Audiobooks in iTunes

Audiobooks are a great way to get to a book you don’t have time to read. They are a good way to return to books you have already read too. I have done both many times.


Most of the audiobooks in bookstores and libraries are on CD. The issue with CD audiobooks is that you can’t track your exact position in the book. The only options are to write down the track numbers as you listen, or dedicating a CD player to the audiobook.
One way to get around this problem is to put it on your iPod or iPhone. If you follow these steps, you should have an audiobook in your iTunes library audiobook section that will remember your position in the book.
NOTE: These are instructions for iTunes 11. For instructions for earlier versions click here. I also use a preset for audio quality but for more information on optimal audio settings click here.
  1. Open iTunes and insert the first CD. A dialog box will ask you if you want to import the CD, select NO.

    Buttons in Corner

    Buttons in the Top Right Corner

  2. When you see the track list, select all by clicking CTRL-A in Windows or Command-A in Mac OS. Then choose the OPTIONS button and in the drop down menu select JOIN CD TRACKS.
  3. Choose the CD INFO button and edit the info so that all discs will have identical information.
  4. When you are done with that, click IMPORT CD and when a dialog box comes up asking what quality the import should be, choose SPOKEN PODCAST. The default is optimized for music and uses more space than what is necessary. You can select error correcting if you think you need it, but it takes longer to import with error correcting.

    Import Settings

    Import Settings

  5. After the import is finished, find the track in the music section of iTunes. Right click and select GET INFO.
  6. Under the INFO tab change the information on the title of the track to distinguish it, and change the track numbers to keep them in order. The album info should still be what was chosen in step 3. The track number should be the same as the disc number, and the total amount of tracks should be the total number of discs in the book.
  7. Under the OPTIONS tab make the media type AUDIOBOOK and select REMEMBER PLAYBACK POSITION. This should make it switch to the audiobook section of iTunes.
  8. In the ARTWORK tab you can add the album art. If you choose to do so, this needs to be done on every track.
Info Tab in Get Info Dialog Box

Info Tab in Get Info Dialog Box

Options Tab in Get Info Dialog Box

Options Tab in Get Info Dialog Box

Artwork Tab in Get Info Dialog Box

Artwork Tab in Get Info Dialog Box


If you are having issues with the tracks not staying in the right order or in the same book, confirm that all information is identical. Even the smallest difference in the name of the album can make a difference because iTunes is really picky.

I don’t condone copyright infringement or pircy so don’t share the audiobook files with friends and if you checked it out from the library, delete it when you return the book.
I hope that this is a helpful tutorial. If you have any issues or need any help, let me know in the comments.
Info on iTunes 11 importing:
Link to Optimal Import Settings:
Link to iTunes 8/9/10 importing:
More Links to iTunes importing:

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s