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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:32 pm 
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I had this problem many times with audiobooks that I bought through the iTunes Store. The problem averaged about once per audiobook file, but I couldn't find a pattern to it or reproduce it. Since my dad's iPod Nano didn't have this problem with the same audiobook files, I actually sent my Nano to Apple to be repaired, but they said it was fine and sent it back to me.

That's when I decided that I didn't want to be locked into the iPod (by the DRM) and so I bought Audiobook Builder and started buying CDs.

The audiobooks I purchased from the iTunes Store were generally split into parts that were a little over two hours long. In looking at my iTunes library, I see seven books that I bought from the iTunes Store that have parts over 2:40, the longest being 2:46:18.

My current practice with Audiobook Builder is to make one part per audio CD. This worked particularly well for an audiobook I recently purchased ("Endurance, Shackleton's Incredible Voyage") because the end of each CD contains an announcement that the CD has ended. Also, some audiobooks come with chapter notes that are based on the CD number. (By the way, my iPod got confused when I named audiobook parts "The Worst Hard Time, CD 9" and "The Worst Hard Time, CD 10". Because there were more than nine parts I had to put a leading zero in the track names for CDs 1-9, e.g., 09 instead of 9.)

My most recent purchase was for an audiobook in MP3 format on CD. I made each part about two hours.

I've noticed that I rarely have the problem anymore of the audiobook stopping and losing my place. I'm guessing that it's due to the shorter parts.

For me, the advantages to limiting part lengths to about two hours or less:

1. I can include all of the chapter stops from the CD and they're visibly separate on the iPod display. I like the frequent chapter stops because I can just hit the back button if I find that my mind has been wandering.

2. Because Audiobook Builder uses a higher bitrate than Apple provides through the iTunes Store, the files are larger (and sound better). To save space on my iPod for music, I generally have just the part I'm listening to plus the next one or two loaded on my iPod.

3. Unless it's just coincidence (or maybe Apple fixed the problem with a firmware update), using shorter parts has minimized the problem discussed here in this thread.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:59 pm 
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If the sections are going to be that short, why use Audiobook Builder? Just import the CD's into iTunes individually (tracks joined) and you'll get basically the same results.

The reason I want to use Audiobook Builder is to avoid having 10+ sections on a book...


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:05 pm 
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jubjub75 wrote:
If the sections are going to be that short, why use Audiobook Builder? Just import the CD's into iTunes individually (tracks joined) and you'll get basically the same results.


Will the files be bookmarkable (i.e., my place will be saved in the audiobook part) if I do what you suggest?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:03 am 
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mhill wrote:
Will the files be bookmarkable (i.e., my place will be saved in the audiobook part) if I do what you suggest?


In iTunes, right click on the file, select Get Info. Click on the Options tab. Check "Remember Playback Position" and you're good to go. The files will display under Music instead of Audiobooks, however.

In good news, though, I did not have the problem this morning. I tried something different, and while it's only once, it worked this time. Here's what I did:

Last night, when I was done listening, I paused the audiobook and exited back to the audiobook menu (thinking that this would set the playback position). This morning, I started playing the audiobook, paused after a second, and then hit play again (thinking that the pause would create a new bookmark). The audiobook played the rest of the time with no problems.

This is obviously not definitive as it was only once, but it might be babysteps in the right direction...


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 Post subject: Maximum Part Length
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 7:41 pm 
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What should the "Maximum Part Length" be set to, 12 hours, seems to be unstable.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:26 am 
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I've got this playback problem as well, where you are listening to a book and all of a sudden the ipod (5thG 30GB video) stops playback and goes back to the main menu.
And then when you start playing the file again, it starts at 0:00 and not where it crashed.

I'm not sure if this has ever happened with a non-chapterized file, but I think it has with some long podcasts (mp3 - over an hour) indicating the length of the file causes the problem?)

It's happened with Audible books, homebrewn books (MarkAble - so m4b with " remember playback" but no chapter markers) and homebrewn AudioBuilder made books (m4b with remember playback and chapter markers).

Sometimes resuming playback after the "crash" results in another crash, and then it seems to help to press Pause first, wait a few seconds, and then the file plays OK.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:33 pm 
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I've been building audiobooks for a long time using various tools. I build all my audiobooks as mono files, usually at 28kbps and 32kHz, which makes for excellent sound and small files. I have always had the reset / restart / jump to next track problem no matter what tool I used, so this definitely isn't an AudioBook Builder specific problem. The problem has followed me through 4 (edit: now 5!) different models of ipod as well. I have short books and long books, and have had problems with both. However, I do believe I have the problem more frequently on longer books. For the most part, I simply can't count on the bookmark function working, and always check the track as soon as I hit "play" so I can wind to that point.

About a year ago, maybe more, I played around with all the different bit rates, sample rates, and formats I could think of, and still had the same problem. I never tried stereo however, as it is a complete waste of space for audiobooks (double the size for zero gain in quality).

I also have an Audible account which I have used on 4 (edit: now 6!) iPods as well. I have NEVER had a single problem with an Audible book. Audible books are mono MP3 files at 32 kbps and (unfortunately) 22.05. kHz, wrapped in some kind of proprietary DRM. They work fine, so mono books WILL work, or at least *should* work in MP3 format instead of AAC.

How about you enable MP3 encoding in Audiobook Builder and let us try that out and see how it works out?


Last edited by panjandrum on Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:44 pm 
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I, too, have recently started experiencing this problem. It's very strange, because I have been using ABB for several months now, without any trouble. But then, all of a sudden, the last 3 books (Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern trilogy) I made with it are causing this--and they're actually shorter than many of the ones I made before this. What's more, I'm fairly sure that I was getting similar problems with the Audible book (Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age) I listened to immediately prior to this most recent trilogy. My wife is having identical problems with her own iPod and the Pern books as well, though she's never encountered the issue before, either.

I'm glad to see, from reading this thread, that this is not something that I somehow did wrong in creating these files, but I'm disappointed to see that there appears to have been no solution developed in a year or more. The last "official" post in here is from March--has there been any progress on this issue with Apple since then, that can be spoken about, at least?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:09 am 
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I too have found the same problem. I have an iPod 5G 30GB and have only just started using audiobooks. I have several long chaptered books and have found the following:
book 1 - 8 hours long - resets often, normally shortly after starting play after a power up, but not related to syncing with iTunes. Another thing I noticed is that if it has reset and I want to skip quickly back to the chapter I was on it will regularly reset on pressing the "next chapter" button - I actually have to wait for 5-10 seconds between button presses - this makes me think it is related to disc access, and I am relieved to find this topic to suggest that it isn't my disc going flaky, but is a general problem.
book 2 - 9 hours - I started this book, but now when I go back to it it immediately takes me back to the top level menu and doesn't play anything. I ought to try syncing to see if that can sort it out.
book 3 - 10 hours - resets occasionally - behaves better than book 1.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:22 am 
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skbrown wrote:
Another thing I noticed is that if it has reset and I want to skip quickly back to the chapter I was on it will regularly reset on pressing the "next chapter" button - I actually have to wait for 5-10 seconds between button presses - this makes me think it is related to disc access
I was having similar issues with my 5th gen. I haven't listened to a long audiobook with my new Classic yet, though, so I don't know if this and the rest of it are still an issue for the new iPods. However, if you're right, and it is something to do with disc access, rather than software (though evidence suggests otherwise, since Nano users have reported the same problems), then it probably will still be a problem, at least for those of us using the Classic. Any other model shouldn't encounter the issue, since they all use Flash memory.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:42 am 
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skbrown wrote:
I too have found the same problem. I have an iPod 5G 30GB and have only just started using audiobooks. I have several long chaptered books and have found the following:
book 1 - 8 hours long - resets often, normally shortly after starting play after a power up, but not related to syncing with iTunes. Another thing I noticed is that if it has reset and I want to skip quickly back to the chapter I was on it will regularly reset on pressing the "next chapter" button - I actually have to wait for 5-10 seconds between button presses - this makes me think it is related to disc access, and I am relieved to find this topic to suggest that it isn't my disc going flaky, but is a general problem.
book 2 - 9 hours - I started this book, but now when I go back to it it immediately takes me back to the top level menu and doesn't play anything. I ought to try syncing to see if that can sort it out.
book 3 - 10 hours - resets occasionally - behaves better than book 1.


Unfortunately, it doesn't look like "splasm" is paying attention to this thread any longer. Either it is a problem they can't fix because it is an Apple bug, or they are unable to fix it for other reasons.

Looking at my post above, I still think that, were this program to include the ability to encode in MP3 format, we might have a solution to the problem.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:03 am 
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panjandrum wrote:
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like "splasm" is paying attention to this thread any longer. Either it is a problem they can't fix because it is an Apple bug, or they are unable to fix it for other reasons.
It's been identified as an Apple software bug, but they (Splasm) aren't allowed to say anything more about it, from what I gather. They can't fix it themselves because it's not a problem with Audiobook Builder--its a problem with our iPods. They aren't saying much in this thread because there's not really anything else for them to say. They've done all they can--they've determined the source of the issue as best they can, reported it to Apple, and I would guess are working, at least intermittently, with Apple's programmers, and so aren't allowed to give us progress reports because Apple is secretive about pretty much anything unreleased, whether it's software fixes or new products.

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Looking at my post above, I still think that, were this program to include the ability to encode in MP3 format, we might have a solution to the problem.
I don't know--can MP3s remember position? I am pretty sure they can't take chapter stops. Not sure how useful it would be. I wouldn't use it anyway--I like my chapter stops.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:11 am 
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Taellosse wrote:
I don't know--can MP3s remember position? I am pretty sure they can't take chapter stops. Not sure how useful it would be. I wouldn't use it anyway--I like my chapter stops.


Take a look at my post above. Audible books are exactly that: mp3 files which can remember their position on the iPod (or in iTunes). They are wrapped in a DRM format of some kind, but the base files are just mono, book-markable, mp3s.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:19 am 
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panjandrum wrote:
Take a look at my post above. Audible books are exactly that: mp3 files which can remember their position on the iPod (or in iTunes). They are wrapped in a DRM format of some kind, but the base files are just mono, book-markable, mp3s.
Well, if that's the case, then maybe. But their file extension is a type of AAC file, isn't it? I don't know, I can't remember.

Anyway, supposedly some others have had problems with some Audible books. I'm reasonably sure I had issues with one (and only one, I've got about a dozen from them) myself, so I'm not sure they're entirely problem-free. I suspect the lower incidence of issues is related to the length of Audible files--they break them up into smaller chunks for easier downloading, and there seems to be at least some relationship between length of file in hours, and frequency of problems--the longer the file, the more likely one is to encounter issues with the skipping.


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 Post subject: Audible books
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:43 am 
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I doubt anyone has had trouble with Audible books (audio books purchased from audible.com). I've had an Audible account since they became compatible with the iPod and have used many dozens of audible books (split into a total of 206 segments!) on a total of 6 (actually 7, since I exchanged one) different iPods of 5 different models, including two of those awful original "pack of gum" shuffles. I've never had a single issue with their books crashing an iPod in any way except for one iPod I had to exchange because the hard drive was going bad. Some of the book segments are short, but many of them are quite long. It isn't unusual at all to get very long single files from Audible. (My longest single file from Audible is 15 hours in length.)

So, please, Splasm, enable mp3 encoding and *LET US TRY IT*. It will either work, or it won't. As it stands, Audiobook Builder is effectively useless since it makes books which don't function properly. You're better off with a bunch of single tracks, that way you just remember which track you are on and you're good to go...

Edit: Another idea would be the ability to automatically segment previously existing Audiobook Builder files. So, for example, you could make an option which would take my 8 hour ABB-created book (which doesn't work), and chop it into 4 2-hour segments, properly named (i.e. "All Creatures Great and Small 1, 2, 3 & 4"). That way we could find a length that works for our model iPod and the auto-segment all our previously created books. That might be a BIG help.


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