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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:03 am 
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Great product. I had digital audiobooks I've purchased from Audible.com plus several audiobooks I'd ripped from CDs; it's nice to be able to put them all into similar formats and have them all recognized as "audiobooks" by iTunes.

There are two suggestions I'd like to make though ... I don't know if there's anything I don't know about the way Builder is written or the way audio is compressed that prevents either of these from being possible, but they'd sure be nice ...

(1) Can the quality setting be changed AFTER a project is created? There are some audios I'd like to try generating at different qualities to see what is acceptable, but right now it seems the only way to do that is to rebuild the project from scratch each time with a new project.

(2) Would it be possible to have a finer control over the audio settings? For example, I have a pile of multi-chapter audioplays that need to be listened to in stereo, but at the 128K stereo Audiobook setting they don't compress any smaller than the MP3s I already have ... I'd be interested in fiddling to see how they sound at a lower quality bit rate but still keep the stereo separation.

Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:26 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback!

1. The Audio setting selected at the beginning of a Project serves a key purpose: it tells Audiobook Builder how to handle incoming CD tracks. Here are the three possibilities there:

A. Pass through enabled, existing Files can be passed through: CD will be imported using the audio configuration of the existing Files.
B. Pass through enabled, existing Files cannot be passed through: CD will be imported using the audio configuration specified at the beginning of the Project.
C. Pass through disabled: CD will be imported using the audio configuration specified at the beginning of the Project.

The key is that Audiobook Builder certainly won't be able to pass through if the audio configuration is changed at will during the Project's lifetime and CDs are imported differently.

Our first prototypes of Audiobook Builder included two audio configurations - actually as global Preferences instead of per-Project: one to use for importing, the other to use for output. Our focus group believed this would be confusing to most users, so we consolidated the two sets of options.

What we can do is look at ways of allowing the user to customize the output immediately before actually building it. The trick is to find a way to do this without making a complicated process any more difficult for the majority, who most likely will not make use of these last minute options.


2. Finer control should already be possible via the Audio menu in the Create Project dialog window. When you choose between High, Normal and Low there's also a Custom... option that allows you to pick anything from 16Kbps to 320Kbps, and any of the allowed sample frequencies and channel configurations allowed for each data rate setting.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:35 pm 
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Hey, thanks for the quick reply!

1) I had a feeling there might be some "deep magic" type reason the setting couldn't be changed on the fly. Off the top of my head, the only other thing I can think of is perhaps the ability to save a 'template' with information on source files, chapter stops, and chapter images that can be reloaded with new import/export quality options; but that might just be too much interface trouble to be worth it.

2) Okay, I'm an utter dolt ... fifteen years of Mac use and five years of OS X use and I somehow completely blindly missed the "Custom ..." option on the Audio menu! That's exactly what I was looking for.

Consider me officially chagrined. :) And thanks again for the response!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:47 am 
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I also must rave about this product. I read about it in MacWorld, and have only been using it for a few hours, but can already tell it will revolutionize my listening experience for audio books. Being able to consolidate dozens of files into single, bookmarkable parts with meaningful chapter names means I can listen to other things on my iPod and then go back to what I was learning. Thanks so much! (And adding artwork is icing on the cake.)

Anyway, there is (of course) one, hopefully small, addition that would make it even better for me. Much of the content I want to listen to is the excellent downloadable courses available from The Teaching Company. These are already nicely encoded m4b files, and all I need to do is consolidate them into multi-lecture parts for easier access and bookmarking.

The problem is, they are encoded at a bitrate that is not one of the choices in the Audio Quality menu when I am setting up a new book project. They are encoded at 95kbps, and the closest is 96kbps. When I choose that, even though I have the pass-through option checked, Audiobook Builder feels it needs to re-encode the audio for me to achieve the exact specified bit rate.

Would it be possible, pretty please, to add a choice in the Custom quality menu along the lines of "whatever bitrate would cause pass-through to take place"?

Let me know if my question makes sense or needs further clarification.

And thanks again for a fantastic product!


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