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Old 11-03-2021, 08:21 AM   #1
davidfor
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Sideloading Audiobooks

Firstly, I am a little surprised at how little mention has been made in this forum of actually playing audiobooks on the Sage and Libra 2. I suppose that just means no one has been buying them before.

I have tried one and it appears to work well. I have to admit I am not planning to use it. And I had more fun connecting to different Bluetooth enabled devices to try the playback. I haven't tried to pair with my earphones. It works well and my wife is looking forward to relieving me of the Sage in the very near future.

I have also been doing some investigation. From the database, looking at the files, a hint elsewhere, and then a when I had missed the obvious, it appears Audiobooks can be sideloaded as a zip file with the extension "mp3z". I assume the contents have to be MP3s, but, I haven't tried any other format.

So far, I don't see a way to get metadata. The title of the audiobook will be the file name, the author is "Unkown Author" and there is no cover. In the book list, the type is "MP3Z".

The player used for the sideloaded books is different to that for purchased audiobooks. It is purely text and looks like a developers experimental player. But, it works.

So far, I have only tried to "books". One was downloaded from LibriVox. The other was music MP3s that I zipped and renamed. So, it can play music if you want.

The player shows the name of the file inside the mp3z file. Each file is treated as a chapter. The order of playback is the file names.

That's about it at the moment. I don't know how much I'll play with this as I'm not that interested in Audiobooks. But, my wife is, so I'll probably get overruled.
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Old 11-03-2021, 09:55 AM   #2
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Do I have to put the .mp3z file to a specific folder? I can see the MP3Z file in my book overview but I cannot get it to open the audiobook player.
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Old 11-03-2021, 10:10 AM   #3
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No. I just dropped mine in the root directory. But, I have just tried one in a sub-directory. I would keep them out of the .kobo directory.

Did you connect to the audio device before starting? It doesn't do this automatically, or have a button to do it in this player.
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Old 11-03-2021, 10:16 AM   #4
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It may not work for me as the audiobook feature is not active in Germany. I was hoping that having an audiobook present would just overwrite the feature flag.
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Old 11-03-2021, 03:03 PM   #5
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This is the one thing holding me back from buying the Sage. My AuraOne is showing the occasional blip so I have been looking around at replacement devices. I want to stay with Kobo, but am looking at the Likebook Mars and a couple of others. I have a lot of audiobooks and want to have an ereader that I can use them on.

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Old 11-03-2021, 03:06 PM   #6
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Perhaps people didn’t fuss with it because Kobo had stated they wouldn’t work.
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Old 11-03-2021, 03:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
.

The other was music MP3s that I zipped and renamed. So, it can play music if you want.
I remember when I had a Sony ereader, many years ago, and that I could play music on it!
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Old 11-03-2021, 04:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rantanplan View Post
It may not work for me as the audiobook feature is not active in Germany. I was hoping that having an audiobook present would just overwrite the feature flag.
Works on my German Libra 2. At least the pure mp3 music playing part. Haven't tried audiobooks yet because I don't have any at this point.
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Old 11-03-2021, 05:21 PM   #9
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Works on my German Libra 2. At least the pure mp3 music playing part. Haven't tried audiobooks yet because I don't have any at this point.

this is good news for those who have audiobooks in MP3 format.

best wishes koboy
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Old 11-03-2021, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
it appears Audiobooks can be sideloaded as a zip file with the extension "mp3z". I assume the contents have to be MP3s, but, I haven't tried any other format.
Ran a few quick checks, and it seems you're right.

m4a files inside .mp3z, the player sees them, but doesn't play them

straight up m4b or m4bz formats don't show up in the library

but an m4b audiobook converted to mp3 and uploaded as mp3z gets played nicely

Quote:
Did you connect to the audio device before starting? It doesn't do this automatically, or have a button to do it in this player.
Exactly. connected smoothly with my bluetooth headphones. But you have to do it before calling up the file.

So, yes, mp3 playback is nice to have. But it's really nothing new. The sweet thing would be progress tracking across reading modes and devices.

Last edited by xor_; 11-03-2021 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 11-03-2021, 08:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xor_ View Post
m4a files inside .mp3z, the player sees them, but doesn't play them

straight up m4b or m4bz formats don't show up in the library

but an m4b audiobook converted to mp3 and uploaded as mp3z gets played nicely
I've never played with audibooks before. I had to go looking for something before I started. But, the clues I got from the database and elsewhere suggest Kobo's audiobooks were MP3's and I knew there would be a way to sideload them.
Quote:
Exactly. connected smoothly with my bluetooth headphones. But you have to do it before calling up the file.

So, yes, mp3 playback is nice to have. But it's really nothing new. The sweet thing would be progress tracking across reading modes and devices.
Liked purchased ebooks, Kobo is syncing the status of purchased audiobooks to other devices and their apps. They have never synced anything for sideloaded books, so this is expected.

For the record, I think sideloading audiobooks will fit in the same category as sideloading kepubs. It will work, it probably won't be blocked, but, it is probably not going to be officially supported. I would like to think that will change, but, at the moment, I don't think so.
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Old 11-03-2021, 10:00 PM   #12
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Just so you know, I literally ordered a Libra 2 right after reading this thread.
So, I can zip up a folder of MP3s right from Windows Overdrive and dump them in a new Audiobooks folder on the device memory?

Yes, I'll delete the files within the checkout window.

Last edited by vrf; 11-03-2021 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 11-03-2021, 11:32 PM   #13
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just to clarify:

So if i have 3 music files (mp3), i should put them in one folder, zip the folder, and rename the extension file from zip to mp3z?

and the three music files will be treated as chapters of the zipped file?
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Old 11-03-2021, 11:51 PM   #14
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Just so you know, I literally ordered a Libra 2 right after reading this thread.
So, I can zip up a folder of MP3s right from Windows Overdrive and dump them in a new Audiobooks folder on the device memory?

Yes, I'll delete the files within the checkout window.
I don't know. It will depend on if there is DRM in those files. My testing was with DRM free MP3s. And, as I fairly explicitly stated, and others have confirmed, putting them in an zip file with an extension of "mp3z" will let the device see the files and play them.
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Old 11-03-2021, 11:54 PM   #15
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I don't know. It will depend on if there is DRM in those files. My testing was with DRM free MP3s. And, as I fairly explicitly stated, and others have confirmed, putting them in an zip file with an extension of "mp3z" will let the device see the files and play them.
No DRM on my library, or maybe it's Overdrive. Yeah, I got the file format thing, I was just wondering if I could keep all the books tucked in a subfolder off of root. That wasn't clear yet.
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