Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Creating Audiobooks

I love my iPod. I love being able to carry around my entire music collection in my pocket. Being a long-time iTunes user, it's a shame I didn't discover podcasts before the iPod. But the real killer: audiobooks. They took me totally by surprise and I am enamored. Audiobooks from iTunes are expensive, but there are other sources. The problem is, when you rip audiobook CDs, you can get them into iTunes/iPod with no problems, but navigation is a Sisyphean chore.

Sure, iPod and iTunes remember where you left off, but a single inadvertent wheel click can undo that "bookmark." What's worse, my crazy entertainment-center-with-iPod-dock likes to spontaneously start the iPod playing when you turn the system off. No, I want the real thing when it comes to audiobooks. I want a single file or small number of files; I want them to show up in my audiobooks group thingy. There are guides on the web to get you thru these issues. (short version: create a single AAC encoded file and rename to .m4b, then import to iTunes) But the Holy Grail has been chapter breaks. I can remember "Chapter 12" better than 04:23:08. And I want them where the author intended, not necessarily at the unfortunate boundaries imposed by the CD medium.

Slideshow adapter to the rescue! Props to ejsjrnc over at iLounge for finding it and documenting it for the rest of us. It's a geek tool. But if you want what I want, you're probably a geek, too.