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Old 05-09-2011, 03:53 AM   #1
cybmole
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is there a calibre-type program for audio books ?

any suggestions for a calibre-equivalent which will manage audio books ( mp3, M4a, M4b) and radio plays / broadcasts please

anything but itunes! - I detest apple software but will look at any other ideas
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:34 AM   #2
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I use calibre.. what I do is compress my Audio books into a tar file and then treat it like a book..
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:08 AM   #3
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I use calibre.. what I do is compress my Audio books into a tar file and then treat it like a book..
I only have a few audio books, and I do the same. A few points I think are worth making:

1. Add the file via the GUI. Don't just copy it into the folder manually
2. If you're on Windows, you can use 7-Zip to create/open/extract tar files: http://www.7-zip.org/
3. Don't use zip files, as Calibre expects those to contain HTML
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:56 AM   #4
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can you then use calibre's find/edit metadata tools, as for books ? I did not realise the calibre db accepted .tar as a valid "book" type !

Last edited by cybmole; 05-09-2011 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:08 AM   #5
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can you them use find/edit metadata tools, as for books ? I did not realise the calibre db accepted .tar as a valid "book" type !
Yes, you can use metadata, but you'll have to enter it manually.

Calibre doesn't recognise .tar files as a book type, so when you add the file you'll have to set the file type drop-down to "all files" so that the .tar file is shown in the file picker dialogue. TAR will be displayed as a file type in the tag browser, though.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:31 AM   #6
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I use my music program, www.mediamonkey.com, for my audiobooks, which works very well for the metadata and syncing with my portable player.

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Old 05-09-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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I added an extra custom column to my database, in which I can enter the format. If I also have an ebook version, I'll just update that one. If I don't own the ebook version, I'll add an empty entry.

I don't want those audiobooks in my library, as that'll take way too much room. But I do like to be able to keep track of which books I already have.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:08 PM   #8
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I added an extra custom column to my database, in which I can enter the format. If I also have an ebook version, I'll just update that one. If I don't own the ebook version, I'll add an empty entry.

I don't want those audiobooks in my library, as that'll take way too much room. But I do like to be able to keep track of which books I already have.
I am tempted to go with that solution. it seems logical to me that if I have both audio books & ebook versions of the same story, then I should track that via one database.

Databases which are designed for music albums ( like WMP) will create 100s of entries - one for each of the individual small mp3 chunks , & a book can have hundreds of those if it's been cut e.g. into 5 minute segments. That how my wife likes hers to be structured , for use in the car. as car stereos can't navigate within very long duration mp3 files.

are audiobooks uniquely identified by ISBN, same as written books ?

couuld calibre ( maybe with the aid of a plug in tweak) search amazon etc for metadata relating to audio books - like who the reader / actors are ?
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
I am tempted to go with that solution. it seems logical to me that if I have both audio books & ebook versions of the same story, then I should track that via one database.

Databases which are designed for music albums ( like WMP) will create 100s of entries - one for each of the individual small mp3 chunks , & a book can have hundreds of those if it's been cut e.g. into 5 minute segments. That how my wife likes hers to be structured , for use in the car. as car stereos can't navigate within very long duration mp3 files.

are audiobooks uniquely identified by ISBN, same as written books ?

couuld calibre ( maybe with the aid of a plug in tweak) search amazon etc for metadata relating to audio books - like who the reader / actors are ?
How about filing the Playlist (m3u file or other playlist type files)
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:26 PM   #10
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How about filing the Playlist (m3u file or other playlist type files)
i find playlists too tedious to make, as I use a variety of players & each seems to have its own, non-interchangeable playlist format.

what I'm mostly after is the metadata info management e.g. who reads the book, when was it recorded, at what bit rate (quality), whats the overall length, can i have a neat cover picture.... can I find other audio books in same series, by same author... + the ability to tag, like I can with other books.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:34 PM   #11
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i find playlists too tedious to make, as I use a variety of players & each seems to have its own, non-interchangeable playlist format.

what I'm mostly after is the metadata info management e.g. who reads the book, when was it recorded, at what bit rate (quality), whats the overall length, can i have a neat cover picture.... can I find other audio books in same series, by same author... + the ability to tag, like I can with other books.
Get VLC

I selected a folder with the audiobook files, right clicked: 'open with VLC'
VLC showed them in its playlist. Hit Stop
I adjusted the order (sort on Track, in my case)
File: Save Playlist, (chose a Name and one of 4 playlist types.
Must'a taken a minute
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:44 PM   #12
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couuld calibre ( maybe with the aid of a plug in tweak) search amazon etc for metadata relating to audio books - like who the reader / actors are ?
Yes, a specific metadata source written to get that information could do omse of that. Right now the metadata plugins like Amazon specifically try to search for books and exclude/filter out audio books, cds, dvds etc. You could instead do a plugin that specifically only retrieved that information.

As for "other data", well there you may run into issues. I raised this topic on a thread in the developer forums quite a while ago, when talking about whether for instance a metadata plugin could retrieve the price for a book so a user could put it into a custom column. I don't think with the API as it stands for 0.8 that this is possible, as "merging" results only picks specific attributes that it is expecting to be present. So unless you want it all munged into the "comments" field I think you would be out of luck.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:59 PM   #13
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Get VLC

I selected a folder with the audiobook files, right clicked: 'open with VLC'
VLC showed them in its playlist. Hit Stop
I adjusted the order (sort on Track, in my case)
File: Save Playlist, (chose a Name and one of 4 playlist types.
Must'a taken a minute
drifting off topic here, but...
I have VLC, & zoom player, & WMP & sony readers & sony walkman each has its merits & its weaknesses for audio files.

e.g. VLC can't display album art from with MP3 tags, or lyrics ditto. , but it has skip back / forward n seconds ,and speeds of 0.9, 1.1x which WMP does not have. But WMP has a pretty good searchable library system, whereas VLCs attempt at a library system is a joke....

so I can e.g. go to WMP , make a playlist of all songs with "train" in the title. save it as a .wpl file. open it with VLC & splat... to make the same playlist in VLC would be painful as it's clueless when it comes to searching a big audio library. horses for courses I guess...

AFAIK, WMP can't read VLC play-lists & vice versa. For my Sony walkman you have to make the playlists one particular way or they don't copy over.... the sony e-reader can only play audio files set up in a single "album"... but you can use a goto slider within hour-long MP3s on the e-reader ( which you can't do on the walkman)


anyway the essential feature for audio books is "where did I get to" .the only format with good audio bookmarking is .m4b & apple have it so locked down so that non-apple gadgets cannot support it. So you have to resort to mp3 splitters & remember last ( small) file played.

using playlists as your database hook leaves you still having to manage where/how you file the actual audio book data, and playlists are prone to failing whenever you mess with your naming / filing conventions as they are not self-maintaining. I mess with mp3 files a lot using the excellent mp3tag freeware, so my playlists are forever going out-of-date.

Last edited by cybmole; 05-09-2011 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:50 PM   #14
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I'm interested in this subject too. As I have a large collection of Audible content audiobooks that I would like to find a comparable program to Calibre for all of the metadata on them.

I like the idea of using a blank entry and then populating it with the metadata. But, that would take a long time.

FYI, there are isbn numbers assigned to audiobooks too. So, you can look up the metadata that way.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:37 AM   #15
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Hi, for Audio Books, and incidentally Music I use "Helium Music Manager", its like the mp3 version of Calibre.
I find it very useful for renaming the many music files you get in audio books, adding Book Art and Indexing. Can't remember how much it costs but there used to be a demo.

Just started using Calibre myself, so wondering how to integrate both audio and ebooks into one database, I think I may end up with a excel sheet just for reference
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