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Every time I add an audiobook from mp3 files via iTunes, the chapters are completely out of order even though they have the correct Track numbers in iTunes:

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  • What have you already tried to fix this?
    – fsb
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:43
  • When you say they have the correct track numbers, do you mean that the files are numbered correctly, or that the track numbers in the audio file metadata are correct? Apr 18, 2018 at 21:08
  • @fsb I've verified that all the track information is correct, but there doesn't seem to be any options at all in iBooks about sorting.
    – T3db0t
    Apr 19, 2018 at 17:13
  • @the_storyteller The files are number correctly AND the track numbers are correct. iBooks just isn't sorting them correctly for some reason :(
    – T3db0t
    Apr 19, 2018 at 17:13
  • Can you post a picture of the metadata for these from iTunes? Every answer I've seen on the web states the metadata on iTunes needs to be correct because you can't change it on iOS. This answer says how to check it but you might've done that already.
    – fsb
    Apr 19, 2018 at 17:33

3 Answers 3

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It's sort of the same solution to "Songs show up as individual albums in iOS Music app."

Make sure the files have the correct tags for album, artist, track, and title.

Then in iTunes:

1) Upload the first track to Music.

2) Upload the rest of the tracks to Music. (Or you can upload all the tracks including the first one -- iTunes will ignore the duplicate first track.)

3) Select all the tracks in iTunes, right click, then select Get Info > Options > media kind > Audiobook, and click OK.

iBooks should list the audiobook in order now.

The key is that the first track of the audiobook must be uploaded first.

P.S. You can also upload multiple audiobooks by doing steps 1 and 2 on the first audiobook, then repeat for the other books. And then select all and do step 3.

Or do step 1 on each audiobook, then do step 2 on all the audiobooks together in one go, then select all and do step 3.

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Try organizing the chapters in iTunes per Organizing audiobook chapters and re-syncing. The Apple version of the script to fix them up is at the bottom. Follow the link from the text for a Windows machine.

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I have been struggling with this for the last few years and I finally got a solution to work today!! I used the id3v2 utility on linux and set the track frame as "N/M" where N=Track number and M=Total number of tracks. Then import the mp3 files to iTunes and now you should see the files grouped as an album with the tracks already in the right order. Select the album, command-click or right-click and choose File Info -> Options, change the Media Kind to Audiobook, and you now should have your audiobook in order!

The id3v2 utility is a sourceforge project. Its page is here:

http://id3v2.sourceforge.net/

I wrote a shell script to set the N/M track. You need to put each audiobook in its own directory, and run this script in each directory, for this script to work.

$ cat set_audiobook_track_numbering.sh

#
# Sets track numbering in all MP3s in current directory
#

COUNTER=0
TRACKCNT=`/bin/ls *.mp3 | wc | awk '{print $1}'`
for F in *mp3 ; do
   let COUNTER++
   echo id3v2 -T "$COUNTER/$TRACKCNT" "$F"
   id3v2 -T "$COUNTER/$TRACKCNT" "$F"
done

echo Done.  Set track number in $TRACKCNT mp3s.
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  • I appreciate the answer but this is crazypants. Android "just works", WTF is wrong with iPhone? Jan 25, 2020 at 0:11

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