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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:51 am 
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dflippo wrote:
Still patiently waiting!

Would be willing to pay for a new major version that supports this.

:) :)

Ditto, dflippo :D

PS. As far as I can tell, even Audible's .aax Enhanced format doesn't use HE-AAC v2. They are coy about the exact details of the format, but I don't think iTunes supported HE-AAC v2 until version 9.2, and Audible's website says that the Enhanced format will work with iTunes 7.5 or later. It's the ideal codec for audiobooks - I wonder what's stopping them?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:05 pm 
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We need aac-he v1. All v2 adds is stereo as far as I can tell. I don't think any non-dramatized audiobook needs stereo.

I'm going to start ripping using Max (a freeware ripper/encoder) to rip to he-aac (has to be constant bit rate as far as I can tell) and then just importing the tracks into Audiobook Builder instead of letting ABB rip and encode.

I hope this works, it should be a good workaround until Splasm gets aaa-he built in.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who wants this! Power to the people! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:28 am 
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We appreciate your continued patience!

Audiobook Builder's Pass Through feature can definitely lead to the creation of HE-AAC Audiobooks so long as the original files are in that format and have a Constant Bitrate. Let us know how your tests with Max go—hopefully the CBR option is available! iTunes can import CDs with High Efficiency settings, but only using VBR or ABR configurations, which inhibits the Passing-through of the resulting files using Audiobook Builder meaning re-encoding is necessary.

Adding the HE-AAC support to a future release is at the top of our list, but we still can't commit to a time-frame for when we'll get to that update. Thanks for hanging in there for this long already. Hopefully you can stand to wait a bit longer, particularly with a viable workaround (supposing it all works out).

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:30 pm 
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Ok, here's what I had to do:

Rip audio cd to .wav files using Max.

using Terminal, run this command against each .wav file:

afconvert -d aach -f m4af -b 32000 -q 127 -r 127 -s 0 -c 1 --mix -v 01.wav 01.mp4

You can mess with the bitrate (-b) to get better quality, but not all bitrates are compaitible with all sample rates, so you may have to tweak it some.

afconvert -d aach@32000 -f m4af -b 40000 -q 127 -r 127 -s 0 -c 1 --mix -v 01.wav 01.m4a

Here, the -d parameter is telling afconvert to use he-aac v1, and sample at 32khz.

I'm sure we could work out an automator script to handle the transcoding and removal of the .wav files, leaving us with nice small .m4a files to feed to ABB.

I wish there was a way to constrain the encoding the the frequencies that the human voice falls in. If anyone knows of a flag for this, I'd love to hear about it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:57 pm 
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I'm also waiting for HE-AAC support within Audiobook Builder. It can't come fast enough. Being able to have, in my opinion, high-quality audiobooks with Chapters at 32kps in HE-AAC (aac+, aacPlus) would be amazing. Let my voice represent the many others that don't want to spend the time to register and write to this thread.

Your customers are WANTING HE-AAC support!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:17 am 
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The AAC-HE support is very much at the top of the list of new features we plan to add when we crank out an Audiobook Builder update! Thanks for chiming in, your voice has surely been heard.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:44 am 
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Please, dear Splasm team,

Please go ahead and finally implement these changes!

I have been coming back to this forum every few months for quite some time now and it is so frustrating that there is no progress regarding the support of HE-AAC or a more relaxed treatment of the pass-through requirements.

This time I registered as a forum user just to be able to write this feedback post. Please understand that there are probably a lot of others out there just like me who are waiting and waiting for this to be finally be implemented into Audiobook Builder, not just those few but persisting voices who continue to raise this topic again and again in the forums.

Note that Audiobook Builder is such a fine app, quite possibly the nicest and best of its kind all over the place, so it really deserves continued development and evolution of its feature set!

With regard to supporting HE-AAC, I cannot really understand why anybody would not want to use this codec for spoken audio nowadays. Well, older players may not support it, but how many people will really care for legacy devices? I certainly don't. It is frustrating for us loyal users of Audiobook Builder that we are forced to pass up on this clearly superior technology.

Regarding the strictness of the "pass-through" criteria, I understand that you are/were reluctant to introduce a feature which would cause Audiobook Builder to create files which would not longer be technically perfect, but again, please give this choice to us. Nothing is perfect. The solution of forcing a lossy re-encode of otherwise perfectly optimized audio files introduces imperfection, too. If I am creating audio books for myself and my players grok it, the fact that the contents of the ESDS atom is not technically accurate doesn't bug me at all.

Please also note that us users of Audiobook Builder really appreciate the low price of the app plus your really generous upgrade philosophy. Your attitude is very laudable. But I am sure that many of us would really not mind at all to have to pay again for an upgrade which incorporates above features. I have seen this expressed in other forum posts. So go ahead and do what it takes to have this implemented!

All the best, and please keep up the good work,
A user from Germany


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:09 pm 
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Ok I was playing around with Max.app http://sbooth.org/Max/ this was my first test,

when i set the conversion MPEG-4 HE-AAC extension m4a quality (note i suspect this is the sample rate) update: Sample rate was 44,11khz
for this test i had it on Maximum which isn't required Medium is probably fine,
Bitrate i had at 64 and of course left the tick out of VBR, any way when it finished i tried dragging the file over to ABB and the Pass through option was indeed enabled.
So this seems like a viable option especially for those of us who dont like messing with the command line, I will be testing at other bitrates and settings later.

Update:

Some more information that might be useful from my first test.
The Original file was:
MP3, File Size 288.4 MB Duration 10:35:34
The Bitrate was 63kb (VBR)
Sample Rate: 44,100 khz
Channels: Joint Stereo

The Output Filewas:
AAC-HE File Size 294.8 MB
The Bitrate was 64kb
Sample Rate 44,100 khz
Channels: Stereo (Which was interesting, that it was not Joint Stereo I think thats why the file was bigger a joint Stereo file would have been smaller.)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:14 pm 
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Here is an alternative. I've used it to create 24kbps HE-AAC Chapterized audiobooks. They sound great; it's amazing!

The trick is first use XLD, http://tmkk.undo.jp/xld/index_e.html, to convert the audio to HE-AAC.

Next, use Fusion, http://rogueamoeba.com/fission/, to merge the individual files into 1 huge file. After putting in the sections (Chapters) and doing all of the work you want to do on the sections, you save it out as a Chapterized AAC file. This is all done losslessly and you're not reencoding the audio.

Check it out and let me know what you think. Splasm is just ignoring their customers and as such, their customers are now leaving them.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:22 pm 
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alextiming wrote:
Here is an alternative. I've used it to create 24kbps HE-AAC Chapterized audiobooks. They sound great; it's amazing!

Thank you for sharing this idea! I really like to see progress on this topic, no matter how it is accomplished. I have a few questions though:

What did you use as input format? Does you method work with MP3 or AAC files or did you only convert audio CDs?

And where do the resulting chapterized HE-AAC files play? Does iTunes on the Mac support them? And what about iPod touch, iPod nano, iPads, and iPhones?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:31 am 
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In the spirit of some earlier posts, I thought I would post my current workflow for creating a single, VBR AAC-HE Audiobook from CDs; despite drawbacks, Audiobook Builder is still a huge timesaver.

  • 1. Use Audiobook Builder to import all CDs... set the quality REALLY high (at this point we want to minimize any compression loss). I have been using the highest settings possible (it'll take a lot of space, but it's just temporary).
  • 2. Use Audiobook Builder to create all the appropriate chapter separations, etc. Add the book info, too (cover, title, author, etc). At this point, if the book has the typical "End of Disc # / Beginning of Disc #" message, I will add a little flag to the chapter name to notate where those bits are so I can remove them in a later step. If you don't mind those, then don't worry about it. (Note: if you already have existing files imported, just drag them into ABB and start at this step.)
  • 3. Export from Audiobook Builder, again with the highest settings possible. Use the "Per Chapter" option to get a file per chapter. I think it's better to save somewhere specific (instead of into the iTunes folder) since you'll be throwing these files away, but do what you want.
  • 4. (If you haven't done this before) Go to your iTunes preferences and uncheck "Advanced" > "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" (we don't want iTunes to create copies of these files!)
  • 5. (If you haven't done this before) Still in iTunes prefs, make sure the import settings are what you want: "General" > "Import Settings" ... I use the AAC encoder, then select custom and set it to: 64kbps bit rate, auto sample rate, auto channels, and check high efficiency, VBR, and optimize for voice. Use whatever settings you want, but to me these seem to produce great sounding files that are relatively tiny in size.
  • 6. Add all your Audiobook Builder exported files to iTunes. Now highlight them all and select "File" > "Convert" > "Create AAC Version". This will re-encode all the files into the smaller size.
  • 7. When the conversion is done, you can throw away the ginormous Audiobook Builder files.
  • 8. Use Fission from Rogue Amoeba Software to combine all the files into one chapterized AAC... you can use it to add any chapter splits (e.g., I usually have to split the "Intro" from the beginning of the first chapter), and also this is where you can remove any of those end/beginning of disc flags. This is also when you make sure that all of your chapter titles, etc. are correct. When everything looks good, export to chapterized AAC. If your book is longer than 13 hours you will get a warning, but you can ignore it. I play these on my Android devices and on my Mac and haven't had any problems. I'm not sure if an iPod will play them or not.
  • 9. Finally, take your single file back into iTunes... Fission will name the track the same as the first chapter, so I like to make sure it's renamed to the actual title of the book. I also make sure to delete any "track # of #" tags on the file.


Last edited by Valzho on Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:17 am 
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Valzho wrote:
In the spirit of some earlier posts, I thought I would post my current workflow for creating a single, VBR AAC-HE Audiobook from CDs

Thanks a lot for sharing this! I don't know Fission yet, but this sounds interesting.

So you are actually using Fission as the app that does the actual audio book building? Until this point what you are having is single .mp3 (is this the format that you export from "Audiobook Builder" into?) and/or .m4a (AAC) files?

If I got this right, I wonder why "Audiobook Builder" is needed after all? How do the chapter/title names that you set in the "Audiobook Builder" app transfer over to Fission? If it is in the file names and/or metadata only, why don't you rip the disks with iTunes into HE AAC right away (as one can set the track names and other metadata with iTunes, too) and then feed the files into Fission?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:06 am 
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A Booker wrote:
Valzho wrote:
In the spirit of some earlier posts, I thought I would post my current workflow for creating a single, VBR AAC-HE Audiobook from CDs

Thanks a lot for sharing this! I don't know Fission yet, but this sounds interesting.

So you are actually using Fission as the app that does the actual audio book building? Until this point what you are having is single .mp3 (is this the format that you export from "Audiobook Builder" into?) and/or .m4a (AAC) files?

If I got this right, I wonder why "Audiobook Builder" is needed after all? How do the chapter/title names that you set in the "Audiobook Builder" app transfer over to Fission? If it is in the file names and/or metadata only, why don't you rip the disks with iTunes into HE AAC right away (as one can set the track names and other metadata with iTunes, too) and then feed the files into Fission?


I use Audiobook Builder to import all the CDs. In that sense it's a great time saver because I only have to enter the book info once and it automatically imports and ejects until I'm done with all the discs in a book. In other words, it makes the actual disc ripping go much faster and smoother.

Then, Audiobook Builder works great for marking all the chapters. So, for example, one chapter might be spread across 10 tracks, but ABB will combine those into one file in its export. When everything is exported from ABB you'll end up with one file per chapter... e.g., you might have a 20-chapter book spread across 10 discs with 150 tracks. ABB lets you very quickly import that into 20 individual files (1 per chapter). Doing that in Fission is a flipping nightmare because you have to drag every single individual file into the editor. Also, I don't think Fission will rip from CD (not sure). You could import from iTunes, but iTunes won't combine the files and once again you're stuck dragging 150 individual files into Fission. Also, when you create the per-chapter files in ABB, the track names are already set correctly, so you don't even have to edit them in Fission—just drag them in in order.

In theory, you could bypass the ABB steps, but doing the track combination and chapter naming in ABB is waaaaaaaaay faster than doing that in Fission when all is said and done.

If Fission let you drag multiple files into a window at once, then it might be feasible to skip ABB (even though ABB joining and naming would still be faster). As it is, you can literally only drag one file at a time, which might be fine for other audio applications (e.g., building a podcast), but is terrible for building an audio book.

If Audiobook builder let you export a track longer than 13 hours, it would cut down a lot on time. I think you would probably still need to take it into Fission for a little cleanup (e.g., splitting out the intro or removing the disc change notifications), but it would go much faster without having to combine all the chapter files. If ABB had the same encoding options as iTunes (VBR AAC-HE) then that would save a ton of time also as you wouldn't have to re-encode the files in iTunes. If it did both, the time to export would be drastically cut down; you could just do everything in ABB and then do the minor cleanup in Fission


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:34 am 
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Thank you for the clarification, Valzho, much appreciated!

Yes, if Audiobook Builder would support HE AAC no other tools would be needed. Even removing the "This is the Start / End of Disk #X" tracks could be done with just ABB. I don't remember whether the ABB GUI supports deleting tracks, but if it doesn't, one could still remove them directly from the plain text file that ABB creates inside the project directory (the file that serves as some kind of manifest) using a text editor.

I like ABB a lot and I am still hoping that the features this forum thread is about will eventually be added.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:24 pm 
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A Booker wrote:
Yes, if Audiobook Builder would support HE AAC no other tools would be needed. Even removing the "This is the Start / End of Disk #X" tracks could be done with just ABB. I don't remember whether the ABB GUI supports deleting tracks, but if it doesn't, one could still remove them directly from the plain text file that ABB creates inside the project directory (the file that serves as some kind of manifest) using a text editor.


No, if you want to break out the "intro" from "chapter 1" (or prologue or whatever comes after the title), you're still going to need an actual audio editor. The intros and ending credits are almost always on the same track as actual book content. Same goes for disc change notifications—those are never on separate tracks (thus ABB can't delete them). In other words, ABB can combine tracks, but it can't split them; for that you will still need some type of audio editing software (e.g., Fusion). As for editing the text manifest file... I'm not sure what you could accomplish doing that, but it seems like more trouble than it would be worth. I certainly don't want to mess with it.


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