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Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-24-2008

Audiobooks

Though trying for several days I cannot solve a problem with an audiobook. Took 6 CDs and converted into mp3 files, altogether 39. After copying into the audiobook folder the Fuze makes one folder with files in the right order 01-08, a second folder cutting off the track numbers but in the right order and a third folder in which the files are completely in disorder, no track numbers and no chronological order any more. What can I do? Can the firmware be changed so I will not need any others programmes to get files into the right order? The Fuze is such a nice little gadget but this is getting on me...
SanDisk Guru
Posts: 16,265
Registered: ‎04-17-2008

Re: Audiobooks

The Fuze (& all Sansas) read the ID3tags embedded in the mp3 files. These 'tags' include the information about the track, whether it be a music file or an audio book (spoken word) file. Info such as Artist, Album, Title, etc. This is how the Sansas know what to display in menu lists and while the file is playing.

 

It sounds like you need to 'edit' or correct the ID3tags on your book files so that they display and play correctly. There is a free program that you can download, MP3TAG that is very good at this. You should also do a little 'searching' here on the forum for ID3tags. You'll find many others who have had similar problems with both music and book files, and once they understood what ID3tags are and how important they are to the operation of the Sansa (and your sanity), they can now edit their incorrect tags and take control back over their musical and/or audio book content. You'll probably also come across some tips in relation to audio books and how best to tag them so the chapters play in sequential order. Smiley Happy

Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-06-2008

Re: Audiobooks

SanDisk does not seem interested in providing a mode that would allow a simple folder and filename view of the contents of the player.  Some of the "experts" on their "forum" even make jokes about why would anyone want it to work that way.  Not very productive responses. 

 

For your own convenience and sanity, you can use any folder and file organization you want on your PC and when copying files to the player.  No matter what the folders and filenames are, the player will display the files and sort them by the Genre, Album Name, Artist, Track Name, Track Number, etc embedded in the "ID3" tags hidden in the files.  If the "Genre" field isn't "Audiobook" all of your book chapters will show up as "Songs" no matter where you put them in the player's directory structure.  If there are no tags at all, all of your books and chapters will show up listed alphabetically sorted by filename in a single list under Songs with unknown artist, unknown album, etc.

 

The short answer is that you are stuck with having to use mp3tag or something like it to add tags to files that don't have them or fix improper/incomplete tags applied by rip programs including Windoz Media Player.  The tag edit features in Windoz Media Player and Windoz Explorer won't do the job 'cause they leave rubish in tags &/or fields they don't show you, and they don't allow you to change the tag type or add a missing tag.  There are other programs that claim to be able to do the job, but mp3tag is the best one I've tried.  And it's free.  Any web search should find "mp3tag".  Download it from a reliable source like Cnet.

 

mp3tag will add missing tags, strip off the incorrect tags, and write only the tag types you select.  If you wish, you can have it write ID3v2, ID3v1, and tags for other music player programs too.  The good news is that mp3tag is an easy to use tool that will let you fix groups of files - a whole book - at one time.  Features allow you to pull info out of the filename and use it in the tag fields and vice versa.  For example copy part or all of the filename to the track name field.  Or copy track name to filename. 

 

Before you start, make a copy of your files in a 'work' directory just in case you foul things up and need to start over. 

 

For audiobooks use the name of the book = album name, author = artist, chapter name (or disk and track number) = track name, genre = audiobook (VERRRRRY IMPORTANT so books show up under "audiobooks" instead of "songs").  Select all of the files for a book, then select which fields to leave alone and which to change all in one pass.  If you want, add the year of publication and any other info in the appropriate fields.  Click "save" and give it a few minutes to work especially if you are doing a lot of tracks and having to add missing tags.  Once you've done the major fields, scroll down the list and make sure the track numbers are correct and fix if necessary. 

 

One other tip:  If you use filenames or "chapter" names like "disk 1 track 1" remember that if there are more than 9 or 99 disks, tracks, or chapters you must use "01" or "001" to keep from ending up with a list that shows "tr 1, tr 10, tr 11, tr 12, ..., tr 2,...".

 

A fringe benefit is that once you've fixed the tags as described above, Windoz Media Player will also show you a rational listing that can be viewed by author, title, etc. instead of lumping everything under "unknown" with all the track 001's listed followed by all the track 002's, etc.

 

Of course the same process can be used to fix music files that don't "behave" properly when transferred to the player.  Or your own sound recordings of lectures, the kid being cute, etc.

 

If someone at SD had pointed me in this direction in May, I could have avoided a lot of frustration.  This information should be part of the User's Manual.  I guess that's expecting waaaaaayyyyyyy too much.....

Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-24-2008

Re: Audiobooks

[ Edited ]
Hi and thank you very much for your information, I actually had exspected to get it in the manual, but unfortunately there are no sufficient information on the problems occuring either from the USB-mode or this tag stuff. I already downloaded mp3tag and started to work on the tags of all 39 mp3 audiobook files. The reason for the FUZE creating 3 folders are 3 different file tags created by Nero burning. I tried to correct that but nearly broke my fingers on the keyboard and did not succeed as the track numbers are still wrong and I don't know how to renumber all the files in one go from 1 to 39. Having to use mp3tag to make the FUZE working "properly" takes too much time in my eyes and the makers of the FUZE should really think again on improving it at that point, perhaps allowing the user to decide to use tags or make an own folder-file sorting ignoring the tag information. The way things go now lets me believe that the gadget is just conFUZEing ;-)
Message Edited by RREbi on 11-13-2008 02:40 AM
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Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-06-2008

Re: Audiobooks

[ Edited ]

If you expect SanDisk to fix any of this, don't hold your breath.  Their pace has been glacial and they do not seem to actually listen to customers.  The phone techs make all the right noises, but I've not seen much in the way of positive results so far.  Disconnect somewhere between the "ears" and product management.

 

The BIG CLUE is in Tapeworm's response.  If there is so much discussion about how to "FIX" audiobook and other files, you would think that by now product management would have gotten the hint and fixed the problem.  I guess they are firmly convinced that ALL files will be downloaded from sources with perfectly conforming tags in place.  Yeah, right.  The simple solution would be the folder and file view option that so many have asked for, only to be ignored or made fun of!

 

Don't give up.  You are close to getting it to do what it should.

 

It is not as hard as it sounds.

 

First step would be to get rational filenames that can be moved into a single directory and sort in correct chapter or track order.  Try "Chapter (01).mp3", etc or maybe it should be "Track (01).mp3" etc.  This is easier than it sounds.  You should be able to suggest the filename format when you are ripping the files and the program should number the files sequentially.  Some of the steps below will not be necessary. 

 

Since you already have the files and may not have access to the disks any longer, I will include all necessary steps.

 

First, make a copy of your ripped files and directories in a temp or work directory and work on the copies only.  In case something goes wrong you won't have to rerip the disks.

 

Assuming that the files are already shown in Windoz Explorer in the correct order, select all of the files in the first directory.  Now right click on the first file in the list and select "Rename".  Type in the new name as "Chapter (1).mp3" or "Track (1).mp3".  Windows will rename all the selected files sequentially starting with the number you give in parentheses. 

 

Now go to the second directory and rename the files in it starting with the first file in this directory as the next in sequence for your book.  For example "Chapter (15).mp3"  Or "Track (15).mp3.

 

Repeat the process for each directory/disk continuing with sequentially numbered names through the entire book.

 

If you used "Chapter (1).mp3", etc or "Track (1).mp3", etc you will only need to individually change numbers (1) through (9) to (01) to (09) respectively.  This is so the names will sort properly on the player and not end up sorted as 1, 11, 12, ...2, 21, 22, ... etc.  If there are more than 99 tracks this gets messier.  You would need to use 3 digit numbers with leading zeros.  Unfortunately, the Windoz sequential rename will not insert leading zeros.

 

The quick way to do this:  Click on the first file.  Pause.  The file is now selected.  Now click it again.  Pause.  The filename is now opened for edit with the whole name selected.  Click on the space between the "(" and the "1".  The edit cursor is now sitting where you need to add the zero.  Type in the zero, then hit enter.  Filename corrected.  Step and repeat 8 more times.  If you don't pause long enough between clicks, the file will simply open in your default music player program. 

   

If the second directory starts over at (1) as in "disk 02 track (1).mp3" you will need to renumber 1 - 9 as 01 - 09 in each directory.  That is why it is preferable to use the actual chapter numbers or simply number the tracks sequentially rather than keeping the disk & track organization.

 

If necessary, repeat the number edit process for as many directories/disks as you have in your audiobook. 

 

Pretty quick and no broken fingers so far if you chose the correct name/numbering scheme as suggested.

 

Now copy or move all of the files into a single directory.

 

In Windoz Explorer select all of the files in your book.  Now right click on the selected list and select "mp3tag" from the menu.

 

You are now looking at the mp3tag window with your book's files in it. 

 

Select all of the files in your book in the right pane of the mp3tag window.

 

In the pane on the left, edit the album name = book title, artist=author, genre=Audiobook (type in Audiobook since it is not in the mp3tag pulldown list for this field).  Select "keep" for the track name and track number fields.  Add any other info that applies to the entire book such as year published in the appropriate fields.  Click the Save button above the edit pane.  The information will now be applied to all of the tracks.  If the ID3 tags are missing, this may take a few minutes while tags are inserted into the files. 

 

This is another point where I would make a copy of the files in a NEW work directory to preserve what you've done so far in case things go fubar! 

 

If track names are not present or do not have a format that will sort into the correct order, use the tool button that copies filename to tag.  As I recall there is a default template that copies the entire filename (minus the .mp3) into the track name field.  You may want to build a template to pick out only part of the filename.  There are examples and the window shows you what the result will be before you commit to the change.

 

This is yet another point where I would make a copy of the files in a NEW work directory to preserve what you've done so far in case things go fubar.  Disk space is cheap and will be recovered when you are done!! 

 

From here there may be a simple solution which is to delete all the existing track numbers by selecting "blank" with all other fields set to "keep".  If I remember correctly from my experimentation, if the track number fields are all blank, then the player sorts the "album" (your book title) by filename.  Job done!

 

If this doesn't work, then one choice is to individually edit each track number.  If you go back to the work directory from before you deleted the track numbers, the first disk may have usable track numbers.  Be sure to use leading zeros and click Save after each change before moving to the next file.  If some files have just the track number and some have something like n/39, the player will do unpredictable things with track order so be sure that the numbering is consistant.

 

OR

 

Assuming you have used either chapter numbers or sequential track numbers and used a space between words and number groups, you can try automating the track numbering by using the button that copies filename to tag.  You will have to build a template to pick the number out of the filename.  There are examples and the window shows you what the result will be before you commit to the change.

 

Oh, yeah!  Must remember to clean up.  After you are happy with your new files & tags, move them into your "real" music library directory and delete the temporary working directories and files.

 

Sounds like a lot, but once you get the hang of the steps, it goes quickly and no broken fingers. 

 

From a cold start I figured out the mp3tag program and fixed a dozen books (some unabridged books with tracks every minute or two) in about an hour.  Then I spent about 10 minutes going back and adding a few refinements like published date and numbers in book titles so it's easy to read an author's works in sequence.  For example "1 Harry Potter and the..."

 

You MUST be consistant with authors' names and other fields in the tags.  Otherwise you will end up with books listed under different authors (artists on the player) such as J.K.Rowling, J. K. Rowling, J.K. Rowling, and JK Rowling.  Or chapters scattered as if they are different books, even if by the same author.  That's why you want all the files processed at the same time when changing the fields that should be identical.

 

Good luck. 

Message Edited by fbtjr1947 on 11-13-2008 06:49 AM
Message Edited by fbtjr1947 on 11-13-2008 07:04 AM
Message Edited by fbtjr1947 on 11-13-2008 07:05 AM
SanDisk Guru
Posts: 3,233
Registered: ‎09-13-2008

Re: Audiobooks

Sandisk seems to feel that since ipods navigate by tags only, tag only navigation is good enough for Sandisk players. There are some players by other manufacturers that give the user a choice of navigating by folders or by tags. I won't name them though, since it is is inappropriate to discuss them. What is appropriate though is to let Sandisk know how much we want a choice of navigation by folders or tags, and hope we get it with a firmware update, or at least that it is incorporated in future players. A built in battery and a proprietary connector are also attributes that the Fuze has in common with ipods, and which many people dislike. If Sandisk wants more market share, they should make their players as different from ipods as possible, by offering models that use a AA or AAA battery, offer navigation by a choice of folders or tags, have both AM and FM radio, record in mp3 with a user selectable bitrate and have a microphone jack, have a standard mini USB connector, etc.
Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-06-2008

Re: Audiobooks

[ Edited ]

Amen to most of that. 

 

Not sure if I'd trade the VEEERRRRY small size for AA or even AAA batteries, especially since the current density (read as play time) is not as good.  LION is great for form factor, current density, and lacks most of the bad habits of NiCd and NiMH. 

 

A replaceable battery so you don't end up having to throw away a perfectly good player (yeah, I actually said that) when the battery eventually dies would be great.  And I would pay $15 to $25 for a new battery to keep a good thing going for several more years.  Target should be about where the actual street prices are on popular cellphone batteries.  Even LION batteries have a finite number of useful charge - discharge cycles. 

 

Ditch the Media Converter abortion and handle several standard video file types at broadcast/movie frame rates (up to 30 fps).   Yeah the user has to make the choice of encoding, frame rate, and resolution vs storage capacity, but storage just keeps getting denser, faster, and cheaper! 

 

At least make MSC mode as fast as the best USB 2 card reader.  Repeat after me.  "AS FAST AS THE MEMORY CAN GO!!!" As storage gets bigger and faster, over 2 hours to fill a 16GB unit or card is not going to win any friends.  4 or 5 hours for 32 GB?!?!  Firewire 800 anyone?  I would live with a slightly thicker player just to accomodate the connector and get the faster transfer time!!  They make the memory for crying out soft!!  They know where the market is going.  Don't design in bottlenecks and roadblocks if you expect the product to last in the marketplace!!  If the SD/microSD interface is the limiting factor, go to Compact Flash or whatever as long as it is a STANDARD format with room to grow in capacity.  Size you say?  Remember when some of the tape players weren't much bigger than the plastic tape case.  There's your design goal - overall size just a fraction larger than a Compact Flash card if it would transfer at 800 MBps or just bite the bullet and go with a fiber-optic interface. 

 

Standard micro USB cable, charge while playing via the standard USB cable plugged into your PC, folder/file view option, Line Level output option, stereo microphone AND Line Level input modes user selectable, and other often requested differentiators would help their market share against iPod. 

 

Even at the higher prices, I sometimes think about just pitching the Fuze under a truck and going the Apple route when wrestling with some of the Fuze's "features".

 

Message Edited by fbtjr1947 on 11-13-2008 01:20 PM
SanDisk Guru
Posts: 3,233
Registered: ‎09-13-2008

Re: Audiobooks

Why do so many people think that a replaceable battery would just be useful when the current battery no longer can be charged? A replaceable battery means that spares can be carried, and that one would never run out of power. In the case of AA or AAA nimh batteries, up to 4 at a time can be charged in most chargers, and some chargers charge them in as little as 15 minutes.
Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-06-2008

Re: Audiobooks

With over 24 hours or playback time I would personally rather keep the VERRRRY small size rathar than have the bulge AA or even AAA batteries would add.  Honestly, how long are you ever away from a charging source?
JML
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-16-2008

Re: Audiobooks

I have spent hours over the last few days on just this problem.I seem to have somehow finally stumbled on a way to get the files onto the device although the chapters of the book are listed as songs.This is fine with me except when i try to play these "songs" I get a message saying synchronize to continue your music subscription.Of course I have no music subscription I am simply tryin to play these files which did not come from Rhapsody or anywhere else like that.Any ideas?