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Old 03-17-2010, 09:30 PM   #1
burdetteorama
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Default [GUIDE] Custom Audiobooks on Zune HD

There has been much talk about tagging mp3 audiobooks as podcasts so that you can get resume bookmarks. The drawback of this is that audiobooks are not podcasts and don't include the cover artwork that goes with the book. Here I'll list the process for loading your mp3 audiobooks onto your Zune HD as Audiobooks with the same resume bookmarking that podcasts have..

Step 1: Screw Audible and get OverDrive
Go to OverDrive and download the latest Media Console.
OverDrive

Step 2: Install OverDrive Media Console
The title of the step is self explanatory. Make sure that you note the location of the directory you install to. (i.e. c:\Program Files (x86)\OverDrive Media Console\)

Step 3: Combine your MP3s into one file or don't
It's easiest to use just 1 giant file for your audiobook. However, you can have your audiobook broken up into up to 99 pieces.
When the audiobook is synced to the Zune HD, each piece is renamed with the name used for the WAX file with -part01, -part02, etc. added onto each. It doesn't matter what you name your audio files, they will be renamed in the transfer. Also, if you have more than 99 files in the audiobook, part 100 will play before part 1 and so on.
If you so choose, you can use whatever program you like to combine the files. I use MergeMP3.

Step 4: Put your Audiobook in your Music Folder
The best thing here is to not use too many special characters. I found simplicity is the best. For example, for the book Coyote Destiny (book 8 in the Coyote series), I use the following directory structure:: D:\Music\Allen Steele\Coyote Series\08_Coyote Destiny\Coyote Destiny.mp3 . Make sure you remember the absolute path to the audiobook.

Step 5: Create a WAX file
The name of the WAX file does not need to be the same as the MP3 file. Name the WAX file with the name of the book. The easiest way to create the WAX file is to just create a TXT file and rename it with the WAX extension.

Step 6: Populate your WAX file
For our example here, the contents of the wax file would be::
<asx version="3.0">
<entry>
<ref href="D:\Music\Allen Steele\Coyote Series\8_Coyote Destiny\Coyote Destiny.mp3" />
</entry>
</asx>


If you have multiple audio tracks as part of your audiobook, then each track has to have it's own <entry></entry> tag.
The contents of a wax file with multiple audio tracks would be:
<asx version="3.0">
<entry>
<ref href="D:\Music\Allen Steele\Coyote Series\8_Coyote Destiny\Coyote Destiny1.mp3" />
</entry>
<entry>
<ref href="D:\Music\Allen Steele\Coyote Series\8_Coyote Destiny\Coyote Destiny2.mp3" />
</entry>
</asx>


Make sure to insert the absolute path to the audiobook we noted in Step 4 where appropriate. I think you can figure out where I edit the file in Notepad. Make sure that you use ANSI encoding.

You should now have 2 files in your folder::
Coyote Destiny.mp3
Coyote Destiny.wax


Step 7: Get a picture of the cover
Use your favorite search engine to find a jpg of the cover for the book. Make sure it's a JPG file. Also, make sure it's square. Even if you have to edit it to make it square. I usually get a file that is large and resize it down to around 400 pixels x 400 pixels.

Place the picture in the same folder as your mp3 and wax file. Make sure you name it the same as the first mp3 file, but in all lower case. The transfer app wont recognize the jpg if it isn't named after the first mp3 file.

You should have 3 files in the folder::
coyote destiny.jpg
Coyote Destiny.mp3
Coyote Destiny.wax


Step 8: Use that WAX file
(Note: Make sure that the Zune Software is not open before you do this step!)
Right click on the wax file and click "Open with > Choose default program..."
Click the Browse... button in the lower right corner of the "Open with" window.
Navigate to the folder where you installed OverDrive Media Console. You're looking for the TransferWizard.exe program. On my computer, it's located at: C:\Program Files (x86)\OverDrive Media Console\TransferWizard.exe.
Click to highlight TransferWizard.exe and click the Open button
If you like, you can uncheck "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" if you plan to primarily use another program to open WAX files.
Click the OK button.
The Transfer wizard should launch and step you thru the process of transfering the audiobook to your Zune HD.

Step 9: Congratz!
You should now have a menu item called Audiobook, and the audiobook you transfered onto your Zune HD should be listed there with the proper artwork. You will now be able to play the file and rest assured that the audiobook will pick up where you left off. Even if you listen to or watch something else before continuing the audiobook.

I hope this has been of some use to someone. These same steps may work with WMA files but I'm not sure. Only tested with MP3 files.

Last edited by burdetteorama; 04-05-2010 at 09:05 PM. Reason: new information



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Old 03-17-2010, 09:31 PM   #2
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Thank you sooo much. This is some good stuff, man.



 

Old 03-18-2010, 07:54 AM   #3
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I like using this app to create the wax files and to initiate the upload, and I don't like the idea of combining all the media files. Maybe it is better to do that though, as deleting books with a lot of chapters from the Zune is time consuming, and has to be done through Overdrive, as deleting them from the Zune just removes the reference and leaves the files on it.

One thing I don't like about this method though, is that chapters get renamed to 01booktitle, etc., and sometimes their names are significant. Like, if you have short story anthologies, all the stories get renamed sequentially. Syncing them as a podcast works, but forget about having cover art.




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Old 03-18-2010, 12:45 PM   #4
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I've used that program and another one that does the same thing. The problem I've had is if the audiobook contains a lot of files you can get some interesting results with play order when they get transfered to the zune. That's why it's best to have as few files as possible.

Using those programs isn't usually a problem, but essentially they're just automating the same process I listed. Sometimes with interesting results.



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Old 03-21-2010, 07:10 AM   #5
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why go to all that trouble. I just combine all the mp3 files. then I tag them all as podcast and put in podcast folder. it bookmarks where you stop. If you dont care about book cover art it works fine



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Old 03-21-2010, 11:35 AM   #6
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Audio books also bookmark where you stop like OP said, they're organized in their own menu, and the chapters that are separate files get ordered correctly, assuming the files are named correctly (if not you'd have the same issue when using joining software). It isn't more steps if you just use Overdrive.

It's personal preference, but I for one cannot look into the inky blackness that is an empty cover art.




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Old 03-21-2010, 09:14 PM   #7
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I just updated the guide. You can have up to 99 parts in your audiobook. More than that and they don't play in the proper order. 100 plays before 1, etc. Plus, all the files are renamed using the name of the first file in the audiobook with -part1, etc. added onto the end. No way around this. Also the jpg file needs to be named the same as the first file in the audiobook.



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Old 04-05-2010, 09:02 PM   #8
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Updated the guide.
The names of the mp3s don't matter. The name of the WAX file does. Each mp3 is renamed based on the WAX file name with -partxx added on to the end. Apparently the information that I was originally told was a little wrong, but I've now corrected the mistake. Seriously, you could name the WAX file anything you want and it'd still work. Assassin-part01.mp3 is better than Assassin1-part01.mp3.



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