How to join together audiobook tracks

by Michael Alderete on 7/13/2006 · 6 comments

Update: This post contains useful information about the Join Together utility, but has been superseded by a new article that details additional options, for both Mac and Windows users. See How to join multiple tracks into a single audiobook file for the new information.

One of the top two questions I get asked about audiobooks by visitors to Aldo on Audiobooks is, after importing a bunch of audiobook CDs, is there any way to join the many tracks together to get a single track for the audiobook?

For a while I simply shrugged, and said I hadn’t found a good tool. Then I found a good tool, and added it to the FAQ, but didn’t advertise it too heavily because it was only available for Mac users. But with the latest release the tool has gotten so good, I feel the need to share and promote it. (Windows users, I am sorry, but I haven’t found anything for you yet.)

Doug Adams runs a terrific site called Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes. Now on its fifth revision, his Join Together tool has evolved from a basic AppleScript into a stand-alone application which gives you a terrific interface for combining tracks and adding the right metadata such as title and author, along with options to convert to different formats, and even add chapter marks to the resulting merged track:

Join Together 5.0 user interface

It’s truly an outstanding piece of work. If you’re importing audiobooks on a Mac, get it now. And if you use it and like it, be sure to thank Doug with a donation!

Paul October 11, 2006 at 3:13 am

we just need a nice XP tool now.

Alderete October 11, 2006 at 6:56 am

@Paul: Yes, I’ve been “on the lookout” for a Windows tool, but in all honesty that mostly consists of waiting for a good referral from a reader, or happening across it in an article or blog post.

Certainly, if you’re sufficiently obsessive (like me), it’s possible (though a lot of work) to merge tracks manually with an audio tool like “Audacity”:http://audacity.sourceforge.net/. But a simple tool that does exactly what you need to make audiobooks into one track…? Without something like AppleScript, I suspect that’s a high-effort, low-reward project for a developer on Windows, which makes it somewhat unlikely…

UxP December 7, 2006 at 12:43 pm

To you looking for a Win32 version of an audiobook converting tool, try out Bookmarkable. i think that is the name of it. You cant do chaptering, but such is the life of using windows.

Heike January 26, 2009 at 5:22 am

Hey guys, just try to use: MP3 to iPod Audio Book Converter; its simple, but doesn’t allow chaptering. It works out pretty well and I use it all the time. It’s quite small though! Have fun ;)

Lynda November 11, 2010 at 7:31 am

I’m having trouble “joining” a book cd. It’s making me humble… I’ve highlighted them (in order); I’ve “get Info” -ed them as a group, so they all have the same artist, album artist & name, genre, disc Number 2 of 4;

I still CANNOT tell it to “join CD track” because that is still gray. If i try to import they go only as “track 1”, “track 2” etc.

i had no problem with disc 1

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…

Alderete November 11, 2010 at 11:49 am

@Lynda: Answered in the FAQs: “Why is the Join CD Tracks menu item dimmed in the Advanced menu?”:http://aldoblog.com/audiobooks/itunes/frequently-asked-questions/#q1

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