Importing MP3 audiobooks into iTunes


Q: I have quite a few MP3 format audiobooks downloaded on my iPod. I am having trouble importing them into iTunes 10 and having them end up in my Audiobooks folder. They also end up in the Music section on my iPod nano and they interfere with listening to music.

Importing MP3 audiobooks into iTunes

– Bryan

A: Audio files imported into iTunes are categorized as Music by default, and iTunes doesn’t analyze or differentiate between files based on their content—it simply assumes that everything is a music track unless you specifically tell it otherwise.

The good news is that this is merely default behaviour, and you can re-categorize these files as audiobooks quite easily simply by modifying their track properties. Simply select one or more of your imported audiobook MP3 files in iTunes and then choose Get Info from the iTunes File menu to bring up the track information dialog box. From there, choose the Options tab and you should see a field named “Media Kind” with a drop-down menu beside it:

Simply change this to “Audiobook” and your tracks will be moved to the Books section in iTunes and on your iPod nano. Note that if you’re copying content manually to your iPod nano, you will need to recopy these tracks onto your device before they appear in the proper section; if you’re using automatic sync this should be taken care of for you the next time you connect and sync your device. Note that you can do this for multiple files in one pass simply by selecting more than one track before opening the file info dialog box.

Note that there are other settings here as well that you may want to apply for audiobooks such as “Remember Position” and “Skip when Shuffling” which will allow your audiobooks to be bookmarkable and avoid them coming up in a shuffled playback on your iPod. For more information, check out our Complete Guide to iTunes Audiobooks, Podcasts + iTunes U.


Photo of author

Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.