Wednesday, 2005-12-28

iTunes “skip shuffle” and “remember playback” settings

I grabbed a bunch of audio books in mp3 format but was shocked, shocked I say! when the files weren’t bookmarkable (i.e. they didn’t remember where I stopped listening) and worse, the files were included in the shuffle. When you have 1,388 files, each a minute long, that kinda sucks.

I pecked around in iTunes a bit and saw that there was a setting in the Info->Options panel for a track that included the checkmarks

  • Remember playback position
  • Skip when shuffling

Perfectomento! BUT… you can only set these options one file at a time. Damn you Apple! Damn you to hell!!

(If you don’t use AppleScript. Which I don’t. Because I don’t have a Mac.)

I found 2 links on Google which offer some alternatives. The reason for this post is essentially that is down ATM and I need somewhere to post these:

Update 2005-12-29: basically there are two ways of handling this.

  • Convert to AAC format and rename

I tried this variant, but the resulting files were much larger than the files in mp3 format. I guess you can get around this by playing with the converting options, but I suspect they only apply to importing from CDs (see the second link above).

  • Merge the mp3 files and set the appropriate settings manually.

I went with this variant. A quick search of CPAN resulted in a bunch of utilities I could use. I merged the tiny files into chapters, then added what ID3v2 tags I could. The rest were added in iTunes, along with the required playback and shuffle options.

I will try to find out more about ID3v2 tag handling later, so as to automate this even more.