How to create audiobooks in iTunes

CNET's Donald Bell shows you how to create iTunes audiobooks from audio file.

Screen shot of iTunes 8.
iTunes 8 has made it easier to classify any audio file as an audiobook, allowing you to resume playback, control playback speed, and prevent your books from popping up on music playlists. CNET Networks

Digital audiobooks come in all shapes and sizes. You can purchase them online from sites like Audible, eMusic, and iTunes. You can download free audiobooks from places like Archive.org. Or, you can rip audiobooks to your computer from CD. Unfortunately, no matter where your digital audiobooks come from, getting iTunes and your iPod to treat them as an audiobook--not some random playlist of songs--can be a struggle.

If you've ever purchased an audiobook through iTunes, you may have noticed that the file appears in a separate audiobook tab in your media library. Keeping your audiobooks separate from your music library not only makes them easier to find, but it also prevents chapters of Crime and Punishment from popping up in a party music playlist.

iTunes even treats the playback of audiobooks differently than music playback, allowing you to adjust the playback speed of the file and automatically resume any previously played chapter where it left off instead of starting at the beginning.

You don't have to purchase your audiobooks from Apple to get the special iTunes audiobook treatment. By tweaking a few settings, you can make iTunes and your iPod recognize any audio file or group of audio files as an audiobook. To find out how, take a look at our step-by-step guide to creating audiobooks in iTunes .

Editors' note: This tutorial requires Tunes 8.0.1 or higher.

About the author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.

 

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