As Jewel points out below, newer versions of itunes have made this process simpler – Just select the track, open its info window (File menu – Get Info or in the context (right click) menu), then switch to the options tab and change “Media Kind” from Music to Audiobook.
A while back, I was given a spoken word MP3 CD (by my girlfriend) as a present, and over Christmas I was lucky enough to be given an iPod nano (by my parents). I hadn’t put any serious effort into the iTunes audiobook thing into the past, but figured I should try to get everything in there so I could listen to it on the iPod. Surprisingly, it’s not obvious how to do, since when you import mp3s into iTunes, it assumes they are music, not audiobooks.
Anyway, after a bit of research, it turns out there is a not-too-painful way to pull it all together.
- The MP3s need to be translated into ACCs, ideally at a sensible spoken word bitrate, so jump into iTunes prefs -> Advanced -> Importing, and switch to ‘ACC Encoder’ and ‘Spoken Podcast’.
- Import all the MP3s (dragging them to iTunes), then select them all, and choose ‘Convert selection to ACC’ from the Advanced menu.
- Once they’re all converted, delete the MP3 versions.
- Install the ‘Make Bookmarkable’ script from Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes.
- Select the converted ACC files, then pick ‘Make Bookmarkable’ from the scripts menu, which will change the file types so that iTunes thinks they are audiobooks.
(Unfortunatly the AppleScript part won’t work under Windows, but I believe changing the filename extensions from .m4a to .m4b and then removing and re-adding the file to iTunes should do the trick there).