Announcing Aldo on Audiobooks

by Michael Alderete on 11/21/2005 · 8 comments

When I posted my instructions for importing audiobooks into iTunes and the iPod, it quickly became the single most popular post on this site, both in page views and in comments. I followed it up with a companion piece, covering the differences for MP3 CD audiobooks, and that quickly became the 2nd most popular page on the site.

I also ended up answering a lot of questions in the comments to those two posts, trying to make the instructions more clear, as well as covering special cases which occurred for some people. From the number of questions, it was clear to me that there are a lot of people looking for help in getting their audiobooks onto their iPod. But my answers, while useful, were hard to find, because there was no organization except chronological in the comments. I decided it was time to rethink keeping that information in a weblog format.

Well, after weeks of on-and-off-again writing, I am finally ready to launch a whole new section of Aldoblog, Aldo on Audiobooks. This collection of information represents a complete reorganization and rewrite of all of the information I’ve posted here previously covering audiobooks on iTunes and the iPod, along with all-new information covering recommendations for what audiobooks to get, and where you can find the best places to get them.

This new section entirely replaces the earlier posts; I’ll be going back and amending them to note that fact. I’m also planning a number of additions to the section, which I hope to post in the run-up to the holidays, in time to help folks who get brand new ipods as gifts.

So, please, go on in and give the new stuff a look. Currently there’s no way to comment on the pages themselves, but I’d love feedback, either as comments on this post, or via email — my contact information is in the sidebar of every page on this site.

Tom November 24, 2005 at 4:55 pm

This was great. Thanks for doing all the work. I just happen to be getting an ipod soon and I love listening to books.

Durbrow November 28, 2005 at 10:21 am

First, thanks for doing this Michael/Aldo. Second, are you sure that the sample rate is not too low? Do you know if most audiobooks are really recorded at such a low bit rate/sample? And in mono? Is there a way I can confirm this myself? I am not arguing with you but would be glad to get some reassurance. Thanks!

Alderete November 29, 2005 at 10:56 pm

I’m quite certain of the bitrate for’s Format 3 and Format 4 audio files, 16 kbps and 32 kbps respectively; I don’t know if they’re mono, but I’ve never heard a stereo effect, so I’m somewhat sure.

I’m also quite sure I’ve imported a dozen audiobooks using the 32 kbps mono AAC format, and the audio quality has been excellent, better than’s quality at the same bitrate.

But, you can check for yourself easily enough. In iTunes, go to your library, and then choose Edit > View Options… In the panel that comes up, check the Bit Rate item, to show that as a column in your library. Then you can see the bitrate of every track in your library.

Paul December 8, 2005 at 4:43 pm

I have a collection of small MP3’s that I want to make into an Audio book. Now , I have imported plenty of audio book Cds to play on my ipod and I can also do it for these MP3s but I want to have the MP3’s joined rather then have a dozen small tracks. Any idea on how to do this? Any names of MP3 or aac joiners (pref free)?

thanks for the guides, great stuff for when I was a new Nano owner.

cheers from Australia.

Alderete December 8, 2005 at 8:40 pm

Paul: I’ve tried a few, and none have worked. But it’s been a while, and most have gotten new versions. I’m planning to review them all soon, hopefully this weekend, and report back here. Check back in a week!

Bob Betker May 30, 2006 at 7:57 pm

Aldo: Your instructions are terrific and very helpful for importing CD audiobooks into iTunes. I have a lot of my audiobooks on tape and I am wondering what is the best way to go about digitizing them so I can load them into iTunes. Any hints?

Thanks, Bob

Alderete May 30, 2006 at 10:15 pm

@Bob: Try the “FAQ page”:/audiobooks/itunes/frequently-asked-questions/ in the Aldo on Audiobooks section, it’s in there!

@Paul: I’ve recently updated the answer to this question in the FAQ, so check there for the link, etc.

tim July 22, 2006 at 10:38 am

I like this site and linked to it from my blog, Large Print Ideas. I have started a one-man grass root effort to have more books released unabridged on, described here, More Unabridged Audio, and here, Follow Up on “First Success”. Keep it up.

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