Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Mar 28, 2014 1:22 AM by LogicMaster
aidan777 Level 1 Level 1



iBooks Author 2.0's media optimization is driving me crazy- does anyone know how to prevent / bypass it?


I have many videos that are large and I've already hand-tweaked the compression profiles in Apple Compressor (that are highly compatible with all iPads).


Now when I drop them in iBooks Author, it takes ages to "optimize" them, leaving me with files that are 10s of MB larger... grrr!


Area ideas?



iBooks Author, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • K T Level 7 Level 7

    What's the goal?

  • aidan777 Level 1 Level 1

    Mainly to cut the size of the exported ".ibooks" files back down again.


    For example, one book went from 339MB to 397MB, which is 58MB / 17% larger.

    Another is 14% larger.



  • K T Level 7 Level 7

    Can I suggest to maybe relax behind that +17% and let the book be what it is...primarily thinking of the experience for users, perhaps?

  • jean-pierrefromlangley Level 1 Level 1

    I think I have the same problem, it says:

    Media Files must be optimized before you can export your book.

    iBooks is optimizing 5 media files.  Wait until optimization is complete, then try to export your book again.


    My question is, Is there a place that tell you the Progress, as I've been waiting and no sign of when it will be ready.  The previous version of iBooks author didn't do that.


    Please le me know if you do know how to bypass it also.



  • 3dmpro Level 1 Level 1

    The new author runs a transcoding tool once you open any publication, containing media. Before it will allow you to publish or export an "IBA" for publication,  it recompresses your media, even if it does not need it. There doesn't appear to be any real size checking or file typing happening. Even if your publication far above or below the publication limit, your media is transcoded. In most cases, the resultant optimization increases your IBA by 10 to 20% in size.


    It is possible to disable the Transcoding by renaming the script that launches it, which is hidden amongst iBookaurthor's resource files, but it apparently needs to run before publishing...

  • K T Level 7 Level 7

    Bypassing a built-in feature risks rejection during so at your own risk.

  • IgnacioAzpiazu Level 1 Level 1

    Is publishing from 1.1 still allowed?

  • Frank Lowney Level 1 Level 1

    The optimization routine in iBooks Author 2.0 is well intendtioned but the execution of those intentions is quite poor.  In addition to bloating the size of your videos and, hence, your iBook, it can also degrade visual quality in dramatic fashion.  For example, I created a screencast in ScreenFlow 4.0 (just released) that looked great in QuickTime X Player (sharp, highly readable text, etc.) but in iBooks I could hardly recognize these details at full screen.  Now, ScreenFlow (by Telestream) uses the X.264 CODEC which is at least as good as the H.264 CODEC that Apple uses (many video pros argue that X.264 is better).  That may be a part of the problem I saw. The other factor may be that this .m4a video file was 1280x800, not the 1280x720 maximum for iPad.  The IBA optimizer dutifully attempted to make it "right" but, instead made it unusable for my iBook.  To be fair, tossing it a soft ball (video that already meets iPad specs in every way) produces decent looking, albeit heftier, results.


    BTW, you can see the optimizer in action and thereby get a sense of the time it takes by replacing a video in an IBA project.  You do  that  by clicking on the media to invoke the "Edit Media" button, clicking that and drag/dropping a new video in its place.  You'll get a progress bar and a "time remaining" estimate.  You will notice that the longer it takes, the worse the outcome in terms of file size and visual quality.  My 1280x800 file took a long time.  A 1280x720 .m4a file takes much less time.


    It gets worse.  The optimizer apparently uses the QuickTime engine which means that any tracks beyond one video track and one audio track will be trashed.  Thus, if you have any soft subtitle or alternate audio tracks, they will be deleted without notice.  I used a test file with three audio tracks (English, Spanish and French) and four soft subtitle tracks (English, Spanish, French and Hungarian).  These extra tracks were perfectly accessible in *.ibooks files produced by iBooks Author 1.x in the as well as  the and elsewhere. The optimizer (ne terminator) in iBooks Author deletes all soft subtitle tracks and all but the English audio track. 


    Let's not forget that iBooks Author is ostensibly used by commercial textbook publishers (McGraw-Hill, Pearson et. al.) and, furthermore, that media accessibility by all students is mandated by federal law.  I cannot imagine that anyone is not going to want to turn this feature off, at least until it becomes mature. 


    With iBooks Author 1.x, I had figured out how to create very efficient and highly capable video that IBA will accept.  This "feature" throws me and a lot of other capable people into a ditch.  


    Apple may not care to listen to you and I but surely they will pay attention when the folks at Pearson, McGraw-Hill and other commercial entities try to work with this new version and begin to feel our pain.  Let's hope that TimeMachine works as advertised.

  • K T Level 7 Level 7

    > I cannot imagine that anyone is not going to want to turn this feature off, at least until it becomes mature.


    Quadruple negatives aside, I like it and have no desire to cripple anything that makes the user experience better, so count me a fan.

  • jean-pierrefromlangley Level 1 Level 1

    Hi All,


    I don't mind the media optimization  I would just like to know the Progress of how long I have to wait, is there a way to look and see how far it has done or has left without trying to export it then they tell you it is Optimizing media but no details as to how long.  Help Please.  Thanks

  • 1k2go Level 1 Level 1

    I'm having some nasty, post optimization issue's.  I've been building interactive childrens books and a lot of the interactive files are built in Keynote. I add a sound file to just about ever slide in the file.  Worked great in IBA 1.1.  After optimizing the file in 2.0, just about every sound file (.m4a) is gone. 


    Any workarounds would be greatly appreciated.

  • tk0us Level 2 Level 2

    try loading your Keynote directly from the .key file. I have not had any issues with audio or video on Keynote slides when loading them into Author with this method.


    hope this helps...

  • 1k2go Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks tk0us,


    I'm dragging the .key file onto my Ibooks page.  It seems like the very first sound file plays and then the following files do not. 


    all 7 interactive pages were working like a charm yesterday.  Updated this morning and now they're all dead.



  • tk0us Level 2 Level 2

    ok, not that I want to you to keep trying things...


    in Keynote - go to the Share Menu > Export

    Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 3.17.57 PM.png

    select HTML and Movie Quality: High Quality

    click Next and let Keynote chug along.

    in the resulting folder open the index.html in safari and if the sounds play there, the sounds should play in Author.


    Keynote generally saves audio as .m4v in an image folder...

Previous 1 2 Next