iTunes 7 and the Audiobooks Tab

2006 September 21
by Scott

iTunesOverall, I really like the new changes in iTunes 7. The new Cover Flow view is really great - being a visual person this appeals greatly to me. I even re-discovered several songs that I had forgotten I had just by flipping through the album art - it feels much more akin to the traditional way of looking through your CD/Album collection.

However, one thing I am very unhappy about is slow but steady slide toward "the new Apple way" - and making iTunes more of a proprietary experience, instead of an open experience with the iTunes store as an added value. This is especially apparent in how iTunes 7 handles Audio books.

Apple has done a good thing by separating out Music, Audio Books, Movies, TV Shows, and Podcasts into their own separate areas. However, Apple alone has decided what goes in each of the new "categories". They make up their own rules, instead of allowing us to decide which files show up where. For instance, by default, my large collection of audio books are now split up between the Audiobooks tab and the music tab. I have a lot of older audio books that are still .mp3 files - Apple decides that only files with an extension of .M4B (a bookmarkable AAC format, the same they use for their own store) should count as audio books.

Doug's Applescripts has a handy script that will take the files that aren't showing up in the audiobooks tab, covert them to .M4B files and remove and re-add them to your iTunes library, which will then show up in the proper tab.

However, I would much prefer a way to choose where my Audio Books show up (that is the point of the Genre tag, after all), than by forcing me to convert all of my files to a different format.

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