Importing audiobooks from CD to iTunes

macOS & Mac Apps


Very basic question from me given that I've been a Mac user for a good while now: I'm just getting round to digitising all my audio CDs. How do I make sure that audiobooks on CD are treated by iTunes as audiobooks rather than music when they are imported? I am keen to do this in part because I don't want all my audiobooks automatically to be copied over to my iPhone when I sync with iTunes. I thought I was doing it right when I imported an audiobook the other day which iTunes identified as a spoken audio track, but it has placed it in the music folder. Any tips on how to redesignate this already imported audio CD as an audiobook would be very welcome too. Cheers.



Submitted by Esther on Friday, March 4, 2016

Your easiest solution is probably to get Audiobook Builder from Splasm software. If you go to their web site, you can get the free trial download versions of their software, all of which is extremely accessible. Here's the URL:

Their software is also available from the Mac Apo Store, but of course you won't be able to try things out first that way. There's also separate help documentation and family licensing license options at their web site. Price is $4.95 for a single user license, either through their web site or through the Mac App Store.

If you want to do this yourself through iTunes, without Audiobook Builder's options of producing merged audiobook files with chapter stops, and you are importing your Audiobook files grouped as one file per CD, then in order for iTunes to treat these as audiobooks instead of music, you have to change the "Media Kind" of the imported.files from "music" to "audiobook". You should be able to do this by selecting your ripped files, doing a "Get Info" by pressing the Command+i keys, then navigating to the "option" tab to check the boxes for these options. "Spoken audio" for genre is just a tag designation like "classical" or "rock". It doesn't change the way that iTunes treats that file from any other music file.

I haven't done any recent audiobook conversions, but I'm replying since there hasn't been an answer to your question. You can try out the trial download version of Audiobook Builder yourself.

You might also be able to use the free Audiobook Binder software at the Mac App store instead:

It was one of the accessible alternatives to Audiobook Builder 4 or 5 years ago. The problem is that there have been reported bugs with the iTunes 12 handling of audiobook tagging, that may be fixed, but you probably want to make sure you use software that is under active support.

Hope this helps.


Submitted by Bingo Little on Saturday, March 5, 2016

@esther this is a very, very complete and comprehensive answer. Bravo and thank you very much indeed.

Submitted by dvdmth on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Club AppleVis Member

Although I normally buy books from Audible, I sometimes receive audiobooks on CD as gifts, such as for Christmas. I use Audiobook Builder to import the CDs, build them into audiobooks, and add them to my iTunes library. I then sync the files to my iPad and use the iBooks app to play them, which is much nicer than listening to the CDs directly.

The only issue I have with Audiobook Builder, and it's a minor one, is that when assigning names to chapters, there is no VoiceOver feedback while editing each chapter name. This primarily means no typing echo, but the newly entered chapter name can easily be verified with VoiceOver after finishing the editing. Other than that, the app works beautifully.