Macsimum review: Audiobook Builder makes dealing with audiobooks in iTunes a breeze
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Macsimum review: Audiobook Builder makes dealing with audiobooks in iTunes a breeze

If you like to listen to audiobooks on your Mac, Splasm Software's Audiobook Builder (http://www.splasm.com/audiobookbuilder/index.htm), a US$9.95 Mac only tool (take that, Windows!) can make your life easier. It's a breeze to use. It's a timesaver, too, since it deals with the complexities of audiobooks behind the scenes.

Audiobook Builder lets you import your Audiobook CDs (or tracks that are already on your Mac), organize them and output one or two files that your iPod recognizes as actual audiobooks.

The results are automatically sent to a special playlist in iTunes. When you sync with your iPod or iPhone they appear in the Audiobooks section. The software offers audio file joining, adjustable quality settings and enhanced chapter stops.

By default, every CD you import becomes its own "chapter" in your Audiobook project. This means you can have have chapter marks placed wherever you want 'em. When you play the final output in iTunes or on your iPod, you'll notice special controls for moving between these chapters instead of fast-forwarding or rewinding. You can accessorize each chapter with its own artwork, which is a very nice touch.

Each Audiobook Builder project is self-contained in its own document, so you're free to start a project whenever you want, move on to another application or do something else entirely. You can return later and finish your project. You can even move projects between Macs.

There are other convenient features. You can combine tracks and label them with the chapter number and name, select how large the file sizes will be, add cover art, and more.

Audiobook Builder comes with a few presets to get you started, but you can customize your audio settings to suit your own needs. You can drag and drop straight from iTunes to your Audiobook Builder projects. Audiobook Builder can also send its output directly to a special playlist in iTunes.

AudioBook Builder isn't perfect. It choked a couple of times when I tried to join MP3 files bigger than 1GB. Also, batching processing would be a nice addition.

Audiobook Builder is an Universal Binary app, so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher and QuickTime 7 or later.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

 
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