Tagging tracks as Audiobooks in iTunes 8

Q: When I buy an audiobook on CD and want to import it into my iTunes library, adding the description of “Genre: Book” does not make it become an audiobook. It seems that only the audiobooks you buy on iTunes can benefit from the speech acceleration mode of the audiobooks. Is there anyway around this?

– Aurelien

A: Actually, in iTunes 8 it’s quite easy to classify any audio track as an audiobook. The trick is to select the audio track in question, choose File, Get Info from the iTunes menu, and then check the “Options” tab in the track information dialog box. Under the “Media Kind” option, simply click on the drop-down where is says “Music” and change it to “Audiobook” and click OK.

Tagging tracks as Audiobooks in iTunes 8 2

This will cause your audio track to appear in the Audiobooks section in iTunes as well as allowing it to take advantage of variable-speed playback on your iPod or iPhone. Note that if you want to also have it remember where you left of playing last, make sure you also check the option to “Remember Playback Position” in the “Options” dialog.

In versions of iTunes prior to iTunes 8, this was considerably more complicated, and generally involved either using third-party software applications or manually converting your track to the AAC format, renaming it, and reimporting it into your iTunes library. If you’re not already running iTunes 8, upgrading is likely much easier.



6 thoughts on “Tagging tracks as Audiobooks in iTunes 8”

  1. Re: missing alarm function on the iPhone, I think it’s worth noting that iPods have had this feature for a while. I’m holding out hope that Apple will just include the feature in their own clock application with an update, where it belongs.

  2. While it may be easy to classify an audio track as an audiobook in iTunes 8, doing so does not make the track play at variable speeds on older iPods. I tested this with a couple of AAC tracks. I changed the Media Kind to Audiobook. When I played the tracks on my iPhone, they were bookmarkable and played at variable rates. However, when I synced those tracks to my 2005-era 4GB Nano, they were bookmarkable, but they would not play at variable speeds. I had the same results with my 2004-era 4G 40GB iPod—bookmarkable, no variable speeds. One way to get variable speed playback of tracks on those older devices is to convert the tracks from files with .m4a extensions to .m4b. This can be done within iTunes with a script from Doug’s Applescripts called Quick Convert.

  3. I am unable to download itunes. It starts the process and then tells me I have insufficient privileges to modify the file

    I have windows Vista. I have been getting the modify file message. Now I cannot download anything

  4. Ever since I downloaded iTune 8 my library removes itself every time I turn off my computer or shut down iTune. and I have to reinstall it. It stays on my computer but the library is empty every time I turn my iTunes back on. Is this a glitch in the update or did I do something wrong?

  5. I seem to have 58 episodes purchased in HD that are queued download, but my connection keeps telling me my internet timed out, all the while I’m downloading successfully another episode of video. How is this possible? Suggestions would be appreciated. Previously I had no problem downloading pending Videos 3-6 at a time.
    S. rubler


Leave a Comment