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ecdc

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2013
54
1
Audiobooks are now found in Books in Catalina, which makes sense. Except I have a massive audiobook collection, over a terabyte worth of data. I don't keep this on my SSD in my MacBook Pro, but on an external drive. No problem with iTunes—just gotta make sure the external drive is plugged in so it finds the files.

But with Catalina, it went to "move" my audiobooks to Books and gave me the error that there's not enough disc space. If I drag my audiobooks into Books, I'm assuming it's going to copy the files to a folder on my SSD, not just create a link to the file on the external drive like iTunes did. I see no option in preferences, again like iTunes had, to disable copying the actual file.

Anyone played around with audiobooks to see how this works? And can I assume syncing audiobooks via Finder pulls that data from books? It's not just magically searching my drives for .m4b files, presumably. Thanks for any insight!
 

IscariotJ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2004
637
64
UK
Audiobooks are now found in Books in Catalina, which makes sense. Except I have a massive audiobook collection, over a terabyte worth of data. I don't keep this on my SSD in my MacBook Pro, but on an external drive. No problem with iTunes—just gotta make sure the external drive is plugged in so it finds the files.

But with Catalina, it went to "move" my audiobooks to Books and gave me the error that there's not enough disc space. If I drag my audiobooks into Books, I'm assuming it's going to copy the files to a folder on my SSD, not just create a link to the file on the external drive like iTunes did. I see no option in preferences, again like iTunes had, to disable copying the actual file.

Anyone played around with audiobooks to see how this works? And can I assume syncing audiobooks via Finder pulls that data from books? It's not just magically searching my drives for .m4b files, presumably. Thanks for any insight!

*sigh* this was my biggest fear when I saw that audiobooks would be handled like iOS. I have a Mac mini that hosts my iTunes library on an external Drobo, and there is no way the internal SSD can hold all my audiobooks :( I hope they change this behaviour before release.....
 

chabig

macrumors G3
Sep 6, 2002
9,514
6,929
I have a Mac mini that hosts my iTunes library on an external Drobo
Me too. I'm not worried. I'm confident that either 1) it will works when Catalina is released, or 2) there will be an easy way to point the apps to the files on Drobo, either using an alias or some kind of link.
 

IscariotJ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2004
637
64
UK
Me too. I'm not worried. I'm confident that either 1) it will works when Catalina is released, or 2) there will be an easy way to point the apps to the files on Drobo, either using an alias or some kind of link.

I'm not too confident, I don't think Apple consider people that have non-iTMS / Bookstore media a priority. I'm still waiting for the return of the ability modify the metadata on books ( I'm presuming the same functionality is missing for audiobooks, too ). Can see my mini staying on Mojave....
 
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JohnnyGo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2009
951
612
I solved the storage issue for my audiobooks by leaving most of them on the cloud and hosting internally only half a dozen books on my devices. But I’m a long time audible subscriber.

Apple audiobooks can be download from the store at anytime right?

My downloaded collection is hosted in my NAS and I manage those manually when it comes time to listening them.
 

ecdc

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2013
54
1
I solved the storage issue for my audiobooks by leaving most of them on the cloud and hosting internally only half a dozen books on my devices.
Same. It's not exactly ideal but it works. If you've got your audiobooks in a cloud service or on an external drive, only add those you want to listen to at the time to Books, then delete them when you're done and add the next batch. A few extra steps but it only takes a minute.
It would be nice if this is updated in the future. I'm currently living in some strange phantom zone where Finder still sees all of my audiobooks that were in iTunes but of course it can't copy them because the physical mb4 files aren't in Books.
Also, it's 2019...why am I still manually syncing audiobooks to my phone? Adding m4b files to Books on my phone should be a breeze from iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive...whatever. But, unless I'm missing something, it's not an option.
 

andyru

macrumors newbie
Aug 7, 2019
2
0
London
Same. It's not exactly ideal but it works. If you've got your audiobooks in a cloud service or on an external drive, only add those you want to listen to at the time to Books, then delete them when you're done and add the next batch. A few extra steps but it only takes a minute.
It would be nice if this is updated in the future. I'm currently living in some strange phantom zone where Finder still sees all of my audiobooks that were in iTunes but of course it can't copy them because the physical mb4 files aren't in Books.
Also, it's 2019...why am I still manually syncing audiobooks to my phone? Adding m4b files to Books on my phone should be a breeze from iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive...whatever. But, unless I'm missing something, it's not an option.
 

andyru

macrumors newbie
Aug 7, 2019
2
0
London
I have a 2tb ssd which is now full because all my audio books were copied across. I read that there were 2 methods copy across or index in place. Index kept reporting an error 'no space'. Import of course copies everything to local hard disk.
There was no capacity to access the books at all other than these 2 methods. I used the feedback assistant and said i wouldn't have installed catalina if i had known this.
I looked up multiple methods to downgrade but i use time machine. Time machine had been reformatted for catalina so i had no uptodate backup from which to restore. So stay where you are and hope for the best or reformat and start again with a fresh install. Life is too short for these "BETA' releases.
 

IscariotJ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2004
637
64
UK
Same. It's not exactly ideal but it works. If you've got your audiobooks in a cloud service or on an external drive, only add those you want to listen to at the time to Books, then delete them when you're done and add the next batch. A few extra steps but it only takes a minute.
It would be nice if this is updated in the future. I'm currently living in some strange phantom zone where Finder still sees all of my audiobooks that were in iTunes but of course it can't copy them because the physical mb4 files aren't in Books.
Also, it's 2019...why am I still manually syncing audiobooks to my phone? Adding m4b files to Books on my phone should be a breeze from iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive...whatever. But, unless I'm missing something, it's not an option.

The option to add audiobooks from external sources in Books on iOS / iPadOS, along with the option for audiobooks to get synced via iCloud, would solve so much for me....
 
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Ansath

macrumors 68040
Jun 9, 2018
3,861
3,907
England
I've got an annoying issue where I cannot sync 3 of my 30 audiobooks to my iPhone. all 3 are from Audible, I have others from Audible, that moved over ok and were from Audible, all from the same account and all play fine on my Mac. They play in the Audible app, but I prefer the Books app.

This is the error that comes up (swapped my iPhone's name out):
Some items, including “Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon”, were not copied to the iPhone “myiPhone” because they cannot be played on this iPhone.
“Good Omens” was not copied because the file type is not supported by the iPhone “myiPhone”.
“Aftermath: Star Wars (Unabridged)” was not copied because the file type is not supported by the iPhone “myiPhone”.
“Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon” was not copied because the file type is not supported by the iPhone “myiPhone”.

Anyone else had this? Any fixes?
 

page3

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2003
735
596
Outside the EU
Like others this will be a big problem for me. I find Audiobooks within Books a pain, much better in iTunes.

I'm experimenting with storing my books within Plex and using local Plex players to access them. On iOS I'm using an application called Prologue instead of the Plex App as it is specifically designed for audiobook playback, including CarPlay support.

For anyone interested take a look at https://www.reddit.com/r/PleX/comments/cffe27/prologue_an_audiobook_app_for_plex_ios_now/ The advantage of Plex is that you can stream or download your audiobooks as you choose.
 
Last edited:

ecdc

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2013
54
1
I'm experimenting with storing my books within Plex and using local Plex players to access them.
That's not a bad idea. I have a third-party app called Bookmobile I first got when Apple messed up audiobooks way back in like iOS 7. It's got cool features like more speed options and customizable controls, but it's not as elegant as the Books app and has the occasional glitch. But it allows you to import audiobook files from cloud services, so it's apparently going to be my go-to audiobook app for a while. Playing around with it again I'm reminded that I really like it overall. It's free to download then $3.99 to unlock all features; IMO it is well worth it.
 
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Ansath

macrumors 68040
Jun 9, 2018
3,861
3,907
England
In the latest beta, it’s now impossible to move things from books to an iOS device, just won’t work
 

iamdavid

macrumors newbie
Nov 11, 2003
12
2
I just transferred some of my audiobooks to the books app and transferred them to my iPad no problem...

How it's going to work ith my 7th Gen iPod is another question yet to be researched....
 

Ansath

macrumors 68040
Jun 9, 2018
3,861
3,907
England
I just transferred some of my audiobooks to the books app and transferred them to my iPad no problem...

How it's going to work ith my 7th Gen iPod is another question yet to be researched....

How are you transferring from the Mac?
 

iamdavid

macrumors newbie
Nov 11, 2003
12
2
I transferred the books to the Books app, and then when I attached the iPad, a Finder window opened, which was to all intents and purposes identical to the window that used to open in iTunes where you can add and delete files to the iPad. In the window were all my music and audiobook files, it was just as easy as using iTunes in Mojave.
 

Ansath

macrumors 68040
Jun 9, 2018
3,861
3,907
England
I transferred the books to the Books app, and then when I attached the iPad, a Finder window opened, which was to all intents and purposes identical to the window that used to open in iTunes where you can add and delete files to the iPad. In the window were all my music and audiobook files, it was just as easy as using iTunes in Mojave.

So you have to use the sync function, rather than drag and drop, that you can do in TV app and Music app?
 

iamdavid

macrumors newbie
Nov 11, 2003
12
2
You may be able to do it with drag and drop. I never tried, I just did it the way I always have, but using Finder instead of iTunes
 

Ansath

macrumors 68040
Jun 9, 2018
3,861
3,907
England
You may be able to do it with drag and drop. I never tried, I just did it the way I always have, but using Finder instead of iTunes

I couldn’t, that’s why I was checking hire you did it.

Doing it your way isn’t the way I did it before Catalina. They have ruined that functionality. Making it more complicated.
 
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LizKat

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2004
6,749
36,239
Catskill Mountains
I've got an annoying issue where I cannot sync 3 of my 30 audiobooks to my iPhone. all 3 are from Audible, I have others from Audible, that moved over ok and were from Audible, all from the same account and all play fine on my Mac. They play in the Audible app, but I prefer the Books app.

This is the error that comes up (swapped my iPhone's name out):
Some items, including “Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon”, were not copied to the iPhone “myiPhone” because they cannot be played on this iPhone.
“Good Omens” was not copied because the file type is not supported by the iPhone “myiPhone”.
“Aftermath: Star Wars (Unabridged)” was not copied because the file type is not supported by the iPhone “myiPhone”.
“Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon” was not copied because the file type is not supported by the iPhone “myiPhone”.

Anyone else had this? Any fixes?

I've encountered that problem with audiobooks from Audible that I play in iTunes and want to have on iOS devices also, even back in El Capitan, I think. Anyway I know it still happens to me in Mojave. Play a book track just a little bit in iTunes first ("This is Audible..." etc., then pause it and then drag it over to the iOS device. It seems to have to do with "authorization" issues for some reason.... or conversion of the filetype upon initial play command in iTunes.
 

Ansath

macrumors 68040
Jun 9, 2018
3,861
3,907
England
I've encountered that problem with audiobooks from Audible that I play in iTunes and want to have on iOS devices also, even back in El Capitan, I think. Anyway I know it still happens to me in Mojave. Play a book track just a little bit in iTunes first ("This is Audible..." etc., then pause it and then drag it over to the iOS device. It seems to have to do with "authorization" issues for some reason.... or conversion of the filetype upon initial play command in iTunes.

I’d already done that a few times and it didn’t sort it.
 

ecdc

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2013
54
1
Resurrecting this thread to promote Bound. It's a great audiobook app for iOS, cleaner and less buggy than Bookmobile. It supports MP3 files, M4A, and M4B, and supports Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, OneDrive, and web browser uploading to the app. I have a couple of minor quibbles with things and a little more customization would be nice, but I can't imagine going back to the iOS Books app until it supports cloud services and makes some other changes. Wish I'd found this app ages ago.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
6,043
9,909
San Jose, CA
Resurrecting this thread to promote Bound. It's a great audiobook app for iOS, cleaner and less buggy than Bookmobile. It supports MP3 files, M4A, and M4B, and supports Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, OneDrive, and web browser uploading to the app. I have a couple of minor quibbles with things and a little more customization would be nice, but I can't imagine going back to the iOS Books app until it supports cloud services and makes some other changes. Wish I'd found this app ages ago.
Thanks for the recommendation. I've been looking for an app that has better ways to access the audiobook files than iTunes syncing. Is it possible to send audiobooks to Bound from other apps using the Share function?
 
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