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How to Convert MP3 to Audiobooks with iTunes

By Zoe Clarke

March 04, 2018

"Hi, I have about 10 lectures each of which is divided into about 9 or 10 five minute MP3 chunks. I want to:

1. Combine multiple MP3 files (segments of a lecture) into one file.

2. Either encode the files as AAC and change the extension to .m4b or set the 'remember Playback Position' option in iTunes.

I don't know how to do step one above."

If you have same problems, you can solve them easily with iTunes. iTunes allows you to import MP3 audiobooks which are from other sources, but iTunes puts them in the "Music" section by default. Then your MP3 audiobooks may be mixed with other music and not appear in iTunes audiobook section. So the purpose of this article is to provide solutions to display MP3 files in "Audiobooks" section and convert MP3 to audiobooks with iTunes. Keep reading to figure out.


Solution 1. Categorize MP3 Files in iTunes "Audiobooks" Section

To make MP3 audio tracks displayed in iTunes "Audiobooks" section and filed as audiobooks, you need to add those MP3 files into iTunes library first. You have two choices to import audio files into iTunes. But the imported MP3 files will appear in "Recently Added" catalog of the "Music" section. So, below describes the process to import files into iTunes as well as how to categorize MP3 files in iTunes "Audiobooks" section.

1. Import MP3 Audio Files to iTunes

First, open iTunes, drag and drop MP3 files into iTunes. Choose "Music" section. Second, click "File" on the navigation bar, choose "Add File to Library" or "Add Folder to Library" to import MP3 audio files.

Import or Add MP3 files into 

2. Move MP3 to "Audiobook" Section

Step 1. Go to "Music > Recently Added".

Step 2. Right-click the audio file. Choose "Get Info > Options" from the pop-up window. In the "media kind" section, select "Music".

Step 3. Choose "Remember playback position" and "Skip when shuffling" under "playback" options.

Select Playback Option in iTunes

Note: For multiple file conversions, choose all audio files by dragging a rectangle over them with the mouse. Right-click and select "Get Info" option. From the pop-up window, click "Edit Items".

iTunes Edit Items

Step 4. Change "media kind" from "Music" to "Audiobook" and click "OK", then the MP3 files in the "Music" section will be moved to "Books > Audiobooks" catalog.

Change Music to Audiobook in 

The MP3 audio files cannot be detected as audiobooks in this solution because it doesn't change the MP3 audio file itself. If you want to change MP3 audio file and make it file as audiobook, go ahead to solution 2.

Solution 2. Convert MP3 to Audiobooks with iTunes

This solution will help you get an audiobook version file of MP3. First of all, make sure that you've uploaded MP3 audio files to iTunes. Then follow the conversion steps, you can create audiobook from MP3 files.

Step 1. Go to "Edit > Preferences > General", find out button "Import Settings" and click it. From the pop up window, select "AAC Encoder" from the drop-down box next to "Import Using". And click "OK".

Edit Preferences Import AAC 

Step 2. Choose the imported MP3 files, click "File > Convert > Create AAC Version", then iTunes will convert the added MP3 files to AAC version files. Once the conversion completed, the converted file will be displayed below the original files with the same name. The suffix of the converted file is .m4a.

Step 3. Right-click the converted files. Choose "Show in Windows Explorer" to find it on your computer. Copy the .m4a file, then rename the copy file from .m4a to .m4b by yourself.

Rename Converted M4A to M4B

Step 4. Drag and drop the M4B file into iTunes. Then the M4B file will automatically display in "Books > Audiobooks" section.

M4B file can be identified as audiobooks. And iTunes can remember playback position of M4B files without any extra procedure.

[BONUS] Merge Several CD Audio Lines into One

If you have an old audiobook disc that splits the story into multiple short tracks, you can merge them into single longer file with iTunes. Simply take the following steps:

Step 1. Pop the CD in and open iTunes. If the "Import" menu doesn't open automatically, click the rectangular disc icon in the upper left area of iTunes (next to the main media switch).

Step 2. From here on, you can take full control of the audio tracks that you want to import or merge. Firstly, mark the audio lines you want merged. Secondly, click the gear button and choose the "Join CD Tracks" option.

Merge CD Audio Track 1

Step 3. A line will appear and group the selected tracks together, indicating that these will be imported as one joint file. Then, proceed to "Import CD". Simply click Ok in the bottom right corner to start the operation.

Merge CD Audio Track 2

Step 4. The audio files of CD will be lumped together and saved securely in your media library. The latest merged file will be categorized under "Music" section, but you can move or convert it to "Audiobooks" section following the above two solution.

With so effective methods, you can easily create audiobook from MP3 files with iTunes which is a practical MP3 to audiobook converter.

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