audiobook on CD to mp3

What is the simplest way to rip an audiobook from multiple CDs and end up with 1 or 2 files that would each play for 5-6 hours, similar to an Audible book? I have access to many books on CD, but do not want hundreds (or more) tracks.

There are some programs that will merge files. I use Audacity but thats a bit harder, a quick serach of the board suggestes mp3 merge is a good program. Just google it.

I am reluctant to use free downloads - who knows what else might come along.

I also need to find a novice’s intro to the whole issue (for example tags?).

I understand your hesitancy with free downloads.  However, there are many well-established tag editors that are safe to download, based on significant user experience.

MP3Tag is one of them; The Godfather another.

As to tutorials, there are many out there; you could try a search engine search.  Here are a few, on ripping music and on tagging files–they’re not perfect, but a start.  Actually using the programs and their included help files–_which I greatly recommend you read, as the product manuals–_will help.  (Much of this tutorial is purpose-specific (including the use of a specific configuration file, which I would ignore), but it gives you a general overview as well.)

Message Edited by Miikerman on 03-11-2009 06:39 AM


I have developed a technique that works with some success.  I rip the CDs using EZ_DAX (ezcddadax.exe) which is the best ripper I’ve found so far. Originally it was called Free CD_DA extractor but now the author wants a bit of money

(not much tho).  I organize my library as <audiobooks>/<author>/<bookname>/<Disk ID>/<track id>.  For disc name I use

D01, …,Dnn.  ez_cd-da gives some choice in track name but I use “num”.  I rip the tracks into wave (.wav), then convert them into .MP3 (24 kbs) for form and size, using Music Match Jukbox. Voice doesn’t need 160 kbs to sound good on a Sansa Clip.

I then use Visual MP3 splitter & Joiner to combine the tracks into disk sized MP3 files. A couple of times I have combined these into full audio books.  Its almost a 700 mile drive to visit My oldest son’s place.  Audio books are a great way to ward off the drowseys. 

I was successful using iTunes today and then copied them to my Clip. Reply to this post if you still need assistance. It’s been awhile since your original post.

Hi, sorry if I’m thread stealing but i’m in the same boat so to speak…

I’m a scifi audiobook junky and want to check out the cd’s from the library and play them on my clip.

I finally got my music mp3’s the way I like them using this guide for “uber” eac with lame:

And I figured out how to merge all the (selected) tracks on a disc into one file and compress it (with LAME) into an MP3. This is located under Action > Copy Image and Create Cue Sheet > Compressed. Each file ends up being 64mb (115min).

The problem is I know I’m making way too big of files “too high bit rate vbr’s” and besides that I still havent figured out how I should be saving the files in the folder so I can load it onto my clip and it will play for example "ender’s game disk1 then disk2, disk3 etc…

So …

is there a way to change the additional command line option that is now set to “-V2 %s %d” for my music to something better suited for audiobooks, and then I can save a audiobook profile in eac for them?

Or is there more to change?

sorry this is all new to me. 

Or should I just use itunes for my audiobooks? but did’nt I read you cant merge mp3’s on itunes only their aa type files? do clips even play those?

any help much appreciated

I’m confussed


I don’t understand your question concerning the file size, I’m not technically keen, but these are the instructions that I followed to use my Mac OSX - version 10.4.1 - iTunes version 9 - to convert audiobook CD’s to MP3’s. The only step that was different was where it reads “AAC”, my choice was “MP3”.I also did not understand the reference to “Gracenote” but it didn’t make a difference to me. 

These instructions are on a website, but when I went to locate the URL today, I couldn’t find it. They were also posted on an audiobook forum within a knitting community (the two interests play nicely together): 

Put a disk in the computer: When iTunes asks if you want to import the book, say No. Then click on all the tracks (command-A), so they’re all highlighted. Click on the Advanced tab and choose “Join Tracks”. That will make all the tracks on the CD into one, so you don’t have 1-minute or 3-minute tracks. Then Click on the Advanced tab again and choose “Create AAC version”. Depending on the speed of your computer, it should take about 12-15 minutes to do one CD. You can only do this when you upload the CD, you can’t do it for books you’ve already uploaded. Though if you own the CDs, you can re-upload and do this.

When it’s done, your computer should make a little chime. The new listing will show up on your iTunes Music list. Right-click on the track and select ‘Get Info’, or select it from the File tab. On the Info tab, you can change the name of the ‘album’ or of the track. If there are more than 10 CDs, make sure that the discs under 10 are listed as 0x, so that they will sort in the right order. If you don’t have Audiobook listed below Music, click on Edit at the top, choose Preferences, and make sure you have it checked on the first screen.On the Options tab, in the middle, select ‘Audiobook’ from the drop-down list that probably says ‘Music’; choose ‘yes’ and check the box for ‘skip when shuffling’ and ‘remember place’. Then click on OK on the bottom of the window.

The track will move from the Music list to the Audiobook list.

So, then you do this for all the discs in the book. The track info from Gracenote will sometimes be pretty bizarre, or even show a different book or author, etc. If the track names or the album (book)/author names are different, different spacing, numbers in the book name, etc, when you first insert the disc, you can correct them on the Info page after the disc is uploaded. To make sure all the tracks/CDs list together, these need to be the same, or the listings will be in different places in the Audiobook list. So just conform all of this on the Get Info tabs.

I hope this helps. Reply again if you need more help

Hi and thanks,

I have been experimenting with itunes using others suggestions for audiobooks.

The audiobook I ripped is origionaly recorded in stereo, with sound effects and background music etc… so I did custom import settings

mp3 encoder :

stereo bit rate: 64 kbps

with vbr

quality: medium

sample rate: 44 khz

channels: auto

stereo mode: joint stereo

with smart encoding adjustments

and filter frequencies below 10 khz

which makes it say “optimized for mmx/sse”

After ripping it turns out:

for example

Xenocide 11/16 (1:15:27)

Orson Scott Card

Xenocide 11/16

Kind: MPEG audio file

size 59.1 mb

bit rate: 109 kbps (vbr)

sample rate 44.100 khz

Format MPEG-1, Layer 3

Channels: Joint Stereo

ID3 Tag v2.2

Encoded with: Itunes 9.0.1

Does this look right? or is there a better way?

I also have notticed that the files will go into my clips audiobooks file but will not play one after each other,

for example I can play Xenocide 11/16, but when it reaches the end it will not automaticly go into 12/16.

Is this due to a tagging error?

I also suspect that itunes is clipping a few seconds off the end of each disk when it ripps because the mpegs seem to cut off oddly at the end.




I figured out that I was making the mistake of tagging the album name with the disk 01/16 etc … so they wernt going in to each other and I was ending up with 16 albums for each book.

so I edited them all, deleted the year info and changed each to track 1/1 just to be safe.

hmm no matter how carefully I name the albums I end up with at least one that wont merge into the others,

crazy fustrating…

I think itunes might be bugged!

Message Edited by solchitlins on 10-07-2009 09:40 AM

got them to merge finally by renaming them all to something else, then renaming them all back, but now no matter how I enter the names of the tracks they wont play in the right order with-in the clip.

I have tried naming them for example:




but the clip will say on top in yellow 8/16 but will actually be playing xenocide 16/16

is this a known issue?

someone help please

I bought the Audible audiobooks on CD edition, however, the extensions are AA/AAX with the DRM protection, currently I used the DRM Audible Converter for Macto help me convert the Audible audiobooks to MP3. And then I my play the MP3 files when I am waiting a bus, taking a train and so on. Thanks to the good converter. 

Does the Audible DRM Removal Software support converting convert the audiobook to WMA? Then I don’t need to find another MP3 to WMA tool.

Looking at the first sentence in the link in your post, it seems to answer your question:

Best Audiobook from iTunes Audible DRM Removal Software to Convert Audible to MP3, AAC, M4B, M4A, WAV, FLAC Audios”

I don’t see WMA listed, but what’s wrong with MP3? Given you’re dealing with audiobooks, sound quality shouldn’t be an issue. You can still rip to a low bit-rate to save memory space.

M4B audiobooks from differnet source have differnert solution when converting them to MP3. Taken iTunes M4B audiobooks as example, iTunes audiobooks are also encoded in DRM technology, which prevents you playing audiobooks from iTunes on authorized devices and players. As for converting iTunes M4B to MP3, you need to remove DRM protection from iTunes audiobooks. So you need to equip with a special M4B converter, like Audio Converter for Windows that is also a DRM removal software. 

Good news is that this Apple Music Converter for Mac is also available for DRM and DRM-free M4B audiobooks. Put it another, you are able to convert DRM and DRM-free M4B audiobooks to MP3 with using the one tool. As for the tutorial to convert M4B to MP3, please refer to this source page: Convert M4B to MP3

You did great man! Thank you for suggesting something useful for an audiobook download.