Ripping audiobooks with iTunes?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by RamGuy, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. RamGuy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2011
    The summer holidays are closing in and I've got nothing less than ten audiobooks I want to rip for myself and my girlfriend before we head out for Tokyo, Japan in July.

    I have ripped a few audiobooks before, but back then I used an application named EAC (Exact Audio Copy). Which is a really awesome free application, but sadly it's only available for Windows and it's a real hassle to configure, especially when it comes to ripping AAC files because no matter how I do it iTunes wont recognize the ID-Tags nor the album art when importing. Making us having to manually name the albums and everything after finishing ripping all these audiobooks which makes the work take even longer.

    That's why we are wondering if there are some better ways to rip audiobooks for iTunes, for use on iPhone's and iPod's? We've tried using iTunes own AAC Encoder but no matter what we do we always end up with m4a files recognized as song tracks and not audiobooks. When Apple got their very own m4b system which is auto-sensed as audiobooks and which auto applies the best settings and EQ for audiobooks how come we don't see any options for ripping our audiobooks into m4b files? Have we missed something here, or do we actually need to manually rename each file from m4a into m4b afterwards?

    What's the best way to get our audiobooks ripped to m4b (AAC, VBR 192kbps, voice optimized) with the ID-Tags and everything loading correctly in iTunes?
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Yes, you'll have to rename. If iTunes is getting the correct info from Gracenote for the audiobook CDs, then you're almost there.

    After ripping into .m4a files, use a free bulk filename utility (such as "Rename") to change the extensions to "m4b". Then, open all the files (at once) with iTunes so that it'll learn they're books.

    BTW, you can rip the books in mono and save 50% of the space they'd take in stereo.
  3. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Some things depend on your preferences. What quality do you want? I do all my music in 192kbit AAC, but for audiobooks I only use 80 kbit, High Efficiency Encoding, optimised for voice (change in iTunes Preferences, General, "Import Settings").

    If I have an audio book on six CDs, I prefer it not to be split up into too many portions, so before importing, I select all the tracks on each CD, and "Join CD tracks" in the "Advanced" menu, so I get six tracks of about an hour each, not hundred tiny five minute tracks. For example, I got War and Peace in almost 400 tracks. That's just crazy.

    After importing, select all the tracks, then "Info" and under "Options" set "Media Kind" to Audiobook. That's the setting that turns it into an audio book. In the same screen you should also switch "Remember position" to YES, and you probably want "Skip when shuffling" as well.
  4. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Are you using a Mac or a PC currently?

    I prefer to join all the files so that I have one m4b per book. I usually either mark chapters by track or CD.

    If you are on a Mac, than check out:

    There is a lot of useful info on Doug's site.

    Other Mac Apps to look at, not sure which of these Rip besides the first.
    I have only tried the others for combining (mulitple itunes files) and tagging.

    Audiobook Builder
    Audiobook Binder
  5. RikP macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2007
    empty file problem!

    I'm on an iMac running OS X 10.6. trying to rip CD audio book to AAC files.

    I insert the disc, I select all files, from the Advanced tab I join the files, then click on "Import CD" from the bottom of the page. Immediately I see a little green dot with white check on the first track and a check next to it and the little musical tone that indicates the file has completed. I'm doing something wrong because it used to show the progress of the encoding and the check marks would go through each track. I am left with an empty track.

    I have the feeling I'm missing some simple step. I have done this before. HELP

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