9 Replies Latest reply: Sep 7, 2009 8:37 PM by GsharpMinor
Auctoris Level 2 Level 2 (165 points)
*The Problem*
It is not possible to view track titles of audiobooks.

*The Description*
Tap the iPod icon to launch the iPhone interface. Tap Audiobooks. Tap the title of an audiobook. A list of the audiobook's tracks will appear. The "name" of each track is "Part n of n" (as seen in the image below).



!http://www.wuala.com/en/api/preview/476429/Share/images/iphone-audiobook.jpg!



There is no way to view the actual name of each track so it is not possible to select a track based on its actual name. For example, the actual name of "Part 5 of 18" may be "Lesson 2 Pronunciation". The actual name is not displayed so users are left to guess which "Part n of n" is "Lesson 2 Pronunciation"--the track they are looking for.

*Temporary Workaround*
Apparently the only workaround is to create a playlist for every audiobook on the device. The actual track names are displayed in the playlist (as seen in the image below).



!http://www.wuala.com/en/api/preview/476429/Share/images/iphone-playlist.jpg!



When using this workaround users are required to either create a playlist for every audiobook on the device or create a playlist with multiple audiooks. A playlist with multiple audiobooks then requires the user to scroll through many tracks to find the one they are looking for.

This problem makes the built-in audiobook interface unusable when playing audiobooks based on track titles.

Conclusion
I sincerely hope I am missing something and there is a way to view an audiobook's track titles using the built-in audiobook interface. If anyone has any information regarding this issue, please let me know.

Thank you

MacBook Pro 15" 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 2 GB RAM/160 GB Drive
  • 1. Re: Audiobook Interface Design Problem
    meansc Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I found a program called "Audiobook Builder" that complies audiobooks from CD's into true book format for the iPhone. I forget where I got it from but google it(it was cheep) it works real good, I use it when I buy cheep disc books at discount stores(audio books are expensive)
  • 2. Re: Audiobook Interface Design Problem
    Auctoris Level 2 Level 2 (165 points)
    Thank you for the info, but this problem doesn't have anything to do with how they were imported or formatted. Even books purchased directly in iTunes only display their tracks as "Part n of n" when viewing with the audiobook interface.

    Also, you do not need a special program to create audiobooks (at least not on the Mac version of iTunes). Just import them and set the media type to audiobook. If you are referring to joining the tracks, you can join on import.

    Unfortunately, this problem is an actual interface design issue. I can't help but wonder what they were thinking in not allowing users to choose an audiobook track by title.

    Thanks
  • 3. Re: Audiobook Interface Design Problem
    slarti42uk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I think there is one way to see the track names, though there are still issues with the length of the name.

    On the 'Now Playing' screen there is a button at the top right. When you click that, it turns the cover over to give the track listing in the reverse.

    Hope this is what you mean.









    Cheers
  • 4. Re: Audiobook Interface Design Problem
    Auctoris Level 2 Level 2 (165 points)
    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, I am aware of that technique. However, you are still required to select some track before you can get to the now playing screen for that audiobook. With no track names, the selection will be random, and, most likely, not the one you are looking for.

    That is a decent workaround, but not really a solution. I think this is one that only Apple can fix.

    Thanks
  • 5. Re: Audiobook Interface Design Problem
    Steven R Jackson Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    This problem has been annoying me for some time. If you have correctly tagged Audiobooks in iTunes, with track names ("The God Delusion - Part 1", for example) and track numbers (Part 1 of 2, for example) the track name will not appear on the iPhone.

    If you remove the track numbers, in other words the x in "Part x of x", using the Get Info option in iTunes, the iPhone will display the track name, but will often list the tracks in the wrong order. iTunes is even worse and will have tracks all over the place...

    Glad someone else is having this problem. Well, not glad, but you know what I mean...

    Steve.
  • 6. Re: Audiobook Interface Design Problem
    msteuernagel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the workaround. Hope this gets fixed in 3.0

    "Temporary Workaround
    Apparently the only workaround is to create a playlist for every audiobook on the device. The actual track names are displayed in the playlist (as seen in the image below)." (quote)

    Message was edited by: msteuernagel
    added reference to quote
  • 7. Re: Audiobook Interface Design Problem
    DigitalAddict Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Wow. I'm amazed this slipped through given the sophistication of the iPhone and it's overall UI. It's certainly not fixed in 3.0. Please Apple, use the track names for Audiobooks if they are present. Part 14 of 85 just doesn't say much.
  • 8. Re: Audiobook Interface Design Problem
    Elbmar Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Additional design issue in the iPhone 3GS:
    -> voice control does not allow to access audiobook whatsoever
    Is appears, that one can only select music albums/titles via voice.


    However, that brought me to another workaround - but this one is also not really satisfactory in any way.
    -> set the "media type" to "music" instead of "audiobook"
    Careful: I'm talking about the "media type" available in the tab "Options" - NOT the "genre" in the tab "Information" - that should remain set to it's default value "Audiobook"...

    PROS:
    - you can now access audiobooks via voice control
    - title names are displayed (no "part x of y" anymore)
    - album names are displayed (instead of using the first title of an album)

    CONS:
    - your category "audiobooks" in the iphone and in iTunes is now empty
    - music AND audiobooks are now both mixed in the "Music" category
    - in iTunes you can still distinguish by "genre audiobook" - but not on the iPhone
    - if you mess with the genre setting you'll have a hard time distiguishing between actual music and audiobooks "disguising" as music.


    Personally, I'm using this approach for now hoping that 3.1 will really fix this design flow...


    NOTE: my iTunes interface is german - i tried to translate to what will most likely show up in an english iTunes interface.
  • 9. Re: Audiobook Interface Design Problem
    GsharpMinor Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    An easy work around is from iTunes, clear the track#'s and disc#'s for each audiobook file. Get Info > Info tab > (clear track/disc# fields)

    You'll then be able to see "Chapter 1 - (title) "
    "Chapter 2 - (title) "

    It will sort alphabetical.

    If the audiobook has a preface/intro just change the track title to
    " An-Introduction " (remember, it's alphabetical.)

    Sync with your iphone/ipod and you'll be good to go!

    Hope this helps.