Recently, Friederike wrote into us to tell us about a problem she’s having with her iPod and audiobooks. The problem Friederike is having is a very common problem among iPod touch users. She has placed a lot of audio books on her daughter’s iPod but then when it’s time to listen to them, they become messed up in a bad way. Either they only play for a few seconds, or they skip from Chapter 1 to Chapter 27! No one wants to listen to a book this way but there are tons of people who have this problem! The good news is that there is a solution. The bad news is that, the solution is quite tedious. Here are a few simple steps that will help this kind of iPod Touch problem. Here’s what you’ll need before you start: an audiobook containing either mp3/AAC tracks in iTunes; iTunes 8; iTunesJoin (it does cost money but there’s a free trial option that will get you through the process); Make Bookmarkable, which is a free iTunes script; and the Apple Chapter Tool, which is currently only available for Macs.
Please follow the steps below to troubleshoot your Audiobooks problem on your iPod Touch:
First, get iTunesJoin and Make Bookmarkable. Both steps are fairly easy. For iTunesJoin all you really need to do is download and install it. Make Bookmarkable can also be downloaded. After doing this, you’ll need to unzip the file and run the installer there too. Then go into iTunes 8 and look for the book where your audiobooks are kept.
Look over the audiobook that you want to fix and first make sure that all the chapters are in order. If you took the book from a CD or bought it from iTunes, this should be done by default for you. But check just to make sure. This could be one of the easiest ways to fix the problem. If the chapters are not in order, simply click and drag them until they are all appropriately numbered in sequence. Once all of the tracks are in order, you can then start to name them. This can be done by simply right-clicking and inserting names such as “Chapter 1: Introduction” and so on.
Once all of the tracks have been numbered and named, you can then start joining them. Do this by using iTunes Join. Start by highlighting all of the tracks in one chapter. Click the Scripts Menu and choose iTunes Join. A dialogue box will appear. In this dialogue box, you’ll check three different options. Those are these: Join losslessly if possible, otherwise Convert, and Remember Playback Position, and Remember playback position on old iPods and iTunes. Then you can click Join Tracks. You’ll then need to follow the instructions that will pop up on the screen. Once that’s done, don’t touch anything until it says, “OK to use iTunes again.” It’s going to take a minute for iTunes to determine which tracks you’ve highlighted so be patient until you see this message.
Once you see that it’s okay to join iTunes again, you can keep adding chapters to the joining queue. Don’t get overwhelmed when you see lots of status boxes that keep popping up all over the screen. These just tell you that the chapters are being joined and converted properly. If you want you can even spread these out all over your screen so that you can continue to keep track of the progress. But this is the tedious part. It takes quite a long time!
After this you need to go through and organize the joined tracks. This will prepare it for the final join of chapters. You’ll then see a list of joined chapter names with the tracks separated by slashes after it. Then you need to go through and rename the chapters individually. In this dialogue box, you’ll also be asked what track number you want it to be and you’ll need to enter “1” of “26” or something like it. The first box will be the number of track you want it to be and the second number is the total number of tracks there are in the chapter. It’s important to know that the tracks may not show up together but that’s nothing to worry about. Once all the tracks have been renamed, you’ll be able to bring up the iTuneJoin Preferences dialogue box.
Look at the dialogue box and make sure the “Add Chapters to AAC files” is selected. Then click the Locate ChapterTool. Then you can click on Join Tracks. If the book is too long, you may need to split it up into two tracks. Once everything is finished (again, it will take some time), you can rename the tracks from the long names they’ll be given. If you needed to split the book up into different tracks, be sure to number the tracks. Then choose the scripts menu and go to “Make Bookmarkable. This will convert the files so they will now be iTunes audiobook files.
After all of this, you should finally be able to see your audiobooks in the appropriate section of iTunes. Try playing the track and you should see all of the tracks and chapters listed in order.
Hope this solves your problem, Friedericke, and all of you that are having this same problem. Unfortunately, we did only find help for Mac users. As soon as we find help for PC users, we’ll be sure to let you know!