Another audiobook importing tool for Windows

by Michael Alderete on 5/1/2008 · 13 comments

In a recent post I recommended a few tools for importing audiobooks, which work around some of the more tedious aspects of importing audiobooks using iTunes. Last week I came across another interesting tool for Windows users, which might also be useful:

Teridon’s Audiobook Helper
Teridon's Audiobook Helper

I have not yet tested it with importing a book, but it looks like it gets a couple of things really right, namely allowing you to set the meta data for the tracks manually, overriding what comes in from the Gracenote CDDB lookup that iTunes does automatically, and which is often inaccurate. Bogus meta data is one of the top causes for problems that people have with sort and playback order of audiobook tracks, and if this tool can reduce or eliminate that, it’s going to be very useful indeed.

Donna Ford May 2, 2008 at 5:47 am

Looks very promising. Not clear from his website if the join tracks option is done; I use iTunes because of the ability to join tracks. So if I understand correctly when I download this program I use its info in place of iTunes info as I’ve always done per your instructions?

Lately, I’ve had one or two ripped books to simply cut off the end anywhere from 1 minute to longer. Can’t figure if this is a CD problem or iTunes.

Ron May 14, 2008 at 11:56 am

For merging tracks (thereby getting around the sorting problem), I strongly recommend Direct MP3 Joiner. I don’t even remember where I got it, but I’ve tried a number of Windows programs to do this, and this is the only one that doesn’t fail.

Derek Wain June 2, 2008 at 9:51 am

bq. So, to get your audiobooks to show up there, you need to trick iTunes and your iPod into thinking the tracks are stored in that format. On Windows, this is easy enough to explain and understand, but the process is labor-intensive. You need to change the file extension for every track in the audiobook from .m4a to .m4b, and then play a few seconds of each track after renaming.

I have an iPod Nano with the latest software. My problem is that the instructions for “Optimal iTunes Import Settings for Audiobooks” don’t seem to apply, e.g., I don’t find any “Preferences dialog” to make any of these settings. I am able to import an audio CD into the iPod and then synch it. However, at that point, if there were, say 9 CD discs, I will have the tracks showing up in the iPod menu under “Cover Flow”, not Audiobooks. The tracks will have no overall title. Also, I will have 9 of each track, e.g., 9 “Track 1” etc. So the result is practically unusable.

With respect to the advice about renaming the file extensions from the FAQ, where does one find the files to rename? And does one reimport and resynch after renaming?

Robert Jacobson (aka Teridon) June 5, 2008 at 10:26 am

Thanks for linking to my program. @Donna: Sorry, there is no built-in way to join tracks. I’m not sure what would happen if you did it manually in iTunes first before importing using my program.

I welcome constructive feedback. You can email me at the address provided from the “Instructions” button in the program. You can also get my email address by clicking the PayPal button on my web page (you don’t need to donate to get my address).

Maggie June 15, 2008 at 3:08 pm

it does seem to work if you join up the cd tracks before using the program, now if only i could link several cd’s together in “chapter” format like the audible books… i’d be set.

Joe July 12, 2008 at 1:00 pm

I have read your many articles on taking audiobook cd’s and importing them into iTunes and then onto a iPod. You talk about MP3 CD’s. What about audio cd that have a .cda extension? How does one covert, import or whatever to get these into iTunes Audiobooks. I really would like them in this Library instead of into the Music Library.

Alderete July 13, 2008 at 11:57 pm

@Joe: Whenever you’re dealing with an unfamiliar file extension, it’s often useful to look up what the file kind is. For example, “the .cda extension”: is described as:

bq. Shortcut to a track on an audio CD; plays the referenced track on the CD when opened; therefore, the CD must be in the CD-ROM drive for the shortcut to work correctly.

So most likely you don’t have the actual audio tracks, and therefore there’s nothing to convert. What happens when you double-click them? What about if you copy the file to your computer, and then eject the CD, and then double-click it?

BadCam February 21, 2009 at 3:03 pm

It seems that your links aren’t working. Neither the Teridon’s Audiobook Helper link, nor the link to “recommended a few tools for importing audiobooks” link. The first gives a 404 error and the second goes to your “hwo to join multiple audiobooks in to single audio file” page. The programme looks great, similar to MP3tag but perhaps more advanced. I can’t find it on Google either. No, I lie. Here it is. I just had to search for “audiobook helper” only:

Your site looks great and has now been bookmarked. Thanks.

Alderete February 22, 2009 at 11:54 am

@BadCam: Thanks for the updated link, I’ve corrected it in the story above. I hadn’t noticed that the tool had moved. Hopefully the new link is more permanent. The other link is supposed to go to that other post, so it works as intended.

Cory September 18, 2009 at 7:31 pm

So what is the best way to link tracks togeather after they are imported to itunes to make an audiobook on a PC?

P.S. for macs audiobook builder is the best.

Lestat October 30, 2009 at 3:31 pm

hi, i just came across an audiobook creating prog. for windows through which one can also add chapters to his/her audiobook.. im in the process of downloading it as i write…

it can be found @ thought i’d share this with everyone here


HE Bibbus August 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

When I try to import an audio book transferring MP3 files from my my pc, they don’t save into iTunes correctly. They are out of sequence. I dropped and dragged them in the correct form but when they are in itunes they are jumbled. I don’t know how to delete them from iTunes and try to just drag one file at a time either. Can you help?

William August 29, 2011 at 4:59 am

That app is not needed if you use this player instead of iTunes: It is advertised as the very first audio book player. It can remember the last played track&position per each playlist (audio book), and creating of joined M4B is not required at all.

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