A while ago Apple moved audiobooks from the music app to iBooks. Now I can't listen to audiobooks on repeat. Is there any way of getting back this functionality?

  • I've deleted my previous comment because it was not specifically focused on "iPhone" Sep 20, 2016 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


Hmmm, I'd never noticed that (but then again, I wouldn't normally think to put an audio book on repeat).

If the main thing you want to achieve is to be able to play your audio book on your iPhone, and you want the ability to repeat them, then you can still actually play them using the Music iOS app.

To do this:

  1. Within iTunes on your Mac or PC, add your audiobooks (they can be from any source, including Audible) to a playlist
  2. Sync that playlist to your iPhone
  3. Open the Music app on your iPhone
  4. Select the playlist
  5. Play any audiobook it contains (and use the repeat function)

Hope this helps!


This answer is being edited to cover a couple of scenarios that may affect the above steps working. Basically, with the latest versions of iOS and iTunes, plus the onset of Apple Music, the above instructions may not work for some people.

If you are in this situation, please use the following steps instead:

  1. Within iTunes on your Mac or PC, select the audiobook you want to play in the Music app on your iPhone/iPad/iPod.
  2. Richt-click on the audiobook and choose Get Info from the context menu that appears.
  3. Click on the Options tab.
  4. At the top for Media Kind you should see Audiobook selected. Change this to Music instead. (Note, if you'd like to listen to your Audiobook using the Podcasts app instead, then select Podcast instead of Music. However, since the OP is wanting to use the 'repeat' function, we need to use the Music app.)
  5. Ensure that Remember playback position is selected.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Now add your Audiobook to a playlist (perhaps one called Audiobooks).
  8. Sync that playlist to your iPhone.
  9. Open the Music app on your iPhone.
  10. Select the playlist.
  11. Play the audiobook and use the repeat function of the Music app.


If you are using Apple Music and iCloud Music Library is switched on in your device, you must also do this step:

  • After Step 6 and before Step 7: Right-click on the Audiobook file and select Add to iCloud Music Library.
  • This additional step can actually take anywhere from a few hours to days (not to upload, but for the iCloud music servers to process the file). So, while you can continue with Steps 7 to 11 above, the file won't be available on your device until the file has actually finished processing. The way to tell this is to check that the dotted cloud icon next to the audiobook listed in iTunes is no longer a dotted line to indicate it is waiting.
  • And yes, as far as I am concerned Apple Music and the iCloud Music Library have 'broken' the way many people want to use playlists - but that's another story!
  • This sounds like a good idea. However I'm trying to do it now and I'm not having any joy. Have you tried it? iTunes doesn't want to sync the playlist. Sep 17, 2016 at 14:27
  • Yes, I've done this many times over the years. Haven't done it in a while, and certainly not since updating iTunes to 12.5.1 and my iPhone to iOS 10, but will try again today just to make sure nothing has changed. In the meantime, how are you trying to sync the playlist?
    – Monomeeth
    Sep 17, 2016 at 21:35
  • 1
    Just tested my steps and these still work fine in older systems. I have edited my answer to explain how users can still achieve the same outcome, even with the latest iTunes and iOS 10 installed. (I have tested this myself and it works fine). However, if you are using Apple Music and have iCloud Music Library switched on, things are more complicated. I also cover this in my answer.
    – Monomeeth
    Sep 20, 2016 at 10:40
  • 1
    Wow, that's a lot of steps just to hear an audiobook; one big vote down for iTunes and big up vote for free & open media formats--I do really like the answer though, nice work @Monomeeth Sep 20, 2016 at 18:20
  • I've just tried it and it works. What a ridiculous amount of faff just to get a basic bit of functionality back. I wish they'd stop breaking things. 50 bounty points gratefully awarded. Sep 21, 2016 at 18:40

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