Q: I have a 160 GB iPod classic and when I go to my audiobooks it simply lists EVERY audiobook file I own alphabetically, with no options to sort by artist or album like it does with my music. This makes listening to any audiobook that does not have alphabetical chapter names a NIGHTMARE (anthologies are the worst, as the separate stories are scattered all over the master list). An Apple Care representative could not figure this out. You’re my last hope! PLEASE HELP!
A: The built-in audiobooks menu on the iPod is quite limited and only operates in the way you describe—providing a listing of ALL audiobooks that are on your iPod, in alphabetical order.
While there’s no way to change the behavior of the built-in audiobooks menu option, you can work around this problem by using playlists for your audiobooks. Audiobooks are treated in the same manner as any other audio file in terms of being able to be placed in a playlist and synced to your iPod as part of that playlist.
Smart Playlists are particularly helpful in this case, as you can build playlists which automatically select audiobooks from a certain genre or author and filter out those which you have already listened to.
Another possible workaround would be to change your audiobook files back to “Music” files in iTunes. If you re-classify your audiobooks as “Music” files then they will show up in the normal artist, album and genre sections. To do this, you can simply select the track(s) in question, choose File, Get Info from the iTunes menu to see the file information dialog box and then change the “Media Kind” from “Audiobook” to “Music” under the Options tab.
Note that you will lose the ability to set playback speed by doing this, but can still use the “Remember playback position” and “Skip when shuffling” options found on the same tab to apply those typical audiobook settings.