What you need to do is two things:
You need to convert the CDs to mp3 files. You already have programs to do that: Windows Media Player and iTunes.
And you need to tag (electronic labelling) the mp3 files so you can find them and they’ll play back. Get this free program to do that:
When you install mp3tag there’s an option to add it to context menus. Check that–it’s useful.
Open mp3tag when you install it and go to Tools/Options/Tags/Mpeg and look for Write. The options to check are ID3v2.3 and ISO-8859-1. That makes the tags most easily readable by the Sansa. Congratulations–you are now an official computer geek.
Let’s start with the books you’ve already ripped.
If you put the books on the Sansa, take them off and put them on your computer.
Go to the folder with the book mp3s and right-click on it. mp3tag should be among the options. Click it and it will give you a list of the files when it opens.
Are they in any kind of order (I hope)? You want to put them in the right order, top to bottom. Then hold down the shift key and highlight them all. Now, back to Tools and you’ll see Auto-Numbering Wizard. Open that, check Leading Zeros (which gives track numbers 01,02, etc.) and click it. Now the tracks are numbered to play in the order you put them.
Highlight them again and on the left, the fourth row down, change Genre to Audiobooks. Under File, Save the tags. When the Sansa sees Audiobooks, it will take it out of Songs.
Also, look at the Title, Album etc.–you can change that just the way you changed Genre if you need to improve it.
See if that helps.
As for future ripping, I like iTunes better than Windows Media Player (just for ripping–don’t let it organize your library or anything like that) because iTunes gets the most reliable tags online. Since you’ve already got it installed, let’s optimize it.
On the upper left, go to Edit/Preferences. Under General mine is set to show nothing among that list of Movies, TV, Genius, etc.–all unchecked.
Under “When you insert a CD” check to have it automatically retrieve CD track names from Internet–those are the tags.
Click Import Settings. Change Import Using to mp3 encoder (NOT Apple’s own .aac or anything else). For Books, use a Custom setting of 64kbps. If you’re also going to rip music, you’ll need to change that because music needs more quality–I use 192 kbps for music.
Under Advanced (within Preferences, not the one you see when you first open iTunes), pick a folder where you want the CDs to be ripped to. Mine is C:\Album-MP3s, but you can use any folder you prefer.
Keep iTunes Music Folder organized
Copy Music Files
and all the ones below to prevent iTunes from taking over your library.
The only two I leave checked are:
Show iTunes icon in system tray.
Click OK and forget you ever did this (unless you want to go back and change the bitrate to do music).
Now when you want to rip a CD you open iTunes, put a CD in the drive, and watch as iTunes scurries across the internet to get the track names. Then click the Import button–mine is tucked in at at the bottom, but they move it around in every version of iTunes–and it will rip the mp3s to the folder you chose.
You’re not quite done. Go to the folder of newly ripped mp3s and open it with mp3tag. Do the Tools/Auto-Numbering wizard again and make sure the genre is Audiobooks.
I know this looks complicated but now that you have the defauts set it should be easier. Open iTunes, insert CD, Import, open the folder with mp3tag, fix tracks and Genre, enjoy your audiobooks.
Message Edited by Crescendo on 12-17-2009 11:00 AM