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Old 02-06-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
Tessie6
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Device: Sony PRS505
PRS 650 download of a book in audio format

I've download a book off of the Gutenburg site in audio format using an MP3 format. It downloaded what looked to be ok and I transferred it to my reader with no problem (I think)

But the book starts at chapter 6 when I play it. What did I do wrong.

Can you tell me how to correct it.

Edith
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:15 PM   #2
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How many files and how are they named?
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:28 AM   #3
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Device: SONY PRS-650
The current Sony Readers like the PRS-650 sort your MP3 audio tracks using ID3 tags.

This should insure that they play in order, UNLESS one of two things are true-

1. You have 'shuffle mode' turned on
2. Your books MP3 files have incorrect or bad ID3 tags (or no tags at all)


I have had this exact same issue on several other MP3 player devices, so it's a fairly common problem, and is not a defect in the PRS-650. You would think folks posting these MP3 audio files would at least take the time to get the ID3 tags right, and in many cases they do, but I have run into this problem on some titles, and had to fix the tags myself.

Sometimes, if you are lucky when there are NO tags at all in the MP3 files, the player will fall back to sorting by file name instead, but more often, it just plays the files in whatever order it finds them in the folder which may NOT be the correct track order. You may not notice this on a musical album, but it's bad news on an audio book.

This gets a little tricky, thanks to the fact that your PC will typically show the files all nicely sorted alphabetically, even though that is not the 'natural order' in which they are stored on the hard drive.

The best way to make sure that your MP3 files are transfered to your PRS-650 in the correct order is to tell windows to sort or 'arrange' the folder 'by name', then select all the files, then grab the first file and drag them all over.

If this doesn't work, for you, then worst case, just try manually draging the files over ONE AT A TIME IN THE PROPER TRACK ORDER.

On a Kindle, this is pretty much the ONLY way to get the tracks to play in the correct order because Kindles ignores the tags.

None of the above will help though if the audiobook HAS ID3 tags that have been screwed up so they won't sort correctly.

The Sony sorts tracks correctly, as long as the files are properly tagged by title and track, but this will actually work against you if the tags are screwed up.

For example the ID3 tag used to name the audiobook "Album" may not be the SAME for all the tracks in which case the Sony will quite correctly think it is dealing with separate albums, sort them into two different lists, and refuse to play them all together at the same time.

More commonly, the 'title' tags are screwed up so they don't sort correctly.

For example the 5 MP3 files in a book may have 'title' tags that look like this -

Track 1
Track 2
Trake 3
Track 04
Track 5

In this case, the incorrectly spelled "Trake 3" [sic] and the inconsistent "Track 04" with the extra leading zero, in the above list will NOT sort correctly and the PRS-650 will play them out of the correct order.

Another way to go wrong is to use track naming that, though consistent, can not be sorted correctly, like putting chapter names first -

"A Humble beginning" - chapter 1
"Starting out Right" - chapter 2
"But Going Quickly Wrong" - chapter 3

Which would sort into playback order as chapter 1, chapter 3, chapter 2

There is a nice PC app called MP3Tag which will let you go in and change the the tags on existing files in just a few seconds.

So to review -

The first thing to check is whether you accidentally have 'shuffle' mode on.

if not, second, try manually dragging the files over one at a time in the correct order. If there are NO TAGS at all, just getting the files in the right order in the PRS-650's flash memory may be enough.

Lastly, if none of those things fix the problem, then the problem is that the MP3 files HAVE TAGS, BUT THEY ARE NOT SORTING CORRECTLY. In this case, you can easily fix the problem by using a program like "MP3Tag" to give your files a proper set of consistently named tags.


If you do have to re-tag your MP3 files to get them to sort properly, here's some info to get you started -

These tags were designed originally for musical albums, and so need to be slightly adapted for audio books.

Most folks use this arrangement -

Album Tag = The Books Title (make this EXACTLY the same for all the MP3 tracks making up the book)

Artist = The Books Author (Also the SAME for all tracks)

Title = This normally gives the title for each individual musical track on an album, but for audio books it is VERY important to make this consistent and SORTABLE, so the books tracks appear in proper chapter order.

So use something like -

Chapter 01 - Tom Sawyer
Chapter 02 - Tom Sawyer

or if you prefer

Tom Sawyer - Chapter 01
Tom Sawyer - Chapter 02

This will still sort correctly on most players, but be careful not to use too many characters in that first part, because sometimes players can't handle tags that have too many characters, and then the tag gets chopped short before it gets to the part that can be sorted! (I have seen several audiobooks that wouldn't play in order due to this simple mistake)

In lots of cases folks simply use -

Chapter 01
Chapter 02

But that's not very useful for folks with players that have an 'all tracks' display mode, because if you have several books loaded at the same time, you can't tell one from the other.

So I prefer using simple short discriptive title tags like -

Tom Sawyer - 001
Tom Sawyer - 002

or

A Tale of Two Cities - 001
A Tale of Two Cities - 002

This seems to be the best compromise, and I haven't had problems keeping things sorted, as long as I keep the total length of text in the title tag down to 20 to 30 characters.

Sorry for the long complicated answer, and sorry that you ran into this so quickly. In my case, the first few books I tried worked perfectly, so I had a chance to get hooked on audio books before running into this minor hassle.

Hope it doesn't sour you on Audio books or your PRS-650, because believe it or not, the MP3 player does work quite nicely with properly tagged and sorted files.

Last edited by delphin; 03-05-2011 at 04:03 AM.
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