For the past few days, I have been looking for a way to simplify the process of importing audiobook from CDs to iTunes. Today, I found the solution, while not free ($10), it works very well: AudioBook Builder from Plasm Software.
Before discussing AudioBook Builder, let discuss the process of importing audiobooks from CDs. Say, I have an audiobook with 12 discs and I want to import it into iTunes. The first step is to configure iTunes to import at a lower rate instead of the usual 128kbps or 192kbps. So far so good, except for the fact that after I am finished importing the book, I often forgot to reset the sampling rate and ended up using that to import my music CDs. The result is not pretty. Next comes the issue of the CDs are often not recognized by iTunes, so I ended up with Track 01, Track 02, … These generic track names does not help me with ordering the chapters between discs. As the result, I often had to enter the disc information by hand for each disc (disc number, author, title, …) These two issues and many others prompted me to find a solution and that solution is AudioBook Builder (AB).
The first time I launched AB, I created a new book by entering the title, author, and optionally the album art cover. Note that I only need to enter these information once per book instead of having to enter them for each disc. Next, I inserted the first CD and click the Import CD button and AB went off to import. After importing all 12 discs, I clicked the “Finish” button at the bottom and clicked “Build Audiobook.” The process took a while to finish and the resulting audiobook is imported into iTunes. In my case, AB splitted the audiobook into two parts, probably to reduce the file size: part one takes 335MB off my hard disk and part two demands 77MB.
Overall, the program is very intuitive with very simple interface and not much options to mess around.