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Old 10-27-2009, 06:18 PM   #1
Darqref
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Do ipods use mp3 playlists?

Serious question for ipod users. My mother is legally blind, and listens to lots of audio books. I'd like to arrange for her to use some kind of an mp3 player, and the whole ipod genre seems to be the most likely to be useable, from an ergonomics standpoint.

I've had a cheap, non-apple player for years, and never used it much. On top of this, every time I've tried to move the files for an audio book to this player, or every other system I've tried that reads mp3 files, the files end up copied in the wrong order, and the player does not play them in the actual book order. I've tried several boxes that read mp3 files off a CD, and the one's I've tried don't work either. If the files don't play in order, Mom has no hope of deciphering them.

Thus, I tried setting up a playlist file that reads the book in order (which works ok on a couple of different media programs on my computer). I copied *that* (plus the book files in the correct folders) to my player, and it apparently ignored the file order in the playlist - it still started up in the middle of the book.

So, my question is, do any of you regularly use a playlist? For those who listen to audio books, how do you make them play in order?

I've mostly been looking at the ipod nano line, since they seem to have the best compromise between a size that's usable for someone who doesn't see well, and a lower cost (and I regularly see older ones available on Craig'sList for cheap.)
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:46 AM   #2
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Ummm, why bother with playlists?

iPods of all shapes supports audiobooks natively, the only thing is that they need to be iPodified

The Audiobook format for iPod is usually using the extension m4b, and there are a couple of advantages to it, the biggest one beeing that you can combine alla the mp3files in an audio book to a single m4b file. And when you play it on your iPod it "remembers" where you are in the book, so if you quit listening, it picks up where you left of automatically.

There is a freeware program out there that I can't remember the name for right now that allows you to take a bunch of mp3 files, combine them to a single m4b file that you can transfer to your iPod via itunes without any problem.

I use this all the time since I have iPod connectivity in my carstereo, so I listen to books while driving too and from work.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darqref View Post
I've had a cheap, non-apple player for years, and never used it much. On top of this, every time I've tried to move the files for an audio book to this player, or every other system I've tried that reads mp3 files, the files end up copied in the wrong order, and the player does not play them in the actual book order.
Shouldn't matter what order you copy the files in. It's the track number embedded in the ID3 tags of the MP3 files that determine the playing sequence. Never come across any player which didn't respect track numbers.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:45 PM   #4
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I believe that the newer ipods also have the ability to use voice communications to tell the ipod what to play.

So you can say things like "Play track" and off it goes. I'm not sure how fully featured this is yet, for example not sure if commands like "Next chapter", "Skip ahead" work.

You could just buy her a shuffle, they are very cheap, very small, have the voice feature and you can drag playlists onto it from itunes.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:21 AM   #5
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Shouldn't matter what order you copy the files in. It's the track number embedded in the ID3 tags of the MP3 files that determine the playing sequence. Never come across any player which didn't respect track numbers.
I've come across some audio books that didn't have track numbers in ID3 tags though - just the numbers in filenames, and iTunes doesn't handle it well.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Slite View Post
Ummm, why bother with playlists?

iPods of all shapes supports audiobooks natively, the only thing is that they need to be iPodified

The Audiobook format for iPod is usually using the extension m4b, and there are a couple of advantages to it, the biggest one beeing that you can combine alla the mp3files in an audio book to a single m4b file. And when you play it on your iPod it "remembers" where you are in the book, so if you quit listening, it picks up where you left of automatically.

There is a freeware program out there that I can't remember the name for right now that allows you to take a bunch of mp3 files, combine them to a single m4b file that you can transfer to your iPod via itunes without any problem.

I use this all the time since I have iPod connectivity in my carstereo, so I listen to books while driving too and from work.
I tried the playlist because I was experimenting with a non-ipod player. I checked the tracks, and as far as I can tell (looked at them in musicmatch) the id3 tags are present, but each disc of the book has tracks that number from one. I thought the order listed in the playlist would determine the order of play. (I was testing using a book ripped from cd, before spending any money obtaining new books in a true eAudio format.)

Since I have never had an ipod, I don't know about any of it's audiobook stuff, thanks for mentioning that. If you think of the name, I'd appreciate it.

If I get an ipod, it's going to be the cheapest one I can find, which means it will be an older model. I haven't convinced Mom that it would be a good idea yet.

If this thing is truly not respecting track numbers, and it does appear to be doing that, then All I can think of is to avoid the Mambo-Mano line of cheap mp3 players (I got it a couple of years ago, and haven't used it much at all.)

Last edited by Darqref; 10-30-2009 at 12:55 AM.
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