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Garmin Zumo Audiobooks - How to make them !

 
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Brian
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Joined: Nov 12, 2003
Posts: 94
Location: Lancashire, England, Great Britain

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:14 am    Post subject: Garmin Zumo Audiobooks - How to make them ! Reply with quote

A new feature on the Zumo (with 3.0 firmware upgrade) is the Audible Audio Book player, you can go to the Audible website, joinup. Part of being a new member you can get 1 or 2 free books and try them out on the Zumo. If you wish you can cancel your subscription within 2 weeks and keep the freebies !
If you search around you can find a lot of free audiobooks (ie: your local library, the internet etc), you can even convert your own cds to audiobooks with the right software - this is what I did ..

Audible audiobooks come in the file type ****.aa , these are good in so much as they have a bookmark feature that enables you to come back to the part of the book you left at, see screen shots ..


Audible audiobook playing


Audible audiobook bookmarks

these .aa files are the files compatible with the Zumo. Another audiobook file type is itunes (ipod) ****.m4b format, these will not play on the Zumo. The best we can do is mp3s, the problem is if you pause a mp3 then you can later restart at the same place BUT if you play something else then next time it will go back to the beginning .. thats a lot of fast forwarding in a 5 hour audio book !!
Ideally we could convert a .mp3 to an .aa file, but after extensive searching I cannot find any software that will convert (apparently Audibles lawyers are keen to stop this .. if anyone has managed to write their own then send me a private message Laughing ).
My workaround is using mp3's split into 5 minute sections but linked together in a playlist, but kept seperate from other music mp3s ( you wouldn't want 'War and Peace' excerpts playing when you're listening to Black Sabbath).
The main pieces of software you will need are dBpoweramp (and the splitter Plugin) ..

http://home.freeuk.com/northernradio/zumo/dMC-r10.exe
http://home.freeuk.com/northernradio/zumo/db-LengthSplit.exe

.. these are freeware and I came across them on a magazine coverdisc.
You will also need good old Media Monkey ..

http://www.mediamonkey.com/download.htm

.. this is for editing ID3 tags for a neater finish.
Also you will need Windows Media Player to created Playlists.

First, source your Audiobook mp3 file, this can feasibly be anything from 5mb upto 300mb+ , open dBpowerAmp and browse to the mp3 file, select the Split option and set to 5 minutes splits, this will produce many 5 minute .wav files. Now rerun dBpowerAmp and this time select all the .wav files (use the SHIFT key to select them all at once), set bitrate to 64 (or 128) kbps and set Stereo (or Joint Stereo) then convert, this will leave you with many 5 minute .mp3s.

Next, open Media Monkey, browse to where your new mp3s are, click Edit / Select All then Edit / Properties .. this will bring up Monkey Media's batch conversion, here select Audiobook in 'genre' and it will convert all your 5 minute mp3s at once! You can also find a suitable 'cover picture' either from Amazon (through Media Monkey) or get one from Audibles website.

This is a personnal thing, but rearranging your mp3 folders on the Zumo will make things work better, I have a folder called MP3s , and 2 subfolders inside it called MUSIC (for mp3 music), and Audio Books (for mp3 audiobooks) .. genuine Audible (.aa) audiobooks go in a folder elsewhere called Audible.
I also altered the 'genre' of all my mp3 music files so that they are all 'rock/pop' .. again Media Monkey can do this as a batch operation and will only take a few minutes to do (don't worry your mp3 music files will still be catagorized in Album, Artist, Track etc through the existing ID3 tags!)
An example of what we may have done so far is this ..

Folder MP3, subfolder Audio book containing a folder called, say,
Eddie Murphy - Delerious
in here are the 5 minute mp3s, ie:
Eddie Murphy - Delerious-001.mp3
Eddie Murphy - Delerious-002.mp3
Eddie Murphy - Delerious-003.mp3

etc etc,
also there is ..
Eddie Murphy - Delerious.jpg (.. the cover picture)
and also ..
Eddie Murphy - Delerious.m3u ( .. the Playlist file)

This is how you make a .m3u file ..

Select all of your 5 minute mp3s inside their folder, right-click and select 'add to now playing list', this will open Windows Media Player (mine is version 10), if you don't have this right click option then open them from within WMP. In WMP you will have a option (at the right hand side) to 'Sort by File Name', this is to get them in the correct order, now click File / Save Now Playing List As and name the .m3u file as necessary.

Believe it or not you are now done, if you go into the Zumo's mp3 mode, press Source to go to or from Audible audiobooks or MP3s. In MP3s: for music press Browse / (scroll) Genre / Rock/Pop / click Play All. For mp3 audiobooks: press Browse / Import Playlist / select your Audio Book. See the screen shots below ..


MP3 Genre selection



Playlists of the mp3 audiobooks



Actual mp3 audiobook playing

Notice the audiobook is made up of several (20 here) 5 minute clips that seamlessly play one after the other (make sure random play is turned off). If you stop listening part-way through a book then you only need to remember the part-number to go back to.

NOTE: also post on Razerbike Zumo 550 Forum
http://razorbiker.com/zumo/index.php
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Aprilia Tuono, Zumo 550
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MaFt
Pocket GPS Staff
Pocket GPS Staff


Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 14842
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...you could use MediaMonkey to create the playlists thus getting rid of the need to use that horrible media player...

MaFt
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therock003
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Joined: Feb 11, 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanx for your guide,but i really hoped there was some way we could get to these darn .aa files cause the bookmark option is a killer!
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Brian
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Joined: Nov 12, 2003
Posts: 94
Location: Lancashire, England, Great Britain

PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, we need some computer genius to write some software to convert from mp3 to .aa
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