How to Convert Audiobook CDs to MP3 Format.

CDs are not the ideal way to listen to an audiobook. A CD players; portable, fixed, computer or car based devices all require management and handling of multiple CDs. This may be fairly difficult in the case of audiobooks that have tens of CDs. This becomes very questionable for portable devices as one would have to carry the right CDs to continue the audiobook while away from home. The ideal way to lessen this difficulty is to convert CDs to computer files either MP3 or AAC in the case of iPods.

There are many ways to do this but TekRead recommends that you use iTunes from Apple Computer. You can download it free here. iTunes is a robust well supported and easy to use program that runs well on both Windows and Apple computers. It fully supports both iPods and general MP3 conversion for other devices.

Every audiobook CD has a number of tracks, just like music CDs. The tracks in the case of audiobooks are usually arbitrary and there may be as many as 99 tracks per CD. This proliferation of tracks can actually be an issue, especially for long books where you may have as many as 1000 to 2000 tracks for the whole book. It is generally best to join tracks on each CD and only keep disc level intervals. The only negative when converting CDs to MP3 files is the time necessay to convert. The process is somewhat automatic with a chime playing at the end of the conversion of each CD. You do however have to place a new CD in the tray to continue. The time necessay to convert varies from computer to computer but generally it takes from two to six minutes per CD. Once you have completed the conversion of the audiobook you can transfer your MP3 audiobook to your listening device or burn an MP3-CD to play in your MP3 enabled device.

Once you have installed or updated iTunes you are ready to convert your first CD.

Step 1:

Insert your CD and close the CD tray.

Step 2:

iTunes will ask do you want to import this CD, click No.

Step 3:

Highlight all of the tracks shown and under the Advanced menu at top of the screen select Join CD Tracks.

Step 4:

Select the Edit menu, preferences. Under the General tab click on “Import Settings.

Step 5:

Under “Import Using” select AAC Encoder if your target device is iPod, otherwise select MP3 Encoder.

Step 6:

Under “Settings” select custom. A new options box will pop up,
64kbps for Stereo Bit Rate:,
22.050kHz for Sample Rate and
Channels: Auto
Check “Use Variable Bit Rate Encoding(VBR)” and
“Optimize for voice” and
click OK for the three open boxes.

Step 7:

Make sure your joined tracks are highlighted and select the Advanced menu and select Create AAC Version or Create MP3 Version.

Step 8:

Replace the CD in the tray after each CD completes and repeat Step 2, except click Yes for each CD until you are finished with all CDs.

Your audiobook is now in the iTunes Library under Music, one file for every CD you imported. See here to load your device or here to create MP3-CD.