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Add speed control to imported audiobooks on 4G iPods System
A great new feature in fourth-generationd iPods is a category specifically for Audiobooks, which allows you to speed up or down the rate at which the book is read. Unfortunately, this feature is only available for books purchased from Audbile.com. You cannot use it with imported audiobook CDs or MP3s/AACs as well ... until now. T The following steps will allow any audio files to be available in the Audiobooks section of your iPod:
  1. Combine all tracks into one single MP3/AAC file. This can be done in a few different ways. The easiest is to use this script in iTunes to splice all tracks together. The more complicated, but guaranteed way, is with Quicktime Pro. Open all tracks in Quicktime, start with track 1, scroll to the end of the track. Open track 2, Select All, Copy, and then Paste at the end of track 1. Continue with all tracks until finished. You will then need to export this to either a WAV or AIFF.

  2. Import into iTunes and Convert to AAC with the appropriate bit rate (48kbs should be fine).

  3. Use this script (or the process in this hint) to make the new AAC file "bookmarkable." This means that when listening to the book (in iTunes or on the iPod), when you stop listening and come back to the book later, it will resume at the previous ending point. Just like Audible.com books!

  4. Find the AAC file in Finder and change its extension from .m4a to .m4b

  5. Remove the book from the iTunes library. Do not delete from the hard drive.

  6. Reimport the new .m4b file into iTunes and sync with your iPod.

You will now have this book available in the Audiobooks section of the iPod, and have all the functionality of Audible.com books, without the DRM! Enjoy.
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Add speed control to imported audiobooks on 4G iPods | 14 comments | Create New Account
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Warning! Possible iPod crashes
Authored by: SWCarson on Nov 17, '04 10:25:30AM

I have not tried the full process described in this hint. But the trick of changing the type code to "M4B " (step 3) has caused me major headaches. I found that after listening to a file altered in that way my iPod would not wake up next time it went to sleep, (I had to reset to awaken the iPod). I wasn't sure that this was why I was seeing the problem so I ended up reinstalling the iPod software and then exchanged my iPod for another one when the problem still showed up. Well, as soon as I tried one of these modified files my new iPod exhibited the same behavior. Since I stopped using files modified in this way the problem has gone away.

The more complete conversion process described in this hint may avoid this problem (a bug in the iPod software I would think) but be warned that just converting an mp3 to AAC and changing the type code does not work as hoped!



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Warning! Possible iPod crashes
Authored by: fritztoch on Nov 17, '04 11:40:13AM

Works for me, on both audiobooks and comedy albums (which I did not want showing up when I selected "Shuffle Songs"), although I used a different process. First, I combined the tracks using this script http://www.malcolmadams.com/itunes/scripts/scripts07.php?page=1#tracksplicer
and then converting them to AAC. Then, I used a type/creator changer utility to change the files creator to "M4B " and then played the track in iTunes, which immediately updated it to a "Protected AAC File". Then, I synched it to the iPod, where they show up under "Audiobooks" and the iPod sleeps fine. This is a 60GB iPod Photo.



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I agree!
Authored by: baronworm on Nov 17, '04 02:21:51PM

I can corroborate this based on my own personal experience.

I hadn't yet figured out that enabling the bookmark-ability was the root cause, but it makes perfect sense.

I listen to LOTS of audible titles with no problems, but for awhile I was listening to several of my own AAC files (modified by the applescript indicated in this hint) and my iPod was freezing almost every time it went to sleep.



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drat, I no longer agree. :-/
Authored by: baronworm on Nov 17, '04 02:23:47PM

I wish that corrective comment below had been submitted a few moments sooner. Looks like it's because my own AAC files are mono.



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drat, I no longer agree. :-/
Authored by: SWCarson on Nov 18, '04 10:47:22AM

You may be right! The files that were causing me trouble are mono as well. That still shouldn't cause the iPod to freeze, but a good clue nonetheless.



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Crash caused by different bug?
Authored by: cfoster on Nov 17, '04 02:19:59PM

Hi,

I think your crash may be caused by a different bug, if those files are mono (likely if they are audiobooks). I have a thread over on the apple discussions boards about it.

Short version: playing long mono aac-encoded files will cause your iPod to go into a coma when it sleeps.

This bug has been reported to Apple and has been consistantly reproduced by several people. The Apple developers are currently investigating.



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Audio Hijack Pro will save programs as 'bookmarkable.'
Authored by: russs on Nov 17, '04 02:34:28PM

The great program Audio Hijack Pro will save its recorded audio programs as 'bookmarkable.' I capture a lot of computer talk shows from radio stations that webcast. I use a minidisc player to play them back at 120% speed and set tracks every 5 minutes to skip around quickly.
Does anyone know how to maybe create a pseudo-iPod on the desktop to be able to use the variable speed playback iPod software or is there any iTunes software that will allow variable speed playback through iTunes?



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Amazing Slow Downer will speed up your audio, too
Authored by: alaskaguy on Nov 21, '04 06:41:49AM

Try the Amazing Slow Downer, which is also capable of speeding up audio, to 200% speed. http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/12457



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Add speed control to imported audiobooks on 4G iPods
Authored by: bakalite on Nov 17, '04 05:04:38PM

The problem with long audio files is that it takes FOREVER to get back to where you were, if you somehow skip to the end or to the beginning by mistake. I wish there was a fast way to go somewhere within a 2 hour file, but until there is I prefer multiple short files.



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Add speed control to imported audiobooks on 4G iPods
Authored by: cfoster on Nov 17, '04 06:46:41PM

On the 4G iPods the files available in the Audioobooks section (which should be your .m4b files) will remember where you stopped playing them, even if you switch to another track.



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Add speed control to imported audiobooks on 4G iPods
Authored by: CoolerQ on Nov 17, '04 08:32:39PM

If you press the middle button when you're listening to a track, the progress bar will turn into a diamond. Then the scroll wheel will scroll through the track.

--Quentin



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Add speed control to imported audiobooks on 4G iPods
Authored by: kenster on Jan 29, '05 05:35:21PM

saw this on another blog:

You can push the center select button on your ipod once to get to a different screen while listening. Then move your finger around the circle (like you were trying to turn up the volume) and you will be able to move to the end or middle VERY quickly. I'm listening to Da Vinci Code which is 2 files each about 8 hours and I can scroll through the entire file in a matter of seconds.



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Add speed control to imported audiobooks on 4G iPods
Authored by: magir on Dec 08, '05 02:20:08PM

Just changing the file extension may not work in all cases. You may have to change the file type from "M4A " to "M4B ", too (using FileBuddy or something similar).



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Add speed control to imported audiobooks on 4G iPods
Authored by: magir on Dec 08, '05 02:24:01PM

Okay, forget my conmment - this is exactly what the referred hint or the applescript does.



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