Home | Audio | DIY | Guitar | iPods | Music | Brain/Problem Solving | Links| Site Map

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Make bookmarking iPod files from audio CDs

Join iLounge for free and get even more free information.

THE GUIDE: Step-by-step iTunes,conversion of audio CDs to iPod/iTunes bookmarking file. Files appear in Audiobooks folder.

A. Rip the audio CDs into iTunes into single AAC file for each CD.

A1. Options Settings:
Open iTunes, & Click on the top menu Edit > Preferences>


(More details here) and click on Advanced Tab and then Importing Tab (More details here)


Set as follows
-On CD Insert to Show CD
-Import Using to AAC Encoder
-check Create Filenames with track number
-uncheck Use error correction when reading Audio CDs.
-In "Settings" box, click on down arrow and choose "Custom" from dropdown
-In AAC Encoder Widow that opens:
a. select Stereo setting: 32 kbps for audible.com format 4 quality. Recommend 32/48kbps for audio books and 128kbps for music.
b. Set Channels to Stereo to avoid lock up bug.
c. Choose-Sample Rate: Auto (results in 22,020@32kbps)
d. check Optimize for voice
e. uncheck VBR
-Click OK
-Importing window now shows settings kbps and stereo, filter for voice.
Before importing music CDs, be sure to reset to 128 kbps for music.

A2. Open iTunes, & insert CD.
CD will soon appear highlighted, in iTunes Source column If CD tracks do not appear, click on Audio CD in source column. If a window appears, or choose do nothing and click OK.

A3. Select all Tracks in order:
Highlight all the tracks of the CD(Click on first track, then hold shift while clicking on the last track).

A4. Join Tracks Click on Advanced>Join Tracks. Results in single bracket around all the tracks & checked square to left of first track. (See this better in full screen shot in step A6 below.)


more details here
If Join Tracks is grayed out: Click on leftmost column heading and highlight all the tracks of the CD – all background, including leftmost untitled column, should be solid blue. For more, see this Apple link

A5. Enter Audio Book Information
With all tracks still highlighted, Right click highlighted tracks,

-Right Click>select Get Info. In resulting window validate or type in (navigation easiest with tab):
-Artist = Author Name
-Album Artist = Author Name
-Album = Book Name [IMPORTANT: Book Name should be IDENTICAL in album for each of the imported CDs so that they will all appear in same folder. Auto Fill will help after first CD. Eliminate any unique identification in the Album box. If you make a typo, R click that file>Get Info>Info tab, and re-key to force the file into the same Book Name folder.
-Genre = Conversion or an other genre which differentiates from audible.com genre of "Audiobook."
-Year= year
-Enter Disc Number and total discs. (key in X of Y; X = disc number and Y = Total discs. This is CRUCIAL to keep files uniquely identified.
-uncheck part of compilation to avoid iTunes placing in an iTunes\iTunes Music\Compilation\Bryson, Bill\A Short History of Everything, rather than an easier-to-find iTunes\iTunes Music\Bryson, Bill\A Short History of Everything.
Compilation can be undone later for one file or groups of files with get info>info, uncheck part of compilation.

A6. Convert to AAC
R Click on the highlighted tracks and choose convert selection to AAC (If only convert to mp3 is available, revist setting options above)–


-If you have named each imported album identically as described in Step A4, iTunes will place an index to each file in the iTunes MUSIC Library for each CD. It may quell your panic to highlight the iTunes Library entries>R click>Show File> and see that each file is uniquely identified with its disc number X of Y. If not, sort Date Added column to identify where file falls in sequence.

Repeat steps A2-A6 for each CD of the audio book, making certain that Artist, Album, Book Name, & Genre inserted in step A4 are IDENTICAL for each of CDs and that each is uniquely identified by disc number

B. Rename the files, remove the song names that no longer have a file associated with it from iTunes, and add the renamed files to iTunes song list

After all CDs are ripped & in Source/MUSIC Library:
With MUSIC Folder highlighted in Source Column, click on “Date Added? Column heading until the arrow points down; push the slider on the right side hard up to the top until all the new files appear at the top of the song list. Add column by right-clicking any column heading, then check “Date Added.?

B2. Add sequence number to each file name to make its song name unique:
-For each file in turn R click>Get Info>Info tab
-Key in Disc number (or look at date/time added sequence to determine disc) as follows, from non-unique Book Name to:
Book Name 01_10A (1_9 is OK if less than 10 discs)
Book Name 02_10A
Book Name 10_10A (A=Abridged, UA=Unabridged)
click here for screen adding unique sequence number

Optional. (Beginners and computer novices should not undertake this. Go directly to step B3). Join AAC files to fewer files by using YAMB freeware to merge into files no greater than 5 hours listening length. Joins and renames m4b in one step. If you wish to take this route go to YAMB Tutorial now. Beginners will find the Smart Playlist solution below satisfactory and much easier and should go directly to Step B3.


B3. Highlight and right click on any of the new files in iTunes Library Music Folder, sort it descending by Date Added Column, sliding the button on the right all the way up to see all the files.
-Select Show in Windows Foldder in the dropdown window. All of the imported (ripped) *.m4a files will appear in a window of the author\bookname folder, distinguished by a unique sequential number except for disc 1 with no number. This has changed. work in progress.

B4. Highlight each of the files, clicking on “Rename this file? under “File and Folder Tasks? list on left.
Click here to see more on how-to rename to m4b.. And here to see screen
-Change each file extension from *.m4a to *.m4b by deleting the “a? and keying “b’
If the m4a file extension does not show, see Guide to make file extension (m4a) show
-Click yes that wish to change.
-Repeat to rename all m4b
-Do not close this window, it is required for the next step

B5. Add Files to iTunes Library. There are several ways to do this, but I think this is simplest and most straightforward:
- Highlight all the files in the window (Control & Click simultaneously)
- Drag and drop all the files to the iTunes Audiobooks Folder in the Source Column of iTunes window.Screen shot
-L click on one of the new file names. See this window which says “The Song Book Name 1_5A …original could not be found. Would you like to locate it? Click YES.
- In widow (click here) that opens with list of all the book files.
-Repeat for each file.
This will add each m4b file to the library and delete the now-invalid index to the m4a.
Alternate add to Library

If any files do not show in Audiobooks, look here
Edit: All files successfully renamed *.m4b, beginning with iTunes 7.0, no longer appear in both Music and Audiobooks.In the current version of iTunes, only ripped files with an m4b (frequently renamed from m4a) extension will play slower/faster and show in Audiobooks Library. If renaming, you must delete and add the renamed files back to iTunes to get them to show in Audiobooks Library. An mp3 made to bookmark will not play slower/faster nor show in Audiobooks.

C. Place on iPod

Guide for Search for file; Highlight files and Drag and Drop renamed and numbered files to iPod
Auto Synch:
Guide to unchecking to prevent auto synch of all files

D. Optional: Create one + Smart Playlist(s) on iPod for ripped audio to make easy to find/manage. Smoothly proceed to next file, dropping off listened-to sections. Smart Playlist Guide here

Full AAC/m4b conversion is required to show in Audiobook menu and to play faster.

If homemade mono files lock up your iPod, follow
see Guide to convert to Stereo .

Pre-4G iPods may lose bookmark in homemade files upon auto sync of iPod with iTunes.

Home | Audio | DIY | Guitar | iPods | Music | Links | Brain and Problem Solving | Site Map | Contact


Creative Commons License