The music industry moves in mysterious ways. Convenience is the USP

September 21, 2009

I am member of eMusic, an online music store that operates by subscription. I my case I have 75 downloads each month. I really love this, since eMusic does not have all music “on stock” and I have to explore, taste, been recommended and listen to music which can be found in the digital recesses,  in order to  sample new music. Thanks to eMusic my musical horizons have broadened.

But sometimes I am not able to download a particular album, because of where I live. You would think the music industry is globally organised. Not so. Bummer. Bad!

Regional difficulties

But the next thing was new to me. I was able to download the album “Broken Social Scene”, by “Broken Social Scene” except one song, which was not available for download:

Download album but one

This is very strange. However I could download this one song by going to the single where it was available for download:

Single download

I am pretty sure this is not enforced by eMusic, but by the label(s).

I am one of the dinosaurs still paying for my music. But my main criteria is convenience. All those restrictions are hurting paying customers in my opinion. I was close to copying it from someone owning the CD. As a matter of fact I sometimes illegally download albums which are regionally restricted.
Please labels, enter the 21st century. We pretty much got rid of DRM, but regional issues still exist and are causing aggravation and only annoy the paying customers.

I will do my best, but convenience is the USP.  Remember that!

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.