Support for using Books app in macOS Catalina

I’ve just submitted version 5.2 to the appstore. Pending approval process, it may take a day or two for the new version to be available for download.

This version supports using Books app instead of iTunes. Of course, it is possible to continue using iTunes if you have not upgraded to Catalina yet. However, the build options are slightly different now. I recommend reading the How to Use section.

You may also run into the following issue when adding books to Books app.

There is an issue in Books app which may cause confusion. If a book by the same title already exist in books, the new book will NOT overwrite the previous version! Please delete the book by same title from the books app before building one with same title. This may happen as you are experimenting with building the same book many times.

There was a version 5.1 if you are wondering. That version had a nasty bug that had to be dealt with immediately. We don’t speak of version 5.1 anymore.

Autotagging and other improvements in 5.0

I have released version 5.0 to the appstore. This should be available in a few days after review. The improvement in this version includes auto tagging. If your source files already contain metadata such as book title, author, comment or artwork then Audiobook Wizard will automatically use them in the final audiobook output (The first file encountered with metadata will be used as the metadata source). The build process has become even simpler. You could literally drop in files and start building immediately.

There are also a couple of bug fixes for random crash when user click on cancel while building a book.

I feel Audiobook Wizard is as complete as it can be for most users in this form but I am always willing to hear from people that love to read. Contact me if you have improvement suggestions etc. Have a nice day!

Version 4.7 slays even more bugs

Please download version 4.7 available now in the appstore.

  1. Fixed build problem with multi volume audiobooks. Depending on source files, you may experience no sound during playback 🙁

  2. Fixed the “Play immediately” option button broken in version 4.60.

  3. Improved library management. Remove duplicate books when iTunes preference is set to make copies of media added to iTunes library.

  4. Please visit wwww.audiobookwizard.com for how to use instruction.

Version 4.6 fixes bugs

Version 4.6 has been submitted to the app store. It should be available for download in several days.

1. Tested with macOS 10.14.2 Mojave.

2. Fixed possible playback problem with very long audiobooks e.g. no sound.

3. Book volumes are now given same name as book title instead of “Volume 1” etc.

4. For users using the iTunes option “Keep iTunes Media folder organized”, fixed possible issue with multiple volume audiobooks being out of order during playback.

5. Made it slightly faster 🙂

Version 4.0 supports 64 bit macOS

I am excited to announce version 4.0 is coming with 64 bit support. I am sorry this has taken so long. I’ve neglected AudiobookWizard and allow long time users to suffer from issues arising from macOS changes. But no more! Version 4.0 will support 64 bit and fix many ongoing issues. Please be patient as I expect to release the new version within a month or so.

Version 3.0 is ready for download

 Screen Shot 2012-06-11 at 10.27.51 PM
Screen Shot 2012-06-11 at 10.27.51 PM

Version 3.0 is unavoidable after all since Apple enforced implementation of sandboxing for apps. So the latest version’s key feature is … you guessed it … app sandboxing.  App sandboxing is a nice security feature that helps to protect your system against malware and rogue software. However, apps will be limited in what it can do. So the user interface needs to be changed. Fortunately, the change is minor. But the good news is in conjunction with version 3.0, I found time to add a couple of very useful features as well.

First off. You will notice that Audiobook Wizard ask you to enter a book title NOT a file name.  That’s because sandboxed app cannot create arbitrary files in the user’s system. From the given book title, Audiobook Wizard will create the audio file(s) and place them into the user’s Music folder under the subfolder “Audiobook Wizard”. On the other hand, since the new version has an option to automatically add these books to iTunes, users won’t really have to deal with this new directory arrangement at all.

On to a great new feature. You can drag drop files directly from iTunes itself into the app! This is a very useful feature for people who are already using iTunes to manage their audio files. Select the files from the Music library page or from the playlist and simply drop them into Audiobook Wizard. The order of the files will exactly follow the order within iTunes. Great if you are accustomed to using iTunes’s powerful file & tag management capability to order your files. Once dropped into Audiobook Wizard, there is no need to do any sorting or re-arranging.

But if you do want to manually re-arrange files, you will like the next improvement which is the drag and drop capability of the app. Files can be added to the any row on the list when previously it can only be added to the last row. Moving and re-arranging files within the list is easier and more accurate. Previously, adding a file or files to an existing list causes the list to be re-sorted. This is not always an intended consequence. In this version, files are never auto sorted. Files are placed into the list according to the order they are presented when drag dropped (this is usually same order of files in the Finder window). User must click on sort if that is needed.

All that and some hidden improvements to come. I expect version 3.0 to be approved for download soon. Thank you all and do write me directly if you need help.

Version 2.2 is here. And why.

I just uploaded version 2.2 for approval to the app store. I expect this to be available for download in a few days. The key changes in this version are:
1. Added encoding quality option to the app. I received quite a few requests to add this option so you can say I caved under pressure. I always wanted to create the simplest app possible that people can use without thinking. However, I do think I might have underestimated my user’s desire to deal with options. So here it is in version 2.2. You can choose CD Stereo, Enhanced and Standard encoding quality. The bit rates are 128 kbps stereo, 64 kbps mono and 32 kbps mono respectively. The default setting is Enhanced. Enhanced mode is actually similar to Audible audio’s enhanced mode while Standard is equivalent to Audible Format 4.

2. Improved conversion speed. Up to 6X compared to version 2.0! It’s kind crazy. I don’t know whether to be proud or to kick myself for not making this improvement earlier. If you are in a hurry and can accept standard quality encoding (32 kbps mono), then this version can encode a 12.5 hours book in 8 minutes. Version 2.0 took almost 60 minutes. In CD Stereo mode, it is at least 3X faster then previous version. About 18 mins for the same book. Enhanced mode is about 4X faster.

With the availability of encoding quality option, the output file size becomes an consideration. Using the same example of a 12.5 hours book, in Standard mode the final file size is 200MB. For Enhanced mode it’s 400MB. In CD Stereo it is 600MB. If file size is important to you, then do consider the quality vs size compromise.

The option also affects the maximum book length allowed for any one file (No worries. You can still create unlimited length audiobooks. Audiobook Wizard will just split it into multiple files for you once the maximum size limit has been reached). For CD Stereo and Enhanced, any volume of a multi volume book cannot exceed 13 hours. In Standard mode, the maximum length is an incredible 37 hours in about 600+ MB. Nice for archiving.

So you can see why I just had to release version 2.2. The combination of faster encode and much demanded bit rate option is irresistible. Please contact me directly if you find any issues and have any suggestions for future improvements.

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a happy new year and success in 2012. Reflecting, 2011 has been mostly kind to me. I read even more books than ever or rather I listened. Since discovering audiobooks, I find that I rarely read paper books or ebooks anymore. Audiobooks allow me to read when I otherwise won’t have time like while driving or at the gym. I am always trying to convince friends to jump on the audiobook bandwagon but it’s not easy and their first read will always be difficult. Listening to a book takes some getting use to.
On Audiobook Wizard, it has been a good year. I released version 2.0 a couple of months back and so far sales has been steady. I am grateful for the support I am getting from my users. But if you are not ready to trade up from version 1.1 which is still completely free, that’s ok too. If you used Audiobook Wizard and it has in some ways enrich your experience with a good book, I am happy.

See you in 2012!