Importing Audiobooks

Importing Audiobooks 1

Q: When loading audio books onto my iPod, they do not appear in the “Audiobooks” folder on my iPod or even in iTunes. Nor can I add any new categories or folders other then the 5 or 6 that came with the iPod (ie, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Audiobooks etc).

– Susan

A: The default categories that appear in the source list in iTunes are somewhat fixed. These can be hidden or displayed via a series of checkboxes in iTunes’ General Preferences, but you cannot further customize them or add your own.

Importing Audiobooks 2

The only option for additional organization is to create folders and playlists within the iTunes library, which appear further down in the source list. Folders are only shown within iTunes and on the iPod classic and iPod nano—other models of iPod omit the folder structure and display only the playlists.

Content is organized into these various main categories based on tags within the content files themselves. Most audio content is imported as “Music” by default, and most video content as “Movies.”  Video content can be re-categorized as “TV Show” or “Music Video” from within the individual track properties, but no such built-in option exists for audio files.

Normally, audiobooks downloaded from the iTunes Store or come into the Audiobooks category automatically. Other files that you import yourself will default to being listed as “Music” even if they happen to be audiobooks initially.

There is a workaround to this, however, if you want your own audiobooks to be listed in the “Audiobooks” category: Simply encode the file as an AAC file when you rip it from CD, or convert an existing MP3 to AAC. Then, rename the resulting file from “.M4A” to “.M4B” before importing it into iTunes. This will place it in the “Audiobooks” category during import.

If you have already imported the file as an M4A, you will need to remove it from the iTunes library (ensuring that you select “Keep Files” when prompted as to whether or not you wish to delete the actual file) then rename it to M4B and reimport it.

MP3 files that you’ve already ripped will have to be converted to AAC (.M4A) before you can do this with them. iTunes can handle this conversion for you (see the “Convert to…” option under the Advanced menu), or there are third-party options available.



  1. i have an ipod video (30gb), i don’t know what did just happened, my pc doesn’t recognize it as a usb device and itunes neither, when i connect it, the screen turns on in a white or a black color, but 5 secs later the ipod just turns off and nothin happen until i reconnect it..i have an ipod video (30gb), i don’t know what did just happened, my pc doesn’t recognize it as a usb device and itunes neither, when i connect it, the screen turns on in a white or a black color, but 5 secs later the ipod just turns off and nothing happen until i reconnect it.. if the ipod has battery and i press menu is the same, the screen turns on and few secs later turns off

  2. Hello:
    First of all, please excuse my decadent english, and let me thankyou for this exceptional web. It has worked as a “Survival Guide” to me ever since I bought my first ipod…
    To the point: I have a brand new Ipod nano and I use the las version of itunes on windows vista. Everything had been working just fine and then a few weeks ago I started to have problems to start itunes. Surfing the net I realiced that I was not alone: some security windows upload installed in my computer brought incopatibilities witihn itunes and windows, or itunes and explorer (I really cant remember wich). The case is that, ever since that day, whenever I try to start itunes it simply doesnt work, and explorer shuts down. Very anoying. However there is a way to work around this: I conect my ipod, itunes starts up, and then everything works as is supposed to: I can scy, organice mylibrary, import cd’s… But then, when i shut down itunes and i need to start it again, i need to conect my ipod again. This is painful, cause 90% of the times i need to start itunes it is just for listening to my library which shouldnt involve looking for my ipod and connectit.
    Another solution is restoring the sistem with that windows tool to the moment before that update was installed. If i do that, it works as always, but since this is a security upload i dont want to risk anything…
    Any solution? Is there anyone else in this position??

    Thank you all, you are great!

  3. I imported audiobooks from cds. Once it was imported and went to the music file I selected all the tracks and edited the info under options to make it an audiobook. It was moved from music to audiobooks which is what I wanted. I synced my ipod. The problem is that when I went to select an audiobook on my ipod – I have 8 now – it is sorting them all by the title of the chapters. So I have chapter 1a and then chapter 1a again but from a different book. So I can’t listen to just one book. I was going to remove all of them and only have one at a time. When I look at the info page in the book under options – it is not saving it as an audiobook under media kind – it goes back to music – even though it was moved to the audiobook folder. Help please!

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