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If I change the Media Kind option on a track to Audiobook, what does effects does that have on my iTunes library? How does it change the presentation and functionality of the track?

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Jesse Hollington wrote a great guide to Audiobook handling "The Complete Guide to iTunes Books, Podcasts + iTunes U" at iLounge. Basically it comes down to separating AudioBooks from music and providing different sync and management options within iTunes.

Your sync differences are obvious, you get a different sync category enabling you to sync all or selected Audiobooks. One really interesting difference is that on iOS devices, media kind Audiobook lets you adjust playback speed. I haven't tried setting a music track to audiobook and then changing playback speed - might be useful for learning guitar tracks if pitch is maintained.

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If an MP3 has its Media Kind set to Audiobook (in the Options tab):

Media Kind = Audiobook in iTunes Options for a track

then iTunes will do some different things, compared to Music type tracks:

  • Audiobooks will appear in their own section of the iTunes library, rather than in the Music section. For me, it was a huge improvement to get these items out of my Music library.

Audiobooks in the iTunes library

  • If your Audiobook is a .m4b file, you can play it at twice the regular speed.

The Remember playback position option isn't solely a property of Audiobooks, but if you're importing Audiobooks you might want to check that this is enabled.

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