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Old 09-19-2018, 11:30 AM   #1
haertig
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Question: Audiobook storage format

Does anyone have any personal experience and opinions regarding audiobook storage format?

What I mean is, storing/handling in multiple smaller MP3 files vs. joining them all together into a single large MP3 file. All of my current audiobooks are each a sequence of MP3 files, the number of files varies with the length of the audiobook.

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I know how to losslessly split and combine MP3 files without degrading quality (as would happen if you used something like Audacity that mandates re-encoding the output file). So quality loss is not an issue.

In my limited audiobook experience, I would expect an audiobook to fit into a single MP3 file somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-500Mb but certainly there will be variation of that size. That's a convenient size for handling, except maybe not in email (which I wouldn't be using).

Another benefit of splitting/combining individual files would be for audiobooks that are a collection of short stories. Often times you will find a story uses up exactly one file. Other times a story may span two or more files. And sometimes a story will stop mid-file and then a new story starts right after that in the same file. I would like to slice-n-dice this so that each story, no matter how long of short it is, occupies one and only one file. This would be much easier to handle and navigate.

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Any thoughts on the appropriateness, or problems with, the single MP3 file storage approach for audiobooks? I don't want to go to the effort of reconfiguring my existing audiobooks only to find I've created more problems for myself in doing so.

Thanks in advance!

p.s. - For those wondering how you can slice/dice MP3 files losslessly, you have to use a simple editor, not a complex editor like Audacity. You want to avoid decoding and re-encoding the MP3 files during the editing process. Examples of simple editors are "mp3splt" (yes, the "i" is missing on purpose) and "mp3wrap". These I use in the Linux environment, I don't know if they are available for Windows or Mac. But other operating systems should have equivalent programs available.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:47 AM   #2
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For me, it depends on the player. Some players don't do bookmarks inside files. And constantly having to remember where you were in a large file can become annoying. It's also generally less error prone to move lots of small files, instead of one large one (though that one is getting less important since wireless communication is getting better and better).
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:45 PM   #3
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Each CD as one part, as Overdrive does it.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:02 PM   #4
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For CDs, I think you are best off with 1 file per CD. For downloads, such as Graphic Audio or Audible, up to you. I do both an Mp3 and M4b since my older Ipods don't like files longer than about 9 hours while the newer ipods and nanos handle War and Peace in a single file just fine. Once the older ipods die, I'll probably trash the M4b. Bookmarking can be a problem for single file Mp3s.
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:51 PM   #5
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It will, of course, depend on the abilities of the player used.

Personally, I like small single chapter files. I rename the files, if neccessary, so that the list in play order when listing alphanumerically by filename, often adding a short form of the book's title as a prefix. I'll stuff them into an appropriately named folder in my archived library, sometimes ZIPping them to make them easier to handle.

When sending them to my player, I send them as loose files. When sending multiple books or podcasts to my player, I'll prefix the filenames with some alphanumeric string so they sort in the order in which I wish them to play.
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