Converting mp3 audiobooks on Mac OS X to bookmarkable audiobooks

September 7, 2008

Update September 8th 2008 As can be read in the comments by Aldo: a better, although not free solution is Audiobook Builder

I am a member of emusic, the retailer that offers a selection of independent music and audiobooks.

One thing which always bothered me a bit was the audiobook format. They split an audiobook in dozens of mp3 files which are not the best solution if you use iTunes and an iPod.
iTunes and the iPod have the so called bookmarkable format, that is, the track will resume playing wherever you left off the last time you played it.
There is a lot of information on the net, but I could not find a step by step process for the Mac how to convert emusic audiobooks to iTunes audiobooks.

This is my procedure for Mac OS X.

  • Download two Applescripts scripts from Doug’s AppleScripts: Track Splicer and Make Bookmarkable. Install them as described.
  • Add the emusic audiobook files to iTunes. They will be stored somewhere under music.
  • Select the audiobook mp3 files. Make sure they are ordered correctly and run the Track Splicer script. This will create one big mp3 file.
    If you like to split it in a couple of 1 hour files, like an iTMS audiobook, then select a smaller number of files and repeat the procedure.
  • Select the mp3 audiobook and convert it to an aac (m4a) file with iTunes. (Right mouse: Convert Selection to AAC). Use a bitrate
    applicable for audiobooks, since 256kbps or so seems like a waste of disk space.
  • Select the aac audiobook and run the Make Bookmarkable script. This will convert the m4a file to m4b file. When you look under
    Audiobooks you will see your converted book.
  • For nicety find a cover and add it as album artwork.

Audiobooks

Enjoy!


I don’t need no stinking Apple TV

August 21, 2008

Getting the Dolby 5.1ch sound working from my PlayStation 3 to my Onkyo TX-SR805 receiver proved to be a bit more troublesome than I hoped for.
There is some configuration involved on the PS3 and on the Onkyo.
When I eventually got it working I examined the possibility of connecting my Mac with the PS3.

Boy was I in for some surprise. Medialink for Mac OS X, is an excellent piece of software.
Perhaps I was lucky, but after installing it, I could immediately browse (wireless btw) through my photos, movies and music.

Media Link on my television

I no longer see a reason to buy an Apple TV. The PS3 with Media Link does an excellent job. Perhaps not as pretty as the Apple TV, but it supports all major DRM free encodings.
Something which cannot be said for the Apple TV.

Renting movies through the Apple TV is not something I see happening any time soon here in The Netherlands. So I skip the Apple TV and embrace my PS3 for now.

When you compare the price of the PS3 (€ 399) to the Apple TV (€ 299) I am amazed how much power is packed into the PS3 (Console, Blu-ray player, MediaCentre) for a arguably better price.


Shame on Suunto. Long live Mark Rosenstein.

April 19, 2008

Last Wednesday, my Suunto Stinger died on me after about 6 years of faithful service. It would not enter Divemode anymore. I was already looking for an excuse to go for the Suunto D9. Here was my excuse. So instead of going for a repair I bought the D9.

For their range of divecomputers, Suunto has released Dive Manager software, which shows all data gathered from a dive, like depth, temperature, air.
With my me new toy, Dive Manager software shows gas consumption and temperature across the dive, which my Stinger would not let me have… I took the installation CD and….
System requirements: Windows XP!
Come on Suunto! Where is my Mac software? In 2008?

Fortunately there is DiveLog.

DiveLog

A payware application for Mac OS X Leopard, which can read your D9 data. I needed to update the USB driver for my Mac, but after that I was good to go. Well done Marc.

Here is a screenshot of my second dive with it:

Ronald's Dive log

I think Suunto should give Mark some money and buy that software so they can bundle it.


OmniGraffle Stencil Chaos

November 27, 2007

My OmniGraffle stencils menu was getting a bit chaotic. One big long list. The default Omnigraffle stencils use sub-menus. For instance the business stencil sub-menu.
But all the downloaded ones just wound up in the main stencil menu.
So I created some sub folders inside ~/Library/Application Support/OmniGraffle/Stencils and dropped some of my stencils there.
It just worked ™.

I tried symbolic links to have one stencil in multiple sub-menu’s, but that does not work. So I wound up copying them.

This looks a bit nicer:

Omnigraffle Stencils

Trivial.


Quicksilver drag and drop

October 22, 2007

Quicksilver keeps amazing me.

I had to mail a document so I wrote that mail and then browsed for the document in order to attach. I forgot where on the file-system that
document actually is since I always open it with Quicksilver. I then thought that I would be real neat if I could find it with Quicksilver and
then drag and drop it in Mail.

That just works ™™

Nothing new for the die hards and old old news: drag and drop.
Still I’m surprised it is in there.

I just love Quicksilver. It feels so simple, but has a wealth of features and keeps amazing me in that it always is one step ahead of me….. But that step is not in my face and is there when I realize I need it and are ready for it.


MacBook Pro quality sucks, Apple service does not.

August 16, 2007

My MacBook Pro is now 13 months old.

When it was two months old the hard disk died. Fortunately I’m real anal about backing up and I had a day old image on my Maxtor One Touch. My local reseller Mac House replaced the hard disk under warranty.

Four months later my firewire ports were not working. Again I had a recent image, which was fortunate since I need my FW800 to back up. My local reseller Mac House replaced the motherboard under warranty.

And now after 13 months (and no Apple Care of course) I cannot start my MacBook unless the power adapter is attached. The battery is no longer recognised. Again I went to my local reseller. Replacing the battery did not do the trick. So they need to investigate.

It seems like I need a new motherboard. Mac House advised me to phone Apple to discuss this with them.
Apple listened to my story and extended the warranty.

Perhaps there is some truth in this year old article Quality control problems or growing pains at Apple?. I for one am not to convinced about the quality of their hardware.

Customer care however is excellent.

Oh and always backup. I use SuperDuper.


ATG 2007.1 on Mac OS X with MySQL

August 13, 2007

For some weeks now ATG 2007.1 is available. My entry about installing ATG on Mac OS X explained how to install ATG 2006.3 on Mac OS X Tiger which is not supported by ATG . It got a few hits, so perhaps an update is needed.

Pre installation

  • Have jboss-4.0.5GA ready. This is the only version supported by ATG 2007.1.
  • Have MySQL ready. Only 5.0.20 is supported. However I have used 5.0.45 and so far it seems to be working fine. Make sure you use the InnoDB engine instead of the MyISAM.
  • Create an ATG user on MySQL in a way you seem fit
  • Add export JBOSS_HOME=<your JBOSS 4.0.5GA path here> to .bash_login. If you use another shell, you know what to do.
  • Take care of your permissions.
  • Download ATG2007.1 for Unix

Installation and configuration

  • Run ATG2007.1.bin
  • When asked to enter the path where to install ATG, remove the space. It will make things easier.
  • When asked for JAVA_HOME use /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/ 1.5.0/Home or your preferred version.
  • Drop your license files in <ATG folder>/home/localconfig
  • Add the following line export ATGJRE=/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/ Versions/CurrentJDK/Commands/java to dasEnv.sh
  • Copy MySQL JDBC driver (mysql-connector-java-5.0.7-bin.jar) to <JBOSS_HOME>/server/atg/lib
  • Add a mysql-ds.xl to <JBOSS_HOME>/server/atg/deploy and fill in the correct database name etc.
  • Create a file, like this: /home/localconfig/atg/dynamo/service/jdbc/JTDataSource.properties
    The ATG documentation states to create a jbossconfig folder with a change to a manifest to point to that path. I skipped that.
  • Edit this JTDataSource.properties. It should contain:
    JNDIName=java:/MySqlDS
    and
    $class=atg.nucleus.JNDIReference
  • Run datascripts:
    • /Applications/ATG2007.1/DAS/sql/install/mysql/das_ddl.sql
    • /Applications/ATG2007.1/DPS/sql/install/mysql/dps_ddl.sql
    • /Applications/ATG2007.1/DSS/sql/install/mysql/dss_ddl.sql
    • /Applications/ATG2007.1/DCS/sql/install/mysql/dcs_ddl.sql

    I used mysql -D <dbname> < /Applications/ATG2007.1/DAS/sql/install/mysql/ das_ddl.sql --user=<username> --password=<password>

Some notes

Adding Darwin to <ATG folder>/home/bin/DynamoEnv.sh is not something I use anymore as I did in 2006.3. I will assume Solaris. This will make patching easier, as Robert Hellwig found out.

Unlike ATG 2006.3 ATG2007.1 JTDatasource.properties can contain $class=atg.nucleus.JNDIReference

The executing of the SQL scripts was not correct in the previous Blog. The user and password command was wrong. Why didn’t anybody tell me?

On the previous blog entry, I got some questions on how you can tell MySQL to use InnoDB. Check your my.cnf or my.ini file. It’s in the ATG documentation:
ATG Doc