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Wayfarer

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 15, 2007
1,216
515
As some of you are aware, syncing Audiobooks is still broken in Catalina. With Big Sur on the horizon, do any beta testers know if this is being fixed?

I would like parrot what previous users said in this thread, and also this thread regarding the broken state of audiobooks in Catalina...

💬 "After recently upgrading to Catalina, Apple forced me to move my extensive audiobook collection to Books. I have tons of audiobooks ripped from CDs and some swapped with people since the 90s. Some of the files had wonky naming, like different capitalisation here and there. This was no problem in iTunes, as you simply associated them with the same album and there was no problem... In Books, those were imported as different books. That being bad enough, I was thinking to simple re-edit the titles and albums as I was used to from iTunes. Well ... turns out you CAN NOT EDIT ANYTHING in this piece of **** called Books. NOTHING!!! ...Years of grooming a collection gone down the drain." - Ion Tichy

💬 "My biggest frustration with audio books in MacOS Catalina is that the Books app doesn't let you edit the tag/art of your books.... There is now no native way to edit m4b tags in Catalina." - straddle

💬 "I listen to audiobooks ALL the time. The way I've been doing it is downloading into iTunes, then dragging and dropping onto my iPod... Now when I plug my iPod Nano into my Macbook, it shows up in Music but not in Books....so I don't have any idea if I can even load books onto my Nano anymore!... VERY frustrated. I wish I'd never updated to Catalina... I feel like no one in the design considered how people use audiobooks. It's all about music" -Bodiccea
I've been avoiding Catalina precisely because I have a large audiobook collection pulled from physical CDs I've collected over the years. I need to be able to edit the metadata and edit album art, like we used to in iTunes. Unfortunately this is broken in Catalina. Right now, I am forced to sync my devices on a second older computer on High Sierra that has my proper audiobook library. Such a hassle.​
This would be my top feature. I really, really, really want to be able to NATIVELY sync and manage my custom audiobook library effortlessly again...​
 
Last edited:

Wayfarer

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 15, 2007
1,216
515
Nope, still the same in Big Sur ( I've been running the developer betas ). I've raised a bug / feature request for it, but I doubt it'll ever get fixed... This is reason my Mac Mini is still still on High Sierra ( that, and the internal drive isn't big enough for my audiobooks to be relocated to it... ). TBH, I'd even settle for iCloud syncing....
Thanks for your response in the Catalina thread! That's a shame.

For greater visibility, I also summarized and reposted this here at the Big Sur forum.

Maybe if we all send feedback requests, someone will take notice? This is my #1 top feature request and would make Big Sur a HUGE update for me.
 

LizKat

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2004
6,747
36,231
Catskill Mountains
I'm not running the Big Sur beta but I'm all in on feedback trying to get improvements to Books app and in particular the audiobooks issues. Thanks for this thread.
 
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Krenzel

macrumors newbie
Nov 14, 2020
1
0
Now that Big Sur is out, here is my question: does it permit one to sort audiobooks by author?

I'm still running Mohave as I have hundreds of audiobooks in iTunes and it would be very difficult to find anything were they to be automatically sorted by title, as is the case with Catalina.
 

LizKat

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2004
6,747
36,231
Catskill Mountains
Now that Big Sur is out, here is my question: does it permit one to sort audiobooks by author?

I'm still running Mohave as I have hundreds of audiobooks in iTunes and it would be very difficult to find anything were they to be automatically sorted by title, as is the case with Catalina.


The Books app for MacOS sure does seem like a neglected "child" at Apple. In Catalina I have really missed not being able to play audiobooks in iTunes because I could opt for the mini-viewer window, and there isn't one in Books.

And Books doesn't consistently pay attention to the system's option to display an app's windows in only a specified desktop Space either. Only option to keep the audiobook in hearing but out of my way on the laptop screen is to start the audiobook and then hide the app. Which makes it harder to pause, navigate, etc.

I've put feedback in to Apple on this stuff but the fact that they're now bragging on being able to use certain apps on either iOS or MacOS does not make me think my objections to deficiencies of the MacOS Books app are going to be addressed.

Apologies for this post if Apple has done something totally wonderful w/ Books app in Big Sur...
 

page3

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2003
662
501
Outside the EU
I know it’s a bit more to set up, but you really should take a look at Plex for audiobooks. This together with Prologue (for iOS) is absolutely phenomenal. Downloading, streaming, device syncing, CarPlay are all supported. I haven’t nor will I go back to Apple Books, it’s another area (like photography) where Apple simply aren’t interested.
 

h6nry

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2021
2
0
Disclaimer 1: I know this thread is really old, and I'm almost certain people will hate me for reviving old threads.
Disclaimer 2: Don't do things you might regret later. You are responsible for any damage on your own Mac caused by my trashy software.

So, I recently upgraded my iMac to Big Sur and stumbled across similar problems like you all.
As I'm somewhat of a hobbyist software developer, I wrote a buggy, ****** macOS app which is able to natively edit at least most of the audio book meta data "in place". It messes around with a load of Books.app databases and thus is NOT recommended as a stable solution to anyone!

I don't use audiobooks a lot, so I consider my proof-of-concept as "finished" in the meaning of it being possible to mess around with apple's proprietary audiobooks stuff.

So, if there's any developers out here who are interested in improving and continuing my work, head me up, and I'll give you the source code and everything I already found out about the audiobooks backend. (I'll try uploading the source code to Github as soon as I'm brave enough for this journey.)

If you're a user desperately searching for a utility to edit your audiobooks library while loving the risk of crashing your Mac, try out the attached app (NOTE: This is not recommended, as executing unsigned apps from untrusted sources is very, very bad practice.)
 

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  • ElevenAudioBooks.app.zip
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Noxegon

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2021
1
0
Your app won't launch.

I'm interested in what you've done, though – and in principle I'm interested in continuing this.
 

h6nry

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2021
2
0
Welp, don't know why I expected it to launch in the first place.

I'm not sure if it's possible to send private messages here, but I'd be quite curious why the app won't even launch, so head me up.



Finally managed to upload my project, here's the github with all the code mess:
https://github.com/H6nry/ElevenAudioBooks
 
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