTunes itself.
For Mac users, then the tool to use is Audiobook Builder by Splasm Software. This $10 application is capable of importing audio book CDs directly, merging existing MP3 files, and adding chapter markers to the resulting files.