Friday, May 27, 2005

M4A to M4B file converter

A friend asked me if there was an easier way to convert ripped iTunes files into audiobook-style iTunes files than to do it by hand. She's got a bunch of audio books that she'd like to listen to on her iPod, but there's not really a graceful way to rip them as audio books automatically. But the only difference between the music files and the audiobook files is the extension gets changed from .m4a to .m4b. Apparently, there's a script that does this for Macs, but the Windows users are forced to manually rename the M4A files to M4B and then point iTunes to the renamed file.

So I buckled down and wrote this little application to do it automatically. It's pretty self-explanatory. Just download both files into the same folder (any folder will do) and run M4AtoM4B.exe.

By downloading and/or running this application, you agree not to use it for evil purposes, and you won't allow anybody else to get their grubby paws on it except by having them go through this website first. While I see no reason why it should hurt your computer in any way, I can make no guarantees as to the safety of your files, folders, programs, hardware, life, liberty, or property if you use this program. Good luck.

So, without further ado, the files:

Another handy feature, by the way, is that the "Clean" button will search and remove dead tracks from your iTunes Library. So if you've moved stuff around manually and now you have a bunch of dead links, you can use this tool to automatically clean house.

If you have suggestions for improvement, stick a comment to this blog entry. I'll get to it when I can.

The program was written in C# using Visual Studio .NET 2003. If you're on an older computer, you might need to head over to the Windows Update site and get the .NET runtime.

Update: Many people have asked about the possibility of merging their audio book files into one file. Dagon Design has an article about Turning MP3 Audiobooks into iPod Audiobooks which gives a good overview of the whole process, including a link to an MP3 Merger tool that can be used to merge your MP3 files into a single file. Thanks to an anonymous commenter for this tip-off.

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