How to convert mp3 files to audiobooks using itunes.

new method:

  • Select a track in itunes.
  • Right click > get info > options > set “media kind” to “audiobook”.
  • The selected track is now an audiobook!

How to convert mp3 files to audiobooks using itunes the old way

I was looking into my itunes library. I have lots of music and lots of audiobooks. most of the audiobooks show up in my music library and not in the audiobooks part of itunes.
This kinda sucks. So I decided to try to fix it.

There are a couple of steps. Basically it goes like this.

  • find all the mp3 files you want to make into audiobooks (they can be .wav too) and put them in a directory (not in your existing itunes library)
  • create a temporary itunes library. (open itunes whilst holding alt on a mac or shift on a pc)
  • setup itunes not to sort your files and not to copy them into the library (prefs > advanced)
  • import your files into the new itunes (drag them in to a new playlist)
  • make itunes have aac settings for importing (prefs > cd import settings)
  • select your files, then right click and goto ‘make aac version’
  • check to see that the new aac files are inside your new itunes library (the itunes music folder inside wherever you made your temporary folder)
  • close itunes, copy the itunes music folder somewhere (desktop will do)- rename it to something delete the original files (not the ones inside your renamed itunes music folderthat you just put on your desktop!), delete your temporary library
  • open itunes and make another temporary library
  • import the aac versions of your files (again, by dragging them to a new playlist – make sure you still have itunes set to not copy new stuff to your library – you dont need it)
  • sort out all the metadata – this takes ages, but is worth it.
  • (optional) consolidate library – this just moves all your files into folders that are named after your metadata – quite handy, but not really needed if you dont mind your stuff being in a mess.
  • get an apple script that makes every file into an audiobook (it just changes the file extension from m4a to m4b) – if you arent on a mac then you have to figure out how to do this yourself – hint mv *.m4a *.m4b =)
  • check to see that the new m4b files are inside your new itunes library music folder (this is the third one! not your original with your actual music in it, and not the one you just filled with aac (.m4a) files
  • close itunes, delete the itunes music folder you put on your desktop, copy your new titunes music files (which are now your audiobooks) somewhere and delete your temporary library. rename the itunes music folder that has all your audiobooks in it to something like ‘audiobooks’
  • open itunes properly
  • import the new m4b versions of your files. (you can just drag the folder on to itunes) (at this stage I still had itunes set to not copy the files, so I put all my audiobook files inside an audiobook folder inside the itunes folder, at the same level as the itunes music folder, just to keep it separate)

if you get to here and your brain is still working then you now have audiobooks inside itunes that arent all mushed up inside your music folder.

 

Sources:

apple support forums