Apps Audiobooks

Lyn2012

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
533
162
As a new owner of an S5 I’m having a problem syncing audiobooks from my phone (XS Max iOS 13.2) to my watch (watchOS 6.1).

All my audiobooks are m4b format with no DRM, they sync perfectly to my phone but don’t appear on the watch, although I can control playback from the watch. Any help would be appreciated, especially as one reason for buying the watch was to go to the beach without my phone and still listen to audiobooks. I am not interested in streaming as where I live, internet connection is unreliable and data expensive.
 

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
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1,517
On Watch app on iPhone, in Settings/Audiobooks/From Library.. what do you see?
 

Lyn2012

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
533
162
On watch it says “No audiobooks- audiobooks purchased from Apple will appear here”.

On phone going to Watch app>Settings>Audiobooks>Store>Library, it has all the audiobooks I synced from my iMac.

Of course my audiobooks aren’t bought from Apple, does this mean there is no way to get them on to the watch so I can listen without the phone?

Edit: Extra info, in Books on phone I have an audiobook in Reading and another in Want to Read. Still nothing appears on the watch.
 
Last edited:

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,024
1,517
On watch it says “No audiobooks- audiobooks purchased from Apple will appear here”.

On phone going to Watch app>Settings>Audiobooks>Store>Library, it has all the audiobooks I synced from my iMac.

Of course my audiobooks aren’t bought from Apple, does this mean there is no way to get them on to the watch so I can listen without the phone?

Edit: Extra info, in Books on phone I have an audiobook in Reading and another in Want to Read. Still nothing appears on the watch.
In From Library, what happens when you click “Add Audiobooks”? Did you see your books there?

On the bolded part I presume you have downloaded all your books to iPhone?
 

Lyn2012

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
533
162
Thank you for replying.

My media library (music, audiobooks & video) is stored in my iMac and synced with phone via iTunes - other than videos that go straight into VLC.

There is no option to Add to Library anywhere in Watch>Audiobooks, at least I can’t find one. OK here are screenshots taken on phone from within Watch app>Audiobooks.
F658B9F8-C31A-4096-B9BC-EAFE95A1C86F.png
I select Audiobook store, Library, Edit (which is the only choice offered in this screen). Then have options as shown, nothing available to add, only to share, add to collection and like. The only way I can see to get new audiobooks NOT from store on to phone/watch seems to be to sync from computer. Obviously this works fine to get them onto the phone, but the watch???
 

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matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,024
1,517
It looks like all your books are on iPhone so the only way to test if the problem is with the software or Apple limitation to only Apple audiobooks is downloading some free audiobooks from Apple Books and see if it can be added to the watch.
Goes to Apple Books/Audiobooks. Searches for H.G. Wells‘ The Time Machine. It’s free on Apple Books. Get it and downloaded to your phone and see if you can add it to the watch (using watch app).
 

Lyn2012

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
533
162
Thanks, that’s an idea, although probably not a solution as I would never actually buy any from the Apple store. I’ve booked a free 30min online session with Apple to hopefully sort out this and a couple of other issues, but it’s not until next week.
 
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ukbootlegs

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2019
80
33
United Kingdom
Thanks, that’s an idea, although probably not a solution as I would never actually buy any from the Apple store. I’ve booked a free 30min online session with Apple to hopefully sort out this and a couple of other issues, but it’s not until next week.
Please post back. I have audiobooks that I was lent and they appear on phone but not watch. Apple purchased books appear on the watch
 

Lyn2012

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
533
162
Please post back. I have audiobooks that I was lent and they appear on phone but not watch. Apple purchased books appear on the watch
Will do. Thanks for sharing that the Apple purchased audiobooks do show on the watch. I have a suspicion this is intended behaviour, but fingers crossed I’m wrong.
 

Lyn2012

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
533
162
Update: I got fed up waiting until next week so contacted Apple support. It is by design that the only audiobooks on watch are only allowed if purchased from Apple. I put in a feature request, although in my opinion it should be a bug report.

Apple suggested I use Bookplayer instead, but when I tried, once again there was no way to actually get audiobooks onto the watch, only control playback on watch while playing from the phone.

If this matters to you as well, if you’d like to listen to your own audiobooks while on beach or walking wearing your watch but without your phone, please submit your own request at www.apple.com/feedback
 

ukbootlegs

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2019
80
33
United Kingdom
Update: I got fed up waiting until next week so contacted Apple support. It is by design that the only audiobooks on watch are only allowed if purchased from Apple. I put in a feature request, although in my opinion it should be a bug report.

Apple suggested I use Bookplayer instead, but when I tried, once again there was no way to actually get audiobooks onto the watch, only control playback on watch while playing from the phone.

If this matters to you as well, if you’d like to listen to your own audiobooks while on beach or walking wearing your watch but without your phone, please submit your own request at www.apple.com/feedback
I thought it was by design too. I convert books to mp3 and transfer as music
 

Lyn2012

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
533
162
But don’t you then lose chapters? And does it still remember your place if you listen to something else then return to the book?

I’m really upset at this decision by Apple as the main reason for getting the watch was to be able to listen to audiobooks on the beach without my phone.
 

ukbootlegs

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2019
80
33
United Kingdom
But don’t you then lose chapters? And does it still remember your place if you listen to something else then return to the book?

I’m really upset at this decision by Apple as the main reason for getting the watch was to be able to listen to audiobooks on the beach without my phone.
I don’t use chapters at all anyway. There’s an option in iTunes for remembering playback position before you sync
 

Lyn2012

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
533
162
I don’t use chapters at all anyway. There’s an option in iTunes for remembering playback position before you sync
Thank you for explaining. Although I wouldn’t keep audiobooks in iTunes anyway, their obvious place is in Books and I don’t want two copies of everything. Anyway, the watch doesn’t sync to iTunes and on the phone, where obviously all audiobooks are synced to Books, again I have no wish to duplicate and use more storage.
 

Lyn2012

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
533
162
Listening to audio books on my Watch without my phone is one of my favorite uses, but I only use Audible and there is an app. But, perhaps take a look at this thread to see if there are other solutions for you. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/putting-your-own-audiobooks-on-the-watch.2200546/
Thank you for the link. After looking at it unfortunately the problem still exists as they suggest using Overcast, but it has a limit of 4 hours per file - many of my audiobooks are over 40 hours long so keeping track would be impossible. I never buy anything that has DRM so buying from Audible (or Apple) is out of the question.