How To Manage an Audiobook Collection In macOS Catalina

With the Books app taking over audiobooks in macOS Catalina, a lot of Mac users are upset that it doesn't handle large collections very well. You have no option to store your audiobooks on an external drive. However, you can still keep a large audiobook collection by managing the files yourself outside of Books, and only brining in the books you wish to listen to at the moment. Audible users may find it better to simply use the Auible iPhone app instead.

Comments: 12 Responses to “How To Manage an Audiobook Collection In macOS Catalina”

    3 months ago

    Superb episode. And yes, Apple needs to allow the Books app to store its content on an external drive, and to allow editing of audiobook metadata

    I do like the solution at the end of your video with Audible, but for those of us with many audiobooks not purchased from Audible, there is no easy way to move an audiobook from Mac into Audible, then listen to the book using Audible on an iOS device.

    Hal Plimpton
    3 months ago

    I also listen to a number of audio books via Kindle App. Are there any added considerations for Kindle or would this follow same logic that you have outlined using the Audible app?

    3 months ago

    Hal: Haven’t used the Kindle app for this so I can’t really say. If you get your books from Audible (Amazon, I realize) then use the Audible app. If you get them as non-Audible audiobooks via Amazon, then maybe the Kindle app is your best bet.

    John Tomlinson
    3 months ago

    Under Mojave, I have filed hundreds of audiobooks as “Music,” storing the tracks as .mp3 “Songs.” My iTunes library is on an external drive. Will Catalina allow me to continue ignoring the Audiobooks option, and treat audiobook tracks as songs?

    3 months ago

    John: I didn’t try that, so I can’t say for certain. But if they are “music” then they should just appear in the Music app like any song.

    2 months ago

    What is needed is the ability to edit metadata, not just add tags or comments. For instance, for a dective series, I want to add a number to the title that is displayed and sorted so that I can keep track of the series order when listening. Also, different sources may list authors names differently (full names versus initials, use of Jr., etc.) and I may need to edit the metadata to maximize the utility of sort function. Only direct editing of the metadata will give users the control needed.

    1 month ago

    So I just wanted to give my two cents… since it seems like it might take a bit for Apple to fix the audiobook books issue. A friend of mind told me of an App called Bound, and It works really great! You can keep your books in the cloud and then download any book you want to listen to. Keep it on your phone as long as you want then offload it, kinda like Audible.
    Hope it helps whoever had a large cloud storage.

    1 month ago

    Thank you for this helpful video. Like Philip (6 days previously), I need to amend author and title. For older publications, I would add the year published to the title, or for something with 40 titles in a series, I would add numbers. Great. I can’t do this with the ibooks, but I changed them with this video, but the alterations don’t show in the ibooks. I use my Macbook Pro for 90% of my listening, I work from home, when travelling etc.

    Ken Fischer
    4 weeks ago

    @Milo, thanks for recommending Bound. The latest app works with OneDrive (I have a free TB of space), and it works great for me. I use a Windows App (running in a VM on my Mac) called Chapter & Verse that lets you edit all the metadata you want, add covers, divide book into chapters and such, and these features seem to make it into the Bound App just fine. A 3-part book (3 M4B files) makes it into Bound as one book. Maybe they will fix Books, but this is great for now. Thanks!

    Elizabeth Lenihan
    2 weeks ago

    Each time I download a book from Audible onto Books – before I can download anything onto my Ipod, I must de-authorize my Audible account, then re-authorize it and not just the for the book but for each part of the book, e.g. if the book has 3 or 4 parts, once part 1 is finished, I have to go into Books, delete part 1, download part 2 from Audible, de-authorize my Audible account, re-authorize it and then download it onto my Ipod. No exactly an ‘upgrade’ is it?

    2 weeks ago

    Elizabeth: Have you tried just using the iPhone app for Audible? That’s what I do. It is the best way.

    John Newton
    2 weeks ago

    My issues are with metadata and sorting. Catalina Books doesn’t allow any metadata editing. For example, it imports the “category” field but you can’t change a book’s category or assign a new book to a category. Also you can sort books in list view by any field but hardly at all in grid view, this makes no sense. A real step backwards.

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