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Looking for iTunes audiobooks users

So, I’ll use this blog of mine for an appeal. I’m looking for some iTunes users who bought or regularly buy audiobooks from the iTMS.

The reason of this has to be seen in a request from Ian Monroe (hi Ian πŸ˜‰ ), coming from an amaroK user who wanted for amaroK to recognize correctly m4b files when using xine engine.

m4b files seems to be simply m4a files with a different extension, so that iTunes know that it should allow bookmarking them. All the documentation seems to point to m4b being simply an alias to m4a.

For this reason i patched xine in Gentoo so that it detects them as m4a, I want the best features for my users, but after sending the patch upstream Mike Melanson had an interesting question: does iTunes call m4b also protected files?

Unfortunately, although I did register to iTMS providing a credit card identifier, it seems like I can’t find β€œfree” audiobooks as it seemed to be on the first things I heard from users, so I can’t test that myself. Although I would like to buy one of the audiobooks for test, their price is a bit over my current possibilities (yikes, €25.95 – not even dollars! – for The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal by Lilian Jackson Braun).

So here is the deal, if somebody bought or is going to buy an audiobook from iTMS, please mail me the extension of the file, and try to see if it is protected/encrypted with FairPlay or not, it would be precious information to get better support in xine-lib.

Of course I always accept donations if someone wants to buy me an audiobook so that I can test myself πŸ˜‰ But I’d really prefer to find a simple and quick way around for getting info, without going on first line myself.

Changes can happen if I get a decent continous job, as I’d actually like to start listening to audiobooks to improve my English, but of course the first thing I’d have to do in that case would be to get amaroK handle bookmarks in audibooks πŸ˜› But right now, I prefer written books, way cheaper πŸ™‚

Comments 2
  1. I have one.Yes, m4b is pretty much an alias for m4a – they are both mp4 containers.However, Audiobooks from iTMS are still DRMed.mp4info version 1.501 Ricky Gervais Show_ Season 2, Episode 1.m4b:Track Type Info1 audio drms, 1873.621 secs, 31 kbps, 24000 Hz2 text Metadata Name: Ricky Gervais Show: Season 2, Episode 1 Metadata Artist: Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, and Karl Pilkington Metadata Year: 2006 Metadata Album: Ricky Gervais Show: Season 2, Episode 1 (Original Staging) Metadata track: 1 of 1 Metadata Disk: 1 of 1 Metadata Genre: Podcast Metadata Cover Art pieces: 1

  2. The hymn project has some pretty good documentation on MP4 files.From…6. Audiobooks, with their .m4b file extension, need to be handled as a special case. If you unlock an .m4b file and change the extension to .m4a, it will be quite playable as an unprotected audio file, but special features like bookmarks and variable-speed playback won’t work. If you leave the extension as .m4b, you get full audiobook features, but iTunes still describes each such file as a “Protected AAC audio file”, and JHymn has to do a little more work when it looks at .m4b files β€” slowing things down a little for you bit, the patiently waiting user β€” because it needs to read a bit of the beginning of each file before it can tell if it’s unlocked yet or not.I personally recommend leaving .m4b files with their .m4b extension, but the choice to change the extension is there if you want it.

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