AudioBook Building: The Process

Lindsey Greer
4 min readJun 21, 2020

I have never built an audiobook before, in reality I’ve never even listened to one either! I was excited to tackle this project, even though I had a limited amount of time on this project. I had never looked into metadata before but was eager to dive in and give it a good look.

The book I chose for this project was a part of a series called “Teachings of the Presidents of the Church”, these are books published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They go in depth about each President or Prophet of this church and detail their life and their accomplishments and their time serving as President of the Church.

This website offers you to be able to download the entire book in an m4b file, a PDF, or you can download it by chapter (where the chapters are mp3 files).

I downloaded the m4b file to see if I could go ahead and break it apart myself into different chapters. I encountered some trouble doing this. I couldn’t open it up in garageband because I found out it needed to be an mp4 file. That’s when I went back and downloaded the book chapter by chapter.

This is how it appeared on my desktop. Now you can see that these are formatted in mp3 format. It made my job easier but I also felt like I was kind of cheating!

I knew I wanted to change the cover art, and simply it and make it look better. I chose a simple picture of Gordon B. Hinckley and added the title of the series of the book.

I added all the metadata into a google doc like this:

I decided I like how the chapters were named here so I didn’t want to mess with that too much.

When it came to adding the metadata into AudioBook Builder I had some interesting experiences! I noticed it was kind of tricky for me to find an author. I knew these books were more like compilations and so I was curious to found out who would be listed as the author. I was able to open up the mp4 file and look at the info, all it said was that is was published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that’s who was listed as the author.

After I had made my audiobook in AudioBook Builder, I did a side-by-side comparison of the metadata from the audiobook I downloaded and the one I put together.

When I tried to test it on my iPhone, I had to airdrop the m4b file. It wouldn’t give me an option to open it with iBooks so I had to open it in files. Here is what that looked like:

What was even more weird, was that when I opened that file, it showed me the cover art from the original files.

That was super weird to me, I never had the original files on my phone and I was airdropping the AudioBook I had made with AudioBook Builder.

In conclusion, this project was super fun and interesting! I didn’t think I was going to like dealing with metadata but I really did! If I had to do this again I would choose another book, as to get more into the nitty gritty of the metadata, I felt like these were handed to me on a silver platter although they did come with their own issues. Overall, this was super helpful and fun and I look forward to working with more metadata in the future and exploring its capabilities.

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